Saturday, October 22, 2016

Southwest Ohio DNA Interest Group (SWOHDNA)

On 10-17-2016, we held our first Southwest Ohio DNA Interest Group meeting (SWOHDNA) at the MidPointe Library in West Chester. About 30 people attended. We have since received 8 more requests to join. A DNA Interest Group subpage has been added to the website. Just go to “Interest Groups” and click on “DNA Interest Group” listed below. Information related to genetic genealogy is posted there.

The group has also developed a “google groups” page (SWOHDNA) which currently has 62 members. To find it, search “goggle groups” and type in “SWOHDNA.” You can request to be a member of the group.

Because of numerous requests from out-of-town HCGS members, we are currently in the process of editing a video the first presentation for sharing on our website. In the first presentation, we discussed the three types of DNA available for genealogical use and the three main companies that process it: Ancestry DNA, 23andme and FTDNA. All three companies process autosomal DNA (atDNA). For this reason, we decided to focus on atDNA initially. We look at the video as a benefit for out-of-town members, as well as those who may not be available for an individual meeting.  Once processing is completed, the video will be posted on our website.

The next meeting is scheduled at the MidPointe Library in West Chester on Tuesday, November 29 from 7:00 – 8:45. We will discuss how to interpret DNA results and use them to identify family members. Reference populations, ethnicity results, triangulation and how to transfer results to Gedmatch will be among the topics discussed. If you have Ancestry results or want to order a kit for processing in the future, you may want to consider joining the group.

This group is not limited to members of HCGS. Participants come from all over southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky. To be put on the mailing list, send a request to

Submitted by Kathy Reed
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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Gold Star Mothers from World War I to the Present - November 12th

Are you familiar with this banner? I first saw it in a picture of my family from World War II. My father and his brothers went off to fight in the war one by one, and this banner in the front window told all passersby that three members of this family were serving. A gold star indicated that a family member had died.

Over time, mothers experiencing this unspeakable loss, came together to support each other. The organization became known as the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. HCGS Librarian, Brian Powers, has met with members of this organization. Together, they have worked to identify some of the genealogical records that can help us better understand those local families whose children paid the ultimate price.
Click to enlarge

On November 12, the Genealogy and Local History Department will present two programs on Gold Star Mothers from World War I to the present.  On November 12, the Genealogy and Local History will hold two programs highlighting the contributions of Gold Star Mothers. There are two programs -- 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. The afternoon program, co-sponsored with HCGS, will discuss genealogical records that can be useful in researching those who made the ultimate sacrifice. We hope to see you then.

Submitted by Kathy Reed

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Saying Goodbye to Vietnam

HCGS asked me to share this with our group. Although this is not an HCGS program, Chris Smith assures me that Ken Williamson and native Cincinnatian has created an excellent photographic memoir of his time in Vietnam and what he learned in two return trips in 1998 and 2005. The program will take place at 11:00 am on Saturday, November 5th.

Submitted by Kathy Reed

Monday, September 26, 2016

Are you a Lisa Louise Cooke fan? Check out this FREE event!

Lisa Louise Cooke is coming to the Columbus Metropolitan Library on Saturday, October 8th. Read the flyer below to see how to make reservations for this FREE day-long event.

Submitted by Kathy Reed

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Plots, Twists, Character Development, Suspense, Action!

We all want to write engaging ancestral biographies. Getting started is often the most difficult part. The "Writer's Workshop--Memoir Writing" may provide the motivation you need. The workshop will tell you how to craft life stories into creative non-fiction.
Jeff Hillard will lead the workshop. Jeff is the Writer-in-Residence of the Library Foundation. This workshop is not sponsored by HCGS. We wish we had thought of it!
  • When: 24 September 2016 at 1 p.m.
  • Where: PLCH Main Library, Huenefeld Tower Room
  • For further information, see
Submitted by Liz Stratton

Thursday, September 8, 2016

"Next Stop: Cincinnati Public Library"

Looking for a way to celebrate the opening of Cincinnati's new streetcars? Get off at the stop near the main library for two presentations that feature the history of transportation in Cincinnati:

Saturday, September 10, 1 pm, "It's a Family Affair: Cincinnati's Early Streetcar Drivers, Conductors and Mechanics" will be presented by Patricia Van Skaik in the main library Atrium. This talk includes an HCGS board member's ancestor.

