Perfect time to find dead people
by Amanda Gilmore, BCPL Community Relations
One of the most popular places at Boyd County Public Library is the genealogy department. With its knowledgeable staff and terrific resources, the department is a busy place seven days a week.
October is designated in many states, including Kentucky, as Family History Month. It’s a great time to start looking up your family’s rich past. And as always, we are ready to help you, in lots of ways.
We have a variety of programs planned (all at the Main Branch), and a used book sale from Oct. 15 to 31. The programs include:
- Old Movies of Ashland: Oct. 9, 2 p.m.
- Beginning Genealogy: Oct. 16, 2 p.m., and Oct. 23, 6 p.m.
- Historic Bath Avenue Homes slideshow: Oct. 17, 2 p.m.
- Using Footnote.com: Oct. 22, 2 p.m.
- Using Ancestry.com: Oct. 22, 6 p.m.
- Historic Buildings of Downtown Ashland slideshow: Oct. 24, 2 p.m.
The programs are free, and will take place in either the meeting room, or the Minnie C. Winder genealogy room on the second floor. Speaking of the Winder room … it contains an amazing collection of print resources, records on microfiche, newspapers on microfilm, and free access to databases. And you can’t beat the combined years of experience of the staff (Jim, Jim, Judy and Charles) when it comes to helping you get started, or continuing your search.
Here’s just a sampling of the rich resources available to everyone: Kentucky Census data from 1810 to 1940; Kentucky birth, marriage and death records; Ohio death records; The (Ashland) Independent from 1922 to present; Boyd County Historical Society records; the Arnold Hanner’s photograph collection; charcoal furnace records; and free access to Ancestry.com and other genealogy databases.
If you have been curious about your family tree, but just aren’t sure where to start, then you don’t have any more excuses. Now is the time!
When Congress first passed a resolution in 2001 establishing Family History Month, Sen. Orrin Hatch said, “By searching for our roots, we come closer together as a human family.” How true.
Here are some other suggestions of ways you can celebrate your family this month:
- Create a family cookbook. Use heirloom recipes, and maybe add some photos – it’s a great way to preserve memories of favorite meals shared by your family over the years. To get started, contact your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, and ask them to send a few of their favorite dishes, along with a story about where they got the recipe.
- Record your family’s stories. Whether it’s on audiotape, videotape or in journals, recording your family’s history is a fun way to bring the generations together, and it ensures that your family stories will be preserved.
- Take a trip back home. Gather the family and take a trip to the old family homestead, the house where you were born, the places you played as a child, or the cemetery where your relatives are buried. Or perhaps go to a museum or event that relates to the history of your family.
- Start a family web site. This place can serve as a meeting spot for family members that live far apart. It can also be a great place to share family photos, recipes and even genealogy research. A family Facebook page is also an option – invite only family members to join.
- Get the kids involved. Turn the family history research into a detective game, and start them on a lifelong journey of discovery by introducing them to genealogy.
- Make a heritage gift. The holidays are fast approaching, and what better present for family than something that showcases your shared heritage. How about a photo ornament? Or a heritage quilt? The receiver is sure to love it.
For more information on all the genealogy resources or the Family History Month programs at Boyd County Public Library, call (606) 329-0518, ext. 1500.