Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum E-Newsletter
October 16, 2008, (Volume 4, Number 10)
>> Bullitt County Genealogical Society Meeting this Saturday, October 18.
Our guest speaker this month will be speaking about the early history of Kentucky, and how it was formed out of Fincastle County, Virginia.
Meeting time is 10:00 a.m. Saturday, October 18. (We meet every month at that time on the third Saturday of the month.)
Meeting place is our usual location, Ridgway Memorial Public Library, located on the corner of Walnut Street and Second Street in Shepherdsville.
By the way, Ivan Baugh gave a great presentation on internet research last month. I'll be sharing some of what he taught us from time to time in future newsletters.
>> New Book Donations.
** Anthony Foster has donated the book "Francis Shain of Bullitt County and his Descendents" by Charles D. Summers. The mostly genealogical book covers the Shain family, along with several connected families.
** Betty Darnell donated a new copy of "Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian" and "Quicksheet - Citing Online Historical Sources." This book, along with a "quicksheet" guide, is a great resource for those wondering about the proper way to credit and document sources of information.
** Ed Lee, who volunteers at the museum on Thursdays, has donated his collection of information on the Lee family, gathered by him, Lynn Eddington, and Bob Cline.
** Museum friend Marilyn Lee gave us a 363 page book on the Pope family, titled "Lt. Col. Nathaniel Pope, 1610-1660. Ancestor of Washington and Governors. A History of His Descendants." by James Houston Barr III.
>> Developing Database of Names.
Museum Volunteer Bob Cline has been working hard on a special project of his own for us. He has created a database of over 9000 (and growing) Bullitt County names on the Family Tree Maker program at the museum. It as an impressive amount of information and represents countless hours at home inputting the data. It is not on the web yet, but is available at the museum. If you are not familiar with the program, it might require a bit of training. Bob has offered to help anyone on that. He generally works the museum on Tuesday afternoons, but can also come by on Thursdays if needed. Call the museum to arrange a time for the training. The database is always available.
>>>New "Carroll Plats" Electronic Index.
A few months ago, the museum bought a new set of microfilm containing hundreds of some of Bullitt County's oldest plat maps dating back into the late 1700's. There is also a set of the film at the Ridgway Public Library, and the originals remain at the county clerk's office across the street from us. (As Bob Cline says, we are a golden triangle of research sources).
Many years ago, now, these irreplaceable plats were nearly lost when they were thrown away to make room for other storage. Fortunately (if I have the story right) the papers were saved by attorneys T. C. Carroll and Burlyn Pike. They not only saved the papers from the trash, but made sure they would stay at the clerk's office, as well as preserving them on microfilm.
Now known as the "Carroll Plats", the papers can be time-consuming to research. Volunteers at the museum have been working on transcribing a 233 page index of the plats. This will be an exhaustive index, listing every name on the maps, no matter how trivial. Thanks to the clerk's office, there was already a similar list, but not on computer. Museum volunteers have scanned all the pages to OCR software and are now editing the text, correcting errors, and simplifying the index. It should be completed soon. An early version, still with many errors, is already on our web site. I have done some of the editing myself (Judy Richardson has done most of it) and find several intriguing listings that I plan to follow up on.
>>Preservation efforts needed for Carroll Plats.
Anthony Foster recently noticed that those same original plat maps are in a deteriorating condition. Though the papers themselves are OK, sort-of, the real problem is that the large plastic sleeves the papers are stored in are going bad. Over time, non-archival plastic sheets such as these can actually begin to develop a sticky ooze, that is quite acid and can damage what is stored in them. That should be a lesson to all of us who think we have safely stored papers. New County Clerk Kevin Mooney has been very supportive of historical work in the past and promises to get this taken care of.
The sooner the better!
New to Our Web Site.
>>New search page. Our entire web site can be automatically searched using a special search engine, but we felt it was sometimes a bit difficult to find and use. Charles Hartley has now modified the site to include a dedicated search page that is easy to find and includes instructions to help make more effective searches. Let me know what you think of it.
>>Link to new Pleasant Grove Cemetery page. Anthony Foster has created a very nice new information page about Pleasant Grove Cemetery. It could be a model for more future pages. His page includes a small photo of each grave site and a general layout of the cemetery. We have linked it to our own cemetery pages, but you can go directly to it at http://anthonyfoster.com/PG/ . Anthony plans to donate his collection of the original higher quality photos to the museum. Great work & thanks!
