Monday, November 26, 2012

Tuesday's Tip: Photoduplication Goes Digital!

Who said 'nothing in life is free?' One of the great services offered by the Family History Library is their "photoduplication" service. Simply fill out the request for photocopies, enclose a check and 4-6 weeks later the copies return in the mail. Imagine my surprise and joy when I received an email in early November from the Photoduplication Unit of FamilySearch. Now, instead of returning the copies by mail, the Family History Library (FHL) is emailing scanned versions of the documents for FREE! Yes, you read that right, free.

Request for Photoduplication

So what are good candidates for the photoduplication unit? First, the copies must meet copyright restrictions as noted on the request form. You must also be able to specify a particular record. The FHL is not able to conduct research for you. There are many ways to obtain the specific item reference including online indexes, prior research in deed index book microfilms, etc. You may request up to eight records on a single form or three book copy requests. Requests can be submitted as frequently as every two weeks.

General Micro/fiche and Census Copies

Censuses and many microfilm and microfiche records are now available on the FamilySearch website. Check for online availability either by browsing their collection or searching for the specific microfilm in the FamilySearch Catalog. Once you have found the item description, scroll down to 'Notes' section to see if the microfilm is available online. Examples of the screens you will see on the website are shown below.

Select "Film Numbers" from the search options, enter in the film number and click search.
If the film is available online, it will be noted in the 'Notes' section of the film record.
If the record you are interested in is not online, complete the request for photo copies form and mail or fax it to the FHL. Below is a portion of the form I recently submitted that demonstrates how different types of records might be requested. Generally records such as a deed or naturalization petition work well for photo duplication since you rarely need multiple records from any one film. Since many related families might be included in a church record microfilm, it would likely be best to order the microfilm so you can review it for all familial connections (see FHL Film Online Ordering Now Available in Cincinnati).

Photocopies of Book Pages

The FHL has a vast collection of books available for family history research. To locate a specific title, use their online catalog. You can search by Title, Author or even place name. For example, The Diaries of John M. Miller of Westwood/Cincinnati, Ohio: Excerpts from 1869-1870 and 1881-1894, was found in Ohio, Hamilton, Cincinnati - History - Sources.

The FHL cannot copy all the pages in a book. Copies are restricted to 10 pages or 10% of the book, whichever is less. You can complete a request for photocopies of a book index or even a portion of an index. After reviewing the index, submit a second request for the pages of interest. Not all books are indexed. Look for the notation "includes index" in the "Notes" section of the book description as shown below.

If the book is not indexed, don't despair, the FHL has microfilmed many books making it possible for you order the microfilm and read the book at a local Family History Center, see FHL Film Online Ordering Now Available in Cincinnati and It's Not All Online: Ordering Family History Library Microfilm for more information.

(Not so) Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness

The FHL provides the photoduplication service free of charge. Consider passing along their kindness by returning the effort in kind - photocopy a local record for someone who lives afar. There are many requests for copies and help in online message boards. Alternatively, join the Worldwide Indexing project sponsored by FamilySearch and make more records searchable online for free.

This article was submitted by Liz Stratton. As always, underlined text indicates links to other websites or articles of interest. If you are receiving this message by email, you may need to go to the blog, to see images.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tri-State Germans in the Civil War

 In honor of Veterans Day and commemorating the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War, the Hamilton County Genealogical Society will present a program by  Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann titled Tri-State Germans in the Civil War.
German-Americans played an important role in the Civil War. German regiments were dubbed the “Dutch devils” by the Confederates and Robert E. Lee was reported to have said, “Take the Dutch out of the Union Army and we could whip the Yankees easily.”

Dr. Tolzmann will explore the contributions made by area German-Americans to the Union cause. He recently published a translation from German of Gustav Tafel’s The Cincinnati Germans in the Civil War (Little Miami Pub. Co.), providing it with additional supplements with information he uncovered dealing with Germans from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana in the Civil War.

Don Heinrich Tolzmann is President of the German-American Citizens League of Greater Cincinnati, Curator of the German Heritage Museum, and Historian for the Covington-Cincinnati Suspension Bridge Committee.   The HCGS is honored to present Dr. Tolzmann and this topical program on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 11:00am in the Huenefeld Tower Room at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Main Branch, 800 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202.

For further information about HCGS or this program, please contact Program Director, Linda Dietrich at

Monday, November 5, 2012

2012 Heritage Luncheon

Scenes from the Heritage Luncheon
On Saturday, November 3rd, the Hamilton County Genealogical Society held its annual Heritage Luncheon. First Families, established to pay tribute to pioneers who resided in Hamilton County by 1820, welcomed seven new members and their 27 ancestors to the society: William H. Hammitt, Gene Baker, Mary McConnell, Jennifer Carver, Jennifer Bornemann, Sharon Kay Allen Michael, and Joyce Ann Brecount Wolf.
Karen Klaene Welcomes New Members
Photo Credit: John Tholking
The Settlers and Builders lineage group recognizes ancestors who lived in Hamilton County between 1 January 1821 and 31 December 1860. Five new members were welcomed into the group with an additional two members identifying additional ancestors who qualified for inclusion. Five new members and their 36  ancestors were inducted into the group: Robert Raymond Hare, Mary Elizabeth Weiland Benko, James William Rettig, Jeffrey Gerard Herbert, and Mary Louise Reese Inwood. Kathleen Jones Reed and Dolores Jean Christopher D'Errico added seven additional ancestors to their ancestors previously accepted.

Settlers and Builders
Photo Credit: John Tholking
The Century Families lineage group recognizes families who arrived in Hamilton County between January 1, 1861 and 100 years prior to today. New members include: Peter Timothy Frame, James Joseph Christen, Joanne Mary Kriege Nie, and Barbara Jean Kaiser Pharo. These four members added 27 ancestors to the rosters. Four members submitted supplemental applications acknowledging nine additional ancestors. Those submitting supplemental applications included: Kathleen Jones Reed, Joseph Roger Poppel, Donna Marie White Mancini and Mary Louise McElfresh Strickley. 

Century Families Recipients
Photo Credit: John Tholking
Craig Heimbach
The Guest Speaker for the event was Craig Heimbuch, an award-winning journalist and author of "Chasing Oliver Hazard Perry, Travels in the Footsteps of the Commodore Who Saved America."  His talk was timely, as this year marks the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 in which Ohio played a significant role. Commodore Perry's role in the naval battle on Lake Erie against a previously undefeated British Navy, does not get the recognition it deserves in the American consciousness.

Thanks to the members of the Hamilton County Lineage Groups who work throughout the year to encourage and assist applicants, review applications, and plan for the annual Heritage Luncheon. Should you have ancestors who qualify, consider submitting an application.

Submitted by Kathy Reed