Kentucky Explorer Valuable Source For Family Historians, Genealogists

16107415598_abbb011e83_oI came across this publication through a family member and it is a storehouse of interesting genealogy-type history. Each issue is packed with more than 100 pages of stories and photos from throughout the state of Kentucky. Besides the stories, the publication also includes letters to the editors with interesting facts and requests. It has a classified ads section where you can find family-oriented and history-oriented products.

But the real appeal of the magazine — which is printed on newsprint — are the images and stories. Much of the content is reader-submitted material which creates a tone that is unique to each piece. One of the helpful aspects of the magazine is on the back cover — where a map of the state works as a table of contents. In my case, I am interested mostly in stories from Cumberland and Clinton counties and just by glancing at the map I can see if any of the stories in that issue are from those counties.

Here couple of the stories I have read from those two counties:

  • Lost Tombstones, Volume 24, No. 4, Sept. 2010: This two-page story tells about seven Civil War grave markers stored at the original home of Ishum Burks — the man, Burkesville, Ky. is named for (the town I would visit when we went to see my Claywell grandparents). The article delves into history of the seven men the stones represent.
  • The Coe Ridge Colony of Cumberland Monroe Counties, Volume 25, No. 5, October 2010: I found this to be an extremely interesting story of the slave-era in Kentucky. The Coe family was unique in that the family permitted their slaves to raise their own crops and create crafts to generate some income for themselves. Although the story does not attempt to glamorize slavery, it does offer an often-not-seen perspective of the ‘peculiar institution’ where slave owners tried to rectify to moral dilemma of owning another person.

The magazine is $21 annually for 10 copies, but if you want to purchase back copies you can purchase 20 years on CD for $95. The company also offers hard copies at various discounted rates throughout the year, with a current deal of 25 back issues for $30.

Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation for this review. I have simply read the magazine and find it to be a valuable source for genealogists researching Kentucky.

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