Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Griffith's Valuation with Mary Ann Faloon

Mary Ann Faloon
Mary Ann Faloon, Chairman of the Irish Interest Group for the Hamilton County Genealogical Society was the Guest Speaker for the Kenton County Library's Congenealogy Group.  Due to the current renovations at the library, the meeting was held at the Baker-Hunt Arts and Cultural Center on Greenup St. in Covington, Kentucky.

Those in attendance were really in for a treat.  Learning how to navigate Irish genealogical records can be a daunting task.  Mary Ann was able to lead us through the various kinds of records available for researching Irish ancestors.  Tithes were collected to support the Church of Ireland.  The "County Cess" was created to support the needs of the counties.  The Griffith's Valuation was based on any occupant of the land, regardless of whether or not they owned land. 

Various acts passed in 1826, 1848 and 1852 determined what was to be assessed.  After 1838 the country was divided into Poor Law Unions and after 1852, all assessments were organized by Poor Law Unions.

We learned of the unintended consequences that made it much more profitable for landlords to evict their tenants and level their homes rather than pay the assessed taxes.  Mary Ann tracked a few select individuals through the various records so that we could better understand how the records complement each other to provide a fairly good picture of an individual ancestor.

We were provided with a list of terms and related resources.  Some items, including the Griffith's Valuation, are available online.  Townland Maps and 6" Maps are available in the Genealogy and History Department of the Cincinnati Public Library. Still other records are on microfilm which can be ordered and placed on loan at your local Family History Library.

Once again I am amazed at the expertise that can be found within the membership of the Hamilton County Genealogical Society -- one more reason to become actively involved. 

Jan Mueller of the Kenton County Library was our host for the evening.  Anyone interested in other programs sponsored by the Congenealogy Group can ask to be put on a mailing list.  Jan's email address is:

Listed are some online resources that can be used to aid you in your Irish Genealogy.

Baker-Hunt Arts and Cultural Center

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Great Day at the Library

Kenny Burck
There was a lot happening today at the Main Branch of the Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.  The Hamilton County Genealogical Society sponsored a presentation by Kenny Burck, Chapter President, and Barbara Gargiulo of Little Miami Publishing Co.  The two discussed what you would need to know and do should you want to publish a family history.
Barbara Gargiulo

About thirty people took advantage of their expertise. Kenny discussed the steps that he took when attempting to compile his initial book. He also discussed the necessity of coming up with a marketing plan in order to decide how many copies you would like to publish. He has plans to eventually publish eight volumes.

Barbara gave us handouts detailing the "parts of a book" and how to go about the writing process. She discussed the difference between a "printer" and a "publisher." We learned about how ISBN numbers (International Standard Book Number) and Library of Congress Catalog Numbers (LCCN) are assigned to books upon publication. A lot of decisions must be made including the cover material, type of binding, and the minimum scanning requirements for pictures.  Publishers can assist you in making those decisions.

Several of us chose to stay for the afternoon dedication of the new interactive exhibit of one of Cincinnati's major treasures.  On September 24, 1848, Charles Fontayne and William Porter set up their specially-designed camera and took a picture of the Cincinnati cityscape.  At the time, Cincinnati was the nation's sixth largest city. The picture, taken  from a rooftop in Newport, panned across the Ohio River and included two-miles of the Cincinnati riverfront. The image was comprised of eight separate plates.

There are two interactive displays -- one housed in the Main Floor Atrium and the other in the Cincinnati Room just steps away from the 3rd Floor Genealogy and History Department.  Patrons are able to click on touch screens to access high-definition images of specific locations within the daguerreotype.  Not only are you able to zoom in on digital images up to 32 times the size of the original, but the images are linked to related portraits, newspaper articles, documents and maps.  This is not a static display.  Library patrons can submit artifacts for possible inclusion.

Our own Patricia Van Skaik was part of a panel of leaders who participated in the dedication ceremony.  The Atrium was filled with library patrons who understood the value of this priceless piece of Cincinnati history.  The original plates are on permanent display in the Cincinnati Room in a specially-designed case.

For more information on this project, please go to this link:  Cincinnati Panorama of 1848.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blogs? Wikis? Oh my . . .

Yesterday the newly-formed Technology Interest Group met to plan the kinds of topics we would like to explore in 2011-12. The committee is chaired by Liz Stratton. Gail Burkholz, John Tholking and Kathy Reed were also in attendance.

Shortly into our discussion, we realized that the four of us have different skill sets. If the four of us had such different comfort levels, what about our members? For many of us, this is a brave new world -- one we want to learn about if only we had the opportunity. On the other hand, there are certainly those among us who feel very comfortable with certain technological applications that they could share with the rest of us. We seek those people!

I had an experience recently with a cousin who wanted to take copious notes regarding our shared family history.  I kept telling him that there was no need to do that because all of the information was already on my blog.  About the tenth time I referred to the blog he asked, "What is a blog?"  I realized then that what we assume is a "common understanding" in this world of technology often is not.  So I thought I would take the opportunity to give a brief introduction to what a "blog" is and how it is different from a "wiki."  A very creative person  addressed this issue by using the old black and white film of a Kennedy/Nixon debate.

As a user of both blogs and wikis, there is a lot of overlap. The design of this particular blog enables multiple "writers" to contribute.  You really can't "mess it up", so I encourage you to send an email and get on board.  If there is anything we learned at our meeting yesterday, it is that all of us have a different piece.  What a powerful group we could be if we all share our area of expertise!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Taking Part in an Indexing Project

Liz Stratton
In an earlier post, Liz Stratton invited members of the Hamilton County Genealogical Society to participate in an indexing project as part of "Make a Difference Day."  The event was held in conjunction with the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.  Volunteers reported to the Technology Lab adjacent to the Genealogy and History Department of the Main Library.  Liz was able to explain the procedures and we were all able to participate with little difficulty and not much of a learning curve -- even Kenny!!

Deb Cyprich and Kenny Burck

Our task was to index records compiled for Columbia Township dating back to the early 1800s.  "Earmarks" were recorded from as early as 1793!  (I learned that in this case, "earmarks" are cuts or marks in the ears of animals made to show ownership -- not to funds allocated for specific projects by legislators).

 By the end of the day, I think all of us felt comfortable with the task.  Many of us took additional pages that we could continue to index from home.  (In my case, that means from the comfort of my recliner, laptop on lap). 

I'm hoping as time goes on, more and more of us will feel comfortable taking on these projects.  I truly enjoyed the opportunity to work with other Chapter members in a low-stress, friendly environment.  I look forward to participating in this and other similar projects.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

May 2011 Tracer is now available online

The May 2011 edition of the Tracer is now available  online.  Members and e-members can now download the edition at the main HCGS website.  From the Members Page, click on the link to proceed to members' pages.  Once you have signed in, scroll down to locate the May Tracer edition.