GENTRY, Benjamin, of Hart Co KY

Benjamin Gentry was born in Kentucky in 1822, the son of Joseph Oliver Gentry and his first or second wife, identified without sources as either Elizabeth Arthurs or Mary Martin. Benjamin died 22 Dec 1885 and is buried on the old Gentry farm now owned by Loretta Riordan.[1]

He was married about 1841, probably in Green County, Kentucky, to Emily Martin, daughter of Joseph and Diana Spicer (Wilcox) Martin.[2]

Emily was born about 1825 in Green Co KY and died 26 Apr 1889[3] in Hart County.

In 1836-38 Benjamin was in Hart County, as were his brothers Joseph and Solomon and a man named William Gentry, whose connection is unknown to me.[4]

Benjamin and Emily joined Three Springs Baptist Church, by letter 22 Sep 1865.

Their first census after marrying and starting a family was in 1850 in Hart Co KY, p 226, 682-692.[5] Emily’s name has been determined from her daughter’s death certificate, since she was called by a different first name nearly every census year.

In 1860 Hart Co KY, Dist #1, p 24, 249-244, she was called Ellen.[6] They were in Hart Co KY, Green River PO, p 303, 266-266, in 1870 with only two of their six children still with them.[7]

Their last known census was in 1880 in Hart Co KY, ed 84, p 17, 148-148.[8]

Children of Benjamin and Emily were:

1. James T GENTRY was born in 1842 in Hart Co KY. James T died probably in Howell Co MO, before the 1900 census. James married Mary Jane PRICE. Born in 1844 in KY, possibly the daughter of Merida and Frances Price, Mary Jane died in Howell Co MO, after 1900. They had the following children:

i. Laura F D (ca1864-)

ii. Nancy C (ca1867-)

iii.  Lucy Ed. (ca1869-)

iv. Granville (ca1872-)

v. Ira June (1875-)

vi. James B (1880-)

vii. Alta P (1884-)

2. Laura Frances GENTRY was born on 25 May 1844 in Hart Co KY. Laura Frances died in Green Co KY and was buried in Houk Cemetery, Hart Co KY. She received a letter of dismission from Three Springs Baptist Church, in March 1867. On 30 Sep 1858 Laura Frances married Lorenzo Dow HUFF, son of George Washington HUFF & Malinda DENTON, in Hart Co KY. Born on 12 Oct 1839 in Wayne Co KY, Lorenzo Dow died in Crail Hope, Hart Co KY, on 17 Dec 1912. They had the following children:

i. Mary T (1859-1924)

ii. Jane Cynthia (1866-1891)

iii. George Benjamin (1868-)

iv. daughter (1874-)

v. John Miller (1878-)

vi. Clarence Underwood (1880-1968)

3. Mary E GENTRY was born in 1846 in Hart Co KY. I have not identified her after 1860 when she was unmarried.

4. Lucinda GENTRY was born in May 1848 in Hart Co KY. Lucinda may have married Albert WHITLOW. Born in 1845 in KY, Albert died in Hart Co KY, befre 1900. If this identification is correct, Lucinda was living in 1920. They were four houses away from Benjamin and Emily Gentry in 1880. The Whitlow children in 1880 were Ermine, Richard E, Albert G, James R, Charles E, and Mary Jane, and after 1880, Martha S and Susie. In 1900, Lucy Whitlow was in Hart Co KY, widowed, mother of two, two living, she and father born KY, mother born NC, with Martha S, Jun 1881, and Leslie K, Jan 1884, granddaughter Effie C Huff, Dec 1888, and grandson Emmet G Whitlow, grandson, Feb 1900. She was two houses from Benjamin and emily’s son George Gentry. In 1910 Hart Co KY, Lucindy Whitlow, also mother born in NC, mother of 7 children, 7 living, with 27-yr-old daughter Susie and two grandchildren, Emmet G and Daisy. Emmet G and Goebel are probably the same boy. In 1920, Lucinda was a widow, 71, with daughter Martha S, 37, grandson Goebel, and great-granddaughter Viola Gentry, 9. This woman is identified without stated evidence at as Lucinda Larimore. Possibly Lucinda was a widow when she married Albert ca 1880, and only the two youngest children were hers. Or the first wife was named Larimore. If the 1910 census is correct, she was mother of all seven children.

