Scott County Genealogical Society, Inc.
2015 Meeting Highlights
PowerPoint™ slide by Tom Beatty
November 2015: Ten loyal SCGS members gathered at the Georgetown & Scott County Museum for our November meeting. During the meeting we elected our 2016 slate of officers, and discussed some ways to breathe new life into our Bible project. Tom Beatty presented this month’s program, What’s In My Genealogy Toolbox? Tom talked about 12 important technology tools that he uses in his research. He mentioned tablet computers, scanners, and cloud storage, and gave examples of their use. He discussed the use of social media and how genealogists are starting to use it to touch base with others researching the same families or areas of the country. Tom’s final challenge to us was to explore some of the new technologies and decide if we could use them to our benefit. This was our last meeting for 2015.
Photos by Tom Beatty (top row and lower left) and Mike Key
October 2015: Our society partnered with the Scott County Public Library to present the Historic Church and Cemetery Tour on October 10, 2015. SCGS member (and SCPL Librarian) Mike Key arranged for two buses to take us to five historic Scott County churches and cemeteries. We visited the Ray's Fork Primitive Baptist Church located near adjoining Owen and Grant counties; Porter Christian Church; Salem Methodist Church; Long Lick Baptist Church; and St. Francis Church and Cemetery at White Sulphur in western Scott County. SCGS member Ron Vance talked about the church histories and those of us on the tour visited the cemeteries associated with the churches and noticed many grave markers dating to the early 19th century. Of particular interest to those of us on the tour were the grave markers of veterans who served in past conflicts. The cemeteries and associated graves we visited are included on the online source FindAGrave.com. Through the efforts of Mike Key and others, the Scott County Cemetery Project, a community-wide effort, is GPS-tagging and photographing Scott County's 300 cemeteries that are enumerated in our society's 1992 book, Gone, Forgotten, Now Remembered: Scott County, Kentucky, Cemeteries.
Photos by Tom Beatty
September 2015: Eleven members ventured out to our September meeting held in the Georgetown & Scott County Museum. Ron Vance told members about two sets of record books belonging to early Scott County physicians that had been donated to the Museum. The registers contain the names of patients served by the doctors in the Sadieville and Oxford communities. Ron mentioned that he had found the names of two of his ancestors among the hundreds of patients listed in the books. Our program for the meeting, "Climbing Over My Latest Brick Wall," was presented by SCGS President Nancy Giles. Nancy knew very little about her great uncle’s wife, Marie. So in a "genealogy do-over" of sorts, Nancy put aside her previous research on Marie and went back to the basics. Searching online sources such as Google™, Find A Grave™, and state archives, Nancy was able to find obituaries and other documents which yielded new information about her great aunt; from there was able to form a better picture of Marie’s ancestry. Nancy left us with the knowledge that sometimes just backing away from what you thought you knew about a person or an event in his or her life, and taking a second look, you’ll find the elusive clue that will break your brick wall.
PowerPoint™ slide by Mike Key. Photos by Tom Beatty (left, right) and Nikki Chowning (center).
July 2015: The guest speaker for our July meeting was SCGS member Mike Key. Mike started the Scott County Cemetery Project two years ago, an initiative to update local cemetery information that appeared in the 1992 SCGS-published book, Gone, Forgotten, Now Remembered: Scott County, Kentucky Cemeteries. Mike and a team of volunteers have updated 128 out of the 310 cemeteries (41%) that appeared in the book. The updates involve accounting for all the graves, photographing them, and adding the pictures and GPS information to FindAGrave.com, a well-known souce for genealogical research. Additionally, Mike showed us photographs of some additional cemeteries that he and the team discovered, cemeteries that did not appear in the original edition of the book. He then presented photographs of some unusual tombstones he noticed during his field trips. Mike ended his presentation with a request for help from SCGS members to continue the efforts of updating and photographing the graves. SCGS Vice-President Tom Beatty presented the infamous and highly-desired Society coffee mug to Mike. At the close of the meeting, SCGS member Barbara Knox presented some additional information on the Scott County connection to Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer that she shared with us during our March show-and-tell meeting.
PowerPoint Slide and Photo by Tom Beatty
June 2015: Nine members and one guest attended our June meeting held in the Kentucky Room of the Scott County Public Library. Tom Beatty presented a program titled Tablet Tips for Genealogy at the meeting. He discussed the main tablet operating systems (Android™, Apple™ and Windows™) and talked about the characteristics of the major tablets being sold today. After mentioning the advantages and disadvantages of tablets, Tom discussed several applications (apps) that should be on every genealogist’s tablet. He mentioned Evernote™, a cloud-based note-taking app that is growing in popularity, and Dropbox™, a cloud-based file management app. Among the other applications mentioned were family tree viewers and software, scanners, cemetery apps, and conference management tools. In the adjacent photo, Nikki Chowning checks out one of the tablets available for viewing by our members.
