Local History & Genealogy

The library has a local history and genealogy room that is open during library hours. 

Requests for specific, briefly stated questions are handled by volunteers from the Morgan County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society.  Requests for copies should come with a self-addressed stamped envelope and the cost is $.15 per copied page.

Open-ended and "needle-in-the-haystack" requests are highly discouraged.  Researchers seeking inquiry for such questions should consult a researcher for hire.  There is a list of researchers on the State Library of Ohio Genealogy Services website. 

 

 

 

 

Starting Right : How to Begin Tracing Your Family History

courtesy of the State Library of Ohio

Step 1: Decide upon a family or families you would like to search

Step 2: Use and ancestral chart

--start with you yourself, branch out to your parents and beyond

--seven pieces of information to be filled out on this chart

 

  • Date of birth
  • Date of marriage
  • Place of marriage
  • Date of death
  • Place of death

--the ancestral chart is the skeleton of one's family history, comprehensive yet simple

--the patron should be encouraged to bring the ancestral chart with them when visiting libraries or courthouses

--the ancestral chart helps the librarian help the researcher, efficiently and quickly

Step 3: Look at home!

--locate documents, diaries, journals, letters, wills, deeds, military papers, family bibles, photographs, and other potential genealogical gems in your possession

Step 4: Contact known family members

Process of Organizing Your Research:

--"Copy, Document, and File"

--"Copy" : takes notes manually or in a laptop and photocopy

--"Document" : cite and/or verify your information

Mills, Elizabeth Shown. EVIDENCE! CITATION & ANALYSIS FOR THE FAMILY HISTORIAN (Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, Md., 1997)

--"File" : develop a filing system

  • Manual : manila folders or binders
  • Computerized : software like Family Tree Maker

BEFORE GOING TO THE LIBRARY:

--use the internet to locate homepages for libraries and archives

--contact the library or archives before visiting!

--identify what you need from the library

--be aware : going to a library or courthouse is not free!

  • driving, parking, food, motel costs

  • time is perhaps the greatest cost : see it as a "real vacation"

BEFORE GOING TO THE COURTHOUSE :

--use the internet to locate county government websites

--telephone the courthouse before visiting!

--family history centers : you can borrow many county records through these libraries