Tuesday, December 4, 2018

"Crossing the Atlantic/Bridging the Divide"

The German Emigration Center (GEC) is a museum in Bremerhaven, Northern Germany, that covers the emigration of Germans to the United States during various eras as well as over 300 years of immigration to Germany.

As part of the Year of German-American Friendship 2018/19, the GEC has developed a program that combines traditional storytelling, face-to-face dialogue, and other proven “analog” forms with new digital methods for outreach, presentation, and dissemination.

GEC historians will ask US citizens with German roots about their identity and history as German-Americans and the role that their German heritage plays in their life today. As part of what used to be known as “The Great German Triangle of the Midwest" it comes as no surprise that Cincinnati is one station of this project. The filmed interviews will be added to the GEC’s oral history collection and will also be published on a planned online family history portal in 2019.

In the presentation with Q&A, historian Katie Heidsiek of the German Emigration Center will provide an overview over how the museum integrates oral history in its exhibitions, collections, and research projects.

Date:  Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Time: 7.30-8.30 p.m.

Admission is free. 

The Year of German-American Friendship 2018/19 (Deutschlandjahr USA) is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, implemented by the Goethe-Institut, and supported by The Federation of German Industries (BDI).

Posted by Bob Brodbeck

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Kelli Bergheimer - Understanding Your DNA Health Reports

Who: Kelli Bergheimer, Central Ohio DIG
What: Understanding Your DNA Health Reports
Where: MidPointe Library West Chester
When: Tuesday, December 11th, 2018
Time: 7:00 - 8:45 pm
Directions: MidPointe Library West Chester

Kelli Bergheimer, Chair of the Central Ohio DIG,  has agreed to return to the Cincinnati area to discuss how to interpret your health reports from 23andMe and/or Promethease. Learn that it's a "tendency toward" not a "diagnosis of" possible conditions. Find out what the Human Genome Project has discovered about specific genetically linked traits and diseases. What can the tests tell you and what can they not tell you. Discover how to talk to your doctor about the results. Kelli presented this topic at the Ohio Genealogical Society Conference in May 2018.

Kelli's Bio:
Kelli Bergheimer is a writer, teacher, editor, and national genealogical speaker. Kelli holds a Bachelor’s in Biology, a Master’s in Education: Curriculum and Instruction, and a Master’s in Business Management. Kelli is a math and science supervising editor for Smart Education—a K-12 textbook company located in Dubai writing textbooks for the MENA region—Middle East Northern Africa. Kelli runs two small businesses—Geo-Centric Learning and Mess on the Desk, a genealogical organization company with an accompanying blog, YouTube channel, and online store. Kelli is the Central Ohio DNA Interest Group facilitator. Kelli is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, International Society of Genetic Genealogists, and the Genealogical Speaker's Guild.

Submitted by: Kathy Reed

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

HCGS on YouTube

Hamilton County Genealogical Society members are certainly aware that one of their Member Benefits includes multiple videos on the website. Some are available to the public and others are for "Members Only."

Many of the videos that are also posted on YouTube address DNA and related topics for genetic genealogy. Others were co-sponsored by the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. It is easy to "subscribe" to all HCGS videos on YouTube. (http://www.youtube.com) Follow these steps:

Click on the "Subscribe" button. This will store all videos posted by HCGS to be accessible from the left-side menu.

If you've not used YouTube before, I suggest you spend a few minutes searching on any topic you want to know about. It's like having Google with video. Enjoy!

Submitted by:
Kathy Reed

Friday, October 19, 2018

REMINDER: 2018 HCGS Heritage Luncheon

Monday, October 22nd is the last day to register online for the Hamilton County Genealogical Society's (HCGS) annual Heritage Luncheon to be held on Saturday, October 27th, at the Clovernook Country Club in North College Hill.

The event is open to the public - you DO NOT have to be a member of the HCGS or their lineage societies to attend. HCGS welcomes all participants with an interest in Ohio history and genealogy.

