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things I have learned about slavery by studying the life and times of my my Kentucky Womack ancestors

The first Womack to migrate from the Tidewater region of Virginia and settle in Eastern Kentucky was Archer Womack who settled near present Oldtown, Greenup County, probably about the time the county was established (1804).

Boone’s Trail
Boone's Trail that Archer Womack and his fellow frontiersman -- a Negro Slave --
 journeyed together to find a new homestead for the Family

Archer was a son of James Tignal Womack who came with his family and settled about 1812 on a large tract of land, afterwards known as Pactolus, Carter County.  Son Archer and a negro slave had built a log cabin and raised a crop on the land before James Tignal Womack and family came in from Virginia.i

“Eastern Kentucky Log Cabin” and “loading hay at harvest time”ii

Tignal Womack

James Tignal Womack was the son of William III and Mary (Allen) Womackq
James Tignal Womack married Nancy (Rudder) Womack. "James Tignal Womack came to Greenup Co, Ky., with his family in 1818. Many of his descendants still live in Greenup, Carter and Boyd Counties.
  • James Tignal Womack was the oldest ancestor of the Womacks in Northeastern Kentucky.iii  He was one of the prominent pioneers and was considered wealthy in his time and place.  In his will he devised, among other property, slaves to his family. Little has been learned concerning his wife.
His children
  • Archer Womack
  • Polly Womack; married Mr. Hatchett in Virginia, never came to Kentucky.
  • Allen Womack
  • Eliza Womack; married David Kibbey in Greenup County Sep 1, 1828, migrated to the west.
  • Nancy Womack; married William "Buck" Kouns in Greenup County, Nov. 5, 1836 (see Kouns family).
  • Martha Womack; died before reaching womanhood.
  • Clarinda Womack; married Reason or Rezin Virgin (see Virgin family).
  • Samuel Womack
  • Richard D. Womack
  • William Womack
  • James Allen Womack

James Tignal Womackiv

Born in 1770 in Prince Edward Co., VA. James Tignal died in Greenup Co., KY on 26 Apr 1827; he was 57. Burial: Womack Cemetery #3, Pactolus. 
Womack Cemetery (Primary Coordinates: 38.557, -82.8574)
On 8 Jul 1795 when James Tignal was 25, he married Nancy Meadows Rudder, daughter of Samuel Rudder, in Prince Edward Co., VA. Born about 1775 in Prince Edward Co., VA. Nancy Meadows died in Kentucky.
They had the following children:
Samuel; Nancy; Mary "Polly"; Eliza; Martha; Clarinda; James Allen; Archer (1797-1887) NOTE: ROY ROGERS GRANDFATHER;  William (1809-); Richard D.  (1813-); Allen Lillious   (1815-1892)
Dorothy Womack’s 2x great grandfather James Tignal Womack was a Presbyterian. During his lifetime, between 1770 and 1827, the Presbyterians went through a series of changes nationally in how they viewed slavery, but this changes do not seem to have either reached Kentucky or been embraced by Tignal.
  • First, the Presbyterian synods in New York and Philadelphia as early as 1787 called for members to gradually end slavery. 
  • By 1792, the Presbyterian General Assembly voiced concern over the institution and most Presbyterians agreed slavery should end. 
  • At the same time, Presbyterians felt gradual emancipation would work best. 
  • By 1815, Presbyterians declared the buying and selling of slaves "inconsistent with the Gospel." 
  • In 1818, George Bourne, a fiery anti-slavery preacher, insisted on slavery's cessation. Bourne's Presbytery felt his attitudes degraded the minister's office and they removed him. Bourne appealed to the General Assembly. Pro-slavery men loaded the Assembly and saw Bourne expelled but that same Assembly resolved that slavery was "inconsistent with God's law."v

George Bourne, the fiery anti-slavery preachervi

James Allen Womack

James Allen served as clerk for Greenup County, was charter member of Trimble Masonic Lodge 145, F&AM at Grayson.  It is said that his funeral was the first in the vicinity of Grayson conducted by that fraternity.  On 29 Oct 1833 James Allen married Susan Ann Lampton, in Greenup Co., KY.vii
Their children
  • Mary A. Womack, born Jan. 22, 1838, died Aug. 25, 1937.  Married James Seaton.
  • Kennie Womack (1847-1910), married Roland C. Burns of Catlettsburg
  • James Tignal Womack, married Fannie Collier of Steubenville, Ohio; removed to Minneapolis, Minn., with his family where he lived until
    his death.  Their children, William, Robert, Marty, Sarah, John and
    Frank.  Two children died in infancy.
  • Susan Lampton Womack, married John B. Connelly.  Their child was named Annie and she married Robert Talbert and lived in Pelican Rapids, N.D.,
  • Nellie, who married Charles W. Hill.  Their daughter, Florence married George Tutoit;
  • James married and migrated to Oklahoma, and
  • Susie, the youngest. 
James Allen died in Grayson, Carter Co., KY.

“Kentucky school house” and “taking produce to market”

The divisive issue of slavery split the family

The issue of slavery was to split this border state family. James Allen’s father Tignal Womack had slaves throughout his life and passed them on in his will to his heirs. Tignal’s oldest son Archer had at least one slave with whom he built the family’s first cabin in Kentucky, prior to his father Tignal bringing the rest of the family out from Virginia. Dorothy Womacks 2x great grandfather James Allen Womack may not have owned slaves, as he was a clerk. His son, named Tignal after his grandfather, moved to a northern state. The younger Tignal’s father-in-law fought for the Union in the Civil War at the same time his uncle William Archer Womack was held prisoner during Civil War as a secessionist.viii

William Archer moved to Greenup 1865-67, back to Oldtown.  With brother-in-law William  "Billy" Kouns ran a store, grist mill and Tannery.  Store, started  in 1845 by Cardinal F. Stark, was still in family and operation in  1960, run by Walter Orin Womack.
information from a book, published in 1961 by the late W.C. Kozee, "Early Families of Eastern and Southern Kentucky."

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