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 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.

5 favorite things I’ve downloaded from Freegal

Freegal is a music service that gives you five free MP3s every week with your Boone County Public Library card. They have the latest singles from the likes of Khalid, Harry Styles, the Chainsmokers, Adele, Miranda Lambert and Miley Cyrus as well as classic artists like Journey, Michael Jackson, James Taylor and Carly Simon. There are over 13 million songs from 100s of genres, which is a whole lot to get through so I thought I would share five of my favorite things I found while deep diving into the Freegal Library.

  1. Transformers the Movie Soundtrack: If you were a child of the 80’s you watched the original Transformer’s cartoon movie and this soundtrack will take you right back. A great mix of the sythn-pop score and driving (get it driving) 80’s rock, this soundtrack features Lion’s version of the Transformers theme, Weird Al Yankovic and original songs by Stan Bush.  It is impossible not to sing along to The Touch or Dare.


  1. Walk off the Earth: Walk off the Earth became a YouTube sensation with their “5 peeps 1 guitar” cover of Somebody that I Used to Know. Several of their covers and their original album E.V.O. featuring their hit single Red Hands, are available on Freegal. They are brilliant musicians, their covers are inventive and their original songs are pop perfection. 


  1. Company (Original Broadway Cast Recording): With Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by George Furth, Company is one of the first “concept musicals” –  it don’t have a plot in the tradtional sense, it’s a series of sceens between the main character Robert, the Five couples he’s friends with and 3 of his girlfriends as he deals with impending 35th  The orignal 1970 production won 6 Tony’s including Best Musical, Book, Score, and Lyrics. Dean Jones (who I knew from a string of Disney movies he starred in like The Love Bug and Blackbeard’s Ghost) sings what might be my favorite Broadway songs of all time Being Alive.  It also features standards like: Another Hundred People and The Ladies Who Lunch.
  1. Pentatonix: Pentatonix are an amazing acapella group who won the third season of The Sing-off in 2011 and have since released four EPS, three Christmas albums and their self-titled album of originals. They’ve won three Grammys including the 2017 Best County Duo/ Group Performance for Jolene (ft. Dolly Parton). Everything they have recorded – including the songs they sung in competition on The Sing-off are available on Freegal –I highly recommend the Britney Spears Medley from episode 7, it is so, so good.
  1. The Everly Brothers: Kentucky native Don and Phil Everly were a County/ Rock ‘n Roll duo known for their beautiful harmonies in the 1950’s and 60’s.  They were a prominent musical influence for The Beatles, The Beach Boys and the Bee-Gees.  They are best known for songs like Bye-Bye Love, Wake Up Little Susie, Bird Dog and my personal favorite, All I Have to Do is Dream.

    (And if you love the Everly Brothers, like I do, you’ll want to attend the free Everly Brothers Tribute show by The Bird Dogs at Boone Woods Park, 6000 Veterans Way in Burlington on Saturday, August 12 at 7 p.m.!)

Hopefully, this list will encourage you to give Freegal a try, there really is something for everyone, no matter your musical taste. To get started, go to www.bcpl.org/digital and scroll down to Freegal music, or go to your play store and download the free app.


Katie Widener is the New Digital Services Librarian for BCPL. She’s a Boone County native, went to U of L for undergrad, and received her Master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences from UK.  She’s been with BCPL for 6 years, previously as a Reference Librarian and the resident yarn and comic book enthusiast.