Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hamilton County Recorders Office

Dave Pittinger, Wayne Coates, and Jim Dempsey

Last Wednesday, ten lucky HCGS members got to spend the morning at the Hamilton County Recorders Office. Wayne Coates, Hamilton County Recorder, Dave Pittinger, Chief of Staff and Jim Dempsey provided an overview of the workings of the Hamilton County Recorders Office. This was followed up with a tour of the office and the many materials they hold.

Board Member-at-Large, Jim Dempsey, discussed the process he has used to digitize and preserve materials for the benefit of all of us. He, and two volunteers from the Latter Day Saints, are responsible for digitizing over two million records at a rate of more than 70,000 records a week. Hamilton County served as a template for record preservation, and their efforts are being duplicated in other Ohio counties.

In order to view some of the records that have been uploaded to familysearch.org, follow this link.
After signing in, search on records: United States, Ohio, Hamilton.

You can then browse through the images in the collection, including land and property, naturalization, vital records, military, and probate records. These collections are frequently updated, so you may want to look for additional records added to the collection.

If you were unable to attend either of these sessions and would like to be put on a waiting list, please send an email to Kathy Reed at programs@hcgsohio.org. Put "Recorders Office" in the subject line and asked to be notified should another opportunity occur.

Submitted by: Kathy Reed

Monday, January 12, 2015

African-American Genealogy: Tearing Down the Brick Walls

African American Genealogy Webinar-2 sessions
February 14-Main Library - Huenefeld Tower Room
This year, the Library is proud to announce a free two- session webinar with Michael G. Hait, professional genealogical researcher and lecturer, co-sponsored by the Friends of the Public Library and the Hamilton County Genealogy Society.

African American Genealogy: Tearing Down the Brick Walls. Michael G. Hait, CG

11 am-Main Library (First Session)

Brick walls in African-American genealogy can be caused by lack of records or improper research habits. Learning to research effectively can help to avoid these brick walls. This presentation includes a case study to demonstrate proper techniques for researching an African-American family in Maryland, from evaluating known information to identifying parents to locating the final slave owner.

Freedmen’s Bureau Records   Michael G. Hait, CG
2 pm-Main Library (Second Session)
The Freedmen’s Bureau's records, kept from 1865-1872, contain a wide range of data about the African American experience during slavery and freedom. Among the records are marriage registers and other records that give the names, ages, and former occupations of freedmen and names and residences of former owners. For some states there are census lists, details of labor and apprenticeship agreements, back pay records, complaint registers, personal data about black soldiers (including company and regiment), school records, hospital registers, census records, and records of murders committed against freedmen.  Hait will explain the challenges and rewards that a researcher will encounter using this collection.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Visits to the Recorders Office in 2015

Hamilton County Recorders Office
Have you always wondered about the records held by the Hamilton County Recorders Office? Maybe you know how the records could be beneficial to your genealogical search, but you've been a little reluctant to show up in an unfamiliar office populated by a lot of people who seem to already know what they are doing.

Have we got a deal for you! Many of you have participated in Liz Stratton's series on Finding Genealogical Gold in Land Records. We thought now would be the time to take that newly-found knowledge and apply it during a visit to the Hamilton County Recorders Office.

Kenny Burck and David Pittinger

Luckily for us, Recorder Wayne Coates and Chief of Staff Dave Pittinger thought it would be a great idea, too. They offered to schedule two dates for small groups of 10 to visit and learn first-hand about the wonderful resources available to us in their office. From 10:00 until noon on Wednesdays January 14th and 21st. Ten lucky members will meet in their Conference Room and get an overview of the office and the opportunity to search for their own records with Dave's help. (The programs on the 21st will be a repeat of the one on the 14th).

We gave priority registration to those who have been participating in the classes on Land Records and then opened it up to all members in the December Tracer. We currently have two spaces available on the 14th and three on the 21st. If you want to have your name added to the list, please email Kathy Reed, Program Director, at programs@hcgsohio.org. Should these classes fill up quickly, Dave has expressed a willingness to schedule additional dates. If these dates don't work for you, ask to be put on a "Waiting List."

The Recorders Office is located in the Hamilton County Administration Building a 138 Court Street. For a map and complete directions, click here. We hope to see you there.

 Submitted by Kathy Reed.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Virtual Cemeteries on Find A Grave

Find A Grave is a popular online genealogical resource.  Many people use Find A Grave but do not understand the Virtual Cemetery feature.  Hopefully this blog post will help you understand more about them.

