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Genealogy News from the Hayes Presidential Center

Upcoming classes:

September 20, 2008 – Saturday – Beginning Genealogy, 9:30-11:30 a.m

Oct. 15, 2008 – Wednesday – Internet Genealogy, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Call 419.332.2081 to register. Free.

New Service Offered at the Hayes Library

We are pleased to announce a new partnership with the Genealogical Society of Utah. As of September 1, 2008, we are able to order microfilm from FamilySearch in Salt Lake City and have it sent here for viewing. As an Affiliate Library, we will be similar to a branch Family History Center. Researchers can come to our location and order any microfilm that can be available from We are really delighted because, along with the internet, this opens up the whole world of research tools to our patrons. You can order such things as church or civil records from Waldmohr, Germany, deed records from Lehigh County, Pennsylvania or a Birchard family history.

The fee is set by FamilySearch and is detailed on this web page:

Basically it is $5.50 per roll of microfilm for 30 days usage. We will charge an additional $.50 per roll for our administrative costs. For $17.00 a roll, you can order a film and it will stay here indefinitely.

The Family History Library holds over 2 million rolls of microfilmed records, 400,000 microfiche, and 300,000 books – much of which is available through the loan program. This immense collection of genealogical material covers most of the world, allowing researchers to search original records from countries as far as the Netherlands, Hungary, Chile, and China, although the emphasis is on Great Britain, Canada, Europe, and America. The Library's United States holdings include records from thousands of county courthouses and state and regional archives.

Ask any of the library staff for further information or help on finding the film you would like to order.

Obituary Index

Last month, August 2008, the Obituary Index hit a record with the number of hits the system recorded – 1.7 million hits in one month! New material is constantly being added and researchers keep coming back and finding more information to help them with their family history.

Genealogists around the country are already requesting photocopies of Wood County probate case files donated to the Hayes Presidential Center. Thanks to the hard work of Wood County Records Manager Brenda Ransom, her staff, and dedicated Hayes Center volunteer Dorothy Wagner, more than 3/4 of the 5,000 case files (through 1909) are processed and available to researchers at the Hayes Presidential Center or by request through the Index. The next several months will see the arrival of the remaining files (through 1922).

Volunteer Richard Eubanks is adding citations to the Index for those nice biographical sketches found in so many old county histories. Some of the titles he has completed so far are histories of Sandusky and Ottawa County, Erie County, Huron and Lorain County, Progressive Men of Northern Ohio, Winter’s Northwest Ohio, History of the Western Reserve, and History of the Firelands. When possible, he links these to the obituary citation for "one-stop shopping" for genealogy researchers.

College student, Adrienne Chudzinski, helped add to the database this summer by indexing photos from the Fremont High School annual, the Croghan, for many years in the 1920’s and 1930’s. We hope to continue this project with other volunteers now that Adrienne has gone back to Miami University. Wouldn’t it be fun to find a citation for your grandfather’s senior picture in the class of 1924 when you bring up his obituary in the index?

Remember that the women would be listed under their maiden name not their married name in this case since they were in high school. Here is an example of what one entry looks like.

Bill and Barbara Oliver of Maumee continue to be Friends of the Obituary Index making another donation in the Center. The Obit Index will always need tweaking every now and then and this kind of support helps us to keep improving it.

Kirsch Family Memorials

Both parents of volunteer Donna Kirsch died this past year and many memorials were given in their honor. Martha Haubert Kirsch died Feb. 27th and Roy W. Kirsch died July 15th. Our condolences go to Donna and her family. There were many books purchased in the Kirsch's memory which have been listed on our website page of new books, along with other donated and new materials:

Besides the above, thanks to the following for donations of money, books or research materials this past spring and summer:

Beverly Hossler
Lucy Hough Ackerman
The family and friends of Beulah Halbeisen Horn
Elizabeth Yaw
Dennis Farrington
The Family of Luella Thatcher
Richard DeMoss
Richard & Linda Geyman
Sharon Yaros
Sandra Zenser
Marie Paulson

New Pennsylvania Resources - A Book Review from Merv Hall, Library Assistant

Through several kind donations Hayes Presidential Library has been able to add the first five volumes of a series of Pennsylvania Township Warrantee Maps. Included are volumes for Berks, Greene, Lancaster, Washington, and Westmoreland (see New Book section of website for details on the specific volumes.)