Photos by Tom Beatty
May 2015: Today's program was an update on the infamous Bible Project, a venture to document the genealogical data contained in historical Bibles belonging to residents of Georgetown and Scott County. Our society started the project in 2001 according to a newspaper clipping that circulated during the meeting. (Has it really been that long ago?) Ernie Stamper presented a overview of the images he had collected over the years, and provided a summary of the transcriptions that are needed to complete the project. Among the notes found in one of the Bibles was a short history of the Sutton Bible that found its way to Scott County by horseback in the late 1700s. Stamper tossed out ideas on formatting the final product that will be distributed on DVDs. When the project is complete, it will help family historians discover important family connections from generations past.
Slides courtesy of FamilySearch.org.
April 2015: Eight members and two guests attended our April meeting held in the Scott County Public Library. Our program was a video provided by FamilySearch titled, Pre-WW I Pension Applications, presented by Jeffrey Blaylock. The three types of pensions mentioned during the program were disability pensions, service pensions, and widow's pensions. Pension applications contain many facts about the soldier and his family including ages, birthplaces, dates of births and marriages, and lists of property. Blaylock mentioned that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, DC can be an excellent source for information about pensions. Indices compiled by Virgil D. White cover most of the early wars. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) has been instrumental in scanning and digitizing the War of 1812 pensions, and many military records are available on Fold3.com. Following our meeting, Nikki Chowning gave our two guests an overview of the Library's Kentucky Room resources.
Photos by Tom Beatty
March 2015: For the last five or more years, March has always been our Genealogy Show-and-Tell meeting, where members bring something from the past, a memento, a story, or event, and talk about its significance. We had an interesting assortment of treasures on display at our meeting. Clockwise from upper-left in the above photo, Penny Gift talked about an emerald ring she inherited; Ron Vance entertained us with stories about his grandmother and told us about a gold pocket watch from his family. Susan George had a personal connection to the legend of Rip Van Winkle, and showed us a Van Winkle doll and documentation that relates to her ancestor being the model for Washington Irving's famous short story. Nikki Chowning displayed a funeral book found when cleaning out an ancestor's house; the book contained many genealogical facts in the form of newspaper clippings and death certificates. Sarah Baston brought in some German children’s books brought to America by her ancestor, as well as a pair of wooden shoes that made its way across the sea. Carol Adams’ Godey fashion print dates back to the Civil War. Barbara Knox discussed an unknown Scott County connection to Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer, and Ellie Caroland discussed a Civil War-era family connection that can be traced to the heart of the Confederacy. Not pictured is Tom Beatty’s glass from Sam's Place, an old Lee County tavern; Jesse Rathbun talked about his Irish roots that he found while completing his SAR research; and Nancy Giles talked about serendipitous events that seem to appear in genealogical research. Genealogy is much more than names and dates, as the many personal items shared by our members reflect.
PowerPoint slide provided.
February 2015: Our February meeting was one of the most unusual that we have had in our 32-year history. First, a little background. During a break at the annual KGS conference last August, SCGS President Nancy Giles and Mary Clay, a member of the African American Genealogy Group of Kentucky (AAGGK), asked KGS conference speaker Mark Lowe if he would be willing to present a program for our two groups in February to honor Black History month. Marked jumped at the chance, and plans were set for a February 21st event to be held in Frankfort. Little did we know during the planning stages of the event that Mother Nature would drop a ton of snow on central Kentucky and parts of Tennessee; many people referred to the weather calamity as “Snow-mageddon.” The snow and bone-chilling temperatures we rarely experience in Kentucky, forced us to cancel the event because travel would have been perilous. But Mark came to the rescue! He changed the format to an online webinar that was attended by over 100 people from across the country, and at least one international viewer from Germany. It was a great program in every respect, and was no doubt better attended than had we presented the originally scheduled program in Frankfort. Webinars are an excellent vehicle for reaching a wide geographic audience, as our February meeting proved.
PowerPoint slide courtesy of Cheri Daniels. Photos by Tom Beatty, except lower-right by Anissa Penn Davis.
January 2015: Fifteen members and two guests attended our kick-off meeting for 2015. We returned to the Scott County Public Library because our previously arranged venue, the Georgetown & Scott County Museum, was unavailable due to the on-going renovation. Following a short business meeting, our guest speaker, Cheri Daniels, MSLS, Senior Librarian/Reference Specialist for the Kentucky Historical Society, presented a program titled, "Using Evernote™ for Genealogy." Evernote™ is a cloud-based note-taking application that has exploded onto the genealogy scene over the past year. Cheri talked about its capabilities; how to download it to a computer, tablet, or smartphone; and how to manage notes once they are stored in the associated cloud account. Notes can be tagged by name or category to help organize information about a particular person or family. Once Evernote™ is installed on multiple devices, any information saved on one device is “synced” or copied to all devices. Cheri reminded us that technology is changing the way that we do our research, and that we should not ignore tools like Evernote™. Today’s refreshments were provided by Mike Marshall and Ron Vance.