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Thursday, September 25, 2008

How do I find out about my family history?

“I’m related to the Longenberger family that lived in Newton Township and would like to find out more about them.” This is a perfect question as October is Family History Month, and the Newton Falls Public Library’s Local History Room is filled with items which individuals can use to learn more about their families. The library staff is working on the ongoing project of identifying local people in photographs donated by Alma and Peter Murri, owners of the Newton Falls Herald. Many genealogists find this collection very useful.

There are also numerous print resources available for use at the library. Some that a family researcher may want to consider are: Trumbull County, Ohio Bible and Family Records compiled and edited by Ruth Allen for the Trumbull County Chapter, Ohio Genealogical Society; 1880 Census Index of Trumbull County, Ohio compiled by Norman & Mary Lou (Keifer) Ulam; the indexes to the official rosters of Ohio soldiers in the war with Mexico [1846-1848] and the war with Spain [1898-1899]; and Trumbull County birth, marriage, death and census records.

For those looking for more contemporary information, the library has a collection of the Haines ... Criss-cross Directory: Youngstown, Ohio city and suburban and Newton Falls High School yearbooks. The earliest yearbook is from 1885 and has no photographs. The more extensive collection, which includes those with class pictures, begins with the 1916 edition. There are also some large pictures of graduating classes on the walls of the Local History Room
The Ohio Web Library has a Resources link from our homepage’s Library Databases []. There you will find excellent Genealogy sites including statewide genealogy sites, maps, military sites, and cemeteries. For those who came through Ellis Island and the Port of New York, allows you to search by passenger names. Using any of the popular online search engines one can find many other ancestry, genealogy, and family tree sites.

Visiting the library is a great opportunity to share and learn more about your family, where they came from, and where they have lived. While a little dated, Oral History for the Local Historical Society by Willa K. Baum has excellent ideas on how to create an oral history, learning from older family members about their lives. Discovering the History of Your House and Your Neighborhood by Betsy J. Green is another interesting resource. In conjunction with Ms. Green’s book, the Haines directories and Sanborne Fire Insurance Maps (found in Ohio Web Library’s Genealogy section) will assist you in researching where your family has lived. If your family moved to Newton Falls during the growth of the steel mills, you might find it interesting to view the tools belonging to contractor Nicholas Risko. Mr. Risko built many of the homes for families who came during this era. Back to the Longenberger Family, a relative of the family, Grandma Caroline Gamber [1836-1928], would be blushing to know that there is a display of her clothing including undergarments, in the library’s Local History Room.

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