The 2015 OGS Conference Provides A Cure for NGSS: Non-Genealogical Spouse Syndrome

NGSS is a terrible thing. You’re an avid genealogist. Your significant other isn’t. Just the mention of genealogy causes their eyes to glass over, rapid breathing, hives…  What’s worse? The guilt. How can you justify heading off for a three-day genealogy getaway and leave your poor, afflicted spouse behind?

Fortunately, the 2015 Ohio Genealogical Society Conference provides a cure. While you’re off attending all of the great presentations that the conference has to offer (more about that in later posts), your significant other can relax in the comfort of your room at the Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square or use the free CBUS service to explore some of Columbus’ terrific downtown areas: German Village, the Brewery District, Short North, Italian Village and more.

Once the day is done, you can hop back on the CBUS together to enjoy a great dinner while you try and get your spouse interested in all the great things you learned that day.

Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks and months for other great things the 2015 OGS Conference offers genealogists, and yes, their non-genealogical spouses.

16 Sep 2014

OGS Announces Fall Seminar

The OGS Fall Semjoshtaylorinar is scheduled for 4 October 2014 at the Quality Inn & Suites Conference Center. The featured speaker will be D. Joshua Taylor, well-known author, speaker, researcher, President of FGS, Data Strategy Manager for DC Thompson Family History, and featured genealogist on Genealogy Roadshow and Who Do You Think You Are?

For more information, visit http://www.ogs.org/fallseminar2014.php.

13 Apr 2014

Call for Papers: Ohio Genealogical Society 2015 Conference

The Ohio Genealogical Society is accepting proposals for the 2015 annual conference, Ohio: Your Genealogical Cornerstone, to be held April 9-11, 2015, in Columbus. We are looking for interesting one-hour lectures and engaging two-hour workshops geared to a variety of audience levels. The deadline for submissions is July 1, 2014.

Topics of interest

We invite proposals on a wide range of topics, particularly:

  • Effective research, analysis, and problem-solving strategies
  • Using DNA/genetic genealogy
  • Ohio-specific topics (land, migration, history, laws, records, etc.)
  • Methodology and skill-building
  • Technology, tools, and trends in genealogy
  • Ethnic research (German, Irish, Welsh, European, African-American, etc.)
  • Military and land research
  • Preserving and sharing family history
  • Topical research (photo identification, orphans, individual regions and states, etc.)
  • Organization and project/time management

We also plan to offer a four-hour Getting Started with Genealogy seminar for beginners on Saturday. Proposals for a coordinated, educational-style program are welcome.

Submission guidelines

Please submit proposals in PDF or Microsoft Word format. Each should include:

  • Speaker’s name, address, phone number, and email address
  • Lecture title and a brief but comprehensive outline (single page maximum)
  • Lecture summary for conference brochure (25 words or less)
  • Suggested audience level: B, B/I, I, I/A, A, or All
  • Brief speaker biography for brochure (50 words or less)
  • Resume of prior speaking experience

Please use your last name and shortened title as a file name. For workshops, indicate if participants will need tables or computers. Speakers may submit up to six proposals for consideration. Submit each proposal via email to 2015program@ogs.org no later than July 1, 2014. Selected speakers will be notified in August. Further information will be provided at that time. Camera-ready syllabus materials must be received by February 1, 2015.

Sponsored lectures

Societies and businesses are encouraged to submit proposals for sponsored talks. The sponsoring organization will cover its speaker’s costs to present the lecture. Sponsored speakers will abide by all deadlines and syllabus requirements.


Selected speakers receive an honorarium, travel compensation, conference registration, electronic syllabus, hotel stay, and meal per Diem based on the number of lectures presented.

About the Ohio Genealogical Society

The Ohio Genealogical Society, founded in 1959, is the premier Ohio family heritage resource and the largest state genealogical society in the United States. Its mission is to meet the educational needs of its members and the general public through the acquisition, preservation, and dissemination of genealogical and historical information. Visit us at www.ogs.org.

08 Apr 2014

OGS Writing Contest Winners

The Ohio Genealogical Society announces the winners of its 2014 Writing Contest. Entrants submitted articles for either the Ohio Genealogy News (OGN) or the Ohio Genealogical Society Quarterly (OSGQ). The Society would like to congratulate the following authors for their excellent writing. We thank each author who chose to share their expertise and family lines with others by entering the contest. At the discretion of the OGN and OGSQ editors, all entries may be published.

