Kenamore ~ The Kenamore Family

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Randy has generously shared these for publication with the Christian County Mogen Web site. No data may be reproduced or published without permission of the author.


Many of the early pioneer families of north-central Christian Co. were linked by the daughters of one couple – William Kenamore and Mary Johnson. The Edwards, McCafferty, Gooch, McConnell, Nokes and dozens of other families all became kin through the Kenamore network.

(John/Hans) William Kenamore (also spelled Cannimore, Kennemore, Kennemer and Kinnamore in official records) was born in Fairfield Co., SC on Feb. 12, 1787. He made his move to south-central TN while most of the rest of his family settled in Jackson Co., AL. To date, however, no one has firmly identified this relationship.

The family in general, however, originated in the Rhine valley of Germany, tracing back to mayors of small villages who emigrated to Philadelphia in 1732. The family initially settled in York, PA before working down the coastal colonies to Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina.

William was the son of one of three Kennemer/Kennemore brothers in Fairfield Co.: Hance/Hans, George or John.

Likely in Giles Co., TN about 1811, William married Mary "Polly" Johnson Berry, who was born in 1784 in Rockingham Co., NC as the first child of Revolutionary War veteran Abner (1757-Oct. 22, 1850) and Nancy Brackett (1761/2-1853) Johnson. Giles Co. marriage records from this era were destroyed.

The marriage was the second for Mary, who already had a young daughter. In Nashville, Davidson Co., TN, Polly “Johnston” married Isaac Berry on Jan. 13, 1803. Mary’s daughter by that marriage, Anna, later named a son for her father. Isaac was the son of Robert and Elizabeth C. Cates Berry of Orange Co., NC.

William Kenamore fought in the War of 1812 (simultaneous Creek War) under Gen. Andrew Jackson, assigned to companies led by Capt. McNutt and Capt. Bob McReynolds. His file contains the notation: “refused to march.”

William was found on the 1819 Giles Co., TN tax lists, but by 1823 he appears on the Maury Co. tax rolls where he was assessed for poll taxes, but no real estate.

Records show that the Kenamores and McConnells of Christian Co., MO were acquaintances at least as far back as early Maury Co. On July 23, 1825, William Kenamore bought at the estate sale of the late James Bell, brother-in-law of Walter McConnell, the ancestor of the Christian Co. family; William McConnell, Walter's brother, was another buyer.

The Kenamores lived during this time south of Bigbyville, a tiny hamlet about eight miles south of the county seat of Columbia. The area was dominated by the plantations of the Polk families and the Pillows, who were cousins of Mary Johnson Kenamore.

Kenamore held no real property on the 1823 Maury Co. tax rolls, but by 1836, his holdings had grown to146.5 acres valued at $1,125. He had no slaves or sons 16 or older in 1823.

In 1850, William Kenamore held real estate worth $2,500 in southern Maury Co. But he appears to have been living on the farm of his widowed daughter Matilda (Mrs. Andrew W.) McCaslin with his in-laws, the elderly Abner and Nancy Johnson.

William visited the community of Cassidy (now Fremont Hills), northwest of Ozark, MO, in October 1852 from Tennessee. On Nov. 4, 1852, William Kenamore “of Greene Co.,” MO, bought 190 acres for $1,000 from John and Sarah Simpson (SW 1/4 of Section 15, Township 27, Range 21 and SE 1/4 of NW 1/4 of the same section except for 10 acres) in what became Christian Co.

Despite the Greene Co. land record, the Goodspeed history of Dent County and other sources say the elder Kenamores didn't move from Tennessee until 1854; the permanent move did not come until after Mary’s mother, Nancy Brackett Johnson, died in 1853. The 1854 wagon trained likely included son Grant Allen and several daughters. Daughter Matilda, by family tradition, died during that trip. The family’s other children had relocated to the Ozarks in 1852.

In January 1855, Grant bought land from his father, then almost 68.

The 230-acre Kenamore stake in 1856 was in the name of Grant Allen on tax rolls, valued at $1,000. In that same year, however, Grant moved to Salem, Dent Co., MO, and William became dependent on his sons-in-law like neighbors Thomas T. Gooch and William Edwards in Finley Township and hired hands for assistance.

By 1860, William Kenamore was farming 330 acres — one of the most valuable properties in the new jurisdiction of Christian Co. Almost half the land, 150 acres, was "improved," and the value had soared to $3,000. He maintained few livestock, but raised 1,000 bushels of corn as well as wheat and tended bees. County tax records show that as late as 1868, the heirs of "John Kinamore, deceased" held taxable title to 220 acres of land in Finley Township while daughter Margaret had 40 more acres adjacent to her parents.

