Searching for the origins of John Lair. No clues emerged at his home in Greene County, Missouri or Boone County, Arkansas. John Lair was born about 1812 in Kentucky; died June 1877 in Rally Hill, Boone Co., Arkansas; m. 20 March 1834 in Monroe Co. Mo., Margaret Looney b. 1814 d/o John and Mary (Garrison) Looney.

John Lair first appeared in Greene County, Missouri in 1838. For his biography, see Opening the Ozarks by Marsha Hoffman Rising, pp. 1195-1197.   

Lincoln County, Kentucky, there were 4 heads of household named Lair in 1830. Bradford Lair was eliminated by age and he had a son John.  

**Thomas, p. 351 had a large family including a male 15-20. 1 male under 5, 1male 5-10, 1 male 10-15, 1 male 15-20, 1 male 20-30; 1 male 50-60 and 6 females including one to be the age of the mother. 8 slaves.  

p. 353 Margaret Lair had a son 20-30, but not one in the right age bracket. She had younger sons and she was 30-40. Two slaves. 

**p. 354 Jesse Lair had a male in the proper age bracket. He was a male 50-60; two smaller sons that the 15-20. No slaves tho he lived amongst large slave holders.   

Todd Co. Kentucky p. 359

George Lair; the head was 30-40 and he had young sons.  

Warren Co. Kentucky p. 107

William Lair 1 male 30-40 with 2 small children.  

Harrison County, p. 158 is Matthias who can probably be eliminated because his family is in the ancestral file and seems to be known.

Garrard County has 11 heads of household named Lair  

***p.214 Jesse Lair has a large family with the eldest son 20-30. Jesse was 50-60 and he did have a male 15-20 in the household. Two slaves 

p. 223 John Lair is 20-30 with a female 20-30 and two daughters under 5. He has a male 15-20 in the household, but it doesn’t seem that would be another John. He may be the man who married in the 1820s. Betsy Buchanan. no slaves  

p. 223 James Lair has a male 20-30 in the household (no smaller children); he was 60-70 and there is a female 20-30 in the household.

 p. 224 William Lair  is 30-40 and does not have a male the proper age in his home.  

p. 226 James Lair is 60-70 with a male 20-30 who probably is the one with the two small sons under 5.  Two slaves 

p. 235 Older John (very faint writing, but no male in the appropriate category.)

 p. 235 David Lair male 60-70 with no male in appropriate category.  

p. 239 James Lair 20-30 with no male in appropriate category.  

p. 244 Claiborn Lair APPEARS TO be older man with none in the right category, but too faded to be sure.  no slaves  

**p. 244 George Lair APPEARS to be 60-70 with a male 10-15, 15-20. No females; no slaves.  

Clay County, Kentucky

p. 173  Two William Lair, but appears to be mistake. The first has male 20-30 who is head of household. The second has the eldest male 10-15 and a female 40-50.  

Garrard and Lincoln, the counties with the largest concentration of Lairs were adjoining. Slave country.  

Except for the lack of slaves, the household of George Lair looks likely. He may be the man who married in Lincoln Co. 1 Sept. 1787 Catharine Hogland. This would make John born rather late in the marriage, but he did name a daughter Katie.  

If John was born in 1812, he should have turned 21 in 1833, the year before he married in Missouri. There are no tax books for the year 1831 or 1832 in Garrard County. In 1833, there are a number of Lairs who are not a wealthy bunch. George pays for 1 white male over 21. Don’t know if there were exemptions for age. Doesn’t appear that way. No John.  

In 1834, no tax list has survived.  

In 1835, no John is listed. George is still alive, but has no property. In 1836, no John.  

In 1830 there was a John “Lear” with no real property, but he had 5 slaves, 2 horses and paid a poll. This shouldn’t be the right John.  

Garrard County Will Books; not researched

William Lair 1807 C:47

George Lair 1834 G:188

James Lear 1842 K:415

David 1843 K:590

James Lear 1854 N:252

William 1855 N:376  

Grantees Garrard County  

Joseph Craig sold to David Lair 1806 50 acres on Long Branch G:118

William Wyley and wife sold to David Lair 40 acres on Long Branch in 1817 E:455

John Loyd heirs sold to Jesse Lair 97 acres on Sugar Creek 1821.

