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News and Events

Genealogy chapter awarded state chapter of the year

The Richland County – Shelby Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society was recently awarded the 2019 Chapter of the year by the Ohio Genealogical Society.

In order to be considered for the award, chapters must include a variety of membership activities, contribute to genealogical records preservation, provide assistance and resources to local libraries, provide genealogical education to members and the public, and interact with other societies.

Through a member donation, the chapter hosted meetings from September through June engaging well-known local speakers who increased members’ knowledge of genealogical research. Mini-workshops, “show and tell” and an annual picnic provided further comradery. The meetings were open to the public.

Through a strong 30-year relationship with Marvin Memorial Library, the chapter assisted in renovating the Genealogy Room, choosing paint colors, rearranging books into topics to make searching easier, and  adding a work table with room for four people.

President Christina Yetzer Drain conducted monthly workshops at the library, discussing a topic of relevance for an hour, followed by two hours of individual participant research with assistance if needed. Many times, workshop discussions evolved into additional questions such as “Where can I find…?” that strengthened participants’ genealogical research knowledge. Drain also volunteered to present four workshops during the OGS Summer series.

The chapter created its first lineage society, the Deceased Military Veterans Lineage Society. Military and civil service members who lived in Shelby at any point in time are eligible to be nominated. The first recipients will be honored at an upcoming meeting.  

As Shelby is a rural area with many children who belong to 4-H, the chapter partnered with the Richland County Extension to conduct a workshop for those who wanted to complete the Family History Treasure Hunt project.  Vice President Doris Berdanier and President Drain, both former 4-Hers, also led genealogy discussions with more than 100 4-Hers at their annual summer camp in June.

A chapter website has developed into an online destination where visitors can learn more about local Shelbians in history. Biographies are written by chapter members about an early settler, military veteran, Shelby builder, or woman in Shelby history, and members submit family histories.

Partnering with the Shelby High School Alumni group, the chapter added to the website biographies of more than 100 alumni who have been inducted into the alumni Hall of Distinction. Members Cindy Jones and Drain, who both have relatives in the hall of distinction (Cindy’s deceased husband, and Christina’s grandfather), completed the project over a three-month period, in time for the annual alumni banquet.

This small group of about 30 active local members and many more throughout the country are working to keep Shelby genealogy alive!

Local ancestors inducted into state lineage societies

Four members of the Richland County – Shelby Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society were notified that their applications for the state lineage societies had been approved. Gail Adams, Patti Lauderbaugh, Christina Yetzer Drain and John Yetzer submitted a total of 23 ancestors to two lineage societies.

In order to be considered for a lineage society, members had to prove, through birth, marriage, death and other records, that they are a direct descendant and that the ancestor lived in Ohio during a particular timeframe.

 Adams submitted 10 names to the Century Families of Ohio, which is open to direct descendants of any person residing in Ohio from 1861 to 1919: Lowell Edwin McMeeken, Charlotte Irene Taylor, Charles Roscoe McMeeken, Mary Josephine Stemm, Beverly Burnett Stemm, Adda Florence Hershiser, Charles Daniel Taylor, Ina Claire Frederick, David Leviath Frederick, and Netta Frances Vickery.

Lauderbaugh also proved ancestors as Century Families: Robert Albert Precht, Mary Arline Errett, William Henry Precht, Eulalia Eleanor Mott, Jonathan Berlin Errett, Dollie Lavern Morton, Henry Precht, and Louisa Westerman.

John Yetzer and Christina Yetzer Drain proved ancestors to Settlers and Builders of Ohio (1821-1860): Ellen McMahon, George (Georg) Keller, Catharine Kurtzman, William Buchholz, and Sophia Hug.

The inductees received medals and certificates by mail, as the award ceremony normally held during the Ohio Genealogical Society conference was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Do you have an ancestor who served in the military or at Wilkins Air Force Depot? Nominate him or her for the Deceased Military Veterans Lineage Society.

Biographies

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