Sunday, December 30, 2012

Better Know Your Chapter! - Challenge #4 - Twitter

You may not have a twitter account -- you may have no desire to "tweet." But I'm sure you've heard of twitter. It seems as if you can't watch a news program without being invited to "follow us on facebook and twitter."

Although I use twitter, I certainly don't use it to its potential, and I'm probably not the best one to write this post. On the other hand, I can probably give you enough information for you to be tweeting in no time, should you desire.

To explore twitter or set up an account, go to You will see a screen that looks like this:

You can view our twitter page by going to You will be able to view the page and use the search box, but you will be unable to post a message or "tweet."

 If you already have an account, you will see a tool bar that looks like this once you have logged in.

As a new user (and for this challenge) we are going to focus on the search box, and the blue box with a pen to the right. You can use the search box to look for people you may know, societies that may interest you, or topics of interest. I searched on HCGS and our Society came right up. We are listed as @HCGSOhio. If you have an account, you can "tweet" right away. A "tweet" can not be longer than 140 characters -- and they will let you know when you get close to 140 characters.

You've also probably heard of the term #hashtag. A hashtag is nothing more than a key word. For instance, if you wanted to tweet something about genealogy, you may use the hashtag #genealogy or #familyhistory. Hashtags are important because they can be used to find others who are interested in genealogy or, conversely, allow them to find you. Like most social media, twitter can be as easy or as complicated as you like. If you want to know more about it, you can go to the twitter help page.

Challenge #4

1. Click on the link to

2. Search for HCGS in the search box.

3. If you have an account, tweet something using the #HCGSOhio hashtag.

4. Search for #genealogy in the search box and see what other contacts you could find who share an interest in genealogy.

5. Remember, if you want to "follow" someone, you have to have an account. For these, and other questions, go to the twitter help page linked above. The nice thing about these tools is that they are available if you want them and can just be ignored when you don't.

Our Social Media Coordinator, Jenny Moorman Davis, set up our Twitter page with its wonderful background. She manages this page and would be happy to help you should you have questions. Just leave your questions in the comment box for this post.

We really appreciate those who chose to accept one or more of these challenges. The wonderful thing is that they will always be here, should you want to come back and find the information again. Just use the blog search box and type in technology challenge.

If you haven't made that genealogical resolution for 2013, perhaps you can consider becoming more familiar with the Chapter website, blog, facebook page, or twitter page. Hopefully, you realize that we have a lot to offer each other, and that together we will be a much stronger Chapter as we move ahead together.

Happy 2013!

Submitted by:
Kathy Reed

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Better Know Your Chapter! - Challenge #3

This one should be fun. As 2012 comes to a close and 2013 promises a new beginning, I'm sure we all consider what we would like to accomplish genealogically in the new year. This time, we're going to make use of our Chapter's facebook page. Note: You do NOT have to join facebook to view our society's page. Read further down the post to read about Challenge #3. You can access our society's facebook page in several ways.

#1 - Login to
       Look for the search box at the top of the page. 

       In the search box, type Hamilton County Genealogical Society until you see our society's logo.

Click on the page and you will be able to see the society's page. If you do not have a facebook account, you will not be able to interact with the page or leave a comment. You can, however, read the posts of others and see the "About" section. 

If you DO have a facebook account, you can access the page in several ways.

Follow the procedure outlined in #1 above.  Or if you are viewing the blog as a web page, go to the left sidebar and click on the link pictured below. (Note: you may not see this link if you are looking at the blog on your phone, tablet or as an email).

You can also access facebook through a link on the Chapter website by clicking on the button that says "Find Us on facebook."

If you do have a facebook account, look for the box in the upper right-hand corner that says "Like" and click on this. "Liking" the page will automatically place any new content in your facebook stream. 

Challenge #3

Think about one of your genealogical resolutions for 2013. If you have a facebook account, tell us of your resolution by posting it on facebook. If you don't have a facebook account, scroll down to the comments box below and post it there. Remember, you can choose "anonymous" when the menu asks you to select a profile. Just write your name at the end of the comment.

Jenny Davis is our Social Media Coordinator and is responsible for both our facebook and twitter pages. Should you have any concerns, I'm sure Jenny would love to help you out. Just post them on facebook or in the comments box below.

Kathy Reed

Friday, December 28, 2012

Better Know Your Chapter! - Challenge #2

If you are reading this, you've already made your way to our Chapter's blog. The blog makes it easy to keep members informed of events as they happen. We can post pictures of the Heritage Luncheon, for instance, the day it happens. Pictures, in color, can easily be included. Upcoming events are listed in our calendar. And best of all -- it's free! So here is today's challenge:

Challenge #2

1. Focus on the bar at the top of the post that looks like this:

This bar is a list of "pages" in blogger language, each containing different information. Move your cursor over the "Calendar" page and click on it. You will get an image that looks like this:

Explore the options that allow you display events by the week or month and allow you to move forward and backward. Click on one of the events that looks interesting to you and see where it takes you. Did you have any idea that so many resources were at your fingertips? For other calendar options, go to the left hand column where three separate calendars are found. 

Chapter members including Liz Stratton, Linda Dietrich and Gail Burkholz work to keep these calendars updated. The calendar listed on the page you just explored combines all of these calendars into one. If you're only interested in Hamilton County Events, you may prefer using this calendar.