>>Hebron Cemetery Documentation Work.
The Cemetery Documentation Team has purposely been avoiding the county's biggest cemeteries. They are relatively protected, and frankly, their size is a bit intimidating. But recently, not only has Anthony Foster took on the large Pleasant Grove Cemetery, but volunteers at Little Flock Church have taken on the huge Hebron Cemetery. A few dozen volunteers from that church recently met at Hebron with our museum volunteer Bob Cline. They took photos and documented a good portion in just one day. We'll report more on this group once the work is done.
>>More cemeteries are added each week to our own cemetery pages as our very active cemetery documentation team continues their work.
>>Check for more web additions. Thanks to our great volunteers I can't really keep track of all the new things added to the web site each week. Be sure to check often on our "Latest Additions" section.
For Your Information...
>>Kentucky information . For all kinds of information about Kentucky, check out www.Kentucky.gov.
>>"Efferdent" or simple sand as a bottle cleaner. Lynn Eddington recently gave me a nice idea for cleaning the inside of old bottles that a brush can't reach. "Efferdent" denture cleaner works pretty good. Place a couple of the fizzy tablets into the bottle with water. Ken Bailey tells me that sand can also work, simply placing some sand in the battle and shaking.
>>How to open a new book (and an old book). Did you know that you can do a lot of damage to a book just by the way you open it? With a new book, the binding is very stiff at first. If you just grab the book and spread it open wide, you almost certainly will damage the "spine" of the book, guaranteeing that pages will eventually start falling out. To prevent this, take the new book and gently open it part way, sort of fanning the pages, then open it a bit more and fan the pages again, gradually flexing the entire spine over all the pages. Spending just a minute or two doing this can assure the book will last decades longer than it would have.
For old books, the key is also to be gentle. As with the new books, never just grab the book and open it wide right away. Open slowly and no more than you have to. Many such old books will have brittle pages and a weak, perhaps already damaged spine. Be easy. Be careful.
Finally...Hooray!! Fall is Here!!
Fall, wonder Fall. My very favorite time of year. The hills of Bullitt County, covered with deciduous trees such as Maple, Oak, and Ash, are turning their beautiful golds, reds, and yellows. It all looks like a grand oil painting. The leaves are so bright that, along with the low setting autumn sun, the very air takes on a golden hue. Long evening shadows fill the valleys.
The dry summer is ended by gentle rains, and the weather is crisp, chasing away the ticks and chiggers for another year, as well as the fruit gnats that swarm around the freshly harvested apple and pears.
My hands are stained greenish-brown from harvesting walnuts, but that's OK. My two small English Walnut trees yielded three grocery bags of nice, easily cracked nuts. My two fairly-new Black Walnut trees, that I planted a few years ago mostly on impulse, yielded some of their first fruits, though I confess to pushing some of those into a crawdad whole. Black Walnuts are not really worth the trouble to me anymore...I have become too "citified" for them.
Black Walnuts have a long tradition in "the country". The nuts are very hard to crack, and the outer hull is tough and messy (pioneers and Confederate Civil War soldiers used the stain as a dye for their clothes and uniforms).
People who live on a gravel road might lay the nuts on the road on purpose, letting passing cars run over them, busting and removing the outer hull, rain cleaning off the debris and making them ready for hand cracking. I used to do the same on my gravel driveway. Looking back, it made a nasty looking mess, but the winter rains would clean it up soon enough.
Now the road is paved and my driveway is a nice white concrete. My wife, and maybe my fellow-citified neighbors, would not be happy with a big nasty stain in the middle of all that.
I am told that some companies that buy walnuts now want the outer hulls to remain using material once again for stain.
But for me, I'll harvest my little hobby crops of apples, pears, pecans, and walnuts and be content.
And prepare for Winter, with its cold and wind.
We have already had one wind storm, one of the worst in my memory. It took out many trees and power lines, leaving thousands of people without electricity for days.
That reminded me of a quotation in a display at our museum. The display is about electricity coming to rural Kentucky in the 1930's. A Preacher tells his church flock, "Brothers and Sisters," he says, "I want to tell you this. The greatest thing on earth is to have God in your heart. The next greatest thing is to have electricity in your house!"
Amen, Brother. Amen.
Thank you for being a Friend of Bullitt County History.