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         PETER HELMS
                         m. LEAH SHOULTS ( ? - bef. 1840)
 Born  c. 1767  Franklin County, VA.(?) .
 Married  5 October 1792  Rowan County, NC.  Marriage Bond
 Died  18 April 1844  Montgomery County, KY. .

 (unknown)  (GIRL)  1794-1800  NC/KY ?
 (known)  JOHN  19 May 1799  Montgomery County, KY
.  ANDREW  c. 1802  Montgomery County, KY
.  THOMAS   26 Feb 1805  Montgomery County, KY

This is the history of my great-great-great grandfather, PETER HELMS. He   may have been the son of JACOB HELM of Franklin County, VA and   maybe the grandson of MOSES HELM of Bedford County, VA. (1) According to a copy of a Bible record, at his death, he was 77 years old in 1844. This would place his birth between 1766 and 1768. 
(1) Early (1981) correspondence with Samuel K. Helms, Calloway, VA indicated a family of 4 sons:  Adam, Peter, Thomas and Jacob Helms had been part of his family history.  He "knew" that these children were grandchildren of Moses Helm.  There has been no absolute proof of these statements and the name "Peter" is not common in the Virginia Helms families. No printed data on Peter prior to my investigations was available.  Mr. Helm had come up with that name independently.  The question arises, "How did he come up with the name, Peter, in this family?"  Is this a legitimate "family legend"?  He also is convinced that a Jacob Helm fathered the 4 sons by a second wife.  Again there is no primary proof of his theory.  A deed exists which proves that a Jacob Helm did have land in Back Creek, Botetourt County, VA in 1778. (Virginia State Land Office Surveys upon which Grants Issued, LDS film # 7118, pt. 3, p. 490 and in Botetourt County, VA, DB 3, p. 117-9).

One family tradition says he was orphaned young and was sent to live with "relatives"....probably the Jacob Prillamans who had land in the Blackwater River area of western Virginia.(2)  Jacob is believed to have married a Walburga Helm, sister of Elizabeth Helm who married John Snidow.(3) This supposition is supported by the first record of Peter Helms: Peter, Jacob and John Prillaman witnessed the will of Jacob Hickman in Franklin County, VA in February 1789.(4) It is of interest that Peter Helms signed his name completely, not just an "X", so it is obvious that he had some education.(5)

(2) Correspondence with Samuel Helm  c. 1982
(3) Rogers, Ellen Stanley & Miller, Norris Prillaman. "The Prillaman Family", private publishing, 1980.  p. 5-6.
(4) Franklin County, VA WB #1 1786-1812, p. 37.  Witnessing a will would indicate that Peter Helms was at least 21 years old.  This would support his birth date as c. 1767.  Name signed:  "Peter Helm"
(5) This is particularly significant when Peter goes to North Carolina and takes up residence beside one "John Helm", who cannot write or sign his name on deeds.  Question:  Were they really from the same family?  How do you explain the difference in education?

Peter migrated to North Carolina prior to October 5, 1792 when he married Leah Shoults (sic).(6)   Surely he had been in the area for some time previous to the marriage, time to court and win her hand!  Leah's parents are unknown.(7)  William Bedenhamer was the bondsman and Jno. Monro (sic) the witness for the Marriage Bond. Peter Helms went to the extra trouble of obtaining a bond promising to marry Leah and thus legally register and obtain a license for that marriage. (8)

(6) Rowan County, NC, Marriage Book 21, p. 430.
(7)As will be discussed later, Peter Helms was associated with John Helm in the Rowan County, NC area.  John Helm was married by a Dunkard minister and indications are that his wife was also a Dunkard.  A small group of Dunkard's migrated to Montgomery County, KY about the same time as Leah Shoults and Peter Helms.  Among this group was a Peter Shulse (Schultz) who may have been a relation to Leah.  Further research into this connection should be done.  Bethany Theological Seminary in Oak Brook, IL and the Brethren Press, Elgin IL would be sources to start investigations.
(8)Brawley, James S. "The Rowan Story 1753-1953":  Rowan Printing Company, Salisbury, NC. 1953. p. 58.  There is a Brethern List on the internet that is now quite active as Dunkard is an offshoot of Brethern.

There are some good circumstantial data that Peter may have had some family connections in Rowan County. John Helm, a Revolutionary soldier from Botetourt County, VA had settled in Rowan as early as 1782/3.(9)   By 1794, Peter was witnesses to a deed for John's land which was described as adjoining Peter's land.(10)   Peter's deed for 100 acres of land, purchased from Elijah Merrell on both sides of Garren Creek was witnessed by John in 1794.(11) Peter soon sold this land and another parcel, of which there is no purchase record.(12)   Additional ties between Peter and John occurred when John named a son "Peter" in 1796 and Peter named his eldest son "John" in 1799.(13)

(9) John Helms, Revolutionary Pension Packet # W.3811  John named his father as "Jacob Helm" and said that he had gone as a substitute for his father.  Again, S.K. Helm, has indicated a "family tradition" with a letter from a "lost correspondent" that tells the story of a lame father who married two times, died while helping relatives build a house and a son who went to war for his father and returned to find only his step-mother alive.  His half-siblings had been sent to live with relatives and he returned to North Carolina.  Unfortunately, there is no primary proof of this story.  In truth, it has grown a bit, as more pieces of data were collected, but there are some strong coincidences.
(10) Rowan County, NC  DB 13, p. 790-1
(11) Rowan County, NC  DB 13, p. 804-5.
(12) Rowan County, NC  DB 14, p.86-7 & p. 644-5.
(13) Again, I must point out that "Peter" was not a common name for Virginia Helmses, but was found in two Pennsylvania Helms families of German extraction and associated with the New Jersey Swedish Helms line.

 After selling his North Carolina land in August 1795, Peter and Leah traveled to Kentucky. Peter was listed on the first tax roll of the newly formed Montgomery County in 1797.(14)  He had no land at that time, but owned 3 horses. From 1797 until the time of his death in 1844, Peter was found on the Montgomery County tax rolls.(15)

(14) Montgomery County, KY Tax Roll, Bk 1, p. 21.
(15) Montgomery County, KY  Tax Rolls.  Department of Libraries & Archives, Public Records Division. Frankfort, KY

 Perhaps no state in the union has suffered more than Kentucky from land litigations. The laws of Virginia for the appropriation of lands were the greatest curse that ever befell Kentucky. Sometimes as many as five or six patents concerned the same piece of land and the occupant, besides the title under which he entered, frequently had to purchase the land two or three more times or lose his home and land.(16)

(16) Collins, "History of Kentucky".  V. II, p. 633.

Deed Book 1 of Montgomery County is lost, but an extant Grantee Index indicates that Peter had purchased some land prior to 1803. Peter was taxed on 128 acres of land on Slate Creek from 1800 until 1819.(17) This land was described as being part of Jacob Myers' patent. An 1804 deed recorded that Peter purchased 60 acres on Slate Creek, part of Jacob Myers' patent, from Zebulan and Caty Brinson and added to that parcel in 1806 with a 50 acre purchase from John and Sabai (sic) Melroy.(18)  The tax rolls show that Peter's estate grew from 128 acres in 1800, to 186 acres in 1805, to 236 acres in 1807. His total acreage remained at 236-225 until 1818. So it would seem that each of these deeds described a new parcel of land.

(17) Montgomery County, KY, Tax Rolls 1800-1819.
(18) Montgomery County, KY  DB 8, p. 238-9 & DB 9, p. 359.

However, in 1813, Peter purchased from Martin Quay 185 acres on main Slate Creek for $400.(19)  This may be a re-purchase of land since his taxable acreage stayed at 225-8 until 1817 when he purchased 200 acres on Spencer Creek for $4000 from Joseph & Elizabeth Young.(20)  The inflated price of this last purchase must surely indicate the prosperity of the area.

(19) Montgomery County, KY , DB 6, p. 389-90.
(20) Montgomery County, KY, DB 8, p. 238-9.

 Three years later he picked up 100 acres on Anderson's Fork of Small Mountain Creek for $2000 from Samuel and Annis Hadden.(21)  In that same year, 1820, Peter bought interest in 60 acres from the Morgan Station Tract, the old Jacob Myers patent, from Harry Farain(22)  and sold 10 acres on Slate Creek to Isaac Evans for $30.(23)  The deed with Harry Farain makes reference to "Peter Helms Survey", but I have been unable to trace the survey. The largest tract of land, 200 acres on Spencer Creek, was Peter's primary residence for the rest of his life.

(21) Montgomery County, KY  DB 9, p. 359.
(22) Montgomery County, KY  DB 9, p. 397-8.
(23) Montgomery County, KY  DB 9, p. 402.

Peter sold the Slate Creek land in 4 parcels of 160 acres, 60 acres, 10 acres and 40 acres to Abihu Anderson in 1820 for $2000.(24)  Leah, his wife, released her dower rights to the property.

(24) Montgomery County, KY  DB 9, p. 404-5.

The tax rolls of Montgomery County are helpful in tracing Peter's land acquisitions and sales. His movements are reflected in them year by year, as is his growing wealth. His assessed valuation rose from $2940 on 288 acres in 1814 to a high of $17,520 in 1838.(25)

(25) Montgomery County, KY  Tax Rolls.  Frankfort, KY.

 Both census and tax records show that Peter Helms was a slave holder. He owned a maximum of 17 in 1837. He had 40 cows valued at $350 and 13 horses worth $390 in 1840.(26)  Peter was among the most prosperous farmers in the county, according to the tax rolls.

