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Yerby Orange and Saphrona (Jones) Orange Family

Below is A VERY INTERESTING letter in the Orange Family File at the Western Kentucky University Library that I found today (17 July 1998)! This letter is the only _ "proof"_ that I am aware of, that Catherine Orange (wife of John Herrod) was the daughter of Yerby & Sophronia Orange.

The contents of the letter explain why I have not had much luck locating Yerby in Butler Co, Ky -- HE DIED! I guess that is as good excuse as any for his disappearing act from the Kentucky records. Sadly, two people died as a result of Yerby packing up and going to Butler County -- his slave "Aunt Hannah" and Yerby himself.

We are the 3rd great-grandchildren of a "Rover" :-) - John H. Herrod. - No wonder, it has taken years to get any clues on him, he didn't stay in one place long enough to let the dust settle, much less to leave a paper trail.

While trying to find Richardsville documents at the WKU library, Mom ran into a fellow who is a "professional" genealogist from the Richardsville, Warren County, Kentucky, area. He recently published a book on his home church, Mount Pleasant Church of Christ. He immediately recognized the name John Herrod. There was an entry in the church minutes about a debate between the Methodist Minister, John Herrod, and the Church of Christ Minister. As he recalled, this debate took place about 1890. The Methodist Minister is our 3rd great-grandpa (John H. Herrod) and the Church of Christ Minister was HIS great-great grandpa.!!!! Evidently our grandpa's were debating theological & denominational issues. I don't know who won the debate - I was afraid to ask ! :-)) (gfb)


"I, Amanda Richards Ayles, will write in this book a true story of the Orange family as given to me by my Mother, Eliza Herrod Richards.

1 April 1958
Many, many years ago there lived in Smith County, Tenn. a man by the name of YERB ORANGE and his wife's name was SOPHRONIA. He was a farmer & a slave owner. They had eight children: 3 sons - Benjamin, Albert, & Newton; 5 daughters - Nealy, Nancy, Amanda, Sophronia, and Catherine Greene.

Orange sold his home in Tenn. & bought a farm near Sugar Grove, in Butler Co., Ky. They had an old slave they called Aunt Hannah and she had a son, so they sold her son and she did not want to go away & leave him, so the morning they were to leave, they found old Hannah hanging, dead in an old apple tree.

They got moved alright but in those days people had a time moving their stock. Orange went back to Tenn. to get his sheep, of course they must be driven, & the weather was very cold, so he stopped at a house on the way home to warm. He sat down in front of a fire-place and another chair was by his side, he asked the lady of the house this question, "how far is it to the little red-brick meeting-house?" Just as the woman looked round to answer him, he fell over into the chair by his side, dead. We can imagine the sorrow and trouble this caused. Those days conveyance was awful.

One daughter, Nealy, married & stayed in Tenn. The other children married & lived around Sugar Grove, all but Catherine Green, & she married a 'rover'. He was a Methodist preasher (sic), a shoe-maker, etc. He never owned a home, but just moved from place to place. His name was JOHN HERROD. They were living close to Richardsville when his wife died. They had 4 sons & their names were: Yerb, John, Frank & Tom. They had 6 daughters: Susan, Callie, JOSIE, Eliza, Amanda, & Greenie. John became a Methodist minister, JOSIE became a very noted doctor, for women. The night was never too dark or stormy for her to get on her horse & go, if called.

Eliza married Edward Rapier Richards. They had 4 children, 2 boys, Jessie Thomas & Alpha Edward; 2 girls, Amanda Belle & Annie Della. (Jessie, Thomas, Amanda Belle, Alpha Edward, & Annie Dell.)

Edward clerked at the village, Richardsvill (sic) store for several years, but when the merchant got ready to sell whiskey, he quit & went to farming. He said, 'I will not sell whiskey.' He built a good log house (4 rooms) for his family. He died at the age of 32 from tumor of the brain. He passed through a low door & struck the top of his head as he went out, and for several years suffered from head-ache which finally caused this tumor.

I, Amanda Belle, was 9 years old when my father passed, and if he ever gave me an unkind word, I can't remember it. My father _did not_ drink intoxicants.

My mother, Eliza Richards, was an active member of the Methodist Church. She prayed in public, & some of the time had family prayer. She was a Baptist but joined the Methodist Church, because my father belonged to it. After my father had been dead about 14 years, my mother married a Baptist minister, Rev. B. T. Mayhugh, then she went back to her church - the Baptist Church.

Bro. Mayhugh was a good step-father, was always kind to me." (End of the letter - gfb)

The Move A poem written by Edith Bastin about this move from Smith County, Tennessee, to Butler County, Kentucky.

Smith County, Tennessee Census Records 1850

dwelling #506

Yearby Orange age 55/M/laborer/$500R/VA
Sofrona age 55/F/VA
Francis age 25/F/TN
Cornelia age 26/F/TN
Eliza age 18/F/TN
Newton age 15/M/TN
Sophronia age 15/F/TN
Sophrona age 12/F/TN


Yerby Orange was born 1794 and died January 06, 1852, and married Sophorna Jones born 1796 and died before 1860-1880.


This research is courtesy of Glenda, my daughter. Thanks! If you have informations regarding this family and would like to share with us, email me at

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