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Three Great Resources for Researching Ohio Ancestors

Thanks to guest blogger, Lisa A. Alzo, for this article.

If you have ancestors who lived in or passed through Ohio, you’ll find a wealth of documents waiting for you online, and at archives, libraries, and repositories. The first step for research success is to discover what records are available, and where they are located. Here are three great resources for tracing your roots in the Buckeye State.

1. The Cleveland Necrology File. The Cleveland Necrology File is a database produced from a microfilmed copy of an alphabetical card file containing local cemetery records and newspaper death notices gathered by the staff of the Cleveland Public Library. The database includes paid death notices published in the following newspapers: The Cleveland Plain Dealer - 1850-1975; The Cleveland Herald - 1833, 1847-1848, 1876, 1878-1879; and The Cleveland Press - 1941-1975.  Also included in the database is a small collection of records from the Cleveland Bureau of Vital Statistics and some indexed items from the Annals of Cleveland that were also part of the original card file. You can search the database for free by surname or keyword. (See the search screen in the image below for one of my great uncles, Martin Straka).

Alzo_Legacy_Blog_Post_Ohio_Cleveland_File

The site also provides a link for The Cleveland News Index where you can search for necrology information after 1975 (Note: the index does not provide full text access to obituaries or other sources. See the Cleveland Public Library page for more information on how to obtain copies).

2. FamilySearchFamilySearch has a number of digitized records (images and/or indexes) from their historical records collection available for free viewing on their site. These include selected Ohio births and christenings, deaths, cemetery interment records, marriages, tax, court, probate, coroner, and naturalization records (don’t forget to keep checking back for updates!). The Family History Library has microfilmed many Ohio records. Go to FamilySearch, click on "Catalog," and then enter "Ohio" or "Ohio, [County Name]" to find them. Watch for microfilmed versions of records that may be rented for use at a FamilySearch Center near you. 

[Tip:  Don’t forget to check the free FamilySearch Wiki for Ohio for additional information and research guidance.]

3. Ohio’s Local Government Records program. Once you have explored The Cleveland Necrology File, and FamilySearch’s collection of online Ohio resources, you’ll want to check into Ohio’s Local Government Records program, which according to genealogist, Chris Staats, is “a wonderful and often underutilized resource.” As Staats explains on his blog, this program, under the direction of the state archivist at the Ohio Historical Society, designated seven regional libraries as repositories for records deemed of historical or genealogical significance. Some of the records include: Justice of the Peace dockets, poll and tally books, quadrennial enumerations, militia lists, district court dockets, county home records, records of indentures, mothers’ pensions, township trustee minutes, Mayor’s Court dockets, and much, much more. 

Click here to see a complete list of the Network Centers, and the counties each covers. Note: Not all of these records exist for all areas or timeframes, but it is well worth a look to see what is available for the place and time you are researching. Unfortunately, this program is no longer funded, and some of the regional repositories have sent most of their records back to the Ohio Historical Society or other local societies and libraries. 

Alzo_Legacy_Blog_Post_OhioMany of the centers have a helpful online list of the records they hold. The Western Reserve Historical Society and the Ohio Historical Society have them cataloged, but not listed separately, so you’ll need to search their catalogs to find them. For those centers that have returned records, contact them directly to inquire what they still have, and what records they returned (Note: On Staats’ site, those Centers marked with a * indicate that they have returned records, or are in the process of returning records. Contact that center to determine where records of interest were sent). 

To learn more details about these three resources, and a number of others you can use to build your Buckeye pedigree, sign up for the free Legacy Family Tree Webinar on Researching Your Ohio Ancestors, which will be jointly presented by Lisa Alzo and Chris Staats on Wednesday, November 13, 2013. Seating is limited, so click here to reserve your spot now! 

Happy Hunting! 

Lisa A. Alzo is a freelance writer, instructor, and lecturer, and has been tracking her ancestors for 23 years. She is a frequent presenter for the Legacy Family Tree Webinars series and can be contacted via http://www.lisaalzo.com.