William Kenamore died on Feb. 10, 1862, just two days short of his 75th birthday. Christian Co. records show son-in-law James W. Edwards bought William’s real estate for $1,200 (the war had undermined land values throughout the Ozarks) in April 1866, allowing distribution of the proceeds to numerous heirs.

By 1867, Mary Johnson Kenamore was living southwest of Nixa with William G. and Nancy Kenamore McCafferty.

On Dec. 7, 1867, Mary wrote her will1 with the Baptist Rev. Robert Smith Holderby and McCafferty neighbor Anderson Hemphill as witnesses. Mary left $200, a vast sum in the post-Civil War Ozarks, to her daughter Nancy McCafferty and a “bed and bedstead with all the (faded)” to Nancy's daughter, Malinda Evaline. William G. McCafferty was to inherit the rest of Mary's personal estate. The McCafferty bequests, no doubt, reflected Mary's gratitude and affection for their care after her husband died.

One dollar each went to daughters Elizabeth Gooch, daughter Mary S. McCafferty, daughter Margaret S. Craig; Ann O. Edwards; and son Grant A. Kenamore.

The will does not mention the Rev. James Wright Edwards, who had married daughter Martha H. "Patsy" Kenamore. James W. was a relatively wealthy man, and by 1867, Patsy had died.

Mary Johnson Kenamore still was living at age 86 with William and Nancy McCafferty on the 1870 census, but died in September.

A penciled notation on a 1986 manuscript says the Kenamores are buried in Richwoods Cemetery north of Ozark, but their stones are not listed on the indices. The Doran manuscript says they lie in a family plot on the so-called (probably Mahlon) Stine property northeast of Ozark, which no one has located.

An 1871 deed conveying the original Kenamore family farm from son-in-law James Wright Edwards to Isham W. Faught indicates William and wife Mary Johnson Kenamore are buried in a 40-foot-square family plot there. That plot, possibly on what became the Stine land, remains in the legal ownership of the family heirs today.

The Kenamore daughters

William and Mary Johnson Kenamore raised at least eight daughters:

  • Anna O. or Q. Berry (1804, Nashville-after 1880). William Edwards, James W.’s likely brother, married the half-sister of James W.’s wife Martha “Patsy” Kenamore when he wed Anna O. or Q. Berry before 1826 in Giles Co.

Anna and William Edwards are found in Maury through 1840, but moved to Giles Co. by 1850. William and Anna relocated in the 1854 wagon trains to Christian Co., where their son had a child in February 1855.

Anna and William had at least three sons; William Jr. (1826), who may have married Mahala Lovell in Giles Co; James Mordecai (Aug. 7, 1829, Maury Co., TN-Feb. 18, 1885, Newton Co., AR) who married a member of the Johnson family, Martha Lucinda Stubblefield2; and Isaac Carroll (1843, Giles Co.), named for his grandfather They also had at least three daughters: Nancy W. (1836, Maury), Caroline A. (1838, Maury) and Narcissa M. (1846, Giles) who may have married before the 1865 fire destroyed the Christian Co. records.

Ann and William moved from Finley Township to Searcy, AR by 1869, but before 1880, William died. Ann was living in 1880 in Jefferson Township, Boone Co., AR at the home of her granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth Edwards – daughter of James Mordecai – with her husband, Samuel Henry Rose, and their two children.

Anna in censuses consistently reported her birth year was 1804 in Tennessee, or about the same as her husband. That would leave an odd nine-year gap between the first two Kenamore children – and place the marriage of William Kenamore at the extremely young age of about 16, assuming his birth date has been correctly recorded.

Anna instead was the daughter of Mary from her first marriage to Isaac Berry in Nashville on Jan. 13, 1803 – which also explains Anna’s decision to name a son Isaac in 1843.

In the most telling circumstance, Mary left a bequest for Anna in her will with her other daughters, but Anna was not listed among the many heirs in the division of the proceeds from the sale of William’s property in 1866 after he died.

After Mary’s marriage to William, instead of Berry, Anna apparently used the maiden name of Kenamore, which is how she is remembered by descendants.

In another twist to this disordered family, the marriage of James Mordecai Edwards and Martha Lucinda Stubblefield is reported to have occurred Nov. 19, 1854 in Charleston, Mississippi Co., MO, which is along the Mississippi River on the eastern edge of the state (three months before a daughter’s birth).