The Over All Winner is Deb Root Shell, M.A., M.L.S. for her OGSQ article Far from Home: John Moss of Athens County, Ohio, and the Battle of Perryville. Deb will receive the top prize of $50.

Winners in the OGN category are First Place to William R. Hill for his article Discovering my American and Ohio roots; how I found my revolutionary war ancestor. He will receive $25. Second Place goes to Corinne Konecny for her article Francy (SIPES) and Jacob George Rediscovered: Leaving no stone unturned. She will receive the $15 prize.

Winners in the OGSQ category are First Place to Jeremiah Edwards for his article The ties that bind. Jeremiah will receive $25. Second place ended in a three-way tie. Receiving $15 each for their winning article are Pamela Guye Holland for A broken man: the life of Birney Jay Pratt of Huron, Ohio, Timothy and Renee Kettering for Dreams of a better life: the story of Heinrich J. Willenburg, and Jeremiah Edwards for Unsung Heroes of the Underground Railroad.

30 Mar 2014

OGSQ Winter issue now available

The Winter issue of OGSQ has been posted on the website. OGS members may log in and access the latest issue as well as all back issues.

This is just one of the great benefits of being a member of OGS. Click here to become a member!

08 Jan 2014

OGS Car Raffle

And the winner is…John E. Cook of North Fairfield, Huron County, Ohio.

The lucky winner of the OGS Ohio Built Car Raffle claimed his prize on May 2, 2013, winner at the Ohio Genealogical Society Library on State Route 97 West, Bellville. He chose to receive the $24,000 check, since his wife had recently purchased a 2013 Chevy Malibu Eco. After he pays the taxes on his prize, he says he will pay off the loan on his wife Kathleen’s car.

John is a life member of OGS and he purchased the winning ticket by mail just to support the society. He wishes he could find more time to research at the OGS Library. He is active in the Marine Corps League, serving as Jr. Vice Commandant of the Department of Ohio. He belongs to the Marine of the Year Society and is the Paymaster for his detachment. He enjoys genealogy and gardening.

The Cooks, who will celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary on May 18, have 4 children, 7 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren, with another great grandchild on the way.

John’s favorite ancestor is the lady called “Widow Sample.” About 1815, Nancy Sample came to Ohio. She did not own land, but was a “squatter,” and she is considered to be the first settler in Fairfield Township, Huron County, Ohio. She built a house or lean-to and, amazingly, survived the winter. She raised 7 children, all of whom did later own land.

John says, “You can’t win if you don’t play. I was just giving a donation. I didn’t expect to win. But, it sure is nice! We’ll take it.”

Congratulations, John and Kathleen!

11 May 2013

Riding the Southbank Shuttle and the ‘One for Fun’


Fountain Square, Photograph by Liz Stratton

Planning on arriving early to the conference? Traveling with others who plan to tour the city? The South Bank Shuttle and ‘One for Fun’ (Metro 1) buses make touring the city’s attractions a snap.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Photograph by Kathy Reed

The Southbank Shuttle makes stops along the riverfront in Cincinnati, Covington and Newport. The shuttle (trolley) runs every 15 minutes during service hours. Pay by the ride ($1), by the day ($3.50) or get a 3-day ($10) or 5-day ($15) pass. A map of the Southbank Shuttle Trolley and attractions along the route can be found online, http://www.tankbus.org/routes-schedules/southbank-shuttle.aspx, and in your syllabus. Attractions along the route include Fountain Square, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the Taft Museum of Art, The Banks and Newport on the Levee Entertainment and Dining Centers, Newport Aquarium, Carroll Chimes Bell Tower, the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, MainStrasse Village, Riverboat Row and more.

Newport Aquarium

Newport Aquarium, Photograph by Kathy Reed

Kathy Reed and I, both Cincinnati residents, recently went on a ‘photo tour’ riding the Southbank shuttle with no more advance planning than determining there was a stop near Fountain Square. Leaving our route map behind, we explored with only a rough idea of the attractions we wished to see. The bus drivers and even other passengers helped guide our way. Be certain to let the drivers know you are touring and they will not only alert you to key stops but also tell you where to pick up the shuttle to return to your original boarding location.

Carroll Tower, pied piper

Carroll Tower, depicting the tale of the Pied Piper on the Hour. Photography by Kathy Reed.

