Thursday, August 22, 2019

Merger of NGS ans FGS

Here is some exciting news from NGS and FGS. On the opening day of the FGS Conference in Washington D.C.these two major genealogical organizations announced their plan to merge into one large non-profit group  that will  continue to be called the National Genealogical Society. Both groups will operate as individual organizations until the merger is final in late 2020.

The following is a press release concerning the merger.

Aug 21, 2019, 9:00 AM (1 day ago)

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(21 August 2019)--In a historic move, the boards of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announced today their intent to merge. The two organizations, both non- profit leaders in the dynamic genealogy industry, will form one consolidated group that will continue to operate as the National Genealogical Society. Both boards approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) earlier this week, and jointly announced the news at the Opening Session of the FGS Family History Conference in Washington, D.C., this morning.
Leaders of both organizations believe this merger will serve the genealogy community by improving support of both individual members and societies in the pursuit of genealogical excellence.
The organizational structure of NGS will be modified to increase functions that support genealogical societies and family organizations. Digitization projects of genealogical importance such as the War of 1812 pensions will continue. The two organizations will continue to operate independently while all details of the merger are completed, no later than October 1, 2020.
Faye Stallings, President of FGS, said: “We are excited about this opportunity to combine with a premier organization that has been in operation since 1903. This will allow for improved and expanded services to help support societies.” Ben Spratling, President of NGS, commented, “We look forward to continuing the strong legacy of FGS as a ‘gathering point’ for family historians and societies all across the nation.”
Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Falls Church, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.
Media Contact:
Kathryn M. Doyle
Phone: 510-388-6477

Thursday, August 8, 2019

225th Anniversary of the Battle of Fallen Timbers

The Battle of Fallen Timbers took place on August 20, 1794, at a location south of present day Maumee, Ohio, along the Maumee River. It lasted 2 hours and had a significant impact on Ohio history. It opened Ohio lands for settlers. Unfortunately, it was the beginning of the end for the Native Americans in this territory who eventually lost the land they had occupied for hundreds of years after the War of 1812.

This year marks the 225th anniversary of this war. A five day event (August 16-20, 2019) will be held at Side Cut Metropark in Maumee, Ohio. The actual site of the battle is a few miles south of the park but the location for the event provides more area for the large number of visitors who are expected to attend the anniversary celebration.

There will be re-enactors of the American, Native American, Canadian and British participants in the war who will be encamped at the park. It will be a good chance for visitors to view life in the area in the late 1700s. 

The Fallen Timbers Battlefield Park was opened several years ago and features a visitor center and a 1.5 mile walk thru the site of the battle. The park will be open for events during the celebration. Lantern walks are planned and golf cart tours will be available for those who can't walk the mile and a half path.

The Fallen Timbers Battlefield Preservation Commission is searching for descendants of those who were present at the battle. Descendants will be invited to participate in the anniversary and attend a reunion style event.

The anniversary celebration has been added to the schedule of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who will be in Canada at the same time. No word yet if they will attend.

If you need information about volunteering, being a sponsor, or might possibly have an ancestor involved in this battle you can contact

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Here's a head's up for any Sears Catalogue House Hunters in Northwest Ohio or Southern Michigan.

Sears, Roebuck sold homes in their catalogues from 1908-1940. They were modern homes delivered in a box. Some assembly required! 

These were not just tiny little bungalows. They could have maid's quarters. Front stairs and back stairs. Duplexes. Barns. Garages. A home builder could buy several homes at a discount and, who knows . . . start a neighborhood?

I cannot imagine purchasing a lot and waiting for my new home to be delivered by Amazon. Holy Cow where do I start. I can't even put a bookcase together without a few screw-ups.  

But to be honest I have to wonder how many home owners/purchasers actually assembled their kit homes. I would have to think that they hired builders, especially when we are talking about the larger homes. When you take into consideration  that many of these homes are still standing and in excellent condition today, it stands to reason that professionals were involved in the assembly.

On the other hand I do know that my two uncles built their own homes and I am pretty sure those homes didn't arrive in a box. They were and still are sturdy, well constructed homes. The reason was the walnut wood used in the construction. Even though I am sure they are not catalogue homes, I do have to admit that I have seen several floor plans from Sears homes that look like the houses where my Aunts lived and raised their families. So it would seem the plans might have been copied or used as "a suggestion".
Regardless it was an interesting period of home building in  this country.

This Saturday, June 15, 2019, Waterville Historical Society in Waterville, Ohio, will be sponsoring a homes tour, Historic Homes of Waterville. One of the five homes in the tour is a #102 1/2. It is quite a large home with both a front and a back stairway. The home has been well maintained over the years.

The tour runs from 10am - 4pm on Saturday, rain or shine. Waterville is located south of Toledo and Maumee. There are other possible Sears homes in the area: a Sears #123 across the Maumee River from Waterville and another located west of town in Neapolis (on Main Street next to the beauty salon).

So now the next question is - Do you live in a Sears Modern Home?

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Celebrate St Patrick's Day!

Did you hit the pubs last night for green beer and a jigs dinner and now you just want to spend a quiet evening at home? However, you still know that today is actually St. Patrick's Day. Never fear, there is a solution.

