Thursday, December 31, 2009

Those Cincinnati Ancestors ...

Good news for those looking for Cincinnati ancestors! And we know we have lots of connections to that Ohio city where German immigrants spent some time before coming to Jackson County and where other folks went to get married or for other activities that sometimes led to the record books.

The Hamilton County Probate Court of Judge James Cissel has made archived records -- more than a million of them -- from 1791 through 1994 available online at through a link in red about halfway down the page. Give it a try.

The archive search provides "online access to handwritten and typed records that were previously kept in bound volumes." It includes estates, wills, trusts, guardianships, marriages, minister's licenses, birth records, registrations and corrections, death records, naturalizations, record book entries and physician certificates. The records vary widely by time period.

Because of the strong connection with Cincinnati, the Seymour Library also has a selection of indexes and finding aids for Hamilton County records. It's great to have this new addition to those indexes and to the materials already available online.

Classes & Genealogists' Days Out

Let's get right into a new year and a new decade of genealogical and local history research!

We're making Thursdays a "day out" for genealogy researchers to leave other pursuits behind and regularly dedicate some time to their labor of love. It beats dabbling with dusting, dishes and diverse household activities any day. (Be sure to let us know if you'd like to join the activities but can't during the day.)

Participants are invited to come search for an hour or stay all day. Some of the Thursdays also will feature classes on using various genealogy tools. You can come just to research or you can take time out for the classes as well.

The first Thursday, January 7, includes, for those new to the prusuit, orientation to the library materials that can help with your research. This includes "how to" books that can be checked out, as well as books, microfilm, periodicals and other items for use in the library. You may also meet fellow researchers with whom you can learn and exchange knowledge.

You can, of course, visit the library for research any time it's open! And don't forget that materials outside the local history collection can help.

Additional upcoming Thursdays also will include 10 o'clock meetings in the library computer classroom:

January 14 -- Introduction to searching Heritage Quest Online (HQO) and Ancestry Library Edition (ALE). Some of the tricks for finding elusive ancestors will be demonstrated along with the basics of using the two databases. We'll also take a look at the various kinds of sources and resources included.

JCPL cardholders can access HQO from their home computers through the library website. Anyone visiting the Seymour Library or the Crothersville or Medora libraries also can access ALE without charge, even if their home libraries are elsewhere.

Registration (by calling 522-3412 x243) is appreciated to help us plan for materials and computer space. Drop-ins are welcome on a space-available basis.

January 21 -- GenTalk, the popular discussion group, will continue with a theme this time on how genealogical periodicals (aka magazines) can help with research. They may not have your ancestor's name, but they may provide clues on how to go about finding an ancestor. Come and tell us about your favorite use of periodicals or just come and listen, if that's more your style.

The library subscribes to several genealogy and history periodicals, including Genealogy Online, the publications of the Indiana and National Genealogical Societies and the Jackson County History Center, THG Connections from the Indiana Historical Society, and the Indiana Magazine of History. The discussion may also include online publications such as blogs or full-text articles.

No reservations are needed for this discussion group.

January 28 -- Researching other (mostly free) databases. This session will review the online resources for searching for ancestors beyond the confines of HQO and ALE. Learn how using all the relevant databases in concert can expand the reach of your research. Some of the databases are "clickable" from the library's local history page: and the library pages linked from it.

Dress and the classes are casual so plan to join us and make Thursdays your Genealogist's Days Out!