(26) Montgomery County, KY  Tax Rolls.  Frankfort, KY.

 The location of Montgomery County and its county seat of Mt. Sterling, where the Bluegrass Region meets the mountains, combined with good dirt roads and turnpikes to make the area a lively trading center in Eastern Kentucky. "Court Day", the third Monday each month became the commercial, legal and social focus of the county when one and all would come into town to conduct their business.(27)  Montgomery County is particularly noted for its fine saddle horses, trotters, mules, hound dogs and sour mash whiskey, so it is easy to imagine the lively exciting times when our ancestors came into town those Mondays.

(27) Montgomery County Kentucky Bicentennial Committee, "Montgomery County Kentucky Bicentennial".  p. 109-13.

 Peter played an important part for Court Days between 1827 and 1830 when he served as Sheriff for the county. This was one of the more important jobs in frontier government and was usually filled by an influential and respected man in the area. His sons John and Andrew and Thomas' father-in-law, John Hally, assisted as deputies.(28)

(28) Montgomery County, KY  DB 13, p. 162-3, p. 252.

Peter was a member of the Old Spencer Creek Church organized in the year 1796 with ministers of the Baptist persuasion. Brother John "Racoon" Smith came to the church around 1827 and soon followed the teachings of Alexander Campbell, preaching the doctrine of the reformation and became even more strongly Baptist. This caused a split in the church all over Kentucky. The Spencer Creek Church and Peter stayed with Brother Smith and reformation.(29)  Two of Peter's children and at least one grandchild were married by Smith(30)  and Peter was a member from 1828 until he was "excluded" in November 1841.

(29) MSS "Abstract from Original Session Book of Old Spencer Creek Church 1825".  Mt. Sterling, KY, Public Library, Genealogy Room.
(30) Boyd, Hazel Mason.  "Some Marriages in Montgomery County, KY". p.4, 48, 49.

 Peter and Leah Helms had four known children, a daughter (name unknown), John, Andrew and Thomas Helms. We do not know the name of the daughter who may be the eldest. She was born between 1794-1800, probably in North Carolina(31)  and married an Anderson before 1819.(32)  They had two children who lived to maturity: Peter Helms Anderson and James H. (Helms?) Anderson.

(31) 1810 Census for Montgomery County, KY, p.364.
(32) Boyd.  Op Cite.  p. 4.  Peter Helms Anderson was her son and his birth date was given as 1819 on a tombstone in the Machpelah Cemetery in Montgomery County, KY.

John Helms was the eldest surviving son of Peter. He was born in Montgomery County on the 19th of May 1799 and married Larue Caldwell, 25 June 1821 in Bath County, Kentucky. She was the daughter of Walter Caldwell and Mary (Polly) Breckenridge.(33)

(33) Caldwell Bible, published by Kentucky Pioneers, Kentucky Daughters of Colonial Wars, 1941-50.

Andrew, their second son, was born around 1802 and married Malinda Wyatt, daughter of Francis Wyatt on 3 May 1821 in Montgomery County.(34)

(34) Boyd.  Op Cite.  p. 49

The youngest son of Peter and Leah, Thomas, was born 26 February in 1805 and married first Mary (Polly) Hawley/Halley, daughter of John Halley and Nancy Douglass.(35)  His second marriage was with Amanda Ricketts on 12 April 1841.(36)  She was the daughter of Thomas Ricketts and Polly Mitchell.

(35) Mack, Ann H.  The Virginia Genealogist.  "Hawley/Halley in Seventeenth Century Virginia, The Fifth Generation, John Halley of Bedford."  V. 29, p. 21-28.
(36) Boyd.  Op Cite.  p. 49.

 Peter's family was very close, his sons John and Andrew did not have their own farms immediately after marriage as most of the other young men did. John is first charged with 100 acres on Spencer Creek in 1830, nine years after his marriage.(37)  Peter and Leah sold John 100 acres on Anderson's Fork of Small Mountain Creek for $1.00 in September 1835.(38)  John and his wife Larue promptly sold this tract to Samuel D. Everett for $25 per acre(39)  and moved to Lewis County, Missouri(40)  and then on to Ralls County, Missouri.(41)  Peter only split his holdings to give John his patrimony when John planned to leave Kentucky.

(37) Montgomery County, KY, Tax Rolls.
(38)  Montgomery County, KY  DB 17, p. 125-6.
(39) Montgomery County, KY  DB 17, p. 126-7.
(40) "History of Lewis County", p. 162.
(41) Ralls County, MO, DB C, p. 247 (1936).

Andrew Helms purchased some land on the Lulbyand(?) and Hinkston Creeks from the Duree heirs.(42)  Peter, in turn, bought this land from Andrew in 1831 for $10 per acre(43)  and sold it to George Black the same year.(44)  There are no more records for Andrew in Montgomery: no deeds or no tax records.

(42) Montgomery County, KY, DB 15, p. 130-2.
(43) Montgomery County, KY, DB 15, p. 436-7.
(44) Montgomery County, KY, DB 15, p. 376-7.

 Thomas, alone, purchased land when he was married and is listed on the 1829 tax rolls as holding 59 acres on Busch Creek.(45)

(45) Montgomery County, KY Tax Rolls.

 By 1839 Peter and Leah had only one son living in Montgomery County - John was listed as a property owner in Ralls County, MO and Andrew had died.(46)  Their daughter Anderson was probably dead also, since there were two boys living with Peter in the 1830 and 1840 census who matched the Andersons' ages.(47)  Leah died between February 1838, when she released her dower rights on a deed,(48)  and the 1840 census.

(46) Kentucky Gazetteer:  30 May 1839.  "Miss Leah Helms, dau. of late Andrew Helms".  Implies that Andrew's wife Malinda was dead also, since she was not mentioned.
(47) Montgomery County, KY, 1830 Census, p. 28; 1840 Census, p. 289.
(48) Montgomery County, KY, DB 18, p. 220-1.

In 1840 Peter and Thomas paid a joint tax bill under Thomas' name.(49)  The census that year placed Peter between 70 and 80 years old. Peter died on 18 April 1844 and according to a lost family Bible, was some 77 years old. The date of his death is supported by documents pertaining to his estate which were recorded in May 1844.

(49) Montgomery County, KY, Tax Rolls.

Peter died intestate. Thomas Helms was an administrator until his death in 1848. The court records have several references to Peter's estate beginning with the deed from Peter H. and Emily O. Anderson and James H. Anderson which sold their rights to the estate of "Peter Helms, Esq." to John Helms for $1000.(50)  The Andersons also relinquished their right to the estate's real and personal property to the infant children of Thomas Helms.(51)  No heirs of Andrew were mentioned in these records and it is assumed that his line has died out by this time.

(50) Montgomery County, KY, DB 21, p. 145.
(51) Montgomery County, KY  DB 21, p. 149.

 Josiah Anderson purchased an undivided interest in the estate lands of Peter Helms from John Helms,(52)  and paid Thomas Helms $500 for the choice of the division of those lands.(53)

(52) Montgomery County, KY  DB 21, p. 495-6.
(53) Montgomery County, KY  DB 21, p. 238.  Josiah Anderson sold this parcel of land in February 1850 to William T. Chenault.  The exact price cannot be determined, since two parcels were in the deed.  One containing 98 acres and 4 poles, conveyed by Thomas Helms to Josiah.  The other adjoining this tract containing 70 acres and 4 poles.  Total price was $8000.  Implied is another sale of land from Thomas Helms to William T. Chenault.  Montgomery County, KY DB 23, p. 402-3.  Recorded 20 May 1850.

 Lewis D. Wilson, administrator of the Peter Helms estate in 1849 (after the death of Thomas Helms), recorded a final settlement of $59.08.(54)  One final item is most curious - in Thomas Helms' estate administration there is an input listing " To Cash Collected of Peter Helms of Virginia: $100.00".(55)  Does this imply some connections, still, with Virginia, the home of Peter's ancestors? And might it be a clue to his true parentage?

(54) Montgomery County, KY  Record Book B, p. 101.
(55) Montgomery County, KY  Record Book B, p. 99-100.

