By Jennifer Moonsong
Central Division, General Manager,
Jobe Publishing, Inc.
A decade ago when Connie Hughes Goodman and Crystal Todd Neal set out to update the Monroe Cemetery book, they didn’t know what an adventure the project would be.
“Some of the cemeteries are hard to find. We’ve crossed so many fences, climbed hills and waded creeks. We’ve walked hundreds of miles around Monroe County,” said Goodman.
The fruits of their labor is an updated guide for Monroe County cemeteries and graves, Monroe County Kentucky Cemeteries Bicentennial Edition.
“We realized there hadn’t been a book done about the cemeteries since the 1970s,” Neal said.
The original publication from the 1970s was compiled by Eva Coe Peden.
The first task was typing up a comprehensive list of graves listed in Peden’s book, visiting each cemetery, making corrections and making additions.
“Some of the cemeteries we have on the county didn’t exist in the ‘70s,” Neal said.
Other grave sights, especially in rural and not easily reached parts of the county weren’t easy to find.
“We would take to people, and we got pretty good at spotting them,” Goodman said. The duo was able to locate some old graves that had not been seen before.
“If we saw tall cedar trees, that was a good indication a cemetery might be there,” she added.
Along the way, they’ve run into some interesting things.
“We found one lady who was buried all by herself at the top of a high hill,” said Goodman.
After ten years the manuscript is at the publishers and their mission is accomplished.
“Our goal is to help lost loved ones and genealogy lovers to help find graves and trace their roots,” said Neal.
In addition to thorough and up-to-date listings of cemeteries and graves, the book includes the GPS cordon send directions so that people can see the graves for themselves.
As a part of the elaborate process, death records were compared to the old cemetery list.
“Crystal and I also sat down with death records from 1911 until 1953, we went through every death certificate known,” Goodman said.
The original book from the 1970s had approximately 140 cemeteries listed, and the updated edition has more than 240.
Only 500 copies of the book will be printed, and they do not plan to do a second printing. If you would like a copy of the book, time is of the essence. Interested persons should send a check or money order to PO Box 112, fountain run KY 42133. The book is $69.95, plus $4.20 for Kentucky state tax. If you live in Monroe County you may pick up a copy, however, if you live outside of Monroe County, the book will be shipped to you and you should include an additional $6.50.
Payments are being taken now, but the book will be available in October. However, if you would like to learn more about the book, or speak to Goodman and Neal you may do so at various locations, including the Watermelon Festival on August 31. By ordering the book now you will save $10, the book will be $10 more after 31 August.