Scott County Genealogical Society, Inc.
Georgetown, Kentucky

Established 1983

2017 Meeting Highlights

Photos by Tom Beatty (top and middle rows) and Mike Key
October 2017: We enjoyed a beautiful fall day as we embarked on our third annual Historic Church and Cemetery tour co-sponsored with the Scott County Public Library. Librarian Mike Key and SCGS member Ron Vance were our guides for the day, and we stopped at Georgetown's First Presbyterian Church; Bethel Presbyterian Church in northern Fayette County; and Mount Vernon Baptist Church and Pisgah Presbyterian Church in Woodford County. First Presbyterian Church (upper left photo) traces its roots to 1828, and the current structure on East Main Street dates to 1870. Doris Reed talked about the history of the church (shown upper right) and its many renovations. Bethel Presbyterian Church (shown middle left) was constructed and dedicated in 1847. Although the congregation has dwindled over the years, sources for new funds are being explored to help with the upkeep of the building. The adjacent cemetery (middle right photo) contains over 100 graves dating back to the early 1800s. The cemetery is well documented on Find A Grave. Mount Vernon Baptist Church (pictured lower left) dates to the early 1800s, and the current building was erected and dedicated in 1905. Pisgah Presbyterian Church (lower right) was founded in 1784 and originally built of logs. The current building dates to 1812 and was remodeled in 1868. The church cemetery is one of the most beautiful tracts of land in central Kentucky.

Photos by Nikki Chowning
September 2017: Our September meeting focused on the historical Bibles of Scott County. Member Ron Vance presented a program about a few Bibles that are located in the Georgetown & Scott County Museum. He discussed a 1792 Bible that documents the important dates for six different families. One of the most interesting entries in the Bible is a tribute written to honor a Private Salem Peyatt who was killed by Indians at the Battle of Mississinewa in December 1812. Further research on Peyatt points to his burial in Randolph County, Indiana (Find A Grave link) . SCGS member Ernie Stamper presented an update on our society’s project to publish an e-book containing images and transcriptions of other historic Bibles.

Photo Provided
August 2017: Our society doesn't hold a meeting in August to give members the opportunity to attend the Kentucky Genealogical Society's annual conference held in Frankfort. Seven of our members ventured to Frankfort on August 5th to attend the 42nd annual KGS seminar. The guest speaker for the day-long event was Gerald H. Smith, CGSM, an authority on Pennsylvania land records and other resources. Jerry explained that Pennsylvania was often an interim stop for pioneers heading west and south from the original colonies. People who helped settle Kentucky and other states had connections to the Keystone State, and knowledge of the documents that they may have left behind can be helpful in our research. He gave a thorough overview of the many Pennsylvania records and repositories and stressed the value of documents from the Court of Quarter Sessions in finding traces of our ancestors.

Photos by Tom Beatty (left, center) and Nikki Chowning
July 2017: Our meeting this month was a program presented by SCGS member Anissa Penn Davis titled, "Heredity Societies, Now what?" Anissa spoke of her experiences over the years dealing with applications to various lineage societies. She discussed the changes to genealogical research brought about by DNA testing and stressed the importance of saving records and backing up digital files. Anissa provided some additional information that she plans to add to future reworks of her program and solicited comments from our members about the value of the additional information. Anissa has addressed our group on several occasions in the past and we welcome her problem solving experience and knowledge of genealogy.

Graphic (left) courtesy of Mark Lowe. Photo (right) by Tom Beatty
June 2017: Nine members and one guest attended our June meeting. Our program was a video presented by Mark Lowe, an authority on Kentucky and Tennessee genealogy. The video titled, "Whiskey, Farming and the Choices to Move: Understanding Family Migration," was offered through's Ancestry Academy. In the video, Lowe stressed that moving from one location to another required a major change in living conditions. The choices that led to the decision to move, and the directions of movement are pivotal in understanding those ancestors. He discussed migration routes and presented background information about early explorers and their journeys. Not all migrations were westward; many settlers traveled north and south. Natural resources such as plentiful water and quality soil attracted settlers who took up farming and distilling. In summarizing his presentation, Lowe challenged us to keep asking questions about our ancestors to help us find more information about them. In the photo at left, Jesse Rathbun assisted Barbara Knox with a computer issue.

