Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Things we inherit from our grandparents...

We inherit many things from our ancestors...

The family Bible.

Random family Bible. None have been
passed down to me....

 Family photos.
William P. Williams

 Heirloom glass.

I have similar glass to this, in yellow.

Antique furniture.

NOT my washstand. But very similar to it.

The color of our eyes.

Brother David got his brown eyes from Dad.

Premature grey hair (Thanks, Dad!)

Propensity to certain diseases. (Again thanks, Dad!)

But did you know that trauma also can be passed down through the generations?

These websites talk about the studies that are proving this phenomenon:

Ozy - this article prompted more research and the decision to blog about this.

The Guardian


Huffington Post

82 different articles are listed if you do a magazine search with the terms "inherited AND holocaust AND trauma"

The idea is challenged by some, but I tend to agree with it. I have seen it in my own family.

My grandfather was a restless man, working as a long distance trucker for much of his adult life; he also moved frequently. When my younger sister grew up she started showing some of the same tendencies, choosing to move around a lot. Then I learned about my great great grandfather, James Tanner. I had trouble tracking him down in the census records in the late 1800's. Then when I ordered in his Civil War Pension Record, I found out that he moved about every 18 months. He worked for the railroad. Another traveling man. Years later, I met a cousin, Sharon, who also likes to travel a lot. She works as a traveling nurse. Actually, she is a fifth cousin once removed, and we share an ancestor on, you guessed it, the Tanner line.

Several books written by children of Holocaust survivors have touched on how that trauma has affected later generations.

But here is what I really like about this phenomenon:

If the bad things get passed on through the generations, certainly, the good things get passed on too. Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers is all about this idea.

Maybe my grandfather's wanderlust could be viewed as an adventurous spirit. Certainly, as a country settled by people who left everything they knew behind them to go to a unknown place for the possibility of  a better life, this wanderlust has been an asset to the U.S., and is often viewed as the height of adventurism.

What did you inherit from your ancestors?


On a lighter note:

Just to show that genealogists don't always think just about genealogy, I will discuss something totally different for a moment. Pokemon Go.

In case you haven't heard, Pokemon Go is game app that you download to your smartphone. It is based on the ever popular Pokemon franchise that has been going since the 1990's. Because I am a curious person and because I like to push my technology skills and because it sounded interesting, I downloaded the app. You join a team, you capture Pokemon (virtual monsters), you evolve them, you hatch eggs, you collect Pokemon balls & other items at Poke Stops and you train and you fight other Pokemon at gyms. It is a bit addictive, so I have promised to stop when I reach Level 10, which I did earlier today.

This is Evee. I would like
to evolve Evee, but don't
have enough Candy!
Isn't she cute?
Here is what I liked about it:

  1. Capturing Pokemon is fun. It is like catching wild bugs or butterflies. 
  2. You can level up and evolve your Pokemon. So there are increasing levels of development and difficulty.
  3. You collect different types of Pokemon; water types, grass types, fighters.
  4. You have to physically walk and physically visit other locations. Walking helps you hatch eggs. Visiting different locations lets you capture different types of Pokemon, visit Poke Stops and the Poke Gyms. The stops and gyms are located in the real world next to landmarks and historical places. The Medina Square has a lot of Poke stops and a Gym. Visiting Medina Lake nets you some water type Pokemon.
  5. It is something that I could share with my younger daughter and my nephews.
What I didn't like about it:
  1. Server issues. Because of its huge popularity, there have been whole days when I couldn't connect to the app. Or I would be in the middle of capturing a Pokemon when the connection would fail. Maybe this will get better with time?
  2. It is addictive. Like any computer game it can eat away at your free time and attention.
  3. It consumes the battery power on your phone.
  4. People have actually gotten hurt playing the game. Many just weren't watching where they were going and walked into traffic. 
Am I glad I tried it? Sure! Am I glad I have quit? YES!

If you have any questions about Pokemon Go, don't ask me!  LOL! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


We always get excited about new books, don't we!?!

