This blog is a place to share genealogical articles or other articles of interest to people researching in Hamilton County, Ohio. We encourage you to post your own local family history or start your own blog. All contributions are welcome. To become a contributing member email Kathy Reed, email@example.com. Please put HCGS in the subject line.
For the last several years, more and more genealogists have
shown an interest in learning how DNA could be used to confirm traditional
genealogical research. This is referred to as Genetic Genealogy. In response to
this need, I am proposing a new DNA Interest Group that would be regional in
nature and serve, not only Hamilton County, but the surrounding region. I have
contacted other DNA leaders in this region and have their support.
My vision is that we would present everyone with the
“basics” and move on as rapidly as possible to some of the more advanced
application topics. At the initial program,
the major companies that do DNA testing for genealogical purposes would be
discussed, as well as the types of available tests. Participants would be strongly
encouraged to purchase an autosomal test. Programs would be “stand-alone”
with members choosing those that would be of interest to them. Introductory programs
would consist of two parts: 1) an
introductory lecture, and 2) the opportunity to work with your own data with
the assistance of other participants.
Some of the proposed topics include:
1)Overview of companies and available tests
5)Understanding Ethnicity Estimates
1)Gedmatch 2)Genome Mate Pro 3)DNAgedcom 4)Don Worth’s Visualizing Your Autosomal DNA
Segment Analyzer 5)DNA Land
These are just suggestions. Topics and their order of
presentation are open for discussion.
Please feel free to forward this email to anyone you think
may be interested. Pam White (Butler Co.) Nan Harvey (Bloomington, IN) and I
(Hamilton Co.) are all attending the Advanced Genealogy Course to be held in
Pittsburgh at GRIP in July. I’m sure we’ll have more ideas after that. Thoughts?
Please email me, Kathy Reed, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like
to be on a mailing list for this Interest Group or have any questions.
Please feel free to distribute this to others you think
would be interested.
Over 50 people attended the Irish Genealogy Day held at the Irish Heritage Center on Eastern Ave. Maureen A. Kennedy, one of the founders of the Irish Heritage Center, welcomed members of HCGS to their center. Jim McKiernan spoke about the opportunities available to members of the center to pursue their genealogy with his help. Diane Kelly Runyan shared fascinating stories of the difficulties our ancestors faced in Ireland and the extreme challenges associated with emigration. It was a great opportunity for members of both groups to meet each other and discuss what each has to offer the other. It was a great day.
Three duplicate sessions will be held at three Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (PLCH) branch libraries. Learn how to get started on your genealogy! Resources available at PLCH and the Hamilton County Genealogical Society website will be covered. These sessions are good for beginning or intermediate researchers. These sessions are co-sponsored with PLCH.
Monfort Heights Branch, 3825 West Fork Road, Thursday, May 12, 6 p.m.
Madisonville Branch, 4830 Whetsel Avenue, Tuesday, May 17, 6 p.m.
North Central Branch, 11109 Hamilton Avenue, Tuesday 24, 7 p.m.
Submitted by Liz Stratton, Education Director, HCGS
If you're thinking about taking advantage of the AARP
discount for the World version of Ancestry - $90 off the regular cost - do it
soon. The offer ends on March
31st. No mention of an ending date was included in any of the publicity.
You can call 1-800-514-4645, seven days a week, 9 am to 11
pm. Have your AARP membership number on hand. If you don't have Ancestry, you
get a free 14-day trial period and then get billed $209 for an annual World
subscription. You also have the option of getting billed $104 for a six-month subscription after the
free trial period, followed by another six-month subscription. After one year
the discount ends. If you already have an ancestry subscription and want to take advantage of this offer, ask the representative how this can be done.
always used to wonder why my grandparents and great grandparents chose to leave
Eastern Europe and settle in Cincinnati, Ohio. I mean, I certainly understand
that if they were traveling where family had already existed, it certainly
would stand to reason that they would want to choose to live in a destination
in the United States where family was already present. However, with regard to
my family’s ancestry, it was my great Uncles Benjamin Schear and Leo Schear,
who traveled first from Kursenai, Lithuania to Cincinnati, Ohio in the year
1890. I can’t tell you how many years I have wondered why on earth they chose
Cincinnati to travel to. I mean, couldn’t they have chosen something like
Miami, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; or even Los Angeles, California. Of course by
now you probably have surmised based on those options that I’m not particularly
fond of the winter months that we have to endure here in Hamilton County, Ohio.
True, I despise winter, if it had been my choice, I would’ve selected something
more like Honolulu, Hawaii. Although when I think about it, that probably
would’ve been more challenging, considering Hawaii wasn’t even a state back in
It wasn’t just the Schear line in my family tree, it was
also my Goldhoff line. My great-grandfather Abraham Goldhoff also left his home
in what was Courland, now Latvia, back in 1888 to travel to Cincinnati. Of
course I have to ask myself the same question. Why did my great-grandfather
choose to travel to Cincinnati? Yes, there was a Jewish community that already
existed in the Cincinnati region. However, neither Abraham Goldhoff or Benjamin
and Leo Schear were coming to a destination where they already had family. In
other words, they were the original pioneers in those families. So if you were
a pioneer in your family, where would you choose to lay down your roots? Why
choose Cincinnati over any other city in the country? That’s what I wanted to
know and understand. What was it about Cincinnati that was pulling them here?