1767 Birth, probably in Franklin County, VA area. Family records from a lost Bible gave death date and PETER'S age as 77 years. (AHM)
1789 Witnessed the will of Jacob Hickman in Franklin County, VA  (WB 1, p. 37)
c. 1790 PETER HELMS went to North Carolina  .
1792 Married LEAH SHOULTS (sic) in Rowan County, NC.  William Bedenhamer, bondsman & Jno. Monro (sic) witness. (Marriage Book 21,
p. 430)
1794 PETER HELM was witness to deed from Christian Sears to JOHN HELM in Rowan County, NC PETER HELMS wrote his own name. (DB 13, p. 736-7)
1794 PETER HELM was witness to deed from Elijah Merrell (Merrill?) to JOHN HELM on "PETER HELMS corner".  Rowan County, NC  (DB 13, p. 790-1)
1794 PETER HELM was witness to deed from Elijah Merrell to John Bradburn in Rowan County, NC  (DB 13, p. 803-4)
1794 PETER HELM purchased 100 acres of land from Elijah Merrell, part of a tract of a 640 acre grant. On the waters of Hury(?) on both sides of Garren Creek and adjacent to JOHN HELMS and Daniel Brown.  Price was £20. Rowan County, NC Witnessed by JOHN (X) HELMS & Daniel (X) Brown.  (DB 13, p. 804-5)
1795 PETER HELM sold 100 acres of land to John Embler on Croatland (?) Run of Calswan(?) for a price of £20.  Witnessed by Abraham (X) Frisby & Will Embler. Rowan County, NC  (DB 14, p. 86-7)
1795 PETER HELM sold 100 acres of land to William Wright on the waters of Mary (?) on both sides of Garrins Creek, part of 640 acre grant to Elijah Merrell, on a conditional line between PETER HELMS & JOHN HELMS. Price was £100. Rowan County, NC Witnessed by A. Parr & Solomon T. Goodman  (DB 14, p. 644-5)
1797 PETAR HELM first appeared on the Tax List for Montgomery County, KY.  He owned no land, but had three horses.  1797 was the first tax roll for the new county of Montgomery.  (Tax Lists, 1797, 
Bk 1, p. 21)
1800 PETER HELM was taxed on 128 acres of land on Slate Creek (Jacob Myers entry or patent). No deed for this transaction.  Grantee Index for DB 1, p.56 refers to this deed.  Montgomery County, KY
(Tax Lists, 1800, 
Bk 2, p. 11)
1804 PETER HELLMES bought 60 acres on Slate Creek from Zebulan and Caty Brinson for £5. Montgomery County, KY Witnessed by James Hughes, Ralph Morgan & James Howard.  (DB 3, p. 288-9)
1806 PETER HELMS bought 50 acres on Slate Creek from John and Sabai (sic) Melroy for 63 pounds. Part of a tract of 5000 acres granted to Jacob Myers and adjacent to Henry Livingston survey, PETER HELMS survey of 10 acres, Dick Holin, plus another of HELMS' lines. Montgomery County, KY Witnessed by: Fr. Triplett, D.C.  (DB 4, p. 56-7)
1810 Census record for PEATER HELMS: 3 males under 10 years of age (ANDREW, THOMAS and ?), 1 male 10-16 years (JOHN), 1 male 25-46 years (PETER), 1 female 10-16 years (GIRL), 1 female 25-46 years (LEAH) and 5 slaves. (Montgomery County, KY
Census, p. 364)
1813 PETER HELMS bought from Martin Quay and his wife 185 acres on main Slate Creek for $400. Part of 5000 acres granted to Jacob Myers, known as Morgan Station Tract. Adjacent to John Bartons' 1000 acres, Montgomery County, KY Witnessed by no one.  (DB 6, p. 389-90)
1817 PETER HELMS bought from Joseph & Elizabeth Young 200 acres on Spencer Creek for $4000. Adjacent to Nicholas Anderson, Robert Botts in Montgomery County, KY  No witnesses.  (DB 8, p. 238-9)
1820 Census record for PETER HELMS: 1 male 10-16 (THOMAS), 2 males 16-26 (ANDREW & JOHN), 1 male 45 & over (PETER), 1 female under 10 (?), 1 female 45 & over (LEAH) and 4 slaves.  (Montgomery County, KY
Census, p. 233) 
1820 PETER HELMS bought from Samuel & Annis Hadden 100 acres on Anderson's fork of Small Mountain Creek for $2000,adjacent to James Bradshaw's line in Montgomery County, KY  (DB 9, p. 359)
1820 PETER HELMS bought from Henry Farain (?) interest in 60 acres, part of Jacob Myers' 5000 acres, Morgan Station Tract, on waters of Slate Creek for $120. Interest found in deed to P. Farain from David Trimble, George Peterson & Joseph McMurtery. Tract adjacent to Henry Livingston's 110 acres, by another of HELMS' lines, by 10 acre survey for HELMS. Another tract is included.  Montgomery County, KY
(DB 9, p. 397-8)
1820 PETER HELMS sold to Isaac Evans 10 acres on Slate Creek for $30. Wife did release her dower, but was not named. Montgomery County, KY
(DB 9, p. 402)
1820 PETER HELMS sold to Abihu Anderson four parcels of land containing 270 acres for $2000. 1st: 160 acres on Slate Creek, 2nd: 60 acres, 3rd: 10 acres on Slate Creek and 4th: 40 acres on Slate by Henry Livingston's 110 acres. LEAH HELMS, wife, released her dower rights. Montgomery County, KY
(DB 9, p. 404-5)
1827 PETER HELMS, Sheriff, and ANDREW HELMS, B.F. Thomas, Jacob C. Butler, Aquilla Young, Edward Stockton and Joseph Nelson, Deputies, were bonded in the sum of $10,000 to collect taxes and duties of Montgomery County, KY also all penalties which shall be authorized  (DB 13, p. 162)
1827 Same as above, bonded for $4000 to collect county dues for Montgomery County, KY  Montgomery County, KY
(DB 13, p. 163)
1827 PETER HELMS, Sheriff, and ANDREW HELMS, JOHN HELMS, Edward Stockton, Jesse Daniel, Aquilla Young, JOHN HALLY, Thomas Connelly, Thomas Petitt, B.F. Thomas, James Means, John Tipton and G.W. Thomas, deputies were bonded for the sum of $4000 to collect Montgomery County, KY dues as levied at the last court of claims. (DB 13, p. 252)
1828 List of male members of Old Spencer Creek Church for 1828 includes the notation "PETER HELMS - excluded Nov. 1841". This seems to indicate that PETER joined in 1828 and then stopped in 1841.  (MSS: Abstract from
Original Session Book
of Old Spencer Creek
Church 1825, Mt. 
Sterling, KY Public 
Library, Genealogy 
1830 Census record for PETER HELMS: 1 male under 5 (?), 1 male 10-15 (?), 1 male 20-30 (ANDREW?), 1 male 60-70 (PETER), 1 female under 5 (?), 1 female 5-10 (?), 1 female 50-60 (LEAH) and 11 slaves. This record may show the Anderson boys living with their grandfather. (Montgomery County, KY
Census, p. 28)
1831 PETER HELMS and wife LEAH sold to George Black 100 acres on waters of Lulbegrand(?) & Hinkston being part of Edward Williams' preemption of 400 acres for $1850. Land formerly owned by Edward William and sold to ANDREW HELMS, adjacent to Nicholas Anderson. Dated 5 September 1831.  Montgomery County, KY
(DB 15, p. 376-7)
1831 PETER HELMS bought from ANDREW HELMS 100 acres on the Lul--- & Hinkston, as described above, for $10 per acre. Witnessed by Robert Dickey, JOHN HELMS and THOMAS HELMS. Dated 2 February 1831. but produced in court on 5 September 1831. Proven by the witnesses. Montgomery County, KY
(DB 15, p. 436-7)
1835 PETER HELMS and wife LEAH sold to JOHN HELMS, 100 acres on Anderson's Fork of Small Mountain Creek for $1. Land adjacent to James Bratshaws line.  Montgomery County, KY
(DB 17, p. 125-6)
1838 PETER HELMS and wife LEAH sold to George Black, a strip of land thirty feet wide, running along HELMS' line for $115. Land was on Spencer's Creek. Witnessed by James Howard.  Montgomery County, KY
(DB 18, p. 220-1)
pre 1839 ANDREW HELMS and his wife died prior to 1839 when their daughter, LEAH, was married in Lexington, KY.  (Kentucky Register,
V.37, p. 139)
pre 1840 LEAH SHOULTS HELMS dies. .
1840 Census record for THOMAS HELMS: 2 males under 5 (ANDREW & URIAH), 1 male 5-10 (THOMAS), 1 male 15-20 (? JAMES H. ANDERSON), 1 male 20-30 (? PETER HELM ANDERSON), 1 male 30-40 (THOMAS SR.), 1 male 70-80 (PETER HELMS), 1 female under 5 (NANCY), 1 female 5-10 (CAROLINE), 1 female 10-15 (LEAH, dau THOMAS) and 14 slaves.  (Montgomery County, KY
Census, p. 289)
1840 PETER HELMS doesn't pay Montgomery County, KY taxes for the first time since 1797. His land is merged with that of his son THOMAS HELMS. (1840 Tax List, p.13)
1841 PETER HELMS reappears on the Montgomery County, KY tax list. (1841 Tax List, p. 12) 
1844 PETER HELMS died 18 April 1844 according to a copy of a lost family Bible. (AHM)
1844 Dated 25 May 1844, PETER H. and wife EMILY O. ANDERSON and JAMES H. ANDERSON, of Montgomery County, KY, relinquish their interest in a tract of land which PETER HELMS, ESQ resided on at the time of his death to JOHN HELMS for $1000. Tract contained 200 acres, more or less, on the headwaters of Spencer's Creek. (DB 21, p. 145)
1844 Dated 27 May 1844, PETER H. and wife EMILY O. ANDERSON and JAMES H. ANDERSON, of Montgomery County, KY, relinquish their interest in the estate of PETER HELMS, Deceased, both real and personal, according to the expressed wishes of said PETER HELMS, for $1 and other "good and valuable considerations". This interest was relinquished to LEAH, CAROLINE, THOMAS, NANCY, ANDREW and URIAH HELMS, infant children of THOMAS HELMS.  (DB 21, p. 149)
1849 Settlement with Josiah Anderson, administrator for the estate of THOMAS HELMS, deceased, an item of credit "to cash collected of PETER HELMS of Virginia". Montgomery County, KY
(Record Book B,
p. 99-100)
1849 L.D. Wilson, administrator for PETER HELMS deceased produced a settlement in the court of Montgomery County, KY, as THOMAS HELMS, one of the heirs & distributors of said estate was also deceased. These were debts owed to the estate.  (Record Book B, p. 101)

___________ HELMS

m. _____________ ANDERSON

 Born  1794-1800  Rowan County, NC (?) .
 Married  by 1819  Bath/Montgomery County, KY (?) .
 Died  prior 1844  Bath/Montgomery County, KY (?) .

