Graveyard Symbolism Program

The society will be sponsoring a Graveyard Symbolism program at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Dennison Railway Chapel, 301 Grant St. Speaker will be Randall Neff, cemetery chairman of the Guernsey County Genealogical Society.

The program will focus on the various types of burial grounds found in eastern Ohio, how to “read” a burial ground, burial ground safety and the various types of symbols carved on gravestones.

Tuscarawas County Genealogical Library to Open

The Tuscarawas County Genealogical Library will be opening for the 2021 season April 20th at 11 am!

When you visit – remember to ask about our upcoming genealogy classes. It’s time to brush up on your skills and add more ancestors to your tree.

We have a new First Family Chair (and newest Trustee), Cheryl Abernathy. She holds several positions with Holmes and Wayne Counties Genealogical Societies, along with holding positions with the OGS, and she handles the Stark County newsletter. We are pleased to welcome her aboard! Cheryl has mentioned the possibility of having a First Family Application class to help you understand the steps to becoming a First Family member.

Are you able to join our First Family Lineage Society? Do you have direct line family members in Tuscarawas County by December 31, 1830? If so, mention you would be interested in applying and having a class to help with the process.

Please ignore the construction beside our library. We are hoping it will soon be finished. The library is located at 307 Center St, Dennison, Ohio. We have street parking and 4 parking places on the alley behind the library.

We will still be observing standard Covid practices – masks are required to enter and please maintain a 6′ social distance.


New Classes Added to Our Calendar!

Tuscarawas County Genealogical Society is starting 2020 with new classes!

Come join us at our library at 307 Center St., Dennison, Ohio for Brenda Cook’s presentations on Beginning Genealogy and First Family Documentation!

The Beginning Genealogy class will be held just after the library closes for research on March 28, 2020 at 3:30 pm. Regular research hours are 11 am – 3 pm. So, come in early, tour the library and stay for our class!

Brenda will be teaching those who are just beginning their research the how’s, why’s, and what-to-do’s. And for those of you who have been researching for a bit, maybe it would be a good time to brush up on some of those skills that just aren’t quite where they should be.

And in April, Brenda will be teaching, “First Family Documentation Class.” This class will help those researchers who have ancestors in the Tuscarawas County by 1830. She will explain the finer details of what is needed on the application, how to find those details, and how to fill out the application for induction.

Surname Research Day 2020

In 2019, the Tuscarawas County Genealogical Society held 3 Surname Research Days at our library. Patterson, Wagner, and Murphy were the surnames that we researched. These were well attended and a lot of information, documents, and pictures were shared.

We want to do this again this year. We need to have at least 3 people interested in a surname before we schedule a research day. Right now, the surnames we have had requests for are Wise, DeLong, Stocker, Riggle, Eichel, Knauss, Frank, Bond, Kreig/Krieg, Kees, Maple, and Swinehart/Swinhart.

If you are interested in any of these surnames or have others that you are interested in, please let us know either by mail at Tuscarawas County Genealogical Society, PO Box 83, Dennison, Ohio 44621 or by email at

Once we have enough people to do a surname – we will set a date and time for that surname.


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 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!



Library Opening for 2021

The library will open for 2021 on April 20th!

Come see us!

First Family Documentation Class – POSTPONED

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic this class has been postponed. Please check back later for a new date.

Join us and learn how to apply to Tuscarawas County Genealogy Society’s First Family. Brenda Cook, our First Family Chair, will be instructing us in the finer details of the First Family documentation. Brenda will review all the paperwork, review types of documents, and genealogical bibliographies. And she will cover everything you need to apply to our First Family Society.

If you have direct relatives from Tuscarawas County, you may be able to join our First Family!

Applications for 2020 First Family Induction are due by October 1, 2020.

Tuscarawas County Genealogy Library, 307 Center St., Dennison, Ohio


Beginning Genealogy Class – POSTPONED

This class has been postponed due to ongoing Coronavirus concerns.

Please check back for the rescheduled date of this class.

Join us for our 2020 Beginning Genealogy Class with Brenda Cook. Come in on Saturday, March 28, to check out our library and stay for the class!

Brenda will cover family group sheets, 5 generation charts, basic internet research do’s and don’ts, family tree programs and research goals.

Tuscarawas County Genealogy Library, 307 Center St., Dennison, Ohio.

Murphy Research Day Set!

Please join us here at the society’s library, 307 Center St., Dennison, and bring your Murphy research. We will be meeting at 10 am in the library’s back room.

Standard fees apply for entrance, free if a member of the society, and copies.

Patterson Research Day

Please join us here at the society’s library, 307 Center St., Dennison, and bring your Patterson research.

Standard fees apply for entrance, free if a member of the society, and copies.