Another touring option is Cincinnati Metro Rt. 1, ‘The One for Fun.’ Stops on this bus line include the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, downtown Cincinnati, the Taft Museum of Art, The Banks, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Krohn Conservatory, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and more! A route map can be found in the syllabus or online at www.go-metro.com/uploads/routes/RT1.pdf.

Liz Stratton, Hospitality

23 Apr 2013

Helpful Advice for Parking for the Conference


Can you believe it? It’s the first day of April and the OGS Conference is less than a month away! Kenny Burck, one of the conference organizers, asked me to share this helpful information on parking for the conference.

Please, If you are attending the Ohio Genealogical Society Conference at the Millennium Hotel in downtown Cincinnati, NO ONE should park in the Millennium hotel parking garage unless you live a pampered life and have plenty of money, or you have a special need that might require this convenience. There are three VERY convenient options that are extremely close and only cost (the last time we checked) either $5.50 or $8.00 per day.

You can unload your belongings at either the north side the south side of the hotel. If you need help with your luggage I would unload at the south side of the hotel on Fifth Street. If you need no help with your luggage I would unload on the north side of the hotel at the Sixth Street entrance. Do NOT let them take your car. After you unload, you can VERY conveniently use the City of Cincinnati parking garage directly and diagonally located across the street for $8.00 a day (see location of all parking garages in the registration brochure.) It is a VERY short walk to the north side entrance of the hotel. In the unlikelihood that this parking garage is full, there is another City of Cincinnati parking garage next to that one (but a little further away) also for $8.00 a day.

If your are German (or prefer a less expensive life style such as myself) you may choose the parking garage one block north of the hotel (at 7th & Elm Streets) at (the last time we checked) $5.50 a day. This is NOT an option if you are staying overnight on Saturday because this garage is closed late Saturday night and not open on Sunday to get your car to go home. Of course you can move you car to one of the other parking garages on Saturday if you choose. This entire area is in a part of town that has much lower traffic (except at rush hour) is not as confusing as you might think. If you have ANY parking questions or issues, phone my cell # at 513-260-0238 and I will assist you now or as you are arriving into downtown Cincinnati. We have a safe and walkable downtown area of the city where the hotel is located.

Submitted by Kenny Burck

02 Apr 2013

Our Irish Ancestors

conference2013logo_small.pngIrishIf you are like me, you have Irish ancestors. I’m an all-American “mix” of German, Irish, English and Welsh and have discovered over the years that my Irish ancestors are the most difficult to research.

My Ryans and Dwyers lived in the same area (County Limerick) and I’m told that you often have to know the family’s “nickname” if you’re going to be successful.


Luckily for those of us facing this challenge, the OGS Conference might help us with our quest. If you haven’t had the pleasure of hearing Richard Michael Doherty, you should definitely plan on attending one or more of his talks. A link to his website shows that Mr. Doherty has personally led 31 research trips to Ireland.

Check out Richard and the other Irish speakers and break down one of those brick walls!

01 Apr 2013

Sharing Your Genealogy Research

Most genealogists and family historians want to share their research. Never has it been easier. In addition to the traditional ways of sharing, technology has made it possible for us to choose what is most comfortable for us and what might best appeal to our potential audience. This year’s conference will offer seven sessions offering tips on writing and possibly publishing your research.


Lisa Alzo, a well-known genealogist, lecturer and writer to the online community will give two talks: 1) Self-Publishing for the Genealogist: Tips, Trick &Tools, and 2) A Dozen Ways to Use Your iPad for Genealogy and Writing. You can read about Lisa and her many accomplishments by clicking on this link.

Lovers of blogging as a way to share your genealogy are probably very familiar with Thomas MacEntee. He is the founder of geneabloggers, a community of more than 3000 genealogy and family history bloggers. Thomas is not one to rest on his accomplishments. He is going to tell us how we can “pin” our family history, undoubtedly making our research available to an entirely different segment. If you are wondering what a “blog” is and what is involved in creating one, consider coming to the talk by Kathy Reed: Introduction to Family History Blogging.

Of course keeping your readers coming back for more requires skill. Warren Bittner will discuss how to transform dry documents into an engaging narrative. Mr. Bittner is a nationally-recognized lecturer and has served on the faculty of the Samford Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research.

One talk will discuss how to publish and place your family book or article. Another will discuss how RootsMagic can be used as a tool to publish your family history. With all of these offerings, there is no excuse for not taking that next step and sharing your work.

Submitted by: Kathy Reed

27 Feb 2013