#2 - Click on the page that says "Links to Member Blogs."  To be listed on this page, you must have a blog with a genealogy focus and you must be a member of this chapter. You may want to check out the blogs of a Chapter member and leave them a message. One of our members, Carol MacKay, lives in British Columbia, Canada! I'm sure she'd love to hear from you. Click on her blog, Family Photo Reunion.

#3 - Click on the "Events" page. We often collaborate with the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Chris Smith regularly sends us fliers of specially-developed programs. In addition to being posted on the blog, these fliers and other Chapter-developed fliers are posted here. If you scroll down the page, you can view a nice history of some of the programs from the past year.

#4 - Click on Books, CDs and DVDs tab. Did you know that you can order a few of our more popular Chapter resources online? I placed an order this way and could not believe how easy it was. Liz Stratton, Chapter Treasurer, created this page.

#5 - There are several ways for you can keep up with new blog posts without having to check in. You can sign up to receive any updates on this blog by typing your email address in the box. You can also have new posts sent to you if you have a "reader."  You can sign up to be a "member" or "follower" by clicking on the "join this site" button. We currently have 43 members and would love to increase that number.

#6 - Finally, like the HCGS website, you can search on this blog. Do you want to find a post that contained some information but you can't remember where it was? Just search! For example, try searching for "Sanborn" or "1865 Births" and see what comes up.

If you've accepted this challenge, consider posting something you learned about this blog that you didn't know before. Just leave a comment in the box below. And again -- if you need help, feel free to email Kathy Reed at 

Tomorrow's challenge -- facebook!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Better Know Your Chapter! - Challenge #1

During 2012, our Chapter has made great strides in embracing technology and moving our Chapter into the 21st Century. As we come to the end of this year, I thought it might be fun to "Better Know Your Chapter" by taking the time to explore some of the wonderful changes that are available to our members and others interested in the genealogical resources available in Hamilton County. This will be the first of four daily posts challenging you to "up your game" and try something new. 

Challenge #1:

1. Look for the Hamilton County Genealogical Society logo on the top of the left-hand side of this blog. This is what is known as a "hot link." When you click on the logo, it will redirect you to our Chapter Web Site ( (Note: If you are receiving this post by email, you may not see the logo on the left hand menu.)

2. Once on the site, look at the top of the page to see the new "search" feature. It looks like what is pictured below, only it is much larger.

3. Enter one of your Hamilton County surnames. See how many results come up. Spend a few minutes clicking on the links to see if there is something there that may help you with your research.

4. On the website, look for this image. Note the orange blog symbol and click on the word "Blog" in "Read Our Blog." That will bring you back to the blog page.

5. Finally, and this is where you have to be really brave, scroll down to the bottom of this post and look for the box where you can post a comment. You can either post anonymously or with your own identity if you have a google account. Tell us how many "hits" you got on your particular surname. Let Jim Dempsey and Liz Stratton know that you love this new capability. Share any thoughts you'd like and come back tomorrow for a second challenge.

Submitted by:
Kathy Reed
Email me if you have any problems:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

DNA and Genealogy at the OGS Conference

Note: This post is a copy of a post written for the OGS Conference Blog. 
You can visit the Conference Blog at

Have you considered using DNA to support your genealogical research? Have you had success? Are you overwhelmed by the science? Afraid of possible revelations about your health? I can answer yes to all of these questions. However, it's something that I think will become an increasingly useful tool in our genealogical toolbox -- and something I want to understand better.

In keeping with the theme of this conference, the planners included a track on DNA and genealogy.

Colleen Fitzpatrick is leading half of the sessions in this track. As I was not familiar with her, I was led to do a little research. Colleen is the author of Genetic Genealogy and DNA and Genealogy, two best-sellers in genetic genealogy. Despite her expertise, she lists her talks as appropriate for "all levels."  Her talks are "appropriate for you whether you are having trouble spelling DNA or are an old hand at genetic genealogy." She has been involved in the ID of an unknown child on the Titanic, and work related  to Amelia Earhart and Abraham Lincoln. To quote her bio, she has done "extensive professional work on DNA identification with the military, law enforcement, the Center for Human Identification, Harvard University, and many other well-known organizations."

Ugo Allesandro Perego is presenting two sessions. I was able to find a link to his site. A member of the Association of Professional Genealogists. He, too, has an extensive resume. Nora Galvin will discuss DNA testing for genealogical purposes, the testing process, what the results look like and what they mean.

There will also be a DNA Roundtable sponsored by Family Tree DNA. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions, learn which DNA test to take, decide how many markers to test and determine how to best utilize the results.

All for the price of one conference admission!  Hope to see you there.

Submitted by:
Kathy Reed

Comments? I encourage you to leave a question or comment. I will do my best to find the answer.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Update on the OGS Conference - The Technology Track

Note: This is a copy of a post to the Ohio Genealogical Society's OGS Conference Blog.

Technology, and its applicability to genealogical research, will play a central role in this year's OGS Conference. When it comes to planning your schedule, you can't beat the conference "tracks" that have been outlined by the planners.  Interested in technology? Here is a list of what is being offered with a technology focus.
You can easily review the listings and determine what may be of interest to you. In addition, you can refer to the program to see if the presentation is appropriate for beginner, intermediate or advanced users of the technology. Numerous tracks have been identified. Over the next several weeks, I hope to feature each one of the tracks to assist you in planning. If you've not yet seen a copy of the conference booklet, click on this link and download a copy. Do you have friends and family asking you for a gift suggestion? Maybe a conference registration is just the ticket. Hope to see you there.

Kathy Reed