Sunday, September 11, 2 pm, "Moving Cincinnati: A History of Trolleys, Cable Cars, Inclines and Streetcars" will be presented by Rob J. Wimberg in the main library Atrium.
Transportation touched our ancestors lives in ways difficult to anticipate. My first cousin twice removed made the front page of the Cincinnati Enquirer when she was involved in an accident in 1923. Her death was one of many that spurred changes in Cincinnati's traffic safety laws. "Sepia Saturday 98: Chaos in the Streets" gives more details. This is not the same ancestor that Patricia features in her talk. To learn who is a descendant of a transportation worker, you'll have to attend on the 10th!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Fall Events for HCGS

We have an amazing line-up of fall programs and activities! Check these out, save the dates or pre-register to be certain you don’t miss a thing.

Celebrate the Cincinnati Streetcar Opening, September 10 and 11

Pat VanSkaik will present “It’s a Family Affair: Cincinnati’s Early Streetcar Drivers, Conductors and Mechanics” on September 10, 1 pm, at PLCH Main Library, Reading Garden Lounge. Lives of early drivers, conductors and mechanics will be explored. All of the people featured have descendants living in Cincinnati—one of the descendants is an HCGS board member. You’ll have to attend to learn which one!
On September 11, 2 pm, at PLCH Main Library, Reading Garden Lounge, hear local historian and author, Robert J. Wimberg talk about “Cincinnati Transportation: Past, Present and Future.”

Family History Month Kicks Off with Amie Bowser Tennant

On October 1, 10 am to 3 pm at Main Library, the annual “Ask the Experts” Day will take place. Amie Bowser Tennant, nationally acclaimed speaker and content creator for the podcast Genealogy Gems will present Have You Seen Me? Missing Persons and Proof of Parentage at 11 am and Using Social Media to Break through Brick Walls at 2:00 pm. From noon to 2:00 pm, there will be free one-on-one consultations provided by over 20 experts, with specializations ranging from ethnic genealogy to court records.

Finding Your German Ancestral Origins

Monday October 3, 7 pm, Madeira Branch Library
Bob Brodbeck will present a review of the basic research steps and types of data typically needed for finding the origins of your German immigrant ancestors, along with a couple of research examples.  Talk is one hour including Q&A. For beginners to intermediate.

Finding and Using Genealogy Resources

This session is perfect for the genealogist just getting started doing research or who wishes to learn more about genealogical resources that are available locally. The same program is available at multiple branch locations:
October 3, 6 pm, Mariemont Branch Library
October 12, 6 pm, Westwood Branch Library
October 24, 7 pm, Blue Ash Branch Library

Pre-registration is Now Open—Land and Estate Series

Pre-registration is now open for the popular land and estate education series on November 5, 19 and December 3 in PLCH Main, 3rd Floor Computer Lab. Space is limited so preregister early to ensure you have a space. Further information and a link to the registration form can be found on our website:
Land Class information and preregistration:
Estate Class information and preregistration:
You can also register by calling 513-443-2708. If there is no answer, please leave a message with your preferences for dates, times and classes. Provide a phone number so that your registration can be confirmed.

Advanced Genealogy Forum (AGF)

AGF is a peer-led discussion group that meets bi-monthly to discuss journal articles, advanced methodology and complex records. The forum is open to anyone willing to read the articles and contribute to the discussion. Articles and more details are on the website:
September 17, 9:30 am-11:30 am, PLCH Main, Room 3A, Kentucky Research
November 5, 9:00 am-10:45 am, PLCH Main, Room 3B, Ancestral Origins—Focus on Germany

SW Ohio DNA Interest Group

A new regional DNA interest group for southwest Ohio will have its first meeting at 7:00 pm on October 17 at the Mid-Pointe Library in West Chester, OH. More information about this group is in August Tracer on the website. Those who have registered for this Interest Group will receive a letter soon with details. To register, email

2016 Heritage Luncheon: Whitewater Shaker Village 

Clovernook Country Club, 2035 West Galbraith Rd., North College Hill 45239, October 22, 10:45 am
Save the date. Check the HCGS website Events for more information on the annual Heritage Luncheon, including a link to the flyer and registration form.

