Established 1987 in Barbourville, Kentucky

Knox Historical Museum

History & Genealogy Center

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Family History Summaries

Civil war veteran "Colonel" George F. Bretz of Barbourville


One of the joys (and frustrations) in researching the past is bringing to life Knox Countians that appear to be long forgotten except for a few kinfolks on This writer stumbled across an interesting Mountain Advocate newspaper clipping floating around at the Knox Historical Museum. The article was published in April 1915 and announced the death of a George Frederick Bretz, who was known locally in Barbourville as "the Colonel."

Read more: Civil war veteran "Colonel" George F. Bretz of Barbourville

Genealogy Center receives John Hays-1807 family history

The Knox Historical Museum’s genealogy center continues to enlarge its valuable family history collection.

In December 2015, Judith (Callebs) Unthank , in conjunction with her cousin, David Hayes Cole, both natives of Knox County, Ky., presented a new family history to the Museum.

This history focuses on their Hays ancestors, beginning with John Hays, born 1807 in North Carolina.

Read more: Genealogy Center receives John Hays-1807 family history

KHM receives fascinating family history beginning with Joesph Unthank - 1715

In December 2015, the Knox Historical Museum’s genealogy center received a 10- generation family history of the Unthanks in America.

The 24-page document was submitted by Judith Callebs Unthank, the wife of David Unthank. Both were born, raised and still live in Knox County, Ky.

The document is a snapshot of America’s history over the years: beginning in England, traveling by ship to America and settling part of the new country, traveling west on the Oregon Trail during which one Unthank child (Alvah) died and was buried in 1831, and continuing right up to the present day.

Read more: KHM receives fascinating family history beginning with Joesph Unthank - 1715

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