Search billions of records on

Katherine Bushman and Richard Hamrick receive a first-ever Distinguished Service Award given by the Augusta County Historical Society in March 1997. Giving the award is Dr. Ann McCleary, who was president at the time. Both individuals were charter members and are credited with having created and sustained the society.

Historical society loses esteemed charter member

[From the Augusta Annals, A semi-annual newsletter published by the Augusta County Historical Society, January 1998, Vol. 5, issue 1]

Most of us are fortunate to have a circle of family and friends whose own lives are saddened by the emptiness when we are no longer there. This was certainly true for Katherine Bushman, whose wonderful family are known to many members of this society, and whose numerous friends included many society members.

It is not given to everyone to leave a vacuum outside that close circle. Nor is it given to everyone to influence and help hundreds, perhaps thousands, of persons across this country, and even abroad, in their efforts to understand themselves and their heritage. Nor is it given to everyone to leave behind a permanent legacy in research and publications to answer questions of generations yet to come.

It was Katherine Bushrnan's good fortune and great gift to have created with her husband, Bill, a wonderful family and a large circle of friends who miss her. It was also her good fortune, great gift, hard work and dedication to leave for her community and her country a legacy of heritage preservation.

Katherine's work in heritage preservation fell in three principal areas. One was in family history research. Her work as a genealogist helped hundreds of families get in touch with their roots. People who know who they are take greater pride in the heritage of their county state and nation, and greater interest in preserving it. Katherine helped people to that knowledge and that pride in heritage.

Her unparalleled knowledge and understanding of the vast body of early records of Augusta County which she gained in her genealogical research, brought her to an awareness of the importance of preserving that exceptional material. Katherine was a leader in the

effort to undertake conservation measures on rare public documents long before public moneys were available for that purpose. She encouraged the Daughters of the American Revolution to sponsor the conservation of numerous volumes of Augusta Country records that contain information valuable to thousands of persons across America. Records that might otherwise have been damaged or lost have been saved for future generations.

The third area in which Katherine made a lasting contribution was in her editing and publication of historical material. For more than a decade, she edited the Bulletin of the Augusta CountyHistorical Society, the principal publication by which this oiganiztion has disseminated the history of this important county. She located researchers, encouraged them to put their work into articles, and fostered the interest of young historians by publishing some excellent college term papers. Her own research led to the publication of two important books,one on naturalization records of Augusta County and the other on the area's free black registers.

Board establishes memorial fund

At its regular meeting on Wednesday, January 7, 1998, the board of the Augusta County Historical Society voted to establish the Katherine Bushman Fund in memory of our friend, founding member, former president, and long-time Bulletin editor.

The purpose of this fund is to perpetuate the goals and objectives of research and excellence in local history to which Mrs. Bushman devoted so much of her time and talent.

Committee members Richard Hamrick, Jr., John Davis, Mary Beirne Nuft, James Patrick, and Nancy Sorrells will recommend to the board a plan for using the fund to further research and publication of Augusta County history.

The Society welcomes contributions from anyone who has benefited from Katherine Bushman's work, and who shares the goal of saving and telling the wonderful story of this historic county and its people.

Please make checks to ACHS, and send to John Davis, ACHS, P.O. Box 686, Staunton, VA 24402-0686.