Welcome to website.  Our focus is making this site more interactive and functional for our guests.  Upon return visits new information will be posted for your review. We hope you will visit our wonderful book store where we are frequently adding new books.  Take time to read some of the stories published in our Quarterly News magazine and other stories witten by our members.  If you are doing research, check out our Links page.  Our Quarterly Archive page has titles of articles from our Quarterly News dating back to 1976.  This can be most helful if you are doing research and looking for someone or something that appeared in our Quarterly News. Feedback is a precious gift and we would like to have your ideas and comments.  Thank you for visiting with us and we hope you enjoy our site.  You can now join our organization on line by clicking:

Notice:  Ancestral Trails Historical Society Library will be opening June 2 for research.  To conform to the new rules given to us by the state there are new operating guidelines for the ATHS Library. Please check the calendar for first Friday night meeting cancellations. Click on the following link for further instructions:  All membership meeting have been canceled through the end of 2020.
***** ATHS Book Catalogs******
Not all of our books are listed in the online book store.  The following links will take you to the detail book listings and price lists.  A form is provided for ordering these books through the United States Postal Service. 

ATHS Limited Quantities Book Catalog & Price List: Click on the link below. We have made price reductions on several of our books in our Limited Quantities Book Catalog.
ATHS Book Catalog:  Click on the link below
ATHS Book Price List: Click on the link below

******* Online Book Store News*******

You don't have to login to use this website.  Just click on the title that you want to use.   01/13/16

We have 4 new books listed below for your review: Just click on the link!        Posted 2/27/20

Hardin Co Tax Records 1793 -1807
Meade County, KY Early Tax Records 1824
A Town Divided:  The Showers &More Feud in Elizabethtown, KY
Memories of Sue Rock and Life on Cedar Creek

New Location for ATHS Membership Meetings

Using the ATHS site for Genealogy Reserch

The Hardin County History Museum and ATHS will be reopening on 2 June for visitors. No more than 3 visitors per group will be allowed in the museum, with a total of ten at any one time. Social distancing will allow only 3 persons in the library at a time to include the library volunteer.  We will require library visitors to make an appointment to do genealogical and historical research.  Please email: or to reserve a two hour slot of time. These measures are for your safety as well as for ours.
Volunteers and visitors will be required to wear face masks.  Frequent hand washing and
sanitizing measures are required. Face masks will be given to those without one. Frequently touched surfaces will be sanitized frequently. Visitors’ work spaces will be sanitized after each use.  Library materials will be quarantined after use for 24 hours at the least. Please do not come if you are feeling ill or have a temperature over 99 degrees.
If you’d like us to do some research for you, email us at the addresses shown above. Please put “research needs” in Subject line.  Our library phone number is 270-982-0881. We are open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10-2 ET.  You may leave a message. In the meantime, check out our website Try using the library versions of or HeritageQuest from our website. Also, check out the Hardin County Court Clerk’s website: . If you are not familiar with this site, you will discover it is treasure trove, just as is the Hardin County History Museum. Think of sending a query to the editor of Ancestral News.



We Need Your Help and It Won't Cost You a Dime

Do you shop at Kroger?  How about Amazon?  These companies have programs that financially help organizations like ATHS.  Just click on the attached links that will take you to information that can instruct you how this can be accomplished.  Either choice won’t cost you a dime. Just a little bit of your time. This will go a long way of helping us continue our member services.


