This is a weblog about genealogy in and about the State of Ohio. It will feature news and views (mostly mine) about developments of interest to genealogists doing research in Ohio, no matter where they reside.--Wally Huskonen

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Free Genealogy "Lock-in" at Hudson Library, evening of 15 Feb 2008

We've just learned that the next meeting of the Hudson Genealogy Study Group will be an after library hours activity Friday February 15th from 5 to 11 p.m. Such activities often are called "lock-ins." This event will be at the Hudson Library & Historical Society, 96 Library Street, Hudson, Ohio.

Attendees will be able to do computer research and access the archives collection during this time. Mini sessions on topics such as great genealogical databases resources will be offered.

Beverages will be provided and all are asked to bring a dish to pass for a pot luck dinner.

This program is free but pre-registration is required with the archives department. For more information, please contact the Archives Department at 330-653-6658, ext. 1017.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Genealogy Seminar in Austintown, OH, on April 12

Dr. Deborah A. Abbott, professor of counseling at Cuyahoga Community College in Parma, Ohio, will present a three-part genealogical seminar on April 12 at the Austintown Library, 600 S. Raccoon Road. Austintown, OH. In the seminar, which is co-sponsored by the Mahoning County Chapter, Ohio Genealogical Society, and the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County, she will discuss:

1) Getting Started: A Librarian Is Your Best Friend (discover how to fill out family group sheets and pedigree charts, as well as genealogy resources available at libraries).

2) A Needle in a Haystack: Slave Genealogy (find out how to do African-American research prior to 1870, with techniques applicable to all types of research).

3) Going Beyond the Basics: The Federal Census and Vital Records (learn how to get the most out of census, birth, marriage and death records).

To register, call the Austintown Branch at 330-792-6982.

Let me comment on Debbie as a genealogical speaker: she knows her stuff and her use of Powerpoint is very effective. I'm sure everybody who attends will conclude it was time well spent.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ancestry Adds Four Ohio Databases

Ancestry.com has added several databases that may interest Ohio researchers. With the Ancestry search engine, any hits should turn up in a personal search for ancestors in the 18th and 19th centuries. The databases are:

Ohio Cemetery Records
Ohio Marriages
Ohio Source Records
Ohio Valley Genealogies

The above are links to the search form from each database. Remember that Ancestry.com is a subscription database service.

The first is an online version of Ohio Cemetery Records, Extracted from The Old Northwest Genealogical Quarterly, with an index by Elizabeth P. Bentley. It was published by Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, in 1989.

The second is an online version of Ohio Marriages, Extracted from The Old Northwest Genealogical Quarterly, edited by Marjorie Smith. It was published by Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, in 1986.

The third database, Ohio Source Records, contains data extracted from The Ohio Genealogical Quarterly, published between 1937 and 1944. Genealogical Publishing published the compilation in 1986.

The fourth database, Ohio Valley Genealogies, was compiled by Charles A. Hanna, and maily concerned families from Harrison, Belmont, and Jefferson Counties, Ohio, and Washington, Westmoreland, and Fayette Counties, Pennsylvania. Originally published by the author in 1900, Genealogical Publishing published a reprint in 1968 and subsequent years.

Happy searching!

Friday, February 01, 2008

NARA To Restore Evening, Weekend Hours

If you are planning a research trip to the National Archives in Washington, DC, you'll be pleased to learn that it will again be open in the evening and on weekend. Yesterday, January 31, 2008, Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States, issued the following announcement:

I am pleased to inform NARA staff that we will restore the evening and weekend hours in the archival research rooms in the National Archives Building and the National Archives at College Park. Effective the week of April 14, 2008, the extended hours will be 9 A.M. to 9 P.M. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Saturday. Hours on Monday and Tuesday will continue to be 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. When we restore evening hours we will provide the additional service of pulling records from the stacks at 3:30 P.M. on the three weekdays that we are open in the evening. As was the case prior to October 2006, there will be no records pulled on Saturday.

We are publishing an interim final rule in the Federal Register on February 1 to make the change to our regulations. Congress and the President provided a one-time appropriation of $1.3 million in the NARA FY 2008 budget to restore these hours. The funds will be used to hire new archival research room staff and to cover the costs of utilities, maintenance, and security during the extended hours. We set the effective date of the new hours as April 14, 2008 to allow time to hire and train the additional research room staff and to adjust the terms of the security guard contract.

Research room hours at the National Archives Building in Washington DC and at the College Park facility were reduced in October 2006 as a cost-savings measure. Since then, the National Archives has had extended hours only once a month-on Thursday and Friday evenings and on Saturdays. Prior to October 2006, the National Archives extended hours were Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The change from Tuesday to Wednesday evening late hours was implemented to make it more convenient and cost-effective for out-of-town researchers who travel to the National Archives for research.

