John LEAR
(-Bef 1782)
Sarah
William LEAR
(-After 1807)

 

Family Links

Spouses/Children:
1. Unknown

2. Elizabeth

William LEAR 1 2

  • Marriage (1): Unknown
  • Marriage (2): Elizabeth
  • Died: After 11 Nov 1807, Garrard County, Kentucky 2

bullet   Another name for William was William LAIR.2

picture

bullet  General Notes:

In order to find the answer to the question posed in the memorandum set forth in the following Research Note, to wit, whether William Lear, who died in Garrard County, Kentucky in 1807, belonged to the line of John Lear, Sr. of Culpeper County, Virginia or Matthias Lair of Rockingham County, Virginia, I helped organize the Lear-Lohr-Lair DNA Project. See http://www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/l/lear/. I was initially able to recruit three Lear descendants for the project: (1) a descendant of my direct line though William's son, James; (2) a descendant of William's son, Jesse; and (3) a descendant of James Lear, who died about 1842 in Garrard County, Kentucky, and who is a proven descendant of John Lear, Sr. of Culpeper County, Virginia, through his son, James. The Y-DNA of all three participants matched, and most notably the descendant of my direct line and the proven descendant of John Lear, Sr. of Culpeper were a perfect match, which means the probability they shared a common ancestor within the last 7 to 9 generations is over 95%. Thus, the only question that remains is how my William Lear was related to the other Garrard County Lear families.

The other Garrard County Lear families were children of either James Lear or John Lear, Jr., both of Culpeper County, Virginia. The James Lear family had a son named William, but the evidence is clear he was the William who married Hannah Bailey and who died in 1816 in Fauquier County, Virginia. As to the John Lear, Jr. family, no credible evidence exists of a William. My William, who seems noticeably older than the other Lears in Garrard County, since his sons start being added to the tax lists in 1797, was most likely their uncle and thus the William who is named in the will of John Lear (Sr.) of Culpeper.

Based on when his sons first started appearing on the tax lists, one can extrapolate that William was born about 1755. That may seem too late to have been a son of John Lear, Sr. of Culpeper, especially since John Sr.'s son, James, was named in the 1738 lease. However, it is my opinion that James was not necessarily an adult or even a tithable in 1738, but that he was then just the oldest son and was named to reinforce the fact this was an inheritable leasehold in accordance with primogeniture. It seems as though James starting having children about 1758 (William), but the only dates certain are that James entered into a contract to buy land in 1760 and that James' son, James Jr., was born about 1765. These dates support the view that James Sr. was a young child at the time of the 1738 lease. Accordingly, it is not at all a stretch for my William to have been the youngest son of John Lear, Sr.

On the other hand, it is conceivable that William was the oldest son of John Lear, Jr. The problem is we don't have a good fix on when John Jr. was born or when he married. If one uses what I believe to be extrapolated dates from the DAR application of Mildred Permilia Dobson Cosgriff, then John Jr. may have been born about 1734 and married about 1754, and could conceivably be William's father. The fact William named his first son John is of no help, because in either event his father was named John. The fact William named a daughter Sarah suggests John Sr. was his father, because his first wife and thus William's putative mother was named Sarah. He also named a daughter Elizabeth, who may have been named after his putative sister. However, William also named a son Jesse, which may point to John Jr. being his father. There is really no definitive answer at this time. I have chosen to list William as a son of John Sr., because we at least know he had a son named William and because he was old enough to be a younger son.

bullet  Research Notes:

[While the central question explored by the following memorandum has now been answered by Y-DNA testing -- see General Note above -- it continues to serve as rich source of data and family information for anyone researching the Lear and Lair families of Madison and Garrard Counties, Kentucky. However, it should be noted that my views as to how the Garrard County Lears were related have changed. George and David are now thought to have been sons of John Lear, Jr. of Culpeper. James and Molly Anderson remain as children of James of Culpeper. Also, Clifford A. Radcliff, whose website is referenced in the Introduction, passed away a few years after this memorandum was written and his research is no longer online. Fortunately, I made hard copies of the pertinent pages of his website, which served as my guide as I researched the Lears of Culpeper County, Virginia. I hope my website is a worthy successor to Cliff's website.]


Lear and Lair Families of Madison and Garrard Counties, Kentucky, 1788-1820

by

Robert E. Strong, Jr.


(Revised 6 Sep 2003)


Introduction

The evidence suggests there were two unrelated Lear/Lair lines in early Madison/Garrard County, Kentucky: one line appears to be connected to the German family of Matthias and Catherine Margaretha (Moyer) Lair/Lehrer of Rockingham County, Virginia, which is the subject of Maude Ward Lafferty's and Helen Lafferty Nisbet's well-known family history which is reproduced at http://shawhan.com/Lair_history.html; the other line appears to descend from the family of John Lear of Culpeper County, Virginia, which is one of the families featured by Clifford A. Radcliff at http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/r/a/d/Clifford-A-Radcliff-Omaha/index.html. [The latter line will from time to time be referred to as the English line to distinguish it from the German line; however, it is only a presumption they were English.] To which line does my William Lear/Lair belong? That is the question to be explored in this Research Note.

[Before proceeding, I would like to make a few observations about the sources cited above. Lafferty's and Nisbet's family history is so well-respected by descendants of Matthias that it seems no one researches this line anymore. It seems well nigh impossible to find anyone who can supply any additional information. That is unfortunate, because all research benefits from scrutiny, verification and additional research. As will be seen below from time to time, in my opinion Lafferty's and Nisbet's history is not the be-all and end-all for this family; nonetheless, I am grateful for and respect their work. As to the Lears of Culpeper County, Virginia, there are many versions of this line on the Internet. I have chosen to use Radcliff's site as my frame of reference, because he is the only one who seems to have critically analyzed the evidence for this line. That's not to say he's gotten everything right, anymore than I expect to get everything right in this memorandum, but until proven wrong I will always go with the work of a diligent researcher.]

The question of my William's lineage will be explored by analyzing a time-line summary of Lear/Lair sightings in the records of early Madison/Garrard County, Kentucky. Although I have contributed modestly to this research, it is largely a summary of earlier research by Debra Wiley (Dubricus@aol.com). Debra also descends from William Lear through his son Jesse. It is my hope this time-line summary and analysis will not only help identify the line to which William Lear/Lair belongs, but will also contribute something to the overall effort to sort out the confluence of Lear and Lair families on the waters of Back Creek.

The format will be to proceed year by year, noting the Lear/Lair sightings for each year, putting them in context to the extent possible, and discussing what inferences can reasonably be drawn from these sightings. I will utilize the name spellings found in the records. [I do not consider a Lair or Lear spelling to indicate one line or the other. Each line uses the other's spelling from time to time; indeed, sometimes the name is spelled both ways in the same document.] In discussing inferences from tax list records, I will rely mostly on the date individuals were added to the list and the location of their land holdings as suggesting individuals lived nearby each other, rather than the fact names appear near each other on the list, since these lists are for the most part partially alphabetized. [Fortunately and a testament to her meticulous research, all this information is contained in Debra's research notes.] When appropriate, I will refer the reader to later years when it seems an inference is not borne out by subsequent records.

This research memorandum will for the most part cover the years from 1788-1820. While some key documents from later years have been examined for confirmation of the conclusions reached herein, there is always the possibility some unexamined document might refute a conclusion. I've stopped at 1820, because by then my line's involvement with Garrard County was limited to Jesse Lear, who eventually settled in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. I will leave it to the descendants of the Lears and Lairs who continued on in Garrard to sort out the next generation.

One final acknowledgment. Stacy May, Clerk of the Garrard County Court, was very responsive to my requests for documents. Garrard County researchers are fortunate, not only to have access to excellent records, but also to have Stacy as the Clerk. She made this the best experience I have ever had in my dealings with courts from afar.


