Joseph Holladay (1804-1888)

Joseph Holladay (1804-1888)

Joseph HOLLADAY was born in 1804/5 in Adair County, Kentucky[1] and was the fourth child of Zacharias Holladay and Catherine (Kitty) Anderson.  He died in 1888 in Adair County, Kentucky.

Like his brother William, Joseph lived and farmed all of his life in Adair County. At times in his life he lived in close proximity to William as well as his Montgomery family in-laws. Unlike his father and brothers, he was not a Baptist, but his church affiliation as an adult is not known to this author.

Joseph was the first of his brothers take a wife when he married Sarah (Sally) J. REYNOLDS on 10 Jan 1827 in Adair County, Kentucky.[2],[3] Joseph was about 23 and Sarah was about 17. She was born in 1810/11 and was the daughter of Henry Reynolds and Nancy Ann Sallee.

Joseph and Sally raised a large family, with at least 11 children being born between 1829 and 1858. One family source says there were two additional children who were stillborn.

Although Joseph and Sally remained in Adair County all of their lives, several of their children moved to other parts of the country. Eldest son Frank volunteered to fight for the Confederacy and died at the battle of Shiloh in 1862. Others lived out their lives in locations as diverse as Louisville, Kentucky, and in Oklahoma, Oregon, and New Mexico.

Joseph is the only one of his siblings known to have left a will. It was dated 15 August 1881, and in it he named his wife, Sarah J., all eight of his living adult children, and his grandson Joseph W. Morris, the only child of his deceased daughter Nancy. Not named were Frank, who had died at Shiloh, and Ermine, who had presumably died by then. His will was witnessed by his nephews, James Holladay and William D.W. Montgomery. Named as executors were sons Joseph Z. Holladay and John H. Holladay. Joseph’s will was proven in June 1888.

Joseph was likely buried in Adair County, but his burial location is not known to this author. He is not listed in the eight volumes of the Adair County cemetery books.

Sally died in 1893 and is presumed to have been buried beside her husband.

Joseph HOLLADAY and Sarah (Sally) J. REYNOLDS had the following children:

1. Nancy J. HOLLADAY (born about 1829).

2. William Franklin (Frank) HOLLADAY was born in 1832 in Adair County, Kentucky.  He died on 7 Apr 1862 in Shiloh, TN.[4] Frank served as a private in Company F, 4th Regiment of the 1st Kentucky Brigade, CSA.  This unit was known as the “Orphan Brigade” because the Kentucky legislature, which supported the Union, declared that anyone who served in the Confederate army was no longer a citizen of Kentucky.

3. Catherine A. (Kitty) HOLLADAY (born about 1834).

4. Joseph Zacharias HOLLADAY (born about 1835).

5. Ermine HOLLADAY (born about 1838).

6. Martha A. HOLLADAY was born about 1843 in Adair County, Kentucky.  She is shown as age 7 in the 1850 Census.  She died in 1905.

7. John Henry HOLLADAY (born on 2 Oct 1846).

8. James Rowan HOLLADAY (born in 1849).

9. Sarah Alice HOLLADAY (born about 1852).

10. Louisa K. (Lou) HOLLADAY was born about 1854 in Adair County, Kentucky.  She is shown as age 6 in 1860 Census.  She died in Sep 1907 in Greer Co., OK, at the home of B. M. Holladay.[5] (This is probably her brother, Benjamin.)

11. Benjamin H. HOLLADAY (born in 1858).

Prepared by Jay A. Holladay, PO Box 815, La Canada, CA 91012  email:

Last Update 4 April 2009.


[1] Joseph first appears in Adair County tax records for 1826. In the 1820 census he had not yet reached his 16th birthday (census day 7 August). In the 1850 census he is listed as age 45 (census day 1 June) and his age is consistent in the 1860-1880 censuses. Therefore we can conclude he was born between 8 August 1804 and 30 May 1805.

[2] Ruth Paull Burdette, compiler, “Marriage Records of Adair County Kentucky 1802-1840” (Burkesville, KY: R.N. Smith and Laura Lee Butler, 1975), p. 56.

[3] Adair County, Kentucky, Marriage Bonds, County Clerk’s Office, Columbia. Photocopies of originals in notebook, “Adair County Marriage Bonds”, compiled by Margie Coffey, at Adair County Public Library, Columbia. Unnumbered certificates. Marriage between “Joseph Holladay above the age of 21 years and Sally Reynolds, Daughter of Henry Reynolds whose consent was this day personally given…”.

[4] Michael C. Watson, “Death Records of Adair County and Surrounding Areas (Russell, Casey, Green, Cumberland and Taylor Counties) prior to 1900” (Columbia, KY, Watson Publications, 1987).

[5] Compiled by Margie Coffey with contributions by Michael Watson, Adair County Obituaries 1897-1902, 1903-1907.  Taken from the Columbia Spectator and the Adair County News. (Manuscript at Adair County Library), p. 7.


2 Responses to “Joseph Holladay (1804-1888)”

  1. E. H. Lepiarczyk Says:

    You are doing marvelous genealogical work. One of Henry Reynolds and Ann Sallee Reynolds descendants, Mary Allie Garnett Cundiff, was one of the foremost genealogists of her ancestral families. She shared with my third cousin and me that Ann Sallee Reynolds was known as “Nancy”. During the time period when Ann was born; Nancy was not deemed a proper name; but, mainly considered a nickname for Ann.
    –E. H. Lepiarczyk

  2. jholladay Says:

    Thanks for the kind words. Allie Garnett Cundiff was my second cousin and her pedigree charts and family group sheets have been my point of departure for a number of my Adair County surnames. If you are descended from Henry Reynolds and Nancy Sallee, we are some kind of cousins. My great-grandfather William (Billy) Holladay married another of their daughters, Mary Anna (Polly) Reynolds.

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