Here are some "New to Medina"  genealogy and local history books:

929 TAY
Click the call number above to order this book
Photo Organizing Practice: Daguerreotypes to Digital by Maureen A. Taylor. Maureen Taylor is the go-to expert on dating your old photos and basically all things photographic in genealogy. Released this past winter, this is a concise guide to getting all your photos organized so that you can find them when you are looking for them.

Do you have shoe boxes full of pictures that need to be organized? (I do!) Get this book! (Not yet rated on

929.1028 SMI
Click the call number above to order this book
Organize Your Genealogy by Drew Smith. Drew is a well known genealogy author and speaker. I attended his session on organization at the Ohio Genealogical Conference this past spring. He makes taming the paper chaos seem attainable. He admits to struggling with his own paper mountain at home, which I found reassuring. I have already started implementing some of his suggestions. This should be on every genealogist's shelves! (4.4 stars on

929.1028 BEI
Click the call number above to order this book.
Trace Your German Roots Online: A Complete Guide to German Genealogy Websites by James M. Beidler. Just as I was thinking we needed some newer books, along comes Beidler's book. Seriously, I really was just thinking that. During my annual review of the genealogy books, I noticed that the our German genealogy books needed to be updated. Beidler, a well known German researcher, has updated his previous book on the topic. One reviewer says, "Do not think that Trace Your German Roots Online is limited to just online resources... the book is an excellent immersion into general German research" (4.5 stars on

R977.1 MIL
Shelved in the Franklin Sylvester Room
Ohio's Black Soldiers Who Served in the Civil War  by Eric Eugene Johnson is the first Reference (use in library only) book in this countdown. This is an alphabetical listing of the Ohio soldiers. Be sure to read the introductory notes and explanations to get the most from this book. (Not yet rated on

Shelved in the Franklin Sylvester Room
 This booklet updates the SNOW Family history we already have in the Franklin Sylvester Collection. The SNOW family lived in northern Medina County and Cuyahoga County.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wayne County Public Library

Both as a genealogist and as a library staff member, one of my joys is experiencing a new library. For my personal research, I visited the Wayne County Public Library (WCPL) in Wooster last Friday. It is true I could have called or emailed my questions to the staff, but then I wouldn't have had an excuse for a FIELD TRIP!

I had visited the library many years ago, but they have built a new facility since then and I was eager to see it. And it is beautiful.

But before you travel to any library you should check out their website to learn what hours that they are open, parking issues, copier costs, and what materials they have. WCPL has a nice clean web site:

The link to their genealogy resources is right at the top of the home page. (See red arrow below)

They own several books on Kanawha County West Virginia that I wanted to check for my MASON ancestors. I had found these by searching the CLEVNET catalog that both Medina County District Library (MCDL) and Wayne County Public Library utilize.

The Library uses Wiki pages for their genealogy information:

A Wiki page is much easier to edit than a page that is part of the web site. This means that any staff member with access can edit the page.

The new facility is near the downtown Wooster area on West Liberty Street. When you are heading west on the street, you drive past the library and turn left to find the parking, of which there is plenty, behind the library.

The front of the library as seen from West Liberty Street.

These stairs sweep up to the second floor where the Genealogy Department is.
Fairview Park Library has a similar set of stairs & also has a fine Genealogy

The entrance to the Genealogy Department is clearly marked and not obscured by other departments or materials.

The Genealogy Department is right outside the elevator entrance, too.

One of the best features of their Genealogy Department is that it is always staffed! They have one full time librarian, a library associate and a library assistant. Plus several of the Reference Staff have received additional training for the Genealogy Department. (Christina, the Associate on duty was shy about having her picture taken. Hi Christina!)

Plus they have a very strong Genealogical Society that provides volunteers for their many projects. More about that later.  

 I don't have the square footage of the room, but it seemed HUGE! 

The book shelves. WCPL collects materials for surrounding counties and the
states that contributed to the development of Wayne County.

A large alcove dedicated to the High School Yearbooks for all the county's schools.

