Thursday, October 30, 2014

Session Added: Hands-on with Land 2, November 1, 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm

The Hands-on with Land session scheduled for 1 p.m. is full. A second session has been added at 3 p.m. on the same date. If you are on the library's waiting list, you have been accepted for the later session. Additional spaces are available at 3 p.m. Please email Liz Stratton at if you are interested in attending. Put "Land Series" in the topic line. The lecture at 11 a.m. does not require a reservation.

From the Collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Longworth Homestead, Used with permission from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
In Hands-on with Land sessions, we share discoveries, issues, strategies, and participant examples. The focus of the November 1 sessions is locating and gaining access to original indexes and records. A variety of strategies will be shared at the 11 am lecture.

During the hands-on sessions, participants will find ancestral land records online or learn how to access them from afar. Topics explored include:
  • County boundary changes and their effect on locating records
  • Availability of Hamilton County land records and indexes both online and at the Recorder's office
  • Federal land record availability with a specific emphasis on the issues faced researching Hamilton County warrantees and patentees
Submitted by Liz Stratton, Education Director, Hamilton County Genealogical Society

Monday, October 27, 2014

Uncovering World War I Genealogy Resources

Mark your calendars for 11:00 AM November 8th at the Main Library. Patricia Van Skaik will discuss some of the little-known resources available to those researching ancestors who may have served in World War I.

The library is home to numerous Grave Registration Cards that may include personal information about the veteran, as well as the funeral home used and the location of his grave. Rare books include clippings from contemporary newspapers that provide the reader with a picture of how the isolationists of the time felt about our country involving itself in a "European" war.

Rare Newspaper Clippings Housed at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Hope to see you there.

Submitted by Kathy Reed

Sunday, October 26, 2014

"Clicking and Claiming" on -- A Commentary

My Great-Grandfather, August H. Vonderheide, with his first three great-grancdhildren

Anyone who has been doing genealogy for any length of time knows not to trust family trees on at face value. They may be absolutely correct and include wonderful source citations. They may serve as a starting point for conducting your own research on an elusive ancestor. Best of all, they may lead you to connecting to “cousins” who are researching the same ancestor. I’ve had all three experiences.

Through Ancestry, I've had the pleasure of meeting and forming relationships with cousins who were working on the same family members. I’m very close to a 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th cousin I would not have discovered in any other way. One newly-discovered cousin lives about 15 minutes away from me, and we discovered that our gg-grandparents were brothers who ran their own business as blacksmiths in Cincinnati in the 1840s. What a delightful discovery.

BUT . . .

Not all discoveries are this positive. On ancestry, the company lets you know if someone is copying information from your tree to theirs. When I see the same name appearing over and over, I always contact them through the Member Connect option to see if we are related. A couple of days ago, I followed this procedure to contact someone who had included my g-grandfather in his tree. He had it totally wrong, and I offered to help him straighten it out. I did not expect to get this reply:

There may not be any logical or traceable connection at all, as the tree, by this time, is not actually a "family tree", but more correctly, a "community tree". In the process of assembling this interconnected tapestry, the families of various in-laws, or even second or third spouses, are included, which makes some of the "connections" a little obscure. I include something I call "cousin of a cousin", as your cousins may have an entirely different set of cousins, and when these families are expanded, gradually most of a community is included. So I probably bumped into (unnamed ancestor) by including parts of somebody else's tree, and if this information is incorrect, perhaps I was not sufficiently prudent in verification. Perhaps you could provide clarification?

The core of my tree is based in southwestern Wisconsin, Grant county, and expanding outward from there. Some goes back to European or Canadian pasts, and has stretched back and forth across the United States several times. In truth, I probably have no connection at all with some 95% or more of the people on the tree, and in fact, I am not even a direct relative of the base person, John Doe*. He was a brother-in-law to my first cousin, and I started the tree shortly after he died, as a sort of memorial. John* was about 8 or 9 years older than me, and he hung out with my older brother and my first cousins. He was always pretty much of a maverick when he was 17, and he was not much changed by the time he was 70. I pursue the expansion of the tree mostly for the intellectual challenge, as it is both a test of deductive capabilities, sorting out the scattered acts, and a way to fill time during retirement years. And I like to think it may be a starting point for somebody else who wants to start their own tree. Good Hunting.

*Name changed to protect the guilty.

I don’t think I have an answer for this one. Do you?

You can't just "click and claim" him -- he's mine.

Submitted by Kathy Reed

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Hands on with Land 1: Identifying Landowners, October 18

We are aware that the "Hands on with Land" session at 1 PM on  October 18 is full. A second session has been added at 3:00 PM. The nine people on the waiting list have been accepted for the 3 o'clock session. Space is limited in the second session. If anyone else is interested, contact Liz Stratton at or leave a message for her at 513-956-7078. Put the words "Land Records" in the subject line. The lecture "Surveying Land Records for Genealogical Gold" at 11:00 AM is open to everyone and does not require a reservation.

Additional details can be found on the Hamilton County Genealogical Society website,

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Heritage Luncheon and Lock-In

 Registration form

You only have until October 18 to make a reservation for the 2014 Heritage Luncheon. New members of the three lineage groups:  First Families, Settlers and Builders and Century Families will be inducted. It will be held at the Clovernook Country Club. RSVP by October 18 using this registration form.

Our guest speaker this year will be Wendy Hart Beckman, author of Founders and Famous Families of Cincinnati. Among the topics Ms. Beckman will discuss will be the trials, tribulations and triumphs of researching Cincinnati's earliest families. She will discuss some of the pitfalls she ran into including undocumented family trees, unvetted websites, and the necessity of finding original sources wherever possible.

Library Lock-In

I was hoping to give you a link to the library website so you could register for the lock-in scheduled for 6:30 to 11:30 PM at the Main Library on October 25th (same day as the Heritage Luncheon). The program also includes mini-tech programs in the adjoining computer lab. Unfortunately, the site says that the event is full. My suggestion -- call the Genealogy and Local History Department and ask to be put on a Waiting List. In the past they have invited everyone on the list.  (513-369-6905).

Submitted by Kathy Reed

updated: 10 October 2014