Sunday, April 5, 2015

Jewish Interest Group Now Forming

Have you ever wanted to become more involved with our very own Hamilton County Genealogical Society but felt like you may not really fit it since most of your ancestry if not 100% of your ancestors were Jewish? I most definitely have and we certainly don’t have a Jewish Genealogical Society to fold in to. So who am I you may be asking. Well that is a fair enough question.

My name is Rick Schear Cauthen and I have been working on my Family Tree since my early twenties. Unfortunately, I am now in my early fifties. However, I have never lost my passion for family history or history in general for that matter. I recently have become active in our very own local Hamilton County Genealogical Society. It is truly a wonderful way to make new friends and become more involved in the pursuit and preservation of local records.

I am currently in the process of forming a Jewish Interest Group with the Society and I really would love to meet others who would share my passion for Jewish Roots. The first project that I been instrumental in making my dream a reality is the Microfilming and Indexing of the funeral records from the local Jewish Community’s very own Weil Funeral Home. Well, I should say this project is in the pipeline and it is going to be an enormous undertaking as we have determined that in the last 100 years, Weil Funeral Home has handled more than 28,000 funerals. Weil Funeral Home is a genealogical gold mine for any researcher who has Jewish roots in the Greater Cincinnati community. 

So, if you have this same interest, won’t you come get involved? Please reach out and contact me, Rick Schear Cauthen at  Just email me your name and phone number. Also, you can friend and message me on Facebook at

I thought I would share one of my most treasured photos of my Great Grandfather and Great Grandmother Freda & Hyman Schear and their seven children. The small little boy in the front center was my Grandfather Mose Schear. Unfortunately, I never met one person in this picture so I am quite grateful to at least have this photo which would have been taken in Kursenai, Lithuania sometime in the very late 1800s. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New Database available on our website: Hamilton County Church Deaths 1890-1899

We are pleased to announce that we have a new database on our website, Hamilton County Church Deaths 1890-1899.  This  is the latest and last installment of 19th Century church deaths, indexed by Jeffrey G. Herbert, covering the years 1890 through 1899.  The Previous years are in book format and this database will also be published in book format soon.  Included in the 1890-1899 database are 25,914 church deaths from 81 Hamilton County churches, including Roman Catholic.  Also included are 8,443 burials in three Catholic cemeteries during the 1890s. 

These are records of church services for deaths (funerals) and are typically NOT cemetery burial records, except for some cemetery burials indexed in Church Deaths 1890-1899. A typical index entry consists of Name (Last name, Given name), Church burial/funeral date, Death Date if given, Maiden name if given, and Age at Death if given, and Parents name if given (sometimes for children).  Some entries also include an indicator (asterisk or Y) that the Place of Birth (POB) is given and some include the newspaper page. Each index record includes a reference to the source microfilm or church source.

The database is in two formats, one for Members and a Public Version:

Members-Only Online Full Index: Search the complete index of entries from Church Deaths 1890 - 1899 database.  The full index entry will be given in the search results for HCGS members who have logged into this website. If you are not a member you can Join HCGS (for as little as $15/year) and have access to this database.

Public Online Abbreviated Index: Available in a searchable PDF file (1.6 MB). Each entry contains Last Name, Given Name, Year of death, Place of birth (POB) indicator.  Until this index is published in printed book form, the full index entry is only available at this time to HCGS members.

Here is a link to the database page: Hamilton County Church Deaths 1890-1899

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Annual Seminar Registration Deadline Approaching: April 1!


Saturday, April 18, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm




Mill Race Banquet Center in Winton Woods Park

1515 West Sharon Road, Cincinnati


Preregister by April 1


Print and Mail a Registration form:

Registration is $35/person for members of the Hamilton, Butler, Clermont or Warren County Genealogy Societies. All others pay only $37/person.



Gerald "Jerry" Smith, CG, is our speaker. Jerry is an expert in New Jersey and Pennsylvania research. That's good news for descendants of Hamilton County's early settlers. Many of those early settlers migrated from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania records are similar to records in any commonwealth--that includes Kentucky, Massachusetts and Virginia! Even if you have no ancestors from those states, the seminar has much to offer.


Records of the New Jersey Proprietors

Records of the New Jersey Proprietors include land records. (I know you all love land records after the recent land series!) These records may be the key to unlock your ancestors identities in New Jersey. New Jersey land records are unique. Learn the history of the East Jersey and West Jersey Proprietorships. Discover records available online or at the New Jersey Archives.

Early Pennsylvania Research from Afar

Jerry will navigate us to underused sources and tell us how to get the most out of them. Early Pennsylvania records including Pennsylvania patents, Quarter Session Court records and early tax lists will be covered. For those who are planning a summer vacation to Pennsylvania, Jerry will reveal lesser-known repositories. For those who aren't going there, learn how to efficiently engage a researcher.

Obituaries--From Humor to Horror

This introduction to obituary research will inform and delight you. Gotchas, humorous and horrid examples are interspersed. Topics include compiling a list of newspapers, locating them, finding obituaries in a variety of forms and then using them as a springboard to further records about your ancestor.

Finding Land-Less Ancestors

I've heard the cries and tales of woe from those who found no ancestors listed in ANY of land records we explored. This session is tailor-made for you. Jerry will teach us techniques and resources for researching our poor ancestors who died without land. Strategies for both rural and urban areas will be presented.


The annual seminar is a fun way to learn about genealogy from national experts! No airlines or hotels required. The Mill Race Banquet Center has ample parking. Admission to the park, a continental breakfast and buffet lunch are included with your registration. We look forward to seeing you there!

