Friday, April 29, 2011

Make-a-Difference Day, May 7, 11 am - 4 pm

Make a Difference Day (MADD) will be held on May 7 from 11 am – 4 pm in the Technology Room on the third floor of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (PLCH). Every year the Chapter does a volunteer indexing project to improve access to local records for the benefit of genealogists. This year we will be stepping back in time nearly 200 years to index Columbia Township, records. Space in the Technology Room is limited so please contact the Library at 369-6905 to reserve a computer – it is not necessary for you to stay the entire time.

Columbia Township, Hamilton County, Ohio Record Book is a typescript of original Columbia Township records. Selected pages were transcribed by the Library and bound in 1934. The book includes earmarks, estrays, tax lists, school district boundary descriptions, indentures, militia lists, voting lists, warnings out-of-town and who knows what else we might discover! Amazingly, the earmark lists date back to 1791 with other notations beginning in 1801. An 1833 indenture gives the flavor of the times with the indentured man agreeing “not [to] contract in matrimony during said term. Taverns or alehouse or places of gaming he shall not frequent . . .” This will be a fun set of records to index!

We are experimenting with a new indexing process for MADD. Rather than index on paper and typing the entries later, we will be using computers in the technology room to directly enter the information using online forms. (Paper will be on hand just in case there are problems!) This will also make it possible for people to participate from home or use their own laptop computer at the library. If you are interested in participating from a distance, please contact Liz Stratton at

Saturday, April 16, 2011

HCGS Annual Seminar with Craig Roberts Scott

Earlier today at the Mill Race Center in Winton Woods, the Hamilton County Genealogical Society, in conjunction with the Butler and Clermont County Genealogical Societies, sponsored its Annual Seminar.  Craig Roberts Scott, a nationally-recognized speaker on military topics, discussed how to trace your Civil War ancestor.  He also helped us understand the records that are available for compiling a military service record and how to obtain records that go beyond the information available in a Pension Record.

The Hamilton County Genealogical Society also presented several awards.  Judge James Cissell was recognized for his leadership in making Probate Court and other records available online.

Jim Dempsey presents certificate to Judge James Cissell
Several others were presented with Certificates of Appreciation by Chapter President Kenny Burck.  Among those in attendance were:  Doug Magee and Colleen Phillips of the Genealogy and Local History Department of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton Co. Library, David Pittinger and John Tholking.

Kenny Burck and Doug Magee
Kenny Burck and Colleen Phillips
Kenny Burck and David Pittinger
Kenny Burck and John Tholking

Friday, April 15, 2011

Taking the Plunge -- Becoming a Blog Contributor

Two years ago, the Hamilton County Genealogical Society invited John Philip Coletta to speak at its Annual Chapter Seminar. John shared so much with us that day, but the takeaway message for me was to try to figure out a way to share my family's history.  On his website, John states:
My goal is to help family historians optimize their efforts to uncover and write the stories of their forebears, and to enjoy all along the way the pleasure and humor of the journey.
As I listened to the presentations that day, I was challenged to consider the best way that I could share my family history with my extended family and friends.  I had been researching my family for about eight years by now and was in possession of numerous documents, pictures and artifacts.  With a fair amount of fear and uncertainty, I decided that a "blog" may be the perfect vehicle.  But how do you go about it?

In the two years since I began blogging, much more help is available. I recently discovered Lisa Louise Cook and her website Genealogy Gems. Lisa has made a series of youtube videos that explain exactly how to go about creating your own blog.  One of the advantages of a video is that you can play parts of it over and over until you are comfortable with the content.  After you are up and running, you can move onto parts 2, 3 and 4.

As a relatively new member of the Hamilton County Genealogical Society, I am constantly impressed with the expertise of its members.  It is my hope that this blog will become one more vehicle for sharing that expertise.  I encourage you to leave comments, ask for help and sign up to be a contributor.

Kathy Reed

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 2011 Gazette Now Available!

The April, 2011 issue of The Gazette is now available in the members-only area of the Hamilton County, Ohio Genealogical Society website.  Electronic memberships in the society are $10 and give members all the benefits of full membership except printed and mailed copies of the The Gazette and The Tracer.  All members can view these publications on the website.