So far I've posted bits and pieces, let me do one consolidated listing in hopes of clarification (or perhaps as a cheap cure for insomnia???)
My great-grandfather, James Gish, was one of the Muhlenberg Gishes, who came to that area through PA and Ohio ...
Muhlenberg isn't an actual town but a county in W. Central KY ... if you divided the state into quarters length-wise it would be near the western quarter line in the middle. The county seat is in Greenville.
There is (probably) a spelling alteration in that there are some letters in the German alphabet which don't exist in English. One is the "s-set", which would look like a capital B in script-cursive. It translates into "ss" in English. Your great aunt in German would groBtante as groB would translate into gross in English. There is an alternate "u" in German called an "umlaut". It appears as a "u" but with a pair of dots (like those in the "i") above it. A regular "u" is pronounced "hard", like "you", where an umlaut is softer, like "ewe".
There is also the possibility of an "e" following the "u" but I doubt it. muhl (with umlaut) means "mill" as in a grain mill where with a regular "u" or an "e" added in either case does not translate into any common German word I'm aware of.
Muhlenberg would translate into "community with a mill".
James Gish was apparently born there around 1840 and is listed in the 1850 census. Family oral tradition has him moving to Paducah around the Civil War, through Mayfield (a town about a quarter of Paducah's population about 20 miles south). He was in the Confederate Army, probably with Forrest, as noted in his obituary.
Supposedly all from the area who fought with the Confederate Army were to be exiled to Canada; I'm not sure whether he was able to escape that "sentence" or perhaps it wasn't actually enforced. Some unsavory things came with that time including negative treatment of blacks and "general order 11", conceived by U. S. Grant, which was supposed to remove all Jewish citizens from KY and TN, under the theory that they were behind the black market in cotton (countermanded by Abraham Lincoln).
Anyway, James Gish, age 30 and his wife Susan, age 25, show up in both the 1870 and 1880 Paducah (McCracken County)censuses ...
They were 44 and 39 when my grandfather, Harry Atwood Gish, their youngest son was born in 1884.
I'm not sure offhand their dates of death but I'll see if my mother has that written down somewhere. They are buried at Oak Grove Cemetery (started in 1847) immediately to the right inside the main entrance so they must have bought one of the earliest plots.
The other cemetery (Maple Hill) was founded in 1918.
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