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Genealogy News from the Hayes Presidential Center

This newsletter courtesy of
The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

Genealogy News from the Hayes Presidential Center

Upcoming classes:
September 15, 2007 – Saturday – 9:30-11:30 – Beginning Genealogy
October 20, 2007- Saturday- 9:30-11:30
Call 419.332.2081 to register. Free.

Hayes Obituary Index

We welcome another new partner for the Obits Index. Worthington Libraries just became our 39th partner library this month. They will be importing a large chunk of data in the near future, so look for Franklin/Delaware counties areas to have some more representation in the database. Worthington Libraries was named Library of the Year by Library Journal this year, a major honor.
We are happy to be affiliated with such an excellent library system.

We apologize for the interruption in web service in mid-July. The company that hosts the Center’s website replaced its computers which resulted in the Hayes website not being accessible for about a week. We hope that by now, all the glitches that resulted have been identified and resolved, but if you encounter an area that is not working properly, please contact me ( or the webmaster, Gil Gonzalez,


Many people have designated the Library and Genealogy in their donations to the Center – in person, online or mailed-in. We thank you for all your help. This helps us purchase books for the Library and keep our programs running smoothly.
Be sure to check for a list of all the new books and their donors.

Fremont and Sandusky County Businesses 1869-1949

Volunteer Dennis Smith has recently indexed all the Fremont Business listings from city directories. These records cover eighty years from 1869-1949 and are in 4 loose-leaf binders shelved just after the city directories in the F499’s.

The first two binders contain the indices: Volume 1 the Type of Business Index, and Volume 2 the Name of Business Index; these two alone contain nearly 500 pages of listings. By using one or the other of these you are referred to the directory year and page. Volumes 3 and 4 contain photocopies of these or you can consult the shelf copy of the directory.

If you have an ancestor who owned a business this will make locating the citation much easier. If you are interested in business trends or types of services these volumes will also be of great value there. For instance, as was true of most towns at the time, there were several dozen cigar manufacturers in Fremont during the late 19th century. Hayes Library Staff appreciates the time and effort that Dennis put into this project and know that it will be of value to our researchers. Merv Hall

Ohio Civil War Veterans in other states

Dennis Northcott of Illinois is producing a series of books that document Civil War veteran’s service, death dates, and death records. Hayes Library has all three that have been so far published. These are Grand Army of the Republic Department of Illinois, Transcription of the Death Rolls, 1879-1947, Indiana Civil War Veterans Transcription of the Death Rolls of the Department of Indiana, Grand Army of the Republic, 1882-1948, and Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska Civil War Veterans, Compilation of the Death Rolls of the Departments of Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, Grand Army of the Republic, 1883-1948.

By reading the titles you might think these volumes would hold little interest for Ohio genealogists, but look through them and you’ll begin to see how many of these veterans died in one of the states listed above but had served from other areas. For instance I randomly chose page 272 from the Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska volume. Represented on this page are veterans from 11 other states (California, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont). Interestingly Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana contain more listings on this page than does Nebraska, one of the book’s featured states. Each listing also contains the GAR post number for the veteran that might contain even more information. There is also an appendix with a listing of obituaries of selected members.

If you are having trouble locating a veteran after the war was concluded you might consult these volumes to discover if he had subsequently moved to another state. You could be surprised to discover another fact to aid in your family research.

The information in these books is presented in a careful logical manner that makes them easy to consult. Next in the series will be a volume dedicated to Pennsylvania. Merv Hall

New Virginia Genealogy Resources

If you check the new books page of our website, you will find many new resources to help you in searching out those pesky Virginians. Fairfax County, Virginia library had listed these as available for trade. Becky spotted this and promptly sent off our listing of duplicate volumes. What we were offering were generally Ohio titles; in trading for Virginia resources both libraries gained. This is a little known way that libraries are able to broaden their collections with a minimal expenditure.

The largest group, 11 volumes, covers Shenandoah County, but there are about a dozen others that are general state listings. So if you have a Virginia ancestor that has been eluding you be sure to refer to some of these books. Merv Hall

Web Sites of Interest - In May 2007, Google launched expanded coverage to their Google Book Search. Now in addition to searching books that you can preview in whole or in part, you may also find books whose contents are not yet available online. There are links to “find this book in a library” and also links on where to purchase it. I had some luck searching for one of my families, finding a complete book online and downloadable, for free.

Try searching Ludwig Bretz Family and see the type of items that come up. - USGenWeb-Search Us is a relatively new web site which attempts to index USGenWeb States, State Special Projects, Counties in States, and USGenWeb Special Projects. This is another place to check out your family names and see if anything new comes up. As always, the web is an ever-changing animal and it is good to revisit sites you have checked previously (like the Obit Index) for new additions.

Library Staff Visits Fort Wayne

On May 31st, the Hayes Presidential Library Staff had a busman’s holiday and drove to Fort Wayne, Indiana to spend the day at the Allen County Public Library, which has the best genealogical collection in a public library. Becky Hill, Merv Hall, Marlo Keller, Marie Paulson and John Ransom were all treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility by the Manager of the Genealogy Department, Curt Witcher. The staff was amazed at the huge size of the collection, which includes hundreds of thousands of books and microfilm and dozens of computers. The ACPL recently moved back into their new, larger genealogy department.

Do More Research From Home - A Benefit for Hayes Presidential Center Members

The Library subscribes to an online genealogical service. Heritage Quest Online, which provides the Hayes Library with all of the US census records and most of their indexes.

The best part of this service is that if you belong to the Hayes Presidential Center you can get Heritage Quest Online at home on your own computer.

Heritage Quest includes:

  • All of the US census records from 1790 to 1930 for all the states, digitized, most of which are indexed.
  • Over 25,000 books on genealogy and local history which have been digitized and indexed
  • PERSI – Periodical Source Index – an index to 6500 genealogical journals, including 1.6 million citations.
  • Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land-Warrant Application Files – Digitized selected records from over 80,000 Revolutionary War soldiers.
  • Freedman’s Bank Records

Become a member at the Individual Plus ($45) level and have a year’s membership of this service on your home computers.

Join online at

President Hayes muses about genealogy:

RBH to Lucy Webb Hayes, March 8, 1880 – “My suspicions that rheumatism is getting hold of me are I fear to be put down as confirmed. I don’t like these chronic complaints. Rheumatism is like a taste for genealogy. If it fastens on a body it is never shaken off”.

Becky Hill and the Hayes Library Staff
Head Librarian
Hayes Presidential Library
Spiegel Grove
Fremont, OH 43420 419-332-2081