5. Nancy Jane GENTRY was born on 5 Jan 1851 in Hart Co KY. Nancy Jane married John T PRICE. Born ca 1848 in KY, he died possibly in Metcalfe Co KY, before 1900. They had the following children:

i. Edward (ca1869-)

ii. Lilly (ca1871-)

iii. George W (ca1873-)

iv. George S (ca1875-)

v. Annis B (1878-)

vi. Dalnel (1881-)

vii. Lillie B (1883-)

viii. John G (1886-)

ix. Bettie J (1888-)

x. Melrit M (1891-)

6. George N GENTRY was born on 29 Nov 1855 in Hart Co KY. George N married Sarah Stamps in KY, who was born in Nov 1845 in KY. Her 1900 census said she had no children. Their relationship to two “cousins” is unclear; these children were consistently with George and Sarah in censuses.[9] George is also buried at the old Gentry farm in Hart County.

[1] The Lile Family at, owned by gardeniariordan, 2017.

[2] The most significant evidence pointing to Joseph and Diana as her parents, in addition to an unknown daughter in the census the same age as Emily and their proximity to Benjamin’s father in the 1840 census, is that Jane C Huff’s sister Mary married Tom Davis; Lucy (Atwell) Pedigo lived as a young motherless girl in their home. Art Alvis knew about “Uncle Tom Davis.” Tom and Mary are buried in the same cemetery in KY as Emily’s sister Sarah and her husband Daniel Bagby.

[3] Lile Family.

[4] Hart Co KY Historical Society Quarterly (OK Historical Society, 11 Feb 1999), II, 4, p 11f: 1836-38: Joseph Gentry, horse, etc., 2 children, $60; Solomon Gentry, horse, etc., 4 children, $100; Benjamin Gentry, horse etc., $20; William Gentry, horse, etc., $25. William is identified by “Lambeth Cantor Family History” at as a son of Nicholas and Barbara (Hall) Gentry; this family was not closely related to Benjamin’s.

[5] Benjamin Gentry 28 farmer $400 KY cannot read or write, Elizabeth ditto 25 KY cannot read or write, James T ditto 8 KY attended school, Laura F ditto 6 KY attended school, Mary E ditto 4 KY, Lucinda A ditto 1 KY, John ditto 17 farmer KY. John was Benjamin’s younger half-brother.

[6] Benjamin Gentry 38 farmer $700 $500 ditto [=KY] cannot read or write, Ellen Gentry 35 ditto [=KY] cannot read or write, James T 14 KY in school, Mary E 13 KY in school, Lucinda A 11 KY in school, Nancy J 9 KY in school, George A 4 KY, Jefferson 14 KY in school. Daughter Laura’s marriage record to Lorenzo Dow Huff in Hart Co KY, 30 Sep 1858, is known.

[7] Gentry, Ben, 48 farmer 800 800 KY, can’t read or write, Emily, 46 keeping house, KY, can’t read or write, Lucinda 21 at home KY, can’t read or write, George N 14 farm hand KY, can’t read or write.

[8] Benjamin Gentry 59 married farmer TN TN TN, Emily 56 wife married keeping house KY KY KY. #150-150.

[9] 1880, George N Gentry 25, with Sallie A, 26, and Emit F, “cousin,” 3. 1900 Hardyville, Hart Co KY, with Sarah, “cousins” Emmet (Feb 1877) and Dick J (Jan 1881). 1910 Hardyville, Hart Co KY, Emmet F Gentry 34, single, head of household, with Sallie A, his widowed “mother,” 65.

Published on August 31, 2008 at 12:41 am  Comments (3)  

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  1. Hi Kathy,
    My name is Charles Wiseley. I live in Tulsa, a 1963 OU grad. I have done genealogy for years and accidentally came across your genealogy blog while I was googling Donica. I have been doing genealogy for 30 plus years and I was interested in some of your families. My ex-wife is related to your Moser families. We might be connected through a possible Willoughby/Donica connection. I am connected to a Hugh Gentry by the marriage of my ggaunt Mary Lane ie dtr of Lambert Lane and Nancy Ann Anderson. The latter connect me to about 10 families of Maryland’s first 100 families. I am particularly curious about the two Donica’s that married Willoughby sisters in Greene County, TN. Curiously a Benjamin Willoughby was an adjacent neighbor to my great grandfather Randall Gordon Donica in abt 1850-60 in Nevins Township in Vigo County IN (very close to Terra Haute). I have worked on this Donica family for year. I would also be interested in how you set up your website.
    Charles W. Wiseley

