Here are a few stories about the Family,
as they were given to me..
Soverign and Simco (brother's) were both
'JUSTICE OF THE PEACE' who officiated
at many weddings in the 1850s
in Russell County, KY. I also found
something kind of entertaining about
Simco. Once he was appointed an
appraiser along with three other
men on the estate of Thomas Wilson.
He turned in one bill to the court
for $7 to cover the coffin he made
for Wilson, 4 days of appraising,
and 2 days of supervising the
estate sale. He was also paid $4.75 for
whiskey consumed during the
appraisal and the susequent sale.
Cousin to Popplewell's
About the Popplewell Alligator Dock and Marina,
it is on Wolf Creek
near the Wolf Creek Dam.
The dam is what created Lake Cumberland.
It was built by the Corps on Engineers
in the 1940s to alleviate
flooding along that creek and the Cumber
land River. Hundreds of acres
of farmland were purchased for
the project, including the original
parcels owned by my Simcoe Popplewell.
(In his will he says his
mother and father (Isaac and Elizabeth)
are buried on his land.) All
known graves were relocated.
The graves of Squire Popplewell, his
wife, and several children were
relocated from the Caney Fork
Cemetery to the Square Oak Church Cemetery
during the 1940s. About
30 other graves were also moved,
but had no markers at the time.
Those graves are marked today only with
small rocks. Issac, Elizabeth,
and Simcoe could be among those.
Who knows. There are several small
Popplewell family cemeteries on the
backroads near the marina. The
gravestones in those date back to the 1880s.
On may 1, 1858, Daniel Cummings purchased
of Gohlson Popplewell, a Negro
woman named Ann for $1000. At the time
of the sale Popplewell warrented
that the slave was of sound mind and body.
However, according to Daniel,
Ann was unsound in body at the very moment
of sale, for expended immediatly
$100 to sure her. A sum he believed
Popplewell ought to pay!"
During the civil War, the Military headq
uarters of Central Missouri
appointed a board of loyal citizens, sworn
into office at Lion Creek. The
board was authorized to levy upon active
southern sympathizers when
requested to do so by the militia.
The account lists about a dozen names of
which Soverign Popplewell was included for
The name Richard Poplar (one spelling
of Popplewell) is signed to an 1838
petition to the Miller County Court praying
for organization of Glaize
Township...a petition granted May7, 1838.
There is a Richard Popplewell
buried in the Warren Cemetery in
the southern part of Galize Township. He
believed to be the brother of Soverign and
My husband's line
begins with Isaac Popplewell who was
married to Elizabeth Flint. We do not
have his birthdate but know that he
died in 1841. Elizabeth was born in
1770 in Virginia and her son Simco Popplewell
was born in 1792 in Virginia.
He married Sinchi ?.
Their son Soverin Popplewell was born Jan
in Russeltown Ky. He
married Polly Jane Meredith who was bo
rn April 30, 1818 in Weekly Co. Tenn.
The were married Oct 15, 1840 in Camden Co.
, Mo. Soverign and Polly are
buried on their plantation in Miller Co.,
We were there last March
(1996). According to the records of
Miller Co. the following children were
born in Miller Co.--Cynthia C. Popplewell,
Margaret Popplewell, Jame E.
Popplewell, Soverign Green Popplewell, Mary,
Martha Jane Popplewell, and
Miranda Isabell Popplewell (my husbands
gr grandmother). I am still trying
to research the elder Isaac Popplewell
and his son Simco. Beginning at
least with the elder Isaac Popplewell,
the Popplewells all seemed to name
their son's Isaac, Soverign, and Simco.
We have found all three of these
names in Kentucky and Missouri--obviously
different individuals some almost
the exact same age.
Mary Evelyn (Corky) Swanson
1463 Beechwood Lane
Abilene TX 79603
have pictures of the graves of Polly
and Soverign Popplewell and Margaret
Popplewell Reed (one of their daughters)
and their granddaughter Lena. The
"Plantation" is partly in the middle
the Lake of the Ozarks now. the
cemetery and the remains of the house
are in the Lake of the Ozarks State
Park Wilderness area now. We hiked in about
a mile through much overgrown
greenbriar in March of 1996.
I think when I get all of the tree
together--hope to have it by the end
of the summer at the latest, I will
find that your Soverign is our Soverigns
Uncle but I am not sure. One of
our problems in tracing this family was
that we too had copies of the Mormon
records--our Popplewells were not Mor
mons but some of their decendants
were--and since the names involved
were the same we had to do quite some
digging to uncover the right family.
We know for sure that the Soverign
Popplewell born in 1817 and the Polly Meridith
Popplewell born in 1818 were
my husbands ancestors.
