2005 marks the 20th anniversary of the forming of the Louisville Genealogical Society. Following are articles from the 5th and the 10th anniversaries of the organization.
July 1990 marks the fifth anniversary of the Louisville Genealogical Society. We have passed the "toddler" stage and we continue to be an active, vibrant group. We hope that each of you will enjoy a trip down memory lane as you read the following article by our first president, Shirley Green Dillon. Our Society can function only when each member takes an active part. It takes the contribution of each person for any organization to vigorously grow. Plan on being an active participant as we start on our next five or fifty years.
Our Society can function only when each member takes an active part. It takes the contribution of each person for any organization to vigorously grow. Plan on being an active participant as we start on our next five or fifty years.
Shirley Green Dillon
The sixteen members attending the very first meeting 2 July 1985 were, in addition to Mrs. Hamm, Pearl Logsdon Blackwell, Clarence Smith Cambron, Ann Cowan, Catherine Weeter Crispy, Ruth Buchanan Dail, Hattie Draper Duling, Kathryn Dawson Eddy, Ruth French, Louise Reynolds Harrison, John F. Langley, Audra Sprigg Martin, Katherine Deeb Morgan, Inga Rhea Schuway, William F. Sheehan and Rowdy Whittaker.
This list differs considerably from that of the roll of the Genealogy III class, actually the basis for the club. Those on that list, who did not attend the first meeting 2 July, are: Arnold Raymond Blair, Doris Settle Bush, Carl Cassidy, Shirley Green Dillon, Ann York Franklin, Emily Robertson Graves, Lynn Hullette Harding, Marshall Edwin Swan, Philip Albert Wagner, Jr. and Nancy White Walters.
After two weeks, membership had grown to fifty-eight. We tried at first to meet every week, continuing the habit of weekly classes. Even such eager beavers as we were realized that was too much of a good thing, and after a few weeks decided to meet twice a month, as we still do. We had speakers at every meeting, but by early 1986 changed that so that we have a speaker every second Tuesday, and a workshop session the fourth Tuesday. That format has worked out well.
We were able to get together a set of officers to see us through 1985. They were president, Shirley Dillon; first vice-president, Doris Bush; second vice-president and program chairman, Rosemary Woodson; recording secretary, Dorothy Stone Reeves; and treasurer, Pearl Blackwell. The chairmen were membership, Catherine Crispy; librarian, editor, and genealogical records, Ann Franklin; publicity, Clarence Cambron and Inga Schway; parliamentarian, William J. Linton; telephone, Charlene McDevitt; and Board of Directors, Jane Hamm, Katherine Eddy, Carl Cassidy, Lynn Harding, and John Langley.
We spent a lot of time the first few months deciding on the name, Louisville Genealogical Society; and selecting a logo. The one chosen was designed by the daughter of Lynn Harding. We talked about a quarterly publication and about field trips of which we made a lot. We got along with a contribution of $1.00 per member, but settled on $10.00 per year regular dues beginning in 1986. It was also decided that we would have only one meeting in November and one in December because of the holidays.
Speakers for these meetings included Alberta Brock Baker, Kevin Carman, Nettie Watson (now Oliver), Col. Robert Jobson of the SAR, and David Horvoth of U. of L. Photographic Archives. Nettie Oliver has come back repeatedly to keep us posted on new materials at the Filson Club.
Our December meeting that year (1985) featured exhibits of projects of various members, and refreshments. In October a group attended the annual meeting of the Kentucky Historical Convention in Danville. Already there was a discussion about putting the 1850 census of Louisville and Jefferson County into book form. We also spent a lot of effort trying to interest the Courier-Journal in publishing a genealogical column. We still have hopes for some kind of publicity.
In November we elected a full set of officers for the coming year. That list, plus those of the officers for all other years, are listed at the end of this article. Committee chairmen were elected until 1990, when they were appointed by the president with suggestions from the board.
1986 was a year of great progress. We went to several out-of-town meetings, including one in April to Bardstown featuring Dr. George Schweitzer as speaker; adopted a constitution and by-laws; saw the publication of the first issue of our quarterly, LINES-AND-BY-LINES; went on the first of our annual week-long genealogical research trips, this one to Salt Lake City; and purchased tote bags displaying our logo. The work of putting the 1850 census was begun; little did we think that after five years, it still isn't finished! At first we used the 1850 census microfilm at the library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Hurstbourne Lane.
Speakers for that year included Kevin Carman, Ann Franklin, Lawrence Shepart of the British Virgin Islands, James Bentley of the Filson Club, Mary Ann Gentry of Carroll County, Sam McDowell of McDowell Publishing Co., and Linda Anderson from the Kentucky Historical Society.