    • Hi, neighbor.
      I was in Tulsa Saturday for the Oklahoma Society of Descendants of the Mayflower meeting. I live in Hydro, about an hour west of OKC on I-40.
      I also started genealogy years ago, 44 to be exact, since I started in the summer of 1966. I definitely hold to the belief that we are all related in many, many ways. My mom had a brother and a sister. My dad was a Gentry descendant, my uncle married a Gentry, and one of my aunt’s two children married a girl with Gentry ancestry. So, although neither of my maternal grandparents was a Gentry descendant five of their six grandchildren (or a spouse) were.
      As you undoubtedly saw on my blog, I earned an MA at OU in 1969; my husband has a PhD from there, 1974. I was the third generation of my family to attend there, but none of my children, their spouses or apparently my grandchildren will be going there. End of a tradition.
      I am related to my father-in-law (9th cousin 3 times removed), my mother-in-law (9th cousin), and my daughter’s mother-in-law (9th cousin). My father’s 9th great-grandfather was a brother of my mom’s 8th great-grandfather. My other son-in-law is from Mexico, so I haven’t found a relationship yet, but if I could go far enough back, who knows?
      The Benjamin Willoughby in Nevins Township, Vigo Co IN, was brother to my ancestor, Elizabeth (Willoughby) Parker, later Howard.
      I am sorry to tell you that I found the Donica-Willoughby connection at

      Here’s how I set up my website:
      I subscribe to the genealogy newsletter, Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, at Among many, many interesting articles was one about 20 months ago which suggested setting up a free blog at That same week (by chance?) I read in New England Ancestors, a magazine that comes with my NEHGS membership, about a project to identify everyone who appears in the 1790 Vermont census with a brief biography with evidence and sources.
      So I started with every ancestor in the seventh generation and back and created a similar format that you can see in the pages of my blog. This took at least eight months, but I was able to pinpoint weak spots in documentation and add children’s children to my database, using the Internet.
      I should add that one feature I really like is that this entire blog site is almost immediately indexed at Google, so I get quite a few queries and comments. The Elijah and Susannah (Leachman) Willoughby Bible was by far the best thing I found for my own research.
      I am a teacher, which I believe is synonymous with someone who can’t get the IT department to give me the time of day. So I have set up another blog to post daily assignments and homework. In fact, I have seven blogs, most of which are for my convenience and probably not consulted by other people.

      • Hi Kathy,
        Thanks for your reply. I was back on your website looking at the content regarding the Willoughby bible. I was fascinated when I saw the reference to the Clay County, IN deed. So this particular Willoughby and my great grandfather, Randall Gordon Donica/Donaghe migrate to IN about the same time. Many Donica family members first stopped in Lawrence Co IN. Randall Donica and Benjamin Willoughby both lived adjacent or very close by each other in Nevins, Twp, Vigo County IN. Nevins Twp is immediately adjacent to Clay County IN. Both James Donica and Thomas Donica married Willoughby girls in 1797. Chalkley’s Annals of Virginia relates how the Donaghe’s/Donica’s moved to the Nolichucky, Washington Co and Greene Co KY(now TN) between about 1785 and 1798. I have always thought the James Donica that is in 1840 Martin County IN at the age of 70 with his wife about 10 years younger are the other Donica/Willoughby couple.
        The only way that Samuel Donica could be the father of Randall Gordon Donica is if he is the son of Samuel Donaghe and Mary Smith who married in Augusta County VA on March 9, 1810. Randall’s birthdate I recovered years ago from an old Donica family bible. It also had a lot of Montgomery family information but I could never tie it in to the Donica family. I only got to review the bible for a few minutes.
        I plan to review your Willoughby info this weekend. I also have found that when we go back 7 to 9 generations we all seem to be related. Interestingly, my mother’s family came from the south and my dad’s family from the north but I can find member’s from each side living within 7 miles of each other in Maryland on the Severn River in the late 1600’s.

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