Emaline Reynolds Rohrer

Tribute to Emaline Reynolds Rohrer

Contributed by Nancy Perry

To Miss Emma

There was a woman whom I met along the way
who called forth my curiosity of the past.

She was so in the world and so in the moment,
yet always seemingly beyond it in her years and her knowledge.
She was quiet in her knowing,
yet she constantly shared and cared about her genealogy friends.

Miss Emma's knowledge was like a mountain
that was fed by powers that were out of sight.
If you had met her there was no denying it.

We may spend the rest of our days attempting to live from such clarity,
that we comprehended that this wonderful friend has guided us
through the history of our past.


NICHOLASVILLE - Emalene Reynolds Rohrer, 98, born September 26, 1911, a Jessamine County native and longtime Nicholasville resident, died peacefully Dec 1, 2009 at her retirement community in Richmond, VA, Tue after a brief illness. Mrs. Rohrer, a graduate of Nicholasville High school, worked for many years as a telephone operator in Nicholasville, and served as chief operator until the telephone system was converted to dial in 1958. In recent years she spent much of her time doing genealogical research, helping people from across the United States trace ancestors in Jessamine County back into the 18th and 19th centuries. Despite her age, she used the internet and e-mail in her work. She was preceded in death by her husband, Bert K. Rohrer Jr., her parents, Lindsay J. and Smylie Burton Reynolds, and by two brothers, Rice and Willy Reynolds. Mrs. Rohrer is survived by a son, Bert L. Rohrer of Warsaw; Va., and three grandchildren; Stephanie R. Mahevich of Fairfax County, VA, Charlotte C. Rohrer of Versailles, and Mark L. Rohrer of New York City. Private services will be conducted at a later date. Betts & West Funeral Home in charge of local arrangements.
Published in Lexington Herald-Leader on December 2, 2009


Emalene Reynolds Rohrer began doing genealogy when typewriters and pencils were popular tools. She worked very hard to publish the book “Reynolds Families of Garrard, Jessamine and Madison Counties”. She spent many hours in the county court houses and the Ky Historical Society and State Archives researching the Reynolds families.

Her book began with “Two men named Reynolds came to the area where Garrard, Madison and Jessamine counties in Ky come together on the Ky River and Paint Lick Creek.” These two men were Henry Reynolds and Thomas Reynolds. Their descendents intermarried over the years.

Miss Emma's family intersected with the Burton, Stinnett, Fain, House, Underwood, Cobb and probably half the other families in the Pollard area of Jessamine Co., Ky.

One of my favorite stories that she told me was about how much she loved to read. She said she had a special privilege at the Nicholasville Library as a child. She got to check out more books than the other children were allowed to. She enjoyed reading and read well into her 90's.

Over the years her historical interest increased and was shared with many. After the death of her husband, Bert Kenneth Rohrer in 1992, Miss Emma moved to Richmond, VA. She discovered the internet and began to share and research online, where so many of us got to know her. She was amazing with her facts and stories that she sent out over the internet for all to learn from. She helped so many begin their family trees, and they became her internet family and she theirs.

She was an amazing woman.

Emma at her retirement home in Richmond, Virginia

Emma sitting in front of a photograph of her husband, Bert Rohrer

Emma as a young woman

Emma working at the computer

Emma and Nancy

Emma with her parents, Smiley Burton and Lindsay J. Reynolds. Emma is standing.

Maple Grove Cemetery
Jessamine County, Kentucky