Genealogical Committee

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In 1967, the Genealogical Committee was organized by a group of thirty individuals interested in pursuing genealogy.

The Genealogical Committee is a working committee of the Western Reserve Historical Society whose purpose is to further the study of genealogy through meetings, lectures, seminars, workshops and volunteering in the library. In addition the committee provides financial support in the acquisition of appropriate materials and equipment for the genealogical collections of the society’s library.

We work hard in the hobby that we love but we also know how to socialize through events that include our spouses, such as pot luck dinners, a cookout at Holden Arboretum and a boat ride up the Cuyahoga River.

The benefit of membership in the Genealogical Committee is the opportunity to gain additional knowledge about research techniques and what is new in the field of genealogy. Making new friends who share your interest in genealogy is a bonus.

Membership in the Genealogical Committee requires membership in the Western Reserve Historical Society and the payment of yearly dues of $25.00.

How to Apply
To apply for membership in the Genealogical Committee contact:
Joellen O’Neill at 216-481-1220 or


Sign Up Now for the WRHS Genealogical Committee Bulletin:

The Bulletin contains historical data of genealogical interest, announcements of genealogical seminars and meetings, a listing of genealogical collections recently acquired by the library and numerous other articles pertaining to genealogy. Issued quarterly.  Downloadable Subscription Form.


Classes & Programs

WRHS Genealogical Committee Zoom Programs:
Saturdays from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM


6 February 2021 | Brian Rhinehart presents “I Have a Civil War Ancestor… Now What?”

Civil War soldiers often left a rich genealogical paper trail.  Many of these records are tucked away at the National Archives in Washington DC.  Learn what records are available for your ancestors only at the National Archives, what records are online already, and how to access all of them.  These records may unlock some of the family stories that have been forgotten over time, as well as break down a brick wall or two.


6 March 2021 | Craig R. Scott presents “Researching Your Colonial Wars Ancestor”

Colonial Wars are an interesting part of American history. Learn how to properly research a participant in these war in colonial records.


3 April 2021 | Amanda Epperson presents “How to Trace your Ancestors in Scotland”

You take the high road, and I’ll take the low–and your family tree will be in Scotland before you know it. This program will help you uncover your Scottish heritage, from identifying your immigrant ancestor to tracking down records in the old country. You’ll learn about church records, civil registrations, censuses, and more, plus how to find them in online databases and in archives.


8 May 2021 | Jane E. Wilcox presents “Navigating New York Research” Seminar

Enjoy four presentations from the comfort of your own home to help you research your New York ancestors. The presentations cover records and repositories for both New York City and New York State.
To register CLICK HERE.

5 June 2021 | Jean Hoffman presents “Lineage Societies: What’s in Your Application?”

Learn about lineage societies, what they are, where they are and the value of joining. This session will go over the application process with focus on Cuyahoga County Lineage Groups.
To register CLICK HERE.