Time-Line

1788

Sightings:

5 Apr Madison Co. Tax List - George Lear

Discussion:

This is the earliest Lear/Lair appearance in the records of Madison/Garrard Counties. There seem to be two candidates for this first Lear appearance. From the English Lears, we have George Lear (James, John), who per Radcliff is reported to have been born about 1760 in Culpeper County, Virginia. This George married Rebeckah Garrett on 22 Nov 1786 in Mercer County, Kentucky. The candidate from the German Lair family, and seemingly the only George from that family to have been old enough to have been the George of the 1788 tax list, is George Lair, born about 1755, who was an orphaned son of Ferdinando Lair and who, along with siblings Ferdinando, Margaret, Catherine and Mathias, became a ward of his uncle, Mathias Lair, per 1768 court records of Augusta County, Virginia. Descendants identify Ferdinando Lair as Johan Ferdinand Lair, a brother of Mathias. The German George married Catherine Hogland on 1 or 5 Sep 1787 in neighboring Lincoln County, Kentucky.

Which George appears in the 1788 tax list? As will be seen below, the other early Lear/Lair sightings are from the German line, which would seem to favor the German George. Also, the 1787 marriage of the German George in the neighboring county suggests it was he who appears in Madison County in 1788. Yet, other evidence provided by Debbie Rose (rdsrose@charter.net), a descendant of George, indicates he was the English George. Of particular importance is a marriage consent note dated 15 Aug 1832 for the marriage of Lucenda Lear to James M. Prater [Prather] in which the name of George's wife appears as Rebeckah and also the fact that the son of Philip Prather and Delfia Lear, another daughter of George and Rebeckah, was named William Garrett Prather. [Debbie Rose also shared with me copies of many other court documents, which were very helpful in preparing this memorandum.] In my opinion, once you get past the possibility, discussed below, that there were two Georges in Madison County, then the continuity of records, culminating in his death in 1834, clearly establishes this George as being of the English line from Culpeper County, Virginia.

1789

Sightings:

18 Apr Madison Co. Tax List, Pg 3, Ln 12 - George Lear
18 Apr Madison Co. Tax List, Pg 1, Ln 26 - George Lear

Discussion:

The confusion begins. Do we now have two openings for the two candidates we had for the first Lear sighting? Or might this be a duplicate entry, since each coincidentally has the same tax profile (one white male over 16 and three horses and/or mares and mules)? I have examined this tax list and believe there is only one George Lear at this time. The second entry appears in a separate unalphabetized list, which appears to be the worksheet for the alphabetized list in which the first entry appears.

1791

Sightings:

19 Apr Madison Co. Tax List, Pg 3, Ln 17 - George Lear

Discussion:

Now we are back to just one George, who still has the same tax profile as the earlier Georges, thereby adding support to my conclusion the 1789 entries were duplicates.

1792

Sightings:

27 Nov Madison Co. Tax List, Pg 5, Ln 1 - Mathias Lare
3 Dec Madison Co. Tax List, Pg 5, Ln 13 - George Lare
Madison Co., KY Deeds - Joseph Craig to George Layer, 100a, Long Branch

Discussion:

The name Mathias certainly suggests a connection to the German Lairs. There seem to be two possibilities for this Mathias: he could be Mathias, another orphaned son of Johan Ferdinand Lair (this Mathias settled in Barren County, Kentucky no later than 1799), or he might be Mathias Jr., son of Mathias of Rockingham County, Virginia. Unfortunately, this was a one time appearance by Mathias and so no further information that might assist in his identification is available. While each candidate has contemporaneous ties to neighboring Lincoln County - Mathias the orphan due to the 1787 marriage of his brother George and Mathias Jr. due to the presence of his brothers John and Andrew in 1790 - which one lived briefly in Madison County seems indeterminable. It is true that Lafferty and Nisbet have Mathias Jr. and John settling Lair Station, aka Ruddle's Fort, in Bourbon/Harrison County beginning in 1791, but they could be off a few years. They acknowledge Mathias Jr. and John made preliminary visits to Kentucky before they settled in Bourbon/Harrison County.

Long Branch, the water source for George's property, appears to be a tributary of Back Creek, which is itself a tributary of Paint Lick Creek. Joseph Craig originally owned 1437 acres between Long Branch and Back Creek. This is located on the Madison County side of Garrard County, not the Lincoln County side where Andrew Lair had property on the Dicks/Dix River. [When George died in 1834, he owned 228 acres. The 20 May 1837 conveyance of said property by his heirs also identifies the water source as Long Branch. The 1837 deed also shows his property shared corners with David Lear and James Lear.]

1794

Sightings:

20 Jun Madison Co. Tax List, Pg 6L, Ln 11 - George Lear, 100a
Madison Co. Deeds - William Johnson to George Lair, 58a Back Ck, Beg at George Lear's corner by his Spring to Stout Brinzen's line to Jesse Morris' line.

Discussion:

Debra Wiley's research notes appear to show two tax listings for George Lear in 1794, but no listing for 1795. Since that result would once again raise the possibility of two Georges in the records, I double-checked the lists. I have concluded the second entry was indeed from the tax list dated - very faintly - 1795. That conclusion is supported by the fact George's land holdings go from 100 acres to 158 acres, thereby reflecting the 1794 purchase.

It would appear that 58 acres of abutting property was added to that purchased by George Layer in 1792, notwithstanding the fact the land purchased in 1792 was described as being on Long Branch and the land purchased in 1794 was described as being on Back Creek. Perhaps the location of both was at the confluence of these tributaries.

1795

Sightings:

10 Jun Madison Co. Tax List, Pg 11L, Ln 4 - George Lear, 158a
Madison Co. Deeds - Jesse Morris to William Lair, 60a Back Ck, Beg at Elliot Jones' corner on Cain Branch, "thence with line where it corners with Andrew Layer and Stout Brinzen's line . . ." to Dawson Wade's line.

Discussion:

The deed to William Lair is significant, first because this is the first appearance by a William and I am most interested in the various Williams, and second because it appears to place William as a neighbor of the George who in 1794 bought land abutting Jesse Morris and also as a neighbor of Andrew, presumably the Andrew of Lincoln County. There appear to be three candidates for this William, each of whom is discussed below.

The first possibility is the William Lair who obtained a land grant for 400 acres in Fayette County, Kentucky on 18 May 1787. This William is presumably from the German line, because Andrew and John of the German line obtained adjoining land grants on 21 May 1787 and 22 May 1787, respectively. All of these land grants were made pursuant to Land Office Treasury Warrants dated 14 Mar 1780. William Lair's survey dated 3 Dec 1784 is the reference for all three grants. Andrew and John were sons of Mathias of Rockingham County, Virginia, but Mathias did not have a son named William per Lafferty and Nisbet. So, who is this William and why wasn't he even mentioned by Lafferty and Nisbet in their family history? Might this William have been an older son of Mathias' brother, Johan Ferdinand Lair, for whom a guardianship was not required when his father died? That would make William a first cousin of Andrew and John and about the same age. He would also be the older brother of the George who married in Lincoln County and possibly the Mathias who appeared in the 1792 tax list for Madison County. This is an intriguing possibility. Lafferty and Nisbet do not even mention Mathias' brother and his family. That may be why they did not discuss this William, even though they were obviously aware of the land grants to Andrew and John.

[N. B. While it is not my intention to make this even more confusing, it should be noted that a Theophilus Anderson appears in the 1788 Fayette County tax list. Mary "Molly" Lear of the English line married a Theophilus Anderson in 1787 and eventually located in Garrard County. If this is the same Theophilus, then it would seem we have the German Lairs and English Lears mixing together in Fayette County just as they later did in Garrard County. Note that a Theophilus also appears in the 1790 tax list for Fauquier County, Virginia.]

The second possibility for the William Lair of the 1795 deed would be the son of Andrew. Since the deed in question shows Andrew as an abutter, this William seems a logical choice. He was born in 1775 and would have been about age 20 in 1795.

The third possibility would be a William from Culpeper County, Virginia. Unfortunately, the logical choice, i.e. the brother of George, David, James and Molly Anderson, all of whom settled in Garrard County, has to be ruled out. That William (James, John) is Clifford Radcliff's ancestor and it seems well documented that he stayed in Virginia. Of particular significance is an 1837 deposition by James Lear of Garrard County affirming his brother's (William's) service in the Revolutionary War in a proceeding in Fauquier County, Virginia, which involved a claim by William's children on account of his Revolutionary War service. Another candidate from the English line would be William, son of John, born about 1734, who was an uncle of the other Lears who settled in Garrard County. Radcliff has this William dying after 1788 in Bedford County, Virginia, but he acknowledges his records may be incorrect. It's not even clear how it was determined that the William Lear of Culpeper County was connected to the William Lear of Bedford County. Nonetheless, a William Lear did obtain a land grant in Bedford County on 12 Jan 1780 and also appeared there on the 1789 tax list. But, William, son of John, may be too old to be William of Madison/Garrard, assuming James (my line), born about 1778, was one of William's older sons. While William of Garrard was seemingly older than the other Culpeper Lears who came to Garrard, he may instead be their first cousin, whose parentage is yet to be determined. William of Bedford County could be that cousin.