What is a Virtual Cemetery?

 A Virtual Cemetery is a collection of links (to memorials) that you curate, like a list with links included.  The memorials are still managed by the profile that is assigned to manage them. The Virtual Cemetery is a quick link to the memorial. A Virtual Cemetery can be private or public. Your virtual cemetery might have memorials from many different cemeteries.  The Virtual Cemetery is different than Find A Grave’s “My Cemeteries” (which are links to a cemetery’s page).  

Find A Grave Feature definitions:

Memorial - page honoring a person, showing cemetery where buried
Cemetery - collection of Memorials located in a cemetery
My Cemeteries - a place to save a link to the cemeteries you work with often 
Virtual Cemetery - a curated collection of links to memorials

You can create a Virtual Cemetery for a variety of subjects.  Here are a few ideas:

o   List of famous gravesites: famous people, veterans, etc.
o   Family name: saving the links to all your family line in one easy to find place.
o   Cemetery research: quick access list of everyone to research in a particular cemetery
o   To Do: a list of memorials that you would like to research or take photos of
o   High school Class alumni             

This is a listing of Virtual Cemeteries  You can see that some are lists of tasks for a cemetery.  And then there are lists of famous people. The number next to the Virtual Cemetery name indicates how many memorials are included for that cemetery.

And here are a couple of examples of Virtual Cemeteries:


How do you create a Virtual Cemetery?

When logged in your Find a Grave account go to your profile page by clicking your profile name:   

Then go to your Contributor Tools:

Click the edit button next to “My Virtual Cemeteries”:

Click Add New:

Fill in the Your Cemetery name.  This one just has the same name as the cemetery I am working on. Click Yes if you would like this to be visible to the public, or No to keep it private.  Then click Add This Cemetery:

Your cemetery will appear in your list of Virtual Cemeteries.  It will not show up as a clickable link until you add memorials to it. The Virtual Cemeteries that are private have an * next to the name:

To edit a virtual cemetery click on the Virtual Cemetery link in your Contributions to Find a Grave page:

How do you add Memorials to a Virtual Cemetery?

To add a memorial to your Virtual Cemetery: Click on the Edit Virtual Cemetery link on the memorial page:

Then click the box next to your Virtual Cemetery you would like to place the memorial.  Click on Save Changes:

Here is the record in the Virtual Cemetery:

HCGS Makes a Difference Volunteer Project

We are using Virtual Cemeteries for the Hamilton County Genealogical Society’s project on documenting Hamilton County’s Civil War Veterans. Each Virtual Cemetery is a gallery of the cemeteries we have researched.  This makes it easier for our volunteers to find memorials they are working on without having to look up each person repeatedly.  For the public it shows the record of the soldiers in each cemetery, as if we created a memorial wall of the Civil War Veteran’s in each cemetery.

Our virtual cemeteries are located here: HCGS Virtual Cemeteries Or check out our Find A Grave Profile 

The image below shows a portion of the Virtual Cemeteries we have created for the project.  

We will need volunteers to help us with our project. If you like to work with Find A Grave searching and adding memorials to our Virtual Cemeteries or would prefer to head to the cemetery and take photos we would love your help.  Check out our earlier post on the project for more info: 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Researching Your Ancestors Using Church Records by Jeff Herbert

Jeff Herbert
“Researching Your Ancestors Using Church Records” will be the topic of the regular monthly meeting of the Warren County Genealogical Society on Wednesday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m.  The guest speaker will be Jeffrey G. Herbert, past president and current treasurer of the Hamilton County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society. 

Herbert has more than 20 years of experience in genealogical research and writing with a focus on local history.  He has authored more than 15 publications identifying and indexing local sources to aid researchers.  He is an expert in German research and old script handwriting.

Church records memorializing baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials often include information which can be extremely useful in identifying and sorting out family relationships.  However, they are often overlooked or considered too difficult to obtain, particularly by beginning or intermediate level researchers.  This presentation identifies valuable entry points for these vital sources of information.

The meeting will be held in the Phillippi Meeting Room of the Campus Center at the Otterbein-Lebanon Retirement Community, 585 State Route 741, (north of State Route 63), Lebanon, Ohio.

The event is open to the public, and is free.  No reservations are necessary, and everyone is welcome!

