Chapter Management Seminar

Thursday, October 26, 2017


The Old Northwest Territory, officially called the United States Territory Northwest of the Ohio River, was created by the U.S. Congress through the Northwest Ordinance, and it existed between 13 July 187 to 3 March 1803. The territory encompassed today's Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and parts of Minnesota.

It was the first organized area within the United States to outlaw slavery, establish freedom of religion, create public education, and provide inheritance laws for widows and their children. The Northwest Ordinance foreshadows the first ten amendments to the U.S. Bill of Rights.

The French established Cahokia (Illinois) in 1699 and Detroit (Michigan) in 1701. Other settlements were also founded by the French. The British received this territory after the French and Indian Wars. After the Revolutionary War, the territory became a part of the United States. 

In 2015, the Ohio Genealogical Society formed a new lineage society - The Society of Families of the Old Northwest Territory. This is the only OGS lineage society that is open to members and non-members of the Ohio Genealogical Society.

This lineage society not only honors the memory of American ancestors living within the boundaries of the Old Northwest Territory, but also those of Native American, French, and British ancestry who were living in this area prior to the territory becoming a part of the United States.

Applicants must prove one of three conditions for membership:
A) Your ancestor must have lived in what is now Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, or eastern Minnesota (east of the Mississippi River) between 13 July 1787 and 7 May 1800 when the Indiana Territory was created;
B)  Your ancestor must have lived in what is now Ohio or Michigan between 13 July 1787 and 3 March 1803 when Ohio became a state;
C) Your ancestor must have lived in what is now Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin or eastern Minnesota prior to 13 Jul 1787 as a citizen of either France or Great Britain, or as a Native American.

Applicants are also eligible for admission to SFONT under the following conditions:
1) A Native American who is a legal member of an existing Indian tribe which once lived within the boundaries of the Old Northwest Territory prior to 3 March 1803;
2) A citizen of France who lived within the boundaries of the Old Northwest Territory prior to 10 February 1763 (Treaty of Paris);
3) A subject of Great Britain who lived within the boundaries of the Old Northwest Territory prior to 29 February 1796 (Jay Treaty);
4)  A citizen of the State of Virginia who lived in the County of Illinois between October 1778 and 1 March 1784;
5) A soldier from the armies of either France or Great Britain who was stationed within the boundaries of the Old Northwest Territory prior to 10 February 1763 for a French veteran and prior to 1 March 1796 for a British veteran;
6) A soldier from the United States Army who was stationed within the boundaries of the Old Northwest Territory prior to 3 March 1803;
7) A American who illegally settled within the Old Northwest Territory and who later took up legal residence. These settlers are commonly called "squatters".

Descendants of early civil officers of the Old Northwest Territory  are also encouraged to apply. Those early civil officers would be: Arthur St. Clair, Territorial Governor; John Cleves Symmes,  Supreme Court member; James Mitchell Varnum, Supreme Court member; Samuel Holden Parsons, Supreme Court member; Winthrop Sargent, Secretary; William Henry Harrison, Secretary and later a non-voting delegate to the U.S. Congress; Charles Willing Byrd, Secretary; William McMillan, non-voting delegate to the U.S. Congress; and Paul Fearing, non-voting delegate to the U.S. Congress.

Applicants eighteen (18) years or older, who can prove satisfactory lineal descent of one who lived in the Old Northwest Territory according to the Society's rules and guidelines shall be eligible to join this Society.

For the application form, rules and guidelines click here.

This is one of five lineage societies of the Ohio Genealogical Society.  For information on all of the lineage societies, click here.

If you have any questions pertaining to SFONT, you can contact the judge here.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

October is Here!

