Libby Preston Genealogy | The Way We Died

This is one of my favorite pages & I hope you enjoy it as well.

Be sure to visit the Epidemics and Old Times Diseases pages as well. My research into the cause of death for my various ancestors has lead me to one definite conclusion. My relatives must have slept on the railroad tracks.

There are an unusually large number of deaths related to trains. Way too many to list here. This prompted my sister Anita to say she’d rather fly! I’m keeping a running tally of train related accidents below.

You’ll find murdered, suicide, strange & unusual causes as well as statistics below giving the totals of several different categories.


Castle Joseph B. Sr. 5-11-1882 12-22-1929 Joe was a Johnson County, Kentucky Sheriff who died the day after he was wounded in a shoot out with Jesse B. Dills on the streets of Paintsville, KY.
Daniel Hershell V. 2-19-1924 01-09-1968 Stabbed 44 times in prison. He also bit the nose off of a guard and spit it out at his feet.
Dills Jesse B. 11-28-1899 12-21-1929 Killed in a shootout with Sheriff Joe Castle on the streets of Paintsville, Johnson Co., KY.
Garner Mary (Layce) Abt 1613 1635 Killed in Shropshire England while being tried as a witch. See her story on my Miscellaneous But Interesting page.
Hatfield Erictus abt 1788 Unknown Stabbed himself while gutting a deer
Hylton Eliphas Preston Shelton 02-28-1820 02-17-1896 Killed by the Ku Klux Klan
McCoy George 1867 1935 Per the physician – this is all the information I could get…..
O’Bryan Margaret (Pack) 1804 07-23-1859 Mortification (I never knew anyone who really died of Mortification but in the 1850’s it was what we now call gangrene)
Preston, Sr. Eliphas 1795 03-02-1861 By A Hurt (Talk about an understatement)
Preston Elizabeth Ann 9-1-1859 Bef. 1910 Killed when a limb her husband was cutting down fell on her head
Preston Steven Francis 3-7-1865 8-4-1923 Dropped from horse about noon but dead when help got to him (copied verbatim from the death certificate)
Price George Wasington 2-9-1861 12-28-1924 Dropped Dead Cause Unknown
VanHoose Brook Lyn January 1868 12-19-1939 Kidnapped & held for ransom. Died while trying to escape. He was wearing a 5 carat diamond ring when he was found. Talk about dumb crooks!
Walker Samuel Porter 7-17-1826 12-8-1911 Run over my a mule team on a public highway
Ward Jesse Abt. 1820 12-27-1856 Gravel (Kidney or gallstones)

Libby Preston Genealogy | UNUSUAL MURDERS – SUICIDES – & MAYHEM

Castle Anderson, Frances (Davis), Catherine & Foster Various beginning abt 1847 10-25-1899 Father, Mother & 2 of the children were poisoned.
Connors Raymond Unknown Unknown Murdered by his sons
Hatfield Ellison August 1841 8-9-1882 First victim of the Hatfield & McCoy Feud. Stabbed 26 times and shot in the back.
Mounts Ellison Unknown 2-18-1889 The only participant in the Hatfield & McCoy feud to be executed in connection with the feud. He was hung in Pikeville, Pike Co., KY
Various Known Murders – includes 4 hangings & 14 poisonings Total of 132 known murders as of June 13, 2007 & includes one “Mysterious Circumstances”
Various Known Suicides Total of 31 known suicides as of June 13, 2007
Suicides/Murders not confirmed which Total of 10 either murders/suicides undetermined which as of June 13, 2007

Libby Preston Genealogy | INDIAN MASSACRES

Nappier Fanny (Alley) & 5 children 1750 & Various 1777 Fanny & her 5 children were killed near Ft. Blackmore, VA. That same year her sister, Mary “Polly” Alley was also captured but escaped unharmed.
Wiley Jenny (Sellards), her half brother & 5 children 1760 & various 1831
Children killed October 1789 This brave pioneer woman watched as Indians murdered her brother and children in October 1789. She escaped and raised 5 more children. One of Kentucky’s State Parks is named in her honor. Read her story on the Miscellaneous but Interesting Page.
Total Indian Related Total of known 26 Indian related killings as of June 13, 2007


Listed in my database as of June 13, 2007

Number of automobile, motorcycle, truck, bulldozer or truck related accidents 189
Number of fire related deaths 49
Number of fatal dog or snake bites 7
Number of drownings 47
Number of electrocutions 8
Number of horse related accidents 12
Number of plane accidents 7
Number of mine/industrial accidents accidents 85
Number of deaths by tornado – 5 were killed in the Griffin Tornado, Posey County, Indiana in 1925 6
Number of tree related accidents, falling limbs, etc. 5
Number of train related accidents 53
Number of war related deaths – Includes 4 Prisoners of War 124

Anemia, Pernicious Anemia, Leukemia 20
Cholera 25
Diphtheria 29
Fever (Cat scratch, spotted, rabbit & others) 37
Flu or Influenza 75
Measles 18
Premature births, SIDS, Died before age 1, Stillborn 198
Scarlett Fever 12
Smallpox 4
Tetanus or lockjaw 5
Typhoid 80
Tuberculosis & Consumption 210
Whooping Cough & Croup 41
Yellow Fever 1