Discover your Family History at the Library

In the spirit of trying something new this May, why not try your hand at genealogy? GCPL has resources for genealogy researchers of all skill levels. The Greene County Room on the Second floor of the Xenia Community Library holds one of the largest collections of local history and genealogy information in Southwest Ohio. GCR partners with the Greene County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society each month for researchers to come together and share.

I had the chance to discuss researching your own genealogy with Ohio Genealogical Society’s Greene County Chapter President Katie Scott.

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Can you tell us a little bit about the Greene County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society and your monthly meeting – like the meeting happening May 7?

Founded in 1980, our chapter meetings focus on sharing ideas, information, methods, and best practices in genealogy. Our meetings are held on the 1st Saturday of the month (except July) at 1:30 p.m. in the Greene County Public Library in Xenia. We have a Zoom link as well if people would prefer to join us virtually. We start with a short business meeting, break for snacks, and then listen to a guest speaker.  A calendar of events is located on our website here.

Our meeting on May 7th will be special – we will be celebrating our Chapter’s 42nd anniversary and getting reacquainted with old and new members now that we are able to gather in person again. We are asking all attendees to bring a photo of themselves when they were a baby, young child, teen or young adult and we will try to guess who the person is and share memories about the photo. We will also talk about our current research, what roadblocks we may have, and anything significant they would like to briefly share about their research in the last couple years that we have been mostly isolated from each other.

 

What encouraging words would you give to those just starting their genealogical journey?

It can seem a bit overwhelming when first starting your family research – especially if you are trying to decipher DNA connections. While it is easy to get distracted by new hints and records, try focusing on one branch/family at a time.

 

What are some good resources available to genealogy newbies?

Most genealogy newbies probably default to Ancestry.com, but there are many free options for researching your family history. One of the best is www.FamilySearch.org run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Lehi, Utah, the site is completely free and has more than 14.3 billion searchable names and images from historical records from ancestral homelands all over the globe.

 

How does your organization utilize the Greene County Room?

Mostly, we promote the GCR and its resources at our meetings. We have had staff as guest speakers at meetings and during our Beginning Genealogy seminar we take students up to the room for a tour. We also coordinate with the GCR to offer special educational seminars like Beginning Genealogy and Using Online Resources. 

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Katie also emphasized that you do not need to have Greene County ancestors or even live in Greene County to come to meetings or be a member. She says that meeting with people who share your same interest and passion will help you upgrade your skills, get one-on-one help with research, and you can meet new friends!

Sign up for this month’s Meet-and-Greet even with the Greene County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society here and all other Greene County Room events at https://greenelibrary.bibliocommons.com/v2/events?q=Greene%20County%20Room

Find the list of online genealogy resources GCPL provides for you here.

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