October is Family History Month! Why is that important? Because the Samuel Isaly Library of the Ohio Genealogical Society is open for FREE all month! And why come to the intersection of I-71 and SR-97 in rural Bellville? Because we have over 60,000 books, tons of Ohio obituaries, school yearbooks out the wazoo, Bible records going back to the 1700s, and surname files of all kinds. So, we have 27,167 books on Ohio; that means that we have 32,833 titles on other states and foreign countries if your families were not from Ohio! Have you thought about researching Massachusetts or Virginia or Pennsylvania from right here in Bellville, Ohio! And check out the Manuscript Key under the Library tab – Special Collections on our web site –  Most of these collections are genealogical research papers on Ohio families donated by our members and friends. You can only view them here! And education? OGS Vice President Marleen Applegate is teaching a class this Friday (Oct 6th) at 2 PM on Genealogy Fundamentals – again, for FREE! Call the library 419-886-1903 to reserve a spot. For those with the big bucks, our OGS Fall Conference this Saturday (Oct 7th) with Michael Lacopo on DNA and other subjects runs all day at the Quality Inn next door – just $40. And next week, Friday (Oct 13), those who work or volunteer in genealogy/local history libraries are having their annual Genealogy Librarians’ Seminar at OGS (just $15, with lunch included $25), followed by another FREE class Migration Trails to the Ohio taught be our own Peggy Lauritzen (Saturday, Oct. 14th, 10 AM) at OGS. And, if you don’t like all this activity and like to hide away in a corner by yourself? We have 20 computers in our lab and subscribe to all the big database vendors – Ancestry, FindMyPast, HistoryGeo, Fold3, GenealogyBank, and many more. Did you know that we are a “library affiliate” of FamilySearch? That means that you can view most of those digitized films that have a key icon locking them on your home computer. October is the time to go to the OGS Library and pay a visit to your family. And if you decide that these ancestors are not worth your time this October, OGS Trustee Mary Jamba is teaching two FREE classes on Friday, Oct. 27th (10 AM and 1 PM) on Epitaphs, Icons, Haunted Ohio --- and, I imagine, what you can expect by ignoring these ancestors and making them restless. You must visit OGS today!

Thursday, September 14, 2017


The 14th Annual Genealogy Librarians' Seminar, an educational gathering for professionals who work in the genealogical and local history field in Ohio's libraries, will be held on Friday, October 13, 2017 at the Samuel Isaly Library of the Ohio Genealogical Society, 611 State Route 97 W, Bellville OH 44813. The fee is $15.00 (or $25.00 with lunch) - register by mail or online at:

The theme this year is "The Changing Face of Genealogical Research" and here is the wonderful program:

9:00—9:30 Registration
9: 30—9:45 Welcome (Tom Neel, OGS Library Director; Margaret Cheney, OGS President; Bvenitta Williams, GenLib Seminar Chair)
9:45—10:45 TOM NEEL, Ohio Genealogical Society Library Director—OGS’s Venture into Digitization: Projects we have Tried as Beginners—Over 2,000 books and periodicals scanned, The Ohio Story and WWI cards on Omeka, OGS chapter contributions.
11:00-12:00  CONNIE CONNER, Government Records Archivist, Ohio History Connection,  Columbus—Appraising and Processing Manuscripts: When Your Library is Given that Pile of Stuff!—A lot of decisions have to be made—what to keep, how does one organize it, what is valuable for the research community.
12:00-1:00 Box Lunch (provided as part of seminar fee)
1:00-2:00 DEBORAH ABBOTT, OGS Trustee - Oral History Projects for Your Library: What to Do, What to Ask, and Why do it?—Perhaps we need to initiate an oral history project again with today’s technology making it so easy for us to accomplish.
2:15-2:30  OPEN DISCUSSION—Problems in the Library World— Bring your concerns,. Do you need help in some area? What do you fear is going to be lost to genealogists? This is your forum!
2:30-3:30 BVENITTA WILLIAMS, Chair, OGS GenLib Seminar—The Younger the Better: Getting the Next Generation Involved in Local History & GenealogyShould we wait for them to get old, or are we currently serving all ages in our library.

Monday, May 8, 2017


The Ohio Genealogical Society is gearing up for its Summer Sessions program at the Isaly Library, 611 State Route 97 W, Bellville OH 44813. All sessions are free but please call 419-886-1903 to reserve your spot in a given class.

