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The genealogy revolution, part 2: ‘It’s fun to SHARE’

By Liz Johnson/Staff Writer

HISTORIAN JENNIFER TEICHMAN-KERR

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KERR

Jennifer Teichman-Kerr is an historical staple around Lexington history circles. Her family goes back seven generations in Lafayette County through her paternal side.

“My Teichman family came from Germany,” she said. “We still have the family farm that was settled all those years ago.”

A generation is usually configured at about 25 years, so Kerr’s Teichman side settled in Lafayette County around 1841 – pre-Civil War years. The farm is located off what was once known as Salt Pond Road just outside of Lexington.

Local history is in Kerr’s blood, even though she has not actually traced her family’s roots.

Genealogists rely on historians like Kerr to research, study, write and provide the facts and tidbits related to one’s family history.

That is Kerr’s forte.

“I took our local history for granted until I was in my 30s,” said Kerr. “Then it hit me. I found one source and followed another. Oh, the stuff you find!”

This photo of the county clerk’s office in Lafayette County Courthouse bears the date 1925. The photo was found by Jennifer Kerr in an old box of photos. The vault in the back wall is still in the county clerk’s office now occupied by Linda Niendick. The table at right is also still in use. “Inside the vault door is a large desk that we still have. The large commission minute books could be opened on this desk and the clerks could stand or sit on a stool to record the minutes,” Niendick said on her Facebook page. Kerr said old history books are stored inside the vault now. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Teichman-Kerr)

This photo of the county clerk’s office in Lafayette County Courthouse bears the date 1925. The photo was found by Jennifer Kerr in an old box of photos. The vault in the back wall is still in the county clerk’s office now occupied by Linda Niendick. The table at right is also still in use. “Inside the vault door is a large desk that we still have. The large commission minute books could be opened on this desk and the clerks could stand or sit on a stool to record the minutes,” Niendick said on her Facebook page. Kerr said old history books are stored inside the vault now. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Teichman-Kerr)

Kerr, a Lexington attorney, majored in history in college. “I have a PhD in history,” she said. “I’ve always loved it and have a passion for it. It was after I opened my Lexington law office that I realized how rich Lexington’s history is.”

Kerr belongs to the Lexington Historical Association and is active in its many events, as well. Mostly, she enjoys rummaging through boxes of photos, finding old books and documents and sharing them.

“Every day someone comes into my law office with something fun,” she said. “I also find so many surprises walking around Lexington. Sometimes I’ll see some architectural detail that I’ve never noticed before. And I’m always exploring the courthouse, looking for something new.”

These are the historical items that set Kerr off on another research project.

“If I find something that relates to someone I know, I’ll pass it along or try to get a

copy to them,” she said. “It’s fun to share.”

Lexington’s museum archives have “treasures upon treasures,” said Kerr. She encourages people to contact the Lexington Historical Association if they have something specific they’re looking for. Facebook messaging is the quickest way to get a response. The museum’s handle on Facebook is: Lexington, Missouri Historical Association and Museum.

Membership in the association is just $15 a year and includes its newsletter, free tours of the museum and invitations to all related events.

Since sharing information she’s found is what really motivates Kerr, she will eagerly set aside an evening to snap photos of something historical and share with people in the community.

The complete story is in the Friday, Sept. 16, 2016 Richmond News.

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