Researching with Marian! Creating a Research Plan with YOUR Research - free webinar now online for limited time

LogowhiteThe recording of today's webinar by Marian Pierre-Louis, "Researching with Marian! Creating a Research Plan with YOUR Research" is now online to view for free for a limited time. Viewers got to step inside the mind of a professional researcher to see how she would solve difficult research problems. They left with numerous new ideas and research techniques that can be applied to their own research. A few comments from our viewers:

  • Being able to "hear" the thought process, the analysis and the initial screening of resources is absolutely wonderful.
  • Great step by step outline to attack our brick walls.
  • I learned things I had never thought of as far as places to search or how to search.
  • I LOVED seeing how your mind works. You helped me a great deal in how to approach my brick walls. Thank you for sharing this valuable information with us.
  • Wonderful ideas and examples of how to "think differently" in the research planning process. Thank you!

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 29 minute recording of Researching with Marian! Creating a Research Plan with YOUR Research is now available to view in our webinar archives for free through November 14, 2013. It is also available to our monthly or annual Webinar Members for the duration of your membership. Visit www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com to watch. Marian's 2 pages of handouts are also available for annual/monthly webinar subscribers.

Special Discount Coupon

The special discount coupon of marian2 that was announced during the webinar is valid for 10% off anything at both www.LegacyFamilyTreeStore.com and www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com through Monday, November 11, 2013.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 199 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 523 pages)
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout, and yes, you can also use the 10% off webinar coupon above for a total of 15% off)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year (that's about the cost of 5 webinar CDs)
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Using GPS Coordinates to Tag and Record Your Photos with Heritage Collector Software by Marlo Schuldt. November 8.
  • Researching Your Ohio Ancestors by Lisa Alzo. November 13.
  • Mind Mapping Your Research Plans and Results by Thomas MacEntee. November 20.
  • How Computers & Gadgets are Changing Genealogy by Barbara Renick. December 4.
  • Overcoming Lost Records Using Technology by Karen Clifford. December 18.
  • 2014 schedule coming soon...

Click here to register.

See you online!


Finding Genealogical Clues in Military Mementos

Thanks to guest blogger, Lisa A. Alzo, for this article.

Alzo_Legacy_Blog_Post_Navy_Diary-01During November we observe Veterans Day in the United States to honor armed service veterans. For genealogists, researching military records can often turn up valuable clues not found in other documents.

Many years ago, while preparing to sell my parents’ house after they had passed away, I found a small brown, unmarked notebook in one of my father’s closets. Out of curiosity I flipped through it, and to my surprise, discovered it was a diary of sorts—notes that my father kept during his service in the United States Navy during World War II. It really wasn’t a diary, but rather a log of the events from the time he entered the service (he was drafted two months after his high school graduation in 1943) until his final notation on August 14, 1945.

Alzo_Legacy_Blog_Post_Navy_Diary-02

While my dad was not all that interested in genealogy, and knew very little about his ancestors, he was always willing to talk about his time serving in World War II. He said when he was drafted he actually got to choose which branch of service, so he chose the Navy. Why? “So he wouldn’t have to sleep in a foxhole.” In the Navy, he would have a bunk. Dad referred to his days on the ship as being on “a floating bomb” because the ship on which he served carried hauled fuel for the fighter planes.

My father was not much of a writer, so it was a pleasant surprise indeed to find this little gem. A couple of interesting entries included:

“Entered the service on 16th of August 1943. Boot training at Great Lakes”

“Boarded U.S.S. Tablerock on 15th of December”

“Dec. 25th – First Christmas away from home.”

“December 27 picked up invasion barges in Wilmington, CA.”

“Dec. 28 – Left Wilmington for Pearl Harbor at 5:00 p.m.”

“Dec. 29 – 1st verge of seasickness.

“June 11 – Arrived in Panama 10:00 p.m. Eleven hrs. to get thru locks.”

“June 12 – Met Whitey Petrisko” (his best friend from home who was in the Army).

And another very interesting entry in 1945:

“Ships position at time of surrender: August 14, 1945. Time 12:31 10º N by 164º W.”

Alzo_Legacy_Blog_Post_Navy_Diary-03

While my father’s notes are a pretty cut and dry account of his military service, at least I have some written testimony of his experiences as part of “The Greatest Generation” and a piece of my father that I can always keep with me now that he is gone—something to give me greater insight into his life as a young man.