  • Saturday, May 13 – 10 AM – Eric Johnson – Understanding Military Land Bounties, Pensions, and Service Records, 1775-1858
  • Saturday, May 13 – 1 PM – Richard Juergens – Planning a Research Trip
  • Friday, May 26 – 10 AM – Tom Neel – Preserving Documents
  • Friday, May 26 – 1 PM – Mark Jamba – What Killed Grandma?
  • Saturday, June 10 – 10 AM – Deb Shell – Murder in the Family: How I Researched a 107 Year-Old Mystery
  • Saturday, June 10 – 1 PM – Eric Johnson – US Colored Troops Service Records: Extracting Family Information
  • Saturday, June 17 – 10 AM – Chris Staats – How Do You Know What You Know? Moving Beyond Your Genealogy Database
  • Saturday, June 17 – 1 PM – Cheryl Abernathy – Source Citations for Genealogists
  • Friday, June 23 – 10 AM – Tom Neel – Beginning Genealogy
  • Saturday, June 24 – 11 AM – Margaret Cheney – What the Census Can Tell You
  • Saturday, June 24 – 2 PM – Margaret Cheney – Lineage Application Workshop
  • Saturday, July 1 – 10 AM – Deborah Abbott – From the Voice of a Slave
  • Saturday, July 1 – 11 AM – Sandra Milton – In Their Footsteps
  • Saturday, July 8 – 1 PM – Deborah Abbott – Chef Boyardee
  • Saturday, July 22 – 1 PM – Peggy Lauritzen – Improving Your Talent as a Genealogy Speaker
  • Saturday, August 12 - 1 PM - Marilyn Wainio - Researching Wellington's R. J. Robinson
  • Friday, August 25 – 1 PM – Sunda Peters – DNA
  • Friday, September 22 – 10 AM – Tom Neel – Internet Sites for Genealogy
  • Friday, October 6 – 2 PM – Marleen Applegate – Genealogy Fundamentals
  • Saturday, October 14 – 10 AM – Peggy Lauritzen – Migration Trails to the Ohio
  • Friday, October 27 – 10 AM – Mary Jamba – Epitaphs & Icons
  • Friday, October 27 – 1 PM – Mary Jamba – Haunted Ohio

Friday, February 24, 2017

Ohio Genealogical Society Digital Library

How long has it been since you signed in to the OGS web site membership page – – by typing in your surname and membership number in the box on the left. Check out every section including the new FindMyPast, but take a look at the OGS Digital Library – Books and Manuscripts. Here are just a few of the items that we have digitized in the past several months for you, our OGS members!

Ashland High School Yearbooks (starting 1911)
Glimpses of Greater Cleveland, 1906
Diary of Gnadenhutten, 1799-1826
History of Andrews, Oldfield and Phelps Families
Blosser Family History, 1934
Complete Genealogy of the Armstrong Family, 1920
Fredericktown High School Owl (starting 1910)
Military History of Ohio, Knox County, 1887
Norwalk Illustrated, 1904
Barr & Crumb’s Directory of the City of Galion, 1896
Proceedings of the Richland County Historical Society 1899-1905
Joseph and Elizabeth Scott, a Family History, 2016
Settlement of Wayne Twp., Ashtabula Co OH, 1854
Old Marietta, 1934
Views of Sandusky, ca. 1900
Newspaper Abstracts, Huron Co OH, 1822-1835
W.W. Hixon & Company Plat Books, various counties (1920s-30s)
Genealogy of John and Wait Potter, 1885
Descendants of George Bell and Mary McCracken, 2014
A Trip Across the Plains (Gold Rush), 1851
First Commissioner’s Journal of Richland Co, 1813-1816
Early Settlement of Fairfield Co, 1851
Bremen Centennial, 1834-1934
Condensed History of New Lyme, Ashtabula County, 1877
Electa Dunn Weston Photograph Album, 1870s
Art Work of Licking and Knox Counties, 1895
Memorials, Ohio Yearly Meeting (Friends), 1868
Scioto Sketches, 1920

It pays to keep rechecking the member offerings, doesn't it!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Written by guest blogger, Stacey Adger. Stacey is a trustee of the Ohio Genealogical Society and covers the Youngstown and Trumbull Districts. Stacey is also the Publicity Chair for OGS. In addition, she is a co-chair for the 2017 OGS Conference.

