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

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Need Ideas for Running a Gen Society?

Interested in learning more about running a genealogical society or chapter? Then consider attending the 20th Ohio Genealogical Society Chapter Management Seminar on Saturday, 27 August, at the Batavia Church of Christ, Batavia, Ohio.

Kurt Witcher, from Allen County Library, will be speaking on “Your Society Wants You? Effective Recruiting Strategies for Genealogical Societies.”

Other speakers and their topics:

“Reviewing a Lineage Society Application” - Amy Johnson Crow

“Financial Filings for Non-Profit Organizations including Ohio Sales Taxes” - Thomas Stephen Neel

“Attracting New Members for Your Chapter” - Debbie Deal

“Your Chapter's Relationship with OGS” - Jana Sloan Broglin

“Locating Ohio's Church Records: How the OGS Church Records Project Can Benefit Everyone” - Karen Bennett & Dwane Grace Meet the OGS “President: Genealogical & Other OGS Issues” - Diane VanSkiver Gagel

“Duties of Chapter Officers” - Miriam Fetters and Paul Morehouse

“How to Find and Generate Quality Material for Your Chapter Newsletter” - Wally Huskonen

The program starts at 9:30 a.m. and concludes by 3 p.m. The seminar is free to OGS members, $25 for non-members.

Rooms are available at the Amerihost Inn & Suite, East Batavia Heights, Ohio, at a special rate.

For details, go to the OGS website by clicking on http://ogs.org/2005chaptermgmt.php?PHPSESSID=1d389b8938b574ea52452c114fa11ba6

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Cyndi Howells Coming to Ohio for Family History Month

This just in!!
The Ohio Genealogy Society has arranged for Cyndi Howells, of CyndisList.com fame, to visit Ohio on Saturday, October 1 for a one-day genealogy seminar. This event will be a great kick-off for Family History Month in the Buckeye State.
The seminar will be held at North Central College in the Kehoe Center in Shelby a little more than 15 minutes drive from the OGS headquarters in Mansfield.
Watch this space for more program and registration details.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Try Personal Historian; You'll Like It

This morning, I downloaded and tried out the trial version of Personal Historian. In a half an hour, I had a running start on compiling my own history. I really believe that I will be able to put together a readable narrative of my child and teenage years, and the years as an adult with a new job and a family. The program has a number of timelines that you can build upon, such as "what I was doing when ...." It also has a number of memory starters, including inventions, radio programs, TV programs, world events, etc.

I envision using Personal Historian to construct narratives for my father and my mother, and also my wife, assuming she will cooperate. The program makes it easy to work on these narratives in small chunks, and you can download info from your genealogy programs to get started with all the key dates and events.

You have 30 days in which to try out Personal Historian for free, but you may want to purchase it before the the trial period runs out because it is available until July 31 for $19.95 instead of the regular prices of $29.95.

I learned about Personal Historial in this week's Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, in the following announcement from Bruce Buzbee of RootsMagic, Inc.:

Some of you may have heard of a program called "Personal Historian" from Blue Scroll Software. It helps you write personal histories, memoirs and biographies about yourself, your family, or other people.

Well, we decided that we liked the program so much, that last Friday we acquired the rights to Personal Historian, and it is now an "official" RootsMagic product.

And we want to celebrate! Personal Historian is normally $29.95, but during the month of July, Personal Historian will be available in the RootsMagic store for just $19.95 (plus s/h). This offer is good through July 31, 2005.

For more information about Personal Historian, visit: http://www.rootsmagic.com/personalhist.htm

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Time magazine: Can DNA Reveal Your Roots?

An article in the July 11, 2005, issue says yes, at least to some degree.

Among others, the article reports on the case of Brent Kennedy and his mysterious family origins. Although he inherited his father’s light blue eyes, he had his mother’s black hair. And he had heard a story about how his great-grandfather was barred from voting because his skin was too dark. Recently, he had his DNA tested by DNAPrint Genomics of Sarasota, FL. The report came back that his ancestry was 45% Northern and Western European, 25% Middle Eastern, 25% Turkish-Greek and 5% South Asian, which confirmed that his ancestry was Melungeon, a mixed-race group called Melungeons who lived in the Appalachians.

The article reports that “genetic testing has a special attraction for African Americans because most have no other way to trace their lineage; the slave trade did a thorough job of severing their African roots. Washington-based African Ancestry aims to re-establish these links by telling its customers whether their DNA matches that of any of hundreds of ethnic groups in Africa, from the Hausa in northern Nigeria to the Ashantis in Ghana.”

