Policy Discussion and New Relationships

Last Saturday, November 2, 2019, Guernsey County Chapter of OGS hosted 5 genealogy societies to lunch and a policy discussion. Alan D., Christy W., and Denise B. attended for Tuscarawas County.  The discussion was a round table format with each society, Guernsey, Noble, Muskingum, Tuscarawas, and Harrison,  sharing and learning.

Each of our “policies” seems to be unique to our society’s physical location. Two societies were very similar in that they are housed in a public library, one is strictly stand alone, another shared with like interest and yet one more housed in county property.

Let’s recap just a bit –

Volunteers & Membership– the back bone of our existence. How to recruit more – at each program be ready with that smiling FUN face with Membership Cards, rack cards/brochure at public places.  Create display boards for “Open Houses” and speak at service club meetings. Each society struggles with gaining more members, as many people feel ‘online’ genealogy has everything. Volunteers are extremely important and needed at every level.

Volunteer Training – Society training for new volunteers – small sections at a time – ensure another seasoned person works alongside letting them gain confidence

Fundraising – No Society had a single plan. All efforts seem to be around the sale of publications, research fee’s and membership.

Research & Library Usage Fee’s – We all find it difficult to take a request over the phone. We ask that patrons be very specific in either email or letter form. Knowing our specific society has different county “collections” really seemed to effect what we are capable of researching. The actual “time” charges vary and each society needs to  make sure “fee” is collected prior to sending off our work. We cannot guarantee the individual will be happy with what is found – just that we have exhausted all avenues of research.

Linage Societies – Each county has at least one lineage society – some four. All accepted work is kept LOCKED.  We all differed with when we induct members into the lineage society, whether yearly or bi-yearly.

Donations – We learned it’s quite acceptable to have a “Release Waiver”. This enables each society to pass along items not of genealogy value or within their county boundary. Duplicates can be sold or passed to other organization.

Catalog & Inventory – Very difficult to change from one system to another way to keep track of.

Meetings & Programs – Programs with Business Meetings after or Single Programs with additional “Executive Board”.

Education / Workshop – Ensure your volunteers have library training. To gain genealogy enthusiast “Education” on very specific topic’s. How can this work for you – is this a single program for the beginner with additional topics as that person becomes enthralled with tracing their family.

This policy discussion was what, I hope, is the beginning of a new and wonderful relationship with our surrounding societies.

And to our members, if you have any suggestions on the above topics or another topic close to your heart, please contact us at tscglibrary@gmail.com and share your thoughts!


Share Your Photos! Community Scanning Event!

Please consider bringing your pre-1939 photos to our scanning event on Tuesday July 30th.

Patterson Surname Research Day Set!

We have set a research day for the Patterson family. Please mark your calendar — Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 6pm! We will be meeting here at the society library, 307 Center St., Dennison.

We are meeting at the library on a day that the library is closed so that we will have the library to ourselves. Anyone researching the surname for that day can bring in their information for that surname to share and additional research can be done. If you are a member this day would be free to you. If you are a non member the normal $3.00 fee to use the library would apply.

Photo copies are $.15 per copy, copies from the computer or ScanPro are $.25, and digital copies are $.05 per picture.

Please join us on May 14th if your are a Patterson descendent!



DNA 101 – The Basics of Genetic Genealogy Testing

Wednesday, April 10th, we had an amazing program given by Mary Milne Jamba. I must say, I went into this program with reservations about DNA testing. She calmed my fears and provided information that now has me considering the test.

Mary explained you must first realize the purpose of why you are testing. Some reasons for testing include – verifying your existing research, proving or disproving suspected relationships, or discovering living relatives.

And she went on to remind us that our results may not be what we expect. Many people are finding results that are rather startling. Siblings that you didn’t know you had, parental results can be um, not what you expected either. You must be prepared for these results.

Mary explained in great detail about the types of DNA testing – Mitochondial (mtDNA), Y-chromosome (Y-DNA), and Autosomal (atDNA). To highlight the difference – mtDNA is testing that only shows your mother’s side through mother-daughter relationships. It can take you back 22 generations. Y-DNA is testing done showing the relationships through father-son. And at-DNA shows all relationships through both male and female sides of your family.

Since 2012, most testing has become at-DNA. Mary told us that not to expect too many matches beyond 2nd cousins as you may not share any DNA with 3rd cousins.  You have about a 5% chance of sharing any DNA with 4th cousins. In percentages you should expect to share 45-55% DNA with siblings, 25% with nieces/nephews/aunts/uncles/grandparents. And first cousins, the percentage drops to 12.5%.

There are several companies providing testing at this time. Pricing is relatively the same also. The companies Mary mentioned are – 23andMe, AncestryDNA, FamilyTreeDNA, and MyHeritageDNA. The big difference between the testing sites – the size of the database. 23andMe and Ancestry have databases with over 10 million entries. The other two sites are showing databases with only 2 million entries or less.

National DNA Day is April 25. It commemorates the day in 1953 when James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin and colleagues published papers in the journal Nature on the structure of DNA.

Expect sale prices on DNA kits for the holiday.

The Tuscarawas Co. Genealogical Society would like to thank Ms. Jamba for providing such an informative program.


Newly Published Books!

The Tuscarawas Co. Genealogy Society has recently published four new Connections books.

