Stone Fences Project

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The Case Farm

I’m getting a new library just over a mile from my house and it will have a new Kentucky Room and a “Makers Room” which will offer access to producing professional photography! I have never heard of a Makers Room before and was unable to find one thing about it on the internet. So we’ll see. Maybe we are a test location.

On a drive from Lexington to Paris on Paris Pike, I was surrounded by miles of stone fences. There was one on my right, one on my left and then another one across the median lining the outside of the opposite lane. Even those 3 together were all done in a different style. Architecture and design varied from each one. I’ve done a little online reading about stone fences and from that have gathered that Kentucky has the most stone fences in the United States and that apparently the craft arrived with Irish settlers in the late 1700s, early 1800s.

I’ve read about different techniques in building them and about practical uses and aesthetic values they brought to their owners. The materials were readily available in land that was cleared for agriculture and  in creek beds. Some were dry laid and some with mortar as in the picture above.

This is bound to be a long process and I will document on this very blog and continue to share every step of the way.

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How is Genealogy Fun?

Perry Floyd Knott Leslie

Genealogy has been fun for me in so many ways. I was first introduced about 20 years ago when I was around 20 years of age. My mother passed along to me a pedigree chart that had come from her older brother, Alan. I was fascinated by all of the names of my ancestors that I had never met. At that time I was traveling the country for my job and would come home to my hotel room and Dell laptop and play around on Ancestry.com and Rootsweb. I started developing a tree for my Dad’s side. I would call my cousin Kristy back home in Kentucky and ask her for information about our Wootens who came from the mountains. The only times I would travel to the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky was when there was a funeral to go to.  And even in my childhood years, the culture shock was heavy. There was an element of comedy that was apparent in my dad and his brothers and sisters, as well as my grandparents. It featured a hint of sarcasm and a lot of orneriness. I found that my great aunts and uncles and their children also carried this same sense of humor, that is bound to overpower any amount of strife one may encounter in life.

There are so many stories I have come across from that region including stories about my very ancestors. There is no better form of entertainment than a true storyline, that continues to keep you in suspense as you are actively looking for clues to help uncover and solve the mysteries that continue to unfold. I’ve read many times from others who have taken the plunge in discovering their roots say “the more I find out, the more questions I have”. That statement could not be more true. I had the opportunity to chat with an older senior genealogist that told me something that has stuck with me and is going to be the theme of this blog. He said he has been researching for over 50 years. He said he has over 10,000 people in his tree. His words of wisdom were that, we are all related. We are all connected in some way. (I think he may have been speaking of all of us in Kentucky! Ha). He said the researching will never end. He said, “but you can sure have a lot of fun doing it!”

I want to touch on a number of facets of genealogy that are the most fun and interesting to me. From discoveries of ancestors of all nationalities and races to scandals of all kinds in the families. Finding an ancestor or group of ancestors’ gravesites that can provide clues into their lives like where they lived, if they were well off or poor, perhaps their religion, sometimes an affiliation like a masonic symbol, maybe military service, of course when they were born and died, their spouse, children, parents and other family, and possibly a glance into their occupation and beliefs if they left behind a quote that is, as far as I know, always from the Bible.

I’d also like to discuss events and normalities from our beginnings that shine a light onto our lives today. Whether that be from the creation, 1000 years ago, or the 1600s to present; I’m game for honest and candid conversation and dialog. I feel we have a responsibility to educate each other honestly and respectfully to come to understandings of one another.

More fun for me involves my artsy, creative side in crafting things that are visually pleasing while preserving and displaying family history. I have some ideas I need to set aside some time to follow through with. I do like to decorate and express my own sense of style. It is somewhat therapeutic for me to surround myself with art and things that are appealing to my eyes. I hope to dedicate a section of the blog to crafting in genealogy.

I’ve recently become fascinated with stonefences in Kentucky. I have an idea for a project that I hope to get started in the near future. The history in those stones…what are we going to discover?

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