Climbing the Family Tree

Lloyd Monroe Raymer

Lloyd Monroe Raymer

Lloyd Monroe Raymer (1943-2012) was one of the chief users of WKU’s Special Collections Library.  As a professional genealogist, he used most of the Library’s resources:  books, microfilm, vertical files, family files, and manuscripts.  He was generous with his time–often assisting patrons after he overheard their queries–and resources, many times donating microfilm and books after he had completed his research projects.  His smiling face and pleasant demeanor will be missed, but he left behind a rich collection of genealogical reports that he created for clients.  They are now available for patron use.

Lloyd earned his professional certification in genealogy in the early-1980s.  He was able to turn his intense interest in history and genealogy into a part-time job, working for clients from around the country who were searching for ancestors in Warren County, Kentucky, particularly the northwestern section of the county.  Showing his support of local genealogical research, he eagerly joined the Southern Kentucky Genealogical Society when it was formed in 1976.

Most of the family files in the collection represent genealogical research conducted by Raymer between the late-1970s until his death in 2012, although the bulk of the work was done from the mid-1980s through 2010.  The families studied are not exclusively from Warren County, but that was Raymer’s specialty thus those surnames dominate the collection.  Butler County surnames would come in second, followed by Logan, Simpson and Allen counties in Kentucky.

The files are arranged alphabetically by surname.  Associated families have been indexed in the Subject Analytics at the end of the finding aid.  When processing the collection, Raymer’s report (generally typed) to his clients were kept, as well as his correspondence and some photocopies of original documents.  There are no original documents in the collection, so early dates on folders will indicate photocopies.

Raymer’s report nearly always include a title page that includes the major surname(s) researched and the date; it was generally accompanied by a cover letter explaining the research conducted and often raising new questions or avenues of research.  The report itself shows the research path Raymer typically covered:  census records, court records, military records, cemetery records, etc.  He meticulously recorded his sources, so the reports remain valuable to researchers even today.  His reports did not include genealogy charts, although the folders may occasionally contain such.  Correspondence with his clients, within the folders, also contains clues about the families.

To see a finding aid to the Raymer Collection, click here.  To search TopSCHOLAR for other genealogical collections housed in Manuscripts & Folklife Archives, click here.

Comments Off on Climbing the Family Tree

Filed under Uncategorized

Comments are closed.