We can help you find your ancestors!

When most people think of BCPL’s Local History Department, they think that there are only resources for researchers of Boone County history. In reality, the Local History (and Genealogy) Department serves the family research needs of anyone who emails, calls, writes or stops by. It is true that the majority of our microfilm and family files focus on Boone County, and the book collection emphasizes the genealogical history of the region. However, BCPL’s online genealogy databases are appropriate regardless of where your family is from- the United States, Canada, Europe or even, South America.

Ancestry Library Edition, the library version of Ancestry.com, offers a wide range of
information to the family history researcher without the cost of a personal subscription. This database is a great resource for anyone starting their genealogy research. Not only do you get access to a wide variety of records including: census; birth/marriage/death; military; directories; and user-submitted family trees, Ancestry also offers free downloadable research forms and a Learning Center with Research Guides and How-To videos from leading genealogists. This database can only be accessed inside the Library, but it is available on all public computers at all six library locations.

Heritage Quest is a great database for the extra tidbits of information sought after by more experienced researchers. Used as a companion to Ancestry, Heritage Quest offers digitized Revolutionary War records, full text family histories, an index of genealogical and historical society newsletters and journals and Freeman’s Bank records (an essential African American heritage resource). This database may be accessed from home with your BCPL library card.

Genealogy Connect is a database of over 570 digitized books and genealogy resources from both Clearfield and Genealogical Publishing. Fully searchable, this database is essential for all genealogy researcher- novice and expert alike. Topics include: American Colonists & the Revolution; Aristocracy; How-To & Reference; Immigration; Native North Americans; and various regional U.S. records. This database may be accessed from home with your BCPL library card.

Fold3 is THE database to use if searching for U.S. military records spanning from the Revolutionary War through the 20th-century. Depending on the war and the veteran, records may include: service records; pensions; reports; registration cards; casualty lists; and photos. The site also offers interactive memorial pages for both the USS Arizona and the Vietnam War, as well as, a general memorial page to honor all veterans. This database may be accessed from home with your BCPL library card.

Regardless of where your family is from, the Local History Department team feels it is important for you find your family roots and connect to your past. You are not alone on this journey! We are available by phone (859)342-2665 x8134 or by email localhistory@bcpl.org. Most importantly, we offer One-On-One appointments with a team member to help you get started, tear down that brick wall, or even to give you feed back to make certain you are following the right trail to your ancestors. It is our pleasure and our commitment to help you with your family history and we look forward to meeting you!

–Bridget

Bridget Striker, graduate of the University of Kentucky, has been with BCPL since 2001 where she uses her background in archaeology, historic preservation and GIS mapping to ferret out elusive bits of Boone County history as the Local History Coordinator. Bridget serves as Vice-Chair of the Boone County Historic Preservation Review Board and as Kentucky Director of the Ohio River National Freedom Corridor Executive Board.

Tom Geimeier on the Library: Genealogy Resources and Local History

Tom Geimeier picWhile Burlington resident Tom Geimeier boasts that he has been a Boone County Public Library patron for many years, he takes real enjoyment in talking about the Local History Department and how it has grown over the years to become an invaluable resource.  “The Local History Department has staff who are trained and always willing to help you. Other libraries may show you how to use their microfilm machine or other equipment, but then they leave you on your own.  At Boone County, staff members make sure you get the help you need.”

Tom also appreciates the scope of the library’s collection of local and state genealogy resources.  “I think I’ve looked through pretty much all the books in Local History over the years.  I’m always keeping my eye out for when new books hit the shelf.  There may be some Boone County history in there I didn’t know about.”

Tom worked in the field of education as a teacher and administrator for 39 years before retiring. In 1987 he received The Golden Apple for Excellence in Teaching Award, and in 2000 was named the Kentucky Middle School Administrator of the Year.  Retiring however, did not slow Tom down. He is an active member of American Legion Post 4 in Florence, Hebron Masonic Lodge 757 and the Simon Kenton Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR). Just recently, Tom and other SAR compatriots who belong to the Col. Daniel Boone Color Guard were at Blue Licks State Park to help commemorate the battle that was fought there on August 19, 1782 in which almost 70 Kentuckians lost their lives. Tom has served as National Trustee for SAR, State President of SAR, and President of Simon Kenton Chapter of SAR among the many leadership positions he has held.

Tom also appreciates the library’s dedication to serving the community.  “I work with the library to take books no longer usable by the library to VA Hospitals and Medical Centers across the region.” Along with reading materials, Tom and his SAR chapter collect and deliver personal hygiene items, clothes and even appliances to veterans in need.

As if all of these activities weren’t enough to keep Tom busy, he recently published The Second Fifty: Your Roadmap to Fitness and Healthy Aging. Long-time friend Jerry Auton was a contributor to the book.  Health and overall well-being are a passion for Tom and Jerry, and they wanted to share what they have learned with others who are interested in improving their quality of life.

–Robin

Robin Edwards is a Local History Associate at Boone County Public Library. Her passion for history and genealogy carries over to her involvement with the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) where she is the current registrar for the Boone County chapter. This summer she was able to attend NSDAR’s Continental Congress in Washington D.C where thousands of women from DAR chapters across the country gathered for the yearly business meeting. Robin has a BA in Middle School Education from NKU.