Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Family History Daily Newsletter

Family History Daily  is a newsletter that you can have delivered to your email once a week. The site describes itself as:
"Family History Daily Offers Research help, news, personal stories, tools and resources for genealogy enthusiasts."

I have been enjoying the newsletter for several months now and two recent posts made me realize how much I have learned from the site.

How Not Finding an Ancestor May Actually Help Your Research

This article is about Negative search results. This is when you search for an ancestor in a record that you could reasonably expect them to be in, but you don't find them. It goes on to explain that the negative results will direct where you next look for your ancestor.

Access Paid Genealogy Databases for Free With This Simple Trick
Guess what the trick is!! It is your local library. Most libraries offer free access to some databases, including genealogy databases. Most often libraries at least have a subscription to Ancestry Library Edition, the sister to the well-known web site. Some you can only access from inside the library and most will require you to sign in using your library card number and password when accessing them from home. I actually have library card accounts with four different library systems just in order to have free access to the widest range of paid genealogy databases. Here is a list of some of the databases you can access through libraries:

  • American Ancestor
  • Ancestry Library Edition
  • Fold3
  • FindMyPast
  • Heritage Quest
  • Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
To get Family History Daily Newsletter delivered to your email, you can subscribe at THIS CONTACT PAGE. The subscription link is on the bottom right of the page.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Facebook and Local History

We all LOVE Facebook and how it keeps us connected to relatives and friends near and far. I have several Facebook cousins that I have never met in person and I LOVE that FB helps us get acquainted and keep in touch!

Hiya Elam!!

Facebook is also a great place to post pictures and share family stories and anecdotes. We all do that everyday when we post our vacation pictures and daily activities.

But have you ever given any thought to  how Facebook can help you with your research?

Most historical and genealogical groups have Facebook accounts. Hopefully, you have already Friended or joined the ones pertinent to your research. But there are other people who just have an interest and they will start a Facebook page on particular topics. These sites post pictures that then generate comments and reminiscences that reveal all sorts of information not even found in the history books.  Here are a few local ones:

Back to Spencer

Roadside History of Medina -

Some of the Genealogy groups I have joined:

Open groups:
Medina County Genealogical Society -
Gallia County Genealogical Society -
Delaware County History and ... -
Ohio Genealogical Society -

Interestingly, some of these FB pages are "closed" and you have to be a member, or be invited or ask to join in order to view and post on their pages. Here are some examples:

Genealogy of Gallia County -
Lawrence County Ohio Genealogy -
Marion Area Genealogy Society -
Medina County History and ... -

There are also FB pages for family groups. These are nearly always "closed" groups.

So dig around and see what you can find to further your research!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

You CAN Write Your Family History!

We all have stories to tell about our families. That is what genealogy is about; telling our family stories, with source citations!

And we all seem compelled to share those stories with others! But often times, as we get bogged down in the story of how we had to comb through the dusty crumbling land records in the dank musty basement to locate the proof that our great great great grandfather ---

Okay. I have already lost you, haven't I? And by then our audience's eyes have glazed over.

But if you could just write a book!!

Writing a family history book may seem overwhelming and an unreachable goal. But it doesn't have to be.

You might be thinking "I am not a writer!" Or "I almost flunked  English Composition!
I could never write a book!" But you don't have to write "the great American novel" on your first try. You can start small, with little stories.

And most computer word processing programs let you know when you've made a grammatical or spelling error.

Come join us at the Genealogy Lock-In on September 18th 6:30-10:30 p.m. and learn how you can make your family history book a reality.

Click HERE to register for the Lock-In. Or call the library at 330-722-4257.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Speaker at Genealogy Lock-In

The Medina Genealogy Lock-In will feature local expert on Cleveland's Czech and Slovak communities, John Sabol:

John Sabol is a Cleveland, Ohio, area author and lecturer on local history and genealogical research.

He has written four books for Arcadia Publishing that chronicle the histories of Cleveland Czechs, Cleveland Slovaks, Cleveland's Buckeye Neighborhood, and most recently, Kelley's Island.

