One of the questions on the United States Census 2000, the long form, was "What is your ancestry or ethnic origin?" Most of the residents of Fancy Farm community would have had to hesitate before answering this question. They know their roots to be from "Colonial Maryland", eg., Edward Willett and Francis Hayden, mid-seventeenth century Maryland. However, originally they were both from England.
In 1634, the first Catholics landed in St. Mary's County, Maryland, "the cradle of catholicity" in the new world. In 1785, twenty-five Maryland Catholic families settled on Pottinger's Creek, Nelson County, Virginia (later Kentucky). One of these was William and Elizabeth Thompson Hayden's family, whose son Thomas was one of the pioneers to Fancy Farm in the 1830's.
In 1843, the residents of this area asked for a post office. The postal inspector, a guest of John Peebles, whose farm was seen as neat and clean, suggested the name Fancy Farm. John Peebles, one of the few in the area not a Catholic, was appointed first postmaster March 15, 1843. Thus, the beginning of the unique name, Fancy Farm, to designate a particular area in northwest Graves County. The St. Jerome Church is at the intersection of Highways 80 and 339, about ten miles from Mayfield, the county seat.
Probably, because of its unique name, because it stems from Colonial Maryland and has remained mainly Catholic since its foundation in 829, because the annual picnic serves as the unofficial kickof for fall election campaigns in Kentucky, or a combination of these, Fancy Farm has been for many years the subject of many feature articles in Kentucky newspapers.