Genealogy Lock-In at the Main Library

Join fellow genealogists on October 29, 6:30 – 11:30 pm, PLCH Main, for an after-hours research event. During the lock-in, optional mini-tech instructional sessions will be offered. Pre-registration is required.

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

Monday, July 4, 2016

Hamilton County Genealogical Society Adds 11,400 Civil War Veterans to Website

Monument at Spring Grove
As we celebrate our independence this July 4th, the Hamilton County Genealogical Society thanks all veterans for their service to our country and helping to preserve the freedom that we celebrate and enjoy all year long. This holiday weekend marks the completion of our Make A Difference (MAD) project that was begun over two and a half years ago. It was undertaken to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the sacrifices that our veterans made during this four year struggle. 

The main goal of the project was to document the more than 11,400 Civil War veterans who are buried in Hamilton County, Ohio, create memorials for them on Find-A-Grave (if they were not already documented), and to then explore the various cemeteries within Hamilton County and photograph the grave stones of these soldiers if they still had a marker. This huge effort was completed in June 2016 by several dedicated volunteers. The names of these Civil War veterans have been compiled in a spreadsheet along with their birth and death dates, the name of the cemetery and place of burial, and the name of the company and regiment that they served in.

This PDF file is sorted in alphabetical order by veteran name. To view this information please visit the Cemeteries page under Local Records on our website at:

 Also be sure to check on Find-A-Grave for additional information and a possible picture of the veteran’s grave. You also have the ability to include additional information about the veteran and family if known to share with others on the Find-A-Grave website.

Submitted by Jeff Herbert

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Jewish Genetic Genealogy

Jewish Interest Group
Presentation Announcement

by Rick Cauthen

Israel Pickholtz

The Hamilton County Genealogical Society is extremely excited to announce that author, Israel Pickholtz, who resides in Jerusalem, Israel, will be presenting “Jewish Genetic Genealogy – A Study in Endogamy.” Mr. Pickholtz is the author of the book entitled “Endogamy: One Family, One People.” This book explores the topic of Jewish genetic genealogy and how it relates to the topic of endogamy.
Endogamy, for those readers who are not familiar with the term, simply means marrying mainly with in the tribe. In other words, Jews married and consequently reproduced only within the limits of the local community. As many of the fans of Jewish genealogy already know, Eastern European Jews spent their lives living in small little villages refer to as shtetls. Thus Jews reproduced within a very tight gene pool. When reviewing your DNA results in terms of countries of origin, when you spot European Jewish, you found a very accurate feature of your genetic history. This is unique for Jews of Eastern European descent. This is all the result of endogamy since the Jewish bloodlines have been kept very finite.

This presentation will take place on Thursday, August 4, 2016 at the public library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Main Library, third floor. The presentation will begin at 12:00PM to 2:00PM. The library is located at 800 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. Please make plans and mark your calendars now to join us for what promises to be a very exciting presentation.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Announcing a New DNA Interest Group

Southwest Ohio DNA Interest Group

For the last several years, more and more genealogists have shown an interest in learning how DNA could be used to confirm traditional genealogical research. This is referred to as Genetic Genealogy. In response to this need, I am proposing a new DNA Interest Group that would be regional in nature and serve, not only Hamilton County, but the surrounding region. I have contacted other DNA leaders in this region and have their support.

My vision is that we would present everyone with the “basics” and move on as rapidly as possible to some of the more advanced application topics.  At the initial program, the major companies that do DNA testing for genealogical purposes would be discussed, as well as the types of available tests. Participants would be strongly encouraged to purchase an autosomal test. Programs would be “stand-alone” with members choosing those that would be of interest to them. Introductory programs would consist of two parts:  1) an introductory lecture, and 2) the opportunity to work with your own data with the assistance of other participants.

Some of the proposed topics include:
      1)      Overview of companies and available tests
      2)      Autosomal tests
      3)      Y-DNA tests
      4)      MtDNA tests
      5)      Understanding Ethnicity Estimates

Applying Your Results

 1)      Gedmatch
 2)      Genome Mate Pro
 3)      DNAgedcom
 4)      Don Worth’s Visualizing Your Autosomal DNA Segment Analyzer
 5)      DNA Land

These are just suggestions. Topics and their order of presentation are open for discussion.
Please feel free to forward this email to anyone you think may be interested. Pam White (Butler Co.) Nan Harvey (Bloomington, IN) and I (Hamilton Co.) are all attending the Advanced Genealogy Course to be held in Pittsburgh at GRIP in July. I’m sure we’ll have more ideas after that.  Thoughts? 

