Scott County Genealogical Society, Inc.
Georgetown, Kentucky

Established 1983

2016 Meeting Highlights

Photo by Tom Beatty; PowerPoint® Graphic by Ernie Stamper.
November 2016: Although our November meeting was lightly attended, we had an enthusiastic group. The main order of business was to elect officers for 2017. Tom Beatty will remain as President; Sarah Baston joins the board as Vice-President; Nikki Chowning takes over as Secretary; and Penny Gift remains as Treasurer. Members listened intently to Ernie Stamper’s explanation of, and experiences with, DNA testing. He mentioned the three basic DNA tests, Y-DNA (patrilineal), Mitochondrial DNA (matrilineal), and Autosomal DNA (all ancestral lines). Ernie talked about the advantages of using DNA testing: how it can help validate research findings, discover living relatives, and confirm or refute relationship theories. He showed many examples from his personal experiences using Ancestry DNA®. SCGS members Nikki Chowning and Jesse Rathbun also contributed examples from their research, and encouraged us to investigate how DNA testing might augment our own efforts. This was our final meeting for 2016.

Photos by Tom Beatty
October 2016: The Scott County Public Library and our genealogical society cosponsored the second annual Scott County Historic Church and Cemetery Tour on October 15, 2016. Over 25 people participated in the outing, visiting five historic churches, some with origins dating to the 19th Century. We started the tour at Georgetown's Holy Trinity Episcopal which was consecrated in 1870. The interior walls and beautiful altar are reminiscent of English Gothic construction. The outside garden area provides a resting place for cremains. The group then moved on to Stamping Ground for a short presentation on the history of the Stamping Ground Baptist Church provided by Jeff Singer. We toured the adjoining cemetery and paused to see several historic graves that withstood the 1974 tornado that nearly obliterated the town. The Minorsville Christian Church in northwestern Scott County was the next stop. We visited an adjacent cemetery and stopped in the church for lunch. About seven miles north of Stamping Ground is the Caesarea Church of Christ, the group's next stop. The church was built in 1961. The final stop on the tour was the Watkinsville Baptist Church just a short drive from Stamping Ground. The church traces its founding to 1878.

Photos by Tom Beatty (left) and Penny Gift (right)
September 2016: Our group returned to the Scott County Public Library following our August summer break. We discussed plans for the next meeting for the Bible Project which will be held on September 20, 2016; during that meeting we will see examples of layout and design. We also discussed the purchase of the grave marker for Dallas White who died in the 1860s. Tom Beatty introduced our guest speaker, Beth Shannon, who had spoken to our group three years ago. Beth spoke this time about social genealogy that involves research into kinship circles to find relatives who may have married into the periphery of family groups that were often well-to-do. Beth mentioned examples from her Bourbon County research which pointed to the fact that the Bluegrass region was a great location for the meeting of kinship groups and circles migrating west from Virginia and the other colonies. Beth also mentioned that researchers still need to look at vital records, wills, and property deeds, but social genealogy can be a good tool in breaking down brick walls. Her final reminder to our group was to "listen to the uneasy little whispers that we encounter in our research." No meeting would be complete without presenting the envied SCGS coffee mug to our guest speaker!

Screenshots of Google Books™ (left) and FamilySearch Books™
July 2016: Our July meeting was held at the Scott County Public Library. During the business portion of the meeting, we discussed the Bible Project and set a date of August 16, 2016 to meet and discuss what remaining tasks needed to be completed. We also discussed purchasing a grave marker for a Scott County resident who was buried with no marker. Our speaker for the morning was Nancy Giles who spoke about using online books for genealogy research. She showed examples from Google Books™ and FamilySearch Books™ that she had uncovered in her research of her ancestors and related families. In many cases, books found through online searches are free and downloadable; note that these are normally complete books, not excerpts. If the book is not available for online download, the location or source of a hard copy may be included in the book's description so that researchers can locate the book through other venues such as interlibrary loan. Nancy encouraged our members to add online books to our research tools because they can provide material that would not be found otherwise through traditional genealogical sources.

