EVELYN S. JACKSON Genealogist, historian Evelyn S. Jackson died, Tuesday, Mar 23, 1999 at KDMC, age 71, of 346 32nd St., Ashland, Ky. Mrs. Jackson was recognized as a person who shared her family history reserach findings with family-seekers across the U. S. and abroad, including researchers of Carter Co., Ky. In collaboration with others, she was instrumental in publishing records and anecdotal information about numberous Northeastern Kentucky families. "She always said it wasn't what people had, but what they did that was important," said Jim Powers, director of the Boyd County Public Library. While Mrs. Jackson's research reached throughout the Big Sandy Valley and as far west as Vanceburg, "she stayed focused mainly on Boyd County," Powers said. "If a Boyd Family ranged beyond its borders, she followed, but in the main she was looking right here." With former Daily Independent columnist Bob Kennedy,she began in 1968 to roam cemeteries in the county, transcribing tombstone inscriptions and creating lists of names and dats. She used that data in creating columns of her own - "Reflections" in the Independent and the "Boyd County Ancestors" in the old Boyd County Press-Observer. Her research was first-hand and funded out of her personal budget. At night she stretched archival microfilm across a white tablecloth and strained to read it through a hand-held magnifier. In this way she assembled material for books on marriages, births, deaths and censuses, a production output that expanded when computers became available. "She went out and did it long before it was popular to do it," Powers said. She also served as editor of the Treeshaker, the quarterly newsletter of the Eastern Kentucky Genealogical Society, almost from its inception in the late 1970's. She gave up the post in Oct, 1998 because of failing health. Unlike some collectors, she shared her findings with nearly anyone who inquired. "It's amazing," said library genealogy specialist Sheri Pettit, "how many people she helped, either directly or when her work was passed from one searcher to another." Cora Jean Newman of Ashland co-authored the 1996 book "Bygone Bylines from Eastern Kentucky Newspapers" with Mrs. Jackson. "She was one of the best historians of local history I've ever met," said Newman. "You could hardly mention any surname in this area, or any great tragedy or murder that she wouldn't know something about," she said. Mrs. Jackson also was a member of the Boyd County Historical Society and the Kentucky Historical Society. She was born Aug 25, 1927, in Matewan, W.Va., d/o the late Emmett Preston and Opal Victoria McCall Scyphers. She is survived by a son Stephen Wayne Jackson of Ashland; a daughter, Patricia Ann Cantrell of Westwood; a brother, Donald Edward Scyphers of Ashland; a sister Patricia Glendean Jones of Ft. Lauderdale, FL; four grandchildren; and two great grandchildren. The funeral will be conducted at 10 a.m. Saturday at Lazear Funeral Home by the Rev. Charles E. Stewart. Burial will be in Ashland Cemetery. The Daily Independent, Ashland, KY, Thursday, March 25, 1999 p. 15.
Submitted by: Sherry Lowe