Monday, July 28, 2014

Survey Results Indicate that People Join Genealogical Societies for Camaraderie

Background: Recently, Gail Dever posted a survey trying to determine the most important factors that explain what motivates people to join genealogical societies. She published the results of her survey on her blog, Genealogy a la Carte
Do the results ring true for you? Do you recognize areas where we could do a better job in the Hamilton County Genealogical Societies. Send your comments to Kathy Reed at khreed@cinci.rr.com and I will publish them in a future post. Thanks to Gail Dever for allowing us to share her post.
Are you listening, genealogical societies? Here are the results to last week’s survey question: What are the most important factors that make you decide to join a genealogy society? 
Background
Due to publicity on blogs, Facebook, and Twitter, 490 people participated in the survey that provided 37 multiple-choice answers. More than 40 people checked the Other box and provided additional responses.
Many thanks to all who participated and to those who promoted the survey.
Focus on camaraderie, resources, and newsletter – at an affordable priceAccording to the results of this survey, if your society wants to increase membership, it should focus efforts to build camaraderie, encourage members to share and learn from each other, develop the library’s resources, maintain/increase the content and quality of its newsletter, provide lectures, and offer an affordable membership fee.
Most important factorsThe top two reasons people join a society are for the people. While genealogists often do much of their research alone, it perhaps comes as no surprise that close to a majority of respondents — about 60 percent — join societies for the opportunity to meet people and learn from others. Forty-five percent also said “research assistance and guidance” is an important factor and 40 percent join because members are friendly and helpful.
The number three reason genealogists join societies is to “improve my research skills” (54%).  As for organized opportunities to learn, only lectures appear in the top ten. Is this because lectures are often free for members? Is it the frequency of lectures that encourage people to join?
Cost is also an important factor, suggested by 45 percent of respondents who selected “affordable membership fee.”
Other top ten factors are the library’s resources (47%), newsletter (46%), and remote access to members only databases (40%).
1. Opportunity to network with people passionate about genealogy – 61%
2. Opportunity to meet knowledgeable members to help me – 59%
3. I want to improve my research skills – 54%
4. Society focused on area where my ancestors lived – 48%.
5. Library’s resources (books, computers, microfilm) – 47%
6. Informative newsletter/journal/magazine – 46%
7. Research assistance and guidance – 45%
8. Affordable membership fee – 44%
9. Lectures – 43%
10. Members are friendly and helpful – 40%
10. Remote access to “members only” online databases – 40%

Learning opportunities not a huge factorOther learning opportunities, such as conferences (36%), workshops (34%), and webinars (24%), appear in the top 20, however, they are not among the top factors one may expect, given the amount of work and cost required from a society.
While only one if five respondents chose message boards (21%) and free queries (20%), significantly more people (31%) prefer the ability to post to a surname research database.
Member discounts and advocacy attract fewWay down the list are member discounts, ranging from 10 to 18 percent. Although many respondents indicated they join societies to network with other genealogists, they appear much less interested in field trips (15%) and social events (11%). Very few respondents join a society for its advocacy program, partnerships, or board of directors.
11. I want to help fellow genealogists – 36%
11. Conferences – 36%
12. Workshops – 34%
13. Ability to post to surname research database – 31%
14. Email communication with members about activities, resources, and news – 25%
15. Webinars – 24%

16. I live near the society – 23%
17. Message board for members – 21%
18. Variety of special interest groups – 20%
18. Free queries – 20%
19. Member discounts on lecturers, seminars, and workshops – 18%
19. Volunteer opportunities – 18%
20. Society is a leader in the field of genealogy – 17%

21. Field trips – 15%
21. Member discounts on conferences – 15%
22. Member discounts on commercial databases – 13%
22. Society partners with other organizations – 13%
23. Member discounts on books and magazines – 12%
24. Recommendation from a friend – 11%
24. Social activities – 11%
24. Society recognizes volunteers’ contributions – 11%

25. Member discounts on research – 10%
26. Other (these factors will be listed tomorrow) – 9%
27. Useful new member packages – 8%
27. I want to provide financial support – 8%
28. Society has an advocacy program – 7%
29. Society’s board of directors – 2%

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Hamilton County Genealogical Society Makes a Difference Volunteer Project

quilting fabric and blocks representing those of the Civil War period
Now that the summer is upon us we have a volunteer project that might interest you. Do you like to wander through cemeteries taking photographs? Would you like to honor and memorialize Civil War Veterans buried in Hamilton County? Or maybe you would like looking up memorials on Find a Grave?

With the period for recognition of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War drawing to a close, we’ve planned a project that needs lots of volunteers, each undertaking a small amount of effort. We want to place photos of the tombstones, burial site, or memorialize on Find a Grave.com all the Civil War veterans buried in Hamilton County. These soldiers we seek to honor fought to preserve the Union – so we did not become a nation divided.   

We will need volunteers to “adopt” a cemetery and take photos of the graves of soldiers. We will provide the list. Other volunteers are needed to research Find a Grave.com and verify if a memorial has been created already for the soldier. This volunteer will also move existing memorials to our “virtual cemeteries” for our project. And finally, we will need volunteers to create new memorials on Find a Grave.com for soldiers who need them.

