Amanda M. Lancaster: Lexington to Lexington


A picture of Amanda M. Lancaster
Image 1 – Photo of Amanda M. Lancaster, ca. 1888

My second great-grandmother, Amanda M. Lancaster (see Image 1)[1], began and ended her life north of Lexington. However, these two life events did not happen in the same states. She was born in Owen County, Kentucky, sometime in May 1828[2] to James Lancaster (1805-1875) and Ann Nelson (1808-1891). She was the oldest of their eleven known children.[3]

Although Amanda was likely born in Owen County, the 1840 U.S. census records her family living in Scott County[4] where she spent her childhood growing up about 30 miles north of Lexington, Kentucky. One might assume that the family had moved from their original home to another location. However, it was the boundary between Owen and Scott counties that had shifted. Today, this area of Kentucky is commonly referred to as the Bluegrass Region (see Image 2).[5]

A map showing physiographic regions of Kentucky.
Image 2 – Regions of Kentucky

Kentucky childhood

Records show that her father’s family settled in the northern portion of the Inner Bluegrass Region as early as 1800.[6] The area has been described as a “picturesque part of northern Scott County”[7] where small creeks that begin in the area’s rolling hills drain into Ray’s Fork Creek and then into the much larger Eagle Creek.[8] Several census records indicate that Amanda’s extended Lancaster family lived in the same area. As such, it’s likely that her family home could have looked very similar to that of her father’s brother Jonathan Lancaster (see Image 3) who lived nearby.[9]

Photo of a house with trees and narrow road.
Image 3 – Johnathan Lancaster house in Scott County, Kentucky.

Like the house shown above, her home might also have been a two-story structure with floors made of ash and poplar and stone chimneys on its ends.[10]

Life with William

When Amanda was fifteen years old, she married William T. Hughes (1821-1875) on 20 December 1843 in Scott County.[11] [AUTHOR’S NOTE: I was born on this same date 108 years after my 2nd great-grandparents were married.] Although I don’t know exactly how and when the young couple met, I do know their two families lived near each other. Two entries in the Owen County Court Order records support this statement. On 09 July 1827, John Guill proposed building a road “from the Mountain Island road … toward Cincinnati near James Lancaster’s.”[12] In September of the same year, surveyors who had been appointed to lay out the road reported that it would be for both public and private use and was to “run through the lands of John White, Gideon Woods, John Davis and Nathan Hughes.”[13] Nathan was William’s father which places the land that belonged to both families in proximity to each other.

William and Amanda spent the first twenty-five years of their marriage living and farming in the same area surrounded by both the Hughes and Lancaster families. During those years, their family of four daughters (Mary Ann, Susan E, Elizabeth J, and Dora) and six sons (Evan Davis, John Andrew, Reuben L, Jedediah Foster, Lewis Lancaster, and Samuel Pence[14]) were born.

Sometime after the Civil War, William and Amanda unexpectedly moved their family from Kentucky to Missouri. The 1870 census recorded the family as renting a farm outside Jefferson City, in Marion Township, Cole County, Missouri.[15] The reason for this unexpected departure is unknown. Typically, as free or cheap land became available, families would migrate together in groups that genealogist, Elizabeth Shown Mills, refers to as FAN (Friends, Associates, Neighbors) clubs.[16] However, analysis of the family’s known residences in both the 1860 and 1870 census records has revealed no obvious FAN connections and requires additional research.

Eventful 1870s

While living in Missouri, several events changed Amanda’s life dramatically. During this time, another daughter was born. Later records indicate that this last known child, appropriately named Missouri Ellen Hughes, was born about 1871.[17]

Sadly, sometime between 1871 and 1876, William must have died suddenly leaving Amanda a widow with at least seven of her younger children to support. This estimated timeframe for William’s death is based on the 1871 birth of their last child (Missouri Ellen) and on a deed that was recorded in Moniteau County, Missouri in 1876.[18] On the deed, Amanda appeared as the wife of her second husband and noted the sale of 120 acres “between Joshua Gouge and his wife Amanda M…” to Evan D. Hughes, her son.[19] A Commissioner’s Deed[20] recorded in Owen County, Kentucky, lends support to the 1871-1876 estimated timeframe for William’s death. This deed conveyed property “on behalf of the heirs of William Hughes dec’d,” and was recorded 20 November 1877.[21]

How did Amanda meet Joshua? Well… in 1872, her daughter, Mary Ann Hughes, married Joshua’s son, Julius Gouge in Moniteau County[22] and they became in-laws.

