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Using the ANCESTRY Website for Genealogy Research!

January 26, 2012

This year the the library is introducing a new monthly series of workshops called "Genealogy Labs".  These labs will be on the first Saturday of each month where library staff will introduce you to a genealogy website that will facilitate your family history research.

The first of this series will introduce you to Ancestry Library Edition.  We all see Ancestry advertised on television all the time.  Are you aware that the Columbus Metropolitan Library subscribes to Ancestry's Library Edition?  Come to this workshop to learn the in's and out's of using Ancestry's Library edition for your research. You will find out how to navigate the website and about the collections it contains.  You will learn what you can and cannot find in Ancestry Library Edition, and about the best search strategies to make your research more efficient.  You will also get hands on experience using Ancestry Library Edition during the workshop so bring your research and see how Ancestry might help you. 

This free workshop is Saturday, February  4, 2012, 10 am to Noon, at the Main Library, 96 S. Grant Ave.  (3rd Floor Training Loft).  Seating is limited to 20 people so register now!  Click "here"  to register online or you can call the library at 614-645-2275 and library staff will assist you.  Please note that registration ends 5pm on Friday February 3rd.


Come meet local African American author and Columbus native W. Kay Shabazz!

January 25, 2012

Come Meet local African-American author and Columbus native W. Kay Shabazz, she will discuss her book "Holding On To Somewhere", a fictionalized account of her personal struggle to escape from an abusive marriage and the many hard decisions she had to make along the way to save herself and her children. 
This free program will be at the Columbus Metropolitan Library's Main Library Auditorium, Thursday February 2, 2012 from 6:30-8:30pm.  No reservations are required for this program.
This program is sponsored by the Ohio State University Department of African American and African Studies Community Extension Center.



The Holiday's Are Here!

December 14, 2011

Tis the Season and Christmas, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Chanukah and other celebrations are just around the corner.  As we gather together to celebrate with family and friends we often find ourselves steeped in family traditions through ceremony, decoration and food.  How does your family observe the holidays?  What family traditions do you observe during the season?  Please take a moment to share those family traditions and special moments that happen at this time.

If you're looking for recipes or ideas or holiday traditions check out the "Recipes, Cookbooks & Family Traditions" on Cyndi's List.





BRONZEVILLE, A Historic Black Community!

November 02, 2011

Bronzeville was the commercial and cultural heart of Columbus' African American community.  The area was bordered by Cleveland Avenue to Woodlawn Avenue and Broad Street and what is now I-670.  Dr. Judson L. Jeffries, professor at OSU; Will Brown, President of Bronzeville Neighborhood Association and Dana Moessner, Near East Area Commissioner will present "The History of an historic Black Community called Bronzeville and why it is important today."

This free program will be Thursday, November 17, 2011 from 6:30-9 pm at the Columbus Metropolitan Library, Main Library-Auditorium.   Reservations are recommended but not required. To make a reservation click "here".

On This Day-Ohio History -- October 22

October 22, 2011

"Pretty Boy" Floyd (bank robber and FBI's Public Enemy Number 1) is found and killed by authorities on the Conkle Farm in Columbiana County.  Check out or reserve the following books:  Pretty Boy: the Life and Times of Charles Arthur Floyd by Michael Wallis. Public Enemies America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34 by Bryan Burrough.

On This Day--Ohio History October 17

October 17, 2011

Jerry Siegel who created the comic hero, Superman was born October 17, 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio.  Did you know that he and artist Joe Shuster's first created the first story in 1932 entitled "Reign of the Superman" featured Superman as a villain?  A year later in 1933 they created a comic book changing Superman's role from that of a villain to a hero.  Jerry Siegel died January 28, 1996.  Reserve or check out the following books Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book by Gerard Jones








October 05, 2011

If you want to learn more about your German ancestors there will be a series of free genealogy programs brought to you by the Palatines to America Society-Ohio Chapter, Franklin County Genealogical & Historical Society and Columbus Metropolitan Library.  All the programs at Columbus Metropolitan Library are free and do not require registration.  The schedule for German Heritage Week is:

Tuesday, October 11th...

Breaking Down Brick Walls @ Gahanna Branch  1-2:30pm

Reading German Church Records @ Main Library's 3rd Floor Board Room 7-8:30pm

Wednesday, October 12th...

Probate Court Research Process @ Dublin Branch 1-2:30pm

What is in the PalAm Library Collection @ Main Library's Carnegie Room 7-8:30pm

Thursday, October 13th...

Let's Start Your German Research @ Whetstone Branch, 1-2:30pm

Probate Court Research Process @ Main Library 3rd Floor Board Room 7-8:30pm

Friday, October 14th...

What is in the PalAm Library Collection @ Southeast Branch, 1-2:30pm


You may check CML's Events page and enter "German Heritage Week" in the keyword search box for a listing of the above programs.  For library locations and directions please click here.

