Karen's Old Kentucky Homecoming
As we stay for 5 days at Whispering Hills RV Park in Georgetown, Kentucky, we’re discovering many fun things to do in the area. On Monday May 22, after driving through quaint Georgetown and taking care of some errands, we drove the 21 miles to Cynthiana, KY. This was the community my (Karen’s) Dad’s family came from back in the 1800’s. Recently, I’ve starting putting together a Hilen family tree to connect the dots of family names. It was so fun to see this beautiful town and experience the historical significance to my family.
My great-grandfather, Basil Edward Hilen married Mattie Webb Waits in 1889 after his first wife passed away, leaving 7 children. Basil and Mattie went on to have another 5 children, including my grandfather Charles Osborne Hilen.
With the amazing help from cousin Lynne Cunningham in Baltimore, I was able to find the Indian Creek Christian Church located at 51 Waits Road. We believe the Waits family homestead was on this property; I even found a very old stone fireplace on the property that was covered in ivy and surrounded by huge trees. The cemetery adjacent to the church contains the gravestones from many of the Waits family. Pastor Adam of Indian Creek Church was so gracious and helpful sharing the history of the 200 year old congregation (circa 1803), and showing me the many beautiful stained glass windows, including one in memory of Mattie’s parents, Charles M. & Mary Ellen Waits.
There was another cemetery across the street at the Indian Creek Baptist Church where I found additional Webb gravestones. However, I found no Hilen gravestones in either location. Perhaps there are Hilens buried in a different cemetery in town? I believe Basil and Mattie Hilen moved to Everett, Washington in 1903. The sleuthing will continue another time!
It was a very fulfilling day, making me thankful for a rich heritage. I would have never thought you would find me traipsing through a cemetery reading all the headstones, but it was a successful and fun mission!