I attended the Ohio Genealogical Society’s annual Conference this past Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. It was the first such conference I’ve attended, and every lecture I went to was top-notch. A little more detail on those lectures in another post, but I was struck by the fact that there wasn’t a single county where I normally research represented at the conference.
Here, I must make a confession: I have never belonged to any of those OGS chapters in the past. Living so far away, I figured there really wouldn’t be any benefit of joining, as I would most likely never attend a meeting or event. I know the interest in genealogy in many of Ohio’s southeastern counties seems to be dwindling. I’ve been to the Caldwell Library on many occasions, and I have only ever seen one other person there…and it has been the same one person each time I go! When I went to the Harrison County Genealogical Society’s library last week, I was the first person to have signed in since 27 Oct 2008. In fairness, the library is closed during the winter, but can be opened by appointment. I really don’t know too much about the Genealogical Societies of the other main counties of interest in my research: Belmont, Monroe, and Morgan. Of those, I imagine Belmont is probably the most active.
All of this leads me to the point of the post. Where does someone go to discuss Southeastern Ohio-specific genealogy? I loved the conference, no doubt, and there was so many great research tips and ideas. But I would love to sit down for an hour or two every month and discuss the lastest genealogy buzz from the specific counties and areas I am interested in. Is there enough interest in this area to form a “Northeast Ohio Chapter of Southeastern Ohio Genealogy”? I know there are probably not going to be many local responses, as this is not a heavy-traffic site.
At the conference this weekend, I met a speaker named Brent Morgan who invited me to attend a meeting this Monday of the Eastern Cuyahoga Genealogical Society. Perhaps I should swing by, listen to the lecture, and pitch the idea there. I already know the membership fee will be. This idea, I stole from a lecturer at the OGS Conference. For each member interested in joining, they will be required to order one microfilm record set (grantor index, probate index, tax lists, etc) from one of the counties of interest, to be kept on permanent loan at our local FHC. What a great way to make these materials available for ourselves and others interested in these areas. I just wonder if I’ll be the only member, and the discussions with only myself?