I have been quite unfortunate to have not found many genealogy references to the Lemaster or Cordle families from Lawrence and Boyd counties in Kentucky during the course of my research. They’ve been notoriously hard to document as many were born or died at home and no probate record of their births or deaths exists. This is the case with my great-grandmother Tabitha Caudial (Cordle) and her husband Jacob Lemaster who I’ve written about before. Though I have their dates of death and an obituary for each, Kentucky has no death certificate on file for either. The quickness in which they were buried suggests to me that they might not have been embalmed and hastily buried in the family plot, likely not even seeing a coroner or doctor for a death certificate to be officially filed. Such has been my luck with documenting my Lemasters and Cordles in that area, so when I do find something interesting, I’m happy to talk about them.
As difficult as documenting them has been, I have been extraordinarily lucky to have met some cousins through Ancestry and DNA testing that have been to that have been on fact-finding missions of their own in that part of Kentucky and they’ve graciously shared their discoveries with me. I also have the extreme fortune of having a relative in my hometown who is very much into genealogy for the Cordle/Caudill side of the family. Her father, Charles Cordle, is 90 years old and wonderfully still with us, answering questions about the family when he can.
As I have been working on properly sorting my mounding collection of genealogy records, notes and newspaper clippings, I came across a packet of Cordle family photographs my cousin Charlene shared with me and while flipping through them, a familiar face suddenly stared back at me. It was the face of my favorite uncle, Gene Lemaster although, it wasn’t actually Gene at all. It was, in fact, the face of my great-grandfather Arbie Alfred Cordle! I was so struck at the similarities of the two; they could have been twins! I quickly dug out the 1964 graduation picture of my uncle that was published in the newspaper when he was 18 and did a side by side comparison of this picture of my great-grandfather Arbie that was taken in 1914 when he was 16.¹ Mind blown! *poof*
What’s even more surreal to me is that in the 1930 census, Arbie worked at an ice cream plant.² In the 1990’s, Gene worked at a frozen food plant that made ice cream.
¹”Gene Lemaster,” The Circleville Herald (Ohio), 22 May 1914, p. 21, col. 1; digital images, Newspapers.com (http://www.newspapers.com : accessed 20 February 2017).
²1930 U.S. Census, Boyd County, Kentucky, population schedule, Cattlesburg City, Enumeration District (ED) 10-4, sheet 3-A, p. 152 (stamped), dwelling 54, family 56, Alfred Cordle; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com ; accessed 20 February 2017), citing National Archives microfilm publication T626, roll 734.