 PETER HELMS ANDERSON  1819  Bath County, KY
 JAMES H. ANDERSON  c. 1821-3  KY

Little is known for certain about Peter & Leah's daughter. These are the data that have been collected so far.

The daughter did exist because two children, Peter Helms and James H. (Helms?) Anderson relinquished their rights and undivided interest to Peter Helms' estate to John Helms for $1000 in 1844(56) and to the children of Thomas Helms at the same time.(57)  Peter H. Anderson and his wife Emily O. signed both deeds. Research shows one Peter Anderson married Emily O. Nelson prior to 1852 and secondly Peter Helms Anderson married Mrs. Mary Carpenter in 1861.(58)  Peter Helms Anderson was buried in Machpelah Cemetery, Mt. Sterling, KY.(59)

(56) Montgomery County, KY, DB 21, p. 144-5.
(57) Ibid, p. 149.
(58) Boyd, Hazel Mason.  Op Cite. P. 3.
(59) DAR, Kentucky Cemetery Records, Vol II, p. 89.  Other Andersons listed beside Peter H. (1819-1895) are:  John Jay Anderson (1819-1894), Ann Anderson (1833-94), A.H. Anderson (1833-1909), William N. Anderson (1845-1819) (son of Peter?), Alice G. Anderson (1850-1936), Charles W. Anderson (1874-1941), Fannie Jones Anderson (1876-1957) and James Anderson (1 Mar. 1847-19 Feb. 1879).  Additional checks should be made with Andersons still in Montgomery County, KY area for family records.

From these facts it can be concluded that there was indeed a daughter "Helms" who married an Anderson boy and that they had two children, one, Peter, whose middle name was Helms, as inscribed on his tombstone and a second, James, whose middle initial was H.  This may stand for Helms, but there is no proof.

The daughter Helms' birth date was derived from the 1810 census listing of Peter Helms' household: one female between 10-16. Her birth would have been between 1794 and 1800. Since John Helms was born in 1799, the girl, most likely, was born between 1794-1797 and was the eldest live child of the 1792 marriage of Peter and Leah. Following this line of reasoning, her birth was also placed in the North Carolina area, rather than in Kentucky.

The marriage of "daughter" Helms and Mr. Anderson would have taken place prior to 1819 when Peter Helms Anderson was born, according to his tombstone,(60)  thus the c. 1818 date. This marriage date is compatible with the Helms girl being born 1794-1797. James H. Anderson first appears on the Montgomery County tax rolls in 1845(61)  as the possessor of one gold watch and as a male of 21, therefore he could have been born in 1824, again a date compatible with the marriage date of his parents. Possession of a "gold watch" leads to speculation: Who gave him the watch? Grandfather Helms, Grandfather Anderson or his father?

(60) Ibid
(61)  Montgomery County, KY, Tax Rolls 1845, p. 1.

Determining Mr. Anderson's first name is a problem. There may be two possibilities for the name. Checking the names of the children of Peter H. Anderson on the 1850 census: Mary A., Joseph M., William, James and Leah are found. Joseph is the name of Emily O. Nelson's father. Leah is the name of Peter's grandmother and also of several nieces. Naming the children for grandparents was still popular in the early 1800s, therefore both "William" or "James" are possible names of the Anderson boy's father. Neither William nor James Anderson had a will probated in Montgomery County, KY before 1850.(62)  An investigation needs to be made of the Bath County Andersons.

(62) A discussion of possible parents can be made from the 1820 Census report for Montgomery County, KY.  Looking only at James & William Andersons who had a boy under 10, there are three possibilities:
     p. 237 James Anderson: 1 boy under 10, 1 male over 45, 1 girl under 10, 1 girl 10-16, 1 woman 16-26, 1 woman 45+ 
     p. 237 William Anderson: 2 boys under 10, 1 male 26-45, 1 girl under 10, 1 woman 26-45
     p. 281 William Anderson: 1 boy under 10, 1 male 26-45, 2 girls under 10, 1 woman 26-45
Obviously, there is no conclusion from the census records.  Some Anderson family researcher may have the answer.  Additional checks should be made on deeds bearing the Anderson name during this time period.  The two Anderson deeds concerning Peter Helms were made with Abihu in 1820 and Josiah in 1846.  Abihu was over 45 in 1820 and Josiah was 28 in 1850.  Neither seem promising.

One further lead rests in the 1830 census. Peter Helms had two boys listed in his household--1 under 5 and 1 10-16 year old. These would fit the ages of Peter and James Anderson, who could have been living with their grandparents because their parents had died. Again this is speculation and would require definite proof.

Peter Helms' original home was sold to Josiah Anderson in 1844 and Josiah acted as administrator for the estate of Thomas Helms: what is his connection with the Helms family? In Kentucky Biography Sketches, V 6, Josiah is listed as the 4th of 9 children of John Anderson and Mary Ramey Anderson.

PETER HELMS ANDERSON b. 1819 Bath County, KY(63)  d. 1895 Montgomery County, KY
       m. 1) EMILY O. NELSON (1822 - 1858) dau. Joseph & Polly Nelson(64) c. 1840
                      Montgomery County, KY
(63) State Historical Society, Frankfort KY. Montgomery County Vital Statistics.
(64) Ibid

Children as per 1850 census
 MARY A.   b. 1841 .
 JOSEPH M.  b. 1843 .
 WILLIAM (N.)   b. 1845  d. 1918 in KY
 JAMES (D.)  b. 1847   d. 1879 in KY(65)
 LEAH  b. 1849 .
(65) DAR Cemetery Records, Kentucky, V II.  Machpelah Cemetery, Mt. Sterling, p. 89.  James Anderson, b. 1 Mar. 1847 & d. 19 Feb 1879 is buried next to Peter Helms Anderson, 1819 - 1895.

m. 2) Mrs. MARY CARPENTER (b. 1833 in Mississippi)  18 May 1848 Montgomery County KY(66)

(66) State Historical Society, Frankfort KY.  Montgomery County Vital Statistics.

Child:  JAMES H. ANDERSON b. 1821-3 Montgomery County, KY  d. ?
           m. 1) LUCY A. YOUNG dau. ______ Young  18 May 1848 Montgomery County, KY


    m. LA RUE CALDWELL dau Walter & Mary Breckenridge Caldwell (12 Dec 1800 - 25 May 1879)

 Born  19 May 1799  Montgomery County, KY .
 Married  25 June 1821  Bath County, KY .
 Died  12 Oct 1870  Ralls County, MO .

 MARY B. HELMS  (1822 KY - pre 1870 MO) .
 ELIZABETH HELMS  (1824 KY - 1842 MO) .
 PETER CALDWELL HELMS  (1826 KY - 1901 MO) .
 MEKHELA C. HELMS  (1830 KY - aft 1901 MO) .
 ANDREW HELMS  (1833 KY - 1861 MO) .
 ROBERT B.C. HELMS  (1837 KY - twin?)  Bible entry
 only no 
other data
 JOHN R. HELMS  (1837 MO - aft 1901 MO?) .
 SANDI I. HELMS  (1841 MO - 1843 MO) .

John Helms was born 19 May 1799, presumably in Montgomery County, KY and married Larue Caldwell, 25 June 1821 in Bath County, KY.(67)  She was born 12 December 1800 in Bath County and was the daughter of Walter Caldwell (1777-1842) and Mary Breckenridge Caldwell (17? -1846).

(67) Family Bible owned by John Hellams, Published by H. & E. Finney, Cooperstown, NY 1831.  Present ownership  ?.  Data received from Miss Vivian Bostwick, 3507 E. Cypress St., Phoenix, AZ  85008.

Mary Breckenridge was the daughter of Robert and Mary Doak Breckenridge of Montgomery County, VA and Bath County, KY. Walter may have been the son of John Caldwell.(68)  The Walter Caldwells left Bath Co about 1827 and settled in New London, Ralls County, MO, where he was a major of the Militia and County Judge for a number of years.(69)

(68) Will of James Caldwell, proved Bath County, KY, May 1834, names children of my sister Elizabeth and children "of brother John Caldwell:  Harmon, WALTER and Mary Ann Caldwell."  Early Families of Montgomery County by Harry W. Mills, Washington D.C., Caldwell Family.  (Public Library at Mt. Sterling, KY).
(69) Fowler, Ila Earle. Pioneers & their Descendants, p. 25.

In Montgomery County John paid taxes every year from 1820 thru 1835, except 1821.(70)  That was the year he married LaRue in Bath County, so perhaps he was living in that county. They were back in Montgomery County by 1822 and apparently were using 100 acres of Peter Helms' land to farm and pay taxes on.(71)  In 1827 John was a deputy for his father the Sheriff. Then in 1829 John purchased 100 acres of land from a court ordered sale.(72) This land was sold immediately to the Durees who lived there.(73)  Peter sold John the 100 acres that he farmed in 1835 for $1.(74)  This was just before John and LaRue moved and was probably a part of John's inheritance, since the acreage was promptly sold for $25 per acre.(75)

(70) Montgomery County, KY  Tax Rolls (1820-1835).
(71) Ibid.
(72) Montgomery County, KY, DB 14.
(73) Ibid., p. 382-3.
(74) Montgomery County, KY  DB 17, p. 125-6.
(75) Ibid. p. 126-7.