Tables for conducting research. The lamps double as electrical outlets.

The have quite a few microfilm readers and scanners. Some are older readers that don't print or scan. But the ones pictured here can scan, print and email, plus provide full Internet access.

These machines can scan and print.

As the genealogy books are arranged geographically (all the West Virginia books on one shelf) I quickly found the books that I'd come to see and checked for my MASON ancestors. Alas! Nothing was listed. That is called "negative evidence" But I did find something that I didn't plan on looking for:

This printed index show that my 3X Great grandfather, Joshua JOHNSTON (sic) married my 3X great grandmother, Amy HAWKINS, on 27 June 1816 in Kanawha County, VA (WV), which I knew. The information I didn't know was the note next to the asterisk* to the right of the listing, d/o Abraham. This is definite proof that Abraham HAWKINS was the father of Amy! Later when I pulled the record up on the Family Search web site, I saw the same note. (Plus, I now have a copy of the original records for my files.) 

Because of my library connection, I was allowed a look at "behind the scenes":

The staff office that they share. Some might see a lot of clutter. I see a lot
of projects and a very busy staff!

The workroom where staff & volunteers work on many projects.
Again, a very busy vital department!

And as always, I came away with ideas of how to improve MCDL's resources:

This is a list of magazines they have for the department. MCDL already subscribes to New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Timeline and Your Genealogy Today, but Internet Genealogy would be a great addition.
 Here their blank genealogy forms are on display and free to pick up. In the Franklin Sylvester Room at the Medina Library, these some forms are inside file cabinets and most people aren't aware they exist.

So while I didn't find any helpful information for my MASON family research, I still obtained useful information:
  1. Additional information on my 3 X great grandparents marriage record.
  2. Ideas for  a "dream" genealogy room & collection.
  3. Ideas for improving MCDL's collection.
  4. Material for this blog!

Do you have any favorite genealogy room reminiscences to share? Or horror stories?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

HeritageQuest Online

In an earlier blog,  I mentioned one of the databases available to CLEVNET (i.e. Medina) library members is HeritageQuest Online.

This database was once a separate entity and a competitor for the ever popular subscription database. A few years ago, Ancestry bought Heritage Quest and now it is under their corporate wing. The biggest advantage of HeritageQuest Online is that it is available from home if you have a valid CLEVNET library card number.

REMINDER: This database is  found on the library's website ( under the "Online Resources" link and the "History and Genealogy" tab.

The current home page for HeritageQuest Online
HeritageQuest has greatly expanded the types of records accessible since its merge with Here are some of the new records:
  • Birth, Baptism, Marriage, Death and Census Records from the U.S., Canada, Europe, Mexico, Central and South America, Caribbean, Africa and Asia
  • Cemetery Indexes for the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Mexico, Germany, Italy, Brazil and Global Burials at Sea
  • Military Records
    • U.S. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files 1800-1900 (NARA M804), 
    • U.S. Records of Confederate Prisoners of War 1861-1865
    • U.S. Remarried Widows Index to Pension Applications 1887-1942
    • Colombia Military Records 1809-1958 
    • Traunstein Bavaria Military Records, 1830-1918
    • Louisiana War of 1812 Pension Lists
    • Netherlands Army Service Records 1807-1929
    • U.S. Naval Enlistment Rendezvous 1855-1891
  • Immigration and Naturalization Records from selected U.S. states, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Dominican Republic, Indonesia
  • Social Security Death Index (SSDI) 
  • U.S. Public Records Volumes 1-2, contains a compilation of  all 50 U.S. states from 1950-1993
  • Map and Photo Collection with over 600,000 images from the Library of Congress Photo Collection 1840-2000
A draw back to HeritageQuest Online is that it doesn't have a general search box. You must choose your record category before you search.

ProQuest, who provides access to the database for libraries, had a very complete online tutorial for the database online. You can access it here:

The opening page for the ProQuest tutorial on Heritage Quest

Enjoy exploring this database and use the tutorial to maximize your results!