Which William was most likely the William of the 1795 deed? I believe the evidence discussed below suggests it was an English William and that he is my ancestor. But it is also clear that at least one of the other German Williams also appears in later Garrard County records. That is what makes identifying the lineage of my William so difficult.

Andrew Lair never appears in the tax lists for Madison/Garrard County for he resided in Lincoln County. The absence of a taxable Andrew in Madison/Garrard supports the conclusion that the Andrew of Madison/Garrard deed records was the Andrew of Lincoln County.

1796

Sightings:

Madison Co. Tax List - William Lear, 60a, water source as Paint Lick, part of Joseph Craig's land.

Discussion:

There are two white males age 21 and over listed for William in 1796. Compare this to the 1789 tax list entry for William Lear of Bedford Co., Virginia, where there is a white male in the 16-21 age bracket. These entries are, if nothing else, at least consistent with these two Williams being the same person.

No significance is attributed to the fact George is inexplicably missing from this tax list

1797

Sightings:

5 May Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 14, Ln 10 - William Lear, 60a, Paint Lick, Jos. Craig
5 May Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 14, Ln 11 - John Lear
5 May Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 14, Ln 12 - George Lear, 145a, Paint Lick, Jos. Craig
Madison Co. Marriages - John Lear and Tabitha Gaddy, bond dated 7 Jul 1797, no return, bond by John Terry, consent by Susanna Gaddy, mother of bride.

Discussion:

Who might John have been? The most likely explanation is that John was the oldest son of William. George, who married in 1786, could not have had a son old enough to be this John. [George did in fact have a son named John D. Lair. See 1816 for his initial appearance in the records.] Recall that in the previous year there was a second adult male in William's household. John's appearance the next year in his own household coupled with the disappearance of the extra adult male in William's household, supports the conclusion John is the oldest son of William. His presumed marriage in 1797 supports this scenario.

However, this conclusion is put into question by being listed as John Jr. in the 1802 tax list. What other possibilities are raised by this one-time reference? The known John Jr. from the German line was too young to have been over 21 and/or married in 1797. The son of John of Culpeper County, Virginia and uncle of George (and David, James and Molly Anderson, all of whom arrive in Garrard at a later date) is a possibility, but per Radcliff he was born about 1732. That John would appear to be older than William, even old enough to be his father. Might John Jr. be a brother of William? One last possibility might be yet another previously unknown son of Johan Ferdinand Lair.

[N.B. It should be apparent to the reader by now that sorting out the Lears of Garrard County without knowing more about all the Lears of Culpeper County is not that easy. Nonetheless, I shall persevere. Obviously, whatever is offered up here in the way of tentative conclusions will have to be revisited once more is known about the Culpeper County Lears.]

As will be seen later in the discussion of the various William Jrs that appear in the records, the use of the Jr suffix by a tax collector does not always indicate his father was John Sr. Even so, I can't come up with another person whom the tax collector may have been trying to distinguish from John. I'm of the mind that the 1802 listing of John as a Jr was probably an error or at most an indication he was of the next generation of Lears. My own impression of the records involving John, including those discussed below, is that they seem most consistent with him being the brother of my James.

1798

Records for 1798 appear to be missing.

1799

Sightings:

16 Apr Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 6B, Ln 9 - William Lear
18 Apr Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 6B, Ln 13 - George Lear
18 Apr Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 6B, Ln 14 - John Lear
18 Apr Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 6B, Ln 15 - James Lear

Discussion:

Who might James have been? Based on the 1801 marriage of James to Sarah Hamilton, I believe him to be my ancestor. Another possibility is James of Culpeper County (James, John), who is known to have moved to Garrard County, but he can be eliminated because he did not arrive until the end of 1807 at the earliest. Andrew Lair of Lincoln County also had a son named James, but he is reported by Lafferty and Nisbet to have married a Robinson (see 1815 marriage).

Who was the father of James? None of the 1797 households show any males in the 16-21 age bracket, where you would expect to find James, born 1770-1780 per later census records. Nor are there any extra males in the 21+ bracket. Did the tax collector fail to record this information? As previously mentioned, there was an extra adult male in the 1796 household of William, who could have been James, but who was probably John. On the assumption James turned 21 before 18 Apr 1799, which means he was born 1777-1778, he is too old to have been the son of anyone other than William - assuming John was not a brother of William. [I have seen it stated that the James who married Sarah Hamilton was James Logan Lair, tenth child of Andrew Lair and Francis Hubbard. But, Lafferty and Nisbet show only nine children, with number four being the James who married Elizabeth Robinson in 1815. No one has ever offered any evidence for this purported relationship, so I mention it only in passing.]

John and James may have been living nearer to George than to William, or working for George, given that they were all added to the tax list on the same day.

1800

Sightings:

15 Apr Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 14A, Ln 7 - John Lear
15 Apr Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 14A, Ln 8 - George Lear, 144a Back Ck, Jos Craig
19 Apr Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 15A, Ln 1 - James Lear, 42 1/2a, Back Ck, Jos Craig
7 May Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 15A, Ln 11 - William Lear Sr, 100a Back Ck, Jos Craig
4 Jul Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 15A, Ln 12 - William Lear, Jr.

Discussion:

John's listing suggests he may still have been living near or working for George, while James' listing indicates he had purchased property near George.

The new face on the block is William Lear, Jr. One would presume he was the son of William, Sr. If so, that would eliminate William, son of Andrew, as the William of earlier records and also as William Jr. But, the date each was added to the tax list undermines this presumption and the next year's tax list creates even more doubt. This may be a case where the tax collector either mistakenly assumed they were father and son or sought to distinguish an older and younger William with the same, at least to his ear, last name.

1801

Sightings:

20 Apr Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 11, Ln 1 - William Lare, 650a, Knox Co.
20 Apr Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 11, Ln 2 - William Lare, 300a, Pulaski Co.
20 Apr Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 11, Ln 3 - William Lare, 300a, Bourbon Co.
20 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 11, Ln 13 - John Lare
20 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 11, Ln 14 - James Lare, 421/2a, Garrard Co.
20 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 11, Ln 18 - George Lare, 144a, Garrard Co.
20 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 11, Ln 24 - William Lare Sen, 100a, Garrard Co.
Garrard Co. Marriages - James Lear & Sally Hamilton, bond no. 189 and license dated 14 Feb 1801, bond by John Lear, no return, consent of parents, Charles and Sally[Hannah] Hamilton

Discussion:

Debra's research notes do not show a William Jr. or a William Sr. Upon reviewing the tax list in question, I observed "Sen" after the name of William Lare who was added to the tax list on 20 Jun 1801.

This tax list strongly suggests we had a William from the German line and a William from the English line, rather than a William Jr. and Sr. It would appear from the first three entries for William Lare that he resided in Garrard County (on land owned by Andrew?), but did not own property there. The size and location of his holdings suggest he was from the German line. On the assumption he was identified as William Jr. in 1800 only to distinguish him from the other older William, he was probably Andrew's son, who per Lafferty and Nisbet married in Garrard County the following year.

The only problem is that these considerable and varied land holdings would seem unusual for a young man who had probably not strayed far from home. Perhaps he obtained the land from his father. William, the possible first cousin of Andrew who obtained the Fayette County land grant, could instead be this William, but then it is more difficult to explain why he would be identified as Jr., for he was probably of the same generation as the English William. Might the tax collector have used Jr. and Sr. to distinguish between the first William to settle in Madison/Garrard and the newcomer? Again, the 1802 marriage of Andrew's son argues against this theory.

