I live in the best place in the world.
My house is only about seven miles from the
Ohio Genealogical Society headquarters;
one of the largest genealogy societies
in the United States.
It's beginnings go back to the year 1959,
and my parents were among the first to attend the meetings at
Dr. David Massa's home.
Since my parents never, ever left me with anyone,
I'm sure I was at a few of those meetings, too.
Our own Richland County chapter meets in the building monthly.
This past week, our very own, much-appreciated Director,
Tom Neel, was our speaker.
He took us on a "behind the scenes" tour of
the Archival Room.
I can't begin to tell you how many times I have been in this room.
But again, Tom showed us things I never knew were in there.
It was another opportunity to learn!
The above photo is of a German newspaper that existed in 1892.
There were two newspapers in Mansfield.
Think how many obituaries, marriage announcements, etc.
are in there; just waiting for someone who is able to read them
These photos showing brown paper packages tied up with string
are the Bibles that people donate.
Some of these Bibles are huge!
I was particularly interested in the very old book on the
History of the Mission of the United Brethren.
I grew up hearing this story in my Ohio History classes in school
The United Brethren Church, also known as Moravians,
had sent missionaries to convert the Native Americans.
Unfortunately, it led to a very sad time in Ohio's history;
the converted Native Americans were massacred in a town
southeast of where I live -- Gnadenhutten.
You may read the story here:
Tom also showed us this book containing
Oaths of County Officers.
I never thought to even look for a book like this.
If you were looking to join a lineage society,
think how valuable it would be to connect your family member
using a tool like this.
These dates were from very early
Richland County - 1814 and beyond.
This book had me drooling.
It is an original copy of
The Wyandott Mission at Upper Sandusky Ohio.
Reverend Finley wrote those book
about his experience in the mission.
And, in the back of the book,
he has written about and interviewed several Natives.
If you look carefully below,
he writes about how "Brother Between the Logs" has gone to rest.
The following photos show why I would have no business
ever working in a library or archives.
Because, I would want to keep everything.
A monument company in Cleveland
donated its entire collection to OGS.
This is what it looked like when it arrived.
I love the gravestone sketches below.
This monument company made many of the statues
that were torn down in recent months
because of their association with the Confederacy.
So, when was the last time you visited your own
local genealogy society?
When was the last time you attended a meeting,
and heard an excellent speaker?
Have you recently made a road trip across town,
or across the state, to visit the library and archives
that may house the information you need
to further your research?
Even if you don't have ancestors that resided in the area you live in,
there are always opportunities to further your own learning.
OGS has a tremendous collection that goes beyond Ohio's borders.
Every state that touches Ohio
has books and materials that may help you.
There are materials on the shelves
from all parts of the United States.
My advice: Join your local society.
Join your state society.
Go to learn.
Leave ready to research and help others.