The marriage indicates that their families participated in the 1854 trip – or second stage – of the Johnson-Kenamore-Edwards family migrations to Christian Co., MO. None of the family ever lived in Mississippi Co. or nearby.

Martha "Patsy” H. (1813-1865) married the Rev. James Wright Edwards (1807-1893) before 1830 in Giles Co. They were the parents of Matilda D. Edwards McConnell, among others. (Separate section)

Matilda (1814-1854) married her first cousin Andrew McCaslin/McCasland on May 23, 1835 in Maury Co. Andrew McCaslin was the son of Andrew McCaslin Sr. and Elizabeth Johnson, Mary Kenamore’s sister, who married in Nashville in 1804.

Andrew died young in 1843, but left three children born in TN: Mary Elizabeth (1836) who married Nathaniel F. Sink in 1855 in Greene Co. MO; John (1837), who may have died in the Civil War; and Derinda (1838), who married William M. Horn of Christian Co. and decades later sued unsuccessfully for a share of her grandfather Kenamore’s estate.

By 1880, Mary Elizabeth’s husband had died, and she lived in Boone Co., AR, where she remained in 1900. Derinda by 1860 had married Horn and lived near her grandparents just west of Ozark.

Matilda, by family legend, died during the wagon train trek to Missouri in 1854.

Elizabeth Carolina (1816-1881) wed Thomas Threet or Thweatt Gooch (1805-1871) of Rutherford and Maury Cos. Thweatt was a Gooch family name that dated back to colonial Virginia.

Thomas was kin, a likely brother, to the Rev. William Spraggins Gooch (May 4, 1800-June 24, 1851) of Bigbyville who married Alsie/Alice Jones, and their parents may have been Gooch cousins who died young in Granville Co., NC. William S. Gooch founded Bethel Christian Church in 1835 in Bigbyville, TN where William C. McConnell also served as pastor.

Thomas had married first to Nancy Tennessee White July 27, 1827 in Rutherford Co., TN, and they had a son James H. who came to Missouri.

In 1852, Thomas and Elizabeth moved from Maury or Giles Co. to a farm north of Ozark in the once-thriving community of Cassidy. In 1860, the 327-acre farm was even more valuable than the Kenamore place, although it wasn't cultivated as extensively.

The Gooches are buried in Maple Park Cemetery in Springfield.

Among the Gooch children were: Amanda (1839, m. Nathaniel A. Hill Murphy), Martha (1842, m. James Monroe McCafferty and then W.L. Thompson), John Carroll (1846, m. Elizabeth McDaniel), Nancy Tennessee (1850, m. William Allen Noblitt), Thomas (m. Elizabeth), Grant Allen (1854, m. Anna Bingham and Minnie Murphy), Matilda Melissa, Jerome Bonaparte "Bone"3 (m. Martha "Mattie" Bennett) and Mary Elizabeth "Molly" (Sept. 27, 1861-April 26, 1930, m. James Addison Doran).

Grant Allen Gooch, a civic leader in the Cassidy community north of Ozark, was overseer of the North Finley Township road district at the turn of the century. He also managed affairs of the Farmers Education and Cooperative Union and directed installation of the rural telephone system.

John and Elizabeth McDaniel Gooch were prominent members of the Porter Township community west of Nixa even though his parents were oriented to Ozark; this line again would wed into McConnell-related families when son Elvert "Pot" Gooch married Cora McConnell Wade, the daughter of James Wright McConnell, and daughter Lucretia Gooch wed Seymore McConnell. (See separate section.)

William Allen Noblitt and Nancy Tennessee Gooch moved to Springfield, where he worked for the railroad. Their daughter married into the influential Freeman family, and their granddaughter Mildred Lucille Freeman was a popular Springfield News-Leader columnist in the mid-1900s.

James H., Thomas’ son by his first marriage, wed Orlena Elizabeth Pruitt, daughter of Jacob and Paralee Ruyle Pruitt, in Missouri, but they later divorced.

Ursula Evaline married William Carroll Edwards, likely nephew of James Wright Edwards, on March 6, 1839 before JP Andrew Scott in Maury Co. There were no known children before her death about 1845. William C. Edwards later married Ursula’s niece, Narcissa Evaline Johnson – the daughter of Abner H. Jr. and Mary Mobley Johnson -- and moved to Christian Co. in October 1852.

Nancy A. (1820) married William Green McCafferty (1815-February 1873) of Maury Co., and they settled in Porter Township where their families intermarried extensively with the McConnells. The area today is known on official maps as McCafferty Hollow in old southern Porter Township. When W.G. died, the couple owned 220 acres next to his sister Elizabeth, the widow of George McKnight, and brother Jinkin McCafferty.

