Genealogy Ramblings

Kentucky History & Genealogy Conference – Mercer County

Have you ever had one of those weeks when everything converges on five days?  Last week was a busy one for me.  My sister Donna came for two days.  Just two years apart we have been inseparable since her birth (I’m older).  She is my confident, my best friend, and we share secrets known by no other.  Kate, Julian and Miss Perse came Wednesday after school and work for supper, and Julian sat next to his favorite great-aunt.  From time to time he would lean over and kiss her arm.  Yes, she is just that lovable!  And he is that sweet!

Friday and Saturday the Kentucky History and Genealogy Conference was held in Harrodsburg at our public library.  Two years ago, it was held in Jefferson County, and last year it was in Boone County.  I am so very proud of my small town welcoming visitors from all over the state and a few from beyond.  And from the smiles and compliments I heard given to our library staff I would say it was a success.  Attendance was at maximum.

Genealogists are the friendliest people in the world!  I sat with many people I had never met and talked continually through the day.  I met a new friend (from Harrodsburg!), and caught up with those I knew from other conferences.

There was a total of 34 sessions, four time periods per day running with a choice of four different sessions.

Mark Lowe

Mark Lowe was our keynote speaker, with everyone gathered at 1:15 each day to listen to the great man.  Finding Your Kentucky Ancestors and Finding Facts, Family Stories and Documentation were his two topics.  With his wit and humor, he kept everyone on the edges of their seats, listening with bated breath.

Other sessions included information on cemetery preservation, preserving your family treasures, researching at the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives and the Kentucky History Center (both in Frankfort), reading tombstone symbols, DNA, African American History, the land grant system in Kentucky (fabulous!), Civil War Kentucky and many more.  It was hard to decide which sessions to attend since none were duplicated.

Eddie Price

There were a couple of vendors.  I bought the new Eddie Price book, One Drop – A Slave.  It continues the epic story of Widder’s Landing.  When I find a good book, I cannot put it down.  Widder’s Landing was just that type of book.  At a length of 564 pages I read it in two days.  Historical fiction at its best.  Eddie also two sessions.  I attended Homemaking on the Kentucky Frontier.  His enthusiasm for history and his charming manner take you back 200 years or more.

The locations for the next three years of the conference have been decided.  August 2020 will be at the Boone County Public Library, 2021 at the Louisville Free Public Library and 2022 at Warren County Public Library.  Perhaps I will see you there?

1 reply »

  1. Sounds like a wonderful informational conference. I noticed that one of the sessions was about African American History. I have just discovered that at least two of my Kentucky lines kept slaves, and I am interested in trying to learn more about the families of these slaves. I’m wondering if you learned of any resources that would help me, or could suggest anyone I could contact locally who would know how I should go about my research? My slave owning families were located in Estill and Madison Counties in KY. Thanks!

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