Friday, January 27, 2012

Find A Grave
Have you heard of "Congenealogy?"  This is a friendly group of genealogy buffs who meet once a month in Northern Kentucky.  It is sponsored by the Kenton County Library and led by librarian Jan Mueller.  Several HCGS members have ventured across the Ohio River to take advantage of the wonderful programs they offer. In fact, Mary Ann Faloon, Chair of our Irish Interest Group, was one of their guest speakers when she spoke about Griffith's Valuation at one of their meetings last May.

This month Debra Jacks, a longtime volunteer for Find-a-Grave, will share her knowledge and experience on this very worthwhile—and free—resource!  I'm not very familiar with this resource, but HCGS member Deb Eddy, has convinced me that this is a resource I need to consider using.  So I, along with several other members of our Chapter, are planning to attend.

Due to the extensive renovation project that is taking place at the Covington Mary Ann Mongan Branch, meetings are being held at the Baker Hunt Arts and Cultural Center.  The meeting will take place Monday, January 30th, beginning at 6:30.  Direction to Baker Hunt are listed below.

Come once and I promise you'll come again.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Long-Range Planning Report

On Sunday, January 22nd, the HCGS Board held a long-range planning meeting at the home of the Chapter President, Kenny Burck.  The purpose of the meeting was to brainstorm ideas for the future direction of the Chapter and identify plans for moving forward.

Possible goals were grouped into nine categories.  Listed under each category are attendees who expressed an interest in working on a committee. Each committee will identify a time to meet, identify goals from among those suggested and report to the Board with recommendations.

So this is where YOU come in!  What are you passionate about? Which of the areas listed below are of particular interest to you?  We are looking for volunteers -- NOT experts.  If you would like to be included on one of these committees, scroll to the bottom of this post and sign up.  This is a great way to participate in your Chapter and become more aware of what other members have to offer YOU!  We believe once you become involved, you'll want to become even more involved.

Volunteers – Deb Cyprych and Karen Klaene
Survey members to identify skills, interests and meeting location preferences.
Subchapters – other states?      
Attract new members
Social aspects
Membership benefits
Retention of members
Volunteers – Karen Everett, Karen Klaene, Gail Burkholz and John Tholking
Meeting Locations
            Hands-on Workshops
Technology Classes
             Revisit Education

Volunteers – Jeff Herbert and Gail Burkholz
             Freedom Center             
Outreach to African-Americans and other Ethnicities, Religions, Township Historical Societies and Genealogical Societies
 Access to Catholic Archives
Library Relationship
Advocate for open stacks at the Main Library

Bylaws, Policies and Procedures
Volunteers – Margie Mohr, Kenny Burck, and Kathy Reed
                Update Procedures and Bylaws
                Plan for storage of records
                Review Privacy Policy
Volunteers – Barbara Gargiulo and Jean Woll (ask Jean Woll if she would be willing to serve).               
              Chapter Calendar
              Long-term look at Publishers and Publishing (Tracer and Gazette, too).
Volunteer Projects
Volunteers – Jeff Herbert and Jim Dempsey
            Develop better volunteer projects
Develop project leaders
Finish cemetery records
Create cemetery database
Township Records
             Develop Project Leaders
             Cemetery Database

Volunteers – Liz Stratton, John Tholking, Kathy Reed, Gail Burkholz, Jenny Davis and Dave Bossart                          

Review all aspects of our online presence and use of technology within the Chapter.
Consider database similar to Miami Valley database

Volunteers - Liz Stratton, Margie Mohr and Jim Dempsey
                Plan for a balanced budget

Volunteers - Barbara Gargiulo and Deb Cyprych


OK -- I'm interested.  How do I sign up?

Contact Kenny Burck, President, 513-956-7078 or Kathy Reed, 513-936-8494.  You can also comment on the post below.

Cincinnati and the Great Flood of 1937

From the Collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.  Used with permission.
Pictured is the Cincinnati Water Works on and St. Rose School on Eastern (Riverside Dr.)

If you have relatives who lived in Cincinnati in 1937 they were undoubtedly impacted by the Ohio River Flood of that year.  For about two weeks, much of the city was inundated with flood water.  Even the water supply was affected as the river rose to 80 feet.  

This year marks the 75th Anniversary of this event.  The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County has organized several events to commemorate the impact that this natural disaster had on the city.  

This Saturday, January 28th, there will be a multi-media presentation and discussion with local historian and author, Betty Ann Smiddy.  Entitled "Cincinnati's Great Disaster:  The 1937 Flood" the presentation is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. in the Huenefeld Tower Room at the Main Library.  As one whose family was directly impacted by this flood, I look forward to the new information that may help me put my ancestors in historical context.

       Picture of 2424 Eastern Ave. and Highland School during the 1937 Flood.  (This was my father's home).

Monday, January 23, 2012

2012 Election News

No, it’s not Barack Obama and some yet unknown Republican challenger we are writing about, it is your Hamilton County Chapter elections. According to our Chapter bylaws we have an election of all officers and directors in even years. The five officer positions are President, Vice-President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer. The seven director positions are Credentials, Education, Membership, Program, Research & Preservation, Publications and Director-At-Large. The Nominating Committee selects candidates (there can be more than one candidate for a position) and there is an election at the regular spring Chapter meeting of attendees, this year at the 21 April 2012 meeting at the Public Library (see the Chapter calendar for meeting details). All members are eligible for all positions with no previous experience required.

