John Dorsey [of Major Edward]
Honor Elder
(1689-After 1756)
Levin Lawrence
Susannah Dorsey

Lt. Benjamin Lawrence


Family Links

1. Urath Owings

Lt. Benjamin Lawrence 1 2 3

  • Born: 17 May 1741, St. Thomas Parish, Garrison Forest, Baltimore, Maryland, (United States)
  • Marriage (1): Urath Owings on 28 Jan 1762 in St. Thomas Parish, Baltimore Co., Maryland, (United States)
  • Died: 5 Mar 1814, Jefferson, Kentucky at age 72
  • Buried: Lawrence Family Cemetery, Hurstbourne, Jefferson, Kentucky, United States

  Research Notes:

From :

The Courier Journal
Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Revolutionary War soldier gets his due
Grave site cleaned up at Shelby Campus

By Martha Elson
The Courier-Journal

Nearly 200 years after Revolutionary War soldier Benjamin Lawrence was buried in eastern Jefferson County, he has been rediscovered by a Desert Storm veteran who is making sure Lawrence is honored.

The family cemetery in which Lawrence was buried is near the back entrance to the University of Louisville's Shelby Campus off Whipps Mills Road, next to homes in Bellemeade. It is encircled by an old stone wall and an 8-foot-tall, locked chain-link fence.

Navy veteran Ken Nichter of Fern Creek, a U of L hazardous-materials technician and a Cub Scout leader, happened upon the site during a geocaching hunt at the campus last summer.

He and a colleague were looking for a film canister stashed in a tree next to the cemetery during a scavenger hunt-type game played with portable global positioning system devices.

Nichter suggested a cleanup at the cemetery for an Eagle Scout project.

The cleanup has been completed, and on Saturday a new bronze "Patriot Marker" in the shape of an eight-pointed star will be installed at Lawrence's grave site by the Sons of the American Revolution.

"Working here at U of L, I was utterly ashamed to see a cemetery on our property in this bad of shape," Nichter said. The weeds were waist high and it was full of trash, he said. "To me that's disrespectful."

Nichter, a Cub Scout leader with Troop 56 at Fern Creek United Methodist Church, suggested the Eagle project to a Boy Scout with the troop, Ben Watson, 14, of Greenville, Ind.

On a recent Saturday, Ben and other Scouts and family members raked leaves and removed tree limbs from the cemetery. It was one of several Saturdays they worked there.

Ben said he was motivated by respect for Lawrence. "He's an important part of the history of Louisville," Ben said.

Nichter asked university library archivists for information about Lawrence and the cemetery. They found a 1978 article in a university publication written by John A. Dillon Jr., former vice president for academic affairs. He died last year.

Dillon wrote that the Daughters of the American Revolution had placed a name plaque on Lawrence's grave during the country's bicentennial in 1976.

The article said Lawrence was born in Maryland in 1741 and died in 1814. He came to Kentucky in 1798 and in 1800 purchased 377 acres in the area of today's Shelby Campus.

Dillon said Lawrence's children married into other leading families of the region, including that of Edward Dorsey Hobbs, founder of Anchorage.

"The ravages of time, of stone decay and especially of vandals have destroyed or obliterated most of the markings on the approximately 30 graves," Dillon wrote.

But he said he hoped the cemetery could be made presentable: "If one inherits a piece of the past as we did it seems only right to attempt to maintain it for future generations."

A parent in the troop is paying the $102 for the bronze marker, which will be put in the ground Saturday by Forrest Chilton of Middletown, president of the Sons of the American Revolution's Gov. Isaac Shelby Chapter in Shelbyville and a member of the group's Louisville-Thruston chapter.

"We're enjoying freedoms today that that gentleman helped make possible," Chilton said. He said he has marked about 30 graves in the state in the past 10 years, including one on the Fourth of July at a Lutheran cemetery off Watterson Trail in Jeffersontown.

Lucian Young, grounds superintendent for U of L, said that he didn't know a Revolutionary War soldier was buried in the cemetery and that he will try to improve its maintenance.

  Birth Notes:

May have been born or 12 May 1741

  Noted events in his life were:

Served: as a Lieutenant in the Maryland Militia during the Revolutionary War.

Benjamin married Urath Owings, daughter of Samuel Owings [Sr.] and Urath Randall, on 28 Jan 1762 in St. Thomas Parish, Baltimore Co., Maryland, (United States). (Urath Owings was born on 26 Jun 1738, christened on 7 Jul 1738 in St. Paul's Church, Baltimore Co., Maryland, (United States), died on 17 Sep 1807 and was buried in Lawrence Family Cemetery, Hurstbourne, Jefferson, Kentucky, United States 4.)


1 Website - Genealogy,


3, Find A Grave Memorial # 16698911.

4, Find A Grave Memorial # 16755983.

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