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!