Members who have proven their descent from an ancestor who lived in Hamilton County will be inducted into our Lineage Societies and will receive their certificates and medals.
Our featured speaker will be Joyce Browning, well known for her living history reenactments of Ohio women, who will give her living history presentation of Julia Grant, the wife of President Ulysses Grant.
For more details of the program, a mail-in registration form, and link to the online registration form please see the event flyer.  You can also access the online registration form directly. Deadline for online registration is Monday October 22, 2018.
Updates, if any, will be provided in the Events listing on the HCGS website.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Mitochondrial DNA and Genetic Genealogy

Last night at the MidPointe Library West Chester, at the Southwest Ohio DNA Interest Group (SWOHDNA), we discussed Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and how it can be used for genetic genealogy. I had never been a fan of mtDNA until I attended a session presented by Michael Lacopo at last May’s Ohio Genealogical Society Conference.  For the first time, I realized how useful this could be if I used it “actively” vs. “passively.” In other words, you’re probably not going to have much success if you just wait for a match. However, if you use it to answer a genealogical research question, it can be much more powerful.

Here is a link to the presentation:  mtDNA and Genetic Genealogy

If you want to be part of SWOHDNA and get updates on meetings, please email Kathy Reed at dna.interest@hcgsohio.org

Submitted by Kathy Reed

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

German Genealogy Resources

Oldenburg Ancestors
October is German Genealogy month. I recently became interested in trying to extend my maternal German line because of my new understanding of mitochondrial DNA. I inherited my mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from my ggg-grandmother, Maria Cathrena Bohm who was born in Bavaria in 1814. I have not researched beyond Cathrena, but now I'm curious to go back farther.

So what resources are available? During this past month, a page was added on the Hamilton County Genealogical Society that is devoted to German genealogy. There is a wealth of information all nicely-organized in one place on our German Interest Group page. HCGS Members can also access a video presentation by Jeff Herbert on What's New in German Research.

Jeff discussed several websites available for German research. Here is a list:

International German Genealogy Partnership            www.iggpartner.org

Oldenburg Emigration Records                                www.honkomp.de/damme-auswanderung

Oldenburg Emigration Records Index                     www.auswanderer-oldenburg.de/index.php

Oldenburg Church Records                                     www.fak-om.de//admin.php

Note: This is a pay site.

Matricula (Online Catholic Records)                      www.matricula-online.eu

Archion (Online Protestant Records)                      www.archion.de

                      Note: This is a pay site.

Meyers Orts                                                               www.meyersgaz.org

Association for Computer (German) Genealogy          www.compgen.de



Emslander Emigration                                             www.emslanders.com

Note: All of these sites have an English language option. Most are free. Now you've got your research plan for the colder days ahead.

Submitted by:

Kathleen Reed

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

SWOHDNA Talk - Tuesday, October 16th

Who: Southwest Ohio DNA Interest Group (SWOHDNA)
What: Presentation on Mitochondrial (mtDNA) and its application to genetic genealogy
Where: MidPointe Library, West Chester           Directions: https://goo.gl/4B6b8p
When: Tuesday, October 16th, 7:00 pm at the library

Over the past two years, we have discussed autosomal DNA and Y-DNA. At this meeting, we will discuss mtDNA and its application to genetic genealogy. One of the biggest misconceptions is that this a test that only women can take. Although it is true that Y-DNA tests can only be taken by men, an mtDNA test can be taken by everyone. The test traces the maternal line of both men and women back thousands of years.

Although the topics discussed have increasingly assumed some level of comfort with underlying DNA concepts, this test is perfect for the newbie, as this is a topic we've not previously discussed. Please consider attending.

This talk will not be broadcast live, but it will be available online soon after the presentation. Last month's presentation on Y-DNA has been uploaded and you can find it at this link:

If you have had success using mtDNA in your genealogical research, please email me and share your story.

Submitted by Kathy Reed

"Researching Your Early Hamilton County Ancestors" Now Online

If you missed last Saturday's "Ask the Experts" Day day at the Main Library, you missed Jeff Herbert's talk on researching your early Hamilton County Ancestors pre-1850. Luckily, we were able to record the talk and it is now online at our website. You can access it under our "Videos" tab or by clicking on this link: Researching Your Early Hamilton County Ancestors.

If you think you've checked out every available source to research your ancestor and come up empty, Jeff presents us with a list of local resources, including some that you may not have considered. Each of these areas are discussed in detail.

