Scott County Genealogical Society, Inc.
Georgetown, Kentucky

Established 1983

2021 Meeting Highlights

November 2021: Despite a low turnout for our November meeting, we covered a lot of topics and made some headway on planning for 2022. The theme of our meeting was a focus on our veteran ancestors in keeping with Veterans Day which occurred the week before our meeting. We briefly shared information of the sources for military records and the importance of documenting the military service of our ancestors. We received an update on the long-awaited Bible Project from Doris Reed and discussed what remains to be done to get our e-book in the hands of researchers. Due to a lack of participants, we were unable to hold the election of officers for 2022, so by unanimous decree, our current officers will remain in their positions for next year with a few changes to the list of responsibilities. Our newest member, Julia Taylor, who is also a librarian at the Scott County Public Library, discussed some opportunities for increased involvement of our society in library programs for next year. The library will also bring back the Genealogy 101 course via Zoom starting in January. As we end another year we're looking forward to the new and fulfilling opportunities that lie ahead.

October 2021: We used a hybrid meeting format for our October get-together. A few members met in person at the Scott County Public Library and we also connected via Zoom so our distant members could attend. During the meeting we discussed the Thiessen genealogy collection and how our Society can help preserve the numerous family files researched over the years and donated to the Library by the estate of local genealogist Jo Thiessen. After ending the Zoom portion of our meeting, Librarian Julia Taylor (above) took us on a tour of the Kentucky Room to show us where some of the local genealogical resources are kept. Taylor also pointed out some recent additions to the Kentucky Room. We also discussed some other ways SCGS could help promote local family history awareness by presenting new genealogy programs at the Library.

September 2021: Our September meeting provided another great learning experience as Johnna Waldon, Assistant Branch Manager at the Lexington Public Library (Tates Creek), discussed the value that newspapers can bring to our family history research. When many of us started looking for our ancestors decades ago, newspaper collections were limited to paper files in our local or regional libraries. As Johnna explained, a great number of those collections have been digitized and are available online, many for free, through national sources such as the Library of Congress Chronicling America database and some fee-based sites like Ancestry's But Johnna cautioned us to remember that not all newspaper archives are available online. Many exist on microfilm found in libraries that are only available through in-person visits.

Photo Copyright 2021, Scott County (Kentucky) Genealogical Society
July 2021: Nine members joined in to participate in a Genealogy jam session to discuss what resources we have been using and how we are finding our way through our family trees. The topic soon shifted to the status of our long awaited Bible Project. We received an update from Ernie Stamper who mentioned his conversations with the company that is preparing the final format of our digital project. In the photo (above) we saw a copy of one of the Bible images and the transcription of the image. The final product will be completely searchable so that names can be quickly found. Pages can be printed should a hard copy be needed for documentation that might be required for lineage society applications, family sharing, or other research needs. This project is finally nearing completion.

Public Domain Image
June 2021: During our June 2021 meeting, Tom Beatty presented a program on accessing the Scott County Public Library's online digital archives collection. The collection currently includes will books, deed books, mortgage books, land sales for taxes, and several local newspapers. Concentrating on the newspaper collection, Tom showed the steps involved in seeing whole-frame images of over 27,000 pages of The Georgetown Times covering the years from 1884 to 1966. Much of the historical information contained in our quarterly newsletters comes from the pages of the Times and other newspapers available through the Library of Congress Chronicling America newspaper database. Historic newspapers are an excellent source of information about our ancestors' families, the areas where they lived and worshipped, their careers, and the dynamics of their lives. We are fortunate to have an excellent digital collection in our local library, a resource that we can visit in person or access from our home, day or night. If you're not using newspapers in your research, you're missing a valuable resource.

Zoom Meeting Screenshot
May 2021: For our May meeting, Doris Reed (above, lower center) discussed her research tactics spanning over 20 years, searching for her 4th-great grandmother, Penelope Gregg. Searching local courthouse records, online sources at Ancestry and FamilySearch, family contacts, and DNA matches, Doris was able to dismiss the original maiden name (Catt) that she discovered for Penelope and zero in on a different family name, Edmonson, that she discovered quite by accident. And that was the key! In her presentation, Doris stressed the point that in our genealogical research, we have to look everywhere for the elusive records.

Photo Provided
April 2021: Our April meeting was a planning session in which we discussed possible projects for our society and upcoming speakers for monthly meetings. One member suggested a project to document the naturalizations of Scott County residents that could be found in county court orders. Sarah Baston also presented a short program about her John Whitney line which she traced to their arrival in Barren County from South Carolina in the early 1800s. Shown above are John and Mary Ellen (Harston) Jewell. Mary Ellen was a great-granddaughter of John Whitney, and she and Sarah are first cousins, three times removed (1C, 3R).

Zoom Meeting Screenshot
March 2021: Our annual Show-and-Tell meeting in March featured quite a few artifacts connected to our ancestors and some interesting stories that told of the significance to the families. We saw a demitasse cup with a close family connection; an interesting booklet from 1924 commemorating Georgetown's sesquicentennial which mentioned people living in the town and businesses in operation; and an old spelling book from over a century ago. Also shared was a spinning wheel reminiscent of days gone by; a pendant honoring Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., which will be a treasured by future generations; and a chalk box containing remnants used when a grandfather was a school teacher. One person displayed plates from a 1930s Pennsylvania tavern passed down through the family; and we saw a grandmother's Belleek china from Ireland that prompted a new collector in the family. One member shared stories from her trip to Sadieville, and the final artifact was a pewter teapot and a heartfelt story of its connection to a deceased sibling. This was one of our best Show-and-Tell meetings over the years and it stressed the importance of family possessions passed down through generations.

Zoom Screenshot
February 2021: In our February meeting, Dr. Anissa Penn Davis, a lifelong educator, talked about the importance of public speaking. Using examples from President Lincoln's and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s historic speeches, Davis explained how she brings together elements of history and genealogy when teaching middle school children. We learned about Anissa's connection to Union General John Buford, Jr., a distinguished tactician during the Battle of Gettysburg in the summer of 1863. Buford died later that year at age 37 and is buried at West Point, NY. Buford's children, James and Patti, are buried in Georgetown Cemetery.

Zoom Screenshot
January 2021: We kicked off 2021 with Bradley Clifton's presentation entitled, "Furthering Your Education in Genealogy." He discussed some programs available through Utah's Salt Lake Community College. Bradley recently completed a program that included four core areas of study including Introduction to High-Tech Genealogy, Writing Life Stories, Tracing Immigrant Origins and Genealogy and Family History Writing. He also highlighted other programs through Boston University and Legacy Family Tree Webinars. His program presented many options for expanding our research skills. Our thanks to Bradley!