John and LaRue left Montgomery County, KY some time after 1835 and removed to Missouri, first to Lewis County(76)  and then to Ralls County in 1836. There he purchased 189 acres in Section 24, Township 56 from James M. and Eliza B. Parks for $700.(77)  Additional purchases were made in Ralls in 1841: $50 for 30 acres in the same area,(78)  a quarter section plus 15 acres for $800(79)  and in 1851, 42 acres for $210 in Section 14 from the heirs of Asa Carrico.(80)

(76) Lewis County History, p. 162.
(77) Ralls County, MO, DB C, p. 247.
(78) Ralls County, MO, DB E, p. 85-6.
(79) Ralls County, MO, DB G, p. 519-20.
(80) Ralls County, MO, DB H, p. 90-1.

John was a southerner and as such owned 5 slaves on both the 1850 and 1860 census.(81)  His son Peter Caldwell Helms had 2 slaves in 1850 and 6 in 1860.(82)  Missouri was a border state and the Ralls County area was known as Little Dixie" since many of the settlers were from Kentucky and the south. This area suffered much bitterness between the two opposing points of view during the war. Missouri, indeed, had families split since the state supplied units to both the Union and Confederate armies. Uriah Helms, John's nephew, fought with a Missouri Confederate force while Walter C., his son, saw action with the 597th Regiment of the Union Army.

(81) Howard, Goldena Rowland.  Ralls County,  p. 65.
(82) Ibid.

The Reconstruction was particularly hard on the residents who had sympathized with the Southern cause. In fact there were few states that had as harsh laws following the war as Missouri. Over one-third of the pre-war voters were disenfranchised following the "Iron-Clad Oath" written into the 1865 state Constitution.(83)  John R. Helms was denied his vote in 1867 by being enrolled disloyal.(84)  No mention was made about his father, John's vote.

(83)  Howard.  p. 119 "No person could vote, hold public office, teach in any public or private school, practice law, preach the Gospel, solemnize a marriage or perform other ordinances if they had ever engaged in hostilities against the United States government, given aid, comfort, countenance or support to persons engaged in such hostilities or give money, goods, letters or other information to enemies of the United States or by act or word manifested adherence to the cause of such enemies or sympathy with those engaged in carrying on the rebellion; or had ever been in anywise(sic) connected with any society unfriendly to the government; or had ever knowingly harbored, aided or countenanced any person engaged in guerilla warfare, or had ever done any act to prevent being enrolled in the military services of the Union or State of Missouri."
(84) Ibid. p. 120

John and LaRue were listed as members of the New London Baptist Church but other Helmses were active in the Mt. Sterling Cumberland Presbyterian and Baptist Church of Jesus Christ at Bethel, MO. Again, John R. was "excluded" from the latter between 1840-1867. This congregation had almost one-half negro members and included several Helms' blacks.(85)

(85) Ibid, pp. 165,175,178.

By 1858 John and LaRue had planned their estate. They enacted a series of deeds selling their land to the children, but retaining "sole use, possession, occupancy and control of the premises" during their natural life.(86)  Earlier, in 1850, they had sold 185 acres to Peter C. after his marriage to his cousin, Leah.(87)  In later life, John and LaRue, lived on the northern property which they had sold to their grand-daughter, Elizabeth Briscoe.

(86) Ralls County, MO, DB N, p. 151-154.
(87) Ralls County, MO  DB G, p. 519-20.

Just what occurred: whether old age or some other cause, Peter C. and John R. Helms had the unpleasant task of asking the Probate Court to declare their father John a "person of unsound mind and incapable of managing his affairs" on the 16 of June 1870.(88)  John R. was appointed his guardian.(89)

(88) Ralls County, MO.  Probate Will Boxes #515 & 591 containing the original documents and papers pertaining to John Helms.  Personally viewed and copied in November 1981, in New London, MO.
(89) Ibid.

John Helms died testate soon after on 12 October 1870. Luckily, his will had been written 16 August 1841 and was proved and recorded 15 November 1870.(90)  His will provided for LaRue and all his children to have equal shares with the express understanding that his female heirs and not their husbands would control their legacy.(91)  LaRue and John R. were administrators for John's estate(92)  and oath was taken that Peter C. and John R., sons of John, Elizabeth R. Briscoe, granddaughter, and LaRue Helms, widow all of Ralls County, Micka(sic) Cox, dau. in Montgomery County, MO and Walter C. Helms, son in Lewis County, MO were his surviving heirs.(93)

(90) Ibid.
(91) Will of John Helms, Will Box 515, New London,Ralls County, MO.
(92) Probate boxes #515 & 591.
(93) Administrative Bond & Oath.  16 Nov 1870.

LaRue released all her right title & interest to her deceased son Andrew's estate in Lewis County and to her life estate (John's lands) in Ralls County to her children and grand-daughter on 11 June, 1871. They, in turn gave her all their interest to the money, bonds and notes and personal property of John Helms.(94)

(94) Probate boxes #515 & 591.  An attorney fee for these transactions was found in the boxes:
Insanity case...............
Guardian settlement...
Appraisal of estate......
Entering 6 deeds between parties.....

LaRue continued to live on at the family homestead. Her grand-daughter, Elizabeth Briscoe, and her husband, who had received the largest acreage share in the 1858 division, adjoined and worked that land. Bills from LaRue's doctor indicate that in May of 1879 she was living with the Briscoes when she suffered her last illness.(95)  Her will was written 31 December 1877 and probated 16 July 1879. All her children and Elizabeth Briscoe had equal shares after certain bequests. The personal property was appraised at $17.58, but a paper to Walter C. indicates that the sum of $100 cash was his full share of her estate.(96)

(95)Ralls County, MO  Probate box #545 for Larue Helms.  Personally viewed and copied in November 1981, New London, Ralls County, MO.
(96) Ibid.

1799 JOHN HELMS born in Montgomery County, KY.                                . .
1820 JOHN HELMS on Montgomery County, KY tax records for first time. Had 2 slaves and no acreage: total value $98. .
1827 JOHN HELMS bonded as a deputy of Sheriff Peter Helms in Montgomery County KY (db 13, p. 252)
1829 JOHN HELMS buys 100 acres of land for $81 from the estate of John Henderson and John Smith in a court ordered sale. Montgomery County, KY
(DB 14, p. )
1829 JOHN HELMS and LARUE sell to Samuel B. Duree a tract of 100 acres for $81 on the Lullagrid & Spencer Ck. Montgomery County, KY
(DB 14, p. 382-3)
1830 JOHN HELMS paid taxes on 100 acres of land, held 4 slaves, 3 horses and 15 cows: total value $2150.  .
1835 JOHN HELMS bought 100 acres of land on the Anderson Fork of Small Mountain Creek from his father PETER for $1. Montgomery County, KY
(DB 17, p. 125-6)
1835 JOHN HELMS and his wife LARUE sold 100 acres of land on Anderson Fork of Small Mountain Creek to Samuel D. Everet for $25 per acre.  Montgomery County KY
(DB 17, p. 126-7)
JOHN HELMS owned a piece of land in Lewis County, MO. Tsp. 60, range 8, section 10. .
1836 JOHN HELMS bought 109 acres and 80 acres from James M. and Eliza B. Parks in Ralls County, MO for $700. S 27, Tsp 56 R 5W & S 34, Tsp 56 R 5 Ralls County, MO
(DB C, p. 247)
1841 JOHN HELMS bought 30 acres from Oney Carstaphen in Ralls County, MO for $50. S 34, Tsp 56, R 5W  (DB E, p. 85-6) 
1844 JOHN HELMS bought undivided interest in the real & personal estate of PETER HELMS, Deceased from Peter H., Emily O. (wife) and James H..Anderson for $1000. Montgomery County, KY
(DB 21, p. 145)
1846 JOHN HELMS and LARUE sold part of undivided home and lands of PETER HELMS to Josiah Anderson for $3000.  Montgomery County, KY
(DB 21, p. 495)
1850 JOHN HELMS sold to his son Peter C. Helmes in Ralls MO, two tracts of land, one a quarter section and the other 15 acres for $800. Both pieces in S 34, Tsp 56, R 5. (DB G, p. 519-20)
1851 JOHN HELMS bought 42 acres of land from the Carrico estate for $210. S 14, Tsp 55, R 5.  Ralls County, MO
(DB H, p. 90-1)
1858 JOHN HELMS and LARUE sold granddaughter ELIZABETH BRISCOE tracts of land two half-quarter sections plus a 15 acre tract, total 175 acres for $1250. Acreage was available after their deaths. S 34 & 27,Tsp 56, R 5.  Ralls County, MO
(DB N, p. 151-2)
1858 JOHN HELMS and LARUE sold daughter MEICKEY COX 80 acres of land where John and Larue ow live. They will live there during their natural lives, and M. Cox will get the property after their deaths. Sold for $1200. S 23, Tsp 55, R 5  Ralls County, MO
(DB N, p. 153)
1858 JOHN HELMES and LARUE sold two parcels of land, 80 and 42 acres to son JOHN ROBERT HELMES for $800 S 14, Tsp 55, R 5.  Ralls County, MO
(DB N, p. 154)
1870 PETER C. & JOHN R. HELMES petitioned Ralls County, MO court to declare JOHN HELMS to be "of unsound mind and incapable of managing his affairs".  (Loose papers in
Will Box 515,
New London, MO)
1870 JOHN HELMS died testate on 12 October 1870 at the age of 71.  (Will Box 515, New London, MO)


 In the name of God, Amen. I, JOHN HELMS, of the County of Ralls in the State of Missouri, being in health and of sound mind and disposing memory and knowing the uncertainty of this life, being anxious to dispose of my estate real and personal, wherewith it hath pleased the Almighty God to bless me, Do hereby make and publish this as my last Will and Testament, as follows to wit:

 FIRST: It is my special will and order that all my just debts and demands against me be fully paid out of my estate previous to any distribution thereof among my heirs

 SECOND: I will and bequeath to my wife LARUE HELMS during her lifetime, an equal portion or share of my estate, with my children, as it is my intention to divide my estate equally among my heirs in the manner hereinafter mentioned and my wife is to have a share equal to a child's part during her lifetime.