They were only 22 and 23 years old when they
married in Bridal Cave in Camden Co., Mo.
He was named after his uncle
Soverign (Simco's brother) Simco was
born in 1792 and was younger than his
brother Soverign. I will keep you infor
med as I can uncover more--will also
send you copies of the headstones from Miller
They are not super plain,
but they headstones do
have the 1817 and 1818 birthdates on
them. I found a number of Soverign
Popplewells and Simco Popplewells
on the 1840 and 1850 census. Most from Ky
or Mo, but a few from other places
as well. I have not been able to find
out when or where they came into this
country for sure. Family history on
our end says that Isaac came from France--however,
the only records I have
found for entry into the U.S. by Popplewells
dates in the late 1600's when
three of them were sent over from England
as indentured servants. I have
not found any other record to date of Popplewells
entering the U.S. --none
of the three were names Isaac, Soverign
, or Simco or even James which seems
to be another favorite name for the Popplewells.
Oh yeah! Back to the
Plantation--It is about six miles east of
To even get to a place
to hike in through the woods, you have
to go over a suspension bridge that
is over a 100 years old. You hike through
the woods over the hill and
through a hollow and back up on the hill
reach the remains of the house.
It was at least 2 stories high with a basement.
There are probably 15 or 20
graves in the cemetery which is about
100 feet nw of the house. It looks
down on a river valley that leads down
to the edge of the lake. Their were
two wagon roads down to the property--one
low to the "farm land" and one
high up to the house. It took us two trips
and a roll of twine--you could
get lost in those woods real easy--to find
the cemetery and house. We plan
to take my husband's mother
back the first of August. All four of her
gr-grandparents are buried in Miller Co.
and we located all of their graves
when we were there.
Mary Evelyn (Corky) Swanson
1463 Beechwood Lane
Abilene TX 79603
There's a little article in the book called
Pioneer Family. Here's what it said:
"The Popplewell family first moved to
Kentucky after the
Revolutionary War. Isaac Popplewell, son
of Hack Popplewell, took
possession of his father's land grant prior
to 1803. The land grant
was issued to Hack Popplewell for services
rendered in the
Revolutionary War. The area of the land grant
was in the Wolf Creek
area of what is now Russell County, but was
at that time Adair County.
Isaac and his wife, Elizabeth Flint, had
nine children and 50 or
so grandchildren that helped to settle the
county. Their children
were: Judith (b. 1785) m. William Meek; Soverign
(b. 1878) m. first
Nancy Denton and second M. Collett; Simco
(b. 1790) m. Sinthi
Chamberlain; Sarah (b. 1704) m. J. Barron;
Nancy (b. 1796) m. John
Fry; John (b. 1801) m. Sally Dunbar; Josiah
(b. 1802 d. 1811); Isaac
Jr. (b. 1804) m. Susannah Chamberlain; and
Barrett (b. 1806) m. first
Elizabeth Hart and second ? Henlinger.
It took great effort for these men and women
to clear the land
near the waters of Wolf Creek where they
made their homes. The trees
were first cut with crosscut saws, the smaller
limbs were but from
the big trees and placed on slides to later
split for firewood. The
main trunk of the tree was dragged to the
potential homesite to be
used for building. The stumps were butned
the burned remains dug out.
The roots of the tree had to be located the
dug out so they wouldn't
break the point of the plow. This process
would often take more than
two years before a crop could actually be
Simco Popplewell (b. 1790, d. 1873) married
Sinthi Chamberlain in
1811. They had 11 children. Simco was the
second son of Isaac and
Elizabeth. He became a Justice of the Peace
in Russell County and his
name is found on many marriage bonds in the
early records of the
county. He was also a coffin maker and a
whiskey maker according to
records. Simco had skills as a surveyor and
served on the committee
to find suitable locations for new roads
as the county began to
The early members of this family had various
skills that they used
in their communities. It appears they were
Simco's grandson, Cornelius, even worked
on riverboats as a singer.
The men were skilled hunters and fishermen.
One of the early settlers
made whiskey barrels, another was a store
keeper, still another was a
lay doctor. Many of the women were said to
have the "gift," being the
skill to blow out the fire from a burn and
to rub a wart to make it
disappear, among others things that were
almost supernatural. Some
were said to have a sixth sense that foretold
disasters. While these
things were unusual, they certainly made
for an interesting family.
Many descendants of these early settlers
remained in the county
and continue to follow the tradition of serving
their community in
various ways. One descendant served as deputy
sheriff for many years,
one began the tourism industry here, two
serve as dentists, one
served as mayor of one of our local communities
for several years,
one serves as county clerk, many are merchants,
a few are ministers,
dozens served and continue to serve as school
administrators and several continue the tradition
of farming. They
continue to be a large and vital part of