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Monday, April 18, 2016

George Farris writes:

I was in Kentucky yesterday and found a little bit more information.  My primary objective was to search through tax lists for all of the counties around Mercer to see if there were any Bunnell records or records for John or William Farris for the years when they were missing from Mercer tax lists.   That search came up empty.  I have to assume that they must have been in Mercer County but avoided the tax collectors for those years.

In a list of "removals", people who left the tax rolls because they moved to a different county, I did find Jonathan Bonnel moving to Green County in 1800 (he obviously returned to Mercer later) and Joseph Lyon moving to Barren County in 1800 (from which he later moved to Green County and then to Hardin County).

I reviewed the records of Shawnee Run Baptist Church in eastern Mercer County and found several references of interest in the early 1800s.  One of those references is to Joseph and Rebecca Lyon leaving that church in 1801.  There are several records involving Anne and John Farris, including them leaving in 1805, and a few for other Bunnells.  The records seem to be very incomplete.  
There was no mention of either William, Sr. or William , Jr, but a record for Polley Bunnel, presumably the wife of William, Jr.

Since members of several of the Bunnell and related families show up in the Shawnee Run records it appears that they lived in that part of the county - about 2 miles south of Shakertown.

The Gray family was very active in Shawnee Run and show up in many records.  This was the family of Benjamin Gray, originally from Hunterdon Co., NJ, and nephew of Peter and Anna (Gray) Rossell.  There is only one Rossell record, Peter's death record in 1802.  One of Peter's sons, John, lived in Fayette County at that time and he apparently moved to KY late in life and must have been living with the Grays at the time he died.

Some records involving members of the William Bonnell family in
 “Shawnee Run Baptist Church minutes 1799 – 1907, Mercer County, Kentucky”, compiled by Arland W. Benningfield and Walter Lee Bradshaw, 1993.

Note: The church is still active and is about 4 miles NE of Harrodsburg and 2 miles south of Shakertown. The minutes are not complete and not always consistent and sometimes confusing. I reviewed them at the Kentucky Historical Society Library in Frankfort on April 13, 2016. Items in square brackets are my additions.  Otherwise the records are as transcribed by the compilers.  GJF

25 November, 1800 – Rebeccah [Bonnell] Lion [Lyon] received by experience and Baptized

10 October 1801 – Joseph Lyon and his wife request a letter of dismission from the Church, the letter granted and gave.

August 1800 – [membership list] Ann [Bonnell] Faris (Dismissed by letter 1805)

13 Jan 1802 – John Faris is expelled from Society for his miss conduct by drinking two much spiritual liquers.

7 May 1802 – John Faris came forward and acknowled his fault and the church forgave him.

1 September 1802 – John Faris is expeld from Society for drinking too much spiritual Liqures.

12 October 1805 -  John Faris came forward joine the Church, they referd him to next meeting.  Sister Ann Farris aplyed for a letter of dismission, the church granted it.

8 March 1806 – the reference from the December meeting respecting John Faris ofring to join Society is dismissed.

11 October 1804 – Rec'd by letter Polley Bunnel

14 December 1805 – Received by letter Polley Bunnel

9 March 1805 – Bro. Jeremiah Bunnel applyd for a letter of dismission, letter granted.

12 June 1802 – Received by experience – Jonathan Bunnal

11 April 1807 – Brethren Rob't Denny, Jonathan Bunnel & Peter Rigg is apointed to wate on Bro. Even Thompson & sister Cresy to try to settel some existing grievences which are between them.

February 1817 – [membership list] Jonathan Bunnel (dismissed)

One other record of interest:

19 April 1802 – Peter Rosel, Deceased

Peter's son John was then living in Fayette County, KY and Peter's nephew, Benjamin Gray and his family were very active members of this church. So Peter reconnected with the Bonnells late in life.


  1. Correction of a typo: the record dated 1 September 1902 should obviously be 1802.