Where to start? Well, let’s first begin with introductions: your Kentucky Ancestors Online editorial team consists of Cheri Daniels and Louise Jones. Cheri, your friendly neighborhood Senior Librarian and Reference Specialist is also a 7th generation Kentuckian, blogger, bibliophile, technology/social media junkie and seasoned researcher who began her library and genealogy journeys at the age of 16. Louise, your friendly neighborhood Director of Special Collections and Library is also an accomplished horse-woman, Mom to an adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and has worked for three different state historical societies over the last 20 years, helping genealogists, local historians and academic researchers find answers to their research quests. As we grow Kentucky Ancestors Online into THE place to find articles, tutorials, and upcoming events, we will be working with authors, researchers, historians and genealogists to edit and create interesting, pertinent, and useful information about Kentucky genealogy and local history.
You may be wondering why the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) made the decision to stop producing Kentucky Ancestors in print and to transition to an online publication. As a print publication, the mission was to provide a quality resource for genealogists and local historians writing about Kentucky and also to be a venue for first time authors. For over 40 years, KHS made this publication available to our members which quickly became a very popular and well respected resource. However, we have long known that this print publication fell short in connecting with our online and non-member audiences. Over the last year we have been exploring ways to reach out to this broader group to deliver an online portal dedicated to Kentucky genealogy and local history which promotes access, learning and engagement.
With this transition into a new era, we must not forget the wonderful work that came before us. Nor must we forget to thank those who built such a solid foundation. As we began the planning for migration to a new format, your former Kentucky Ancestors editor, Don Rightmyer, was right there with us, offering his insights and guidance from 4 years of producing the print edition. One thing that quickly became apparent was the dedication necessary to produce this educational and prolific resource. We would like to thank Don for his years of service and dedication to this publication as he embarks on a new career. It was no surprise to KHS when we received news that Don had just completed his first book, soon to be released: Torn – The Civil War in Kentucky. While we wish him all the best in this new chapter, we would also like to assure readers that Don’s high standard for quality articles will remain. From BookNotes to Feature Articles, Don’s influence on Kentucky Ancestors will continue. In fact, you will see an article from him among our first articles set for launch.
Kentucky Ancestors Online will continue to have full length editor-reviewed articles and book reviews, much like the print version of Kentucky Ancestors. However, the portal will also include new features such as heavily illustrated case studies, video interviews with local researchers and Second Saturday speakers, instructional tutorials, collection highlights and an up-to-date calendar of events. Perhaps the most exciting feature of all will be that the site is not gated solely for KHS membership but will be available to all, for free. Our goal is to attract and serve the genealogical community throughout the country. We have long known that those with Kentucky roots have a strong interest in their heritage, and treasure the stories of their Kentucky connections for generations.
We hope that you will take the time to explore Kentucky Ancestors Online and please stop back regularly, because the site will be updated with new content weekly. Our initial production schedule is a bit daunting (to us, at least) with new authors, re-formatted old favorites and a steady stream of Book Notes and Collection highlights to pique your interest in the resources available to you here at KHS and across the Commonwealth. To make it easier for folks to navigate the site, the navigation bar includes buttons for Feature Articles, Trending (news segments with, BookNotes, Collections Corner posts and lots more), Events, How To articles and our History Mysteries page where you can contribute your knowledge to some fun mysteries from the annals of Kentucky’s history!
Oh, and by the way, if you would like to write for us or share a story dear to your family, just drop us a line at: email@example.com. You can also learn more about this process from our Submission Guidelines page. Kentucky Ancestors Online is a publication of the Kentucky Historical Society.