From Monroe to Carlisle and Back

John Workman moved to the Monroe, Tennessee area (Overton County), then to Carlisle, Kentucky and then back. In a recent trip, we visited Monroe, TN and Carlisle, KY and places in between. This document shows some pictures and information of this area.

From the John Workman history, we have:
John Workman left Maryland in 1808 and went to Kentucky and from there to Overton County, Tennessee, where he met and married Lydia Bilyeu. She was born 18th of August 1793, in Kentucky. Their first three children, Richard who died at the age of three years, Jacob L. And Elizabeth, were born in Overton Co. Tennessee.

In 1814, John and his family moved to Kentucky and bought land in Nicholas County, just ten miles north of where his father has settled in Bourbon County, two years earlier. By industry and economy, the Workman's soon found themselves in good circumstances, both in land and money. John built a fine home in Carlisle, Nicholas County, Kentucky where six more children were born to them, John B, Samuel, Lydia, Hannah, Abram S, Andrew J, and Cornelius C.

The Workman's were very sincere in their religious beliefs. They belonged to the Tunker's, or German Baptist Church. John having studied the Bible and classified its scriptures into subjects, and had a very comprehensive understanding of the teachings of Christ.

He tried to show the members the better understanding of the scriptures, this led to arguments and contentions among them. John was sure they were not interpreting the scriptures correctly. This brought hatred and envy of the members of the church upon him and his family, causing them much trouble, hardships and suffering, from the evil thrusts of members and others. For this reason John left Carlisle and went back to Overton Co.,Tennessee, because of the bitterness in the community toward them over religious disputes, it was impossible for John to sell his fine holdings in Carlisle so he abandoned them. When I was in Carlisle, Kentucky in 1932, I found that four of the best city lots in the center of Carlisle was deeded to John Workman. The only certificate of title the present occupants had was, based on, " long continued uninterrupted possession." These holders were very much afraid that I was going to start action against them.

We visited Monroe, Tennessee and the surrounding area. At first we could not find the town of Monroe. There were no specific signs pointing to the town (that we could find), but we found signs. First, we found a road sign that looked promising:

Up that road we found a small cemetery, but it did not contain any names that were familiar. It appeared to be for that farm family.
location: 36°26'56"N 85°15'58"W

Here is a picture of that area:

We did find another cemetery near the highway (Tennessee highway 111) that had some very old gravestones, unreadable, that we suppose could have been relatives. The ones we could read had no family names, however.
location: 36°26'22"N 85°15'55"W

After wandering a bit, we actually did find the town of Monroe, to the east side of the highway a ways, and found the Monroe Cemetery. location: 36°26'06"N 85°15'05"W

The next picture also shows some of the terrain around the town of Monroe:
We visited a cemetery about 20 miles north of Monroe, in Kentucky. This cemetery has a number of people in it named Ballew. We figured that Ballew could be a variation of Bilyeu, and could have been relatives of Lydia Bilyeu. This cemetery is called the Charlie Allen Cemetery and is located Kentucky road 379 near East Morgan Road. It is in what originally was Green County, Kentucky. Lydia Bilyeu is listed as being from Green County. Green County is now much smaller and is farther north in central Kentucky.
location: 36°51'07"N 85°15'08"W

There were a number of cemeteries between here and Lexington that had people named Ballew or other such spellings. There is even one near Lancaster called the Ballew Cemetery, but we were unable to find it. Many of these are located on private property off the main road.

Along the way is the Cumberland River which meanders along, near the Charlie Allen Cemetery. It would have proven an obstacle to the Workman family in their travels. Now there is a dam and a very large reservoir there making the Cumberland Lake.

On the way to Carlisle, we stopped in Paris, Kentucky, the county seat of Bourbon County. John Workman's father was buried in Bourbon County. It is about 10 miles west of Carlisle and in beautiful horse country.

In this last picture you can see the city of Carlisle past the view of the cemetery.

Joseph and Shauna (Workman) Buchanan - October 2006

Back to Workman Family History web pages.