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Genealogy News from the Hayes Presidential Center

If this is a duplicate, we apologize. Some of the subscribers did not get this newsletter when we sent it out October 27, so are are re-sending it. Note that there is a change in the class schedule from the one sent out in October.

News from the Hayes Presidential Library

Fremont, Ohio

An e-mail update to new genealogical resources and services

27 October 2005

Upcoming classes:

November 19, 2005 – Beginning Genealogy

January 14, 2006 – Beginning Genealogy

March 25, 2006 – Genealogy and the Internet

Call 419-332-2081 to register; Free

New features on the Obits Index web site

Our web partners at WGTE have been tinkering with the Obits Index web site and have added some new tools for researchers that we have been asking for.

Post-em Notes

Ever wish you could be a cyber fly on the wall and see who else is looking up your family on the obits web site and chat with them about Great Aunt Tilly? Well, now you can do something like that with our Add a Post-em Note feature. When you look up the names you are interested in, you have the option of adding a note to that person’s entry, giving your contact information and/or adding information to the record. Down the road, some researcher in Washington State might see your note and contact you and you could end up sharing pictures of Tilly. Think of it as an online bulletin board.


This is a new feature which is designed to help you organize your thoughts and research – and we all need that! As you look at a person’s entry in Obits you have the option of adding each newspaper citation you are interested in to a “notebook” or a compiled list of obits you want. Currently, alongside each newspaper citation for a person, you can either add to the shopping cart (which will send a request to the Hayes Library staff to look-up) or contact another library who owns the film of the newspaper. Now you can also add it to your Notebook. Once it is in your Notebook, you can sort your list by the name of the person or name of newspaper. This will be helpful for those of you who want to come to the Library and look up your own obits. The notebook is for you alone and you need to set up an account with your email and password, but it is free.

See the following link for further information on the two new tools to help you utilize the Obituary Index more effectively.

Obituary Index Growing

On October 26th, the Obits web site took a BIG jump in the number of records in the database. The staff at WGTE merged a large database of obituaries from the Wayne County Public Library in Wooster, Ohio with our existing obits. This kicked up our number from 550,000 people to 660,000 overnight, giving our central Ohio people a very nice boost in their coverage. Check out any Wayne County ancestors you might have. (Hint- we now have 979 Yoders in the database!)

The Obituary Index can be found by going to, clicking on Obituaries, then Search Obituaries or go directly to

Thanks to many of you for helping to underwrite the new web site with your donations to the Friends of the Hayes Obituary Index. Almost $4500 was raised to help with the Obits improvements. Click here to see a list of the donors:

Thanks also go to Bruce Buzbee for his generous donation of autographed books and RootsMagic programs to those donors who gave $100 or more. If you missed your opportunity, we still have a few autographed sets left and lots of room left on the page for donors. Contact Becky Hill at 1-800-998-7737 or donate online:

New Books

A special thanks goes to Raymond Horn for a generous contribution in memory of his genealogist wife, Beulah. We were able to purchase a large quantity of cemetery books for Columbiana and Henry Counties. With the new web site, it is now easy to find what new books have come in at the Library.

Go to for an up-to-date list of new items that have been bought or donated to the Hayes Library, mostly of genealogical interest.

New Church Records

We are experiencing a nice little trend in donation of church records. Ralph Sackett just donated funds to purchase 4 rolls of Catholic Church records from Fostoria’s St. Wendelin and Alvada’s St. Peter. Another valuable addition are transcriptions and indexes of New Riegel’s St. Boniface and Alvada’s St. Peter records by Allen Huelskamp. Allen carefully collated all their records, translating from the Latin, even using cemetery stones to make them as complete as possible. The films are housed in the Library’s microfilm cabinets and the books are on the shelf with the other Seneca County books. Ask librarians for help.

There are plenty more rolls of church records that we need – if interested in a particular county or church, why not offer to purchase them for the library?

Sandusky County Kin Hunters

The Kin Hunters are still taking orders for the “ Sandusky County Index to Marriage Records, 1820-1894 ”. Go to their web site for further information

Interesting clue for German ancestry

While glancing over genealogical society newsletters, I noticed a useful nugget of information in the Hamilton County Genealogical Society newsletter, The Tracer, of June 2005. One of the hardest nuts to crack in a genealogical search is finding the name of the town where your ancestors came from. In the article on Venne, a small town in Osnabruck in Germany by Udo Thorner, the author mentions the migration patterns of the emigrants. Many of them came to Northern Ohio, specifically Woodville in Sandusky County and Pemberville, Wood County. Some of the family names mentioned are Meyerholz, Hurrelbrinks, and Ebkes. For further information and a list of emigrant families, see the author’s web site

Another angle on obituaries

We know that you may think we here at Hayes are obsessed with obituaries with our massive online index, but here is a book that explores another angle – how to write them. Why depend on some descendant trying to remember all the important facts on your life when you could compose your own? Alana Baranick of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and others have written a fascinating book entitled Life on the Death Beat; a Handbook for Obituary Writers. It includes lots of great obits, but also some good advice on what an interesting obituary should contain. Ask the library staff for the book – it is shelved in the Reading Room, CT120.B37 2005. And thanks to Frances Sinclair, library volunteer, for donating her copy of Baranick’s book to us.

Those of you with a Cleveland connection may remember Alana wrote an excellent article on the Hayes Library and Obituary Index back in 2002 for the Plain Dealer.

New Manuscript Collection

People researcing Seneca County families may want to check out a new manuscript collection that was processed this year. For 20 years, while I worked part-time as a librarian, I also did genealogical work for clients who hired me to look up their families. I stopped doing that in 1998 when I went full-time here at Hayes and this year decided that the files of the families I worked on would be much more useful here than in storage. HPC Manuscripts Curator Nan Card graciously accepted my seven boxes of materials and volunteer Dorothy Wagner spent many weeks processing and organizing them. The finding aid is now online and the family names indexed in the Obit Index. Check out the Rebecca Hill Collection at

Hayes Presidential Center Web Site

One of the many new features that you might be interested in is the “What’s Happening” section which lists what is going on at the Center throughout the year. Nancy Kleinhenz, the Communications Director, does a great job keeping our press releases posted, along with a calendar of events. Check it out at

Till next time – keep searching for those ancestors; they are waiting patiently for you to find them!

Becky Hill and the Hayes Library Staff

Head Librarian

Hayes Presidential Library

Spiegel Grove

Fremont, OH 43420 419-332-2081