Please email me, Kathy Reed, at if you would like to be on a mailing list for this Interest Group or have any questions.

Please feel free to distribute this to others you think would be interested.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Irish Genealogy Day Recap

Diane Kelly Runyon

Over 50 people attended the Irish Genealogy Day held at the Irish Heritage Center on Eastern Ave. Maureen A. Kennedy, one of the founders of the Irish Heritage Center, welcomed members of HCGS to their center. Jim McKiernan spoke about the opportunities available to members of the center to pursue their genealogy with his help. Diane Kelly Runyan shared fascinating stories of the difficulties our ancestors faced in Ireland and the extreme challenges associated with emigration. It was a great opportunity for members of both groups to meet each other and discuss what each has to offer the other. It was a great day.

Submitted by Kathy Reed
Program Director

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Irish American Genealogy Day at the Irish Heritage Center

Click on this link for more information and to register. We would love to see you there.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Cultivating Your Genealogical Roots

Three duplicate sessions will be held at three Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (PLCH) branch libraries. Learn how to get started on your genealogy! Resources available at PLCH and the Hamilton County Genealogical Society website will be covered. These sessions are good for beginning or intermediate researchers. These sessions are co-sponsored with PLCH.

Monfort Heights Branch, 3825 West Fork Road, Thursday, May 12, 6 p.m.
Madisonville Branch, 4830 Whetsel Avenue, Tuesday, May 17, 6 p.m.
North Central Branch, 11109 Hamilton Avenue, Tuesday 24, 7 p.m.

Submitted by Liz Stratton, Education Director, HCGS

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Ancestry AARP Discount Ends March 31st


If you're thinking about taking advantage of the AARP discount for the World version of Ancestry - $90 off the regular cost - do it soon. The offer ends on March 31st. No mention of an ending date was included in any of the publicity.

You can call 1-800-514-4645, seven days a week, 9 am to 11 pm. Have your AARP membership number on hand. If you don't have Ancestry, you get a free 14-day trial period and then get billed $209 for an annual World subscription. You also have the option of getting billed $104 for a six-month subscription after the free trial period, followed by another six-month subscription. After one year the discount ends. If you already have an ancestry subscription and want to take advantage of this offer, ask the representative how this can be done.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Why Did Immigrating Jews Choose Cincinnati, Ohio?

