GENTRY, Joseph Oliver, of Carter Co TN, Adair and Hart Counties KY

Joseph Oliver Gentry was born in 1786[1] in Carter Co TN, a son of Joseph (III) Gentry and his wife, Winifred Oliver.[2] He died 16 Jun 1825 in Hart Co KY, his death record there naming his parents.[3]

The only known marriage record for Joseph Oliver Gentry was when he married Beatrice Judd 1 Aug 1823 in Adair Co KY.[4]  Earlier family historians recognized that he had children, at least three sons by a previous wife.[5]

In 1984, Peggy H Johnson wrote that Joseph O’s first wife was Mary Martin and that the children of that marriage were Sarah, Joseph and Solomon, plus a son named Nathaniel.[6] Since Mrs. Johnson does not mention Benjamin, I went back to my files and studied the ages of the known children. It appears that Joseph Oliver Gentry’s wife, said to be Mary Martin, was the mother of all his children born before his 1823 marriage to Beatrice Judd.

A study of the origins, documentary evidence and moves of Joseph Oliver Gentry appeared as an article by Willard Gentry in the online Journal of Gentry Genealogy.[7] Joseph Oliver Gentry was a Minister of the Gospel. “Unlike his siblings, he did not remain long in Tennessee and had moved to Green County, Kentucky, before the birth of his second son, Solomon. He spent most of rest of his life there; he is said to have died in neighboring Hart County, Kentucky.” Mr. Gentry has additional details about several of the descendants of Joseph and Winifred (Oliver) Gentry.[8]

Children of Joseph Oliver Gentry and his unknown first wife, possibly Mary Martin, were:

  1. Sarah GENTRY. On 23 Jan 1828 Sarah married Nathaniel JUDD in Green Co KY. Nathaniel is probably the same man from Ashe Co NC who married second Mary Kessler, 3 Feb 1819 in Adair Co KY.
  2. Joseph GENTRY was born in 1809-1817 in Carter Co TN or KY. On 26 Sep 1833 when Joseph was 24, he married Sarah GORE in Barren Co KY. Born ca 1807 in Hart Co KY, Sarah died there on 24 Jun 1856. Sometime before 1860 he married America (–?–), who was born ca 1818. Joseph and Sarah had the following children:
    1. James W (1835-)
    2. Lurahamia (1839-)
    3. William O (1841-)
    4. Nancy Elizabeth (1842-1875)
    5. John Martin (1849-)
  3. Solomon George GENTRY was born in 1814 in Green Co KY. Solomon died in Green Co KY, on 25 Dec 1857, of consumption; his father’s name was on the death record, but no mother’s name. On 11 Jan 1834, he married Elizabeth Ann GRIMES in Adair Co KY. They had the following children:
    1. Celia (1834-1914)
    2. Robert B (1836-)
    3. Joseph O (1838-)
    4. William D (1840-1912)
    5. Sarah (1840-1877)
    6. Jefferson (1844-)
    7. Rachel (1845-1912)
    8. Thomas (1847-)
    9. Benjamin (1847-)
    10. Milton (1850-)
    11. Jesse (1853-1929)
    12. Mary I (1857-)
  4. Lucinda GENTRY was born in say 1815. She married 27 Jan 1831, William MOORE, Green Co KY. Her family, with a stepmother, in 1850 was probably: District 1, Adair Co KY, William Moore, 49, Mary Moore, 39, William T Moore, 17, S L Moore, 15, J H Moore, 13, Jenetta Moore, 12, Cary A Moore, 11, E F Moore, 9, J M Moore, 7, Lucetta Moore, 5, Lucinda Moore, 3, Sarah Moore, 80.
  5. Benjamin GENTRY. Born in 1822 in KY. Benjamin was living in 1880 and was buried in Houk Cemetery, Hart Co KY. He joined the Three Springs Baptist Church by letter 22 Sep 1865. He was a tobacco farmer; I have a farming implement of his that was given to my dad. About 1841, he married Emily MARTIN, daughter of Joseph MARTIN & Diana Spicer WILCOX, probably in Green Co KY. Born in 1825 in Green Co KY, Emily was living in 1880. They had the following children:
    1. James T (1842-<1900)
    2. Laura Frances (1844-1911)
    3. Mary E (1846-1878)
    4. Lucinda (1848-1920)
    5. Nancy Jane (1851-)
    6. George N (1855-)

