The DYER Family

From History of Union County, Kentucky.  pub. 1886

Submitted by: Gary & Frances Turner

Who by the way, is researching this family.  

If any family in Union County deserves the reputation of being a Union County family, it must be the Dyer family.  The founder of the stock was one of the first settlers, and he raised a large family, all of whom, except one, married and raised families.  Most of these children lived and died in Union  County, and there are now probably more members of the Dyer family within Union County than any other race.

This family was founded by Wm. Dyer, a blacksmith, who was born in Virginia in 1780.  He came to Union County in 1804, and settled near where Morganfield now stands.  He married Gracie McGee in Virginia, before coming here.  His first four children were by her.  He married a Miss Harris about the year 1815.  The last five children are hers.  Wm. Dyer is said to have been one of the men who located the county seat of Morganfield.  Tradition has it that he in company with the other commissioners, were reclining on the bank near the spring, slightly feeling the effects of fatigue and Jeremiah Riddle's whisky, when Mr. Dyer threw his cane up the hill toward where the Court House now stands, and proclaimed oracularly, that there would be the county capital.  He was a man of impulse, but integrity.  An illustration of this is seen in an incident of his life, that is related as follows:  A neighbor of his, by the name of Gwinn, had a horse that was constantly breaking into Dyer's cornfield.  After sending word to Mr. Gwinn several times to keep the trespassing horse off his corn, Mr. Dyer shot the offending animal and then sent the price of the horse down to Morganfield to its owner.  Mr. Dyer died in 1832.  All his children died rather young. There seems to have been considerable consumption in the family.  His trade has staid (sic) in the family.  His sons, John and Nathan, were good regular blacksmiths, and Harvey and James did the work for their farms. John Will, the son of John Dyer, and John Will the son of Nathan, are blacksmiths, but John, the son of Nathan, is the only one now in the business.

In the second generation the following are the children:  James married a Miss Mason, and died in 1851; Elizabeth married a Mr. Ball and died in 1860; John married Lauren Mason, and died in 1870;  Henderson died a bachelor; Nathan Harris married Marium Griggs, and died in 1863.  Rebecca married Frederick Wolflin, and died during the war; George married Josephine Haleman, and died about 1847; Mary Ann married Irving Spaulding, and died about 1862; Martha married a Mr. Rice; Edward Harvey married America Bingham, and died in 1872.

In the third generation the following are noted:  The children of James are Kate (Quirey), who has one child, Holbert; Mrs. Hedges, who has four children, John, William, Laura and Alice; Ada, who was never married; William (deceased) had two children, Sallie and Harry; John M., has fourteen children, eleven by his first wife and three by the second.  Their names are Mary B., William P., James M., Darius, Thomas, Benjamin, Orval, Marsh, Attie, Saline, Lamond and three others whose names the reporter did not ascertain; Thomas has never married and Marsh (deceased) never married.
The children of Elizabeth were Edward, married; Mary Ann, deceased;  William, deceased; Thadeus, deceased.

The children of John, are John Will, who has six children:  Brooks, deceased; Ed, Lauren, Russell, Bessie, Charmain.

James has eight children, Hampton, Thomase (deceased), Charles, Adda, Rebecca, Ida, Fred, and the baby.

Dorcas (Kirk) has three children, and Elizabeth (Murray) has two, Mabel and Charles.

The children of Nathan are John Will, who has eight children, Edward, Margeret, Mary, Richard, Mettie, Catherine, Clara and Thomas; America (House) has three children, James, Amanda and one boy; Nancy (Connelly), who has five children, Verna, Mattie, James, Eula and Grover; Mary Minor and Thomas Harris, never married; Susan (House) had five children, Mary, Thomas, Greene, Nellie and Harden; George Frederick has four children, Lillie, Frederick, Cordie, Traverse and Judith Ann (Lata).

Edward Harvey's children were William C., who has six children, Lillie, Pearlie, Orval, Allie, Bertha and Leslie; Henry R. has two children, one deceased and Jennie; George W., two, Thomas John and one infant; Rebecca (Wolflin) had five children, all dead.

The children of George are Arminda (Hanley), who has three or four children; James, who had three children; Sallie (Weldon and Craig), who had one child, Thomas, by Weldon, and three by Craig.

The children of Mary Ann (Spalding) are Mary Ann, deceased, who had three or four children; James and Nellie, who had two children.

The children of Martha (Rice) are Ellen, who had two children by Kirker and one by Rice; Mary, who had four children, and Fred.

Some of the less numerous branches of this family have removed from Union, and live as wide apart as Minnesota and Texas.  The main part of this family has always been within a day's walk of Morganfield.