A Cleveland native and graduate of Benedictine High School and Cleveland State University, John worked as a reporter and editor at the Cleveland Press until it closed in 1982. He also spent more than 20 years at Ernst & Young, where he was a senior editor in the firm's communications group.

In 2008, he retired and began his career as an author of local histories and as a genealogical speaker. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International.

The library's Genealogy Lock-In is on Friday September 18 from 6:30-10:30 p.m.

Click HERE to register for the Lock-In. Or call the library at 330-722-4257.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Newspaper Articles

From birth and wedding announcements, to obituaries, newspapers can be a treasure trove of very personal information about our relatives and ancestors. How many of you regularly use newspapers in your genealogical research?

But you don't want to limit your research to vital record information. I have found bowling scores, accident reports, election campaign information, servicemen's promotions & schools, and a death notice  that described my great great grandfather as quite the storyteller.
Ironton Register March 9, 1899

Until the last couple of decades, researching family in newspapers was not easy. It involved tracking down who, if anyone, had old copies of newspapers. Luckily, starting in the 1970's many areas starting microfilming their old newspapers.

But you still had to track down who had the microfilm and then drive to the repository to use clunky old machines to view the papers. And then, the HORROR! Most newspapers had no indexing system!

Then, in the 90's, the Internet exploded and between online databases and digitization we now have unprecedented access to newspaper articles.

Here's a run down of some of the top newspaper cites and how to access them!

  1. Chronicling America  from the Library of Congress
    covering newspapers from 1836-1922, it is not a complete digitization of any one newspaper, but a sampling of newspapers from across the country. For example, the Medina County Sentinel 1914-1921 is there. Generally, it does not do large city newspapers, but is great for small and medium sized towns.  Access is free. 

The Medina County District Library system has access to several online newspapers sources. From the library's web site, go under Your Library 24/7, choose Online Resources. On the next window, Choose CLEVNET, then Newspaper Articles. From home, you will have to enter your library card number and password.

    2. Cleveland News Index - lists citation information for the Plain Dealer (1983-1999), Cleveland Magazine (1983-present) Northern Ohio Live (1990-2009) and Ohio Magazine (1990-present). Obituaries from the Plain Dealer & the Cleveland Press are included from 1976- present. For obituaries prior to 1976, see the Cleveland Necrology File.

  3. Newspaper Source - has full text articles for over 40 U.S. & international papers from 1997 to the present.

If you get a library card from a Cleveland Public Library, you get additional access to a number of other newspaper databases, including:

(Though you are supposed to have a Cleveland library card in order to access these databases, I have accessed several of them from inside the Medina library.)

4. 19th Century British Library Newspapers from holdings of the British Library.

5. 19th Century U.S. Newspapers from over 500 newspapers.

6. Historical Plain Dealer  includes digital images of the Plain Dealer from 1845 through 1991. It is great if you have had any relatives in the Cleveland area.

7. Historical New York Times covering 1851-2007. Again, great if you have had relatives in New York City, but also to give you background information on historic events, like the sinking of the Titanic.

8. Cleveland Call and Post Cleveland's African-American newspaper, 1934-1991. This will help anyone doing African American research, as this minority was chronically under-reported in the major newspapers.. 19th Century U.S. Newspapers

9. British Newspapers 1600-1900 from the 16th & 17th Century Burney Collection and the 19th Century British Library newspaper collections

10. Newsbank - Ohio Newspapers - full access to most major Ohio newspapers

11. The Times (London) Digital Archive 1785-2006 221 years of one of the world's most prestigious newspapers.

Cuyahoga County Public Library also provides access to some of the above databases in addition to the one below. Driving to Strongsville to get a CCPL card is not too much to ask to get access to these resources:

12. America's Obituaries & Death Notices  accesses obituaries in over 700 U.S. newspapers since the 1980's.

But my FAVORITE newspaper database to use is from the Akron Summit County Public Library. It is available under their database link, and under the genealogy category. It is called:

 Why do I like this one? It does the smaller, more rural newspapers from the areas where my ancestors lived.

Places like Gallipolis, and Ironton, Ohio. And oh, yes! They have some of the Medina County Gazette and Medina Sentinel digitized also.

So, go start digging around in some newspapers and learn what is there for you discover!


And, you're welcome!