With his wife Beatrice (Judd) Gentry, Joseph Oliver Gentry had the following children:

  1. Luther GENTRY was born in 1824 in KY. Luther died in Metcalfe Co KY, before 1880. Luther married Mary Margaret JEWELL, daughter of Robert Jackson JEWELL & Sally SHOFNER.[9] Born in 1824 in KY, in 1880 she was “common laborer” in the household of her brother, James J Jewell. They had the following children:
    1. Joseph A (1851-)
    2. John B (1856-)
    3. Mary F (1858-)
    4. Sarah M (1863-)
  2. Nathaniel GENTRY[10] was born in 1828 in KY and was living alone in 1850. He married Martha Ann EASTES, 4 Jan 1849, Adair Co KY.
  3. Winnie GENTRY. On 26 Jun 1850 Mary Ann married Elzy JUDD, son of Rowland JUDD & Susannah FEESE, in Green Co KY. They had the following children:
    1. Rowland (1851-)
    2. James Madison (177-)
    3. Nancy (1855-)
    4. Dolly S (1858-)
    5. William Oliver (1860-)
  4. Mary Ann GENTRY. On 31 Mar 1854 when Mary Ann married Samuel JUDD, son of Rowland JUDD & Susannah FEESE, in Green Co KY. Born ca 1831 in Green Co KY. They had the following children:
    1. America S (ca1857-)
    2. Thomas W (1859-)
    3. Mary (Twin) (1863-)
    4. Sarah E (Twin) (1863-)
  5. Louisa GENTRY was born in 1834 in Green Co KY and is not known to have ever married. She was disciplined by her father’s church in 1853. Her children were:
    1. John (1853-1927)
    2. Mallissa (ca1860-)
    3. Lydia A (ca1866-)
    4. Nathan R (ca1868-)
  6. John GENTRY was born in Apr 1833 in Green Co KY. John was living in Hart Co KY, in 1900. On 15 Feb 1856 John married Jemima SHAW in Hart Co KY. Born in Jun 1832 in KY, the daughter of Jake Shaw, Jemima died in Hart Co KY, on 28 May 1912. She had a first marriage, to John Craddock, and a daughter Nancy, born ca 1850, probably the mother of two children in the 1880 census and another in 1900.

© 2008, Kathy Alvis Patterson

[1] According to his 1850 census, Joseph Gentry was 64 years old and had been born in Tennessee.

[2] Gentry, Leland Homer. “Some Questions Answered Plus Comments,” Gentry Family Gazette and Genealogy, issue 14, page 149 (Jun 1982). To Thomas W Gentry of Mountain City TN: “I still think we should look to Hanover Co VA as the origin of the Joseph Gentry clan. He is certainly not, as some have suggested, the Joseph who married Agness (Shelton?) and lived in Surry Co NC.

“Now as for Joseph’s wife being Winifred Oliver, it is, as far as I am concerned, no longer [merely] a tradition. The death records of Hart Co KY where Joseph Oliver died clearly identify him as ‘born in Carter Co TN, the son of Joseph Gentry and Winford Oliver of Carter Co TN.’

“He died 25 Sep 1861 [sic]. He had sons Solomon, Benjamin, and Joseph by his first wife and Luther and John by his second wife, Beatrice Judd, married 1 Aug 1823 in Adair Co KY. As far as I know, Joseph and Winifred DID NOT spend time in Surry Co KY [sic] near Raleigh. They DID move to Washington Co NC (later TN) ca 1792.”

[3] Kentucky Death Records, 1852-1953 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007. Original data: Kentucky. Kentucky Birth, Marriage and Death Records – Microfilm (1852-1910). Microfilm rolls #994027-994058. Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Kentucky. This record is incorrect in calling him a widower at the time of his death, since his last wife was still living in 1860, and Leland Homer Gentry was incorrect in stating that the death record specified Carter County as his birthplace, when it only says Tennessee.

[4] Dodd, Jordan. Kentucky Marriages, 1802-1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1997. Original data: Electronic transcription of marriage records held by the individual counties in Kentucky.

[5] For example, Thomas W Gentry of Mountain City TN and Leland Homer Gentry, both cited above.

