Perfect time to find dead people

October 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Genealogy Blog

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.

But October has special meaning to genealogists, and gives a great reason to check out a local treasure you might have missed up to this history month flyer

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 Oct. 22, 2 p.m.
  • Using 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 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.

Leigh Scaggs

About Leigh Scaggs

A long time supporter of digital emancipation and proclaimer of obfuscatory testaments, I have been a proud supporter of bits and bytes for nearly 20 years. With that much chronological highway behind me I'm cognizant enough of the fact that advancing age does kill brain cells and observant enough to notice that it's only killing the weak ones.


One Response to “Perfect time to find dead people”
  1. October 20, 2013

    Dear Amanda,

    I stumbled on The Book Place today after many years of trying to find out what was happening in Boyd Couty genealogy circles after Tree Shaker closed. That was the most helpful publication. My regret is that it was never indexed (at least for the readers). I know that Evelyn Jackson’s son had possession of her papers, but I don’t know if any of them ever arrived at BCPL. Sherie Pettit helped me too. She told me about the Honaker Family Association.

    I know you already have much of my family information, but I never sent in “First Families” papers because we have very long generations, and I would have had to include living relatives.

    Basically, I am descended from Hugh Honaker (probably from Montgomery/Pulaski Counties, VA) and Eliza Ann McCall (daughter of George Hardwick of Greenup County, Rev. War vet and saltmaker). I am also descended from Thomas Nichols (from someplace in Scotland) and Sarah Cazzell Cummin(g)(s) (from Carter County). Eliza Ann was the sister of R.B. McCall, the sheriff of Boyd County). They all arrived in Catlettsburg around 1850.

    I have been to Ashland and Catlettsburg several times and have researched in Greeenup and Boyd County Public Libraries and the Courthouse in Catlettsburg. I met Evelyn Jackson several times. She was very helpful. I also met Arnold Hanners who provided me with copies of old local theatre pictures. He also copied photos from my uncle’s theatre collections. He took me to Huntington to see the theatre there. One of my uncles performed at the opening of that theatre in the late 1920’s. The families all left Eastern Kentucky around 1945.

    I have been working on my Dad’s (Eastern Kentucky) genealogy since about 1980. I am a government documents librarian by training and am an amateur archivist. I use New York Public Library–its genealogy section and its performing arts section.

    Is there anything new I can search at BCPL via the internet? I occasionally look at USgenweb.

    Best wishes,

    Joan Nichols

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