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 written 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 helpful 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 open April 6 2021.  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 June 2021.
***** 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 Out-Of-Print Books Catalog & Price List: Click on the link below.

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 3 new books listed below for your review: Just click on the link!        Posted 7/21/2021

Hardin Co., KY Tax Records 1808-1814
Hardin County, KY Newspaper Abstracts 1918
Meade Co., KY Court Order Book B 1827-1833

ATHS Meeting Site

Note: We are planning on our first membership meeting in July 2021. We plan to meet at Nolin Electric office building on Ring Road instead of the new location (Central KY Community Foundation Building).  Due to Covid restrictions, no food or drinks will be served at the meeting.  If you have any questions, contact our library at 270-982-0881. Thank you for your patience.

Using the ATHS site for Genealogy Research

      ATHS will be reopening the library on April 7 2021 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: [email protected] or [email protected] 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.  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.



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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