On the afternoon of Sunday, October 19, 1980, I left Paris, Kentucky to search for David's Fork Baptist Church and the old Ellis farm where the Ellis-Shipp Graveyard is located.
I found the minister, Mr. Purtle, at the Church. I looked through the old records but found nothing that would help. The minister told me where the Wilson farm was so I went out the Winchester Pike and turned into first drive after I crossed the Clark County Line. I found a Mr. Nelson White there who knew exactly where the SHIPP GRAVEYARD was. He got in my car and we went there. The graveyard was in a deplorable state. There were only two stones left. Dudley Shipp's stone was laying down on the ground but we could read everything that was on it. Unfortunately the sun was in the wrong direction for me to take a picture.
To get to the farm going from Paris, take the Clintonville Pike to the intersection of the Winchester Pike, turn to your right, Mr. White lives in the first house closest to the Clintonville Pike on the opposite (left) side of the road. From Mr. White house the old SHIPP farm is toward Lexington on the Winchester-Lexington Pike - it's just a short distance from the Clark County-Fayette County line on the left side of the Pike going toward Lexington. Just a few feet down the road from Mr. White is a gate that turns back to the barn, then you go through two gates and drive back to a grove of trees where the cemetery is located.
On Monday, October 19, 1981, I visited the Fayette County Court House in Lexington, Ky. trying to search the title to the land after it was sold by Dudley Shipp's Estate in November 1853 after his death in October. Part of the estate was sold to Thomas J. Shipp, his son, and the remainder to John G. Parrish. I searched through several years and it was sold several times, the last being January 17, 1905 to Mrs. Wilson.
On Tuesday, October 20, 1981, I revisted the area. I stopped at Mr. White house - he was ill and told me it would be alright to go by myself. After driving as far as I could across the pasture I had to crawl through a barbed wire fence and I didn't tarry too long as I could hear the cows mooing, however, I did get a picture of Dudley Shipp's tombstone laying on the ground. There was only one other stone and all I could read was Mildred, as a tree had grown up on the side of the carving.
At the time I was there, the farm was owned by Oscar Wilson, son of Hallie G. Wilson who had purchased it in 1905.
Paul E. Shipp went to the farm in about 1923 to visit the cemetery and was not allowed on the farm until he got an order showing that the graveyard was still in the Shipp family - that it was not included in the sale of the land at any time. At the time Cousin Paul made a canvas of the cemetery, his description of the location was on the Winchester Pike, 12 miles from Lexington, Ky. at intersection of the Combs Ferry Pike. At that time, the following epitaphs appeared on the tombs in the graveyard:
In memory of Mildred Prewitt
Born Feb. 8, 1791
Died Aug. 21, 1810
To the memory of Mrs. Elizabeth Thomson
Born Mar. 10, 1806, married Feb. 28, 1822
and departed this life May 19, 1823
Daughter of Dudley and Polly Shipp
Born May 9, 1824
Died June 12, 1825
In memory of Mrs. Polly Shipp, consort of Dudley Shipp,
Aug. 3, 1795, married Feb. 14, 1815, died March 31, 1831
Sacred to the memory of Elizabeth Bryant, consort of Mr.
Bryant, who departed this life Dec. 29, 1833, in the 69th year of
her age. Beloved and respected by all that knew her. May she rest in peace.
Lewis C. Shipp
Son of Dudley and Polly Shipp
Born May 18, 1826
Died May 18, 1837
Sacred to the memory of Jesse Bryant who departed this
Fayette County, Ky. Nov 22, 1843, in the 79th year of
Born Apr. 8, 1788
Died Oct. 13, 1853
(Notes by Paul E. Shipp, June 19, 1932.)
The bodies of Horace Coleman and Louisa J. Coleman Ellis (wife of Hezekiah Ellis Jr.) were moved from this graveyard to his lot in the Lexington, Ky. cemetery by Cicero Coleman, son of Horace and Ann B."Nancy" (Ellis) Coleman.
The bodies of Capt. William Ellis, his son Johnson Ellis and other members of this family are buried in this graveyard, but no tombs mark their graves.
The above-mentioned Elizabeth Bryant, consort of Mr. Jesse Bryant, was Elizabeth Shipp, daughter of John and Sally Johnson Shipp. She married first Capt. William Ellis, June18, 1786. He died Oct. 1, 1801,* and she married 2nd Jesse Bryant, Dec. 23, 1803. They were the parents of the above Mrs. Elizabeth Thomson.
