David Sumner, Kim Fortner, Pam Metts and Charles Morris, all aficionados of genealogy, did research for the book for eight years. Fortner said it was a daunting project and that there were many obstacles.
“There were a lot of cemeteries that were very hard to get to, you had to cross fields, go through woods, climb over fences,” Fortner said.
Released in May 2008, this hardbound book contains the listings of over 400 cemeteries in the county, said Fortner. The book does not contain cemeteries in the Land Between the Lakes, but it does include more than 100 of these cemeteries that have never been recorded in print before.
Fortner said the book doesn’t include any cemeteries in LBL because after eight years, “We just ran out of time.”
But soon they will do more research on a new book, which will include LBL cemeteries and gravesites as well as updated information about Trigg County cemeteries outside LBL, as there have likely been some markers they have missed in the past eight years, she said.
Charles Morris said that there were 300 copies made during the first printing and 300 more copies made during the second printing, and all of those sold, so a total of 900 copies have been made of the book.
Identifying the weathered record on tombstones almost 200 years old was challenging, but Fortner revealed a surprising trick of the trade – they used shaving cream, and after wiping it off the markers were more readable.
“Some of the stones were weathered and were virtually unreadable,” she said.
Fortner said the earliest gravestone she has seen dates back to the 1820s – back to when Trigg County was first founded.
History and genealogy buffs can expect to find a lot of information in the book, much of which required research beyond what can be found in the cemetery. Fortner said they also looked at death certificates and obituaries and talked with people who could tell them where the cemeteries are.
The compilers, who visited each cemetery, provide driving directions and a list of all of the stones in the cemetery.
Some 300 volumes will be produced in the book’s final printing, which will cost $35 per book, with an additional $5 charge for shipping. For more information, contact David Sumner at 522-4700 or Charles Morris at 522-6121.