We have a Find A Grave profile that we will use http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=mr&MRid=48454462. The “virtual cemeteries” are located there.

We will provide work sheets and instructions for the cemetery you choose to adopt. Supplies to help the photographer will also be provided. We suggest you work in groups, so volunteer with a friend or join us as we tackle some of the larger cemeteries together.

This is the initial group of cemeteries we will be taking photos in. The number beside the name indicates the number of Civil War Veterans buried there. After checking on Find a Grave the actual count for each cemetery will be lower if memorials have been created already.

Armstrong Chapel (Methodist Churchyard)-19
Asbury Methodist Episcopal Chapel-5
Asbury Methodist Episcopal Churchyard-17
Baptist-Harrison-15-assigned
Bethel Baptist-8
Bevis Cedar Grove-35
Bridgetown-27
Carpenter’s Run Baptist Church Cemetery-2
Clough Baptist Churchyard-1
Coleman Presbyterian Cemetery-5
Columbia Baptist Churchyard-9
Compton Family Burial Ground-2
Congress Green-2
Dunlap Station-1-assigned
Ebenezer Methodist Episcopal Cemetery-4-assigned
East Miami River-1
Flag Spring Cemetery-49-completed
Glen Haven Cemetery-109
Green Township-5
Guardian Angels Catholic Cemetery-3
Hayes Rittenhouse-1
Hillcrest Afro-American-4
Huston-1
Laurel-136
Maple Grove-119
Markley-5
Meyers-1
Miami-65
Mt Healthy Evangelical United Brethren-5
Mt Pleasant-34
New Burlington-18
New Haven-16-assigned
Oak Hill-19
Our Lady of Victory-6
Reading Protestant-91
Rose Hill-2
Salem Methodist Episcopal-2
Schulinger-1
Shiloh-2-assigned
St Aloysius Gonzaga-14-assigned
St Bernard Catholic-4-assigned
St James of White Oak-10
St John the Baptist Catholic Churchyard-2
St John-17
St John Catholic-19
St Michael Catholic-5
St Paul Evangelical-2
St Peter and Paul, Reading-18
St Peter and Paul Old, Reading-2
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran-1
Union-6
Union Baptist African American-151
United African American-47
United Brethren-2
United Jewish, Clifton-9
United Jewish, Price Hill-10
Van Blaricum, privately owned-4
Vine St Hill-800+ (will have this be a large team project)
Whitewater-8
Willsey-6
Woodlawn-14
Zion United Brethren-7

Think about the cemeteries near you, or ones that you are familiar with and check in with us to volunteer.

If you would like to volunteer please email our coordinator for volunteers on this project, Jane Fitzpatrick, at jmfitz@fuse.net.

Please indicate how you would like to be involved:
  • Volunteer photographer at cemetery (pick one or several)
  • Research our list of soldiers on Find a Grave (and add them to a virtual cemetery)
  • Create memorials or add photos to Find a Grave

There are no deadlines for completion of the project; we’ll just keep moving ahead till we are finished.   

If you have any questions, feel free to email any of us on the Cemetery committee:
Amy Hartman, echoamy@yahoo.com 
Pam Sattari, pami@fuse.net
Jane Fitzpatrick, jmfitz@fuse.net            
Jean Morrison, morrij3@cinci.rr.com

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Tracer Wins 2014 NGS Award

The Tracer is this year’s winner of the National Genealogical Society Newsletter Competition in the category of County or Local Genealogical or Historical Society.

As described on the NGS website, “A panel of three judges reviewed two issues of each submitted newsletter on these criteria: material interest, variety and originality; writing and editing quality; readability and attractiveness; and overall publication make-up.”

The judges’ comments included “it was one of the most professional newsletters that they have reviewed,” and “the content was far above any of the other nominations submitted for 2014.”     
            
The award was presented to Deb Cyprych, editor of The Tracer, at the NGS Conference in the States held in Richmond, Virginia May 7-10. The Tracer was honored with this award in the same location in 2007.

Great Timing!

The June issue of The Tracer is now available on our website in the Members Area. The contents of this issue are:
  • "Cincinnati Boardinghouses: 1819 to 1840"
  • Calendar of Upcoming Events
  • Lineage Societies Deadline and Heritage Luncheon
  • HCGS Publication News
  • Awards Presented at the Annual Seminar
  • HCGS in Kroger Community Rewards
  • New Project to Memorialize Civil War Veterans
  • Preserve the Pensions: $2,360!
  • More Hamilton County Marriage Records Online
  • Hamilton County Records Online at FamilySearch: Update
  • Divorce Records of the Insolvency Court
  • New Members
  • “Early History of Hamilton County—Residents in 1790”
  • Historic Hamilton County Courts and Their Records
  • Public Library Acquisitions
  • Book Reviews: Cincinnati’s Underground Railroad; A City That Sings
  • HCGS Treasurer’s Report, 2013

To read these articles, logon to our website in the Members Area and then click on The Tracer. If your HCGS membership includes printed copies of The Tracer, a copy will arrive soon by USPS mail.






