Thursday, April 29, 2021

James L. Boggs 1752-1835

On one of our drives with Dad and Mom recently, we made a great find. Dad wanted to find the grave of his great, great, great grandfather and amazingly, we found it! 

James L. Boggs was born in 1752 and died in 1835. He was born in Virginia, married and had nine children. After his wife died, he moved to Lawrence County, Kentucky in the 1820s and married a widow. We come from Robert Boggs, his son.

This is the order of our anscestors. James L. Boggs, Robert Boggs, William Frank Boggs, Albert Boggs, Martin Boggs, Eugene Boggs and then me and my siblings.

For many years, descendants from James L. Boggs children with his first wife thought that the two sons that he raised with his second wife were not his sons. However, the DNA confirmed it several years ago. We are descended from James L. Boggs. 

Dad had never been to this grave and only vaguely knew about the location. Looking it up, got us to the right little town and I found a YouTube video of the cemetery posted a week before, but with no directions or location information.

There is not a fixed name on the cemetery either. It goes by Holbrook Lynn, Lynn Holbrook, Gamble Rice and maybe other names. If you are not from Kentucky, you need to understand that these mountains are full of family cemeteries and they are hidden around every bend in the road and on every mountain, it seems.

From several sources, we knew to look near Martha, Kentucky. There is a store there called Ralph Ferguson's Store. We drove to the crossroads, pulled up to the store, went inside, introduced ourselves and told the man what we were looking for. They were not sure of the name of the cemetery or the specific grave we were looking for, but directed us to where they thought it was.

The picture below has the store in Martha, Kentucky marked. Two-tenths of a mile east on 32 there was a small place to pull off the road on the opposite side. 

This is a picture taken from the place I parked. There is a brick house across the street with a driveway toward the store.

This picture was taken from the front of the Jeep. After about 30 feet, the ATV trail was more clear and with much less vegetation in the way. You could drive up on an ATV and probably a 4WD that you did not mind to scratch up, but we walked it.

It was straight uphill at least 100+ yards. The trail takes a sharp 90, but the cemetery is straight ahead. The trail that turns goes around the ridge to another cemetery. 

It is amazing the Dad made it up the hill. It may be even more amazing that I made it up the hill. We took it very slowly, breathed deeply and took lots of breaks!

The cemetery is along the ridge and there are visible old gravestones for a few hundred feet.

Look closely at the picture below. Yes, that is a deer stand in the middle of the cemetery.

Some descendants of James L. Boggs replaced his stone in 1993. His original stone is in front of it.

This is not the steepest part of the trail and it is hard to capture how steep it really was.

It was a pretty exciting day.

Thank you for coming with us.



  1. you know that with all the boggs familys that live in that area, you would think it would be taken better care of, cleaned up a little bit.

    1. 1. Like many cemeteries in the mountains, it is private property, I am sure.
      2. It is very difficult to access, straight up a hill and quite a ways.
      3. Our branch of the Boggs family did not know where it was. A few had been there at one point, years back, but did not get there on their own.
      Someone did replace the stone several years ago and I am sure that was a monumental task, pun intended.


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