Thursday, February 11, 2016

Getting Started in Jewish Genealogy including Greater Cincinnati Resources

Presentation Announcement
Getting Started in Jewish Genealogy including
Greater Cincinnati Resources

Have you ever wanted to learn more about researching your Jewish Genealogy? Perhaps you became frustrated too quickly with some of the unusual challenges it may have presented. Would you finally like to break through some of the brick walls standing in your way for genealogical success? Jewish Genealogy certainly does serve up some incredible obstacles but these challenges are not impossible to overcome.

Rick D. Cauthen, the leader of the Jewish Interest Group for the Hamilton County Genealogical Society will be giving a presentation on Monday February 22, 2015 at 6:30PM at the Covington Branch of the Kenton County Libraries located at 502 Scott Blvd, Covington, KY 41011. This presentation is open to the public at no charge.

The presentation will cover:
·        A generalized history of Eastern European Jews
·        Available Greater Cincinnati Resources
·        Overcoming challenges & Techniques of research
·        Most importantly, having success in European Research
·        Case Study demonstrating successful research

So please join us for what promises to be an informative presentation. If you have any questions, you may reach Mr. Cauthen at:

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

"A Day in the Life....Mid-19th Century Daily Life for the Betts Family"

The Betts House

Note: Two members of HCGS are actively involved in the preservation of the Betts house, located in the West End of Cincinnati. The house is owned and operated by the The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Ohio. We thought you might want to plan a visit. The information included below is reprinted from their website.
The Betts House is pleased to present its upcoming exhibit, A Day in the Life…: Mid 19th Century Daily Life for the Betts Family, showcasing the tools, contraptions, and tales of daily life for a Cincinnati family in the mid-1800s. Opening January 16, 2016 from 12:30 til 5 p.m. and on display until May 14, 2016, at 416 Clark Street, Cincinnati, OH 45203. The exhibit is sponsored by the Robert Reakirt Foundation, PNC Bank, Trustee.

The Betts House was built in 1804 by brick maker William Betts as a four-room, two-story brick home in an era of log and wood homes. He and his wife Phebe had moved to Cincinnati with their five children, where he bought 111 acres of land in what is now the West End and parts of Over-the-Rhine.  By 1813, they had seven more children and a fully operational brick making factory William passed away in 1814, leaving Phebe to raise the children and manage the factory with her older children.

When the home was turned over to granddaughter Adeline and her husband in 1863, she began modernizing the home. The exhibit will showcase how Adeline and the women around her lived and worked in their Cincinnati homes during the mid-1800s.

The exhibit will include:

  Cooking in the Past: Chopping, slicing and dicing was accomplished through the use of clever new tools, many of which were invented after the Civil War. Baking with minimal ingredients, storing meats and other food items without refrigeration, brewing home beer and eating a purported healthy meal are all explored in this fun exhibit.
   Lighting & Heating in a Simple Home: Using the latest technologies, the Betts family most likely had better lighting and heating than many others, due to higher financial status from their brickmaking factory. This exhibit will share the devices and processes that the family most likely used.
  Gardening: The world of family management included much home grown foods.  See what an urban garden grew and fruits, vegetables and herbs were used for cooking and for medicinal purposes.
   CleaningA woman’s work is never done especially if she needs to cook for a family of 14, mind children, sew and mend clothing, sweep floors and beat rugs, grow and preserve vegetables and fruits, and perform the never ending cleaning and laundry. See the tools used for laundry including washboards, a hand wash agitator, collar and cuff crimpers, and clothing irons of many sizes.
   Betts Family TreeManaging a brickmaking factory for 50 years, the Betts family helped to establish the West End.  Learn more about one of Cincinnati’s first families!

The exhibit will be on display at 416 Clark Street, Cincinnati OH 45203, from January 16, 2016 through May 14, 2016 during regular museum hours, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. -  2 p.m. and the second and fourth Saturday of each month from 12:30 - 5:00 p.m. Admission is $2 per person.

For more information and special Saturday events and programs, check, call 513-651-0734 or email

Monday, February 8, 2016

Lunch at the Behringer-Crawford Museum in Devou Park

Photo Credit:

From Family Estate to Regional Museum: The History of Behringer-Crawford Museum

We have been invited to a brown-bag luncheon presentation on Friday, February 26th, at 11:30 AM. This special weekday event will take us "over the river and through the woods" to Devou Park. Tiffany Hoppenjans, Behringer-Crawford Museum Curator,will explore the complex and rich history of the museum. She will also discuss a few of their many artifacts and the genealogical connections with the families who once owned them. See below for additional information. Reservations required.

