Risner Family History & Genealogy

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Risner Last Name History & Origin

Updated Sep 13, 2017


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Member since 2002
SharonK Cornell
23 favorites
SharonK Cornell commented
This was sent to me by Patrick Visser.
MEREDITH RISNER (James, Michael Sr., Michael Jr., Hans Michael)
Was born November, 1831 in Magoffin Co., KY. Meredith was a blacksmith
He married ELIZABETH 'BETTY' WHITAKER, who 'kept house', born in 1848, Magoffin Co, KY. Meredith is Buried in Merdia Fork,
Magoffin Co., KY. Meredith applied in August 1907 for status as 1/16 Cherokee Indian through an application to the Guion Miller Roll
#42252. He was rejected on
the Miller Roll due to various stringent conditions to be accepted. Meredith died between 1907 and 1910.
Served as UNION SOLDIER -14th KY Infantry, Company F. His brothers Wilson, George, Francis "Frank" and Michael also served in the
same company. And, cousins Dial, Marshall and Kels Risner. And, uncle Elias "Eli" Risner .
...There was quite a crowd of men waiting to be sworn into the army that day and they gathered on a log yard to sit around and pass off time.
As young men will do, they began to demonstrate their strength by lifting the ends of various sized logs. As the logs were lifted they would try
to lift even larger ones. Only Merdia [Meredith Risner, Co. F] could lift the largest logs on the lot.
After Merdia lifted the largest log on the lot, all the men wondered how much Merdia could lift so one by one they began to climb on the log
and stand. Merdia lifted this largestlog with eight men standing on it as close to the end as they could stand after this demonstration of
strength there was little doubt in anyone's mind that Merdia was the strongest man in the two counties.
[This incident was said to have taken place in Prestonsburg but it is my guess that it was at LoUisa when Meredith was sworn in with Co. F .

Legends in Blue and Gray, pp. 1534/1535, as told by Afton Marshall, Salyersville, KY

Military information found for this sholdier is as follows:
Volunteer Service Record-not dated: Meredith Risner, Co. F, 14th Regt. Ky Inf.,
age 33, 5 feet 10 inches, dark complexion, dark eyes, dark hair, born Floyd Co.
Ky, farmer, enrolled 3 Aug 1863, deserted 12 May 1864. Application for the
removal of the charge of desertion and for an honorable discharge from service
stands denied. On 31 Dec. 1863 was at home sick in Magoffin Co Ky.
Jun 05, 2003 · Reply
Member since 2002
SharonK Cornell
23 favorites
SharonK Cornell commented
These stories were told by Lee to his grandson, Craig C Cook, in Ohio.

I have traded since I was about 12 years old. I got a pretty good knife and I sold
it for 75 cents. I thought I will never get no place this way, so I bought some sitting
eggs and hatched everyone of them, and sold the chickens for $7.50, and I thought
now I am getting somewhere. I traded a bushel of corn for a pig, to a kid who lived
up the hill, who always went barefooted. I built a trough and fed the pig all the scraps
and green fodder he could eat. The pig had nine piglets. They were the prettiest things
I ever laid my eyes on. They were red, white and black, and I sold them for 40.00.
Now I thought I would get into hoss swapin. I bought a horse with the 40.00.
The horse was a big yaller hoss, but had a knott on his left hind leg, but I knew what to
do about that. I fed the horse for a month, and the day came I was fixin fer. My horse
looked a lot different, and I went hoss swapin. I road the hoss down to Hot Lick as fast
as I could. I swapped that spunky critter for 20.00 and a horse that could run, walk and
pace a streak. She was a dandy mare. I then swapped for another mare and 60.00. I
fed this mare well. In one day I had swapped three horses and made 80.00. Another
hoss swap came, and I bought a gray mare right off the bat. When I took her home, I
worked on her to perfection. When Brock Howard saw the mare, he said what in daggone
nation you got? Then I swapped with him for another horse. Then we met Tank Risner and
I made Brock Howard's horse rare and walk on his two hind legs clear to the barn, then
I climbed off. Tank was pretty impressed. I said do you want to swap. I traded Tank
the horse for a mule, and then sold the mule to Howard for another mule and 125.00.
In one year I had made 225.00 and a right nice mule.

