Warnock's to America and on to Kentucky


The history of the Warnock family dates back to Scotland when three brothers, like many other people, took arms to defend the Presbyterian form of church government. They were bitterly persecuted and fled to Ireland, where they found refuge. James, one of the three brothers, became a merchant of prominence in Inneskillen, County Tryone. He died in 1667.

Attracted by the promise of religious freedom, several Warnock brothers came to America before the Revolutionary War and some of them served with the colonists. Members of the family settled in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. Among these were William James, born in County Tryone, near Londderry, who married Elizabeth Carlisle. He was with Daniel Boone in 1774 when he came with forty men from North Carolina to Kentucky, and he was in Greenup County before it was organized.

When the town of Greenupsburg was platted, eight of the sixty- four lots sold were bought by the above James Warnock. Two of these have always been owned by members of the family. The four sons of James Warnock were James, Johnson, William J., and Samuel.

James Warnock, Jr., married Rebecca Howe, the daughter of John Howe, an early pioneer of the county, in 1800. His will, dated 1856, names these children: John W. Howe, William Howe, Matthew, James Wesley, Sallie, wife of James Alexander, and Cynthia. The sons are the ancestors of the Warnock families best known in the county. It would be impossible to write of all their descendants and connections. James Warnock owned a large tract of land now called Warnock, on Upper Tygart Creek. He was a lover of poetry and wrote poems for his own and his family's pleasure. Among these, he wrote a tribute to Robert Burns, in the poet's own style and dialect. Several of Mr. Warnock's descendants have inherited a talent for writing, painting, and other arts.

In 1813 Johnson Warnock, the second son of James Warnock, built a house on Lot No. 12 in Greenupsburg, and as he married Betsy Forester in June of that year, they probably went to housekeeping there. In his will he names these children: Carlisle, Robert, James, Martha, Lavina, and Malinda Elizabeth. Martha married her cousin, James Warnock.

Little is known of William J., the third son of James Warnock. He married Lucy Forester, probably the sister of his brother Johnson's wife, and his children were Andrew, who married Miss Colter; James Carlisle, who married (1) Miss Hunt and (2)___________; Ann, who married George Howland.

Samuel, the fourth son, mentions in his will, dated December 1846, his wife, Rachel, and these children: Jackson, William, James Carlisle, Mahala Reaves, Mary Brooks, Elizabeth Huffman, Sara Huffman, Jame Bradshaw, and Lavina Crawford. The son, William, married Ann Lifflejohn Craycraft in 1846,and their children were Laken Samuel, John William, Lyda, who married William Lee, and Ada, who married Dock Stepter. Laken Samuel married Martha Morton, daughter of Henry Clay Morton, and their children are Lowery Morton, who married Hattie Wear; Nathaniel Gwinn, who married Etta Pitts; and Fannie, who married Lafe Jordan. John William, the second son of William and Ann Littlejohn Craycraft Warnock, married Sarah (or Sadie) Nickell and their children are Charles Byron, who married May, daughter of Claude and Ella Hill McClave and lives in Portsmouth; Amy, who married Chester Imes and lives in Sciotoville; and Louis, who died when a child. This William Warnock family lived on a farm at Bennett's Mill.

John W. Howe Warnock

John W. Howe Warnock (known as Uncle Johnny), eldest son of James Warnock, Jr., married Grace Guilkey and lived in Greenup many years. He waas very active in the affairs of the county, was part owner of Old Laurel Furnace, and had a library of many valuable books. The children of his family were James (known as Red James), Edward, Matthew, Benjamin Franklin, William, Elizabeth (Betty or Betsy Ann), who married her cousin, Basil Warnock, and Rebecca, who died young.

James (Red James) married his cousin, Margaret, daughter of Matthew and Lydia Warnock, and they were the parents of Winfield, Willard, Catherine Holbrook, Grace, wife of Dr. John Sowards, Mary, and Lulu, wife of Walter Greenslate.

Edward, who lived on Tygart Creek, married Mary Mearns and their children were Cora Brady, Maud Heisel, Grace Huffman, Ernest, and Frank. Edward Warnock served with his cousin, John Dock Warnock, as road commissioner, and made possible many good roads tghroughout the county, including Raccoon Hill, which was given special attention, and made into a good road.

Matthew married Elizabeth Breeding and their children were Grace, John Denny, and Fannie. Grace died as a child. John Denny, who married Lyde Fullerton, served as mayor of Greenup, as police judge, and was secretary of the Masonic Lodge for thirty-six years. Fannie Warnock married Elwood Kinner of Greenup, and their son, Matthew, married Mabel, daughter of Ward and Gertrude Curry Womack of Oldtown and Florida.

Benjamin Franklin married (1) Faith Frailey and their children were Finley, Edward, Harry, Alfred, Paul, Grant, and Ella, who went to Texas; (2) Mary Ellis (Mollie) Ramey, and their children were: Jessie, who never married; Willliam, who married Elizabeth Frailey; Sallie, wife of Carl Finney; Lorena, wife of Cyrus Van Bibber and Faith, called Fay, living in Portsmouth.