When I started working on my family tree fifteen years ago I was VERY green.  I knew what census pages were and how to find old newspaper articles but that was pretty much it.  I credit the patience and desire of others who were willing to share their passion with me for leading me on a journey of a life time!

One of the first genealogy conferences I attended was the OGS conference in Cleveland.  It was an amazing experience.  Over the years, I had posted queries and reached out to other researchers who graciously offered guidance.  One of those genealogists was Tim Pinnick.   I had found a member of my family who was involved in coal mining in 1870 & 1880 and found that Tim had a site dealing with African American coal miners.  We have had various discussions over the years and it was wonderful to FINALLY meet him in Cleveland. 

Attending genealogy conferences can be beneficial for a variety of reasons.  One of the most important things you learn is what is new when it comes to research, tools, techniques and materials that are out there to help you.  Wading through software programs, research methods, all aspects of DNA and other resources can be daunting.  You have the chance to learn from not only lecturers, but also from one another in small groups or one on one.  You will often find that pulling aside a fellow researcher and asking for clarification on something you just heard, may help you get more from the whole experience.

Second, networking-networking-networking is a major benefit.  You attend sessions with people from all over the country, various backgrounds and skill levels.  It is a tremendous boost to your research if you can build relationships and friendships at the conferences with people who have the same interests as you.  Being able to share discoveries, commiserate over the failures and rejoice at brick walls collapsing with someone who UNDERSTANDS (as opposed to getting that glassy eyed stare from your family when you share your latest find) is affirming.  One aspect which is also helpful is to build friendships and alliances with people who live in the general area your research takes you.   Their knowledge of that area may prove beneficial as your search progresses.  They can direct you to resources and give perspective on the community you are researching which can save you the unnecessary aggravation of wasted effort and time. 

Conferences can also help to recharge your batteries when it comes to research. Equipped with new information, ideas and a fresh perspective, you can approach your research with “fresh eyes.”  Maybe something you had looked at before needs a second glance to get more information…maybe approaching a brick wall from a fresh perspective will yield new results.  Whether you attend a one day seminar, a mult-iday conference or one of the major national conferences, your chance to grow as a researcher, genealogist and family historian awaits.  

The Ohio Genealogical Society will host its annual Conference, this year at Kalahari Resort and Conference Center in Sandusky, Ohio, April 26-29th.  With the theme, “Genealogy Gone Wild” you can pretty much expect anything!  Between a stellar slate of speakers covering a variety of topics, a steel drum band, induction ceremonies for our long standing lineage societies and the newest one, the Society of Families of the Old Northwest Territory, and many more activities, we are looking for a great time.   We are pleased to welcome D. Joshua Taylor, President of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B), America’s second oldest genealogical organization and a host of the popular PBS program, Genealogy Roadshow (, as our keynote speaker.  This is our second year back at Kalahari which is a fantastic venue in itself ( and we hope you take in the sights while attending.  We have a casual dress code for the run of the conference and since this year marks the 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love,” rest assured tie dyed items, beads and flowers in hair will be a common sight!  Co-chair, Marleen Applegate and myself, along with our hard working conference committee and the officers and staff of OGS, hope that whether you attend  part or all of the Conference,  it will be enough to have you looking forward to the 2018 gathering in Columbus.   You still have time to take advantage of early registration by logging on to and following the pages to secure your room, register for conference and address mobility needs, if needed.   Whether you come for a day or the full run, we welcome you on what will surely be a fun journey!  There is a discount of registration if you are of member of OGS.  Fees return to their regular rate on March 11.