KY Heritage


An original photo of the current farmhouse, which still stands. It was built in 1875.

I am very proud of my Kentucky roots and my blog aims to highlight the many things that make our Commonwealth so special. As I said in my about page, the Commonwealth of Kentucky is more than just a state to me – it is a heritage. I was raised on the family farm, Phelps Acres, in Jamestown, Kentucky; it was homesteaded in 1798. From being named as the Kentucky Farm Family, to the production of hybrid seed corn, an Appalachian literacy advocate, a long line of educators, business owners, and devoted public servants – my family has always been classified as “movers and shakers”. It is my aspiration to keep that legacy going.

Below I am including excerpts of my family history as it was written by my late great-great-uncle, Dr. M.D. Phelps, Jr.

“John Phelps was the name of our Revolutionary War ancestor. He was born around 1730 in Goochland (later, Albermarle) County, Virginia. He was at Boonesborough with Daniel Boone and did his Revolutionary War service as Defender of the Fort.

Shadrach Phelps, born Feb. 3, 1775, was still at Boonesborough with Daniel Boone in 1795. We know this because in December of that year, he witnessed a deed for 409 acres of land in Madison County. His father, John, died some time before 1798, which was when his will was accepted for probate in Madison County court.

Shadrach was married by Rev. Thomas I. Chilton on December 8th, 1796 to Celia Stapp. They settled in what is now Russell County, Kentucky in 1798. They built their first log cabin a few feet from an excellent boiling spring, which has been tapped and still furnishes pure drinking water, over two hundred years later.

Now known as “Phelps Acres”, the “Farm on Greasy Creek” was originally in Greene (later, Green) County, then later in Adair County when Adair was formed from Green in 1801. It has been a part of Russell County since 1825, when Russell was cut from Adair, Cumberland, and Wayne Counties. Phelps Acres is in the Esto Community.”


The farmhouse, as it appears today. Photo via Nancy Smith, Columbia Magazine.


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