Oldham graves, cemeteries available
to speak at
December lecture series in La Grange
Helen E. McKinney
(December 2010) A family reunion sparked Dot
Carracos interest in genealogy. Years later, as genealogy coordinator
for the Oldham County History Center in La Grange, Ky., Carraco and
a team of volunteer researchers have organized a new publication listing
graves and cemeteries of Oldham County.
by Helen McKinney
Carraco, research genealogist for the
Oldham County History
Center, has recently
compiled 10 years
worth of research
into a book.
Before the reunion, Carraco said the idea of genealogical
research had never even entered my mind. After she retired
from a nursing career, Carraco took another job but decided she needed
to do something else. She knew the History Center had one book out on
graves and cemeteries, but she also knew she could put together enough
information for another book.
I thought it would be good to do another one, said Carraco.
She began researching county cemeteries on her own before volunteering
at the History Center in La Grange, Ky. She hunted grave sites and went
through cemetery records but at first, didnt know what to
do with the information. I was just collecting it.
Carraco thought she should begin at the Floydsburg cemetery, the one
she thought at the time was the largest in the county. It turned out
not to be the largest, but still an important one, with many people
buried there and lots of history surrounding it
Her information has been compiled into a new book, Oldham County,
Kentucky, Graves and Cemeteries. It covers a 100-year time span,
from Jan. 1, 1900, to Dec. 31, 1999.
To spread the word about the book, Carraco will give a presentation
at 6 p.m. on Dec. 8 at the Irish Rover, Too in La Grange. Previously
scheduled for the Westport General Store, the venue has been moved to
the Irish Rover, Too, and the presentation is part of the Fall River
Lecture Series sponsored by the Oldham County History Center.
In Its About Dead People Carraco will share some of
her unusual experiences as the cemetery researcher for Oldham County.
During the last decade, she led a group of volunteers in researching
this cemetery survey project which collected information on nearly 14,000
Carraco and her faithful followers physically visited the 206 known
cemeteries, unless they were completely inaccessible or lost to time.
Information they recorded included dates on the grave stones, the general
condition of the cemetery and the GPS location of the cemetery. Digital
photographs were taken of each grave marker.
She trudged through cemeteries, working in hot weather and all kinds
of conditions, she said. It was hard work, but it was a lot of
Carraco said she couldnt have completed the project with out help.
I had a bunch of good volunteers. She had a lot of men volunteer
for the project, which in her words, helped if she had to go out
in the boonies and look for a cemetery.
I would make dry runs to see how the land was first and see if
there were any problems, said Carraco. If she needed a four-wheel
vehicle, someone was always ready to lend a hand.
I did the established ones first, Carraco said. I
had a good response from the community.
After Carraco and her volunteers had compiled data and research material,
the information was entered into databases. Three databases were merged
to complete the book: Graves Database, Funeral Home Records, and
Cemeteries Database. The Graves Database merged data from the
previous 1974 historical society publication, Oldham County Records,
Vol. 1, by McKechnie & Dent, with updated surveys. I
used that book as a directive to where the cemeteries were located,
William B. Younger provided data processing and document layout support
for this new cemeteries book. I basically supported Dot and helped
on the data processing side, said Younger.
While he wasnt part of Carracos volunteer research team,
Younger said his involvement in the project kind of evolved by
my being around and offering suggestions.
Many of the burial sites were on private land and Carraco even discovered
some of her own ancestors while researching this cemetery survey project.
I had been told a cemetery was destroyed, but found out it hadnt
been. This provided her with one more link in a missing branch
of her family tree.
Tickets for Its About Dead
People are $14 for members of the Oldham County History Center
and $16 for non-members. The information contained in Oldham County,
Kentucky, Graves and Cemeteries can be accessed online at www.OldhamCountyHistoricalSociety.org.
A copy of the book may be purchased for $55. Orders can be placed by
contacting the Oldham County History Center at (502) 222-0826 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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