There always had to be some sort of a drawing card as to why our ancestors made
the decisions that they did. Why did they choose one destination over another?
In my ever pursuit
of genealogical research I came across what I believed was probably the answer
as to why Cincinnati was selected. Although I realize that my answer is
somewhat pretentious. I actually believe that they came to Cincinnati because
it was in fact “Cincinnati.” In other words, Cincinnati itself became a highly
favored destination for Eastern European Jews to settle in much in the same way
that travelers might have feelings towards New York City or Chicago. We all
understand that those two cities are major travel destinations in the United
States. Well, believe it or not, Cincinnati was much the same during the heavy
period of Jewish migration to the US, more specifically, the years of 1880
As a child, I couldn’t have imagined that I was living in a
city that was perceived by our Jewish ancestors as a destination holding great
desirability. I was actually living in a city with a fairly heavy amount of
Jews with respect to many other cities in the United States. I was naïve to
think that all United States cities had had just as large a Jewish population
that was located in Cincinnati. Of course there were specific neighborhoods within
the greater Cincinnati area that were more heavily concentrated with Jews.
During my growing up years, which would’ve been the 60s and 70s, the heaviest
Jewish populations were located in Roselawn, Golf Manor, and Amberley Village.
Going back to the days of my great grandparents and grandparents, the Jewish
populations were located in downtown and then moving out to Avondale, North
Avondale and Bond Hill. Additionally, there was a Jewish population located
just across the Ohio River in Northern Kentucky, namely Newport and Covington.
It was at least large enough population to support two Jewish congregations
back in the early 1900s. However, the Jewish population located in Northern
Kentucky eventually shrank to the point that both of those Jewish congregations
closed. If you ask me today which neighborhoods have the heaviest Jewish
population, I would languish to say that there isn’t such a thing any longer. I
believe that as time has marched on the Jewish population has spread over the
entire greater Cincinnati region. This is just evidence of how Jews have
completely assimilated into American culture as opposed to the shtetls they
lived in back in Eastern Europe.
The concept of
shtetl life (shtetls were small intimate villages) explains why Jews tended to
concentrate in certain neighborhoods. It was important to the Jews that they
selected areas that a good amount of Jewish families was already living there.
Additionally, they would’ve wanted to be within walking distance of a Jewish
synagogue or temple. There aren’t as many observant Jews that have a strong
need to be within walking distance of a congregation or even groceries that
specialized in kosher foods. Society and culture are not stagnant. They both
undergo an evolution as time marches on.
Of course it is a
well-known fact that Cincinnati was a very popular for Germans to immigrate to.
Another known fact of Jewish history was that Jews that resided in Germany
suffered much more severe anti-Semitism earlier than those that lived
throughout the rest of Eastern Europe. As a result, German Jews began to
immigrate to Cincinnati as early as 1820, but with much greater numbers
starting in 1850. It was these early arriving Jews that would fight in the
Civil War. Since Jews always tended to follow where there were already
communities of Jews residing, consequentially it makes sense that a large
number of Ashkenazic Jews followed the German Jews, during the years of 1880 to
issue to note was that the Jews that resided in Cincinnati, did not face the
anti-Semitism that Jews would have faced in the southern states of the United
States. States that would have been slave states in Pre-Civil War history. It
was actually quite the opposite. The Jews arriving early in to Cincinnati were
met with much esteem and highly respected by their fellow citizens. Cincinnati
was a city of goodwill and understanding where Jews and Christians interacted
freely. Jews and Christians in early Cincinnati interacted socially as well. We
know this from handwritten letters that have been left behind.
Many of the
Eastern European Jews that were still living back in the old country, would
hear from the letters sent to family about the city of Cincinnati being a great
place to come to. It was through this Jewish grapevine that Cincinnati became
more and more well-known as a new home for Jews wanting to immigrate to
America. It would be a destination that would be ripe with economic promise and
social acceptance. Considering the world of hatred and discrimination, these
Jews suffered in their lives within Eastern Europe, is it any wonder that they
chose Cincinnati as their new home. I think not.
Sarna, Jonathan D., and Nancy H. Klein. The
Jews of Cincinnati. Cincinnati: Center for Study of the American Jewish
Experience on the Campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of
Religion, 1989 (see esp. pages 1-3)
In celebration of Irish Heritage Month, two events are planned.
1) Kathe Edwards, Irish Interest Group Chair, is sponsoring a planning meeting for this group on Sunday, March 6th, at 1:15 at the Clifton Library. Additional information, including directions, are here.
2) HCGS is cosponsoring an event with our partners at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.
Saturday, March 12
Living With Your Irish Ancestors: Milestones of Proud Generations, Past and Present! (Programs)
PLCH - Main Library, Genealogy and Local History Program Space, 3rd Floor
Pat Mallory of the Cincinnati Chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians will present a program on "Living with Your Irish Ancestors." The program will focus on the impact of the Irish in Cincinnati. The program will finish in time for participants to attend the 2016 St Patrick's Day Parade.
We hope to see you at the planning meeting on March 6th.