Alabama Revolutionary War Soldiers – K Surnames

KEATES, THOMAS, aged 78, and a resident of Tuscaloosa County; private Maryland Continental Line; enrolled on January 10, 1827, under act of Congress of March 18, 1818, payment to date from October 18, 1826; annual allowance, $96; sums received to date of publication of list, $708.64.-Revolutionary Pension Roll, in Vol. xiv, Sen. Doc. 514, 23rd Cong., 1st sess., 1833-34.

KELLY, PETER, aged 83, and a resident of Wilcox County; private S. C. Continental Line; enrolled on June 24, 1834, under act of Congress of June 7, 1832, payment to date from March 4, 1831; annual allowance, $50.–Revolutionary Pension Roll, in Vol. xiv, Sen. Doc. 514, 23rd Cong., 1st sess., 1833-34.

KENEDA, WILLIAM, aged 78, and a resident of Lauderdale County; private Virginia Militia; enrolled on August 28, 1833, under act of Congress of June 7, 1832, payment to date from March 4, 1831; annual allowance, $34.44; sums received to date of publication of list, $103.32.-Revolutionary Pension Roll, in Vol. xiv, Sen. Doc. 514, 23rd Cong., 1st sess., 1833-34.

KENNEDY, DAVID, a resident of Lowndes County; private in cavalry and infantry, particular service not shown; en-rolled on February 28, 1837, under act of Congress of June 7, 1832, payment to date from March 4, 1831; annual allowance, $53.10. Pension Book, State Branch Bank, Mobile.

KENNEDY. WILLIAM, age not given, resided in Marion County, June 1, 1840, with J. Kennedy.-Census of Pensioners, 1841, p. 148.

KEYES, JOHN WADE.-“The last resting place of this Revolutionary soldier is in an old family burial ground upon his plantation, three miles from Athens on the Huntsville road. His lovely rural home was situated upon a-hill about half a mile from Swan creek. His wife, Louisa Talbot Keyes, lies beside him . John Wade Keyes was born in Mystic, near Boston, Mass., Sept. 25, 1752, and died near Athens, Ala., Feb. 13, 1839. His ancestry and many acts of his life are told in a book of the Keyes family called Solomon Keyes and His Descendants, by Judge Asa Keyes, of Vermont, published in Brattleboro. We find from this that he was the son of Capt. Humphrey Keyes and Marcella Wade. His father was a sea captain of Boston. After many successful voyages he was wrecked and taken captive by the Algerians. He was a prisoner for years, but finally made his escape. Upon his return to Boston he took John, his oldest son, and went down into Virginia. An old family record in Tennessee shows that Capt. Humphrey Keyes in 1775 was proprietor of ‘Keyes’ Ferry’ on the Shenandoah River. A member of the family has now in his possession a letter written by General Washington relative to the survey of Keyes’ Ferry tract on the Shenandoah near Charleston, Jefferson county, Virginia. John Wade Keyes married January 27, 1773, in Virginia, Louisa Talbot, niece of President Monroe. She was born near Alexandria, Va., April 20, 1756, and died near Athens, Nov. 6, 1836. This happy couple lived together for sixty-three years.

Early in the Revolutionary war there was a call made for volunteers under Gen. John Thomas in the Shenandoah Valley. John Wade Keyes was the second man to enlist; he was engaged in the battles of Bunker Hill, Lexington, Trenton, White Plains, Princeton, Brandywine and King’s Mountain. Capt. John Keyes settled near Alexandria, Virginia, moved thence to the vicinity of Blountsville, Sullivan county, East Tennessee, and finally to Athens, Limestone county, Alabama, where he was one of the pioneer settlers. It is said that he would never consent to apply for a pension and when asked for his reasons he would reply, ‘I fought for patriotism, not pensions.’ He greatly honored and loved George Washing-ton and he showed his admiration by naming his twin sons for him; one was called George and the other Washington. George Keyes commanded a company under Gen. Jackson and was afterwards made a brigadier-general of militia. Among the descendants of John Wade Keyes were Chancellor Wade Keyes, one of the most prominent jurists that Alabama has produced; George P. Keyes, a noted journalist; Col. John B. Richardson, of New Orleans, commander of the famous

‘Washington Artillery’ during the war, and others of distinction at the present day.”-Mrs. P. H. Mell in Transactions of the Alabama Historical Society, Vol, iv, p. 548.

