The Ohio Genealogical Society is committed to insuring member/user privacy as it interacts with our mission to protect and share Ohio’s family history resources, develop engaging educational opportunities, and connect genealogists.

Web Site:

Our OGS website hosting company does record a log of user IP addresses (personal computer’s identification) and if the visitor to the web site is an OGS member, when they log in, we place a cookie (information file) on the user’s hard drive in order to use materials on our site. This cookie expires when the member leaves the site. If the visitor has their browser set to not accept cookies, they cannot log in to see the member content. OGS does not maintain or use this information for any purpose other than to allow web site use.

Our OGS website does provide links to other websites to better assist users with their genealogical research. OGS is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such websites.

Our OGS website uses software from our bank for the secure online collection of credit card information when you purchase items, including memberships, from our website store. OGS does not see or store your credit card information. The OGS website uses PayPal for secure payments of donations. OGS does not see or store your financial data used when making a donation to OGS on our website.

OGS solicits email addresses of OGS members and non-members through its website and as a part of the membership renewal process. These email databases are only used by OGS for promotion of events, donor solicitation, sales, voting, and other OGS purposes and are never shared with other organizations or vendors.

Other Social Media:

OGS employs social media such as Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and others to promote educational activities and share genealogical information. Some of these venues allow user input and the sharing of information. OGS cannot be responsible for the content of such media beyond our own initial posts. Our volunteers do try to monitor our social media sites and remove offensive content if possible.


Authors submitting material for publication should utilize the OGS Author Contract which allows the author to maintain copyright but gives OGS publishing (serial) rights, electronic rights, electronic archival rights, the right to reprint the material in print or electronic form, and to use it in any exhibition, educational seminar, or reading that OGS may organize. This contract also grants OGS editors the right to make editorial changes.

OGS journals are currently indexed in PERSI which may appear on fee-based web sites (currently FindMyPast). These may link to the actual article images.

OGS does not endorse any product or service advertised in our publications (including the website) other than OGS membership services and products.

OGS is not liable to any advertiser or reader for any errors or omissions in advertising or editorial copy appearing in our publications, but we do try to print corrections in the next issue after OGS has been notified of an error or omission.

Lineage Societies:

The application and accompanying documents submitted to our lineage societies (First Families of Ohio, Settlers and Builders of Ohio, Century Families of Ohio, Society of Civil War Families of Ohio, Society of the Families of the Old Northwest Territory) become the property of the Ohio Genealogical Society. Ohio is an Open Records State (vital records are open to the public) and OGS as well permits library researchers to use lineage applications and accompanying proof documents in the course of their genealogical study. If a member is concerned about documents regarding living persons, we can individually mark their birth and/or marriage certificate so that it may not be photocopied, filmed, or scanned.


Donated books, periodicals, and electronic files become the property of OGS upon donation and may be utilized by researchers in a library venue.

Ancestor charts, family group sheets, family Bibles, and other family accounts are regularly collected by OGS and become the property of OGS on donation.

Manuscript donors are encouraged to fill out an OGS Deed of Gift form which transfers property rights, electronic rights, and in some cases copyright to the library.

Electronic media donors should submit an OGS Electronic Donation Permission Form with each gift. This document allows the creator to retain copyright but may give permission to OGS for placement of the material on the OGS website and/or publication in a periodical or compilation.

All the above material types may include information on living persons. OGS does allow researchers to utilize any such library holdings in the course of their genealogical exploration. Users should be responsible about sharing or publishing information found in the OGS library on living persons but OGS cannot monitor or prevent the usage of such holdings by other parties.


OGS staff and volunteers regularly aid researchers in the OGS Library and offsite with advice, copy service, and limited research. We try our best to be accurate but cannot guarantee success.

OGS maintains a list of researchers who work professionally for a fee in a given county but it is neither intended nor implied that any of the researchers are recommended by OGS. Their names are provided merely as a service to patrons who request professional assistance.

OGS does not normally provide names/addresses of its members to other groups unless it is an OGS function. For example, an OGS chapter might request a membership list for state members living in their county. For example, a national genealogical group might request a membership list to promote a national conference in Ohio hosted by OGS. Both uses are permissible. Some OGS seminars and conferences publish attendee or registration lists as part of the conference handouts. Obviously, these can be picked up by private parties and used by vendors and marketers.

Queries submitted to our journals or library, surnames being researched submitted by library or conference visitors, blog or Facebook posts about ancestors, are of course examples of how genealogists advertise their ancestral information with the intent that their address, email, or phone number submitted with that query is meant to be shared so that other common researchers may be located. OGS encourages the sharing of private information in this regard. That is part of doing genealogy.

(Adopted 24 January 2014; updated 9 January 2020)