Discover your family history

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Guest Columnist

To celebrate Perry County’s 200th year, a certificate and pin will be given at a pinning ceremony Nov. 1 to individuals who fill out a First Family of Perry County application.

This program was set up to honor our Perry County ancestors who braved the virgin Indiana Territory through the end of the Civil War.
For many, this program has brought awareness of whom their Perry County ancestors were, how they lived and believed and, for some, answered questions about their family’s folklore.

So, who are our Perry County ancestors?

The descendants of Ameil Kaufman, an early citizen of Tell City, learned Kaufman was a town trustee involved in the building of the North School. Michael Rutherford’s book “Perry County Then and Now” claims this family was a candidate for having the first child born in Tell City. On Nov. 14, 1858, Ameil Kaufman went to the doctor and asked him to assist his wife, Regina-Rachel Glatthaar Kaufman with the birth of their third child. The doctor told him he was on his way to visit another family with their birth. Charlotte Philippina Kaufman was born later that day.

This was a story passed down through Charlotte to her children. Charlotte married Joseph Henry Taylor Nov. 21, 1887, in Hancock County, Ky. “The History of Perry County” by Goodspeed lists the first boy born in Tell City as William Scheitlin and the first girl as Miss J. Blum.

Dolores Gaynor McManaway had always been told that her family had an ancestor who was a doctor that attended Indians in Perry County.

The 1860 census lists her ancestor, Alexander Hamilton Jones, as a physician living in the Leopold township area providing more proof to this family’s history.

The Winchell family arrived in Perry County around 1809.

Revolutionary War soldier John Winchell wlead a group from the state of New York to Perry County. Enduring many hardships on their journey, the group became separated and was not reunited until after they left Pittsburgh on rafts for the trip down the Ohio to Perry County.

If you would like to discover your Perry County history, visit the Perry County Museum in Cannelton, the Tell City Historical Society’s Museum or the genealogy room at the Perry County library in Tell City. You can call me at 547-3746, Lena Joyal at 619-0708 or Cindy Kaufman at 547-2661 for help with the First Family applications.

Forms are online at the Perry County’s Museum’s website at perrycountymuseum.org or in the genealogy department at the library.

The certificate and pin are $10 and a supplemental line is $5 for a certificate. Checks may be made to the Perry County Chamber of Commerce.