Tiffany Hoppenjans
The museum was originally a family home occupied by the Devous, the house and surrounding property were donated in 1910 to the City of Covington for the purpose of becoming a park and community center.  By 1950, the house became a museum featuring the eclectic collection of local resident William Behringer.  Under the direction of its first curator Ellis Crawford, the museum grew into a cornerstone attraction.  Today, Behringer-Crawford Museum is the area’s largest museum celebrating the unique arts, heritage and culture of Northern Kentucky as part of the Ohio Valley. 

Tiffany Hoppenjans has been the Curator of Collections at Behringer-Crawford Museum since 2012.  She possesses a B.A. is History and Anthropology from Western Kentucky University and a Master of Arts in Public History from Northern Kentucky University. 

Event: The History of the Behringer-Crawford Museum
Date: Friday, February 26th at 11:30 AM
Bring your own lunch
Email Program Director, Kathy Reed, at  and list the name(s) and number of people for whom you are making a reservation. Include your email address. Reservations are limited. There is no cost.
Questions:  Call Kathy Reed, 513-295-1970.
Directions: Take I-71/I-75 South from Cincinnati. Then:

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Over-the-Rhine Then and Now

Anne Delano Steinert
Project Curator
Photo Credit:
At our January Board Meeting, several members reported that they had seen news coverage about a project taking place in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood,curated by Anne Delano Steinert in the Over-the-Rhine area. Jeff Herbert and I promised to look into it.

Anne, with the support of several other organizations, identified several landmarks in the OTR community, and set out to compare the current with pictures from the past. A website has been developed that explains the project, its goals and its partners. The pictures that are displayed around the neighborhood from now until the end of March are featured in a slideshow. You can click on an interactive map of the locations.

I spoke with Anne to try to understand why the pictures will only be available through March. She explained that they had to apply for permits to post and display the images. She is offering two walking tours in March, with the possibility of additional events.


The website also includes information on how you can create a similar project for your own neighborhood. As we look forward to spring, you may want to save the date for one or both of these events.

Submitted by Kathy Reed

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Jim Dempsey Honored by the Hamilton County Recorder's Office

Board Member-at-Large. Jim Dempsey
If you don't already know Jim, let me introduce you. If you are a regular reader of The Tracer and the Gazette, you are probably aware of the many contributions Jim has made to the digitization of Hamilton County records. He, and his team of volunteers, are responsible for many of the records that are posted on our website and on Over many years, Jim has worked at the Hamilton County Recorder's Office as a volunteer. He was responsible for bringing in a team from LDS who spent an entire year digitizing property records.

One of his talents has been in his ability to uncover formerly "missing" records and restore them before they were destroyed. These were often hidden away in a warehouse. He is now working on a project to catalog all of his finds.

In recognition of his contributions, Jim was recognized by the Hamilton County Recorder's Office as an "Honorary Archivist." I can personally attest to how valuable some of these records have been in my own research.

So if you run into Jim, be sure to thank him. He is one of the people who makes the Hamilton County Genealogical Society one of the best societies in the country.

Submitted by: Kathy Reed

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

First Session Almost Full! Put Your Name on the Wait List Today!!!

Estate Settlement Records: 

Even When There is NO will, There's A Way!

"Hamilton County Courthouse, Fifth and Main Streets," slide, Cincinnati History Slide Collection, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County; digital image, Greater Cincinnati Memory Project ( : downloaded 14 November 2015). Image used with permission of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.
Preregistration for the Estate Settlement Series is open and the first session is full! Put your name on the waiting list or contact Liz Stratton at If there is sufficient interest, a second session will be added at 3 pm.

The 4-session series will provide a detailed look at the estate settlement process and the genealogically rich records created. This hands-on series will lead you step-by-step through the estate settlement process. Work with your own ancestors or with a provided example to find ancestral wills and estate records. Learn research strategies and glean all the genealogical clues from every record.

Parts 1-3 apply regardless of where your ancestor lived. It is best to attend all sessions but it is not necessary. The final session focuses specifically on Hamilton County, Ohio. Work with records that survived the courthouse fires and reconstruct estate files using other sources.

Saturday, January 30, 1 pm, Estate Settlement Records, Part 1: “Even When There’s No Will, There’s a Way!”  Overview of the estate records and how they answer genealogical questions followed by a hands-on session. Learn where to find the records of your ancestors whether they are on Ancestry or not! Preregistration:

Saturday, March 5, 1 pm, Estate Settlement Records, Part 2. Preregistration:

Saturday, April 2, 1 pm, Estate Settlement Records, Part 3. Preregistration:

Saturday, May 7, 1 pm, “Estate Settlements after the Courthouse Burns,” Part 4. Preregistration:

Updated 22 December 2015.

"ernie," digital image 175966 licensed CC0 public domain ( : downloaded 14 November 2015).