I have previously stated my belief that the first William to appear in the records was an English William. The continuity of records indicates he was also the William who owned 100 acres in the current year. What evidence exists he was from the English line? Thus far, we have only seen that he lived in close proximity to the English George and that his two oldest sons appear to have either lived near or worked for George. Later, we will see more interaction between these two families. That is really all the evidence there is. I suppose the interaction could be explained just as easily by the fact they became friends when they became neighbors. That would mean William, the possible first cousin of Andrew who obtained the Fayette County land grant, could have instead been the first William. But, in my experience these interactions are more likely indicative of a family relationship. Also, I think it is telling that there is no interaction between the first William and the other German Lairs.

James Lear and Sarah Hamilton are my fourth great grandparents. What inferences can be drawn from the fact the bondsman for their marriage was John Lear? Ordinarily, it would suggest they were either brothers or father and son. Both are possibilities because of the 1802 tax list, where John appears as John Lair, Jr. As previously stated, I think they were brothers. The fact they appear to come out of William's household, that they initially owned no land, that they appear to have lived near or worked for George, all suggest they were brothers. Also, see the later deeds involving John.

1802

Sightings:

27 Aug Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 15, Ln13 - George Lear,155a, Back Ck
27 Aug Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 15, Ln14 - John Lair Jr., 421/2a. Long Branch
9 Aug Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 15, Ln 21 - William Lear, 300a, Pulaski Co.
9 Aug Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 15, Ln 22 - William Lear, 500a, Bourbon Co.
17 May Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 14, Ln 29 - William Lair, Sr., 90a, Back Ck.
Garrard Co. Marriages - William Lair & Elizabeth Graham, bond no. 261 and license dated 24 Nov 1802, bond by William Clarke, no return, consent of father, John Graham.

Discussion:

James Lear, my ancestor, no longer appears on the tax list, because he had moved with his wife's Hamilton family to Wayne County, Kentucky. Note that John has taken over James' land, even though it was not deeded to him until 1805. This is as one would expect between brothers.

The German Lairs claim the William Lair / Elizabeth Graham marriage for the son of Andrew of Lincoln County. Most descendants rely on Lafferty and Nisbet, who identify his wife as Mary Graham, give no date or location for the marriage, and say they moved to Russell County, Kentucky, where William died in 1875. The 1850 and 1860 censuses for Russell County give his wife's name as Elizabeth. Interestingly, the older English William's wife was also named Elizabeth. However, it is clear from his will that this was a second marriage for both of them, so she would not have needed consent and also she and her father would not have had the same surname.

The significance of the William who married Elizabeth Graham being the son of Andrew is that it provides confirmation the William Sr. and William Jr. of the records were not father and son, but were rather simply unrelated older and younger persons with the same name, at least to the ear, who happened to live in the same area.

1803

Sightings:

20 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 14, Ln 9 - George Lair, 144a, Paint Lick Ck
20 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 14, Ln 10 - John Lair, 421/2a, Paint Lick Ck
11 Jul Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 14, Ln 13 - William Lair, 500a, Bourbon Co.
16 Jul Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 14, Ln 19 - William Lair, 50a, Back Ck

Discussion:

None of the 1803 records affect my prior conclusions.

1804

Sightings:

13 Mar Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 12, Ln 11 - William Lair Sr., 90a, Back Ck
13 Mar Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 12, Ln 12 - George Lair, 144a, Back Ck
13 Mar Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 12, Ln 21 - John Lair, 421/2a, Back Ck
13 Mar Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 12, Ln 25 - William Lair, 500a, Bourbon Co.
Garrard Co. Marriages - William Lambert & Elizabeth Lear, bond no. 303 and license dated 20 Mar 1804, bond by Matthew Lambert, no return, consent of parents, William and Elizabeth Lear.

Discussion:

The tax list reveals nothing new. Elizabeth Lear who married William Lambert is almost certainly the daughter of the older English William, even though she is not mentioned by name in his will.

1805

Sightings:

1 May Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 16, Ln 9 - William Lair
11 Mar Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 15, Ln 9 - David Lear, 50a, Sugar Ck
14 Mar Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 15, Ln 21 - William Lear, 90a, Back Ck
14 Mar Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 15, Ln 22 - George Lear, 144a, Back Ck
14 Mar Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 15, Ln 23 - John Lear, 421/2a, Back Ck
Garrard Co. Deeds - James Lear to John Lear, 1 Sep 1805, 521/2a on Back Ck adj Stout Brinsan's Spring Branch, Wit: Benjamin Wiley, and William Lear and Elizabeth Lear.

Discussion:

David Lear makes his first appearance. David married Lucy Duval on 29 Dec 1791 in Culpeper County, Virginia. He is buried in the David Lear cemetery in Garrard County. His grave marker shows he was born Apr 1767 and died Sep 1843. Per Radcliff, he was a son of James Lear (John) of Culpeper County. He was the first of George Lear's brothers to join him in Garrard. As would be expected, he appears to have settled near the other English Lears.

Once James moved to Wayne County, Kentucky, it was natural for him to have sold his land to a close relative. (I attribute no significance to the minor differences in acreage between what appears on the tax lists and in the deed.) Note also that the English William was a witness. I believe this sale provides further evidence John and James were brothers and that their father was William.

1806

Sightings:

29 May Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 18, Ln 5 - William Lair, 95a, Back Ck
29 May Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 18, Ln 6 - John Lair, 441/2a, Back Ck
29 May Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 18, Ln 10 - David Lair, 50a, Back Ck
29 May Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 18, Ln 11 - George Lair, 142a, Back Ck
14 Apr Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 17, Ln 13 - William Lear
Garrard Co. Marriages - George Lambert & Sally Lear, bond no. 407 and license dated 7 Apr 1806, bond by Matthias Lambert, no return, no consent
Garrard Co. Marriages - Jesse Lear & Elizabeth Brown, widow, bond no. 415A and license dated 30 Jul 1806, bond by Thomas Brown, no return, consent of father, Wm Lear, and consent of father, Elijah Williams
Garrard Co. Deeds - John Lear to Jesse Lear, 20 Oct 1806, 50a on Back Creek adj Stout Brinson's Spring Branch, Wit: George Simpson, William Lear, George Lear

Discussion:

This is the last year the younger German William Lair appears on the tax lists of Garrard County. Ironically, this year his name was spelled Lear while the spelling for the English Lears was Lair. Thus, unless Andrew still owned land in the area, there were no remnants of the German Lair presence then in Garrard County. To summarize the German Lair presence: Andrew of Lincoln County owned land in Garrard; his son, William, appears to have lived on that land from 1800 to 1806 and to have married Elizabeth Graham in 1802; and an unidentified Mathias passed through in 1792. [In subsequent years, Andrew's family appears just enough to keep the Lear/Lair confusion going: some examples are Andrew's son, James, who married Elizabeth Robinson in 1815 in Garrard; Andrew's son, Hubbard, who appeared in the 1818 tax list; and Andrew's daughter, Mary "Polly" Lair, who married William Pope in 1809 in Lincoln and resided in Garrard per the 1830 census.]

Again we see a Lambert-Lear marriage. Sally Lear would appear to be the Sarah identified in William's Will as his daughter.

The marriage consent for Jesse Lear establishes the older English William Lear as Jesse's father, even though he is not mentioned by name in William's Will. Debra has provided me with a copy of the consent note and it was witnessed by Moses Lear. Not everyone is convinced Elizabeth Brown was a widow and that her father was Elijah Williams. Her consent note was witnessed by Thomas Brown and Clisha or Elisha Brown. Some think they might be her parents. [I discuss this issue in more detail in the Marriage Note for Jesse Lear at my website.]

The property conveyed by John to Jesse appears to be the same property James conveyed to John the previous year. This is the last year John appears in the tax records of Garrard County. He appears to have sold his property to a younger brother and moved away. His tracks have not been picked up elsewhere.

1807

Sightings:

20 Jul Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 20, Ln 13 - William Lair, 95a, Back Ck
7 Aug Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 20, Ln 14 - Jesse Lair, 50a, Back Ck
7 Aug Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 20, Ln 15 - George Lair, 140a, Back Ck
7 Aug Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 20, Ln 16 - David Lair, 50a, Back Ck
Garrard Co. Wills - William Lear, 11 Nov 1807, Wit: George Simpson, George Lear
Garrard Co. Estate Administrations - William Lear, 30 Dec 1807; Admin: James Lear and Jonathan Finnell; George Lear was one of the appraisers.