William G. was the son of James Green and Mary McCafferty. His father was a justice of the peace in Giles Co., TN in the early 1820s, but died before 1850 in Maury Co. His mother moved with her children to Christian Co. in 1852.

The children of William McCafferty and Nancy Kenamore included: Malinda (Jan. 1, 1848-Sept. 17, 1922, m. Samuel Pope), John Q. (March 24, 1851-Nov. 16, 1908, m. Callie Faught), Caledonia (May 1855-March 30, 1911, m. Pete Bolt), Mary Frances (1858-1943, m. James Wright McConnell), Benjamin Franklin (July 15, 1861-June 14, 1919, m. Francis Emma McConnell and Sara Pope), Grace (m. Henry Oberlander), Osha (m. Claude Young), Emery, Jessie (m. Jack Broadus), Mabel (m. William Jones) and Kermit (m. Linnie Bolin).

Sam and Malinda McCafferty Pope, Callie Bolt, Jim Wright and Mary Frances McCafferty McConnell, Benjamin, Francis McConnell and Sara Pope McCafferty and John Q. and Callie Faught McCafferty are buried in McConnell Cemetery. Kermit and Linnie Bolin McCafferty are buried in McCoy Cemetery.

Margaret T. (January 1822-after 1900) has been described in family histories as a spinster who never married. Indeed, the MO census records consistently show her through 1900 as Margaret Kenamore. Another family story said one sister had married a Craig in TN. The 1867 will of Mary Kenamore sorts out the mystery: she refers to daughter Margaret Craig, who must have suffered through a rocky marriage and divorce. Two families of Craigs, one from KY and the other from Orange Co., NC, were quite prominent in Maury Co, and a Robert Craig lived near the Kenamores in 1836.

After her father's death, Margaret moved in with sister Mary S. McCafferty, but eventually died at the home of her great-nephew, James Wright McConnell, and her niece, Mary Frances McCafferty, after the year 1900. Margaret's grave has not been rediscovered, but she may lie beside her parents in the abandoned family cemetery.

Mary S. "Polly" (1827-April 29, 1900) married William's brother Jenkin McCafferty (May 20, 1823-August 1907) in Maury Co. in 1847, and they settled in southern Porter Township. Jenkin in 1874 owned 100 acres in McCafferty Hollow.

Her obituary says Polly joined the Christian Church at age 17, or in 1844, probably Bethel Christian Church near Bigbyville that William S. Gooch organized and where William C. McConnell became the pastor.

Polly and Jenkin's offspring were: Amanda (m. Jacob Costlow), Emma (m. William Elam), Julia (m. Marion Mensor and Robert H. Ramsay), Mary Alice (Nov. 2, 1858-May 27, 1929, m. Franklin Monroe "Mun" Faught), William, Louis, Hurd (1867-1935, m. Bessie Griffith) and Grant Allen (1873-1910, m. Sallie Walters).

Grant had a meteoric rise followed by tragic blows. Grant bought the George W. Wood property in Ozark in December 1898, after he was elected Christian Co. circuit clerk, and moved there from Porter Township. That year, the Christian County Republican newspaper called him “a young and rising attorney.”

But his wife Sallie died shortly after the turn of the century, and her sister Emma Walters moved in to help raise the three children. Grant ran for Christian Co. prosecutor in 1906 and 1908, but lost. In 1908, the local newspapers reported that he had been stricken with a hemorrhage of the eye (or brain); the newspaper copies are faded and marred. Grant recovered from his ailment, only to die in late 1910, leaving orphans Hobart A. (1897), Eula L. (1898) and Bertha M. (1900).

Jenkin and Polly McCafferty, Mun and Alice McCafferty Faught, Louis, and Grant Allen and Sallie E. McCafferty are buried at McConnell Cemetery.

The Dent County Kenamores

William and Mary’s only son, Grant Allen Kenamore (Feb. 14, 1824-July 7, 1885), also came to Christian County in 1854, bought property from his father and William J. McDaniel and for years owned a small Porter Township farm that eventually passed into the ownership of William and Dora Ica Edwards Aven.

According to Goodspeed's History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski and Dent Counties, Grant moved in 1856 to Dent Co. and the Salem, MO area. There he became county surveyor for six years and probate judge when the Civil War began; Grant later was elected the second mayor of Salem.