Jesse mortgaged personal property to Charles Hays in 1828 K:67

1830 George took personal apprentice Henry Reynolds by Garrard County Court K:265

Last deed until 20th century.  

All other grantees were under name of “Lear” beginning with James in 1797. The Lears were living on Back Creek George purchased his first parcel in 1811 from Moses Lear D:35 for 82 acres.  

Thomas Montgomery heirs quit claimed to Jesse Lear in 1823 62 ½ acres on Long Branch. H:372


Thomas Blackwell heirs to James Lear in 1826 for 65 acres on Scotts Fork.  

Claiborn was the Exr of David’s estate in 1843.  

The only 19th century grantors for Lair was James for the 65 acres in 1829 on Scott’s Fork J:578 and  James transferring a mortgage in 1842.  

The vast majority of the deeds are under Lear beginning with John Lear selling 52 acres on Back Creek to James Lear in 1806 C:195. Jesse’s wife was Betsy.  

In 1828, George sold 11¾ acres on Long Branch to George Simpson. Susanna and Wm. G. Lear also sold 87 acres on Back Creek to George Simpson.  

The only deed which looks like it could be relevant would be George by Exr. 1837 where there is a John D. Lear involved. M:244. It’s the only John after the original sale in the 1807.

Also POA to John D. Lear from Wm. G. M:364. William G. Lear and wife Susannah and Nancy Lear wife of John D. Lear of Marion Co. Indiana give power of attorney to John D. Lear to handle estate of their father George Lear deceased of Garrard County, Kentucky.  

Lincoln Co. Kentucky Deed Index.  

James Withers to John Lair on Dixon River 235 acres. N:176

John Kissinger to Jesse Lair 102 acres on Dixon River N:181

Chris H. Crouick to Thomas Lair 40 acres on Dixon River O:112.  

Thomas Lair sold his 40 acres in 1845 to Henry Myers S:479. Thomas and wife Polly sold 8 May 1845 for $50. 

Jesse Lair sold 144, 102 acres to Wm. Y. Collier T:220 1847. Jesse and his wife Elizabeth had moved to Rockcastle Co. Kentucky when they sold their land on Cedar Creek.  

Lairs hrs to Early Ball 236 acres 1853 X:370. John and Elizabeth’s heirs were William A. Smizer and wife Helena of St. Louis Co. Missouri, Charles T. Smith and wife Catharine Jonathan S. Smith and Elizabeth A. Smith of Harrison County, Kentucky.  

1833 John Lair had his 235 acres on the Dixon River. 1 poll, 1 slave.

Stephen B. Lair, Thomas Lair, no land, 1 poll, 2 horses, Jacob Lair, Jesse Lair 102 acres on Cison Creek. No 1834.  

1835 Tax List Elizabeth Lair with 235 acres on Dixon River.

Thomas Lair with 30 acres on Dixon River.

Moses Lair with no property 1 poll, 1 horse 

Jesse Lair 102 acres 1 poll, 1 slave.

 Harrison County, Kentucky   Will Book B, p. 316 

John Lair named beloved wife Sally a portion of the farm around the house and various other named items, daughter Sally was to be given as were other daughters.  He named three sons: William, Mathias and Jacob. Mentioned daughter, Margaret Anderson and began to divide estate into 1/9 for each.  William, 1/9; daughter Katharine 1/9, son Paul Lair, 1/9, son John W. Lair 1/9, daughter Mary Payton 1/9; to son Jacob 1/9, daughter Sally Lair 1/9 all of whom were rightful heirs.  Sons Matthias and J.W. Lair, Exrs.

Mathias was to make a deed to J.W. Lair and Jacob Lair for the bond which they hold for a deed on me.  1 June 1827. Wit: Daniel McClintock and S.W.B. Carnagy.  Recorded Sept. 1827.

  Tax Lists

  1829 Matthias, Jacob, Sally, Paul, paying taxes in Harrison -- no John

  1830  John W. Lair is listed 1 white poll, 2 horses - no slaves, no land.

  1831 John W. Lair 1 white poll

  1832 Not listed;

1834 John W. Lair with 170 acres;

1835 John W. Lair 140 acres

1836 Not there.