On a more conventional level, there is the case of Charles Kerchner of Emmaus, PA, who has invested in having himself and others tested to confirm what their research had shown: they were distant cousins. Kerchner reportedly has said “he will not rest until he finds a German ancestral village where he can sit down someday and have a beer--hopefully with a local member of his clan. Having exhausted the paper trail, he says, ‘my only hope left is DNA testing.’”

Saturday, July 02, 2005

July in Cleveland's History

The following history notes are provided by the Cleveland Memory
Newsletter of the Cleveland Memory project, sponsored by Cleveland
State University's Special Collections Dept.

July is a ceremonial month for Cleveland, given that both the nation's
birthday and the city's fall in this month. July 4th and July 22nd
figure prominently in the anniversary dates of various structures,
such as the Moses Clevealand Statue, dedicated on the city's birthday
in 1888, and the Soldiers & Sailors Monument, dedicated on the
country's, in 1894, both on Public Square.

1896 - Moses Clevealand
<http://ech.cwru.edu/ech-cgi/article.pl?id=CM10> and his party of
surveyors with the Connecticut Land Company arrive at the mouth of the
Cuyahoga River. This is the traditional birthday date for the city of
Cleveland. (7/22)

1827 - The Ohio & Erie Canal
<http://ech.cwru.edu/ech-cgi/article.pl?id=OAEC> begins operation
between Cleveland and Akron. This is the first canal to link the Great
Lakes to the Ohio-Mississippi river system and is the biggest and most
important construction project in the region's history. (7/31) more...

1884 - The first electric streetcar run in Cleveland, as the East
Cleveland Railway Company operated a car for one mile on Garden Street
(Central Avenue) to Quincy, touting it as "the first electric railroad
for public use in America." (7/26)

1886 - The famous Michelson-Morley Experiments were conducted by
physicists at Case and Western Reserve University. They disproved the
widely-held Theory of the Ether and were fundamentally important to
Einstein's work. (during the month)

1916 - One of a series of tragedies which routinely befell workmen
digging water tunnels under Lake Erie, this Waterworks Tunnel Disaster
<http://ech.cwru.edu/ech-cgi/article.pl?id=WTD> witnessed the heroic
efforts of Garrett Morgan and his brother to rescue the overcome
workers, employing Morgan's newly-invented gas mask. (7/24)

1935 - The first of five Major League Baseball All-Star Games to be
held in Cleveland was also the first sporting event to be held in
Cleveland's new Municipal Stadium. Other years Cleveland has hosted
the game were 1954, 1963, 1981 and 1997. (7/8)

1954 - Marilyn Sheppard found murdered in her bedroom, touching off
the infamous Sam Sheppard Murder Case. (7/4)

1966 - The city is rocked by the Hough Riots. (7/18-24)

1968 - The Glenville Shoot-out continues to point out the city's
racial problems and effectively destroys the promise of the Carl
Stokes mayoral administration. (7/23-28)

Friday, July 01, 2005

Origin of Ohio's Buckeye Nickname

Ever wonder about the origin of Ohio's nickname? If so, check out the following explanation from the book, Historical Collections of Ohio, by Henry Howe and published by C. J. Krehbiel & Co., Cincinnati, Ohio, copyright 1888 by Henry Howe. The edition is Volume I: 1900 – Volume II: 1904. The book is available on-line at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~henryhowesbook/index.html.

The book and its on-line reproduction (thanks to a number of Rootsweb volunteers) contains historical information about the state and all 88 counties. The book was published without an index, and so is the reproduction on this website; however, a Search This Site search engine is provided on the website.

“The name Buckeye as applied to the State of Ohio is an accepted sobriquet, so well recognized and so generally understood throughout the United States, that its use requires no explanation, although the origin of the term and its significance are not without question, and therefore become proper subjects of consideration during this centennial year.

“The usual and most commonly accepted solution is that it originates from the buckeye tree which is indigenous to the State of Ohio and is not found elsewhere. This, however, is not altogether correct, as it is also found both in Kentucky and Indiana, and in some few localities in Western Virginia, and perhaps elsewhere. But while such is the fact, its natural locality appears to be in the State of Ohio, and its native soil in the rich valleys of the Muskingum, Hocking, Scioto, Miamis and Ohio, where in the early settlement of the State it was found growing in great abundance, and because of the luxuriance of its foliage, the richly colored dyes of its fruit, and its ready adaptation to the wants and convenience of the pioneers it was highly prized by them for many useful purposes.

“It was also well known to and much prized by the Indians from whose rude language comes its name ‘HETUCK,’ meaning the eye of the buck, because of the striking resemblance in color and shape between the brown nut and the eye of that animal, the peculiar spot upon the one corresponding to the iris in the other. In its application, however, we have reversed the term and call the person or thing to which it is applied a buckeye.”