What follows is a Trip Report after a research trip I made. It should be read not for its details, but rather to suggest the level of planning one should make before the trip, the recording of activities as a memory jogger while there, and a document from which to plan the next trip. Some locations have a singular purpose. This location was a town where my ancestors had lived for many years and thus the entire town was of interest. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Trip Report by C. R. Bourland, Jr. to Madisonville KY May 28-30, 1996
The following is a report on a trip taken alone by C. R. Bourland to the home of his father and ancestors.
I had been here once before, excluding the trips as a child, in about 1991 with Susana. In a moment of nostalgia, and prior to an interest in genealogy, I wanted to see my father’s home. I thought I remembered the address and so knocked on the doors of both numbers of North and South Seminary Street. Obviously I mis-remembered the number as neither family had heard of the Bourlands.
I parked on North Main Street near the courthouse as I remembered it from prior visit. It was noon so I looked for a restaurant and found myself in front of the Library. I went in and asked if they had a genealogy section, they said no, but that the Genealogy Society had a room upstairs. It was closed, opening only on M/T/W. They called a Mr. Wallace Jones, a retired railroad man and member of the LDS who came to open the room for me. The other members who might have come to open were: John Smith, Mr. Ramsey, Kermit Kirk, Deb Howard, and D. W. Dockers.
First looked in their registry of who was researching whom, finding: Mary Wiley, 2905 821-5800, who is Jim Bourland’s sister Betty Hess, Rte. 2, Laurens SC 29360 (a Cardwell) (803-682-4833) Betty Campbell, a good researcher 322-8621
Spent four hours looking in their records and books and retrieved B041 to B047. As usual it is hard to make progress the first day in a place.
After library drove out Main to McGloughlin and zigged to Grapevine to reach the Grapevine Cemetery, which is a large and well-maintained cemetery next to the Gravevine Baptist Church. Found the grave sites of Grandfather E.C. and Elizabeth Bourland and Elizabeth Angel-Pidcock. Took pictures B063 to B067.
Drove ten miles to the Richland section of Madisonville, inquired at the Richland Church as to the location of the Old Richland Cemetery which was recently reclaimed by the Bourland Society. It was back toward town one “blacktop”, right on blacktop past a mobile home and right into an unmarked lane which is unpaved. The graveyard is very nice, with a large new stone on the reclamation; many Unknown stones and several real ones including Rev. John Bourland. Took pictures.
Spent the night in an awful Econolodge. Next trip stay south a bit, not in town.
Next morning went to the Board of Education on S. Seminary and chatted with the switchboard, who was a Sisk. Met Glenda Thornberg, Director of Pupil Personnel, who let me look at microfilm, from which I got B048 and B049 but was unable to find Dad’s grades. They will continue to look; also to see if Classbooks existed then.
Sweet-talked Ms. Sisk into using a vacant office to telephone every name in the telephone book of Cardwell, Graham, Gish, Loving. Most calls not worthwhile but got Betty Dockers (she a Loving) and she led me to W. Dockers (a Bobbitt and Loving) and we agreed to meet at one o’clock.
Went to Court House and met with Christy Faulk who goes to UK and she got me copies of B050- B053 which are marriage certificates.
Went to Health Department, only to learn there were no births recorded officially until 1910 law.
Met W. Dockers at Genealogy Society at the Library, then went to his home to exchange GEDCOMs. This was a major find as it gets the Bobbitts back to 1600, where before they rested with just a name of the grandmother. It also got me the name of John Bobbitt who wrote the book and his successor Julia Bobbitt Vass.
Registered at the Day’s End Motel, an ok and inexpensive place. Had dinner at Beauregard’s next door to the Library.
The next day visited the Vital Records department in the Courthouse and obtained some marriage records. While the style of record keeping changed in about 1868 (from “I married them” to “this is who they are and their parents and in their home I married them'”). This may be the best records I have ever seen for bureaucrats. Got Pidcock and Fannie Cardwell and other records.
Went down N. Seminary to find 255 and 435 – the latter now the Kentucky Health Center for long-term care. Talked with Mr. Brown the chief Administrator, who does not know much of the history. So the family lived until about 1940 at 435 and then went to 255, probably at Pop’s death. Talked with Mr. and Mrs. Miller who bought the house at auction in 1976. They remember Eliz and Pidcock.
I went to the Genealogy Center and looked through the rest of the Library. Then to the High School who sent me to the Historical Society. At the latter I found many news accounts of the family and other items They have a nice Museum, with log cabin, Indian relics and plains gear. Should go back to look in the special former owner’s room.
Then went to visit at the home of Mrs. G. Bunn, 502-821-3100, 726 Spotswood, who is a Bourland/Bunn. She gave me the Bunn stuff, to be confirmed with the book from the Library.
Was told to call Frank Dorrim – 821-8234 (from Bill Smith) whose family owned 435 N. Seminary and he a genealogist.
Called and went to visit Evelyn Golightly and Leon Laffoon and picked up their data. Did not do well on the oral interview so must learn that skill.
The Genealogical Society meeting started at 6:30 and it was an excellent meeting. A talk by J. Corbit, President of the Historical Society, on surveying and the difference in Kentucky’s English method of “meets and bounds” and the western method of “ranges and townships”. He had a 400 acre grant to “Baker” on an 1870s map (probably). Met Nancy Tripp at the meeting and several others. Afterwards went with several to get coffee, I had dinner, and after that went to Nancy’s house where we played with her Web page, etc.
The trip produced B041 to B070.
NEXT TRIP TO DOs:
Go to Historical Society, for special founder’s room Call all people not contacted before next trip Read all past copies of Newsletter in Genealogy Room