Discussion:

Of primary interest is the Will and Estate Administration of William Lear, Dec'd. His name was spelled Lair in the text of the Will, but clearly signed as Lear. The fact that George Lear was one of the witnesses to the Will certainly supports the theory they were related.

His Will names his wife, Elizabeth, and her son, Robert. He names his son, Moses, as his primary heir upon the death of Elizabeth. In addition to other bequests, Moses was to receive William's land after the death of his stepmother. The rest of his property was to be sold and the money divided "among the rest of my children." The share of his daughter, Sarah, was to be paid to her son, Moses. Thus, from the Will we have only the names of two children, Moses and Sarah. But, from marriage consents, we can add Elizabeth and Jesse and from tax lists we can add John and James.

Moses appears to have been the youngest son. He may have been the primary heir because while the others had established independent lives, he was the one who still lived with his father and worked the farm.

James, William's son who then lived in Wayne County, was most likely the Co-Administrator of the will. While James of Culpeper County sold his Culpeper land on 21 Sep 1807 and moved to Garrard in late 1807, as evidenced by his purchases at William's estate sale, he would appear to be an unlikely choice by the Court to serve as Co-Administrator. If a non-heir had been chosen, one would expect it to have been George, who was a witness to the will and a long term resident of Garrard. While it was also unusual for a non-resident of the County to be an Administrator, James was the oldest son who still lived in the vicinity. Perhaps his non-residency is why the Court added Jonathan Finnell as a Co-Administrator.

Note that both James were purchasers at William's estate sale. Most of the purchases were by "James Lear", but at the end of the list of purchases appears the name "James Lear Sen". To me, the lack of a suffix in the other instances indicates the former purchases were made by James of Wayne County, and it also supports my earlier conclusion that James of Wayne County was a Co-Administrator.

It should be noted that a William Lear bought property at the Estate Sale. Might there have been a William Jr. after all, just not the one of the previous tax records? Maybe - see the 1808 court case as well - but as will be seen in the discussion of subsequent years, all of the other Lears appear to have had sons named William. The William in question was probably William G. Lear, son of George, the next William to appear in the records that can definitely be identified. Other family members purchasing property were Jesse Lear, Theopolis Anderson (husband of Mary "Molly" Lear, daughter of James of Culpeper County), and Elizabeth Lear (widow). Notable by their absence were John Lear, Moses Lear, Elizabeth or William Lambert, and Sarah or George Lambert.

1808

Sightings:

9 May Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 15, Ln 8 - George Lear, 144a, Back Ck
19 May Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 15, Ln 12 - Jas Lear, 120a, Paint Lick
25 May Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 15, Ln 13 - Dav'd Lear, 50a, Back Ck
4 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 15, Ln 19 - Jesse Lear, 50a, Back Ck.
Chancery Court Case No. 231, William Lair vs James G. Murray.

Discussion:

This appears to be the first tax list appearance by James, who was the brother of George, David and Molly Anderson. He is reported to have been born about 1764 in Culpeper County, Virginia. [The date on his grave marker is indecipherable, but is thought to be about 1760]. He married Nancy Hill on 12 Dec 1787 in Culpeper County. He died in or before Jan 1842. Another brother was William Lear of Fauquier County, Virginia, as evidenced by an 1837 deposition given by James at age 72 in Garrard in support of an application for a land grant by William's children on account of William's Revolutionary War service.

The court case is very difficult to read. As best as I can make out, this case involves a note for a gambling debt for "mony lost at gaming at James with cards." I won't go into detail of which I am not sure, but it appears William was trying to overturn a previous default judgment against him on the grounds he had satisfied the debt by giving James a horse. He appears to have lost the case. There is nothing in the case that would help identify which William was involved, although, as was the case of the William who was a purchaser - of a mare colt in fact - at William's estate sale in 1807, the most likely candidate is William G. Lear, son of George. Could this William have instead been an otherwise unidentified son of the William who died in 1807? Perhaps the reason no evidence exists that there was a true William Jr. is that he fled the County to avoid an unjust judgment. Something to think about.

1809

Sightings:

(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 14, Ln 28 - James Layer, 120a Back Ck
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 14, Ln 29 - David Layer, 50a Back Ck
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 14, Ln 30 - George Layer, 222a Back Ck
Garrard Co. Deeds - Jesse Lear to Benjamin Wyle, 16 Jan 1809, 50a on Back Ck adjacent Stout Brinzen's Spring Branch, Wit: Johnathan Finnels, William Wyle, David Lear

Discussion:

As expected from the sale of his land, this is the last year Jesse appears in the records of Garrard County for awhile. He apparently moved to neighboring Jessamine County, Kentucky, where he appears in the 1810 census. He makes a return appearance in the 1814 Garrard County tax list. [As an aside, note that Jesse's son, Moses, and Nancy Dabney were married 14 Jan 1834 in Wayne County, Kentucky by my Rev. James Lear, with William Lear, presumably Rev. James' son, as witness. Rev. James was Jesse's older brother and thus Moses' uncle.]

1810

Sightings:

9 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 28, Ln 7 - James Lear, 120a Back Ck
9 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 28, Ln 23 - Stuart(Sherod?) Layer
9 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 24, Ln 24 - William Layer
9 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 24, Ln 26 - David Layer, 50a Back Ck
9 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 24, Ln 27 - George Layer, 122a Back Creek
1810 Census - Anderson, Theophilus: 32101-20110
1810 Census - Lane, Sharred: 22010-31010
1810 Census - Lair, David: 30110-22110
1810 Census - Lair, George: 01201-23301
1810 Census - Lair, Jas: 00211-11201

Discussion:

It appears Sherod Layer was really a Layne, Laine, Lane or Lain.

This is the first tax list appearance by a possible William from the next generation. This William could be the William Lear who married the following year, but I rather suspect he was William Layne. [Note that a William Lain, age 62, appears in the 1850 census for Garrard County. He was about the right age to have turned 21 by the time of the 1810 tax list.]

No attempt has been made to track the tax and deed records for Theophilus Anderson, husband of Molly Lear, who was the sister of George, David and James. Anderson marriage records were also not examined. I apologize to the descendants of Theophilus and Molly for this oversight. Hopefully, they will still find this Research Note to be of interest.

1811

Sightings:

1 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 25, Ln 33 - Larkin Layre
1 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 25, Ln 34 - William Layre
8 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 26, Ln 33 - James Lair, 120a Back Ck
1 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 26, Ln 35 - Wm Lair
1 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 27, Ln 2 - Sherod Layre
1 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 27, Ln 8 - George Lair, 132a, Back Ck
1 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 27, Ln 9 - David Lair, 50a, Back Ck
Garrard Co. Marriages - William Lear and Susanna Lear, bond 672 and license dated 5 Feb 1811, bond by George Lear, no return, consent of parents (of bride), James and Nancy Lear.
Garrard Co. Deeds - Moses Lear to George Lear, 28 Jan 1811, 82a on Back Ck, Wit: William G. Lear, James Lear, David Lear

Discussion:

As with Sherod, Larkin appears to be a Layne/Laine/Lane/Lain. [A Larkin Layne appears in the 1820 census for Garrard County.] As with the 1810 tax list, I believe William Layre was really William Layne/Laine/Lane/Lain.

Most likely, the Wm Lair/Lear who appeared on the tax list for the first time in 1811, who married Susanna Lear in the same year, and who served as a witness to the above-described 1811 deed, are all one and the same person, to wit, William G. Lear. For sure, the William Lear who married Susanna Lear was William G. Lear, as evidenced by the consent note of her parents.

Who was William G. Lear's father? It was George, as one might expect since he served as bondsman for the marriage. The previously referred to 1837 deed by George's heirs confirms George was his father. Susannah Lear was the daughter of James and Nancy Lear. This, then, was a marriage between first cousins.

Moses' inheritance of real property from William was subject to a life estate in William's widow. Thus, his sale of property - presumably the property he inherited - indicates either she had died or he had bought out her interest. No records for Elizabeth have been found after William's death. What happened to Moses is also unclear. He may be the Moses Lear who was on the roster of 5 Regiment (Lewis') Kentucky Volunteers in the war of 1812. He does not appear to be the Moses Lare of the 1820 census for Madison County - that Moses appears to be an out-of-wedlock son of Sarah Lear born before her marriage to George Lambert. However, he may be the Moses Lare who married Polly Mayden in 1818. The bond was dated 5 Oct 1818, the bondsman was George Lambert, and there was no return. George Lambert was Moses' brother-in-law. Of course, he was also the step-father of the other Moses Lear, but that Moses had no females in his household in the 1820 census. A Moses Lair also married Nancy Gentry in Madison in 1824 - that could be either Moses.

