The Franklin Sylvester Room

The Franklin Sylvester Room
For genealogy and local resources at the Medina Library.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

DAR Patriot Index

Good morning!
Yesterday, a co-worker asked me where the library's  DAR Patriot Index was. It was still listed in the catalog and a member was asking for it. The co-worker, being very efficient, had already checked all the possible and improbable places looking for it. I remembered the set but couldn't remember where it was until later.

I had discarded it (and somehow not removed it from the catalog) because of various postings like this one: that said that all the records were now online at the DAR web site: and that the old printed indexes were inaccurate and had soldiers listed whose service had been disproved.

This information was relayed to our member who replied that she has had trouble with the online index not listing ancestors for whom she has proved Revolutionary War Service.

Has anyone else had problem with the online DAR Patriot Index? Should printed indexes be retained when they have been superseded by online indexes?

Weigh in with your experiences and opinions!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Librarians Seminar at OGS

Just came back from the Ohio Genealogical Society's Annual Librarians Seminar on October 17th. They had a full house of participants and a full house of presenters. A great day as always! I always come away from these seminars fired up with great new ideas to try out. THIS year I am going to find the time to implement some of them!

Tom Neel, Library Director for OGS, did a interesting presentation on Court House Records. I have already used information I learned from Tom.

Derek Davey of Toledo talked about Social Media and Libraries. He is the one who got me fired up to resurrect this blog. Let's see if we can get this site rolling! He really emphasized that we need to remember that the new genealogists are very tech savvy and we need to move beyond the brick & mortar mentality. Once we engage them virtually, we can get them in the doors!

Aaron Turner, yearbook czar for OGS, talked about Omeka software for content management. He used it to digitize the Ohio Story radio program scripts. For someone with next to no money, Omeka is a great option.

Phil Sager of Ohio History Connection and Marcus Ladd of Miami University talked about Contentdm of OCLC. It is expensive and you do it their way or you don't do it. It is very locked down. Did I mention that it is very expensive???

Michael Sabiers put in a plug for Office 365 products.

Eric Honnefer is the Document Conservator for Bowling Green State University, Center for Archival Collections. He shared important resources for archival supplies and standards. He shared anectdotes from his many years of experience  and was a very entertaining speaker.

I would ask that the organizers use a less offensive image to adorn their promotional flyer for this program next year...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

While reading the latest issue of Family Chronicle magazine, this situation was recounted by author Wendy Carlson:

Recently a woman contacted Wendy saying she had just started doing her family history and gotten a subscription to She kept seeing Wendy's name pop up while researching her ancestors. She explained that she was stuck and gave Wendy the names where her family tree stopped. Wendy explained that the woman was stuck because that was where Wendy herself was stuck in researching those families. Later, Wendy noticed that the lady had added many generations to that family line. Wendy contacted her asking how she had broken through the brick wall. "Ancestry did it for me!" was the woman's reply.

As many of you know Ancestry has a feature that pops-up with a little leaf when there is a possible match to your family tree. The woman had been adding these matches to her tree even though they didn't belong. Wendy explained the importance of verifying information and gave her a list of possible sources.

But how many unsuspecting people are out there, new to family history research and hearing Ancestry's commercial claim "You don't have to know what you're looking for, you just have to look!", believe it??? These folks are adding strangers to their family trees and adding chaos to other people's research.

It is time for Ancestry to "man up" and change their advertising. Yes, you DO have to know what you're looking for! And yes, you do have to know what you are seeing when you look at other people's trees!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Lineage Society...

For years I resisted the lure of joining a lineage society, labeling them "elitist" and old-fashioned. But lately, I have been reconsidering the idea. Not because I want to join the ranks of the elite, but because I want to test my genealogy skills.
Having worked on my own family history for over 30 years and helped others research their family at the library for over 20 years, you would think I would feel fairly confident of my skills. But applying for a lineage society takes the research to a different level because your work won't just be viewed by family members who may not know any better. Your work is reviewed and judged adequate or not by other genealogists. So I have been toying with the idea.
And I think I have found just the society to start with: The Sons & Daughters of World War II Veterans I only have to prove I am my father's daughter and that he served in WWII! Now, all I have to do is come up with the $125 fee!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Benefits of Genealogy

Several genealogy articles lately have cited the study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology that showed that thinking about your ancestors and what they have conquered before taking a test can increase your score. Our ancestors overcame severe illnesses, wars, loss of loved ones and economic depressions.
"So when we think about them, we are reminded that humans who are genetically similar to us can successfully overcome a multitude of problems and adversities."
Reminds me of Oprah Winfrey. She once said that the reason she liked reading Toni Morrison's novels was that it showed her what it was possible to overcome. What better example of a success story than Oprah Winfrey??

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Who do you think YOU are?

The new season of the NBC show will commence this Friday. This season profiles the family histories of such celebrities as Tim McGraw, Lionel Richie and Rosie O'Donnel. Tune in for fun travels down incredible research trips.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

This is a charcoal portrait of Franklin Sylvester. It hangs on the right wall as you enter the Medina Library's genealogy and local history room. Franklin Sylvester was a local entrepreneur and cattleman who donated $10,000 to build the first library in the city of Medina. We honor his gift by naming the room the Franklin Sylvester Room. Sadly, Franklin died just months prior to the opening of the library in 1907.