The Palatines to America-Ohio Chapter will also be hosting their Annual Fall Seminar on Friday, October 15th from 9am-3:30pm at the Der Dutchman Restaurant, in Plain City, Ohio.  The featured speaker is Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann who will be speaking on German Immigration to America: Causes in the 19th Century, Settlement Patterns, Ohio's German's in the Civil War, and German Contributions to America.  For more information and to register please click here.

Using Maps and Other Geographical Resources for Genealogical Research

September 21, 2011

Maps, atlases and other geographical materials can be useful to you as a genealogist. Some resources provide information about specific ancestors, while others offer important geographical context to add flavor and completeness to your family history. This program will examine what to look for in county atlases, Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, historical atlases, land office records and other material.  Come learn how maps, atlases and other resources can enhance your family history research.

Mr. Markley is the Records Clerk for the Licking County Government Records & Archives Department.

This program is Saturday, September 24, 2011 from 10am to noon, at the Main Library Auditorium (downtown) at 96 S. Grant Avenue.

Registration is not necessary but appreciated.  To register go to the following link

African American Genealogy "Connecting the Family Puzzle" with Tony Burroughs

August 24, 2011

Black RootsAre you interested in African American family history?  Do you want to begin your research but don’t know where to start or do you want to identify a slave ancestor or slave owner?  Have you hit a “brick wall” in your research and do not know how to resolve it?

Come to Columbus Metropolitan Library and see Tony Burroughs, an internationally known expert on African American genealogy, on Saturday, September 17th, 2011.  Tony will be present at the Franklin County Genealogical & Historical Society’s African American Interest Group’s 2011 Annual Conference “Connecting the Family Puzzle”

Tony will be speaking on several topics including; The Nature of Genealogy, Identifying Slave Owners, and Creating Order Out of Chaos.

Tony is best known for writing Black Roots: A Beginners' Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree.   You may have seen him on programs such as Who Do You Think You Are?, African American Lives, Oprah, and more. 
No matter if you're a beginner or a seasoned researcher you should take this rare opportunity to see Tony Burroughs here in Central Ohio.


Any questions send an email to

Date/Time/Location Information

Saturday, September 17, 2001, from 10am-5pm
  Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Main Library-Auditorium, 96 S. Grant Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215

Seating is limited so register now!
You must be registered to attend.

Click on "Tony Burroughs Registration Form"  for more information and to download the form to register.







Columbus Memory Project

June 15, 2011


    Have you visited the Columbus Memory Project website lately?  If you haven't, do yourself a favor and take a look at all the new content we have added.  Currently, we have over 3,300 items in the online archive, with more being added periodically.  or you can access it from the Columbus Metropolitan Library homepage.

    Here is a list of the collections we currently have available: Columbus Historical Society Collection; Clintonville Historical Society Collection; Columbus Metropolitan Library Collection; Doug Davis 1913 Flood Collection; Franklinton Historical Society Collection; Heber Brothers Circus Collection; Reeb, Diebel, Ruffing Postcard and Sheet Music Collection. We are currently working to make available the Columbus Jewish Historical Society Collection; the Born Family Collection; and a collection of Franklin County, Ohio political Candidatess (1900-1940).



On This Day-Ohio History June 9

June 09, 2011

On June 9, 1861, Mary Ann (Ball) Bickerdyke a native of Knox County, Ohio begins nursing wounded and sick soldiers during the Civil War.  She served as a nurse in 19 major battles and eventually becomes chief of nursing for Grant's troops and later per General Sherman's request she accompanies his forces on the "March to the Sea". She also helped to organize 300 field hospitals. She would often walk the battlefields at night using a lantern to find wounded soldiers.  Because of her compassion and caring for soldiers as if they were her own sons, she was known as the "Mother of the Union Army" and "Mother Bickerdyke".

On This Day-Ohio History June 7

June 07, 2011

On June 7, 1782, William Crawford (a colonel in the Pennsylvania Militia) and 10 men under his command were captured by the Wyandot's in what was to become Crawford County, Ohio.  Crawford was later burned at the stake at a village near Tymochtee Creek in what is now Wyandot County, Ohio.

On This Day-Ohio History June 5

June 05, 2011

Even though Ohio outlawed slavery, on June 5, 1804 the Ohio General Assembly established the Black Laws or (Codes) which established that all African Americans living or working in Ohio had to prove their status as a free person.  This required everyone to provide proof of "free status" to the county court clerk and pay 12 1/2 cents for a certificate of freedom.  Those who applied for the certificate of freedom had to provide their name and the names of their children along with proof of their freedom from any other court in the United States.  African Americans who had ancestors living in Ohio in the early to mid 1800's might find evidence of these ancestors in Ohio's county courts.

