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How To Find Your Family Tree

By: Brian Dalton

The Clermont County Historical is not the primary source of information on genealogy information. The Clermont County Genealogy Society fills this role. The Historical Society will check its archives for information we may have, but for information on deaths, marriages, cemeteries, etc. a much better source of information is the Batavia Branch of the Clermont County Library.(513-732-2128, www.clermont.lib.oh.us) and the Clermont County Genealogy Society (513-723-3423, www.rootsweb.com/~ohclecgs/).

Looking into and developing your family tree can be a rewarding experience. While the Clermont County Historical Society doesn't have the necessary resources to help in this endeavor; we'd like to provide you with this informational guide, which offers the necessary information to begin constructing your family tree!

To begin your journey, it's time to go searching. You need to investigate every area possible in your home, where old photos, family records, letters, etc. may be hiding. Additionally, if possible, conduct a similar search at any existing relative's homes. There may be some hidden gems here, as well!

Now, that you've conducted "in-home" searches, it's time to begin interviewing any and all relatives (which you are able to find.) Ask grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, etc. Inquire about memories, events, dates, facts, etc. Make sure that you take adequate notes during your discussions, as to have an accurate record of the information you've gathered. When you feel you have a decent amount of research compiled, it's time to create a five-generation pedigree chart. You can find ample templates at http://misbach.org/pdfcharts.

At this point, it's important to develop a strategy. Trying to complete the entire pedigree chart of one's ancestry at once can be daunting and exhausting! It's a far better idea to focus on one particular area and construct the family tree from one existing point or reference.

Moving along . . . it is now a good time to utilize some technology to your advantage. The Internet offers millions of page of information at your fingertips! A good place to start can be an advanced Google search; or by simply going to existing genealogy sites such as www.rootsweb.com/~ohclecgs/ for the Clermont County Genealogical Society. Remember, this is just one genealogy site; there are many sites available to aid in your research. See the table at the bottom of the page for more genealogy sites to aid in your road to discovery.

While tempting to completely rely on the ease of technology, existing libraries are a great resource to utilize. Libraries can offer a variety of records, books, encyclopedias, almanacs, newspaper indexes, and databases for you to peruse.

Now, you haven't exhausted all of your resources, yet. There are many Family History Centers where you can tap into a variety of genealogical information (i.e. birth, death, and marriage certificates.) A great site to aid you in finding a Family History Center near you is www.familysearch.olrg/org/eng/library/FHC/frameset_fhc.asp.

Well, at this point, you've invested a great deal of time into research and the gathering of family records. Now is a good time to begin an in-depth organization process. You can organize your data on something as simple as pen and paper; or you can invest in any number of family tree software programs. As a rule of thumb, make sure to cite all of the resources you've utilized to ensure accuracy.

While a great deal of effort is required to develop a complete family tree; it's an effort that can offer a great sense of reward and accomplishment. Take into account, however, that this is not an easy process! Therefore, do not become, overwhelmed and/or frustrated. Take your time and enjoy the process. Remember to use the index of genealogy sites provided to aid you in the journey of developing your new family tree!

Civil War - FamilySearch:
Provides free access to millions of records from the time of the U.S. Civil War. Many of these records document events related to the war and its aftermath.

Clermont County Auditor:
To find property information and tax maps.

Clermont County Genealogical Society:
Provides information on Clermont County Ohio genealogy.

Clermont County Health District:
To find county birth and death records.

Ellis Island:
Search Ellis Island's database for passenger records. http://www.ellisisland.org/default.asp
History Search Online
Search all 50 state's geneallogy web sites at once with this custom search engine.

Kenton County, Kentucky, Public Library Genealogy Department.
The library has one of the largest collection of local history and genealogy in the state of Kentucky Elaine.kuhn@kentonlibrary.org or 859-961-4070 Dad

National Archives:
Learn how you can use the resources at the National Archives to explore your family's ancestry.

The Archives/Library
of the Ohio Historical Society
Collects, preserves, and makes available to the public written and graphic information concerning Ohio's history.