William Howe Warnock, the second son of James Warnock, Jr., owned many acres of land on Tygart Creek and also land in Carter County, where the Carter Caves are located. He married Emma Duzan Ratcliff, daughter of Samual Ratcliff, in 1835. They were the parents of John Wesley (known as John Dock), Samuel Price, Richard Matthew, James Warren, Francis Marion (Slick), William Lindsey, Taylor (Whig), Julia Hall, and three who died in infancy.

John Wesley (John Dock) married Martha Clark of Lyon County, Kentucky, in 1864. and lived in the Warnock neighborhood on Tygart Creek. In 1897 the family moved to Fullerton and built a new home in the eastern part of the village. The children of this family were Clark, Walter, Lyman, Elizabeth, and Fred. Clark married Margaret Meadows, of Tygart Valley, and they were the parents of Ward, Wade, Eunice Nichols of East Greenup, and Blanche of Fullerton; Lyman married Edith Roe and their children Raymond, Ruth Ensor, Helen Griswold, and Ethel Smith; Elizabeth married Charles Howbrook. Walter and Fred died at the home in Fullerton.

Samuel Price Warnock married (1) America Alexander, (2) Mary Nancy Morton, daughter of Henry Clay Morton, and their children were Nellie, Charles R., Samuel B., Sallie, and Albert. Of these children, Nellie married (1) Edward Meadows and has a daughter, Olive, (2) Arthur Winkler. Charles R. married Lucy Montgomery and their children are Richard and Eugenia Vincent. Samuel B. married Hattie, daughter of Henry Sloan and Emma Riffe Curry, of Hopewell, and they have two sons, Veron Clay and Phineas Glen, both of South Carolina. Sallie married George Wear and their children are Virginia Rush, and Charles R., Marynelle Literal, Olive Lindeman. and Morton, who married Nina Lou King. Albert married and has three daughters, Helen, Hazel and Mildred.

Richard Matthew Warnock (known as Dick Matt) married Adeline (Addie) Morton, daughter of James Morton, and their children were Alvin Morton, Emma, Lovina, Lillian, Leslie, Elmer, Nancy, and Ollen. Alvin Morton Warnock married Ruby Helen Withrow, daughter of William Withrow; Emma married (1) Shannon Taylor and (2) Dan Withrow; Lillian married John Ratcliff; Elmer married Lillian Abdon; Nancy married Leslie McGinnis; Ollen maried Willie Womack and their children are Howard and Louise.

James Warren Warnock married Julia Bartlett Morton, daughter of Henry Clay Morton, and their children were Allen Bartlett, Bess, Don, who died as a young man, and William, who married Margaret Harper of Siloam. Allen Bartlett Warnock married Zona Wolf of Mason County, and their children are Audrey, wife of Harma Hammond; Paul, who married Bertha Dotson; Leah; and Don, who married Nelle Major, all living in Cincinnati; Bess married Price Taylor and has three sons and two daughters.

Francis Marion (Slick) Warnock married Sarah Jane Breeding (Duck) and they were the parents of Ury, who died, and Elizabeth, wife of Edward Womack of Greenup. He served as postmaster twenty years and also as deputy clerk of the county.

William Lindsay Warnock married Mary Susan Taylor and their children are David, Nora, Amanda, Agnes, Addie, and Henry.

Taylor Warnock (Whig) married Catherine (Kit), daughter of Richard and Martha Garrett Morton, and their children are: Myrtle Belle, the wife of John Plymale; Lulu, the wife of Dahl Green of Adams County, Ohio; Edith, the wife of Bert Trickler; Elby, who married Laura Fuyltz; Dr. Clarence Woodson, who married Thelma Burns and lived in Huntington, West Virginia; and Etta Morton, wife of Albert Hilliard.

Matthew Warnock, Sr.

Matthew Warnock, Sr., the third son of James Warnock, Jr., married Lydia Warnock, daughter of William Warnock, and their children were: Elizabeth, who married James Clifton; James, known as "Black Jim," who married Miss Bradshaw; Polly, who married Dr. Secrest; Margaret, who married James Warnock, son of Hohn W. H. Warnock; John Tug, who married Kate Eifort; Basil, who married Betsy Ann, daughter of John W. H. Warnock; Matthew Scott, Jr., who married Emma Gibbs; Charles, who married Cassie Roberts; America, who married Benjamin Franklin Meadows.

The children of Mattthew Scott Warnock were Clara Kinner of Louisa, Kentucky, Edith Kinner of Greenup, Earl, and Doris.

James Wesley Warnock

James Wesley Warnock, the fourth son of James Warnock, married his cousin, Martha, daughter of Johnson Warnock, and their children were: Robery Johnson, who married America Batman; Scott, who married Miss Batman; Price, who never married; and J. C., who married Mabel Gannon. The children of Robert Johnson and America Batman Warnock were: John Wesley, who marrie (1)________ and whose children were Dennis, Ralph, Hubert, and Elma, and (2) Lora Swearngin; Millie, who married Newton McGinnis; Ella Virgie, who married John William Miller in 1854 and whose children are Robert O., Glen Earl, Madge A., and Russell O., Alma, who married (1) Dave Holbrook and (2) Thomas Swearngin; Margaret, who married Owen Hopkins and has two sons, Homer and Robert.

I am working on more current information. I am the gggg grandson of James (Black Jim) Warnock. My grandmother was Hattie "Esque" Warnock of Boyd County, Kentucky. My g-grandfather was Robert Matthew Warnock of Greenup, Kentucky.


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