Della May Rutledge Metcalf, daughter of William Rutledge and Laura (or maybe Louisa) Reynolds was born January 1884 in Laurel County, Kentucky as was her mother according to Her father was born Jan. 1847 in Tennessee. According to Aunt Lula, Della’s mother was Lu Glass who may have been adopted. We think Laura or Louisa Reynolds was born Oct. 1851 in KY. We are not sure if Lu Glass and Louisa Reynolds are the same person.

William Rutledge and Louisa Reynolds were married July 1, 1877 in Rockcastle County, KY.

Della’s sister Lela Rutledge was born about 1890 and married Wesley Hensley. Wesley’s mother was Fannie Metcalf born about 1837 and his father was Charles Abraham Hensley, born about 1830. Della had another sister Effie who married a McPearson. She also had three half-brothers: Frank, Will and Charlie Rutledge.

According to Kentucky Death Records 1852-1953, Mrs. Della Metcalf died March 24, 1912. These records show father’s name as William Rutledge and mother’s name as Laura Reynolds. The Certificate of Death for Della Metcalf reveals that her cause of death was Puerperal Eclampsia, which is complications of pregnancy. The Certificate of Death shows she was buried at Mount Morriah on March 26, 1912. The cemetery is located between London and East Bernstadt in Laurel County, KY and I have visited there.

Gerri Sutton at the Laurel County Historical Society found the following in the March 28, 1912 London Sentinel under East Bernstadt Items: William Rutledge was here last week to see his daughter Mrs. Elbert Metcalf.

METCALF – Mrs. Elbert Metcalf, after several weeks illness, died at her home here Sunday and was buried in the Smith graveyard Monday. Mrs. Metcalf was twenty-six years old and a daughter of Mr. William Rutledge. She was the mother of five children, four of whom survive her.

It is believed that William Rutledge lived in Rockcastle County, Kentucky at this time.

According to Marriage Certificate received from the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Elbert Metcalf and Della Rutledge were married September 16, 1900 at Wes Hensley’s place in Laurel County, Kentucky. Witnesses at the marriage were Dave Hammond (or maybe Hammock) and Bert Casteel. Elbert was 21 years old and Della was 17. It was the first marriage for both of them. Their place of residence was Weaver, Kentucky. Elbert’s occupation was farmer. His birthplace was Laurel County, Kentucky and his father and mother were also born in Laurel County, Kentucky.

A note attached to the Marriage Certificate dated September 14, 1900 signed by William Rutledge states: “Clerk of Laurel County: You are authorize to you Elbert Metcalf license to marrie my daughter.”

Elbert Metcalf and Della Rutledge Metcalf had the following children:

Joe Metcalf – According to Aunt Lula, she had a brother named Joe who died at an early age. It is thought that he was the oldest child and probably born in 1901 or 1902. A search by the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics revealed no birth certificate being filed for him. They indicated that it was not unusual that births were not recorded as they were not required before 1911. He did not appear on the 1910 census so it is assumed that he died before then.

Lula Thana Metcalf Teague Gilpin, born in East Bernstadt, Laurel County, Kentucky April 16, 1903; died February 8, 2005 at Liberty Care Center in Liberty, Casey County, Kentucky and buried at Poplar Springs Cemetery, Liberty, Casey County, Kentucky.

Lettie Metcalf Harrington, born September 17, 1905 in East Bernstadt, Laurel County, Kentucky and died May 2, 1980 as a result of being hit by a truck in Cynthiana, KY.

This was my mother: Lily (also sometimes spelled Lillie, Lilly or Lillian) May (sometimes spelled Mae) Metcalf Bangert Herr, born in East Bernstadt, Laurel County, Kentucky May 18, 1907; died December 24, 1996 at Autumn Care Nursing Home in Waynesville, Haywood County, North Carolina; buried in Calvary Cemetery, Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois.

John Will Metcalf Couch, born August 11, 1909 in East Bernstadt, Laurel County, Kentucky; died January 6, 1983 at the age of 73 years, 4 months and 26 days from self-inflicted gunshot wound; buried in Cedar Point Cemetery, Sidney, Shelby County, Ohio.


Hello Sheila!
Thanks for your reply and suggestions. I’m new at genealogy and not too up to speed on blogs and websites, but I’m learning. You certainly have compiled a tremendous amount of information.
My maternal grandfather was James Elbert (called Elbert) Metcalf (1878-1915), son of John Metcalf (1852-1916) and Barthana (Thana or Thaney) Tussey (est. 1858-1931).

My mother’s parents were Elbert Metcalf and Della Rutledge and they had four children that I know of: Lula, Lettie, Lillie (my mother) and John Will. Your information indicates a daughter Mary being stillborn. Do you have a year for that? I know that Della died in March 1912 from complications of pregnancy but had not heard that a child was born.

There seem to be questions about Della’s mother – some records show Laura Reynolds and others show Louise Reynolds or Lou Randall. My Aunt Lula thought her name was Lu Glass. Lots of unknowns! My mother’s parents both died when she was young. She and her siblings were separated and Mom was eventually adopted by the Bangert family in Illinois.

Information that we have indicates that Elbert’s fatherJohn Metcalf was the son of James Metcalf (1824-1863) and Margaret Casteel (1828-1896).

We have information from that James Metcalf was the son of James Metcalf (1794-1863) and Mary Black (1794-1856), but don’t have any documentation of this. We believe that the older James Metcalf was the son of Norris Metcalf (1765-1841) and Mary Jane Claypool (1769-1835) as your information shows but have not been able to find any documentation. Other than what you show, I haven’t been able to obtain any information any further back than that. Can you tell me the sources of your information?

I do believe that this is the same family but it is confusing with so many people with the same names. Almost all of my Metcalf family members lived in Laurel County, Kentucky at least some time during their lives and also in Tennessee. I haven’t been able to determine where they came from before being in KY and TN and maybe Virginia. I would like to be able to trace back to whether they came from England or Wales.

I would be happy to share with you more of the information that I have on Elbert’s siblings, my cousins and second cousins.

Thanks for any help you can give me. Keep up your wonderful work!

Mary A. Herr

Thank you, Mary for your questions.  I only wish I had more to add. I hope you find the information that you’re looking for. I will be on vacation the rest of the week, but will check in from time to time.  Do stop by and say, “Hi” and see how it progresses.  Its worth the hunt!

Good Luck and Best Wishes,
Sheila Jean Adkins Metcalf

The vision of things to be done may come a long time before the way of doing them becomes clear, but woe to him who distrusts the vision. ~ Jenkin L. Jones