Submitted by Liz Stratton, Education Director,  f

Thursday, March 19, 2015

German Genealogy Day - May 9th

The Hamilton County Genealogical Society, in conjunction with the Kolping Society, is excited to present a “German Genealogy Day” on Saturday, May 9th, from 10:00 – 2:00. The day will feature three speakers, recognized for their expertise in German culture and genealogy.


10:00 - Jeff Herbert – Researching Your German Ancestors Using German Newspapers

11:10 - Bob Rau – Eva Barbara, Where Are You? Finding Your German Ancestor’s Birthplace

12:20 - Kenny Burck – Tracing Your German Genealogy

Question and answer period to follow.


Beer, soft drinks, German pretzels and strudel will be available for purchase throughout the day.


This event will be held at the Kolping Center, located at 10235 Mill Road, Cincinnati, OH  45231. You can get a map and directions at this link:
There is free parking and the building is handicap-accessible.


There is no cost for this program with the exception of optional food and drink purchases.

Speaker Bios

Kenny Burck - President of HCGS, has been a German researcher for 46 years. He is a frequent speaker and has contributed to the publication of more than 20 books. He also teaches a course annually on reading German script in genealogical documents. 

Jeff-Herbert - Jeff has been a local researcher for 20+ years and specializes in German research.   He the past-president of the HCGS and currently serves as Treasurer.   His lecture will focus on strategies for researching and translating local German records to find the birthplace of your German ancestors.

Robert Rau - Bob Rau has been interested in genealogy for over thirty five years, and has been researching his and his wife’s ancestral lines, all of which go back into Germany and Alsace-Lorraine.  He has been a non-member librarian, specializing in German research, at the LDS Family History Center in Cincinnati for over twenty five years. 

We hope to see you there.

Submitted by Kathy Reed

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Griffith's Valuation - Beyond the Basics!

Saturday, March 14th, is going to be a great day for those of us with Irish roots or who just want to be "Irish for the day." Beginning at 10:00 AM in the Huenefeld Tower Room of the Main Library,Mary Ann Faloon, will help us understand The Primary Valuation of Ireland, known as the Griffith’s Valuation. The Griffith’s Valuation, was developed to provide a standardized taxation method in Ireland during the mid-nineteenth century. 

Because of the destruction of early census records, it has become a census substitute used to find Irish ancestors, especially those who left Ireland during the Famine of the 1840s.  However, there is much more to Griffith’s than a list of names.  By exploring the various documents used to create the final product, along with pre and post documents, we can discover many interesting aspects about our ancestors and the lives they lived.  Join us as we investigate how Griffith’s was developed and view some of the information contained in the various records.

Note the special time for this presentation. It was scheduled at this time so that participants will be able to attend the St. Patrick’s Day Parade that begins at noon. For detailed information on the parade click on this link.

Here is a description of the parade route:

 Mark your calendar and “think spring.”

Submitted by Kathy Reed

Monday, February 16, 2015

HCGS Heritage Groups

Do you think you have an ancestor who was here in Hamilton County in the early years of its existence?

Have a look at the index that has been developed from all of the First Families of Hamilton County lineage applications.  This index contains all of the names that appeared on the application, not just the person(s) who qualified as a First Families ancestor. The index is complete as of 2014. This index has been posted on the HCGS website. Click on the all-name index to bring up the file to search. To search the file click Ctrl + F and put the name in the box then press enter. This will show the application number(s) containing your surname.

The Cincinnati History Library and Archives (CHLA) has all of the original applications on file.  Contact CHLA to see the original applications. If you need the help of a local researcher, see the Hamilton County Genealogical Society ResearchServices page.

If you don’t find your ancestor in this First Families index go to the Pioneers and Early Settlers page and search that index.

We would like to encourage you to submit an application for one of our lineage groups – we know there are a lot of you out there who qualify. Now is a good time to work on an application and members of the committee are here to help. Copies of the application and the rules for membership are available on the website. Just respond in the comments section if you would like one of the members of the Heritage Committee to get in touch with you for assistance.

Submitted by Gail Burkholz

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hamilton County Online Deed Indexes Are Now Available

If you've never used deeds as part of your genealogical research, you may be missing out on a gold mine. In Hamilton County, searching for an ancestor's deed usually required you to go through several cumbersome steps that would then need to be followed up with a visit to the Recorders Office or the Cincinnati History Library and Archives.

The task is becoming much easier due to the efforts of Director-at-Large, Jim Dempsey, to digitize the deed surname indexes.This has received full support from Hamilton County Recorder, Wayne Coates, and Chief of Staff, Dave Pittinger. Since the original indexes are only by first letter of a surname, several HCGS members have volunteered to transcribe these indexes into Excel files so the indexes can be made completely alphabetical. This effort will continue throughout 2015. Indexes for 1859-1869 are already available. 

Information on these Hamilton County Recorder Deed Surname Indexes can be found on our website. If you missed the opportunity to participate in Education Director Liz Stratton's Land Classes, you may want to refer to the December 2014 Tracer for an excellent explanation of how to best utilize these records (pp. 116-121).

The task is becoming  much easier due to the efforts of Director-at-Large,  Jim Dempsey, to digitize the deed surname  indexes.This has received full support from  Hamilton County Recorder, Wayne Coates, and Chief of  Staff,  Dave Pittinger. Since the original  indexes are only by first letter of a  surname, several HCGS members have volunteered  to transcribe these indexes into Excel files so the indexes can be made completely alphabetical. This  effort will continue throughout 2015. Indexes for 1859-1869 are already available.

Updated 3/11/2015