By Rick D. Cauthen

Historically, I always used to wonder why my grandparents and great grandparents chose to leave Eastern Europe and settle in Cincinnati, Ohio. I mean, I certainly understand that if they were traveling where family had already existed, it certainly would stand to reason that they would want to choose to live in a destination in the United States where family was already present. However, with regard to my family’s ancestry, it was my great Uncles Benjamin Schear and Leo Schear, who traveled first from Kursenai, Lithuania to Cincinnati, Ohio in the year 1890. I can’t tell you how many years I have wondered why on earth they chose Cincinnati to travel to. I mean, couldn’t they have chosen something like Miami, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; or even Los Angeles, California. Of course by now you probably have surmised based on those options that I’m not particularly fond of the winter months that we have to endure here in Hamilton County, Ohio. True, I despise winter, if it had been my choice, I would’ve selected something more like Honolulu, Hawaii. Although when I think about it, that probably would’ve been more challenging, considering Hawaii wasn’t even a state back in 1890.
It wasn’t just the Schear line in my family tree, it was also my Goldhoff line. My great-grandfather Abraham Goldhoff also left his home in what was Courland, now Latvia, back in 1888 to travel to Cincinnati. Of course I have to ask myself the same question. Why did my great-grandfather choose to travel to Cincinnati? Yes, there was a Jewish community that already existed in the Cincinnati region. However, neither Abraham Goldhoff or Benjamin and Leo Schear were coming to a destination where they already had family. In other words, they were the original pioneers in those families. So if you were a pioneer in your family, where would you choose to lay down your roots? Why choose Cincinnati over any other city in the country? That’s what I wanted to know and understand. What was it about Cincinnati that was pulling them here? There always had to be some sort of a drawing card as to why our ancestors made the decisions that they did. Why did they choose one destination over another?
In my ever pursuit of genealogical research I came across what I believed was probably the answer as to why Cincinnati was selected. Although I realize that my answer is somewhat pretentious. I actually believe that they came to Cincinnati because it was in fact “Cincinnati.” In other words, Cincinnati itself became a highly favored destination for Eastern European Jews to settle in much in the same way that travelers might have feelings towards New York City or Chicago. We all understand that those two cities are major travel destinations in the United States. Well, believe it or not, Cincinnati was much the same during the heavy period of Jewish migration to the US, more specifically, the years of 1880 through 1924.
As a child, I couldn’t have imagined that I was living in a city that was perceived by our Jewish ancestors as a destination holding great desirability. I was actually living in a city with a fairly heavy amount of Jews with respect to many other cities in the United States. I was na├»ve to think that all United States cities had had just as large a Jewish population that was located in Cincinnati. Of course there were specific neighborhoods within the greater Cincinnati area that were more heavily concentrated with Jews. During my growing up years, which would’ve been the 60s and 70s, the heaviest Jewish populations were located in Roselawn, Golf Manor, and Amberley Village. Going back to the days of my great grandparents and grandparents, the Jewish populations were located in downtown and then moving out to Avondale, North Avondale and Bond Hill. Additionally, there was a Jewish population located just across the Ohio River in Northern Kentucky, namely Newport and Covington. It was at least large enough population to support two Jewish congregations back in the early 1900s. However, the Jewish population located in Northern Kentucky eventually shrank to the point that both of those Jewish congregations closed. If you ask me today which neighborhoods have the heaviest Jewish population, I would languish to say that there isn’t such a thing any longer. I believe that as time has marched on the Jewish population has spread over the entire greater Cincinnati region. This is just evidence of how Jews have completely assimilated into American culture as opposed to the shtetls they lived in back in Eastern Europe.
The concept of shtetl life (shtetls were small intimate villages) explains why Jews tended to concentrate in certain neighborhoods. It was important to the Jews that they selected areas that a good amount of Jewish families was already living there. Additionally, they would’ve wanted to be within walking distance of a Jewish synagogue or temple. There aren’t as many observant Jews that have a strong need to be within walking distance of a congregation or even groceries that specialized in kosher foods. Society and culture are not stagnant. They both undergo an evolution as time marches on.
Of course it is a well-known fact that Cincinnati was a very popular for Germans to immigrate to. Another known fact of Jewish history was that Jews that resided in Germany suffered much more severe anti-Semitism earlier than those that lived throughout the rest of Eastern Europe. As a result, German Jews began to immigrate to Cincinnati as early as 1820, but with much greater numbers starting in 1850. It was these early arriving Jews that would fight in the Civil War. Since Jews always tended to follow where there were already communities of Jews residing, consequentially it makes sense that a large number of Ashkenazic Jews followed the German Jews, during the years of 1880 to 1924.
One important issue to note was that the Jews that resided in Cincinnati, did not face the anti-Semitism that Jews would have faced in the southern states of the United States. States that would have been slave states in Pre-Civil War history. It was actually quite the opposite. The Jews arriving early in to Cincinnati were met with much esteem and highly respected by their fellow citizens. Cincinnati was a city of goodwill and understanding where Jews and Christians interacted freely. Jews and Christians in early Cincinnati interacted socially as well. We know this from handwritten letters that have been left behind.
Many of the Eastern European Jews that were still living back in the old country, would hear from the letters sent to family about the city of Cincinnati being a great place to come to. It was through this Jewish grapevine that Cincinnati became more and more well-known as a new home for Jews wanting to immigrate to America. It would be a destination that would be ripe with economic promise and social acceptance. Considering the world of hatred and discrimination, these Jews suffered in their lives within Eastern Europe, is it any wonder that they chose Cincinnati as their new home. I think not.

Recommended Reading

Sarna, Jonathan D., and Nancy H. Klein. The Jews of Cincinnati. Cincinnati: Center for Study of the American Jewish Experience on the Campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, 1989 (see esp. pages 1-3)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Irish Heritage Month

In celebration of Irish Heritage Month, two events are planned.

