So, you may ask yourself, "Just where did Jen come up with the name of this blog??"
When KYGenWeb was still in the works in 1996, one of the counties I hosted was Estill County, Kentucky. This had been home to my ancestors before there even WAS an Estill County. In those early days, everything was new and "shiny". Web design, online genealogy, mailing lists - it was just so exciting. Once information was online, message boards were started and everything else was in motion, we started discussing on the mailing list how fun it would be to all meet there and really get to know each other. And so it was that the Estill County Homecoming was born. Every year, on the last weekend of July, people gather and locals are on hand to help researchers from out of state find their ancestors. After a couple of years, we got help Estill County Historical & Genealogical Society. The county clerk's office stayed open longer on Saturdays for the researchers to make copies. The Society hosted a breakfast and lunch. After the day's research, we'd gather at a local restaurant to tell tales of cemeteries visited and connections made.
Behind the motel is an old cemetery. Unmarked graves far outweigh marked ones there and for the longest time, this cemetery was not cared for. Fortunately, someone or ones have stepped up and now care for this resting place of so many. In fact, the morning this photograph was taken (18 Aug 2009), there were signs that the grass had been mowed possibly even the day before.
My friend, Sandi, and I were there for Homecoming in 2001. We both had our computers and genealogy books on the county with us. It had been a wonderful night - most of the motel's rooms were occupied by others attending Homecoming. Everyone had their doors propped open and were visiting the others there to find their families. Late in the evening, the others had gone to bed as the morning's meetings were going to start at 7:00 a.m. Sandi and I were talking about how well the evening had gone. I mentioned that the Old West Irvine Cemetery was on the small hill next to the parking lot and that my 3rd great grand aunt and uncle, Ari (Hoover) and Littleton Horn were buried there.
Here's a piece of advice, never act on a thought in the middle of a "genealogy high". It was 12:30 in the morning. Sandi looked at me....I looked at her. At that time, that's generally all it took for us to have a genealogy adventure. We grabbed lighters and headed across the parking lot. Attempting to read what stones we could get to, we both burned our thumbs trying to hold down the triggers. The movie, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" had been out a few years and, if you've seen the movie, you'll remember the scene where Minerva, Jim Williams and John Kelso visited a cemetery at midnight. The Minerva character called the cemetery a garden. "Dancing" came from the stumbling and tripping over flat stones that Sandi and I did in the moonlight that night. Don't worry though, we realized we weren't in the best of circumstances and returned the next day to properly look at this wonderful old cemetery.
By the way, when I gave my speech greeting everyone the next morning, we did assure everyone that the bobbing lights in the cemetery weren't local ghosts.