While it may be unlikely a member will phone or email me so I can put them in touch with the Nominating Committee Chair and say they want to run for the President’s position or some other position on the Chapter Board of Directors, you may want to learn about what, where, when and how we do what we do to keep our Chapter in existence and continue our process of educating members and preserving Hamilton County records. At the time I am writing this article, I assume we currently have at least one candidate for each position, although each current officer and director has yet to be officially contacted and asked if they will run again for the Board. However, you may certainly “throw your hat in the ring” at any time. As a Chapter we want to be inclusive and “new blood” on the Board can many times be useful and invigorating for an organization.

All members are welcome to attend any Board meeting. The next number of Board meetings will be held at the Perkins Restaurant in Mt. Healthy at the Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway exit on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. If you would like to attend and see what the individual officers and directors do and how the business of your Chapter is conducted, you might be more inclined to run for office or join in the work of our many committees that do a variety of different activities throughout the year. Please feel free to join us. Our meetings are friendly and last to about 8:30 p.m. or a little later. The greatest advantage to being on the Board is that you know what is going on way before everyone else and you learn more about the resources available to make you an even better genealogist. You can always phone or email me before any meeting to make sure there have been no changes in the meeting details. Once you feel more comfortable learning what and how each person on the Board functions, I believe you will want to get more involved with your Chapter.

Kenny Burck, President, 513-956-7078

Monday, January 16, 2012

Christian Moerlein Brewery Panel Discussion

This Saturday, January 21st, the Main Library is hosting a panel discussion on Cincinnati's German brewing history.  At 2:00 PM a group of beer historians will discuss the Christian Moerlein Company and the renewed interest in the "Brewery District."

Moderated by local historian Dan Hurley, the panelists will include:  Steve Hampton - Executive Director of the Brewery District, Greg Hardman - CEO and President of the Christian Moerlein Company, Michael D. Morgan - Author of the book Over-the-Rhine - When Beer Was King, and Don Heinrich Tolzmann - author of several books on local history and the influence of German culture.  HCGS members may recall that Michael Morgan was the guest speaker at our recent Heritage Luncheon.

The Moerlein Lager House will be opening in late February at the Smale Riverfront Park, part of The Banks complex.  The Lager House will serve as a tribute to Cincinnati's beer heritage and will feature brands from days past that are being brought back.

Bill Effler, a nationally-recognized illustrator, was commissioned to design the labels that will appear on the new lines of craft beers.  Two of the labels are included in this post.  For more information, click on this link.

I hope to see you on Saturday.  I'm sure you will not be disappointed.

Photo Credits:  http://www.christian

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Cincinnati House - This Saturday!

One of the things that I love about genealogy is 'walking' in my ancestors' shoes. There are many ways to make your ancestor become more than facts and figures and learning about their residence is one of them. Sometimes the same house was passed down within the same family and sometimes not. Did your ancestor purchase the house from someone famous or infamous? Does the house still stand? Do any pictures or maps survive?

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is kicking off a new series, "My Cincinnati House." Every other month a speaker and owner of a Cincinnati home will give a presentation on the history of their house and their experiences. There are certain to be many tips provided on researching historic homes that might be applied to your own research!

On Saturday, January 14, Dr. Jim Creech will tell us about his house in the heart of Over-the-Rhine built in 1847. Dr. Creech says "I didn't know I would be moving in with the many people who preceded me and whose lives left their imprint on the property. The bricks and mortar have turned out to be a portal into time and into a very human history."

Saturday, January 14, 2:00 pm
Genealogy & Local History Program Space, Third Floor
Dr. Jim Creech

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Two Genealogy TV Programs Scheduled for 2012

Photo Credit:
Who Do You Think You Are? The new series of this popular television show will start February 3, 2012. Marisa Tomei, Martin Sheen and Blair Underwood will be some of the featured actors. For complete details, click on the series link at

Photo Credit:

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jrwill premiere Sunday, March 25 on PBS channels at 8 pm. The ten-part series delves into the genealogy and genetics of famous Americans, combining history and science in an exploration of race, family, and identity in today's America. Professor Gates shakes loose captivating stories and surprises in the family trees of Kevin Bacon, Robert Downey, Jr., Branford Marsalis, John Legend, Martha Stewart, Barbara Walters and Rick Warren, among many others.

Both programs have pages on Facebook that you can "like" if you would like to receive regular updates in your Facebook account.  Click on this link to access the Facebook page for Who Do You Think You Are?  Click on this link to access the Facebook page for Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, JrAccording to the latter Facebook page, "This upcoming PBS series explores race, culture and identity, through genealogy and genetics – and features an all new group of remarkable individuals, who each uncovers secrets and surprises related to their family trees."

Both series have generated interest in genealogy among the public.  Our society can build on this interest by sharing tools and techniques to research and document a family history.

Deb Cyprych and Kathy Reed
Hamilton County Genealogy Society

Friday, January 6, 2012

January Gazette is Now Online!

The January 2012 Gazette is now available online on the Hamilton County Genealogical website members section, Click on 'Proceed to Members Pages' and follow the instructions to log in.

Featured in this month's issue:
HCGS is now on Facebook and Blogger
Probate Court Project Update
Next Tracer in March, not February
President's Message
Irish Church Update
Library News from The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

If you are not a member, e-memberships are only $10 and allow access to the members pages of the website including downloadable PDFs of the Tracer and Gazette.