At the end of 1986 we had 83 members and $105. in the bank.
By 1987, a pattern had been established for meetings, workshops, field trips, and other activities. One of those is an annual research trip. The second one, in the Spring of 1987, was to Washington, D.C. We worked at the DAR Library, the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and the Library of the National Genealogical Society. In June we had the first of what would become annual seminars; this was at Big Springs Country Club, and featured Mr. and Mrs. George Everton, publishers of THE GENEALOGICAL HELPER. This was the only spring seminar; the latter part of September has become the established time.
A luncheon was held in March to honor our founder and advisor Jane Turner Hamm. The ongoing work of reading the census was changed to the Filson Club. A group of us went again to Salt Lake City. Speakers that year included J. William Klapper, Alberta Baker, Dr. Frank Levstick of the Kentucky Archives, Nettie Oliver, Mrs. Betty Gist, resident of the Zachary Taylor home, Shirley Wolfe, Bill Rodgers, photographer from Frankfort, David Morgan from the Jefferson County Office on Historical Preservation and Archives, and James Bentley, who attended the Christmas luncheon (another tradition being established) and installed the next year's officers.
Some of us went in the fall to Salt Lake City. That too is becoming an annual event.
1988 was another year of significant advances. In June we moved to St. Andrews United Church of Christ, giving us more room for our meetings, and for our library. The first quarterly night meetings were held on the second Thursday of June, September, December and March. These meetings followed a question, answer, workshop format.
Our annual spring research trip was to Richmond, Virginia. Some of us went back to Salt Lake City in October. There were also field trips to the Cincinnati Library, to the Kentucky Genealogical Society's seminar at which John Frederick Dorman spoke, and to the Fort Wayne, Indiana Library.
Our fall seminar was in September at Big Springs country Club; the speaker was Dr. George Schweitzer. His three talks were on "Tracing Your Ancestors Back Across the Ocean", "Obscure Genealogical Sources", and "Kentucky Genealogical Research".
Speakers for the year included Sherrill Redman, archivist at U. of L. School of Medicine; Richard Crossett, graphic and heraldic artist; James Harrison on Confederate records; Nettie Oliver; Anita Solodkin of Metro Parks; Richard Abell of the Cincinnati Library; Patricia Lister on Quaker records; Jack Custer on researching the river and its people; Charles Castner about railroads; Doris Yeiser on Baptist Church records; Dr. Robert Diggy of the Merton Center, Bellarmine College.
By the end of 1988 we had 161 members and were financially solvent.
Beginning in 1989, we found we had transcribed the census records of Louisville and Jefferson County, not only for 1850, but for 1840, 1830, 1820 and 1810. We are now proofreading them.
Speakers for 1989 included Dr. H.E. Everman of Eastern KY University on using local records; Gina Kinchlow of the Urban Studies Center at U. of L.; Dr. Eugene Miller of Speed School on Turners in the Civil War; Mary Samples on preservation of documents; Jerry Rice of the Louisville Historical League with a slide presentation of Fontaine Ferry Park; Nettie Oliver on new materials at the Filson Club; Kandi Anderson from the State Land Office in Frankfort; Doris Leistner on Southern Indiana records; Michael Palmer on tips for research in Germany; Tom Owen, archivist at U. of L.; and Fletcher Elmore on George Rogers Clark.
The annual research trip was to Raleigh, North Carolina, in May. A group also went again to Salt Lake City. Ruth Dail presented the club a beautiful wall hanging. The speaker at the September seminar was Jo White Linn, on "The Great Wagon Road". This is the path followed by immigrants who arrived in Pennsylvania and went south to Virginia and North Carolina; it is about where Interstate 81 is today. A group went to Cincinnati for a meeting of the Hamilton County Genealogical Society, on research in Virginia. Members went to Bardstown to the Nelson County Round-table seminar.
Our constitution and by-laws were revised in September, 1989. Our library continues to grow with the addition of more exchange quarterlies and books donated by members. Our fourth Tuesday meetings are featuring three workshops. A german study group and a British Isles study group meet on alternate fourth Tuesdays. Topics for the other workshops are supplied as the need arises. Frequently they offer help for beginners. All of us are still learning. We hope that all of those who have joined us in the years between 1985 and 1990 will be encouraged by and helped by all the Society has to offer.
We ended 1989 with our annual winter luncheon and installation of new officers. We had 184 members.
The spring of 1990 saw two milestones. In April the first issue of our monthly newsletter was mailed. This will be issued for those months that our quarterly, LINES-AND-BY-LINES, is not published.
