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

Do You Have Need of a Scooter or Wheel Chair Rental for the Conference?


For additional information about rates and payment methods,call Lance Sizemore at 513-582-6526. Mention that you are attending the OGS Conference to get the discount. Be sure to tell them when your are arriving and when your are leaving the conference.

27 Feb 2013

Got German?

confblog2.fw_.pngAt last year’s National Genealogical Society’s Conference in Cincinnati, we were overwhelmed with attendees who specifically attended because of their interest in German genealogy. Cincinnati, among other areas of Ohio, was an area heavily populated by German immigrants during the 19th Century. Based on last year’s demand, the OGS Conference organizers have made every effort to provide sessions to meet the needs of those interested in German and other European research.


F. Warren Bittner Is giving three presentations. I had the opportunity to read Mr. Bittner’s bio, and I can’t wait to hear him speak. He is a nationally-recognized speaker who has presented at numerous genealogical conferences. I’m particularly intrigued by his talk on illegitimacy. He chose this topic for his master’s thesis, and I promise you he discovered that this topic is not as cut and dried as you might think.

Ernest Thode is also scheduled for three presentations — and what a bio he has. Mr. Thode has been manager of the Local History & Genealogy Department of the Washington County Public Library in Marietta, Ohio, since 1992. Mr. Thode has taught German, translated German documents for family researchers, authored books including German-English Genealogical Dictionary, and written an award-winning newspaper genealogy column.

Michel Lacopo returns to Cincinnati after presenting for the NGS Conference in 2012. His specialty is identifying and locating German records, including lesser-known records. Should you attend his presentation on identifying the German origins of American immigrants, you can expect to hear about the following:

  • Overview of German immigration history and geography
  • Utilization of lesser known published sources
  • How to mine primary records for place names and hints of places of origin
  • Indirect research to locate German origin
  • Case studies

James M. Biedler, whose credits include serving as President of the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors,writes regularly for newspapers, magazines, and journals. He also serves as an Instructor for Family Tree University. His talks will include “Zigzagging through German Church Records” and “What’s a Palantine Anyways?”

Finally, Thomas Jones will present a case study on how to plan and execute efficient and effective research. Elissa Powell will help participants learn how to make use of passenger lists. Barbara Bell, who specializes in northern German resources, will highlight the use of familysearch. If you have Eastern European ancestors, Lisa Alzo will discuss online resources that increasingly becoming available for researchers.

So get your calendars out. There’s so much to do with so little time.

03 Feb 2013

Are You Interested in African American Genealogy?

conference2013logo_small.pngAre you interested in African American genealogy? If so, you may want to sign up for the Ohio Genealogical Society’s Conference to be held in Cincinnati from April 25th-27th.

The Co-Chairs for this conference, Kenny Burck and Dana Palmer, made every effort to identify speakers who would appeal to a variety of ethnic groups. Fortunately, for those interested in African American genealogy, the sessions do not overlap. All but one of the presentations are on Friday, so if you can only attend one day of the conference, Friday might be your day.


Looking over the wide range of topics, there should be something for everyone. The talk scheduled for 4:30 on the use of Heritage Quest Online will include a discussion of the Freedman Bank Records. At 5:45. there will be an African American Roundtable. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss their research and ways to get past their brick walls.

For more details, check the conference brochure posted at ogs.org.

Kathy Reed

08 Jan 2013