*Note by Margaret SHIPP Henley - The family Bible of Dudley
states that William Ellis died in 1801, his will is
dated 1802 and he is also on the personal property
tax rolls for 1802.
July 17, 1939
Dear Cousin Margaret L. Shipp:
It is indeed nice to hear from a new cousin, and I am responding, and as I suppose you want to know a little of my line of connection with the Shipps will try to tell you, my great grandfather Hezekiah Ellis, Born Sep 15, 1769 -died Oct 11-1857 in Fayett Co. Ky - he married Nancy Duvall - April 8 -1800- he was the youngest son of Hezekiah Ellis and Mildred Burbridge, my great grandfather Hezekiah Ellis was a full brother to Captain William Ellis, and came with the Traveling Church from Virginia to Kentucky, and helped Captain William Ellis look after the women and children. My grandfather, was John Ellis, son of Hezekiah and Nancy Duval Ellis - grandfather John was born Nov 14-1806 in Kentucky Died in Palmyra Mo-July 10-1880- his wife was Mary Caroline Rogers of Fayette Co, Ky. They moved to Marion Co Missouri settled near Palmyra, had 6 sons and 1 daughter-sons- Dr James Ellis, Dr Robert Ellis, William (my father) Fleming, John Caswell Ellis, Clifton Crawford Ellis, daughter Anne Virginia Ellis who married John Taylor formerly of Ky.
On another page I will write the names of Hezekiah and Nancy Duvalls children__
P.S. Cousin Vardin and Della have been to see me several times, wish I could visit them but fear I never will, would love to go to Danville my mothers old home once more,
Mary D. Ellis
Children of Hezekiah 2nd, and Nancy Duvall Ellis
William Born Feb 2-1803-Died Aug 1-1840, was a civil engineer, surveyed first railroad in Ky - never married
Malinda who married Darnaby - she was Born March(?) 2nd, 1801
Elizabeth who married Mr McCann, was Born Nov 19-1804
John who married Mary Carolline Rogers was Born Nov 14-1806
Mary Ellis-Aunt Polly, nevered married Born Jan 6-1813. Lived to be old.
Hezekiah, married 3 times. first to his cousin Louisa Coleman-no children. Second
Matilda Jane Davis-Harrodsburg Ky-no children. 3rd Mary Halsey Ellis, Hannibal Mo-their children:
Mary Virginia Born 1872-D-May 13-1818 never married
Fanny Hinton Ellis died in infancy Jan 1876
son Halsey Ellis-only son, married lives in California, no children
Thomas Ellis son Hezekiah and Nancy Duvall Ellis was born Aug 25-1810-Died July 23,1814.
Anne Mariah Ellis, born May 17-1817-Died Oct 4-1842 married Mr. Bryant of Ky-Lucinda Born March 19-1819-Died Jan 18-1822
James M. Ellis Born Jan 12, 1821 Died Oct 11-1847
Lucy Jane-married Howard Parker, she was born May 10-1826.
Children- Nannie Ashley and Ellis Wilson Parker.
John Ellis and Mary Caroline Rogers married 1852
1) son Dr James Rogers Ellis, married Jane Barkley on Nov 10-1853
one child James Barkley died Sep 11-1855
2) son Dr Robert Dudley Ellis never married -Died at age 25
8) son William Ellis-my father, married 2 times first my mother Martha Ellen Davis of Kentucky, their children
1 Mary Davis Ellis (This is me) born Aug 8, 1860 (so you can see how young I am)
2 Charles Edwin Ellis Born dec 9-1862 Died May 9-1864-
3 William Clifton Ellis Born August 9-1867-died Sep 22-1899
4 Elizabeth Green Ellis Born Jun 12-1870 married Orion Turner Nov 5-1891-
William Ellis my father, son (of) John and Mary C. Rogers married second time Mary James, May 25-1875, she was born March 8, 1852. Their children - are)
James Rogers Ellis, Born Nov 1877-married Henrietta Sacks
Roy Clayton Ellis-B. April 4, 1881-married Essie Miller
Susan Virginia Ellis, B Jan 3, 1885, Marion Co. Mn.
she married Giles Albert Gibbs of Hannibal Mo.
Cousin Margaret, I hope you can make this out, I have been confined to my room for six weeks from a fall and am just getting around a little, you see I am no real young thing.
Mary Davis Ellis your new cousin