KINARD, JOHN, aged 82, resided in Randolph county, June 1, 1840, with Barnett Kinard.-Census of Pensioners, 1841, p. 148.

KINNARD, JOHN, aged 70, and a resident of Marengo County; private S. C. Militia; enrolled on September 5, 1834, under act of Congress of June 7, 1832, payment to date from March 4, 1831; annual allowance, $20.-Revolutionary Pension Roll, in Vol. xiv, Sen. Doc. 514, 23rd Cong., 1st sess., 1833-34. He resided in Marengo County, June 1, 1840, aged 77.-Census of Pensioners, 1841, p. 149.

KIRBY, ANDREW J., aged 25, resided in Jackson County, June 1, 1840, with John McReynolds.-Census of Pensioners, 1841, p. 148.

KIRBY, EPHRAIM. Ephraim Kirby was the first Superior Court judge in what is now Alabama. He was also the first General Grand High Priest of the Royal Arch Masons of the United States, 1798-1804, and he is probably the highest ranking Mason ever buried in Alabama. Judge Kirby was the grandfather of Edmund Kirby Smith, the distinguished Confederate general. The following sketch of his life is condensed from a paper read by Thomas M. Owen before the Alabama State Bar Association, June 29, 1901:

“Mr. Kirby was born Feb. 23, 1757, in Judea Society, Ancient Woodbury, Conn., and was the son of Abraham Kirby, a farmer.’ The house in which he was born has long since been destroyed, but the land on which it stood is still known as ‘the Kirby farm.’ About 1763 his parents removed to Litchfield, Conn. His boyhood days were spent in the occupation usually engaging a farmer’s lad, but incidents of these years, and of his early education are wanting.

“However, he was trained as a patriot, for on the news of the battle of Lexington, he joined a company of volunteers and arrived at Boston in time to take part in the battle of Bunker Hill. In the latter part of 1776, together with other young men of Litchfield County, he united in forming a company of volunteer cavalry. The men furnished their own horses and equipment; and served about two years. The following is Mr. Kirby’s record for this period of service: ‘Ephraim Kirby, private, enlisted Dec. 24, 1776, at Litchfield, farmer. Stature 5 ft. 6, complexion dark, eyes dark, hair brown. Discharged Aug. 7, 1778.’ His daring and bravery were conspicuous on many fields. He was in many battles and skirmishes. In the engagement at Elk River he received seven sabre cuts on the head, and was left on the field as dead. From the fearful cuts on his head he is said to have lost a portion of his brain, and he was for a long time unconscious. However, his intelligence was suddenly restored, and he at once re-entered the service of his country, continuing active until independence was achieved. At one time he was a lieu-tenant in a Rhode Island company. In all he is said to have been in nineteen battles and skirmishes, receiving thirteen wounds, including the sabre cuts already mentioned. These honorable evidences of service he carried with him to the grave.

“The Revolutionary War ended, with widened experience and aspiration he set about preparing himself for an enlarged sphere of usefulness. For a while he was a student in Yale College, but he did not graduate. In 1787 his alma mater conferred upon him the degree of master of arts in recognition, doubtless, of his expanding reputation. In Litchfield re-sided Reynold Marvin, who before the war had been King’s attorney, but who had relinquished his official station to throw himself with the cause of the colonists. Determining to embrace the profession of the law, Mr. Kirby entered the office of Mr. Marvin, and under his instruction he was soon admitted to the bar. It was at this time, having entered upon the practice, that he married Ruth Martin, the daughter of his patron and teacher. From this time forth until his removal to the Southwest, although interested in many other matters, he practiced his profession in Litchfield. A fact is now to be noted which is of unusual interest. In 1789 he compiled and published the Reports of Cases Adjudged in the Superior Court of the State of Connecticut, from the year 1785, to May, 1788, which has the unique distinction of being the first volume of law reports published in America. His work indicates rare legal ability, and is still authority in the courts. Mr. Kirby the same year took the initiative in another matter of great moment. He wrote the pledge and organized the first society, having for its object the promotion of temperance, ever formed in America.

“With a view to bringing about a better condition in the Mississippi Territory, Congress by act of March 27, 1804, provided ‘That there shall be appointed an additional judge for the Mississippi Territory, who shall reside at or near the Tombigbee settlement, and who shall possess and exercise, within the district of Washington, * * * the jurisdiction heretofore possessed and exercised by the Superior Court of said Territory,’ etc., which jurisdiction was made exclusive, with right of appeal, however, to the Superior Court at Natchez.

