Category Archives: Genealogy
Have you had a chance to read the November issue of Going In-Depth!
With articles like Researching Women in the Military, Finding Your Cherokee Ancestors and my own column Are There Civil War Genealogy Gems in Your Backyard? you’ll find lots of new ideas and tips for your genealogy research.
So kick your feet up and grab your favorite beverage and let’s “Go In-Depth”!
I attended my local genealogy society’s workshop recently. Held every couple of years the Allen County (Ohio) Genealogical Society‘s symposium provided lots of information for the beginning genealogist as well as the more experienced family historian. So many times members shy away from a local workshop opting for the larger state and national conventions figuring there isn’t much to learn at a smaller, local event.
A local workshop can provide a great deal of information, hints and tips to a family historian without travel, overnight expenses or other additional fees. The meeting I attended is a perfect example of that. Two fantastic speakers took us through the day pointing the genealogy enthusiasts in new directions for their research.
First was well known and well loved genealogist Peggy Clemens Lauritzen or Miss Peggy as her adoring fans call her. Miss Peggy had two presentations for the day. Ticked Off – Those Pesky Pre-1850 Tic Marks and Homespun and Calico – Discovering Your Female Ancestors. With Miss Peggy’s down-home charm and lively presentations the audience received solid research information for their future ancestor investigations and had loads of fun listening to her anecdotes and folksy humor.
Our other speaker was ACGS‘s own Debbie Carder Mayes. Not only was Debbie the force behind the organization of the workshop she was also a presenter. Debbie’s topics complimented those given by Miss Peggy. Debbie spoke on Federal Population Census Data, 1790 – 1930 and Finding Eliza Jane—Using Civil War Records to Fill out Your Family Tree. Out of respect for the speakers and their well researched presentations I won’t give details about their talks but I will say I learned much more about using the Federal Census and will be spending a lot more time on them. I have a few more thoughts on tracking down the female ancestors in my family tree too.
So when the opportunity arises to attend a local genealogy workshop jump at the chance!
- You’ll broaden your knowledge and sharpen your skills.
- Meet other area family historians and share information. Who knows you may be speaking with a distant cousin!
- Attending these workshops also gives you the chance to pose questions to the presenter at the end of their talk. Their recommendations may tumble a formidable brick wall or two.
- Just as important your attendance supports your local genealogical society.
Without you, your suggestions and dues, local societies are not able to exist. I hate to think our lack of participation today in genealogy societies may contribute to their demise and hurt the future researcher.
What’s your experience with a local genealogy workshop? I hope you’ll share in the comments!
October snuck into our lives this week. With warm temps and sunny skies it’s more like the end of August than the first fews days of fall here in Ohio, but there’s no mistaking autumn has arrived. Leaves are changing colors and the evenings are decidedly cooler. My flowers are looking a bit ragged and will soon be plucked out of their beds with the first frost. Even though it’s very warm out now autumn is in the air.
Am I sad to see summer wane? Oh no. Now don’t get me wrong I love sunny summer days with baseball games and barbeques. Summer has a delicious casualness we all love to embrace from the clothes we wear to the food we eat. It’s truly a reenergizing time of year and probably needed with winter soon on the horizon again. For me summer seems to extend through September and that’s okay. Squeezing out those last few moments of sunshine and flip flops is invigorating, but once I turn the calendar’s page to October I don’t mind what fall brings.
October is “get back to your genealogy research” month. Summer is a hiatus from research with so many other events going on. Lots of reading and fact finding gets put on the back burner but once October bursts on the scene I’m thinking cemetery and courthouse visits with to do lists and field trips. In fact October is sort of a “new year” for me genealogy-wise. I take stock of what I’ve accomplished and where I want to go with my research. (2x grandfather James Nance you’re at the top of my list. I’m looking for you!)
Ironically I didn’t realize October was Family History month until I saw several messages about it on Facebook. Here I’ve been celebrating it every October in my own way. So to all of us family historians and genealogists Happy Family History month! Happy October! May the genealogy gods smile down on us as we ramp up our research!
I’m making out my genealogy to-do list for this fall. How about you? What’s on your genealogy agenda? Please share your thoughts in the comments. You may just give us all some inspiration!
Do you remember a post I did a little while back called Checking a Goal Off My To-Do List? I was researching a Civil War soldier who’s surname was one of my family lines. Not only did I fill in the blanks on the soldier I was researching (James Vanmeter) I found he had a brother who also served in the Civil War. George Vanmeter’s story is even more compelling than James!
George S. Vanmeter born in 1841 was the third of seven children of parents John and Rachel Stevenson Vanmeter. John and Rachel had deep roots in Putnam County, Ohio. Both were born there, they married there and started their family there nestled in a prosperous farming community.
Certainly George’s closest friend and playmate growing up was his brother James. Only 22 months younger, James and George were close. Their reliance on each other was strengthened when the family left their home, grandparents, numerous aunts, uncles and cousins to live in Lucas County, Ohio. Quite a distance from their relatives and friends the family farmed in their new location. The close ties to each other that would develop in Lucas County came to a screeching halt when John the family patriarch died in 1851.
George was only 10 years old when his father died. Along with his siblings he brought his father’s body back to Putnam County to be buried. Laid to rest among family members John Vanmeter’s death rocked this family to its very core.
It’s back to school week here at Genealogy Circle. The mother is very happy, the student – well not so much! So with the first day of school at hand I can’t help but say those oft repeated words, “Where the heck did summer go?”
Ours was filled with fun events like vacation, family gatherings, and a couple day trips. One of the best occurred just this last weekend. I co-hosted the 8th annual 4th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry (OVC) Descendants Association Reunion. (Whew! That’s a mouthful!)
Two of my collateral ancestors belonged to Co. F 4th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry. Being a part of this group honors their memory, their Civil War service and keeps alive their significant participation in our nation’s history. It’s also fun to get together with like minded folks, have some laughs and share a meal!
Our reunion was a three day event here in Allen County, Ohio. The location chosen since a large portion of Co. F of the 4th OVC was raised in this area. We toured Memorial Hall which was built for the 1908 Dept. GAR encampment, we traveled to three cemeteries placing flags on the graves of men of the 4th OVC, toured a couple other historic locations and had a super time with lots of fun over meals.
Sounds like a good time – right? But why am I telling you all this?