Each book is a collection of five-generation charts submitted by TCGS members, all with Tuscarawas County family lines. Every name indexed. The books are spiral bound and contain between 230-300 charts per book.

Connections V, VI, VII, and VIII are now in our store. Go check them out!


Researching your War of 1812 ancestors on the Internet

Last night Eric Johnson presented ‘Researching your War of 1812 ancestors on the Internet.’ It was the most informative lesson on military research I have attended.

Some of the websites he suggested –

Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records Automation web site


American State Papers, The Library of Congress


Mr. Johnson introduced us to the various branches of service and the length of duty. He went on to explain the differences between Land Bounties, Patents, and Land Deeds.  Pensions, whether for the soldier or spouse, and where to find them.

His basic theme – know when your soldier served, birth and death dates, and the spouses birth and death. These dates are most important when going online to further your research. Some sites are confusing and aren’t the most intuitive.

Other places to research he mentioned – The Ohio Historical Society, Ancestry.com, and The Western Reserve Historical Society.

Thank you Eric for an informative lesson!


Preservation and Restoration of Historical Memorabilia

March 3, 2019 found Brenda Cook presenting an informative presentation on Preservation and Restoration of Historical Memorabilia.

She advised those in attendance to consider the monetary/historical value of the article, along with the emotional value, potential cost, and risk of stability of the article.

Brenda also mentioned many enemies of a collector – acid, trees, bugs, spores, lignin, cardboard, newsprint, pvc, rubber bands, paper clips, humidity, mold, and the list continues.

As she advised us, she brought attention to those items we need to have in our ‘Collectors Toolkit.’ Those items would include – white cotton gloves, acid fast markers, #1 pencils, vacuum cleaners, kneaded erasers, acid fast glues, tapes, and labels.

Conservation isn’t an inexpensive hobby, but it is an important one to those of us who consider ourselves to be the family historian. Losing a family heirloom isn’t what we want to be known for in later years.

Thank you, Brenda, for your time and expertise.


Ohio & Erie Canal presentation

Kim Jurkovich from the Tuscarawas County Historical Society presented on Monday 4 Feb 2019 a history of the Ohio & Erie Canal.  She presented many interesting facts about the canal.  She started at the north end of county at Bolivar and ended at the south end at Newcomerstown.  A lot of interesting pictures were shown.  Below is a short synopsis of her presentation.

Canal was built between 1825 and 1934.  The portion in Tuscarawas County was built between 1826 and 1830.  Total cost of the canal was 4.3 million.  It radically changed the Ohio landscape in the areas it traveled through.  Locks 7 through 21 are located in Tuscarawas County and it followed the west bank of the Tuscarawas River for the most part in the county.  The first canal boat to use the canal in Tuscarawas County was “The Union” owned by Christian Deardorf in 1829.  The Dover Toll Office was 1 of 11 along the canal.  The top speed was 4 mph.  The State of Ohio had boats that traveled the canal for repairs and maintenance.  The flood of 1913 ended the canal era, but its death began with the first railroads.

For more information on the canal – A Documentary History of the Ohio & Erie Canal, Tuscarawas County ​by the Tuscarawas County Historical Society is $15.00.  This book is a detailed look at the Ohio & Erie Canal in Tuscarawas County from 1828-1913.   Picture

Bob Smith presented ‘Amish Funerals’ this evening

Tonight the TCGS members enjoyed listening to a presentation given by Bob Smith. Mr. Smith is the owner and operator of both Smith Ambulance and Smith Funeral Homes. His funeral home in Sugarcreek serves the Amish community in the area. Mr. Smith explained the difference between our ‘English’ funerals and the Amish funerals.

‘English’ funerals are evolving with our fast paced life styles. No longer do we have the traditional obituary in the newspaper, followed by one or two nights of calling hours, a service, and burial. Today, many don’t have an obituary, or calling hours, or even burial. Cremation has changed the ‘normal’ services.

Amish funerals are more of a ‘grass roots’ funeral according to Mr. Smith. The Amish community has a tried and true established way of doing things. When the funeral home is alerted of a death a certain process is put into action. The obituary is immediately written up. Many times before the body is removed from the home. The obituary must be in the next day’s paper as calling hours begin the day after death.

Each Amish church has their own coffin maker. The funeral home must go to the shop and pick up the casket. Then the body is returned to the deceased’s home for the calling hours. At day three after the passing, is the funeral.

Amish services are attended in mass. Many times Mr. Smith must print between 600-1000 memorial folders. Neighbors come to the home of the deceased do help with chores, animal care, and food prep for the funeral. The graves are hand dug in family cemeteries.

Thank you, Mr. Smith, for taking the time to present your knowledge with us.

Our Newest Toy – Fujitsu SV 600 Overhead Book Scanner

Last week found us playing with a new toy. A borrowed toy, but still new to us! It is a Fujitsu SV600 Overhead Book Scanner. The scanner allows us to scan material hands-free. It recognizes when the book page has been turned, can snip images apart, and removes any fingers that may have been scanned. With the OCR capabilities – indexing will be a breeze and it turns jpeg and pdf files to searchable records!

We have plans to scan one-of-a-kind township records, funeral home records, delicate yearbooks, archived newspapers, and possibly take it to the courthouse/churches to acquire more records for you to research.

Thank you, Bill for allowing us this test drive!