1) Kathe Edwards, Irish Interest Group Chair, is sponsoring a planning meeting for this group on Sunday, March 6th, at 1:15 at the Clifton Library. Additional information, including directions, are here.

2) HCGS is cosponsoring an event with our partners at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. 

Saturday, March 12
Living With Your Irish Ancestors: Milestones of Proud Generations, Past and Present!  (Programs)
10:00 am
PLCH - Main Library, Genealogy and Local History Program Space, 3rd Floor
Pat Mallory of the Cincinnati Chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians will present a program on "Living with Your Irish Ancestors." The program will focus on the impact of the Irish in Cincinnati. The program will finish in time for participants to attend the 2016 St Patrick's Day Parade.

We hope to see you at the planning meeting on March 6th.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Getting Started in Jewish Genealogy including Greater Cincinnati Resources

Presentation Announcement
Getting Started in Jewish Genealogy including
Greater Cincinnati Resources

Have you ever wanted to learn more about researching your Jewish Genealogy? Perhaps you became frustrated too quickly with some of the unusual challenges it may have presented. Would you finally like to break through some of the brick walls standing in your way for genealogical success? Jewish Genealogy certainly does serve up some incredible obstacles but these challenges are not impossible to overcome.

Rick D. Cauthen, the leader of the Jewish Interest Group for the Hamilton County Genealogical Society will be giving a presentation on Monday February 22, 2015 at 6:30PM at the Covington Branch of the Kenton County Libraries located at 502 Scott Blvd, Covington, KY 41011. This presentation is open to the public at no charge.

The presentation will cover:
·        A generalized history of Eastern European Jews
·        Available Greater Cincinnati Resources
·        Overcoming challenges & Techniques of research
·        Most importantly, having success in European Research
·        Case Study demonstrating successful research

So please join us for what promises to be an informative presentation. If you have any questions, you may reach Mr. Cauthen at:

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

"A Day in the Life....Mid-19th Century Daily Life for the Betts Family"

The Betts House

Note: Two members of HCGS are actively involved in the preservation of the Betts house, located in the West End of Cincinnati. The house is owned and operated by the The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Ohio. We thought you might want to plan a visit. The information included below is reprinted from their website.
The Betts House is pleased to present its upcoming exhibit, A Day in the Life…: Mid 19th Century Daily Life for the Betts Family, showcasing the tools, contraptions, and tales of daily life for a Cincinnati family in the mid-1800s. Opening January 16, 2016 from 12:30 til 5 p.m. and on display until May 14, 2016, at 416 Clark Street, Cincinnati, OH 45203. The exhibit is sponsored by the Robert Reakirt Foundation, PNC Bank, Trustee.

The Betts House was built in 1804 by brick maker William Betts as a four-room, two-story brick home in an era of log and wood homes. He and his wife Phebe had moved to Cincinnati with their five children, where he bought 111 acres of land in what is now the West End and parts of Over-the-Rhine.  By 1813, they had seven more children and a fully operational brick making factory William passed away in 1814, leaving Phebe to raise the children and manage the factory with her older children.

When the home was turned over to granddaughter Adeline and her husband in 1863, she began modernizing the home. The exhibit will showcase how Adeline and the women around her lived and worked in their Cincinnati homes during the mid-1800s.

The exhibit will include:

  Cooking in the Past: Chopping, slicing and dicing was accomplished through the use of clever new tools, many of which were invented after the Civil War. Baking with minimal ingredients, storing meats and other food items without refrigeration, brewing home beer and eating a purported healthy meal are all explored in this fun exhibit.
   Lighting & Heating in a Simple Home: Using the latest technologies, the Betts family most likely had better lighting and heating than many others, due to higher financial status from their brickmaking factory. This exhibit will share the devices and processes that the family most likely used.
  Gardening: The world of family management included much home grown foods.  See what an urban garden grew and fruits, vegetables and herbs were used for cooking and for medicinal purposes.
   CleaningA woman’s work is never done especially if she needs to cook for a family of 14, mind children, sew and mend clothing, sweep floors and beat rugs, grow and preserve vegetables and fruits, and perform the never ending cleaning and laundry. See the tools used for laundry including washboards, a hand wash agitator, collar and cuff crimpers, and clothing irons of many sizes.
   Betts Family TreeManaging a brickmaking factory for 50 years, the Betts family helped to establish the West End.  Learn more about one of Cincinnati’s first families!

