Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Northwest Ohio Research - Help From A Guest Blogger*

*Kathy is on vacation and asked me, Lisa Rienerth, to be the guest blogger this week. I am a co-worker of Kathy's at the Medina County District Library and I also do genealogy research. I hope my blog will live up to Kathy's standards!

Many of my Mother's relatives lived in Northwest Ohio. The Solether's, McMillans, Rhoades and the elusive Millers. 

     During my research I found a gold mine of information and records for Northwest Ohio! The Bowling Green State University Center for Archival Collections, located on the fifth floor in the Jerome Library on the BGSU campus. It is a little over 2 hours away from Medina with tolls (about $10.00 round trip) and about 2 1/2 hours without using the Ohio Turnpike.

     The first step in using this repository is to visit the website https://www.bgsu.edu/library/cac.html. This will save you time and money! 

    There is a special section on the site For Genealogists where it has some great information on starting your research and guides to the resources available at the archives. Take advantage of these guides,because they will help you get organized for your research  trip.

The two important areas to concentrate on are the Local Government Records and the Newspapers. The links to these records are on the left side of the website page found under Northwest Ohio Resources.

         The Government Records are divided by counties.  If you click on a county an informational page will come up with a map of the county and the townships. Also, the date the county was established and what the county seat is. This is helpful for two reasons. First, it will help you search for your ancestor in a certain time period. Second, the county seat is usually where the courthouses are and where most of the county's records were kept.                                                                                     

The townships, villages, and cities are listed below the map. The listings that are BOLD had an active post office and the ones in BOLD ITALICS had a newspaper printed in the township. None of the townships, villages, and/or cities are linked to other pages.

Most of the records are on microfilm, but there are a few historical books. Under the name of the repository there is a list of records available, the date it covers, how many rolls of microfilm there are, and the microfilm roll numbers. The books are listed at the bottom of the page.

Wolf Scalp Records
The records available include vital records but go so much further than that! If you have a brick wall in your Northwestern Ohio family tree, these records just might help you  break through it! There are obscure records such as Wolf Scalp Bounty Records, Jail Registers & POW Camp records. Yes, there was a POW camp in Wood  County in 1944-45 where they kept captured German soldiers! 

Camp Perry  - WWII POW camp in Wood County, Ohio

     The Newspapers are the next resource you will want to check out. Click on "Newspapers" and it will take you to an alpha index. The papers are first arranged by the city in which it was published, then alphabetically by the most recent title used by the newspaper. The information following the title includes frequency, type, politics, its title variations, and special notes. Finally, the CAC holdings are listed. 

The newspapers are on microfilm and can be viewed at the archives. Before I go to the archives I check out the obituary index on the RB Hayes library website. If I find any obituaries for my research I check to see if the archives has that newspaper available. I also use the newspapers to see if there is a certain time period I am having trouble finding records for. For example, if I am looking for a death record prior to 1867, I will try to find a newspaper that was published in or around my relatives home around the time of the event. I will then search for a death notice in the paper.

         Don't forget to prepare for your research trip! I print out the list of the county/township records and highlight the ones I am interested in. I then make a list of the relatives this record may pertain to. I bring a flash drive and some cash for copies.

        You can scan copies to your flash drive or to your email from their scanner. If you have to make several copies or scans than you will need to use a "BG1 card". You may purchase this card from the black machine across from the first floor circulation desk. Guest copy cards cost $2.00, which does not include any money for printing. Extra money must be loaded onto the copy card. However, if you are making copies off the microfilm machine, you will need to keep track of the number of copies. The staff will complete an orange slip with the total amount owed and then you pay for the film copies at the first floor circulation desk. They DO NOT handle cash on the 5th floor.

Don't forget, you will probably be there a full day and you will need to stop to eat! The CAC website does list local restaurants, but I pack a lunch because I don't like to take too much time away from my research. You will have to leave your lunch in your vehicle or in the locker provided, so make sure it is non-perishable. There is also a cafe on the first floor called The Thinker's Cafe where you can eat your lunch and/or purchase items from the vending machines.

Red Dot marks the cafe

The people at the archives are extremely helpful. When you arrive on the fifth floor they will provide you with a form to fill out of the records you are looking for. They will pull the film or book for you. Unless the book is located on one of the lower floors, then you will be asked to get it. They have a few microfilm machines where you can view the records and make copies of the records you wish to keep. There is a list of basic rules for the archive on the website. These will also aid in preparing for your research trip.

There is also a link on the website that will give you directions and information on parking and parking passes. I always buy a parking pass, because it is good for the day and it gives you more parking lot options.

The research I did at the Center for Archival Collections filled in a lot of blanks on my family charts . I hope this information will provide a good start for your research at the CAC.



Anonymous said...

That's a great description of your research process!

Wendy C. said...

Fascinating about the POW Camp! Thanks for guest-blogging, Lisa.