1812

Sightings:

Apr Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 23, Ln 3 - James Lair, 120a Back Ck, 2 adult males
Apr Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 23, Ln 10 - David Layer, 50a Back Ck
Apr Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 23, Ln 13 - George Layer, 132a Back Ck, 2 adult males
Apr Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 23, Ln 11 - Sherod Lane

Discussion:

We're back to the three Lear brothers and Sherod Lane. The missing Lear is William G.; perhaps, he, along with his wife, remained part of his father's household. Note George's household has two adult males.

1813

Sightings:

5 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 12, Ln 5 - Larkin Layre
5 Jun Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 12, Ln 6 - Wm Layre
17 Apr Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 36, Ln 22 - James Lear, 120a Back Ck
17 Apr Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 36, Ln 23 - Wm Lear
17 Apr Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 36, Ln 31 - David Layer, 50a Back Ck
17 Apr Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 37, Ln 1 - George Layer, 232a Back Ck
17 Apr Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 37, Ln ? - Wm Layer G., 87a Back Ck.

Discussion:

Assuming Larken Layre and Wm Layre were Laynes/Laines/Lanes/Lains, we now have two Williams in addition to the three Lear brothers. The new Wm Lear would appear to be the son of James. Note there were two adult males in James' 1812 household. James' will also names one of his two sons as William. This would appear to be the William who married Elizabeth Adams in 1819, who appears as Will Lair in the 1850 census and who is buried in the William Lear cemetery, where his grave marker shows he died 15 Dec 1854 at the age of 64. [Forest Calico read the name on a nearby grave as Susannah, and thereby assumed that William G. and Susannah Lear were buried there. Others have read the name as Susan M. Lear - no dates exist to help identify Susan. A power of attorney given in connection with the 1837 deed by the heirs of George Lear shows that both George and Susannah Lear and John D. and Nancy Lear then lived in Marion County, Indiana. It would appear from tax and deed records that William G. and John D. moved to Indiana in the early 1820's, perhaps initially to Morgan County, Indiana, where other Lears from Garrard and Wayne Counties are known to have moved. Note that a William G. Lear was appointed J.P. in Morgan County, Indiana in 1826.]

1814

Sightings:

(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 26, Ln 18 - James Lair Sr., 120a Back Ck
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 26, Ln 20 - Wm Lair
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 26, Ln 21 - Jesse Lair, 87a Back Ck
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 26, Ln 22 - James Lair Jr.
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 26, Ln 33 - Wm Lair, 87a Back Ck
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 27, Ln 1 - George Lair, 230a Back Ck
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 27, Ln 2 - David Lair, 50a Back Ck
Garrard Co. Marriages - John Nicholson and Phebe Lear, bond 886 and license dated 17 Dec 1814, bond by George Lear, no return, no consents

Discussion:

James Lair Jr. is presumably the son of James Lair Sr., whose will identifies his second son as James. Per his grave marker, he was born 1784 and died 1851. His wife, Margaret Logan Lear, was born 1796 and died 1882.

Query whether James Jr.'s grave marker has been read correctly. One would assume from their tax list appearances and the order they were named in their father's will, that William was older than James. Assuming William was the extra adult male in James Sr.'s 1812 household, he would have been born about 1790-1791, which is consistent with being age 60 in the 1850 census and being age 64 at his death at the end of 1854. On the other hand, given his initial appearance on the tax list in 1814, James Jr. would have been born about 1792-1793. Perhaps the date on James Jrs's grave marker is really 1794, which is roughly consistent with the tax list and which corresponds to his stated age of 56 in the 1850 census.

It would appear James Sr.'s sons, William and James, owned no land and lived near their father. Also, Jesse, son of the William who died in 1807, has returned to Garrard. Per 1813 records, Wm Lair who owned 87 acres was William G. Lair. It appears to be coincidental that Jesse and William G. each owned 87 acres on Back Creek.

Phebe Lear was a daughter of George and Rebeckah Lear, as one would expect since George served as bondsman; confirmation is found in the 1837 deed by the heirs of George.

1815

Sightings:

(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 33, Ln 2 - Jesse Lair, 87a Back Ck
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 33, Ln 4 - James Lair Jr.
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 33, Ln 6 - James Lair Sr., 120a Back Ck
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 33, Ln 7 - Wm Lair Jr.
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 33, Ln 17 - David Layor, 50a Back Ck
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 33, Ln 25 - Wm Lair, 87a Back Ck
Garrard Co. Marriages - Hugh Logan and Betsy Lair, bond 928 and license dated 3 July 1815, bond by Jesse Taylor, no return, no consents
Garrard Co. Marriages - James Lair and Elizabeth Robertson (Robinson written above lightly), bond 951 and license dated 30 Oct 1815, bond by Larkin Casey, no return, consent of father, James Robinson

Discussion:

This is the one instance where one of the post 1807 Williams is designated as being a Jr. If he really was Jr., he most certainly would have had to be the son of my William, who died in 1807. This could not have been an instance where the tax collector was simply trying to distinguish an older from a younger William, because William G. and William, son of James, were fairly close in age. Perhaps the taxman mistakenly referred to both sons of James as Jrs. I raise this possibility because the 87 acres identify Wm Lair as William G., which leaves William, son of James, as the only one who could be the William Jr. of the tax records.

No significance is attributed to the fact George does not appear in the 1815 tax list.

Since Hugh Logan served as Co-Executor of the Estate of David Lear, I presume Betsy Lair was David's daughter.

James Lair, who married Elizabeth Robinson, was the son of Andrew Lair of Lincoln County. Thus, the German Lairs continued to make an occasional appearance in the records of Garrard County. [Elizabeth was granted a divorce from James in 1820 on grounds of abandonment. She may be the Elizabeth who married Erasmus Wilmott in Garrard in 1822.]

1816

Sightings:

(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 26, Ln 12 - Wm Lair, 87a Back Ck
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 26, Ln 15 - John Lair
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 26, Ln 18 - David Lair, 50a Long Br
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 26, Ln 19 - George Lair, 232a Long Br
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 26, Ln 21 - Jesse Lair, 87a Back Ck
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 26, Ln 23 - James Lair Sr., 120a Back Ck
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 26, Ln 27 - Wm Lair
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 26, Ln 28 - James Lair Jr.
Garrard Co. Marriages - John Wheeler and Mary Lair, bond 1009 and license dated 16 Sep 1816, bond by James Lair, return by J. R. Pond on 19 Sep 1816, no consents.
Garrard Co. Marriages - John D. Lair and Nancy Evins, bond 1025 and license dated 6 Nov 1816, bond by George Lear, no return, consent by Rebecca Evins, mother of bride

Discussion:

This is the second appearance by a John Lear/Lair. Recall that John Lear, presumed son of William who died in 1807, does not appear in the records after 1806. The John who appears in the 1816 tax list and who married in 1816 was the son of George and Rebeckah Lear; confirmation is found in the 1837 deed by the heirs of George.

Mary Lair was a daughter of James Lair Sr. His will identifies Mary as one of his four daughters and estate administration records show that a daughter's share of his estate was distributed to John Wheeler.

Note that the Wm Lair who does not own land is not referred to as Jr. in this tax list, nor in any subsequent tax lists. That supports my theory that the 1815 designation as a Jr. was an anomaly.

1817

Sightings:

(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 29, Ln 1 - Wm G. Lair, 87a Back Ck
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 29, Ln 6 - George Lair, 232a Long Br
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 29, Ln 8 - David Lair, 50a Long Br
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 29, Ln 10 - James Lair
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 29, Ln 12 - James Lair Sr., 120a Back Ck
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 29, Ln 14 - Wm Lair
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 29, Ln 15 - Jesse Lair, 87a Back Ck

Discussion:

There doesn't appear to be any new information to be gleaned from this tax list.