I appreciate the efforts our research room staff have made since the beginning of FY 2007 to serve our researchers well despite the reduced hours and staffing constraints. I'm pleased that we are able to provide the additional access.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tony Burroughs to Present African American Research Seminar at Sandusky Library

On February 9, genealogists in northern Ohio doing African American research will have an opportunity to learn from Tony Burroughs, author, teacher, and genealogist, who says researching your family tree can lead to amazing finds -- the secret to success is asking many questions. He is the author of Black Roots: A Beginner's Guide to Tracing The African American Family Tree

Burroughs will present a daylong workshop on methods and resources for African-American genealogy research on Saturday, February 9, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Sandusky Library Program Room, Terrace Level. A book signing will be held after the workshop.

Burroughs has appeared as an expert in the PBS series "Ancestors" and "African American Lives with Henry Louis Gates" and in the Discovery Channel documentary "The Real Family of Jesus." In addition to his writing, appearances, and service in genealogical organizations, Burroughs teaches genealogy at Chicago State University.

There will be a one-hour lunch break, with lunch on your own. Registration is required. To register, call 419-625-3834 and press 0 to speak with a switchboard operator (9-5, Monday-Friday) or press Option 6 to leave a message.

The library is at 114 West Adams Street.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Spring for In-Car GPS Unit

Four short years ago, my wife purchased a Garmin hand-held GPS unit for me for my birthday.

I immediately learned how to use it in hand-held mode and in my mini-van mounted on the dashboard. It me helped find destinations and I was able to use it in genealogy, too.

One genealogy application involved finding my three-great grandfather’s homestead and farm site in Montgomery County, New York. Finding the farm site is a problem because the property was absorbed into the Charleston State Forest. All buildings and other evidence of the farm were removed many years ago.

Using a historic map and the legal description from the deed, I was able to locate the location on a DeLorme New York State Atlas with longitude and latitude grid lines. By plotting the location on this map, I was able to estimate the longitude and latitude, enter those into the Garmin unit, and navigate to the site during a summer genealogy trip to Montgomery County the summer before last.

I also have been able to “mark” the longitude and latitude of several family gravesites and enter the data into my family database on The Master Genealogist.

Just yesterday, I took delivery of a Navigon 2100 navigation system. In a few hours of use last night, I learned some of the advantages of the more modern technology available in 2008. The Navigon presents its maps on a brightly lit color display, which is visible both in daylight and at night. This alone represents a substantial improvement over the Garmin unit which only has a black and white display that isn't readily visible at night, at least with AA battery power (I never did spring for the power cord offered for use in a car, even though this would enable using the Garmin’s back-light feature with the display.).

One of the reasons I purchased the Navigon 2100 was price: it was on sale at CompUSA for $140, and that included a life-time subscription to a real-time traffic advisory service, a $99 add-on.

I used this service on a commute into downtown Cleveland this morning and it really works. It warned me of a serious traffic tieup on I-77 and calculated an alternate route.

This unit is easy to use for directions to destinations that can be entered with an address, including a street number. I haven’t explored the ability to enter destinations with longitude and latitude.

The Navigon does have the ability to mark a location by longitude and latitude, but I haven’t yet explored this feature—much less compared it with the same capability on the Garmin.

Navigon is a newcomer in the automotive GPS market in North America, having entered the market only in late 2007 from a position of leadership in Europe. On its website, http://www.navigon.com/, the company claims to be one of the world's leading providers of navigation products and software solutions. NAVIGON makes its own navigation brand consumer products and creates software solutions for OEM customers operating in personal navigation, wireless, and automotive sectors. Founded in 1991, NAVIGON employs more than 400 people in Europe, North America, and Asia. At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, company officials announced that it had achieved the No. 5 ranking in automotive aftermarket GPS sales in the U.S. in the short time since entering the domestic market.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Special Offer from Genealogy Bank

Here's another resource you may wish to evaluate at a low cost.

It's GenealogyBank.com which was introduced last year by a premier information company, NewsBank inc. For over 60 years NewsBank's information products have been familiar to researchers in public libraries, colleges and universities, schools, and military and government libraries. Now, the company offers a collection of genealogical materials and makes them available to researchers at home through GenealogyBank.

Using GenealogyBank you can search for obituaries and more, such as ancestors' military records, newspaper mentions, and social security records. Over 214 million family history records in all 50 states are available for searching. The company claims to have added over 42 million family history records in 2007 and promises to bring millions of new records online in 2008.

You can enter ancestral names to check what might be available to you for free. Go to http://www.genealogybank.com/gbnk/keyword.html and check it out.

To gain access to all the records you might find, use the Genealogy Bank introductory offer to new subscribers of 30 days full access for only $9.95. If after 30 days you wish to continue your membership, do nothing and your credit card will be billed for the membership package that you choose: $19.95 per month or $69.95 for an annual membership. If you wish to end your membership, simply cancel online or call 800-243-7694 before your trial ends and you still only pay $9.95.