In the Members Only section of the website, you can view a second video on "What's New in German Genealogy." This talk was first given at the Kolping Society in March, 2018 and was repeated last Saturday at the library. Jeff discusses nine useful websites for those interested in German genealogy, including three specific to the Oldenburg region in northwest Germany. 

As we prepare for cooler weather, you may want to make your research plans with these resources in mind. 

Submitted by Kathy Reed

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Saturday, July 21, 2018

23andme Updated Their Populations!!!

Honestly, I don't know how I missed this. My daughter recently tested two of my grandsons at 23andme and I noticed right away that they were assigned to populations not previously included in 23andme's reference populations. Many years ago my daughter, son-in-law, and oldest grandson had their DNA tested with 23andme. My son-in-law's parents were both born in Hungary, and his mother claimed to also have Romanian roots, partially due to border changes.

I was looking at my grandsons results and realized that they now included results from Hungary, Slovakia and Romania. I checked their father's results, and his results, too, had been updated to include Hungary (39.9%) and Romania (24.6%). It made me call a couple of friends, including Gail Burkholz. Her results, too, had been updated to specifically identify some German and Irish roots. How did this happen?

First of all, the reference populations remain unchanged. 23andme updated their populations to include 120 additional populations based on user-submitted data. For instance, I may have told 23andme that I have documented evidence that four of my grandparents emigrated from Oldenburg, Germany. They could then compare my DNA results to others making the same claim, and if the statistical analysis corroborated this fact, they may have become a "reference population" for others who claim ancestors from that area.  You can read an article describing their methods at: https://customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/360003184973

If you have taken a 23andme test, please do the following:

1) Go to your 23andme.com home page.

2) Click on this icon.

3) Click on your "Ancestry Composition."

4) See if there are any subcategories that were not included in your previous reports. For example, this summary subdivided my British and Irish ancestry into "Ireland." French and German was subdivided into "Germany."  These results represent a significant improvement over previous results. I have received from 23andme.

5) Click on the "Scientific Details" at the top of the menu. Scroll down and view the 120 additional populations that have been added. This page has a LOT of information. You can adjust the confidence levels, review a list of the additional populations, and click on links describing in detail how these statistics were calculated. At the very bottom of the page, there is a "change log" that will list any changes to you ancestry results that have been revised by date.

Now I'd like to hear from you. I am curious about your experience with this update. Did the new results reflect your paper trail? How accurate did they seem to be? I'd love to hear. Email me at dna.interest@hcgsohio.org or comment on this blog post.

Submitted by Kathy Reed

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

"A Summer of DNA" sponsored by Family History Fanatics

Mark Steinke, our new HCGS Corresponding Secretary, shared information on an eConference sponsored by Family History Fanatics. The topics look like they could be very valuable and I can personally attest to the competence of the speakers. There is an early bird pricing of $19.99 should you choose to register by August 4th. You may want to check it out.

We wanted to remind you (to remind your members) that the "A Summer of DNA" eConference on August 4th early bird pricing of $19.99 ends on 7/21.  Speakers and topics will include:
Diahan Southard - Your Tree is Full, There is Still Room for DNA
Sam Williams - Ancestry DNA Tools
Michelle Leonard - Adoption and Unknown Parentage
Kitty Cooper - Segment Triangulation

The online sessions will begin at 9am Central Time on August 4th. Some answers to common questions that people have asked us:
1. Yes the sessions are live. These are not pre-recorded, so if you have questions, then please ask them in the chat during any of the sessions and we'll get them answered.
2. Yes there are door prizes.
3. No you don't have to be logged on to the live session to win.
4. Yes recordings of the sessions will be available for 30 days after the eConference so even if you can't make the live session, register so that you can watch the recordings.
5. Yes we use our webcams. You don't have to watch slides all the time. You also get to see people.

Register and get your questions answered by some of the most popular genetic genealogy educators! Price is only $19.99 until July 21st and then it will be $24.99.  
More information is available on the website: http://www.familyhistoryfanatics.com/summerdna
Feel free to let any friends, family, or genealogy society members (or anyone else who may be interested) know about this great opportunity. 