Photos by Tom Beatty (left, center) and Penny Gift
May 2017: DNA has become a serious area of study among genealogists. Following up on the DNA seminar we attended last month, we invited Cincinnati native Jerry Bedford, Jr., to present his program, "DNA: A Personal Journey," to our group this month. Jerry focused his talk on DNA results of members of his family. He talked about, and compared the results from, Ancestry DNA and 23andMe, two of the most popular DNA-testing facilities. In the photos above, at left, Jerry discussed how DNA testing can identify the part of the world where peoples' roots originate; center, he mentioned how one company identifies possible DNA matches to enable participants to explore their genetic connections; at right, Tom Beatty presented the coveted SCGS mug to Jerry. Attendance at this month's meeting was up, which is always a plus for our monthly meetings.

Photos by Tom Beatty
April 2017: Instead of holding our regular meeting this month, we attended a special program sponsored by the Scott County Public Library titled, "Digging Deeper with DNA: A Genealogy Workshop," presented by Debra Smith Renard of Louisville. Renard is a genealogical researcher specializing in genetic genealogy, and her program covered the basics of DNA and how it's used in genealogical research. In the morning session, Renard discussed the ABCs of DNA, the different types of DNA tests, and how the results from the different tests can help us in our research. She finished the morning session by comparing the main DNA testing companies and explaining the costs involved with each. In the afternoon session, our speaker discussed how DNA results can be used to address some of the challenges we face in our research. Using practical examples from her own experience, Renard discussed how DNA can help us find or refute surnames, distinguish family groups, and establish ethnic origins. In the photos above, at left, Renard made a point about contacting potential DNA matches; at right, SCGS members Doris Reed, Ellie Caroland, and Sarah Baston talked with Paul Gregory during a lunchtime break.

Photos by Tom Beatty
March 2017: March is traditionally our Genealogy Show-and-Tell meeting where members bring in artifacts that belonged to their ancestors and share their stories with the group. We had a great assortment of precious belongings to view this year. Pictured above (left to right), Sarah Baston displays one of several baby quilts that had been used in her family over the years; Ellie Caroland shared an antique walking stick that included a very "pointed" surprise; and Nicki Chowning brought in a charm bracelet that had belonged to her grandmother. Among the other treasures we had the chance to see were Tom Beatty's antique needle chest from an old Louisville dry goods store; Barbara Knox's Wallace Nutting print; Sue George's collection of articles chronicling her grandfather's life in business education; Carol Adams' autograph book and diaries that belonged to her grandfather; hand-made dolls belonging to Jesse Rathbun's grandmother; and guest Jerry Bedford shared a family photo collection he had created using Adobe Spark.

Photos by Tom Beatty
February 2017: Our February meetings usually focus on African-American heritage, and this year was no exception. Shirl Marks was our guest speaker, and she presented an interesting overview of black Scott County residents who served during the Civil War. Recruitment of African-Americans for military duty began shortly after the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and over 175,000 members of the United States Colored Troops (USCT) served during the last two years of the war. Shirl also brought to light the story of the 1865 Simpsonville (KY) Massacre in which a group of USCT soldiers from Camp Nelson driving cattle to a market in Louisville, were attacked and killed by a group of Confederate guerillas. Twenty-two were killed in the attack. Shirl also spoke to our group in February 2012, highlighting some of the families from the Stonetown community near Stamping Ground that moved to Nicodemus, Kansas, in the 1870s. Image
January 2017: We kicked off the new year by watching a video provided by’s YouTube® channel. The video featured popular genealogist Crista Cowan, also known as the Barefoot Genealogist. She presented 10 tips, or search strategies, for locating the maiden names of the women in our family trees. Cowan stressed the importance of using marriage records, cemetery searches, and census records, and walked us through an example of locating a maiden name by searching all household members on a census. She mentioned the importance of church and military records, specifically pension files, in locating female family names. Cowan has worked for since 2004 and is a frequent presenter at RootsTech and other conferences.