Every month the Greene County Room at the Xenia Community Library hosts the local chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society for a fun and informative meeting - currently happening virtually (find the upcoming events here). Here is a guest blog post from member, Diana Nelson about her own journey in Genealogy and some of the great resources available for you and your family research.
I’m Diana Nelson, treasurer, education chair, and newsletter co-editor for the Greene County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society. I’ve been working on my family history since 1993, but I’ve been interested in genealogy since I found my great aunt’s notes on her family. I was only about 10 at the time and I found it fascinating that she had traced her mother's family back to Richard Tarr, who was one of the original settlers of Rockport, MA. In fact, both of my paternal grandparents were descendants of this man and my original goal was to find out how they were related.
I’ve been a member of the Greene County Chapter of OGS for about 15 years and was invited to join by friend and long-time member, Catherine Leininger. I’m grateful to her, because I enjoy sharing what I know with others. My mother and grandmother were both teachers and my favorite role in the Chapter is as the Education chair. I have the resources to attend conferences and I like to share what I've learned to help others be more successful in their research.
The Chapter is incorporated as an educational, not for profit organization. We help each other be successful in our research by holding classes and presenting programs on how to do genealogical research. Another mission is to make Greene County records more accessible, so over the years we have compiled and published various records including early marriages, and tombstones in almost all the cemeteries in Greene County – which are available at the Greene County Room! We also publish a 10-page newsletter four times a year.
Although our monthly meetings are scheduled on Saturdays at 1:30 PM, we start the meeting at 1:00pm to allow members to talk to one another. Each month, we feature a presenter who explores practical ways to research our family histories. Prior to the pandemic, we met at the main library in Xenia. Since the summer of 2020, we’ve been meeting online using Zoom.
Our programs cover a wide variety of topics including Greene County history, how to break through those “brick walls,” how to use various genealogical websites, and working with your DNA. Our March and May presentations are “Putting Your Research into Writing” by Carol Cooke Darrow and “Researching Like a Pro” by Joseph Shumway. While we miss the snacks, using Zoom has enabled us to invite speakers from more distant locations, and has enabled members who live outside the area to attend the meetings. And don’t forget to register for our events on the Greene County Public Library website to make sure you receive the Zoom link!
Partnering with the Greene County Room at the Greene County Public Library has broadened our reach significantly. They also provide the booklets we use in the Beginning Genealogy class and host the class registration, which is a huge benefit to us. Most recently they photocopied more than 2000 pages of forms we compiled of Union Civil War veterans buried in Greene County. This is a first step in making these records more widely available. With the books, obituary files, and microfilm, the GCR and staff are a valuable resource for our members and the community.
Aside from the educational opportunities, the Chapter provides fellowship with other researchers. Even if you don’t have family from Greene County, you can discuss your challenges with others who may have the tip you need to move forward with your research! We invite anyone with an interest in genealogy or family history to join us. For more information about our chapter, please visit our website at www.greenecountyogs.weebly.com. There’s so much to learn and we hope to see you soon!