First, of course, you could spend a few hours remembering your Irish ancestors  with some research. Possibly you think you might have some Irish somewhere in your tree. This would be a good day or evening to hunt for them. With a little luck of the Irish there just might be a leprechaun hiding behind your laptop.

Amazon Prime and Netflix have lots of movies and documentaries to offer. We can always use local history in our research to improve our genealogical skills. Or maybe you just want to curl up on the couch and watch a movie. Extra pieces of gold for a Maureen O'Hara movie.

And don't forget to check out Finding Your Roots or Who Do You Think You Are for celebrities with Irish roots.

Last, but certainly not least, ask Alexa to play some Celtic music or an Irish Jig.


Thursday, January 31, 2019


I don't know about you but here in Northwest Ohio, this weather has been a test for all of us. How to stay warm. How to keep pipes from freezing. Keep the cars running so we can pick up our cabin fever click list from Kroger. Decide if we need to tip the pizza delivery person a few dollars more because he is standing on our front porch in a -40 wind chill. Should we venture outside of our house to see if there is still an outside of our house. It's been difficult. Stressful. Slightly chilly. And this is the third day school has been cancelled.

It doesn't get much worse.

I was on my way home from a Click List Run today when I started thinking about my ancestors who lived in the Great Black Swamp in northern Ohio. Back in the day! Honestly, I have to admit that the first thought that went thru my mind was -"They must have loved this kind of weather. Everything was frozen. There was no mud and muck to sink into. It was like solid ice.They could go anywhere they wanted to go. In a hurry. Like I-75! At 2mph.

I pictured them in a small cabin with a fireplace blazing with warmth. Comfy and cozy, reading, knitting, mending, quilting. I am sure they made sure that their neighbors were safe and secure on this cold winter night. Their animals were sheltered and safe. Life was good in their world. Tomorrow would be a new day and they would face it with strength and determination. They never expected it to be easy.

Just a thought: During these days of freezing temperatures when you feel like your life is so inconvenient and you just want to hop on a plane and go to the Keys, take time to think of your ancestors who made your life possible and what they went thru to make it happen.

I am sure they did not have an Early American Click List!

Monday, January 14, 2019

My New Whiteboard

I just bought a white board. Why? Because I need to keep track of what I want to do. I used to make a list of Things To Do but those lists got lost in the piles of paper in my office. Now I have a white board on the wall. The best part is I can erase and add. Love it.

I am getting up in years so I have a lot of things I need to do before I log out of my computer for the last time. Goals. I am sure many of my goals are similar to yours. Maybe you have more time than I do to accomplish these goals. On the other hand I might live to be 110.

So let's look at what I want to do and keep in mind that you might want to do the same.

Lineage Societies: Ok, I know I am eligible for many lineage societies. Number one goal for me this year. It's not that difficult and don't listen to anyone who tells you that it is. Most groups are more than willing to help you prove your ancestry. They have data bases you can access. Apply and don't be afraid to ask for help. I need to take my own advise here.

Conferences. Attend at least one conference a year if you can afford it. I know it can be expensive but it is so worth it. Even if you go for just one day, the education factor in today's genealogical world is worth it. Ask for birthday, Christmas, Mothers/Fathers Day presents.  Have a garage sale! We all need to declutter.

Education. (See above.) Workshops. Seminars. Local lectures. This is so important. There is so much out there online. And let's not forget DNA is a tool to be used in family research, but you need to know the limitations of this tool.

Join. Genealogists have always needed to connect with each other. This is how you find family members and share memories of local events and places. It also gives you a chance to give back to your local community by volunteering and serving as an officer of a genealogical or historical society.

Visit. Of course, you know I am going to include this because I always stress the value of "walking the land your ancestors walked". You need to take a road trip to the place your ancestors lived.


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

What happens in our family . . . . . .

I am now the oldest member of my generation of my mother's family. My cousin who has been a part of my life for 78 years 3 months and 1 day was laid to rest today. I have said good bye and paid my last respects to many members of my family, including my husband and a grandchild but this was different. 

Yes there was grief and many tears. There were days when I didn't think my life would ever return to normal. Then I started to realize that she had been a part of my life longer than anyone I have ever known. When I was at the funeral home watching the old pictures streaming on a tv screen,  my cousin's daughter said to me "you remember these pictures because you knew her before we did". That's true!

All of a sudden I became the one knew everything about my family. Not because I am a genealogist and knows our family history. No, not at all. I became the person who knew what everyone was like. What they were really like. The people I grew up with. A cousin wanted to know what her grandparents were like; she hardly knew them. I grew up with them. What was her dad like when he was a little kid. Who was the oldest. Did they go to church. Did my Aunt ever smile? And I could say absolutely - she smiled after we went to the ice cream store.

I was bombarded with questions. How many times have I told a group of beginning genealogists that they need to interview their older relatives so old memories and folklore can be preserved? I never had to do that because my aunts "interviewed themselves" around the dining room table after dinner when I was growing up. 

As I drove out of that American Legion Hall I realized I am the person who now needs to be interviewed. Not about my ancestors, but about the persons I grew up with. For me that is still today. But for the younger members of my family it is yesterday.

On my way home there was a huge bolt of lightning and then a small amount of thunder. It scared the living daylights out of me. I am pretty sure it was my aunts' way of saying what happens in our family, stays in our family.