1818

Sightings:

(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 30, Ln 6 - Hubbard Lair
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 30, Ln 29 - Will G. Lair, 87a Back Ck
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 31, Ln 2 - John D. Lair
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 31, Ln 4 - George Lair, 232a Long Br
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 31, Ln 8 - Jesse Lair, 87a Back Ck
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 31, Ln 9 - James Lair Sr., 204a Back Ck
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 31, Ln 10 - James Lair Jr.
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 31, Ln 11 - Will Lair

Discussion:

Hubbard Lair was the son of Andrew of Lincoln County. After this brief foray into Garrard County, Hubbard was back in Lincoln County by the end of the year, when he married Judith Montgomery. He also appears in the 1820 census for Lincoln County.

1819

Sightings:

(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 29, Ln 2 - Wm G. Lear, 172a Paint Lick
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 29, Ln 3 - Henry G. Lear
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 29, Ln 5 - David Lear, 90a Paint Lick
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 29, Ln 7 - James Lear, 204a Paint Lick
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 29, Ln 8 - James Lear Jr.
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 29, Ln 9 - William Lear
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 29, Ln 10 - George Lear, 232a Paint Lick
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 29, Ln 13 - Jesse Lear, 87a Paint Lick
Garrard Co. Marriages - James Lair and Peggy Logan, bond 1234 and license dated 11 Apr 1819, bond by Timothy Logan, return by Charles Finnel, no consent.
Garrard Co. Marriages - William Lair and Elizabeth Adams (widow of Walter Adams Sr.), bond 1252 and license dated 12 Jul 1819, bond by Joseph Brown, no return, no consents.
Wayne Co. Marriages - Jemima Lear and John Henson/Hanson, 18 Nov 1819, bond by David Lear.

Discussion:

Henry G. Lear was probably a son of George or David. Both of their households in the 1820 census show another adult male. Henry does not appear as an heir of George in the 1837 deed, but perhaps he died before George and left no heirs. His name does not appear much in future Garrard records. [A Henry S. Lear did marry Massy Land in Madison County on 13 Nov 1827. A Henry Lear also appears in the 1830 census for Madison County. Query if this is the same Henry.] Estate administration records for David, which have not been examined, may provide an answer to the question of Henry's parentage.

It would appear James' sons, James Jr. and William, married this year. Contrary to the above marriage record for William Lair and Elizabeth Adams, I have been informed by Lucille Smith (susyq@fidnet.com), an Adams researcher, that Elizabeth Adams was the daughter of Walter and Judith Adams.

I suspect the Jemima Lear who married in Wayne County was a daughter of David Lear, but the only evidence is the coincidence of names. [Note Jemima is a name that appears in the records of the Culpeper County Lears.]

1820

Sightings:

(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 39, Ln 8 - Wm G. Lair, 200a Back Ck
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 39, Ln 9 - Jesse Lair, 87a Paint Lick
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 39, Ln 12 - Fielding Lair (?)
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 39, Ln 15 - Wm Lair
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 39, Ln 18 - James Lair, Jr.
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 39, Ln 24 - David Lair, 90a Back Ck
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 40, Ln 1 - James Lair Sr., 204a Back Ck
(ND) Garrard Co. Tax List, Pg 40, Ln 2 - George Lair, 232a Paint Lick
Garrard Co. Marriages - Moses Miller and Nancy Lear, license dated 15 Aug 1820, bond by James Lear, return by Charles Finnel, no consents.
Garrard Co. Marriages - William Stapp and Charlotte Lair, license dated 14 Dec 1820, bond by David Lear, return by Joseph R. Pond, no consents.
1820 Garrard Co. Census - Anderson, Theopolis: 32101-20110
1820 Garrard Co. Census - David Lair: 020101-01201
1820 Garrard Co. Census - Jesse Lair: 310110-11010
1820 Garrard Co. Census - Geo Lair: 201111-02221
1820 Garrard Co. Census - James Lair: 000001-00001
1820 Garrard Co. Census - William Lair: 000010-10100

Discussion:

As indicated by Debra's question mark, Fielding may not have been a Lair at all. He appears as Fieldan Laws in the 1822 tax list.

Nancy Lear was probably a daughter of James Lear. James' will names Nancy as one of his daughters and estate administration records show a daughter's share was distributed to what looks like Mo__ W. Milten, but could be Moses W. Miller

Charlotte Lair would appear to be a daughter of David.

So as to provide some information for the descendants of Molly Lear who married Theophilus Anderson, their 1820 household has been listed.

It seems odd that neither of James Sr.'s sons - William or James Jr. - was enumerated. The enumerated William would appear to be William G. Lear.


In Conclusion

The purpose of this research memorandum has been to explore the possibilities for the lineage of William Lear, who died in Garrard County in 1807. I believe the available evidence supports the theory he belongs to the Culpeper County, Virginia Lear line. Exactly how remains to be determined. The research was extended to 1820 in an attempt to identify all of said William's children. In doing so, some of the children of the other Lears have been identified. To assist other Lear researchers, I have attempted to reconstruct the family of each Lear from the Culpeper line that came to Garrard County, excepting Molly Lear Anderson. The additional children have been identified through marriage records, wills and estate administration records. The families, in the order they came to Garrard County, are as follows:

Children of George and Rebeckah (Garrett) Lear: William G. Lear, who married Susannah Lear in 1811; Phebe Lear, who married John Nicholson in 1814; John D. Lear, who married Nancy Evins in 1816; Sally Lear, who married Benjamin Whorton in 1822; Delphy Lear, who married Philip Prather in 1829; Lucinda Lear, who married James M. Prather in 1832; and Anne Lear, the only child mentioned by name in George's 1834 will. All these children are also listed in the 20 May 1837 deed by the heirs of George Lear to Thomas Broadus. This deed also identifies two additional children: Martha Lear, who married George Simpson, and Polly Lear, who married William Davis.

Children of William Lear and his unknown first wife: John Lear, who possibly married Tabitha Gaddy in Madison in 1797; James Lear, who married Sarah Hamilton in 1801; Elizabeth Lear, who married William Lambert in 1804; Sarah Lear, who married George Lambert in 1806; Jesse Lear, who married Elizabeth Brown in 1806; and Moses Lear, who possibly married Polly Mayden in Madison County in 1818. Only Sarah and Moses are mentioned by name in William's 1807 will.

Children of David and Lucy (Duval) Lear: Elizabeth Lear, who married Hugh Logan in 1815; possibly Jemima Lear, who married John Henson/Hanson in Wayne County in 1819; Charlotte Lear, who married William Stapp in 1820; Mary Lear, who married Thomas Fletcher in 1827; Claiborne Lear, who married Susanah Samuel in 1828; and possibly Mariah Lear, who married Robert McMillan in 1829. Only Mary Fletcher and Claiborne Lear are mentioned by name in David's 1843 will, although Hugh Logan is named a co-executor with Claiborne. Estate administration records for David Lear, which I have not examined, may reveal more about this family.

Children of James and Nancy (Hill) Lear: Susannah Lear, who married William G. Lear in 1811; Mary Lear, who married John Wheeler in 1816; William Lear, who married Elizabeth Adams in 1819; James Lear, Jr., who married Margaret Logan in 1819; Nancy Lear, who married Moses Miller in 1820; and Lucy Lear, who married Royal H. Beasly in 1827. All of the children are identified by first name in James' 1831 will, a rarity for Lear wills. Estate administration records also name the husbands of the four daughters.

Unidentified children, probably from the English Lear line: Henry G. Lear; George Lear, who married Dicey Warren in 1825; and William Lear, who married Talitha Walker in 1832. Henry, as earlier discussed, was probably a son of George or David, although to be a son of George and not appear in the 1837 deed by the heirs of George, he would have had to predecease him without heirs. The George who married in 1825 may have been a son of David, since his bondsman was Wm Stapp, husband of the former Charlotte Lear. William appears to be the William B. Lear of deed records and the 1840 census, who seems to have mistakenly been enumerated as William G. Lear in the 1850 census. Since William B. could not be a son of George because he is not listed in the 1837 deed, and since we have already identified the William who was James Sr.'s son, that leaves David as the probable father of William B. More research is needed for all these individuals.

Good luck in your research and let me know if I've made any mistakes. [A final word of caution to Lear descendants: Lairs from the German line of Andrew of Lincoln County continue to show up in Garrard records after 1820, thereby continuing the Lear/Lair confusion.]