Free Civil War Records @

May 10, 2011

It was just announced today at the National Genealogical Society's Librarian's Day that will make Civil War records more accessible by releasing "millions" of records on their site.  Some record collections include:
Civil War Pension Index
U.S. 1890 Census of Union Veterans and Widow
U.S. Index to General Correspondence of the Pension Office 1889-1904
U.S. Soldiers Index 1855-1865
U.S. Navy Widows' Certificates, 1861-1910
U.S. Registers of Enlistments in the U.S. Army 1798-1914, Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards 1907-1933
Go to for these and many other records related to the Civil War.  
On This Day-Ohio History April 12

April 12, 2011

Confederate troops fired on Fort Sumter (South Carolina).  Major Robert Anderson the "Hero of Sumter" was the brother of future Ohio Governor Charles Anderson.
Palatines To America Spring Seminar 2011-Explore Your German Ancestry!

April 06, 2011

I just wanted to remind you that you have one more day (thru April 7th) to register early for the Palatines to America-Ohio Chapter's SPRING SEMINAR which is being held at the Columbus Metropolitan Library's Main Library downtown on Saturday, April 16, 2011 from 9:30am to 4pm.  
Classes include:  Beginning German Genealogy, 18th/19th Century Tombstone Markings & Their Meanings, History of Germans in Columbus, Researching Germans Within Methodist and Predecessor Denominations, How to Document and Organize Your Research, Techniques and Resources for Finding Ancestors and lastly an Open Panel Discussion.
This is a great opportunity to explore your German ancestry.  To register online click here.

March 23, 2011

Columbus Metropolitan Library will have it's first "Genealogy Lock-In" during the Ohio Genealogical Society's annual conference which is being held in Columbus this year.  The lock-in will be Friday, April 1, 2011 from 6:30pm to 9pm.    We have an extensive genealogy collection with resources for Ohio, the United States and beyond.  Click here for more information about our genealogy collection.   There will be access to Ancestry Library Edition, HeritageQuest and the Internet.   All family history enthusiasts (not just conference attendees) are welcome to visit the library during the lock-in.  So bring your family history research and spend some time at our library!  Parking will be free Friday evening with the garage gates opening at 6:30. 

Columbus Metropolitan Library's Main Library is located at 96 S. Grant Ave., Columbus, OH  43215 and is about a 5 minute walk from the conference hotel (the Hyatt on Capitol Square).  The library's parking  garage is accessible from an alley called Library Park North.    Click here to check out our the library's genealogy page.
For more information or questions, please call 614-645-2275, or stop by the Franklin County Genealogical and Historical Society/Columbus Metropolitan Library booth at the conference.  You may also send questions to us by email at

If you can't make it to the lock-in please note that our library's regular hours are Monday-Thursday 9-9, Friday-Saturday 9-6 and Sunday 1-5. 

I look forward to seeing everyone at the conference and hope you can spend some time at our library.

Genealogy Forum--A Free Genealogy Workshop

March 14, 2011

Have you ever wanted to get expert advice on how to solve the unsolvable in your family history research? Have you hit a “brick wall” in your research? This is your chance to grill the professionals. Join us for an open discussion of search strategies, hidden treasures and hard to find records. Come prepared with your own research mysteries or just listen and learn from others. Panelists will include representatives of the Columbus Metropolitan Library staff,OHS Research Services staff, Franklin County Genealogical and Historical Society, and Palatines to America-Ohio Chapter.

For information or to make a reservation call 614-645-2275 or reserve online.

Cost: FREE.

When: Saturday March 19, 2011

Time: 10am-12noon

Where: Main Library Auditorium






Genetic Genealogy Workshop Come learn how DNA research can help you!

March 03, 2011

Are you curious about DNA testing but not sure if it will help you with your genealogy research?  Whether thinking about testing, already tested, or just curious come to this workshop and find out more about how DNA research can help you.

The Franklin County Genealogical and Historical Society is sponsoring an "Introduction to Genetic Genealogy Workshop" on Saturday, March 12, 2011, from 10-12 noon at the Main Library-3rd Floor Conference Room. The workshop is free, for more information and registration please go to or call the library at 614-645-2275 or the Franklin County Genealogical & Historical Society at 614-871-2110.  Seating is limited so register today!.

Who Do You Think You Are Is Back!!!

February 02, 2011

Who Do You Think You Are Season 2

Season two of Who Do You Think You Are? premiers this Friday, (February 4th, 2011) at 8 p.m. on NBC Channel 4. The celebrities featured in the second season are Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Rosie O’Donnell, Steve Buscemi, Kim Cattrall, Lionel Richie, Vanessa Williams and Ashley Judd.  Each show will focus on the experience of each celebrity as they explore their family's history.  Season one was fantastic and I look forward to checking out season two.  Check out Who Do You Think You Are on Friday's at 8 p.m. and at Facebook and see what everyone is talking about. 

If you're thinking about starting your genealogy or are a seasoned researcher, I recommend you visit our library and check out one of Ohio's premier genealogy collections.