Before the end of the decade, Amanda’s life would change dramatically again. Joshua and Amanda’s large and blended families all had moved to Collin County, Texas by 1880. The census record from that year recorded three separate Gouge families that were all living next to each other (Dwelling nos. 136,[23] 137,[24] and 138[25]). All members of the three households were either Joshua’s or Amanda’s children, stepchildren, or grandchildren.

North of Lexington, again

By 1890, Amanda would have been about sixty-two years old. By this point in her life, she had married twice and had moved the family two times to two different states. So, you might think that Amanda would look forward to staying where she was and not ever move again. Nope. Not her.

About 1890, Amanda once again found herself widowed and on the move. Together, she and six of her children along with their families relocated to the young and booming Oklahoma Territory. In November 1893, Amanda purchased 80 acres (see image 4) located a few miles northeast of Lexington, Cleveland County, O.T.[26]

A digital image of an 1893 land certificate showing Amanda Gouge purchased 80 acres in Cleveland County, Oklahoma Territory.
Image 4 – Amanda’s 1893 federal land certificate

Although this move took her to new territory, Amanda had chosen to settle once again near Lexington. Perhaps, by settling near this young Territory’s first established town,[27] Amanda felt like she was returning to her Kentucky roots. After all, this Lexington had been founded and named by pioneer entrepreneurs who had come from Kentucky.[28]

Amanda spent the rest of her life there. A 1905 news item in the Lexington Leader described a gathering of all nine of her living children and their families at her home to celebrate her seventy-seventh birthday.[29] I haven’t been able to establish exactly when or where Amanda died. However, the last record I have found is her signature as a witness[30] to her daughter Missouri Ellen’s marriage in 1907. Because she does not appear in the 1910 census, it’s likely that she died sometime between the date of her daughter’s marriage (11 February 1907) and April 1910.

Recently, I discovered that Amanda’s move to Oklahoma Territory qualified her as a nominee for inclusion in the Pioneers of Cleveland County, O. T. Registry. In writing this story, I’ve started the process of collecting the documents needed to prove that she resided in the county between 1889 and 1907. By adding Amanda M. Lancaster’s name to this registry, I hope to honor this pioneer woman’s life that began and ended north of two Lexingtons.

[1] Amanda M. Lancaster, photograph, ca. late 1880s; digital image ca. 2018, privately held by Nina Clark Smith, [Address for Private Use], Conway, Arkansas. The current owner inherited this original 4″ x 4” photo from Daisy Mae Hughes Clark (1906-1986), her mother, in 1986. The photo is somewhat worn and faded, but in reasonably good condition.

[2] “1900 U.S. Census,” database with images, ( : accessed 22 Sep 2020), image #23 of 34, entry for Amanda Hughs [Hughes] (age 72), District: 0028, p. 12, Lexington, Cleveland County, Oklahoma Territory; citing FHL microfilm: 1241336 and “NARA microfilm publication T623.

[3] Scott County (Kentucky) Will Book, Vol R-S, 1874-1896, Will of James Lancaster, 19 December 1853; “Kentucky, Wills and Probate Records, 1774-1989,” digital images, ( : accessed 22 September 2020); the James Lancaster entry is found in vol R, p 186-187; image #125-126 of 555.

[4] 1840 U.S. census, Scott County, Kentucky, no township, p. 75, (no stamp), line 29, for James Lancaster; online image, ( : accessed 22 September 2020); image #61 of 118; citing both NARA microfilm roll: M704, roll 123 and FHL film: 0007832.

[5] Lamontacranston at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by byankno1 ( : downloaded 23 September 2020), “Regions of Kentucky”; Public Domain.

[6] Kentucky, Tax Lists, 1799-1801, 1800 entry for Reuben Lancaster; “Second Census” of Kentucky, online image, ( : accessed 23 September 2020), image #182 of 348.