 THIRD: I will and bequeath to my children and heirs an equal portion and share of my estate, after the payment of my debts, to them and their heirs forever, after my decease. Provided, however, and I wish it to be expressly understood, that the portion of my estate real and personal hereby bequeathed to my female heirs or children, is intended for my said female heirs and their bodily heirs or offspring, so that their husbands or other of them, shall not have, hold or possess the same in any manner whatever, to sell, hire, lease or in any other manner to have the control or management of the same, nor the profits, increase, rents or income arising therefrom, nor shall the same or any part thereof, be in anywise made or become responsible for or subject to the payment of any of the debts or contracts of the husband or husbands of my said female heirs or children.

 FOURTH: It is further my will and order, that after the death of my said wife LARUE HELMS, the portion of my estate hereby bequeathed to here then remaining on hand shall be equally divided between my heirs in the same manner and under the like provision as above stated.

 And LASTLY: I hereby revoke all the former wills by me made or codicils thereto and declare and publish this as my only last will and testament. Witness my hand and seal this 16th day of August A.D. 1841. The word "not" between "shall" and "have" in the 32nd line of this will was interlined before the execution hereof


Signed & acknowledged in our presence by JOHN HELMS to be his
last Will & Testament, who have signed our names hereto as
witnesses thereof in his presence.
John Ralls
William S. Lofland


 I, LARUE HELLEM (sic) of the County of Ralls and State of Missouri do hereby dictate the following to be my last Will and Testament:

 FIRST: I direct that all my just debts & liabilities be paid out of my estate including my funeral expenses and the costs of the Administration of my estate, also including the costs of tombstones at my grave.

 SECOND: I will and bequeath unto ELIZABETH R. BRISCOE my Dress & Beds & Bedding excepting such articles of bed clothes as I shall hereafter dispose of, also one dress or safe(?) also my buggy & horse

 THIRD: I will and bequeath to MICEY COSC(sic) my Clock & Family Bible also my small table

 FOURTH: I will and bequeath to WALTER C. HELLEMS one double coverlet.

 FIFTH: I will & bequeath to JOHN R. HELLEMS my carpet sack

 SIXTH: I will & bequeath that all of my wearing apparel, books & all articles of household furniture not hereafore assigned of to be equally divided between MICEY COX & ELIZABETH R. BRISCOE

 SEVENTH: I will & bequeath to PETER C. HELLEMS, JOHN R. HELLEMS, WALTER C. HELLEMS, MICEY COSE & ELIZABETH R. BRISCOE the remainder of my estate to each on an equal share thereof.

 EIGHTH: I hereby nominate & appoint ROBERT B. CALDWELL Sr. to be the Executor of this my last will & testament and I hereby revoke & annul all former wills or codicils made by me at any other time and declare this to be my last will & testament whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed by seal this 31st day of December 1877.

 We attest the above & foregoing will of LARUE HELLEMS by subscribing our names hereto as witness thereof in the presents of the testatrix LARUE HELLEMS and at her request and in the presents of each other and that she signed the same

 C.F. Kirtley A.J. Green

present owner, his son, JOHN L. HELMS

Published by H & E Finney, Cooperstown, N.Y., 1831
Copied by Vivian Bostwick, exactly as written


Robert S.W. Fike was married to McKey C. Hellems on the third day of Sept. A.D. 1846
Peter Helmes was married to Leah Helmes on the 11 day of Aprile A.D. 1847


Andrew Helms was born the sixteenth day of March 1833
Walter C. Helmes was born the sixth day of April 1835
Robert B.C. Helmes was born 22 day of May 1837

 Sheet inset:

John Hellems was married to LaRue Caldwell on the 28th day of June 1821
Mary Hellems was married to John Bolin on the 11 of Feb, 1841
Mekey Hellems married to Robert T.W. Fike on the third of Sept. 1846
Peter Hellems was married to Leah Hellems on the 11th day of April 1847
Larue C. Helmes was born Dec. the 16 1855
Walter C. Helmes was married to Nancy Helmes on the 21st day of Dec A.D. 1854
Mariam Lucretia Helmes was born Dec 17, 1879
John Hellems was born May 19, 1799
Larue Hellems was born Dec 12th 1800
Mary Hellems was born July 10, 1822
Elizabeth Hellems was born Jan 22, 1824
Peter Hellems was born February 3rd 1826
Mekey C. Hellems was born June 11th 1830
Andrew Hellems was born March 16 1833
Walter C. Hellems was born April 6, 1835
John R. Hellems was born May 22, 1837
Sandi I Hellems was born Sept 22, 1841
Elizabeth Boling was born Feb. 11th 1842
John Boling was born Nov. 10, 1818
Nelson Petey Fike was born Sept. the 28 1849
Ausey H. Fike was born March the 28 1849
Edward S. Helmes was born Jan the 8 1849
Charles T. Helms was born Dec the 15 1851
Mary E.I. Helms was born Sept 20, 1853
Caroline F. Helms was born Nov the 14 1855
Margaret Ann Clayton, Daughter of Charles F. and Ann Elizabeth Clayton was born 
June 2nd A.D. 1849
Elizabeth Leah Helms was born Dec the 13th 1873


Elizabeth Helmes died Oct 14, 1842 aged 18 years
Sandi I Helmes died Oct 12th 1843
John Boling died Oct 2, a.d. 1842 aged 24 years
Robert S.W. Fike died Sept the 27th A.D. 1850
Ann Elizabeth Clayton died Aug 28, 1849 aged 2 months
Mary Breckinridge Caldwell died Sept the 28th 1846
Walter Caldwell Died May the 17th 1842 aged 64 years 4 months and five days
Andrew Helms died Feb the 7th 1861
John Helms died Oct the 12, 1870
Larue Helms died May the 25 1879

 Age of the Negros:

Henry was born June the 10th A.D. 1836
Solomon was born Feb the 26 1836
Lida was born Feb the 12th 1838
Louis was born July the 6th 1854
Sarah A. bornd April the 25th 1857



 1. Who was Robert B.C. Helmes b. 22 May 1837? This was the same day the John R. Hellems was born -- noted on the extra sheet. Were they twins or was there a name change after the first Bible entry?

Family group sheets of the ensuing generations of JOHN HELMS' line are available, if desired. More documentary proof is also available. Ms. Bostwick is a very exacting researcher.


           m. MALINDA WYATT dau Francis Wyatt  (? - bef 1832)
 Born  1801  Montgomery County, KY .
 Married  03 May 1821  Montgomery County, KY .
 Died  prior 1839  KY (?) .

LEAH ANN HELMS b. 11 March 1823, Montgomery County, KY (?)
d. 18 December 1830
m. Jacob Ingram 30 May 1839 Lexington, KY


Andrew Helms, second surviving son of Leah Shoults and Peter Helms, was born c. 1801 in Montgomery County, KY. The 1821 and 1822 tax lists for Montgomery County list only one male over 21 in the Peter Helms household, Peter himself. Andrew married in 1821 without parental consent, implying that he was 21 years of age. Yet his tax record in 1822 stated there were no males over 21 in his household. Either there was a mistake on the tax record or the marriage permission has been lost. He was married to Malinda Wyatt by "Racoon" Smith in May of 1821.(97)  She was the daughter of Francis Wyatt, another Montgomery County farmer.(98)
(97) Audery, Kentucky Records, Vol I, p. 81.
(98) Ibid.

Andrew appeared regularly on the tax rolls from 1822 til 1830, but he was only listed as a land owner in 1830 with 200 acres on Hinkston Creek.(99)  He had purchased 100 acres from the Albert Duree heirs on Lullegand and Hinkston Creek for $11 per acre.(100)  By February 1831 Andrew sold this tract to his father Peter for $10 per acre.(101) Andrew is styled "of Montgomery County" in the deed and his wife Malinda did not resign her dower rights. This leads to the suspicion that she had died by this time. Peter may have purchased the land in order to give Andrew some of his inheritance prior to the son's leaving the county. In any case, Andrew dropped off the Montgomery County tax rolls in 1831 and does not re-appear. He has either moved or died.

(99) Montgomery County, KY Tax rolls.
(100) Montgomery County, KY,  DB 15, p. 130-132.
(101) Montgomery County KY,  DB 15, p. 436-7.

Like his brother John, Andrew served as deputy sheriff in Montgomery County for several years while his father was sheriff.(102)

(102) Montgomery County, KY, DB 12, pp. 162, 252.

