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Generation No. 2

 JOHN COFER2 HAM (STEPHEN1, )2, JEROME1) was born Abt. 1786 in Madison County, KY, and died 1869 in Illinois. He married (1) BETSY BARNETT December 26, 1805 in Madison County ,KY. He married (2) ELIZABETH H. THOMAS August 22, 1813 in Madison County ,KY1.


Various sources say he died in Pike County or Adams County, Illinois. There isn't any record of his death in either county.

John Ham first went to St. Charles County, Missouri from Madison County, KY in 1809. He then returned to Madison County, KY after the death of his first wife Betsey Barnett. Betsey and John had two children. John brought these children back to Madison County with him. There he married again in 1813 to Elizabeth Thomas. He had 2 daughters and together they had 6 more.
John then returns to Montgomery County, Missouri, fights in Nathan Boone's Company of Rangers and served during the Indian War. "Boone Pioneer Echoes", Vol 11, Number 3, July 1969, Pg 22. Capt. Daniel Morgan Boone's Mounted Rangers - The War of 1812. Payroll of a Company of Mounted Rangers commanded by Cap't Daniel M. Boone. In the service of the United States, for the months of May, June, July, Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec. 1813, and Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr., and May 1814. 014. John C. Ham, Corp.
Listed in the 1840 Census book for Callaway County, MO on page 11 it states:


             "In the fall of 1815, Jonathan Crow and John Ham settled upon land about ten miles

             south-east of the present site of Fulton on Big Auxvasse Creek."

Excerpted from Montgomery County History:

John named this village Ham's Prairie. They didn't build a house at first but lived in camps and built a bark tent on Auxvasse Creek because they were fishermen & hunters. John was born in KY in 1786, and came to MO in 1809, and settled in St. Charles Co. He joined Nathan Boone's company of rangers, and served during the Indian war. In 1816, he and JONATHAN CROW, built a bark tent on Auxvasse Creek, now in Callaway Co., and lived in it for some time, while they were engaged in hunting. They were, therefore, probably the first American settlers within the limits of Callaway Co. Ham cut his name on a lone tree in the prairie, which has since borne his name. He was a Methodist preacher. He was married twice, first to a MISS BENNETT, by whom he had two children. She died when their children were quite small, and their father took them to their relatives in KY., performing the journey on horseback, with one of the children before him and one behind. When he came to water courses that were deep enough to swim his horse, he would tie one of the children on the bank, swim across with the other, tie it, and go back for the one he had left. He after married a MISS THOMAS, and they had 6 daughters. Mr. Ham was a daring hunter, and there were but few who possessed nerve enough to follow him in all his adventures. He once smoked a bear out of its cave and then knocked in in the head with an ax. In 1823 he built a house on the Auxvasse, about five miles above its mouth; and the following year the big overflow came and washed away his smoke house, filled with bear and deer meat. He followed it in a soap trough, which he used as a canoe, and overtook the floating house where it had lodged against a large elm tree. He took his meat and hung it in the tree, and when the water subsided, he had to cut the tree down in order to get his meat. Mr. Ham subsequently removed to Illinois, where he died in 1869.

In 1993, Ham's Prairie now refers to just a village consisting of a general store, a church and a few houses. This town was originally called Elizabeth and was the original county seat for Callaway County.

1840 census of Adams County, Illinois--this census only listed head of households: John Ham
1850 census of Columbus, Adams County, IL 1860 census of Columbus, Adams County, Illinois


             John C. Ham 62 VA Farmer John C. Ham 72 VA

            Elizabeth 56 KY Elizabeth 65 KY

            Nancy 25 MO Charlotte 29 MO

            Charlotte 19 MO

            Ellen 13 IL

He was said to be a Methodist Minister and a farmer. He must have also been an attorney as he was appointed as the lawful attorney for Jabez Ham to do whatever transactions were needed on his behalf. Deed Book P. Page 317 pertaining to their father Stephen's estate.

Marriage Notes for JOHN HAM and BETSY BARNETT: 


              Stephen Ham was Bondsman.

Marriage Notes for JOHN HAM and ELIZABETH THOMAS:


             Microfilm #183302 Page 105 Frankfort Archives

             January the 29 1815 This is to certify that I married John C. Ham Elizabeth H. Thomas both

           of Madison County on the 22nd day of August last given under my hand. Joseph Proctor

          Jesse Thomas was the bondsman on the certificate


Children of JOHN HAM and BETSY BARNETT are:

1.  AURELIA  HAM, b. 1806.

2.  LUCY ANN HAM, b. 1808, Montgomery County, MO; d. July 28, 1890, Camp Point, Adams County, Illinois; m. WILLIAM TAYLOR, September 29, 1831, Callaway County, MO.

Children of JOHN HAM and ELIZABETH THOMAS are:

3. ELIZABETH GUTHRIE  HAM, b. 1819, Missouri; m. THOMAS B. FULTON, January 26, 1841, Adams County, Illinois.

4. RHODA COFER HAM, b. November 22, 1820, Callaway County, MO; d. November 5, 1881, Camp Point, Adams County, Illinois; m. (1) SAMUEL SMITH, June 23, 1832, Adams County, Illinois; m. (2) MATTHEW KEMP, October 1857.

5. NANCY HAM, b. May 6, 1825, Missouri; d. July 17, 1901, Bowen Hancock, Illinois; m. DAVID PINCKNEY ROBISON, May 10, 1849, Barry Pike, Illinois. Burial: Bowen, Hancock County, Illinois

6. TABITHA HAM, b. February 13, 1828, Missouri; d. February 20, 1907, Hand County, South Dakota; m. JOHN WESLEY BARBER, June 1, 1848, Adams County, Illinois. Burial: Mondamin Township Cemetery, Hand, SD

7. CHARLOTTE HAM, b. 1831, Missouri; m. ALBERT G. MOORE, December 21, 1861, Adams County, IL.

8. MARY ELLEN HAM, b. January 26, 1837, Adams County, Illinois; d. Adams County, Illinois; m. WILLIAM LIKES, January 31, 1860, Adams County, Illinois.


1. Microfilm #183302 Page 105, Frankfort Kentucky Archives.