Since this project was
started, we have had numerous contributions which have given us the ability
to meet the goals of KYAAG. With this in mind, we feel it is only fitting
that we honor the participants who helped and continue to help us meet our
Although all contributions
are acknowledged and appreciated, the following have been given special
recognition for their relentless efforts in helping this project succeed.
They have volunteered countless hours to contribute transcriptions, excerpts
from their personal publications, family lineages and research records, as
well as public records and family photos.
Another point that we feel
must be recognized is the efforts of those who have broken the race barrier
to contribute their time, effort and knowledge to this project even though
this site is exclusively dedicated to African American research in the State
For this I say, Martin
Luther King’s Dream is well on its way if only we give it a chance.
I have been involved
in genealogical research since 1970 while living in many states due to my late
husband’s employer, moving to Kentucky by choice in 1989. I have a love of
history coming from my background as a school teacher and curiosity of putting
the clues together from many years with police work. Since moving to KY, I have
been helping others with their family research and publishing source data from
the county where I live. I am a Kentucky Colonel, the Editor of our County
Historical Society Quarterly and speak many times a year before Civic and
Community Organizations and at the schools in the area. My theme has always been
“Sound not heard is silenced; history not recorded is lost.”
Michelle Gorin Burris
Shelley is the daughter of Sandi Gorin and grew up thinking Moms came with a
keyboard attached to their finger tips. She accompanied her Mom for many years
in her genealogy work and at the age of 14 expressed a desire to do something
herself that would contribute to preserving family history. She has since
published eleven books on old slave records and African American records from
Barren and adjacent Counties. One of her books, Barren’s Black Roots Volume 3
was awarded first place by the Kentucky Historical Society in the family history
category. She is now married and although working full time in the computer
field and as an on-air personality for many years for local radio stations, she
still has a love of genealogy and pursues it in what spare time she has. She is
also gifted in music and art and church work.
Lora Hutsell Washington
I developed a need to know about my family history
while organizing a family reunion for July 4th of 2003. I had basic
knowledge of my immediate family; my great-grandmother, Myrtle Bradley Hutsell,
always spoke about her family. I had the great opportunity to know some members
of the family, which was a joy in itself. The thirst to find more about my
family heritage was driven by the fact that my grandchildren would never have
the same opportunity to know their history if it was not somehow documented.
Thus began my journey into genealogy. I started by subscribing to Ancentry.com
and Genealogy.com. Then I contacted various surviving members of the families to
collect information and photos. Ordering death certificates for various family
members became another source of information. They generally listed the names
of the father and mother as well as the name of the surviving spouse. I
complied two large three-ring binders full of information. I inherited old
family photo albums when my mother passed. They became a visual reference for
me. I acquired copies of marriage bonds and marriage records for my
grandparents( maternal and paternal) as well as my great-great grandparents.
The Census records on Ancestry.com, Genealogy.com and Familysearch.org were
invaluable resources. During this journey, I have acquired relatives I didn’t
Some of the people I grew up with turned out to be relatives. Since my journey
began, I have traced all four sides of my and my husband’s family back eight
generations. I have also done genealogical research on my son-in-law’s family.
As of September 20, 2004, I have compiled a book that includes of 2500 people
and various photos of family members as well as other information.
This has been an incredible journey and I feel this is only the beginning.
Contributing to this site has enabled me to come in contact with distant
relatives, which has been a true blessing.
Peggy Childress Gilkey
I was born in
Princeton, Caldwell Co., Ky. My interest in genealogy started in 1967, when at
the age of 21, my mother took me to the old Calvert Cemetery in Caldwell Co.,
Ky. I would from that time on try to find out all I could about them. I learned
early on, that this line of my ancestors were slave holders. I have wondered
many times why they being a religious and God fearing family thought it was ok
to do this. I still don't understand that. while this part of my family was
engaged in doing this, another of my family lines, the Wales, in Indiana were
running a part of the underground railroad, helping escaped slaves to go farther
north to freedom.
Hankins and Childress are two other of my families
that I love to research.
Having a great-great grandmother that was Native
American and that by family tradition it is said she had been left as a small
child dying on the Trail of Tears in Caldwell County, Ky. Malinda survived and
married my great-great grandfather Richard Childress. There is no way to trace
that family line back past her, so I do understand the feeling of African-
Americans trying to discover their heritage and having so many difficulties in
tracing their families back past the 1870's.
My husband, Kenneth, retired in 1998 and, luckily
for me, he also enjoys my passion for genealogy. Together, we have published the
1880-1910-1920 Lyon Co., Ky. Census. We assisted in transcribing the 1930 Lyon
Co., Ky. census book. We have also published two family history books and
several family history reports. It doesn't have to be our family, just one we
are interested in, or trying to help someone else with theirs.
We are the KyGenWeb County Coordinators for
Livingston and Crittenden counties and Asst. C C's for Caldwell and Lyon
counties. We are the administrators for the Crittenden and Livingston Counties
Rootsweb Message Boards and Asst. Admins. for Caldwell and Lyon Counties
Rootsweb Message Boards.
My family lines are all in northern Caldwell County
and Ken's are mostly in the southern half of Caldwell County, so between us we
have a very large Caldwell County database. Our combined families databases on
our Caldwell, Lyon, Trigg, Crittenden, Hopkins, etc. counties contain over
We both enjoy the research trips to the library and
courthouse at Princeton. The Historical Society in Caldwell has worked very
hard to preserve all records, and the Caldwell records are mostly complete.
For the past year and a half I have devoted a lot of
my time searching for records to prove my ancestor Spencer Calvert fought in the
Revolutionary War and deserved a DAR marker. Success at last, the National DAR
office finally approved him and we will dedicate a bronze marker for him in
It is a pleasure to contribute any information I
have to the African-American Griot's site. Charee Harvey and Jerry Taylor and
are doing a wonderful job but we all need to help by contributing our records,
to make this site work.
I hope if there is some way I might help
anyone researching their ancestors in Caldwell County, Ky., that you will not
hesitate to email me at
Peggy Childress Gilkey
Janet K. Hawkins
Janet K. Hawkins is an editor (contractor) for
the U.S. Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. She has more than 15 years of
for-profit and non-profit
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Hawkins became
interested in the history of the African-American community of western Kentucky after she learned
that her fourth great-grandfather, a Crittenden County native, had owned slaves
and later divided those slaves “equally” among his children. Hawkins is near
completion on her master’s thesis, a history of the black community of
Livingston and Crittenden Counties, and expects to graduate from George Mason
University in January 2005.
lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband, Jaime Luciano. Her hobbies
include genealogy, bird watching, foreign and domestic travel, and foreign
Kellie Scott actively contributes whenever possible to the
preservation and reconstruction of Kentucky genealogy. Besides her assistance
with the KY African American Griots and volunteer genealogist for the
Bourbon County KY