[7] Ann Bolton Bevins, A History of Scott County: As Told by Selected Buildings. (Georgetown, Kentucky: Creative Grafiks, Fourth Printing, 2005) p. 54.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Scott County, Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954, William Hughes-Amanda M Lancaster, 20 December 1843; online image, “Marriage Records, 1837-1953,” ( : accessed 23 September 2020) citing “Scott County; FHL microfilm 005685959, image #45 of 383.

[12] Owen County (Kentucky), Order Books, Vols. A-D, 1819-1845, p. 231, Proposed Road from Mountain Island, 09 July 1827; online image, ( : accessed 23 September 2020) citing “Owen County Order books; FHL microfilm 007646969, image #123 of 750.

[13] Ibid., p. 237; image #126 of 750.

[14] Samuel Pence Hughes is the author’s great-grandfather.

[15] 1870 U.S. census, Cole County, Missouri, population schedule, Marion Township, p. 291, (stamped), dwelling 73, family 73, William and Amanda Hughs [Hughes]; online image, ( : accessed 22 September 2020); image #11 of 28; citing both NARA microfilm roll: M593_771 and FHL film: 552270.

[16] FamilySearch Wiki contributors, “Elizabeth Shown Mills,” FamilySearch Wiki, rev 02 June 2020, 09:09 UTC, ( : accessed 22 September 2020).

[17] Cleveland County, Oklahoma, County Marriage Records, 1890-1995, Henry Anthony-Missouri E. Hughes, 11 February 1907; online image, ( : accessed 23 September 2020); citing “Cleveland County, 1904-1912, p. 57, image #67 of 712.”

[18] “Deed records, 1845-1895; indexes to deed records, 1845-1912,” images, ( : accessed 23 September 2020), Joshua Gouge and Amanda M. Gouge to Evan D. Hughes, deed, vol. V, p. 425; citing “Moniteau County, Missouri, Deed records, v. V-W, 1877-1881, FHL microfilm 008483728, image #223 of 651.”

[19] Ibid.

[20] “Commissioner’s Deeds, 1877-1930,” online images, ( : accessed 30 September 2020), William Hammond v. Amanda Hughes, commissioner’s deed, vol. A, p. 11; citing “Owen County, Kentucky, Clerk of the County Court, Commissioner’s deeds, v. A-D, 1877-1930,” FHL microfilm 008577521, image #49 of 1326.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Moniteau County, Missouri, Marriage Records, 1805-2002, Julius Gouge-Mary A. Hughes, 01 August 1872; online image, ( : accessed 23 September 2020) citing “Record images for Moniteau, 1855-1887”; p. 309, image #168 of 541.

[23] 1880 U.S. census, Collin County, Texas, population schedule, Precinct 1, enumeration district (ED) 019, p. 76C (stamped), dwelling 136, family 150-151, Joshua Gouge and Hughes; online image, ( : accessed 23 September 2020); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, image #19 of 30.

[24] 1880 U.S. census, Collin County, Texas, population schedule, Precinct 1, enumeration district (ED) 019, p. 76C (stamped), dwelling 137, family 152, Julius Gouge; online image, ( : accessed 23 September 2020); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, image #19 of 30.

[25] 1880 U.S. census, Collin County, Texas, population schedule, Precinct 1, enumeration district (ED) 019, p. 76C (stamped), dwelling 138, family 153, James Gouge; online image, ( : accessed 23 September 2020); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, image #19 of 30.

[26] Bureau of Land Management, “Land Patent Search: Patent Image,” image, General Land Office Records ( : accessed 21 July 2020), Amanda Gouge (Cleveland County, Oklahoma), certificate no. 831.

[27] “Lexington,” article, (,center%20of%20southern%20Cleveland%20County : accessed 30 September 2020), para. 3.

[28] Larry O’Dell, “Lexington,” at Oklahoma Historical Society ( : accessed 23 September 2020), “The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture.”

[29] “Family Reunion,” Lexington(Oklahoma) Leader, 07 July 1905, p. 1, col. 4; image copy, The Gateway to Oklahoma History ( : accessed 23 September 2020).

[30] Cleveland Co., Okla., County Marriage Records, 1890-1995, Anthony-Hughes, 1907.