Andrew and Malinda had at least one daughter, possibly two. In the 1830 Census Andrew was not listed as a "head of household" in Montgomery County, but he was there paying taxes and one year later, selling land. Peter Helms' listing included one man 20-30 and two girls under 10.(103)  It is possible that Andrew's wife had died and he was living with his parents?(104)

(103) 1830 Census, Montgomery County, KY, p. 28.
(104) Further analysis of this census:  Both JOHN and THOMAS were listed as "Heads of Household", therefore it would seem that the male 20-30 was ANDREW.  No other male children of Peter are known.

 Leah Helms is the only known surviving child of Malinda and Andrew Helms. The Lexington paper carried an announcement of her marriage to Jacob A. Ingram on 30 May 1839.(105) The article said that Andrew Helm was deceased, thus placing his death prior to that 1839 date. A copy of the Thompson Bible said that Leah had died 18 December 1839...shortly after her marriage.(106)

(105) Kentucky Register, V. 37, p. 139.  Gleanings from Kentucky Gazetteer 6/9:  "m. Jacob A. Ingram to Miss Leah Helm, daughter of Andrew Helm decd. m. Thurs. May 30 1839."
(106) Mt. Sterling, KY, Public Library, Genealogy Room.  Bible Record File:  p. 106.  Thompson Bible, former possession of C.T. Coleman, Mt. Sterling, KY.  "Leah Ann Helms born March 11, 1823, Jacob Ingram born Aug. 14, 1815, Jacob Ingram and Leah Ann Helms married May 30, 1839, Leah Ann Ingram, wife of Jacob Ingram died Dec. 18 1839."  No further Ingram births or deaths were recorded nor was any family connection given.

 No provision or interests for the heirs of Andrew were charged in the settlement of the estate of Peter Helms, as in the case of the Anderson children. Thus it seems that Leah and his other daughter(?) had died. Jacob A. Ingram was listed on the 1850 census in Bath County, KY with two boys, J.A. Ingram, aged 7 and J.W. Ingram aged 5. Neither could be Leah's child. The Ingrams were living in the household of one Elizabeth Ralls aged 80.(107)

(107) 1850 Census, Bath County, KY, 086 District.

Date Item Source
C. 1801 ANDREW HELMS born in Montgomery County, KY .
1821 ANDREW HELMS married MALINDA WYATT in Montgomery County, KY (Montgomery County
Marriages, H.M. Boyd)
1822 ANDREW HELMS appeared on Montgomery County, KY Tax Rolls 0 males over 21, 2 blacks, a horse, valuation: $675 (Tax Rolls 1821, p. 18)
1827 ANDREW HELMS named deputy sheriff of Montgomery County, KY (DB 13, pp. 162, 252)
1830 ANDREW HELMS bought 100 acres of land on Lulbegrad(?) and Hinkston Creek, being part of Edward Williams' preemption of 400 acres from Albert Duree heirs for $11 per acre. (Montgomery County, KY
DB 15, p. 130-2)
1830 ANDREW HELMS taxed on 200 acres on Hinkston Ck. Shows 4 blacks, 2 horses and $5000 valuation. Montgomery County, KY
(Tax rolls, 1830, p. 24)
1831 PETER and LEAH HELMS sold 100 acres of land, purchased from ANDREW HELMS to George Black for $1850. Montgomery County, KY
(DB 15, p. 376-7)
1831 ANDREW HELMS sold 100 acres of land on Lulbegrad(?) and Hinkston Creek to PETER HELMS for $10 per acre. Montgomery, County, KY. Deed made prior to above sale, but not recorded until after the sale. (DB 15, p. 436-7)
pre 1839 ANDREW HELMS died, city or county unknown. Presumed he was in Kentucky. .
1844 No apparent heirs of ANDREW HELMS alive to claim interest in PETER HELMS' Estate. Montgomery County, KY
(DB 21, p. 149)


     m. 1) MARY (POLY) HAWLEY/HALLEY dau John & Nancy Douglass Hawley/Halley 
              (6 Feb 1808 - 14 Feb 1840)
     m. 2) AMANDA MITCHELL RICKETTS dau Thomas & Polly Mitchell Ricketts
               m. 2) James Huffman, 23 January 1848, Pike County, KY

 Born  26 February 1805  Montgomery County, KY .
 Married  (1) 6 November 1828
 (2) 12 April 1841
 Montgomery County, KY
 Montgomery County, KY
 Died  26 May 1847  Montgomery County, KY .

 LEAH HELMS  17 Oct 1829 - KY  pre 1866 - MO .
 CAROLINE HELMS  5 Oct 1831 - KY  25 Mar 1853 - MO .
 THOMAS J. HELMS  26 July 1833 - KY  26 June 1909 - MO .
 NANCY HELMS  26 July 1835 - KY  6 June 1907 - MO .
 ANDREW HELMS  7 July 1837 -KY  26 June 1909 - MO .
 URIAH HELMS  22 May 1839 - KY  8 Apr 1924 - MO .
 Child of 2nd marriage
21 Feb 1842 - KY . .


Thomas Helms was the third known son of Peter and Leah Shoults Helms and my great-great grandfather. He choose a Virginia girl, Mary "Polly" Hawley, for his first wife and they were married by Elder John "Racoon" Smith,(108) a Campbell dissenter in the Baptist faith. Polly was the daughter of John Hawley/Holley and Nancy Douglass who had come to Montgomery County about 1812 from Bedford County, VA.(109)  Her grandfather, John Hawley, survived the Battle of Monongalia (Braddock's Defeat) and captivity by the Shawnee Indians with Daniel Boone's saltmakers.(110)
(108) Original Records of John "Racoon" Smith, Kentucky Historical Society.    Indexed listing, p. 8.  M.V. Harrison, Deputy Clerk was listed on the record also.
(109) Montgomery County, KY  WB E, p. 101-2.
(110) Mack, Ann H. Op Cite.  V. 29, p. 21-28.

Thomas purchased 249 acres on Brush Creek(111) and 7/8 of an adjacent 12 acres(112) from Westley Hensley and his wife for $1501. This seems to be a rather large amount of money and we can only speculate how Thomas was able to pay such a price..did his father Peter lend him the money or did his father-in-law, John Hawley, settle this amount with the newlyweds?(113)  The tax rolls validate this land purchase and also show Thomas' growing prosperity.(114)  He owned as many as 14 horses, 40 cows and 5 slaves during the years 1820 to 1840.

(111) Montgomery County, KY  DB 14, 290-291.
(112) Ibid, p. 291-2.
(113) In John Hawley's will, Montgomery County WB E, p. 101-2, 2 August 1845, he states "I give the children of my daughter Polly Helms, deceased, one dollar each for the love and esteem I have for them.  I having given her what I think an equal share of my estate before"  His personal estate was $3552, plus land.  From these data, it seems likely that the Thomas Helms family may have received some of the estate (money) earlier.
(114) Montgomery County, KY  Tax Rolls 1829-1840.

 Polly Hawley Helms died in 1840 leaving Thomas with 6 young children. Thomas and his father Peter must have joined households that year since they were both widowers. The tax records and 1840 census support such a move.(115)

(115) Montgomery County, KY  Tax Roll 1840: Thomas Helms:  487 acres on Branch & Spencer, 2 white males over 21, 14 blacks, 13 horses, 40 head of cattle and valuation of $24880.  Montgomery County, KY 1840 Census: Thomas Helms, head of household:  2 males under 5 (Uriah & Andrew), 1 male 5-10 (Thomas J.), 1 male 15-20 (James H. Anderson ?), 1 male 20-30 (Peter H. Anderson), 1 male 30-40 (THOMAS), 1 male 70-80 (Peter), 1 female under 5 (Nancy), 1 female 5-10 (Caroline) and 1 female 10-15 (Leah).

Six Children between the ages of 2 and 11 plus a large farm to work were very pressing reasons for THOMAS to remarry quickly. In 1841 he married Amanda Mitchell Ricketts,(116) daughter of Thomas and Polly Mitchell Ricketts, but not in Racoon Smith's church.(117)  Again, in the 1841 tax rolls, he appeared in his own household.

(116) Boyd, Hazel Mason. Op Cite.  p. 49.
(117) 1841 was the year that Peter Helms was "excluded" from the Old Spencer Creek Church, so there may have been some sort of disagreement.

The settlement of Peter's estate in 1844 fell mostly on Thomas, since he was the only Helms child still in Montgomery County. Some of the actions may not have been exactly "by the book"(118)  but everyone seemed to get their fair share and Peter's rich land was sold to Josiah Anderson by 1846.(119)

(118) Montgomery County, KY Court Record Book B, p. 101.  This is an attempt of S.D. Wilson, administrator of Peter Helms' estate after the death of Thomas, to explain why he never made out an inventory etc.  The estate monies in his hands came to $58.80 which reflected a note Thomas has collected without entering it into the estate.
(119) Montgomery County, KY, DB 21, p. 495.

Thomas died intestate in 1847 at the age of 42 leaving 6 orphans from his first marriage and 1, John Peter Mitchell Helms from his second. Various Hawley aunts and uncles took Polly's children and Amanda went home.(120)  Leah and Caroline were in Ralls County, MO. Leah had married Peter C. Helms, her cousin, and Caroline was living with them. Nancy and Andrew were living with their uncle Uriah Holley, Thomas J. Helms was living with James F. Jones, a Holley uncle by marriage, and Uriah Helms was living with his uncle, John Holley. John Peter was living with his grandparents, Thomas and Mary Ricketts, all in Montgomery County.