“Under this act President Thomas Jefferson, on April 6, 1804, appointed Ephraim Kirby as ‘the additional judge.’ His commission is as follows, the copy being supplied from the records of the secretary of state at Washington :



To all who shall see these Presents, Greeting :

KNOW YE, That reposing special trust and confidence in the Wisdom, Uprightness and Learning of Ephraim Kirby, of Connecticut, and in pursuance of an Act of the Congress of the United States, passed on the twenty-seventh day of March, 1804, entitled ‘An Act for the appointment of an additional Judge for the Mississippi Territory, and for other purposes,’ I do appoint him the additional Judge for the said Territory to reside at or near the Tombigbee settlement; and do authorize and empower him to execute and fulfill the duties of that Office according to law, and to Have and to Hold the said Office with all the powers, privileges and emoluments to the same of right appertaining during his good behaviour, and to the end of the next Session of the Senate of the United States, and no longer. _

In Testimony Whereof, I have caused these letters to be made Patent, and the Seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.

GIVEN under my Hand at the City of Washington, the Sixth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand

[SEAL.] eight hundred and four, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the Twenty Eighth.


By the President :


Secretary of State.

“At best Judge Kirby could not have held more than one term of Court, for he died on Oct. 20, 1804, at Fort Stoddert. As the U. S. government maintained a cantonment there, with a body of soldiers, his remains were interred with all the honors of war and other demonstrations of respect. His body was laid away in the little cemetery to await the last judgment. Mt. Vernon, as is known, is now in the hands of Alabama Insane Hospitals. One of the trustees of this institution, Col. Sam’l Will John, on being told by the writer, some months ago, of his discoveries as to Judge Kirby, made local inquiry at Mt. Vernon in reference to the matter. In response a communication was received by him from Thomas Rogers, of Mt. Vernon, from which the following pertinent extract is made:

” ‘I arrived in Mt. Vernon Jan. 14, 1850. When I came here I visited Fort Stoddert. I found the remains of chimneys, which were built of sand rock; they have since been removed by Negroes. I also found broken delf, and the neck of champagne bottles. In the cemetery, a little north of Fort Stoddert, on the lake, I found a red cedar board, at the head of a grave, with the name nicely cut, ‘Ephraim Kirby, died Oct. 4th, [20] 1804.’ * * * This board was the only one left to show where the cemetery was. I afterwards visited the place, and found that the board had been destroyed by forest fires.’ And so it is that there is now no monument to mark the grave; and indeed the exact location of the grave will be hard to identify.

“In conclusion I think it may with all propriety be claimed that Alabama has a part in the splendid heritage left by this distinguished man. Certainly there is in his life much to emulate. Strong of mind and will, patriotic in all crises, far seeing and constructive in his mental operations, he towers above scores of his public contemporaries, as does the mountain peak above the hill. He was essentially a pioneer the first to edit a published volume of official decisions and reports, the founder of the first organized temperance movement in America, and the first Superior Court judge in what is now Alabama. An old lawyer of Litchfield pays this warm tribute to his worth: ‘Colonel Kirby was a man of the highest moral as well as physical courage, devoted in his feelings and aspirations, warm, generous, and constant in his attachments, and of indomitable energy. He was withal gentle and winning in his manners, kindly in his disposition, and naturally of an ardent and cheerful temperament, though the last few years of his life were saddened by heavy pecuniary misfortunes. As a lawyer he was remarkable for frankness and downright honesty to his clients, striving to prevent litigation and effecting compromises. He enjoyed the friendship of many of the sages of the Revolution.’ “-Transactions of the Alabama Historical Society, Vol. iv, pp. 550-553.

KIRKLAND, WILLIAM, aged 72, and a resident of Autauga County; private S. C. State Troops and Militia; enrolled on January 11, 1833, under act of Congress of June 7, 1832, payment to date from March 4, 1831; annual allowance, $72.33; sums received to date of publication of list, $217.-Revolutionary Pension Roll, in Part 3, Vol. xiii, Sen. Doc. 514, 23rd Cong., 1st sess., 1833-34.

Collection: Revolutionary Soldiers in Alabama.

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