Andrew & Devon Noel Lee
Family History Fanatics
Humble, TX | 346-704-1433

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Y-DNA and Genetic Genealogy

Next Meeting of SWOHDNA
Date: Tuesday, August 14th, 7:00 pm
Location: MidPointe Library, West Chester
Directions: https://goo.gl/4B6b8p
Topic: Y-DNA and Genetic Genealogy
Presenter: Kathy Reed

In the Southwest Ohio DNA Interest Group (SWOHDNA), we have largely focused on autosomal DNA. At our August meeting, we are going to turn our attention to Y-DNA and it's significant impact for the genetic genealogist. Why is Y so important?

  • Y-DNA is inherited by males from their fathers, who inherited it from their grandfathers, etc.
  • Y-DNA lacks significant recombination making it nearly identical to the Y-chromosome possessed by his many great-grandfathers.
  • It can be traced back on the order of thousands of years.
  • Men are able to trace their patrilineal lineage, often with a common surname.
  • A male passes his Y-DNA only to his male children.
  • Women wanting to trace their patrilineal lineage must identify a brother or other relative who is a direct descendant  of the common male ancestor.
Currently, only Family Tree DNA offers Y-DNA testing. Understanding and interpreting the results can be a bit challenging to the first-time user. We will connect the results of testing for Short Tandem Repeats (STRs) to a surname project and discuss how Y-DNA results can be used to prove a relationship when autosomal DNA cannot.

If you've not attended a meeting of SWOHDNA and are afraid to jump in, now would be a good time. This is a relatively new topic for our group and unrelated to many of our previous discussions. If you'd like to be added to our mailing list, contact Kathy Reed at dna.interest@hcgsohio.org.

Note: We will not be carrying this talk live. We will be posting the talk and distributing a link ASAP after the August 14th presentation.

If you want to have some background on this topic before the meeting, consider reading one or both of these two books:

 Chapter 5: Y-Chromosomal (Y-DNA) Testing, p. 70.

Chapter 3: Genealogical Applications for Y-DNA, p.23.

Submitted by Kathy Reed

Thursday, June 28, 2018


The Hamilton County Genealogical Society and the State Library of Ohio provided grants which are bringing an exciting project online…all issues of The Catholic Telegraph from 1831–1885, some 2,726 issues, are now available online at TheCatholicNewsArchive

If you have Catholic ancestors who lived in Cincinnati, you will be interested in this valuable collection for both genealogy and social history research. 

The Catholic Research Resources Alliance (CRRA) has been working with the archdiocese to post the digitized issues. The project to digitize Catholic newspapers of regional and national import was begun by the CRRA in 2011.

In a separate project, HCGS and the Public Library of Cincinnati (PLCH) are working to make the remaining issues in the public domain from 1886 through 1922 available through the PLCH Digital Library.

The Catholic Telegraph began publishing in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1831. One of the oldest diocesan papers in the United States, it is, according to archdiocese Archivist Sarah Patterson, also one of the most heavily used.[1] 

For more information about the CRRA project, go HERE and HERE.

[1] “All Issues of the Catholic Telegraph from 1831–1885 Can Now Be Read Online,” The Catholic Telegraph (www.thecatholictelegraph.com : accessed 28 June 2018), article, 13 June 2018.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Using DNAGedom to Analyze Your DNA Results

The Southwest Ohio DNA  Interest Group posted a new video to the website. Advanced genetic genealogists may appreciate the ability to combine all of their DNA results into one location. This program is actually an umbrella for several programs that allow you to work with results from Ancestry, 23andme, FTDNA, and Gedmatch. It also includes utilities for creating spreadsheets and comparing gedcoms.

Once your results have been uploaded, you can easily produce results like those pictured which graphically compare your DNA to others in your database. You can see visually how long each segment is in cMs and where they overlap. If you hove over a segment, the In Common With (ICW) tool will show everyone in your database who has some degree of overlap. In addition, you can click on the email address of your match and try to determine who your shared common ancestor was.

You cannot take advantage of this program without using the DNAGedcom Client program at a cost of $5 a month or $50 for a yearly subscription. You must also be a Tier 1 user on Gedmatch at a cost of $10 for a month of access. Watch the video for a complete explanation.

Finally, make sure you download the manual for how to use the Autosomal DNA Segment Analyzer and interpret your results. It is an investment, but one that will definitely have returns. Happy hunting.

Submitted by Kathy Reed
SWOHDNA Interest Group Chair
Email: dna.interest@hcgsohio.org