[6] From Judd, by Peggy H Johnson, 1984: 1318.  BEATRICE “BATRESS” JUDD, born ca 1800 Reddies River, Wilkes, NC; died after 1860 Green Co KY; married 1 Aug 1823 Adair Co KY, as his 2nd wife, Joseph Oliver (Ollaway) GENTRY, born 1786 TN; died 27 Mar 1857 Hart Co KY (81 yrs).  He married 1) TN, Mary MARTIN, died before 1823 Green Co KY & had at least three children, which will be shown below.  Joseph was a preacher and a farmer.  He acquired a land certificate on 18 Mar 1825 for 125 acres of land in Green Co KY, where he lived until he was no longer able to care for himself, at which time he sold the land for $1.00 to his son, Solomon G. Gentry in exchange for custodial care.  Solomon, however, became ill himself and could not care for his father, and died several months before his father, who had gone to the home of Nathaniel Gentry, a grandson [sic], who lived in Hart Co KY.  Beatrice Judd had one child before she married Joseph O. Gentry.  Records are from several sources. (611)

  1. Sarah GENTRY, b ca 1810 ? TN; married 23 Jan 1828 Green Co KY, Nathaniel JUDD, as of yet unidentified, with no record of a family.
  2. Nathaniel [sic] GENTRY; married & lived in Hart Co KY.
  3. Joseph GENTRY m Jane BURGESS.
  4. Solomon G. GENTRY m Elizabeth Ann “Eliza” GRIMES.
  5. (Step-dau) Burilla “Riley” JUDD m Alexander ORR.
  6. Polly Ann GENTRY, b 1832 Green Co KY; m there 31 Mar 1854, Samuel A. JUDD, #1128, qv.
  7. Louisa GENTRY, b 1834 Green Co KY.
  8. John GENTRY, b 1835 Green Co KY.

Footnote 611 on p. 411 reads as follows: Sources of records for Beatrice Judd-Joseph Oliver Gentry family include Mrs. Wright, Rt  4, Box 128, Campbellsville, KY 42718; Adair Co KY marriage records; Green Co KY marriage & Vital Statistics; Hart Co KY Vital Statistics; census records of Green Co KY, 1840-1860; and the following:

Green Co. KY Land Certificate #14458, issued 18 Mar 1825 for 125 acres of land to Joseph Gentry.

Green Co KY, 12 Sep 1848, Joseph O. Gentry for $1 deeded 125 acres of land to his son, Solomon, to care for him in his old age, same land of Warrant #14458.

[The son was Benjamin, not Nathaniel, an apparent confusion with son-in-law Nathaniel Judd. The name Mary Martin seems to be based entirely on Mrs. Wright’s memory. It also seems possible that Benjamin was the son of a second wife, and that Beatrice Judd was number three. Note that son Luther is also missing. KP]

[7] Willard Gentry, “Tennessee Gentry Families: Joseph Gentry of Hanover Co VA,” Journal of Gentry Genealogy, Issue D (May 2004),

[8] William Gentry, son of this couple, was born 1780-1790 in North Carolina or the part of that state that became Tennessee. He was listed in the 1830-1850 censuses of Pulaski Co KY, and there were notables contacts between his children and those of his brother Joseph O Gentry. In particular, his son Joseph GENTRY, born in 1812 in TN, died in Green Co KY, 27 Mar 1857. On 24 Feb 1846, he married Jane BURGESS in Pulaski Co KY. Born in 1813 in SC.  She may not have been the mother of his oldest children. Their censuses had the following children: William (1842-), Christopher (1844-), Jefferson G (1846-), Andrew J (1848-), Lewis C (1849-), Adaline (1853-). In 1860 Jefferson Gentry was living with cousin Benjamin Gentry’s family in Hart Co KY. Christopher C Gentry was bondsmen when a son of Solomon Gentry married a daughter of Solomon’s brother Joseph. [Marriages of Green Co KY 1854 – 1868, compiled by Judy Froggett, p. 25: Joseph O. Gentry and Lurahanny B. Gentry. Bond 14 Mar 1867. Christopher C. Gentry on bond. Groom age 29, lst mg., born Hart Co, father born Green Co, mother born Adair Co. Bride age 29, lst mg., born Barren Co father born Carter Co TN, mother born Hart Co. Married 21 Mar 1867 at Joseph Gentry’s by Solomon Kessler. Wit. John Brown and William Gentry]

[9] See Traces Vol. 27, No. 4, p 29.

[10] Cf. Johnson, op cit.

Published on November 22, 2008 at 6:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

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