The Norman Transcript

September 19, 2008

Church histories may have information about ancestors

Genealogists who have been actively researching for many years have learned that reading a county history can be an advantage in learning more about the life style of their ancestors.

This week I was searching the Internet and found a wonderful site "Heritage Pursuit The Place For Historians And Genealogists." There are two alternate home pages that can be selected which offer different Ohio counties and databases.

Most, if not all, of these county histories are by Beers and offer information about the townships within the counties, as well as biographical sketches of some individuals who lived in those counties at the time they were written.

The county histories can be accessed by surname or other choices the researcher may make. The entire site can be search or you can make a selection which includes individual counties, some specific databases within some counties and various family trees that are applicable to the lineage of the web master. If you have Ohio ancestry you may want to check out this site to see if your ancestor is listed --

The information about the churches is equally beneficial to your research if there is a list of early members. Knowing the religious preference of our ancestors can give us additional clues into our family history. Usually the churches were built from monies that members had donated and they will sometimes be named and the amount of their donations listed.

In Seneca County, Ohio, I found information for a Samuel Bever, who was the son of George and Sabina (Bretz) Bever, whose picture was included in last week's column.

The article stated that George Bever was a resident of Rockingham County, Virginia, before his family moved to Ohio. His arrival was given as 1824; however, he married Sabina Bretz in Seneca County Dec. 16, 1823, so he must have been there a littler earlier to have met and married Sabina.

I have found some information that I considered valuable in Jay County, Indiana. The biographical sketch for Samuel Nine stated that his mother was Elizabeth Frantz. She was previously married to John Nine in 1825 and on the marriage record she was listed as Elizabeth Cullers (Collins). Learning that her maiden name was Frantz or France will be helpful when I have time to pursue that line in my lineage.

When I first began researching my family history almost 30 years ago these history books could be found in libraries or you could buy them. I now own a few that are available at this Web site and when I buy books, in the future I am looking for CDs because my library space is almost non-existent.

With more of them being offered on the Internet, we now have an opportunity to see if they are beneficial to our research before we purchase them.

Cleveland County Genealogical Society

The Cleveland County Genealogical Society will sponsor "Smart Start in Genealogy," a beginner's workshop 2 to 5 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Cleveland County Genealogy Library in the CSBI Building, East Main Street and 12th Avenue NE.

Participants will practice skills that help new researchers organize and gather information about their family history.

Use the south entrance from parking lot four. Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. The fee for each class is $15, which may be paid at the door.

For more information or to register for the workshop, call the CCGS Library at 701-2100 during library hours 1-5 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Space is limited and it is suggested that individuals pre-register.

When sending in queries or sharing information write to Relatively Speaking, P.O. Drawer 1058, Norman, OK 73070 or e-mail Darlene Shawn at