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The following was written for publication in "Beyond Germanna". A slightly edited version ran in Volume 9 Number 3 -Jeff

James Aylor and Eliza Wilhoit of Boone County, Kentucky

by Jeffrey W. Aylor

James Aylor married Eliza[beth] Wilhoit 28 March, 1827 in Boone County, Kentucky. Both were Germanna descendants (James is listed in Germanna Record #12, page 18, as #44) and there is little doubt as to the lineage of Miss Wilhoit. Her father was William Wilhoit, who married Anna Clore 28 October 1787, in Culpeper Co., VA. William moved to Boone Co. in 1800, according to his tombstone in Florence Cemetery. Eliza's ancestry comes from a number of sources, including a series that ran on Germanna descendants in the Boone County Recorder in the early 1950's.

The identity of James Aylor, however, has baffled family historians for years. Some assumed he was the son of Lewis Aylor and Nancy Creel, who remained in Virginia, and though their sons John C. and Alexander Aylor did move to Boone County, James did not. These latter two have many references in Northern Kentucky, including land deeds, census information, and Alexander even married an Eliza Aylor in 1849 in Boone County. (If anyone can identify this Eliza Aylor, please write to the author at the address below.) But there is no record of James having ever moved to Kentucky. In fact, there is solid evidence to the contrary. In a letter dated 17 February 1842 from Lewis & Nancy Aylor, Madison County, Virginia, to their son John Aylor, Burlington Post Office, Boone Co. Kentucky, it is stated that "James [is living] with Mr. John Booton. Your Brothers and familys are well at this time, except your Brother James he has a cancer on his lip."

Others have said it was James Aylor of Virginia, son of Henry Aylor, who married Henrietta Underwood, but again, no evidence links them with Kentucky.

A check of the census records of Boone Co. for the time in question reveals that there is in fact only one James Aylor living in the area, the son of Michael Aylor, who moved to Boone Co. in 1810 (according to tax records both here and in Madison Co., VA., and the census).

On Oct. 17,1827 Michael Aylor of Boone Cty. deeded to his son, James a parcel of land on Gunpowder Creek of 50 acres. Deed Bk. A, p.143.

Additional mention of James is made in the settlement of Michael's will in 1831-32, Will Book B p.575-580 (division of property).

According to a family Bible transcription, James Franklin Aylor was born 22 March 1803 and married Paulina (or Purlina) Hightower on 23 April 1828. County marriage records verify this date. What is also interesting about this marriage record is the bondsman and the witnesses. Consent was given by Eliza's father, William. Charles White was the bondsman and Ben W. White and Charles C. White were witnesses. They were married by Lewis Conner. (Marriage Book A, p. 97)

A check of the marriage records also reveals that Charles C. White was the bondsman on James' marriage to Paulina Hightower, and Charles C. and Robert D. White were witnesses. James and Paulina were also married by Lewis Conner. (Mariage book A p. 103)

We can assume that Eliza died in late 1827 or early 1828. This theory is supported by the court records which state:

"Boone Co. Court Orders," Sept. Term, 1828, Book C, p.141:

 "It is on ...(unreadable) James Ayler be appointed guardian of Wm.
  Allen Ayler, an infant orphan of Eliza Ayler dec'd., upon his entering
  into bond with Merryman Hightower & Wm. Brown his security with penal
  sum of $800.00 conditional as the law directs...(unreadable)"

[Merryman Hightower was Paulina's father. The infant Wm. Allen Aylor died on 7 September 1828. James and Paulina had 11 children and are buried on the Thomas farm on Camp Ernst Road in Florence.]

While the Bible transcription lists William Allen Aylor as a child of James and Paulina, the above court record leaves little doubt that Eliza Wilhoit Aylor was his mother.

The author would like to thank his cousin Bob England of Hebron, Ky., who discovered much of this information and also found the burial site of Eliza Wilhoit [Aylor] in the Florence Cemetery in Florence, KY. It is interesting to note that her name on the stone is Eliza Wilhoit, not Eliza Aylor.

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