Onsite research is the personal account of Marlene Petty Polster's genealogy research trip to the State of Ohio.
This summer has been hot dry summer in the Midwest. It certainly hasn't been the best for cemetery searching, but definitely perfect for sitting in libraries in locations where some of your ancestors lived.
I was lucky that one of my research buddies have family from the same county in Ohio that my mother's family was from. We spent two days researching at the Miami County, Ohio History Library in Troy Ohio this summer. The librarians were very knowledgeable and helpful about what they had and where to go, plus they also knew which places in town were the best for lunch.
We both had done our homework before leaving for Ohio. We looked at the History Library's website, in the Miami County Genweb Page, and the Obituary Index at the Rutherford B. Hays Presidential Library website. I walked in to the library knowing which obits I would need.
I was a little surprised when we got there. Sitting at the library was the old style card catalog cabinet just waiting for me. It was filled with index cards with obit tidbits on them. The Miami County History Library decided not to share their obit file with Rutherford B. Hays Library, therefore some of the obits we needed were not in the index at that website.
The shelves there had five inch binders with more obits in them. I then knew this was worth my trip by finding obits and deaths I didn't have. I was also able to find marriage licenses and court order books on microfilm that I didn't have. I didn't even make it to the courthouse this time. I was able to make many new connections in my family tree just at the History Library.
We then spent a half day at the Clark County Recorder's Office. The clerk showed us how their Grantor and Grantee books worked, and then let us do our research. We found the deed books my friend needed, which led me up and down a white staircase to retrieve the books that were needed. The clerks did the copying of the deeds she needed.
My genie buddy wasable to find when her 2nd great grandparents purchased their land from a soldier in Virginia Military Land Reservation, which is what she was look for. Gold Indeed! She would have never found this on-line.
We both came home happy that we had taken the time out of our busy schedules to make this trip.
We are making plans to go back, when it's not so hot to see the cemeteries we need to visit. We also need to go back to the library and the courthouses to find more. The both of us still
have unanswered questions.
We know that everything isn't on the internet and that onsite research is required to find the ancestors we know were in Miami, Clark and Dark Counties, in Ohio.
Don't get me wrong, the internet is a great tool, but that's all it is. If you are having a hard time finding your ancestors, think about taking a trip to where they were supposed to be
from to visit those libraries and courthouses. Experience the way it was for your ancestors to walk the county seat streets. I promise you will find more!
Please remember to be kind to your clerks. They are there for today' records and maintain yesterday's records by law.
Marlene Petty Polster, is the current President of the Northwest Indiana Genealogical Society, originial article was published in "Twigs" September, 2012 issue. The society's newsletter.
Marlene is also very involved with the various projects the society is working on.
Hope you enjoyed Onsite Research and this is just one person's experience.
Keep on the genealogy research pathway and you can have an
Onsite Research experience.
NOTE: I worked among county employees for my company, and they are good workers. The county pays them to do their job and not to do your genealogy research, so be extra kind. If you are in an office that has a dozen or less employees, treat them with a sweet treat or give them a couple dollars for their coffee fund.
If the office has more than a dozen, then ask if they have a coffee fund you would like to donate to it. Also you can do the same if they have a container on a desk that is to help a cancer victim, or a family lost their home do to fire. There many ways to be kind.