An Important Message from Your Board of Directors
 Our monetary reserves and very generous donations from our membership have enabled us to maintain our services without raising our dues or book prices. But our reserves are rapidly dwindling to the degree that we must act to remain financially solvent.  Your ATHS Board of Directors is now considering several options to ensure we can continue to operate and provide services to the level our membership has come to expect. 
 Our sources of income are membership dues, book sales and donations. Our income enables ATHS to publish new books every year and maintain our research library that serves researchers on site, Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, as well as research queries via telephone and email.  Our members reside in 35 different states and visitors to our library and annual book fair come from across the United States to avail themselves of our genealogy/history resources and expertise.
 The cost of maintaining and operating our research library includes telephone, book purchases, internet service as well as those miscellaneous supplies related to office operations.  Our library has a group of dedicated volunteers for whom we are grateful.  Thanks largely to the generosity of our members, we recently acquired a microfilm reader/printer for use by our patrons and library staff.  This equipment allows access to our several hundred microfilm reels of deeds, marriage, probate and settlement, circuit and county court records as well as newspapers pertaining to Hardin and several other KY Counties.  We have seen a significant increase in library visits since the acquisition of the microfilm reader/printer. 
 Our quarterly publication, Ancestral News, consists of 60 pages of articles addressing history and genealogy of our Kentucky family of counties (Hardin, Breckinridge, Bullitt, Edmonson, Grayson, Hart, Jefferson, LaRue, Meade, Nelson as well as Harrison County, Indiana) as well as other Kentucky Counties.  Our annual membership dues of $20.00 are intended to cover the cost of the quarterly and have remained the same for several years.  With the increased cost of printing and mailing, dues no longer cover the cost of printing and mailing our quarterly.  Your ATHS Board of Directors is now considering a few options to ensure we can continue to operate and provide quarterly publication services to the level our membership has come to expect.  Those considerations include raising dues, reducing the number of pages presented in the quarterly and perhaps securing a sponsor from the business/professional community to cover the cost of one or more quarterlies – or any combination of the afore noted.
 Historically, our book prices have been significantly less than those of our sister societies in our Kentucky family of counties.  We switched book printers last year to keep our printing costs from nearly doubling.  As other book publication costs have increased over the years, we have tried to absorb much of those increases rather than increase our retail book prices.  That practice is no longer feasible.  Effective July 1, 2019 we are increasing most of our book prices.   Even with the price increases, our books will still be competitively priced with our sister societies.  If you have ATHS books that you have wished to purchase but have not to date, we encourage you to do so prior to July 1.  A book order form is included in this quarterly for your convenience.  Any book orders postmarked June 30, 2019 or earlier will be processed using the retail prices in effect as of this Summer 2019 quarterly.    We must return any book orders postmarked July 1 or later if a pre-July 1, 2019 book list is used to compute the order total.      
 Your ATHS Board of Directors takes its fiduciary responsibility very seriously.  In that regard, we would appreciate your input, whether suggestions or comments. Please email (, call (270-982-0881 & leave a message), or mail (ATHS, PO Box 1796, Elizabethtown, KY 42702) all to my attention.   We will keep you informed as our decision process continues.  Thank you all for your support!

Carol Stromatt, President
With support of your Board of Directors
Ancestral Trails Historical Society

Visit to the Helm Cemetery

Headstone of John L. Helm at the Helm CemeteryToday my daughter had an extended school day to make up for the larger number of snow days this year, so I made my way down to Elizabethtown. After stopping in the Hardin County History Museum, I made my way north on Dixie Highway with the window down, simply enjoying the first day of March.
At a stop light I noticed to my right a cemetery on a hill, surrounded by a beautiful stone wall. I immediately pulled my car over, parked and walked up the hill to the cemetery.
Turns out, I was visiting the Helm Cemetery for the first time in person. I had read about it before numerous times in books and online on, but had never seen it.
The grave marker for Governor John L. Helm is fantastic. On the front it says, "John L. Helm, born at Helm Place, Hardin County, Ky., July 4 A.D. 1802, Died at the same place, Sept. 8, A.D., 1867".

Here are some quick facts on the man from wikipedia:

"John LaRue Helm (July 4, 1802 – September 8, 1867) was the 18th and 24th governor of the U.S. state of Kentucky, although his service in that office totaled less than fourteen months. He also represented Hardin County in both houses of the Kentucky General Assembly and was chosen to be the Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives four times. In 1838 his sole bid for federal office ended in defeat when his opponent, Willis Green, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Helm was first elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1826; between 1826 and 1843 he served eleven one-year terms in the state house. In 1844 he was elected to the state senate, where he served continuously until he was chosen as the Whig Party nominee for lieutenant governor on a ticket with John J. Crittenden, famous for the Crittenden Compromise. The Whigs won the general election and Helm was elevated to governor on July 31, 1850, when Crittenden resigned to accept an appointment as United States Attorney General in President Millard Fillmore's cabinet. After his service as governor Helm became president of the struggling Louisville and Nashville Railroad. He invested thousands of dollars of his own money in the project and convinced residents along the line's main route to buy stock in the company. In 1859 the line was completed, but the next year Helm resigned over of differences with the board of directors regarding a proposed branch that would extend the line to Memphis, Tennessee.
Although he openly opposed secession during the American Civil War, federal military forces labeled Helm a Confederate sympathizer. In September 1862, he was arrested for this alleged sympathy, but Governor James F. Robinson recognized him as he was being transported to a prison in Louisville and had him released. After the war Helm identified with the Democratic Party, and in 1865 Hardin County voters returned him to the state senate. In 1867 he was the state's Democratic candidate for governor. Despite his failing health, Helm made a vigorous canvass of the state and won the general election. He was too weak to travel to Frankfort for his inauguration, so state officials administered the oath of office at his home on September 3, 1867. He died five days later."

What amazed me most is that you can still see the house he died in, the family home, while you are standing at his headstone. You can't miss the big white columns that grace the front of the house. It's wonderful to see a house and cemetery so old, taken care of so well.

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