For more information, contact the Warren County Genealogical Society
at (513) 695-1144 or wcgs@co.warren.oh.us

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Anne Hutchinson - American Jezebel

Saturday, November 15th at 11:00 AM at the Main Library

Mr. Leland Cole, long-time member of the Hamilton County Genealogical Society, will be presenting two lectures at the Main Library on November 15th. If you enjoyed the Quaker talk presented last month, this talk will extend your understanding of the Quaker influence in the early days of our country. 

Lee will also discuss "Turmoil in the Ukraine" at 2:00 PM. The nation of Ukraine has experienced recent violent turbulence in a very stormy relationship with her Russian neighbor. Lee Cole, past President and current Board Member of the Center for Economic Initiatives and developer of a Marshall Plan prototype that has assisted many Ukrainian businesses, has first- hand knowledge of the current situation, and will provide a thorough overview along with historical background. This program is part of the Library's new "World Affairs" speaker series. 

Who Was Anne Hutchinson?

Anne Hutchinson was born in Alford, England in 1591 where she was educated.  Later she went on to become one of the most important women in British America.  Eleanor Roosevelt felt Anne was one of the five most important American women – Ever.  She is greatly responsible for Separation of Church and State and Freedom of Speech and was the inspiration for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter.

Anne, a fiery red-head, was very thoroughly trained on the Bible by her father the Rev. Francis Marbury and became skilled on debating the subject.  Her mother taught her how to be a mid-wife, a skill she would later use in America.  When 21, Anne married Will Hutchinson, also from Alford, whose family ran a very successful woolen import/export business.  Soon after, the government increased business taxes the couple decided to move to America.  On the ship she taught sessions on the Bible to other passengers.

The Hutchinsons built a fine house in Boston near that of Governor John Winthrop, the outspoken, autocratic, Puritan Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  Anne continued to give lessons to small and ever increasing groups of local women.  These popular sessions were eventually attended by up to 80 people, both men and women.  Winthrop was enraged as Anne had differing views of “Salvation.”  He could not get her to change her mind so put her on trial.  The first day, Anne successfully defended her position against Winthrop and the clergy.  At the end of the second day, Anne was convicted and banished from the colony.  A second trial excommunicated Anne from the Puritan church.

Anne and Will fled to Providence where they negotiated with the Indians and settled in Pocasset, now Portsmouth, thus becoming co-founders of Rhode Island.  In the meantime, Winthrop continued to send ministers to meet with Anne and try to get her to recant her statements.  She would not.

In order to avoid these meetings, the family decided to remove to Pelham Bay (now the Bronx) and negotiated with the Dutch for land.  Sixteen people, including much of Anne’s family moved.  The land was located between the warring Dutch and Lenape Indians.  One day Anne was informed, through the Dutch that the Indians and Chief Wampage would attack.  Anne refused to leave the camp since she never before had any trouble with the Indians.  The Indians attacked, slaughtered all the inhabitants and animals and burned the camp.  It looked as though there were no survivors.  However, Anne’s youngest daughter, Susannah, was in the meadow picking berries and hid when she heard the screams and saw the smoke.

Wampage found Susannah, adopted her, and took her into his village.  She lived with the Indians for seven years until finally she was ransomed by her uncle, Edward Hutchinson.  She returned to Boston where she married John Cole.  Eventually they moved to Kingstown in Rhode Island to manage the Hutchinson’s property.

Submitted by Lee Cole

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Session Added: Hands-on with Land 2, November 1, 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm

The Hands-on with Land session scheduled for 1 p.m. is full. A second session has been added at 3 p.m. on the same date. If you are on the library's waiting list, you have been accepted for the later session. Additional spaces are available at 3 p.m. Please email Liz Stratton at Education@hcgsohio.org if you are interested in attending. Put "Land Series" in the topic line. The lecture at 11 a.m. does not require a reservation.

From the Collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Longworth Homestead, Used with permission from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
In Hands-on with Land sessions, we share discoveries, issues, strategies, and participant examples. The focus of the November 1 sessions is locating and gaining access to original indexes and records. A variety of strategies will be shared at the 11 am lecture.

During the hands-on sessions, participants will find ancestral land records online or learn how to access them from afar. Topics explored include:
  • County boundary changes and their effect on locating records
  • Availability of Hamilton County land records and indexes both online and at the Recorder's office
  • Federal land record availability with a specific emphasis on the issues faced researching Hamilton County warrantees and patentees
Submitted by Liz Stratton, Education Director, Hamilton County Genealogical Society