On August 13, 1799, John Kemp married Fannie Dudley in Franklin County, Virginia. According to the Kemp biography in the book A History of the Pioneer Families of Missouri, originally published in 1876 by William S. Bryan and Robert Rose, “John Kemp married Fannie Dudley and settled in Callaway County in 1832. They had—Dudley, Jordan, William, Milley, and Polly.” Based on newspaper death notices and county death records, Dudley, born 1803 Franklin County, Virginia, died 1886 Callaway County, Missouri. Jordan, born ca. 1807 Franklin County, Virginia, died 1878 Callaway County, Missouri. William, born 1813 Franklin County, Virginia, died 1870 Callaway County, Missouri. Milley Kemp Pasley, born 1800 Franklin County, Virginia, died 1856 Franklin County, Virginia. Polly Kemp Smith, born 1810 Franklin County, Virginia, died 1861 Callaway County, Missouri. Dudley and Jordan were the only children of John Kemp and Fannie Dudley still living when the Kemp biography was published in 1876.
When John Kemp died in Callaway County on May 11, 1851, his obituary stated he was 71 years and 11 days old, was born in Franklin County, Virginia, and had emigrated to Missouri in 1831. This age at death establishes his birthdate as April 30, 1780, which agrees with the age category in the 1840 Callaway County census. Neither his will nor his probate record listed his children by name except for a daughter Milley Pasley and a grandchild Francis Williamson. Milley Kemp Pasley and her husband Solomon Pasley had remained in Franklin County, Virginia.
Five years after John Kemp’s death in 1851 in Callaway County, Missouri, a petition was filed at the April Term of Circuit Court in 1856, and the court decreed that Sheriff William T. Snell sell Lot No. 1 and Lot No. 2 South West Quarter of Section 19 Township 47 Range 7 at the courthouse door on October 15th to the highest bidder to settle the suit brought by Dudley Kemp and others as heirs in common of the property. The Circuit Court loose records for this case specifically state that Dudley, Jordan, William, and Mary “Polly” Kemp Smith were the children and heirs in common of John Kemp and are as follows:
Callaway County, Missouri Old Circuit Court Records
Folder Styled “Dudley Kemp et al vs. William H. Smith & Wife”
Case # 3288
Callaway County Off-Site Storage
Underground Records Management, L.L.C.
State of Missouri }
County of Callaway }
In the Callaway Circuit Court
April Term 1856
Petition for Sale of Land
Dudley Kemp, Jordan Kemp and William Kemp
William H. Smith & Mary Smith (his wife)
Plaintiffs State that they are children & heirs of John Kemp deceased, and that Mary Smith (Defendant) formerly Mary Kemp is also a child & heir of said John Kemp, dec’d. That William H. Smith (Defendant) is also interested in the Estate of Said Kemp deceased, having purchased the interest of Francis Williamson grandchild & heir of Said Kemp deceased. That Said John Kemp deceased died on or about _______1851. That at the time of his death he (said John Kemp, deceased) was the owner & in the possession of the following Land situated in the County & State aforesaid (to wit) Lot No. 2 containing 54 acres in the South West quarter and South half of the North West quarter of Section 19. Also the South East quarter of the North West quarter of Section 19 Lot No. 1 in S. W. qr. Sec. 19, 347, R 7, all in Township forty seven Range 7 West, also N ¼ of the E ½ of the E ½ of S E ¼ of Sec. 18 T, R. 7 West containing 46 acres and containing in all two hundred and seventy one acres [eighty-five & 66/100 marked out]. Plaintiffs State that they and defendants are the only owners of Said Land. Plaintiffs further State that they have purchased & are the owners of the widows dower in Said Land, That they apart from the widows dower are Each Entitled to one undivided fifth part of Said Land, (to wit) Dudley Kemp to one undivided fifth part, Jordan Kemp to one undivided fifth part, William Kemp to one undivided fifth part, William H. Smith to 1/5, and Mary Smith formerly Mary Kemp to 1/5 part.
Plaintiffs further State that there are no outstanding debts against the Estate of Said John Kemp deceased, the administration having been closed on Said Estate some time ago. They further State that from the number of interests together with the quantity & Situation of the aforesaid Lands, it cannot be divided without great prejudice to the interest of your petitioners & all those interested. They therefore pray the Court to order the Sale of Said land without appointing commissioners and the proceeds of Said Sale be divided among those interested as aforesaid according to their rights respectively. Evidence of title herewith filed marked 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Jordan Kemp for himself and the other plaintiffs in the above cause makes oath & Says that he believes the above petition & matters therein as stated are true.
Sworn to & subscribed before Jordan Kemp
On this 28th March 1856.
Geo. Bartley Clk.
In pursuance of the within order, I proceeded to sell publicly after having given at least twenty days notice prior to the day of Sale by having advertised the same in the Missouri Telegraph a public Newspaper published in Fulton, Missouri the within described land being offered for sale before the Courthouse door in the Town of Fulton to the highest bidder. Jordan Kemp became the purchaser at the sum of Thirteen hundred and twenty Eight Dollars and Twenty five cents, the same was struck off to him at that sum this 15th day of October 1856. W. T. Snell Shff.