The exhibit will be on display at 416 Clark Street, Cincinnati OH 45203, from January 16, 2016 through May 14, 2016 during regular museum hours, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. -  2 p.m. and the second and fourth Saturday of each month from 12:30 - 5:00 p.m. Admission is $2 per person.

For more information and special Saturday events and programs, check, call 513-651-0734 or email

Monday, February 8, 2016

Lunch at the Behringer-Crawford Museum in Devou Park

Photo Credit:

From Family Estate to Regional Museum: The History of Behringer-Crawford Museum

We have been invited to a brown-bag luncheon presentation on Friday, February 26th, at 11:30 AM. This special weekday event will take us "over the river and through the woods" to Devou Park. Tiffany Hoppenjans, Behringer-Crawford Museum Curator,will explore the complex and rich history of the museum. She will also discuss a few of their many artifacts and the genealogical connections with the families who once owned them. See below for additional information. Reservations required.

Tiffany Hoppenjans
The museum was originally a family home occupied by the Devous. The house and surrounding property were donated in 1910 to the City of Covington for the purpose of becoming a park and community center.  By 1950, the house became a museum featuring the eclectic collection of local resident William Behringer.  Under the direction of its first curator Ellis Crawford, the museum grew into a cornerstone attraction.  Today, Behringer-Crawford Museum is the area’s largest museum celebrating the unique arts, heritage and culture of Northern Kentucky as part of the Ohio Valley. 

Tiffany Hoppenjans has been the Curator of Collections at Behringer-Crawford Museum since 2012.  She possesses a B.A. is History and Anthropology from Western Kentucky University and a Master of Arts in Public History from Northern Kentucky University. 

Event: The History of the Behringer-Crawford Museum
Date: Friday, February 26th at 11:30 AM
Bring your own lunch
Email Program Director, Kathy Reed, at  and list the name(s) and number of people for whom you are making a reservation. Include your email address. Reservations are limited. There is no cost.
Questions:  Call Kathy Reed, 513-295-1970.
Directions: Take I-71/I-75 South from Cincinnati. Then:

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Over-the-Rhine Then and Now

Anne Delano Steinert
Project Curator
Photo Credit:
At our January Board Meeting, several members reported that they had seen news coverage about a project taking place in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood,curated by Anne Delano Steinert in the Over-the-Rhine area. Jeff Herbert and I promised to look into it.

Anne, with the support of several other organizations, identified several landmarks in the OTR community, and set out to compare the current with pictures from the past. A website has been developed that explains the project, its goals and its partners. The pictures that are displayed around the neighborhood from now until the end of March are featured in a slideshow. You can click on an interactive map of the locations.

I spoke with Anne to try to understand why the pictures will only be available through March. She explained that they had to apply for permits to post and display the images. She is offering two walking tours in March, with the possibility of additional events.


The website also includes information on how you can create a similar project for your own neighborhood. As we look forward to spring, you may want to save the date for one or both of these events.

Submitted by Kathy Reed

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Jim Dempsey Honored by the Hamilton County Recorder's Office

Board Member-at-Large. Jim Dempsey
If you don't already know Jim, let me introduce you. If you are a regular reader of The Tracer and the Gazette, you are probably aware of the many contributions Jim has made to the digitization of Hamilton County records. He, and his team of volunteers, are responsible for many of the records that are posted on our website and on Over many years, Jim has worked at the Hamilton County Recorder's Office as a volunteer. He was responsible for bringing in a team from LDS who spent an entire year digitizing property records.

One of his talents has been in his ability to uncover formerly "missing" records and restore them before they were destroyed. These were often hidden away in a warehouse. He is now working on a project to catalog all of his finds.

In recognition of his contributions, Jim was recognized by the Hamilton County Recorder's Office as an "Honorary Archivist." I can personally attest to how valuable some of these records have been in my own research.

So if you run into Jim, be sure to thank him. He is one of the people who makes the Hamilton County Genealogical Society one of the best societies in the country.

Submitted by: Kathy Reed