Intro to CCGS from Clermont Sun

I am Debra Geesner, president of the Clermont County Genealogical Society, I am responding to the request to submit ideas for those who are now at home and running out of ideas to keep family members from being too bored and allow them to find new activities. Our society web site is: and our voicemail phone number is: 513-723-3423. Our e-mail contact is:

For those unfamiliar with genealogy, it is the process of tracing ancestry for yourself or others.

We recommend that you start with yourself and work backwards.

Tracing your ancestry can be a fun project and helps instill an interest in history in students once they are aware that an ancestor possibly fought in a war, worked in a factory during WWII like Rosie the riveter, had an interesting occupation or possibly when an ancestor arrived in the U.S. and their country of birth. Many of these items can be found on Census records available free at and also from a library version of the database which is currently available for free using your library card on the library web site. If you are unfamiliar with Family Search, it is the database provided for free from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (otherwise known as The Mormons). They have gathered records from all over the world for their Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Many of these records are available free on their web site and more are being indexed and digitized all of the time. You may need to create a free account to log into some records. This is a wonderful resource for beginners.

We recommend beginning by interviewing family members. For children, this is an excellent time to consider calling senior members of your family who may be isolated and feeling so alone! We will post on our web site a list of possible questions to ask family members during an interview. This is another item that can be mailed if requested.

We receive messages from organizations daily about new records, videos and books that are being made available for free and will update our web site with these items as they become available.

One item received today was from the National Archives newsletter. This issue of the National Archives newsletter contains links to try transcribing records, items for children to print and color {including family tree chart options} and educational resources including webinars, lesson plans and other options. The link is here.

If you look at the upper left corner of this issue there is a Subscribe and Past Issues link to click on for those who would like to subscribe to the newsletter or view past issues. Another resource is Vivid-Pix, at They provide free and low-cost educational videos. The Family Search blog offers many things to do at home and you can also subscribe to receive the blog at this link.

Our society currently has three lineage programs: First Families, Settlers and Builders and Century Families. We are working on a new Civil War Ancestor lineage program which will be detailed on our web site as it is finalized. Anyone who does not have computer access can leave a message on our voicemail requesting a printout of the pedigree chart or lineage application forms. Please leave a name and address to mail the form as well as a phone contact so that we can call for any needed clarifications. We will be checking for messages daily and return your call if we need clarification.

To help beginners we offer links on our web site explaining the programs as well as links to forms for lineage applications and pedigree charts here.

We also have an ongoing cemetery photo project which is available on our old web site.

We are always looking for volunteers to assist us with taking photos of tombstones in cemeteries which we have not yet reached. If anyone wishes to consider volunteering, please leave a message at our voicemail or send an e-mail.

Cemeteries are one place where you may find it easy to practice social distancing and still get exercise. If you are unaware of where your family members are buried you can use the search link on the following link and enter your Surname. It will bring up a listing of all items on the web site for that Surname. You can narrow the list to the area where your family lived to possibly locate the site of their burial. Even if you do not wish to visit a cemetery,

A possible math project for students would be to look at a stone which only lists the date of death and age at death in years months and days. The challenge for the student is to take that date and work backwards to determine the date of birth using the information provided on the stone. We will post more detailed instructions on our web site. An example of this type of stone is here.

Another resource with information about historic cemeteries from the Ohio History Connection is available on YouTube here.

Our society hopes that you enjoy trying some of the projects suggested above. Please contact us if you wish to see more articles in this newspaper or need us to send items that you are unable to print from our web site. During this time when the libraries are closed, we hope to use our web site to offer information that we would normally offer at our meetings which eventually will return to the Clermont County Public Library, Doris Wood Branch in Batavia.