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Genealogy News from the Hayes Presidential Center

Upcoming classes:

April 20, 2008 – Sunday - Roots Magic Workshop with Bruce Buzbee 1 – 4 pm

June 12, 2008 – Thursday – Beginning Genealogy, 9:30-11:30

Call 419.332.2081 to register. Free.

Thanks for your support

Microfilm Printer Donors

We are enjoying the use of the new microfilm printer in the Library and since our last newsletter the following people have made contributions:

Betty & Jim Thomas in Honor of Franklin M. Steinhauser
Irene E. Byrne
Kathleen A. Taylor In Memory of the Quilter and Flahiff Families

For a complete list of all donors, click here -

The Sandusky County Kin Hunters have again shown their generous support of the Hayes Library. They have contributed funds to renew the Heritage Quest online program and they have also donated memorial funds received to purchase genealogy books. A large amount was designated in memory of Carol Kettner and books about Harrison and Darke Counties will be added to our collection in her honor, along with books in memory of Ida Wammes Duvall. Thanks for all of your help, Kin Hunters!

Check out this web page for all the new books and their donors -

Bill and Barbara Oliver continue to be Friends of the Obituary Index making a donation in memory of their daughter, Sarah Oliver Overberg. The Obit Index continues to need tweaking every now and then and this kind of support helps us to keep improving it.

Obituary Index

We are happy to announce that another Ohio Public Library will be joining the Obituary Index. Becky will be going to Martins Ferry Public Library on March 27th to train the staff to input their obituary data. Martins Ferry is in Belmont County in Southeast Ohio, which will give us more coverage in that part of the state. Welcome aboard, Martins Ferry!

There is also some additional indexing that is being done by people hired by EHOVE Career Center. Two students are inputting data in to the Obits Index from the Sandusky Register and the New London Times. They are trained by the Hayes staff, but supervised by the Norwalk and Sandusky Library staff. This is a nice partnership which may grow in the future giving these students some good work experience and also expanding our genealogical website greatly.

Another milestone has been reached. Volunteers and former Girl Scout buddies, Ann Cain and Shirley Speer, have completed indexing all copies that exist of the Gibsonburg Derrick newspaper, from 1890 to 1980. There is a gap from 1919 to 1926 in which no paper survived to be filmed. Mary Ottney and Dorothy Wagner have input all the indexing. Gibsonburgers can now use the Obit Index to find most people who died during that time period. Thanks for all your hard work, Ann, Shirley, Mary and Dorothy.

Trip to Mecca

Becky was privileged to go to Salt Lake City in January to give two talks to the 2008 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. Besides networking with other genealogical librarians, she was also able to visit the largest genealogical library in the world, the Family History Library. It was truly amazing seeing the various floors of microfilm readers, computers, and books all dealing with family and local history. Except for genealogical conferences, it is rare to see hundreds of genealogists in one room, let alone bump into them in the streets carting their laptops and binders and poring over copies of marriage and census records while eating sandwiches in the restaurants. The L.D.S. (Mormon) Church really is doing a wonderful job of disseminating the information they have collected, whether it is microfilmed vital records, personal histories or county histories. It’s a great place for a genealogical field trip!

Notes from Merv Hall, Library Assistant:

Civil War Histories:

We have recently received 8 volumes of a series of reports about Ohio Civil War Regiments. They cover the 8th, 23rd, 49th, 55th, 72nd, 128th, 169th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiments, and the 3rd Ohio Cavalry. The author, Michael T. Shay, follows the same format for each volume and projects further regiments will be added in the future.

Utilizing the more than 200 volumes of the War of the Rebellion Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies as the major source material the author abstracts documents of the major regimental activities as they occurred. The full context of each report is printed in full as well as a citation to the Series, volume and serial number of the original. Also listed are casualty figures from Fox’s Regimental Losses as well as the Regimental Histories from Dyer’s Compendium . Some volumes also contain remarks on the various types of injuries suffered printed in Medical/Surgical History .

All this information is available in other formats but Mr. Shay has gathered it all together in one easy to understand volume for each of the regiments in question.

History of the Census

One of the genealogist’s must used resources is the census. An article in the current issue of the Economist -(volume 385 Number 8560, pp 67-69) gives an interesting history of the process of counting a country’s inhabitants.

For centuries King David’s disastrous experience with conducting a census was used as justification for estimating a population rather than counting it exactly. The feeling that conducting a census could somehow bring about more divine retribution was entrenched in western religious tradition. In 1634 Governor John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony used estimation, stating: “David’s example stickes somewhat with us.” A census bill being debated in England in 1753 was characterized “…that if it be passed into a law, there is a great reason to fear, they will in many places oppose the executions of it in riotous manner.

Religious not withstanding most people thought censuses were a bad idea because they were generally conducted for only two reasons, war and taxation. Many countries feared them because an enemy could use the information to determine if attacking was a good idea. The results of a 1780 Swedish census were made a state secret for just this reason.

It was the formation of the United States, a country made up of individual states each eager to be properly credited with its inhabitants that changed opinions toward a counting of a population. To determine the number of representatives each state would be allowed a regular system of censuses would need to be established. Thus the 1790 census was the first to be mandated by a country’s constitution. Since this was not followed by heavenly punishment other Christian countries were inspired to try a census. Quickly England, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries instituted policies to count their citizens.

“In autocracies, people try to keep out of censuses. In democracies, by contrast, they want to be in them, for censuses mean numbers, and numbers mean money and power. The American census, for example, determines how around $200 billion a year of federal funds is shared out, for everything from education and welfare to highways. Such rich pickings mean that censuses are well worth fighting over.”

Retirement of Marlo Keller - Honored by Friends

A recent donation in honor of Marlo Keller (retired Hayes Library employee) by Wayne and Suzanne Darr includes several volumes of funeral home records and vital statistics for Darke County. Especially valuable are the funeral home records usually only listings of the basic facts relative to the funeral. These, however, have much more information and seem to be the basis for obituaries written for the newspapers. Included are the deceased’s birth and death dates, address, occupation, as well as a complete listing of the survivors. These should be of real value for those that have connections to Darke County.

We all miss Marlo Keller’s friendly and competent presence in the Library and wish her well in her retirement.

Hayes Presidential Center Membership Promotion

Remember now is the time to join the Hayes Center if not already a member. Click on

to take advantage of a great deal on membership - $50.00 value for $30.00. Offer good until October 2008.

Becky Hill

Head Librarian
Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Spiegel Grove
Fremont, Ohio 43420