Lee Risner
Jun 05, 2003 · Reply
Member since 2002
SharonK Cornell
23 favorites
SharonK Cornell commented
August 15 1895 I married Polly Risner. I was 15 1/2 years old. Two weeks after we married,
Polly and I, 5 fellas, all about 16 or 17, 35 people in all, left Kentucky with a wagon train
for Oklahoma.
Late in October the train was caught in a blizzard. We came to a brick house,
the only one we had seen that day. I decided to stop and ask if we could spend the night
and wait out the storm. The Wagon Master said it was useless to ask, as people have a
rough time making it on their own.
An old couple lived all alone in the house. They welcomed quests, as long as they
brought their own grub. All 35 stayed two days. The old folks enjoyed us all.
The train left early Oct 20th, a very cold clear day. It turned out that only 6 miles ahead
was as far as we were to go.
The Indians in Oklahoma were a poor lot. A friend, Ed Carr, a Cherokee, worked from
sun-up to sun-down, sawing fire wood for 40 cents a day all winter and spring.
Ed Carr's son contacted TB, and his father took him to the hospital in Hot Springs.
I went and found new work. We spent the summer with Jake Splitlog and his wife.
Jake lived in a cave cut out of the side of a 52 foot cliff, along side of Cowskin River.
We put our things in a very large room.
Jake's wife baked me my first white bread with Syrup.
On a Sat. the first hot day of June in 1896, I took the afternoon off. We went swimming
in the Cowskin River. Jake said he would teach me how to swim, but I knew he would
probably throw me out in the middle and that would be the end of Lee Risner.
Jake said "get on shoulders." I knew this was it for me. Jake waded right to the
middle and threw me kleen in the water. "Well on land or in the water, I worked at living."
I splashed and kicked, finally just as I was sure to drown, Jake put his hand under me,
and I swam right to the other side of the river.
A stand of trees grew on that bank, and hundreds of squirrels lived in those trees, mostly
grey or black squirrels. Jake took his knife and cut two clubs. Before we knew it we had
killed enough meat for the next two or three days meals. The squirrels were awful thick.
It was mating season. They chased each other right around our ankles. With 14
squirrels tied to Jake's back, we swam back across the river to the Indians house.
I recall that river was so clear, you could see every mineral in it, even a pin head.
When Ed Carr 's son turned sixteen, Ed and him built a railroad They split logs and
used them for tracks. All of Mr Carr's children received 160 acres of Oklahoma farm
land the day of their birth.
I got sick with Malaria fever, and Polly and I had to leave our wagon and most of our
things and return to Kentucky by train.