Alzo_Legacy_Blog_Post_Navy_Diary-04In addition to this journal/diary, I have a photo album with many snapshots of my father during his time in the U.S. Navy, as well as an address book listing the names of some of his fellow servicemen, my father’s induction notice, dog tags, and discharge papers. These items have provided great details for telling the story of my father’s life.

If you are not able to find any documents or photographs related to your ancestor’s military service in home and family sources, there are plenty government resources you can consult, including:

  • Compiled service records
  • Pension Applications and Pension Payment Records
  • Headstones and Grave markers
  • Draft registration cards
  • Bounty land warrant application files
  • Oral histories
  • Newspaper articles
  • Town/local histories

Where to Find Military Records

In addition to home and family sources, you can locate military records for your ancestors using both free and pay-for-access sites and databases.  Subscription sites, Ancestry.com and Fold3 have a number of indexes and records online. The National Archives Records Administration (NARA) holds Federal military service records in two repositories: National Archives Building in Washington, DC (Revolutionary War – 1912) and the National Military Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, Missouri (WWI – present). Some additional records may be found at NARA regional archives reading rooms. While a majority of NARA’s holdings are not online—there are two online collections you may find useful: The Archival Research Catalog (ARC) and Access to Archival Databases (AAD) System. Other state and local libraries or repositories should also be checked. For oral histories, check out the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress. In addition, check FamilySearch for digitized collections (e.g. United States, World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918; US. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942; Index to Naturalizations of World War I Soldiers, 1918; and United States, Applications for Headstones for Military Veterans, 1925-1941), and others you can explore from home (check also by state for special or unique collections). Of course, there are also records still only available via FHL microfilm you can rent for a fee through your local FamilySearch Center. For more online resources, consult Joe Beine’s free site: Genealogy Research Guides - Military Records.

Military Education from Legacy Family Tree

I’m grateful to my father and all veterans for their brave and dedicated service to our country. Veterans Day is a great time to discover the heroes in your family tree, but thankfully, you don’t have to limit your research to the month of November—use the above resources to research military service records all year long!

Lisa A. Alzo is a freelance writer, instructor, and lecturer who has been tracking her ancestors for more than 23 years. She is a frequent presenter for the Legacy Family Tree Webinars series and can be contacted via http://www.lisaalzo.com


Register for 2 genealogy webinars this week - Creating a Research Plan (Marian Pierre-Louis) and Using GPS (Marlo Schuldt)

LogowhiteJoin us this Wednesday AND Friday for two exciting genealogy webinars presented by Marian Pierre-Louis and Marlo Schuldt. On Wednesday, Marian will present "Researching with Marian! Creating a Research Plan with YOUR Research " and on Friday Marlo will present "Using GPS Coordinates to Tag and Record Your Photos with Heritage Collector software."

Wednesday - Researching with Marian! Creating a Research Plan with YOUR Research by Marian Pierre-Louis

Presenter-5404You've watched her solve brick walls and create research plans. Now Marian Pierre-Louis will show you strategies for some of your very own Connecticut, Rhode Island, or Massachusetts research problems. Marian has chosen some of your family group records to present this live demonstration of creating a personalized research plan.

Click here to register.

Friday - Using GPS Coordinates to Tag and Record Your Photos with Heritage Collector software by Marlo Schuldt

Presenter-5045Eliminate the guesswork and frustration trying to record, tag and find forgotten cemeteries and graves, old farms, the home where you grew up, and other family history locations anywhere in the world. The Heritage Collector GPS Module makes it easy to use and add GPS coordinates to photos and files contained in a collection.

Click here to register.

Webinar Reminder: Join us for the live webinars Wednesday, November 6, 2013 and Friday, November 8, 2013 at 2pm Eastern U.S. Register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day. Before joining, please visit www.java.com to ensure you have the latest version of Java which our webinar software requires. When you join, if you receive a message that the webinar is full, you know we've reached the 1,000 limit, so we invite you to view the recording which should be published to the webinar archives within an hour or two of the event's conclusion.

