STORY OF FAYETTE COUNTY KENTUCKY, by Robert Peter, ed. by William H. Perrin, O. L. Baskin Co., Chicago, 1882. Reprinted by Southern Historical Press, Easley, SC, 1979.page 771
WILLIAM PETTIT, farmer, P. O. Lexington, is of a hardy pioneer family, the early records of which are mingled with tales of suffering and sacrifice, of warfare and blood. His grandfather, Nathaniel Pettit, a native of Virginia, came to Fayette County when it was yet the outpost of slowly advancing civilization; when the ax was associated with the scalping-knife, and the settler's hoe with his trusty rifle; when every cultivated clearing was menaced by the sanguinary savages and every log cabin was a fort; when each night saw preparations to receive a hostile attack, and each succeeding morning was more likely to invite the white man to meet a merciless foe than to engage in peaceful labor. Such an experience made heroes and heroines of boys and girls, and the descendants of those who bravely passed through the privations and perils of pioneer life on the Indian frontier may well be proud to trace in themselves and their children the characteristics of their indomitable ancestry.Old Nathaniel Pettit located about five and a half miles from Lexington, on what is now the Nicholasville pike, the only roads then being the trails made by wild animals through the forest.Here the hardy pioneer lived up to the time of his death, when the care of the family devolved on the youngest son, Harry, who, with hereditary resolution, took up the task so sacredly imposed upon him and continued to live within a mile of his birthplace till 1874, when he, too, paid the debt of nature, and went to his eternal reward.His widow, who had been Miss Juliet G. Atchison, is yet living at the advanced age of eighty years. Of seven children born to them, five reached maturity, and the three who still survive are all residents of the county. One of these, William (our subject), born in 1834, has in youth and manhood been inured to farm labor. When thirty years old, he married Jennie, daughter of David T. and Ann (Chiles) Carr. Her paternal grandfather, son of Walter Carr, one of the early Virginian settlers of Kentucky, is mentioned in the general history of Fayette Co. He died about the year 1868.Mr. and Mrs. Pettit have two sons: David and Harry.