Grant Allen married Emily Frances London, daughter of John and Permelia Cheek London, in Maury Co. A court case in Giles Co., TN on the estate of her uncle in 1860 indicates that her mother Permelia, the widow of John London, had joined Grant's family in Dent Co. The suit also shows that Emily's brothers John B. and George London moved to Salem, but George and his family returned to Maury Co. James London, another brother, died in Missouri in 1855; his apparent widow, Amanda, was living with James and Elizabeth Wilson near Ozark in 1860.

Dent County Historical Society narratives, supplied by former state Rep. Ken Fiebelman, D-Salem, indicate that these Maury Countians also were joined by Emily's sisters, Nancy S. (Mrs. John Bailey) Ginger and Martha (Mrs. Trustan) Hubbard and their families in Salem.

Grant and Emily originally settled one mile north of Salem on a farm now owned by the McGrath family. But in 1857, they moved into town.

A Southern sympathizer, Grant nevertheless served the Union by enlisting in April 1863 in Company G of the Missouri State Militia, organizing Kenamore's Volunteers and in 1864 taking over as a captain of the 48th Missouri Infantry Volunteers' Company D. When Grant returned to Salem from service in Chicago, Gov. Thomas C. Fletcher made him captain of the local militia guarding the public order.

Grant and his family became well-to-do in Dent County. Grant opened retail businesses in Salem in partnership with W.R. Love, traded stock and speculated in real estate. He continued owning the small Porter Township farm and livestock in Christian County until at least 1879 — 40 acres less than two miles due west of Nixa near Faught School.

After Grant's wife Emily Frances London died on July 1, 1874 of pneumonia, he remarried Oct. 31, 1875 to Elizabeth Jane "Lizzie" Lance Durham of Salem, who previously had wed Richard V. Durham, the Douglas Co. clerk in nearby Ava. By her, Grant became the stepfather to Emmett W. Durham, and Lizzie's stepson, Adolphus G. (Richard's son by first wife Elizabeth McSpadden.).

The 1875 Salem newspapers had several joking references to Grant and his impending marriage.

Grant died July 7, 1885 and is buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery in Salem with his two wives and two sons, George Rufus and William Bruce Kenamore (Oct. 10, 1848-Nov. 17, 1881). Lizzie Durham Kenamore died in January 1921 or Dec. 19, 1920 (depending on the source).

George Rufus was born Jan. 29, 1847 in Maury Co. and finished his education in the common schools of Salem. At age 16, he enlisted in Company D of the 48th Missouri Infantry under his father, the captain. By 1872, George was employed at A.H. and H.B. Clark's general store in Salem, and he married Mrs. Emma Craiger Henthorne, a native of Indiana, on Dec. 23, 1873.

The Clarks sent George to run a store in Eminence, but he eventually bought out the Clarks and returned to Salem in 1885. George was made deputy U.S. Internal Revenue collector in November 1887 under Freeman Barnum. In the fall of 1890, George was elected to the state legislature to represent Dent County. He had recently retired from his mercantile business and was farming when elected to the legislature, but after service in the General Assembly, George gained a patronage job as a state beer inspector. He eventually settled in St. Louis and, in 1913, joined the Union Avenue Christian Church there.

George was a Democrat, the treasurer of neighboring Shannon Co. and a Master Mason who joined Salem Lodge No. 225 A.F. & A.M. on May 18, 1867, eventually becoming its eldest member.

He died April 6, 1928 at age 81 in St. Louis, but is buried in Cedar Grove along with his wife Emma (Feb. 22, 1850-July 12, 1925), who died in Webster Groves.

George and Emma had three sons: Rufus Clair, Charles B. and Don (d. age 18).

Charles B. married Etta Delozier and moved to St. Louis, where he retired after a career as a cashier with the Post-Dispatch newspaper, today the city's only daily. He is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in St. Louis.

His brother Rufus Clair, however, gained considerable fame in journalism as a writer and artist. Born in Eminence on Oct. 22, 1875, Rufus worked for the Salem Monitor as a young man before moving to Chicago and then the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from 1907 to 1931 as a telegraph (wire service) editor, feature writer, Sunday magazine editor and war correspondent, who traveled extensively around the globe.

Rufus Clair married Marguerite Martyn in 1912; he died Nov. 3, 1935 in Portland, OR, but is buried at Cedar Grove in Salem. 


1 Christian Co. Deed Book 4, p. 148


2 Martha Lucinda Stubblefield was the daughter of Alvis “Ann” Johnson Stubblefield, the daughter of Gideon Johnson and granddaughter of Abner Johnson Sr.


3 Several Jerome Bonapartes are found in these families. They were named for Jerome Bonaparte Pillow of Maury Co.

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