PowerPoint™ Graphic and Photos by Tom Beatty
June 2016: Our June meeting was held in the newly-renovated Scott County Public Library. During our brief business meeting we discussed future plans to obtain the online records of the Georgetown Cemetery which have disappeared from the Internet. Tom Beatty presented a short program on the importance of saving digital documents. Many of us involved in genealogy collect hundreds of photographs, licenses, certificates, and newspaper clippings relating to our ancestors and their families. Although family historians are blessed with valuable technology assets like computers and scanners, we often become complacent in how we protect the documents that can take us a lifetime to gather. Tom encouraged us to make multiple copies of those documents, and have a plan for what happens to them when we're no longer able to make those decisions. Following Tom's program, our members took a tour of the new Kentucky Room. Our Library liaison, Kathy Vaughn-Lloyd, showed us the location of the files, books, and other research material; many of us were happy to see that the microfilm station is more spacious. The new Kentucky Room also contains two new display cabinets that will contain rotating exhibits. One of the current displays contains an impressive collection of Civil War-era items; the other an assortment of books from the Library collection relating to the Civil War.

Library of Congress Photograph
May 2016: Our May meeting was held in the Georgetown & Scott County Museum. SCGS Vice-President Jesse Rathbun presented an interesting program on his research of a Civil War ancestor using the™ website and Legacy Family Tree™ software. His presentation started with an explanation of the importance of DNA in genealogy research, and showed some personal examples of research of his own family. Jesse presented some documentation related to his great-great grandfather, Pvt. George Marshall Rathbun, a veteran of the Civil War. He also shared military documents relating to Pvt. Rathbun’s discharge and pension applications. During the meeting, members also discussed the reorganization of the genealogy room in the Scott County Court House. Unfortunately, no photos were taken during the meeting. The Civil War-era photo above is from the Library of Congress collection.

Photos by Tom Beatty (left, center) and Nikki Chowning
April 2016: On a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning, our group (13 members and one guest) met at the Georgetown & Scott County Museum. The focus of our business meeting was the completion of the Bible publication. Our guest speaker, returning for her second presentation to our group, was SCGS member Anissa Penn Davis; she shared her expertise on submitting documentation in support of lineage society applications. Anissa discussed projects that she has worked on, most recently the Edmund Collins analysis which proved that Nancy Collins Tinsley was the daughter of Edmund Collins. Among the documents she searched and located were marriage bonds, estate records, and deed books. Anissa also shared a handout that could be used as a template in providing documentation for membership in a lineage society. Following her program, SCGS President Tom Beatty presented Anissa with the highly-desired SCGS coffee mug.

Photos by Tom Beatty
March 2016: Our March meeting topic was Genealogy Show-and-Tell. Members brought in artifacts, photos, and memories to share with each other. At left, Bill Honerkamp talked about a trunk that had been issued to his stepfather while a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the late 1930s. The trunk was previously issued to someone else, and Bill talked about his efforts to find relatives of the original owner. Other items of interest shared by our members were love letters from long ago shared by Ellie Caroland (center); World War II memorabilia pesented by Nikki Chowning; old photographs of a popular downtown five-and-dime store in Georgetown shared by Judy Hurst; and an educational toy from the early 1900s that belonged to Tom Beatty's father. Jesse Rathbun talked about his efforts to trace his wife’s lineage to Colonial America, and Sarah Baston discussed a confusing family line (right). Also during the meeting, Mike Key discussed plans for the second annual Historic Cemetery Tour that will take place on October 15, 2016. The tour is co-sponsored by the Scott County Public Library and SCGS.

Photos by Tom Beatty, except lower-right by Nikki Chowning.
February 2016: Over the years, our Society has used its February meeting to recognize the importance of African Americans to the history Georgetown and Scott County. Our guest speakers for today's meeting were Reinette Jones and Rob Aken who authored and maintain the Notable Kentucky African Americans Database hosted by the University of Kentucky Libraries ( Our guests gave us a thorough overview of the NKAA database including content and search strategies, and showed examples of content relating to Georgetown. Following a question and answer session, President Tom Beatty presented the famous SCGS coffee mugs to Reinette and Rob as a token of thanks for sharing their Saturday morning with us.

Screenshot courtesy of Legacy Family Tree
January 2016: To kick off the new year, Vice President Jesse Rathbun used Legacy Family Tree software, Family Tree Maker software, and to provide a real-time online presentation to trace his family back to Samuel Jackson of the North Carolina irregular militia during the Revolutionary War. SCGS members discussed many aspects of the Legacy software as it applied to genealogy.