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bullet  Noted events in his life were:

1. Deed: 1795, Madison County, Kentucky. 3

Dated 4 Aug 1795, Recorded 4 Aug 1795, Bk C:504
Jesse Morris and wife Elizabeth of Madison Co. to William Lair of Madison Co., 60 pounds for 60 acres on the waters of Back Creek, beginning at Elliot Jones' corner on Cain Branch, "thence with line where it corners with Andrew Layer & Stout Brinzen's line. . ." to Dawson Wade's line.

2. Tax List: 1796, Madison County, Kentucky. 4

1796 (18 Apr): William Lear; 60 acres, water source Paint Lick; previously entered, surveyed and issued to Joseph Craig; 2 white males 21+; 3 mares/horses; 4 cattle.

[That portion of Madison County where William lived became Garrard County on 17 Dec 1796.]

3. Tax List: 1797-1807, Garrard County, Kentucky. 5

1797 (5 May): William Lear; 60 acres, water source Paint Lick; previously entered, surveyed and issued to Joseph Craig; 1 white male 21+; 2 mares/horses.

1798: No records found.

1799 (18 Apr): William Lear; [no property data in 1799 tax list]; 1 white male 21+; 2 mares/horses.

1800 (7 May): William Lear Sr.; 100 acres, water source Back Ck; previously entered, surveyed and issued to Joseph Craig; 1 white male 21+; 3 mares/horses.

1801 (20 Jun): William Lare Sen; 100 acres, water source Back Ck; previously entered, surveyed and issued to Joseph Craig; 1 white male 21+; 3 mares/horses.

1802 (17 May): William Lair Sr; 90 acres, water source Back Ck; previously entered, surveyed and issued to Joseph Craig; 1 white male 21+; 3 mares/horses.

1803 (16 Jul): William Lair; 50 acres, water source Back Ck; 1 white male 21+ and 1 white male 16-21; 4 mares/horses.

1804 (13 Mar): William Lair Sr; 90 acres, water source Back Ck; previously entered, surveyed and issued to J. Cragg; 1 white male 21+ and 1 white male 16-21; 5 mares/horses.

1805 (14 Mar): William Lear; 90 acres, water source Back Ck; previously entered, surveyed and issued to Craig; 1 white male 21+; 3 mares/horses.

1806 (29 May): William Lair; 95 acres, water source Back Ck; previously entered, surveyed and issued to Jo Cragg; 1 white male 21+; 3 mares/horses.

1807 (20 Jul): Wiliam Lair; 95 acres, water source Back Ck; previously entered, surveyed and issued to J Craig; 1 white male 21+ and 1 white male 16-21; 5 mares/horses.

[See Research Note for discussion re identification as William Sr. in 1800-1802]

4. Will: 11 Nov 1807, Garrard County, Kentucky. 2

"November 11 1807 Know all men by these presents that I William Lair being in a low state of health But sound in mind do ___ and bequeath to my beloved wife Elizabeth the Plantation where I now live on for her support till her death also all the property that she brought with her here and at her death her son Robert is to have the sd property that she brought also he is to have one sorrel Colt and three part of the tobacco also I do bequeath to my Son Moses at my wife's death the Land also he is to have one Colt now and the Rest of the tobacco, the rest of my Property to be sold to the highest bidder and the money to be divided among the rest of my children after all my honest debts is paid my Daughter Sarah son Moses is to have her part of the Estate Also my wife is to have two hundred wieght of pork and ten barrels of Corn for her Support this being my Last will and Testament in the name of God amen." Signed William Lear. Witnessed by George Simpson and George Lear.

5. Estate Administration: 1807-1809, Garrard County, Kentucky. 6 7

30 Dec 1807, Inventory and Sale of Personal Property of William Lear, Dec'd, by James Lear and Jonathan Finnell, Administrators (appraisers were John Doty, William Royston, and George Leare):

The sale proceeds totaled L71, P14, D2. Purchasers and the assets purchased were: Jesse Lear, 1 brown horse colt, 1 black horse colt, 1 sorrel mare; William Lear, 1 red and which hide cow and calf; Joshua Ford, 1 short horned cow; Henry Childress, 2 yearlings _____ and steel & _____; Wesley Johnston, 6 head sheep; Theopolis Anderson, 1 ball(?) shear plow; Jonathan Finnell, a couttue(?); Benjamin Wiley, a shovel plow; James Lear, one _____; Theopolis Anderson, 2 fallen axes; Elizabeth Lear, 1 fallen ax; Joshua Ford, a grind stone; James Lear, 2 weeding hoes; Benjamin Wyley, 1 weeding hoe; James Lear, a parcel of tools box & c; Theopolis Anderson, an augure & c; Elizabeth Lear, a smoothing iron; James Lear, a froe(?) & Cooper adxe; Jonathan Finnell, horse gear; James Lear, small tub & beans; Elizabeth Lear, large wheel; Jonathan Finnell, a _____ _____ and _____; Jesse Lear, a table; James Lear, bed and furniture; James Lear, yarn stool and rags; James Lear, third _____; Jonathan Finnell, knives and forks; William Royston, kegg; Benjamin Wyley, 1 keg; Isacc Hughs, _____ metal; William Lear, dutch oven; Benj Wyley, a kettle; John Logan, washing tub, wheat and _____; Elizabeth Lear, bed and furniture; Henry Childress, to pewter(?); Isaac Hughs, _____ & 2 tin cups; Benj Wyley, cooper ware; James Lear, 2 books; Daniel Adams, 2 books; Elizabeth Lear; 6 of spools; John Logan, 1 bag; William Lear, a saddle; Elizabeth Lear, 2 chairs; Basie(?) Emiling(?), a bedstead; Batholomew Fenton, oxen and ____; John Logan, 2 hogs; Jesse Lear, a pacel of flax; Jonathan Finnell, 6 head of geese; Thomas Brown, 4 hogs; Benj Wyley, 9 head hogs; ____, ____ hogs; James Hennly, a crib of corn; Jesse Lear, 2 stacks of fodder; James Lear Sen, 2 stacks of fodder, a measuring stick and sow and pigs; William H. Mullin, one sorrel mare; Robert Dockory, a bed and furniture; and William Lear, 1 mare colt.

[Note that only the James Lear near the end of the list of purchasers was designated as Sen. This James Lear was a brother of George and David Lear and brother-in-law of Theopolis Anderson, all of Garrard County. James Sr. sold his land in Culpeper County, Virginia on 21 Sep 1807 and first appeared on the Garrard tax list in 1808. This purchase would indicate he moved to Garrard in late 1807. The other references to James Lear, as administrator and as a purchaser, do not include the Sr. designation and thus presumably refer to James, son of William. Jesse Lear was a son of William Lear, Dec'd. Elizabeth Lear was William's widow. The William Lear who purchased several items at the estate sale was probably William G. Lear, son of George Lear. For more on how the Lears of Garrard County were related, see the Research Note.]

11 Jan 1809, Partial Settlement of Estate of William Lair, Dec'd:

Augustine Jennings, John _____, and John Bryant were appointed administrators of the Estate of William Lair, Dec'd. They reported receiving sale proceeds from Jonathan Finnell and James Lair in the amount of L72, S14, D2. They reported paying L7, S14, D2 to satisfy accounts and for administration expenses, leaving a balance of L65.

[No further Settlements have been found.]


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William married Unknown.


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William next married Elizabeth.


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Sources


1 Will Book B, 1770-1783, Culpeper County, Virginia, FHL Film No. 30,931, Page 527.

2 Garrard County, Kentucky, Book of Wills, Vol. C, 1805-1809, FHL Film No. 183,232, Page 47.

3 Madison County, Kentucky Deeds, Abstracted by Debra Wiley from FHL Film 183,284.

4 Madison County, Kentucky Tax Lists, Abstracted by Debra Wiley from FHL Film No. 1,826.

5 Garrard County, Kentucky Tax Books, 1797-1806, Abstracted by Debra Wiley from FHL Film No. 7,988.

6 Garrard County, Kentucky, Book of Wills, Vol. C, 1805-1809, FHL Film No. 183,232, Page 150-155.

7 Garrard County, Kentucky, Book of Wills, Vol. C, 1805-1809, FHL Film No. 183,232, Page 228.


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