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

DNA and Genealogy

Have you considered using DNA to support your genealogical research? Have you had success? Are you overwhelmed by the science? Afraid of possible revelations about your health? I can answer yes to all of these questions. However, it’s something that I think will become an increasingly useful tool in our genealogical toolbox — and something I want to understand better.

In keeping with the theme of this conference, the planners included a track on DNA and genealogy.

Colleen Fitzpatrick is leading half of the sessions in this track. As I was not familiar with her, I was led to do a little research. Colleen is the author of Genetic Genealogy and DNA and Genealogy, two best-sellers in genetic genealogy. Despite her expertise, she lists her talks as appropriate for “all levels.”  Her talks are “appropriate for you whether you are having trouble spelling DNA or are an old hand at genetic genealogy.” She has been involved in the ID of an unknown child on the Titanic, and work related  to Amelia Earhart and Abraham Lincoln. To quote her bio, she has done “extensive professional work on DNA identification with the military, law enforcement, the Center for Human Identification, Harvard University, and many other well-known organizations.”

Ugo Allesandro Perego is presenting two sessions. I was able to find a link to his site.   A member of the Association of Professional Genealogists. He, too, has an extensive resume. Nora Galvin will discuss DNA testing for genealogical purposes, the testing process, what the results look like and what they mean.

There will also be a DNA Roundtable sponsored by Family Tree DNA. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions, learn which DNA test to take, decide how many markers to test and determine how to best utilize the results.

All for the price of one conference admission!  Hope to see you there.

Kathy Reed

Comments? I encourage you to leave a question or comment. I will do my best to find the answer.

18 Dec 2012

Check Out the Technology Track!

Technology, and its applicability to genealogical research, will play a central role in this year’s OGS Conference. When it comes to planning your schedule, you can’t beat the conference “tracks” that have been outlined by the planners.  Interested in technology? Here is a list of what is being offered with a technology focus.

You can easily review the listings and determine what may be of interest to you. In addition, you can refer to the program to see if the presentation is appropriate for beginner, intermediate or advanced users of the technology.

Numerous tracks have been identified. Over the next several weeks, I hope to feature each one of the tracks to assist you in planning. If you’ve not yet seen a copy of the conference booklet, click on this link and download a copy.

Do you have friends and family asking you for a gift suggestion? Maybe a conference registration is just the ticket.

Hope to see you there.

Kathy Reed



02 Dec 2012

2013 OGS Conference Program Now Available!

The OGS Conference Booklet is now available online. The Ohio Genealogical Society 2013 conference will be held on Thursday April 25 through Saturday April 27, 2013 at the Millennium Hotel in downtown Cincinnati.  The theme of this conference is “Expanding Your Ancestry Through Technology.”

A review of the program made me want to sign up immediately! The nationally-recognized keynote speaker, Thomas W. Jones, will kick-off the conference with “Strategies for Finding ‘Unfindable’ Ancestors.” Last spring, several friends who attended the NGS Conference told me that he was one of the main reasons they attended NGS. Somehow, I missed hearing him.  I’m looking forward to a “do over.”

I’m also excited about the number of “tracks” that are part of this conference. There are 98 lecture topics organized into specific research tracks, such as DNA, German, Irish, Military, African American, land, methodology, regional, professional and many technology tracks from national and state speakers. Looking at the program, you can easily identify the offerings in areas of special interest to you or areas where you would like to increase your expertise.

If you have Ohio ancestors who served in the Civil War or lived in Ohio before 1912, you may want to consider completing a lineage application before the December 31st deadline. You can go to the OGS website and see what the requirements are to complete an application for one of the lineage groups. I’ve found that nothing enhances your genealogical skills more than collecting the documentation necessary to “prove” that your ancestors qualify for one of these groups. Those who qualify will be able to be honored at one of the luncheons or dinners to be held during the conference.

If you want to receive any of the updates posted to this conference blog, please sign up by email. As items are added, they will be emailed to you automatically.  You are encouraged to comment on any post of interest to you. Ask your questions, add your comments, and we’ll get a conversation going.  Feel free to add a link to this blog to your own blogs or society websites. Looking forward to April.

Kathy Reed

21 Oct 2012