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Below is a family biography from the book, History of Kentucky, Edition 1 by J. H. Battle, W. H. Perrin and G. C. Kniffin and published by F. A. Battey Publishing Company in 1885.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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JOHN LEE ODONILEY was born March 9, 1833, in Montgomery County, Tenn., and is the sixth of twelve children (six boys) born to James and Mary E. (Lee) Odoniley, natives of Halifax County, Va., and Davidson County, Tenn., respectively, and of Irish and Scotch origin. Mary E. Lee was a descendant of the noted Lee family of Virginia. James Odoniley was a son of Benjamin Odoniley, who married Lucy Johnson, and both were natives of Virginia. James Odoniley was also a soldier in the war of 1812, was in the battle of New Orleans and was a farmer. Mrs. Mary Odoniley was a daughter of Braxton Lee, who was also a farmer. John Lee Odoniley was reared on a farm and attended school about one year in all. He came, with his parents, to Christian County, Ky., in 1845, and settled twelve miles south of Hopkinsville, where his father purchased and improved a farm of 400 acres, being then the owner of eleven negroes. They moved to Ballard County in 1858, and settled near Hinkleville, on 260 acres, where the father died in March, 1872, at the age of about sixty-seven years. The mother died in 1865; both parents were members of the Baptist Church. John Lee Odoniley lived with his parents till he became of age, when he engaged in superintending on a farm in Christian County, till 1863. In December, 1870, he moved to Ballard County, and located near Hinkleville, on 134 acres, where he lived six years. Thence he went to Blandville, where he engaged in the hotel business about two years; then returned to Hinkleville, and purchased 120 acres of land. He now owns 190 acres. In July, 1883, he moved to Wickliffe and engaged in the hotel business, which he still follows, with his son-in-law, Henry Watwood. He was married February 1, 1855, to Susan R. Buchanan, of Christian County, a native of Warren County, N. C., and daughter of James C. and Martha T. (Mabry) Buchanan, natives of North Carolina. To this union were born three children: Cammatia (now Grimes), Alma J. (now Watwood) and Anna W. (now Watwood). Mrs. Odoniley is a Presbyterian; Mr. Odoniley is a Mason, and also a member of the K. of H. and K. & L. of H. He cast his first presidential vote for James Buchanan and is still a Democrat. Henry Watwood was born in Ballard County, Ky., near Hinkleville, August 24, 1857, and is the sixth of nine children (four boys) born to Alexander and Fannie (White) Watwood, natives of Montgomery County, Tenn. and Louisiana County, Va., respectively, and of English descent on father’s side. The father was a son of William Watwood, who married Nancy Dycus. Henry Watwood was married in December, 1883, to Miss Anna W. Odoniley, of Ballard County, born in Christian County, and daughter of J. L. Odoniley. Mr. Watwood was reared on a farm and attended the common schools, and is engaged in the hotel business, with his father-in-law, J. Lee Odoniley, and owns one-half interest. He cast his first presidential vote for Hancock.

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This family biography is one of 186 biographies included in the Ballard County, Kentucky section of the book, The History of Kentucky, Edition 1 published in 1885 by F. A. Battey Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: History of Kentucky, Edition 1

View additional Ballard County, Kentucky family biographies here: Ballard County, Kentucky Biographies

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