Lee Risner
Jun 05, 2003 · Reply
Member since 2002
SharonK Cornell
23 favorites
SharonK Cornell commented
I remarried in 1913 to Nina Arnett. In 1918 Drury and Betty Risner and Nina and I were
living on the Flat Bank of a river that was a tributary of the Ohio River, near Mcguffey
Ohio, when we had a big flood.
We had rain for three days and nights. We had water for as far as you could see, and
it was up to the windows. Duruy thought Betty was going to drown, but Betty and Nina
were sitting high and dry on two wooden crates they had brought in from the barn just
in case the water did rise. I crawled through a window and down a ledge along the
side of the house to the roof. I tried signaling for help. No one came. Hours later
a large boat picked us four up and took us to the city to Sperbeck's House. The
house had two floors, and 33 people lived on the second floor for 3 days. Some
government boats then took us to to a Grange Hall up on a hill, a few miles east.
All we had to drink was two cups of coffee, and no one had anything to eat since
we first climbed into the boat. On the 6th day we were taken to a large cellar with
beds and tables and food. The ordeal lasted 13 days.
The house back in McGuffey had to be scrubbed 3 times with a scrub broom and a
bucket. The muck was 3 inches thick, soft and mushy. We shoveled it out the
With no food in the house, Nina and I went, or I should say floated to McGuffey. The
water in Flat Branch was still high. When we returned hours later the water had
receded. I had to carry Nina and the food half a mile to the house. Sometimes the
muck came up to my knees. Two days later the boat was right out in the middle of
our field.
Five years later I built a summer house. That same summer the onions grew large and
sweet, but so did those gray clouds. It had been a rainy week. The creek was high.
It was raining and thundering. Early the next Morning I gazed out the open window,
and what do you think I saw? All those beautiful onions floating past the porch down
by the big maple and away. That beautiful rain left Nina and I , our four children, Harold,
Cap, Jay and Jeggs almost broke. After returning from McGuffey where I bought
food, my Budget amounted to 73 cents. I owed the farmer down the road 75 cents,
and payed that. I then sent Nina and the children by train to Catlitsburg, Ky. The
conductor had read the papers and knew our trouble. I followed them down.
I was 350 miles from where I was born and not a cent to my name. Because I
was so sick, the trip on foot, from Catlitsburg to my parents, who lived in Salyersville
was rough. A stop at Tom Howard's helped me make the four hills between Redwins
and home.
In 1922 we moved to Cary, Seneca County Ohio. Earl was 3 months old. I started
planting onions when we lived on Greely Marshall's place, near the muck plant. We
then lived on a farm owned by Mr Newcomer for 11 years. I then bought John Kendricks
farm, and then 3 years later, Nina took sick and died in 1940.
Some of the family moved to Albion, Michigan.
I then worked for the railroad for 1 1/2 years and raised onion crops. The last crop
was partly rained out but still brought 668.00. Quite a lot.
Eaton Rapids was my next home and not a prosperous one. Both crops were no count.
My children, Earl, Sylvia, Roween and I moved back to Ohio and I lived there for
three years.
After Earls accident, I went to help Earl on his farm and lived there for 15 years.
I have been over a lot of ground.
My best memories are spending Christmas and other holidays with family.

Lee "Scott" Risner
Jun 05, 2003 · Reply
Member since 2002
SharonK Cornell
23 favorites
SharonK Cornell commented
There is a saying that goes you should not be faint hearted when you start digging into your family roots.
I think this might fit the stories told to me by Pearl Hopkins.

These stories were told to me by Pearl Risner Hopkins in 1994, about when Pearl, Julie and Willie lived with their grandparents Johnson and Susie Risner.

