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 $20.00.
How to Apply
To apply for membership in the Genealogical Committee contact:
Joellen O’Neill at 216-481-1220 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Spring 2020 Classes & Programs
Classes last from two to three hours. Attendees are welcome to use the Research Library until 5:00 pm. Laptops and other devices always welcome in the classroom.
04 January 2020: 12 noon
“Searching for Your Elusive Prussian Ancestors: Case Study”
Presented by Stephen Wendt, MLIS, a professional genealogist, lecturer and owner of Tree Tidings. Stephen specializes in Prussian/German and Scottish Genealogy. All classes are $15 unless otherwise indicated. Participants are welcome to use the Research Library until 5:00 pm. Library Tour included
01 February 2020: 12 noon
Presented by Chris Staats, professional genealogical researcher, presenter and writer. All classes are $15 unless otherwise indicated. Participants are welcome to use the Research Library until 5:00 pm. Library Tour included
14 March 2020: 12 noon
“Opening the Door to Family History”
This class is designed for the beginning researcher. We’ll cover how to get started, using home sources, how to organize your material, the basics of documenting and great websites you can use.BOGO—Bring One Get One—invites you and a guest to attend this class for $15. Bring a family member or friend. You must register yourself and your guest by name. Presenter will be Genealogical Committee Member Heber MacWilliams. A behind-the-scenes tour of the library is available after class. Participants are welcome to use the Research Library until 5:00 pm. Library Tour included
04 April 2020: 12 noon
“Did Your Ancestors Wear Tartan?: Tracing Your Ancestors from America to Scotland.”
Presented by Amanda Epperson, PhD., author of “The Family Tree Scottish Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Ancestors in Scotland”. All classes are $15 unless otherwise indicated. Participants are welcome to use the Research Library until 5:00 pm. Library Tour included
02 May 2020: 12 noon
“Researching Your Revolutionary War Patriot”
Presented by Jill Filo Sutton, Registrar of the Akron DAR and the Ohio Society DAR Application Team. This class will focus of researching the National DAR database, DAR applications, and the DAR organization along with the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), and Children of the American Revolution (CAR). All classes are $15 unless otherwise indicated. Participants are welcome to use the Research Library until 5:00pm. Library Tour included
06 June 2020: 12 noon
“How to Research in the Library”
Learn how to get the most out of the vast collection at the WRHS library. This session is for beginners to advanced researchers who want to learn more about the available resources and the best approach for finding information. This session will be FREE. Participants are welcome to use the Research Library until 5:00pm. Library tour included.
BE THE LINK!
Youth Roots Family History Writing Contest
The Western Reserve Historical Society Genealogical Committee encourages students to explore their family history. Tracing family history bridges generations & is a compelling link to your past.
Who can enter?
Any student residing in the Northeast Ohio area. There are two divisions: Grades 7-9 & Grades 10-12.
What are the Prizes?
Cash prizes are given in each division: First Prize, $100; Second Prize, $50; Third Prize, $25.
PLUS: Teachers of the First Prize winners receive a complimentary one-year membership to Western Reserve Historical Society (this includes Hale Farm & Cleveland History Center).
What can I write about?
- Write a short biography about a deceased relative/ancestor.
- Write about his/her career, hometown, military service, or some aspect of their life.
- Write about your ancestor’s experiences with emphasis on place and time in history.
How do I begin?
- Identify an ancestor to write about.
- Gather information about your subject. Conduct personal interviews, gather family documents and memorabilia, review online resources (AncestryLibrary, FamilySearch etc.)
Can I have help with my project?
- Visit the WRHS Research Library during open hours Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Library Volunteers and Staff can assist with research strategies and suggest sources.
- For one-on-one assistance call the Research Library 216-721-5722 ext. 1509 and schedule an appointment to work with a library volunteer.
- WRHS Research Library provides access to AncestryLibrary.com and other helpful websites. In addition, you’ll have access to a wealth of books, manuscripts and newspapers.
- You can also email any questions to: email@example.com Subject Line: “Youth Roots 2017”
- You can access AncestryLibrary.com from other public libraries.
What are the requirements for the contest?
One submission per student.
All submissions should be original, unpublished work with citations.
Please use: www.chicagomanualofstyle.org for citations.
Place citations on a separate sheet from entry submission)
One source must be from a library collection, either in printed form or electronic database.
Entry should have a title, be 800-1200 words in length, double-spaced.
No graphics or photos allowed.
Submissions must include: Name of student author, home or school address, email address, school name and address, grade level, and teacher’s name & contact information.
When is the deadline?
- All entries are due by December 31. Entries postmarked or emailed by that date to
- Students will receive confirmation within one week of submission. Haven’t heard? Contact Ed Bolte at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Only winning entries will be contacted
Written submissions can be mailed to: Western Reserve Historical Society, c/o Genealogical Committee, Youth Roots Contest, 10825 East Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44106
Email submissions can be sent to email@example.com subject line: Youth Roots Entry. All submissions must contain the same information: student’s name, home or school address, grade level, teacher’s name & contact information. This information should be in the body of the email, and the entry must be an attachment, not in the body of the email.
Teachers, educators, and parents: click on the following link:
All prizes and gifts are funded by the Genealogical Committee. All entries become the property of the Genealogical Committee. Entries will be judged by those members