(120) Montgomery County, KY, 1850 Census.  pp. 58, 71, 82.  Ralls County, MO, 1850 Census. p. ??.

No records remain concerning Amanda's dower rights, nor the portion of the estate for John Peter. It is unlikely that they were not provided for in some way, since there are many records of the guardian accounts for the older children. From these records(121) Thomas' account seemed sizable enough. His personal estate was inventoried at $962, excluding a Negro Girl, Smithy. There was a considerable amount of livestock: 2 oxen, 12 cows, 43 head of sheep, 16 geese, 38 head of hogs and 2 horses.(122)  In addition to farm equipment he seemed to have a well stocked kitchen and some rather good furniture with some luxuries as books, linens, towels and silver tea spoons. The sale of these properties netted $1032.25 (excluding slave?).(123)  Various notes totaled another $800 and the slave was valued at $450.(124)  Thomas would have had his own piece of land on Brush Creek plus his children's share of Peter Helms' land. Thomas' land was carried on the tax rolls as "Josiah Anderson, estate of T.Helms dec'd" for 1848, 1849 and 1850 and the estate including one slave was valued at about $6800.(125)

(121) Montgomery County, KY. Thomas Helms Inventory: County Record Book A, p. 396-400.  Other Estate settlements:  County Record Book B, pp. 93, 99-101, 292, 317, 353-4,and 387-9. 
(122) Montgomery County, KY  Court Record Book A, p. 396-9.  The sizable number of cows indicate how much of the land had been cleared in order to graze them.
(123) Montgomery County, KY  Court Record Book A, p. 396-9 and Book B, p. 99.
(124) Montgomery County, KY  Court Record Book A, p. 399 and 400.
(125) Montgomery County, KY  Tax Rolls: 1848 p. 1, 1849 p. 1, and 1850 p. 1.

The guardians seemed to be conscientious and thrifty with their ward's money. John Holley had to mortgage his Bay Mare, 2 horse wagons and yearling and one black man to serve his guardianship in 1850.(126)  THOMAS' farm was rented out for 1-2 years and then apparently sold as per a Circuit Court decree on 17 June 1850.(127)  Another source of income was a court decision in the case of Helms vs. W. Chinault in which Mr. Chinault paid $116 into each child's account.(128)  B.J. Peters and Walter Chiles also received money for the Chinault accounts, but no reason was given for the collection.(129)

(126) Montgomery County, KY  DB 23, p. 469-70.
(127) Montgomery County, KY  Court Record Book b, p. 387-9.  Item:  "To this amt received of W. Chiles, Commissioner, who sold the land and negroes of the Estate of Thomas Helms, deceased under a decree of the Montgomery Circuit Court, June 17th 1850....$224.00 (reflecting a 1/7th share for Uriah Helms). Hopefully a farm valued at some $6800 in 1849 would bring more than $1500 at a Court sale.  Unfortunately the Montgomery Court records don't exist prior to 1863.  A more careful search of the Deed Books may produce a valid record. (AHM)
(128) Montgomery County, KY  Court Record Book B, p. 353-4, 387.
(129) Ibid.

 The children from the first marriage had an account of around $830 by January 1852.(130)  From this the living expenses of the orphans were deducted. It is interesting to think of "clothing, tuition, etc" for 4 years equalling the sums of $17.57, $20.28, $13.87 and $16.96, as they did for Uriah Helms from the ages of 8 to 13.(131)  These figures give some perspective on the real value of the estate in practical terms.

(130) Ibid. p. 387-9.
(131) Ibid. p. 387.

One by one the Kentucky orphans moved to Missouri where they all set up new lives for themselves. John Peter went to Missouri after 1860, but his trail was lost.

1808 THOMAS HELMS was born in Montgomery County, KY (Lost family Bible record) .
1828 THOMAS HELMS married MARY (POLLY) HAWLEY 6 November in Montgomery County, KY (Marriage Book of Elder John "Racoon" Smith) .
1829 THOMAS HELMS bought 249 acres on Brush Creek, part of 2500 patent to William Haynie, now deceased, from Westley & Mary Ann Hansley for $1500. Adjacent to George Barnett, Hansley, John and Robert Gilkey. Montgomery County, KY
(DB 14, p. 290-1)
1829 THOMAS HELMS bought 7/8 part of 12 acres and 52 poles of land on Brush Creek a branch of Slate Creek, part of 32-35 acre tract entered by Edwan Payne & William Calk, from Westley & Mary Ann Hansley for $1.00. Adjacent to original Wm. Haynie, William Yocum. Montgomery County, KY
(DB 14, p. 291-2)
1829 THOMAS HELMS appeared on the Montgomery County, KY Tax rolls for the first time. He had 259 acres in Brush Creek with 3 blacks and 3 horses Valuation: $2163. (Tax Rolls 1829, p. 27)
1833 THOMAS HELMS bought 22 acres and two rods and 26 poles from Wm. K & Mercie Ball in Montgomery County, KY. (DB 16, p. 496 & 
DB 17, p. 31)
1834 THOMAS HELMS paid taxes on 287 acres of land on Brush Creek in Montgomery County, KY. This would seem to reflect that he had purchased an additional 20+ acres of land in 1833. 3 blacks, 10 horses and valuation of $4330. (Tax Rolls 1834, 
p. 22)
1840 First wife of THOMAS HELMS, POLLY HAWLEY HELMS, died. THOMAS taxed jointly with his father Peter Helms  Montgomery County, KY
(Tax Roll 1840)
1841 THOMAS HELMS married AMANDA RICKETTS in Montgomery County, KY (Boyd, Montgomery County Marriages) and family data .
1845 THOMAS HELMS sold to Joshia Anderson the choice of division to the farm of PETER HELMS for $500. Anderson had purchased 1/2 the farm from JOHN HELMS. This deed divided the original land that Peter had lived on. Montgomery County, KY
(DB 21, p. 238-9)
1846 THOMAS HELMS' CHILDREN received interest in the estate of Peter HELMS from Peter H. and James H. ANDERSON, their cousins. Montgomery County, KY
(DB 21, p. 144-5)
1847 THOMAS HELMS died intestate in Montgomery County, KY .
1847 THOMAS HELMS' estate was inventoried by Wm. Baldwin, Robert Thomas and William Cockrell. Valuation: $1413.98 Notes due to the estate amounted to $798.75. Montgomery County, KY
(Court Record Book A,
p. 396-400)
1849 THOMAS J. HELMS' guardian Wesley O'Rear gave receipt of funds ($116) that he received from --- Chinault. Montgomery County, KY
(Court Record Book B,
p. 93)
1849 Josiah Anderson, Administrator of THOMAS HELMS, dec'd gave a settlement of the estate. Income, after the sale: $1676.81 1/2. Bills were presented and the estate was valued at $998.14. Montgomery County, KY
(Court Record Book B,
p. 99-100)
1850 JOHN HOLLEY gave mortgage to URIAH HOLLEY for his share of the guardianship bond for the heirs of THOMAS HELMS. (JOHN and URIAH are uncles of the orphans) Montgomery County, KY
(DB 23, p. 469-70)
1850 Census showed: NANCY & ANDREW HELMS lived with their uncle, Uriah Holley; URIAH HELMS lived with his uncle, John Holley, Thomas HELMS lived with his uncle, James F. Jones in Montgomery County, KY. LeahHELMS lived with her husband and cousin Peter C. HELMS and CAROLINE lived with them in Ralls County, MO, John Peter Madison lived with his grandparents, Thomas and Mary Ricketts in Montgomery County, KY. (Montgomery County, KY
1850 Census, pp. 82, 310, 381, 383)
(Ralls County, MO 1850
Census, household 583)
1850/1 James Franklin Jones, uncle and guardian of THOMAS J. HELMS, filed an accounting of his guardianship. Montgomery County, KY
(Court Record Book B,
p. 292-3)
1851 Peter C. Helm, husband of LEAH HELMS, daughter of THOMAS HELMS, gave Power of Attorney to Uriah Holley to collect all money due to LEAH from the sales of the Brush Creek land to JosiahAnderson and two slaves. Montgomery County, KY
(DB 24, p. 128)
1851 Josiah Anderson, administrator for the estate of THOMAS HELMS, filed an accounting of said estate. $640 remained in Anderson's hands. Montgomery County, KY
(Court Record Book B,
p. 317-8)
1851 Thornton (?) M. Cox, guardian of CAROLINE HELMS, requested an audit of her accounts etc. $320.21 remained in Cox's hands. Montgomery County, KY
(Court Record Book B,
p. 353-4)
1852 John Halley, guardian of URIAH HELMS, requested an audit of his accounts etc. $552.30 remained in Halley's hands.  Montgomery County, KY
(Court Record Book B,
p. 387-9)
1856 Peter C. Helms, LEAH HELMS, his wife, James Caldwell, guardian and widower of CAROLINE HELMS CALDWELL, dec'd.appoint one William C. Splawn(?) Ralls County to act as their attorney to gain, by suit, all their interest and monies in the estate of ANDREW HELMS, dec'd. and THOMAS HELMS, dec'd.  Montgomery County, KY
(DB 25, p. 446-7)


new Jan 2000 
Information by:Ann Mack
Page by: Harold Polk