Camp Nelson hosts history and genealogy day

Published 11:34 am Wednesday, June 15, 2022

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Visitors to Camp Nelson National Monument had a chance to learn how to trace their roots over the weekend.

In conjunction with the Jessamine County Public Library, Camp Nelso hosted a Genealogy and History Day on Saturday.

Visitors could stop by the JEM bus,the visitors center at Camp Nelson and utilize the different archives available to find their genealogy.

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“Camp Nelson is one of the newest units of the Nation Park Service, established in October 2018. This is the first summer we’ve been open for seven days a week. We have a lot of new staff here and we’re trying to just connect with the community,” Steve Phan, Chief of Interpretation, Education, and Visitors Services at Camp Nelson said. “We call this the genealogy and research day and that was inspired by the community coming out to us. People will come out and be like, ‘Hey, I’ve got an ancestor or I’m a descendant of someone who that served in the Civil War I think they were at this site’.”

The Jessamine County Public Library assisted in the research of ancestry and genealogy with the addition of the Jessamine Events Mobile, a new RV for special events.

“We have this new RV, it’s our Jessamine Events Mobile. So we are bringing it to different areas in the county, or bringing programs to different areas in the county like Camp Nelson. So today we’re partnering with Camp Nelson National Monument to tell people about our genealogy and local history resources, including how they can search for their relatives who maybe served at Camp Nelson during the Civil War,” Carrie Green of Jessamine Public Library said.

Visitors get the chance to research more about ancestors at Camp Nelson, and in return help, Camp Nelson curate archives and expand their knowledge about Camp Nelson.

“This is an opportunity to help visitors do any kind of ancestry genealogy research, whether they’re connected to Camp Nelson or not. And also because Camp Nelson is such a new national park, it’s existed for about 20 years as a county site, because we’re new to the National Parks Service we’re working on building our archives,” park ranger Maureen Lavelle said.“What we’re missing are personal letters and diaries, and things that explain the soldiers’ experience and so we’re inviting the public if anybody has any information to share.”

The Camp Nelson visitor center is open seven days a week, from sunrise to sunset. There are hiking trails, a visitor center, a museum, and even daily guided tours. Visit the Camp Nelson National Monument website for more information, at