Registerbut

Test Your Webinar Connection

To ensure that your webinar connection is ready to go, click here.

Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for free for the first 7 days after the live event. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access for the duration of their membership.

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

Webinar time

The webinars will be live on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 and Friday, November 8, 2013 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific
  • 6pm GMT

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Make sure you have the latest version of Java installed on your computer. Check at www.java.com.
  6. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  7. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  8. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone.

We look forward to seeing you all there!


Ancestry Trees Can Jump Start Your Research - free webinar now online for limited time

LogowhiteThe recording of today's webinar by DearMYRTLE and Carrie Keele, "Ancestry Trees Can Jump Start Your Research" is now online to view for free for a limited time. Myrt started by showing how to create a GEDCOM in Legacy and uploaded it to Ancestry. Once there, Ancestry's shaky leaves went to work finding hints for your tree. A great webinar with fun interaction between mother and daughter! Even if you've used Legacy and Ancestry for years, you'll still learn a lot from of one genealogy's finest teachers.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 39 minute recording of Ancestry Trees Can Jump Start Your Research is now available to view in our webinar archives for free through November 9, 2013. It is also available to our monthly or annual Webinar Members for the duration of your membership. Visit www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com to watch. Myrt's 6 pages of handouts are also available for annual/monthly webinar subscribers.

Special Discount Coupon

The special discount coupon of tree that was announced during the webinar is valid for 10% off anything at both www.LegacyFamilyTreeStore.com and www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com through Tuesday, November 5, 2013.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 197 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 521 pages)
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout, and yes, you can also use the 10% off webinar coupon above for a total of 15% off)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year (that's about the cost of 5 webinar CDs)
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Researching with Marian! Creating a Research Plan with YOUR Research by Marian Pierre-Louis. November 6.
  • Using GPS Coordinates to Tag and Record Your Photos with Heritage Collector Software by Marlo Schuldt. November 8.
  • Researching Your Ohio Ancestors by Lisa Alzo. November 13.
  • Mind Mapping Your Research Plans and Results by Thomas MacEntee. November 20.
  • How Computers & Gadgets are Changing Genealogy by Barbara Renick. December 4.
  • Overcoming Lost Records Using Technology by Karen Clifford. December 18.
  • 2014 schedule coming soon...

Click here to register.

See you online!


FamilySearch Records Update: More than 135 Million index records & images from Brazil, Canada, England, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, and the United States

FamilySearch has added more than 135 million indexed records and images from Brazil, Canada, England, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 1,227,603 indexed records from the new Canada Census, 1911, collection, the 949,214 indexed records and images from the Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Immigration Cards, 1900–1965, collection, and the 132,330,416 indexed records from the United States Public Records Index. See the table below for the full list of updates. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at FamilySearch.org.

Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org.

FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at FamilySearch.org or through more than 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Collection

Indexed Records

Digital Images

Comments

Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Immigration Cards, 1900–1965

334,188

615,026

Added indexed records and images to an existing collection.

Canada Census, 1911

1,227,603

0

New indexed record collection.

Canada, Ontario, Toronto Trust Cemeteries, 1826–1989

96,228

0

Added indexed records to an existing collection.

England, Cheshire Non-conformist Records, 1671–1900

14,673

0

Added indexed records to an existing collection.

Hungary, Civil Registration, 1895–1980

0

40,475

Added images to an existing collection.

Indonesia, Jawa Tengah, Kebumen, Naturalization Records, 1951–2013

0

14,330

Added images to an existing collection.

Indonesia, Jawa Tengah, Wonogiri District Court Records, 1925–2013

0

137,465

Added images to an existing collection.

Italy, Trieste, Trieste, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1924–1939

0

97,505

Added images to an existing collection.

U.S., Indiana, Marriages, 1811–1959

468,724

0

Added indexed records to an existing collection.

U.S., Louisiana, New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1820–1945

51,232

0

Added indexed records to an existing collection.

U.S., North Carolina, Wilmington and Morehead City Passenger and Crew Lists, 1908–1958

88,345

0

Added indexed records to an existing collection.

United States Public Records Index

132,330,416

0

Added indexed records to an existing collection.