Early in the 20th century the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania commissioned draftsmen to draw connected maps from the original deeds of the earliest purchasers of tracts of land in about 1/3 of the state’s 67 counties. Housed in the State Archives in Harrisburg these maps were available for research but until now they had never been fully transcribed nor indexed. This series solves that problem by not only indexing fully but publishing maps of the townships as well as “superimposing coordinated grids on the maps for ease in locating each tract and owner.”

The format of each of the completed volumes is similar, starting with an introduction that defines the maps and explains that these often are the only record that certain people existed. This documentation can often reveal relationships or at least give the researcher clues since relatives frequently chose to live near one another. “ Knowing then that an ancestor bought land in a particular location means that additional records for that person can often be found in the county courthouse.”

Next is a brief county history, followed by an explanation of the chapters. Each of these represents one township of the county being surveyed. First is a Township Warrantee Map (greatly reduced) of the original. An additional copy of the same map follows this with an atlas grid overlaid on the township. These alone are quite small and almost unreadable but here is the value of these books. The author has fully transcribed all of the information contained on each tract on each map, alphabetized by the warrantee’s name, added to the transcription are the grid coordinates from the second map. Every item from the original as well as the map coordinates which would make finding the same tract on any similar map should certainly make these maps much more accessible.

Each volume then explains the chronology followed by the Pennsylvania Land Office as well as complete instructions on using these resources. The various steps in the patenting process are explained with numerous examples from the originals used to clarify them. Document copies and examples from other states are compared to the Pennsylvania process.

Since many Ohio ancestors emigrated from Pennsylvania these maps should be very valuable to local researchers. As stated above the map copies are quite small and difficult to read, but the transcriptions and explanations enable the researcher to fill in one more gap in their family history.

If you would be interested in sponsoring a forthcoming volume in memory of a loved one or ancestor please contact Head Librarian Becky Hill about making a donation.

Websites of Interest

National Archives Access to Archival Databases includes such databases as World War II Army Enlistment Records, Records on Korean War Dead and Wounded Army Casualties, Records of World War II Prisoners of War,Records for Passengers Who Arrived at the Port of New York During the Irish Famine . Free.

Steve Morse One-step indexes provide alternative indexing to popular websites such as Ellis Island, Castle Garden, Germans to America and others. When you can’t find what you need at the original site, try the Steve Morse site and you may strike gold.

Ohio Death Certificates – Although mentioned already, this site bears repeating.

Go here for actual copies of Ohio Death certificates from 1908-1953. You no longer need to sign in to use the free site which is a pilot program of the FamilySearch system. There are also other great resources on this site too, including Michigan birth, marriage and death records.

Have any United Brethren in your ancestry?

If so, you might want to go to

This website is digitizing the Religious Telescope and other publications which was published starting in 1834. There is an index for obituaries and marriages from all over the country. Great resource!

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 31, 2008. This includes a year’s subscription to Heritage Quest when accessed through our website.

Celebrating Presidential Memories

On August 9th, 2008 hundreds came to Spiegel Grove to hear music, meet descendants and relatives of President Hayes, and learn about the family’s history. The event was very successful and received the following coverage in the local papers.

Toledo Blade -

Fremont News Messenger

Hayes Presidential Center Artifacts

Curator Mary Lou Rendon, with the help of many staff, interns and volunteers, has created an online catalog of the artifacts found in the Museum and the Hayes Home. If you have ever wondered if the Hayes Center owns an Albert Bierstadt painting, then you can now look it up online for free;dtype=d;subset=0;_t1103=bierstadt%2c%20albert

To search the catalog, go to"ks"

For further information, click here:"828"

Becky Hill

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