My Grandpaw Johnson Risner was a preacher, who had a wondering eye for other women. There was one woman he was sparking. He would preach at church, and then after church he would go to see this other woman. One Sunday when Gramdpaw was doing a baptism at the river, Jim Howard came and got Grandmaw "Susie" and took her to where Grandpaw was having the baptizing and told her, when I nod my head, you go over and shove her "Grandpaw's girlfriend" into the creek. Grandmaw waited for Jim's non, and she pushed the woman into the big hole of water where people were being baptized, and Jim Howard sitting on his horse raised his pistol and said, don't nobody touch her. If anyone touches her, I'll shoot their legs out from under them. Grandpaw said but she can't swim. Jim Howard told him, well is she can't swim, she can crawl. That is just what the woman did. She crawled to the bank, and sit down and waited until the water dripped off her, and got up and went home. When Grandpaw got through with baptizing, he went to see his other woman, and she would not let him in. When Grandpaw got home he said Susie, I am mad at you over what you done, shoving her over in that creek and making her crawl through the water. Grandmaw said I don't care if you are mad about it. You have no business of being with her no way. Grandpaw said Susie If I didn't love you so good. Grandmaw said I don't see how you can love me so good, when you are sparking another woman. Pearl went on to say my Grandpaw was a preacher all his life, and when he died he went to hell.
My Grandpaw liked his Whiskey. He kept his Whiskey hidden under the truce of a apple tree. One Sunday Grandmaw watched him when he was getting ready to go to the Licking River to baptize some people. He went to the tree and took a big swig of his whiskey, and then put it back under the tree. After Grandpaw left, Grandmaw went and got the Whiskey and took it to the creek and poured it out, and then threw the bottle in the creek.
Pearl said that her sister, brother and her were all raised by Johnson and Susie after her father and Nina moved to Ohio. She also said that Lee's brother Leslie's three children, came and lived with them also after their mother died. Pearl said she was the oldest and she had the work of taking care of all six of them. She said she had to carry water across a walk log from across the creek. Pearl said she went to sleep one night and dreamed she was carrying water over the creek. She took a bucket over there and dipped it full of water and got on the log and walked across the creek with the water. Grandmaw saw me and spoke to me, and woke me up. She said where have you been. I must have been walking in my sleep, and went and got the water.
Grandmaw was a little bitty thing. She wore a size two shoe. When she was carrying her kids, she never got over a hundred pounds. She was a good person. One day she sent us kids up on a hill to get wood to cook dinner with. We went up on the hill and hollered for some of our friends to come where we were. We were bending down trees and sitting on them, and bouncing off them. We looked and here came Grandpaw. He was stiffed kneed in one leg. He was coming up at hill walking stiff legged. I said lets run Julie. We ran down and around the hill grabbing some wood as we ran, and ran to the house. Grandmaw took us and hid us from Grandpaw, behind the dresser. Grandpaw came in and said where are them confounded kids, I am going to kill them. Grandmaw said you will not find them, I don't care what you say or do. Grandpaw sat down and said tell them to come out I won't whip them. .
One day Grandpaw fell into a sink hole. If you fall in a sink hole, they will pull you down to the bottom.
Anyway he fell in and no one could hear him holler for help. He prayed to God to send some boys along the road, so he could send them for help.. He looked up and here came two boys dancing and jumping along the road. He called to them to come to him. He told them to go get Susie and for her to get the horse. When Grandmaw came with the horse, she threw him the lines and pulled him out of the hole.
Grandpaw thanked God that he had Grandmaw that day.

Pearl died in Warsaw, Indiana in 1998
Jun 05, 2003 · Reply
Member since 2002
SharonK Cornell
23 favorites
SharonK Cornell commented
This story was told to me by Pearl Risner Hopkins, Oct 7th 1994. Pearl was born 1903, and was the daughter of Lee and his first wife Polly Risner. This story is about Lee and Polly Risner.

Paw and Maw Risner went to Oak. by covered wagon. On the trip they had a barrel of
Molasses. Two to six jiblings (Not sure what jiblings means) crawled under the wagon
and kept it out of the water, and they swam in under it and held it up, and the wagon was
drove to the other side of the river. Paw told them who ever has got a bucket, bring it to me
and I will give you something good to eat. Paw said everyone of them hollered I've got a
bucket. Paw told the first one that hollered to bring his bucket and I will pour you out a
bucket of Molasses.
Paw and Maw was back from Oak when I was born in 1903. While they were living in Oak.,
Paw got Yellow Jaundice and they had to come back home on a train. They could not
bring their wagon back. Paw and Maw rode the train to Ivington, Ky and got off and
walked to the Jim Howard farm up on Puncheon.
Maw "Polly died of a fever.
When Paw got remarried to Nina Arnett,and before they moved to Ohio, he would plow
and plant big fields of corn, and Maw "Nina" would plant beans in the corn. It was my
sister and brother and my job to hoe the corn and beans. We sure hoed a lot of corn
while we were growing up.
Jun 05, 2003 · Reply

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