Saturday, December 4, 2010

Surname Saturday - Howard

John Covey Howard and Mary F. Morris

John Covey Howard was born on 6 Mar 1806 in Knox County, Kentucky - probably in the part of the county that later became Harlan County. He was the 3rd of 10 children born to John "War Jack" Howard and Mary Risner. 

John Covey married Matilda Brock, daughter of James Brock and Elizabeth Osborn, around 1827. They had 11 children and Matilda disappeared before 1850. Her fate was never discovered but John Covey divorced her within a year or two of her disappearance. Shortly after the divorce was approved, John Covey married Sarah "Sallie" Saylor. They had two children and were also divorced. 

Mary F. "Polly" Morris was born about 1830 in the Watts Creek area of Harlan County, Kentucky. She was the daughter of Littleton Morris and Martha "Patsy" Mark.

John Covey and Polly were married on 10 Mar 1856 in Harlan County at her parents home. They had 7 children and Polly also had a daughter prior to her marriage to John Covey so between them they had 21 children. The family lived in the Harlan County community of Wallins Creek where all of their children were born and John Covey made a living farming.  

John Covey died on 20 Nov 1899 at the age of 93. Polly was living with daughters Cindy Hopkins and Sarah Brock in 1900 and 1910. She apparently died before 1920 as she was not listed with any of her surviving children in that census. 

John Covey and Polly's children:
Idress was born in 1856. She married John C. Howard in Harlan County on 13 Oct 1873 They had two children and were divorced before 1880. Idress died before March, 1889.

Cova Henry was born on 12 Jul 1857. His name may have been Covey Henry but Cova is the spelling on his headstone. He was listed as Henry in all records. Henry married Hannah Elizabeth Scott in 1878 in Harlan County and they adopted one daughter. Henry died on 9 Feb 1931 and was buried in Old Creech Cemetery at Wallins Creek.

Arimenta I. was born on 22 Mar 1859. She died before 1870.

Sarah S. was born on 15 Sep 1861. She married Elijah Brock on 21 Oct 1880 in Harlan County. They had no children. After Lige died in 1933, Sarah went to live with her sister, Lucinda, in Ohio and they returned to Wallins Creek in the 1940s. Sarah died there on 16 Jan 1958 and was buried in Old Creech Cemetery. 

Lucinda "Cindy" was born on 16 Feb 1867. She married James Arton Hopkins on 25 Dec 1885 and they had 10 children. Cindy died on 16 May 1957 at Wallins Creek and was buried in Morrow Cemetery in Warren County, Ohio.

Madison was born about 1870. He died between 2 Mar 1889 and 14 Feb 1891. 

Bobby didn't live long enough to show up on in a census records. Not even an approximate birth year is known for him so it's unknown where he falls in the birth order of John Covey and Polly's children.

John Covey and Polly were my 2nd great-grandparents through their daughter, Lucinda. Click on the links above for sources and additional information, including John's and Polly's other children. If you have a connection to this family leave a comment or e-mail me.

Related Surname Saturday Post:


  1. Nancy Elizabeth Howard (daughter of John Covey and Matilda and John Wesley Forester were my Great Great Grandparents. My cousin has written a book about that includes the Howard Family in it. My dad was born and raised in Harlan. We are still in KY, but not Harlan. I have had a wonderful time researching and came upon your site while doing so. Small world.

    1. Hi Leslie, I'm glad you found me. I'm always happy to hear from cousins. Feel free to e-mail me anytime. My address is in the upper right column.