Monday, April 21, 2014

Discover How to Dig for Your Genealogical Roots


Are you new to genealogy and don't know where to begin? HCGS in conjunction with our library partners is offering three sessions that will enable you to kickstart your research. Both a member of the Genealogy and Local History Department and a member of HCGS will give you tips and techniques on how to begin and help make you aware of the rich resources we are fortunate to have in Cincinnati.

The sessions will he held as follows:
Saturday, May 10th, 11:00 AM in the 3rd Floor Program Space
Monday, May 12th, 7:00 PM Anderson Branch
Tuesday, May 13th, 6:00 PM St. Bernard Branch

For maps and directions, visit the "About Us" Section on the library site.

Submitted by: Kathy Reed

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sometimes the Stars Just Align!

Bill Graver and Liz Stratton
The Final Practicum of Searching Land Records for Genealogical Gold will be on Saturday, April 19th. Liz Stratton's topic will be an Introduction to Property Maps. Participants will use online resources to locate properties using online historic and contemporary maps. There will be a brief introduction to land platting.

At a recent Practicum, Liz was discussing how to use published sources to locate Hamilton County land records. She cited several sources authored by Bill Graver. At this point, one of the participants made Liz aware that Bill Graver was attending the lab! What a treat for us all. Bill, gracious as always, was thrilled to see that we were getting hands-on experience in the use of these materials.

Next Steps: Many of the images are now online. We have resources to understand them and many of us have learned the basics. Bill Graver's invaluable books available on our website (http://hcgsohio.org/forsale.php), see "Property Records, etc.":

Hamilton County, Ohio, Guide to Recorder's Indexes and Documents, 1794-1988

Hamilton County, Ohio, Index to Early Deed Books, 1804-1806 and 1814-1817

Hamilton County, Ohio, Index of People, Roads, Churches, etc., on 1835, 1847, 1848, 1869, 1884 Maps and Atlases

Cincinnati, Ohio, Index to Property Owners & Streets in 1895 and 1897 Atlases: River to Liberty, Freeman to Mt. Adams

Locating land records in Hamilton County using geographical indexes can be a complex process. In the future, Liz Stratton has agreed to create a video summarizing the steps. We look forward to offering more programs in the future related to this topic -- so stay tuned!
Submitted by Kathy Reed

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Update on Hamilton County Recorder's Office Records Online at Family Search

Kenny Burck, Jeff Herbert, Jim Dempsey, and Jim Cissel
The FamilySearch project to scan Hamilton County Recorder's Office records, begun in September 2013, was completed on April 8, 2014. For a detailed record list, see "Hamilton County Recorder’s Office Records to Be Added to FamilySearch" by Jim Dempsey, in the December 2013 issue of The Tracer. A significant amount of the images are already available at https://familysearch.org/search/collection/2141016. Land-related records now online are:

Deeds, volumes 477-854 (1877-1901)
Mortgages, volumes 20-571 (1823-1889)
Mortgage Releases, volumes 1, 2 and 3 (1892-1949)
Leases, volumes 1-122 (1847-1902)
Lease Indexes, volumes 1, 2 and 3 (1858-1901)
Deed and Mortgage Series 6 Indexes (1917-1928)*
Deed and Mortgage Series 7 Indexes (1928-1938)*
Sundries Indexes 1 through 8 (1794-1969)

*All of these indexes, which are geographic or "by-area," including all of Series 1 to 5, are available at the Recorder's website, http://recordersoffice.hamilton-co.org/helpful_information/series_indices.html

Many non-deed records will also be online in the future. They can be seen on microfilm at the Recorder's Office and at the Cincinnati Historical Library and Archives. For descriptions of these records see articles by Jim Dempsey in The Tracer: "Hamilton County Recorder’s Office Early Indexes and Records," September 2012 issue, and "Hamilton County Recorder’s Office - Far More Than Deeds," November 2011 issue. These records are indexed in the Sundries Indexes, volumes 1-8 (1794-1969), now online at FamilySearch. The earliest index, Sundries volume 1 (1794-1889), is also on our website at http://www.hcgsohio.org/cpage.php?pt=76

Note: Over the next few months, we hope to develop some instructions on how to efficiently make use of some of these incredible resources. Stay tuned.

Submitted by: Jim Dempsey
Photo Credit: John Tholking


Thursday, April 3, 2014

New issue of The Gazette available



The April issue of The Gazette, our quarterly newsletter, is now available online at: http://hcgsohio.org/upload/files/Publications/gazette20140401.pdf

In this issue:
  • A few seats left for the Michael Lacopo seminar
  • Surveying Land Records For Genealogical Gold added additional Practicums
  • DNA Program -- May 21st
  • Better Know Your HCGS Website!
  • Library News from PLCH
  • President's message
  • The Civil War -- The Untold Story
  • Calendar of Events

Please note that The Gazette is only published online on our website. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Hamilton County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 15865
Cincinnati, OH 45215-0865
Voice mail: 513-956-7078
Website: www.hcgsohio.org