The Society was thrilled to learn of the award of a $29,500 grant from the Barry and Mary Bingham Foundation to microfilm the Louisville Anzeiger. The Anzeiger is a German newspaper that was published for ninety years beginning in the 1840's. A committee has started work on this project.
As we approach our fifth birthday, we still are progressing. Our fifth annual spring research trip was to Harrisburg, PA. Our speakers for 1990 have included Col. Robert Jobson, Nettie Oliver, David Morgan of the Jefferson County Archives, Martin L. Schmidt, and Dr. James Klotter of the Kentucky Historical Society.
Plans are underway for our annual fall seminar to be held at Big Springs Country Club on September 22nd. The featured speaker will be Edward J. O'Day, professor of history at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and president of the Illinois State Genealogical Society.
Our first five years have been filled with new experiences as we worked, learned, and grew stronger in our knowledge of genealogical research. We also have had fun in the sharing of joy at finding that elusive ancestor and the sharing of frustrations caused by not finding great-grandma's maiden name. May our next five years be as productive as our first five.
Happy Birthday to the Louisville Genealogical Society!
The following appeared in the Fall 1995 issue of Lines-and-By-Lines.
With the students' request to continue meeting, and my thinking that there was a need for a genealogical group in the Louisville area, I arranged with Jeanne LeFevre, the Director at Senior Citizens East, for the use of Room 102 at Harvey Browne Presbyterian Church for the Genealogy Club to meet every Tuesday from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. from 2 July 1985 through 27 August 1985. The July issue of Senior Life and Times had the announcement about the Genealogy meeting. On 2 July 1985, we had the first meeting of our Genealogy Club; the sixteen present were: Jane Turner Hamm, Catharine Crispy, Pearl Blackwell, William Sheehan, John Langley, Inga Schuwey, Louise Harrison, Katherine Eddy, Clarene Cambron, Andra Martin, Towdy Whittaker, Ann Cowan, Ruth Dail, Hattie Duling, Ruth French, and Katharine Deeb Morgan. Before the meeting, Rowdy Whittaker made two snapshots of the group; all but two attending this first Genealogy Club meeting had been my students.
On 24 July 1985, the Courier-Journal had an article on our club in the Metro section, by Lonnie Harp, with a big picture of John F. Langley. Our attendance on 30 July 1985 was 47, in that small room! By the end of August 1985, we had grown to 89 members, and moved to the larger Session Room. When the Summer program ended, we voted to continue meeting every 2nd and 4th Tuesday from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. We voted to call our group the Louisville Genealogical Society and elected our first officers, who were: President, Shirley Green Dillon; 1st Vice-President, Doris Settle Bush; Program Chairman, Rosemary Woodson; Recording Secretary, Dorothy Stone Reeves; Treasurer, Pearl Logsdon Blackwell; Membership Chairman, Ora Catherine Crispy; Publicity, Clarene Cambron and Inga Schuwey; Librarian/Records, Ann York Franklin; Parliamentarian, William J. Linton, Sr. Our Advisory Board consisted of Jane Turner Hamm, Carl Cassidy, Katherine D. Eddy, Lynn H. Harding, and John F. Langley.
Our Constitution and Bylaws were written by Jane Turner Hamm, Carl Cassidy, and Kevin Carman; they were adopted in March 1986. Our logo for the Louisville Genealogical Society was designed by Melanie Harding Bates, the daughter of member Lynn H. Harding. The first edition of our quarterly publication, Lines-and-By-Lines, Volume 1, Number 1, was published in Spring 1986; editor was Ann York Franklin. Our first research trip was 7-14 May 1986, to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah; fifteen of us stayed at the Temple Square Hotel.
Our first big project started 16 June 1986, when several teams of two members worked weekly to record and proofread the Jefferson County and City of Louisville Census Schedules, 1810 through 1850, for publication of census books. Our first "show and tell" party was on 10 December 1985; most members brought old family pictures, pedigree charts, Bible records, military records, Family Crests, and books.
The Louisville Genealogical Society joined the Historical Confederation of Kentucky; their publication, The Circuit Rider, in Volume 8, Number 7, July 1986, had a two-page article on our Society, written by our first President, Shirley Green Dillon.
The Louisville Genealogical Society was organized as a non-profit, educational organization established by and for people interested in family ancestors and local history, who come together to share their genealogical knowledge. Members who attended the meetings of the Genealogy Club from 2 July 1985 to 27 August 1985 are charter members of the Louisville Genealogical Society.
Editor's Note: This article is to commemmorate our 10th Anniversary...