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# Monday, January 14, 2008
Family Tree Firsts—Part Four
Posted by Grace

This weekend I made my first excursion to a Family History Center. Practically every article we publish in Family Tree Magazine recommends going to your local FHC, not only because you have access to the Family History Library’s massive collection of microfilm but also because the volunteers are so helpful!

I gathered my ever-growing file folder of notes and photocopies and headed to the FHC in Norwood, Ohio, to see what I could find. The center is only open for a few hours a day, and since it was a Saturday, there were researchers at nearly every microfilm and computer station.

I struck up a conversation with the volunteers and learned quite a bit about their holdings. The Norwood FHC has many rolls of microfilm on permanent hold from the FHL, and quite an impressive selection of Cincinnati-specific records. They've got most of their rolls of film indexed in the card catalog you see above. (The volunteers recommend asking before you request any roll of microfilm to double-check if it is available locally. You could save $5.50!)

Most of my family is in Northeastern Ohio, but I did find a roll of Cuyahoga County birth records in the local holdings. One of the volunteers retrieved it for me and helped me get set up at a microfilm reader, and I began poking around the index and the recorded births. My great-grandmother's birth record didn't appear to be on the roll, but the index for her year did not seem to be complete. An FHC volunteer told me that births in the early 1900s were often recorded months or even years after the fact, so there's no telling where my great-grandmother would show up.

I did make one big discovery while I was at the FHC—I found out that I get very queasy looking at microfilm. Will this be the end of my genealogy quest?

Earlier in Family Tree Firsts:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three


Family Tree Firsts | FamilySearch | Libraries and Archives
Monday, January 14, 2008 1:12:02 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]
Tuesday, January 15, 2008 3:21:07 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Many hours of viewing microfilm have taught me that the queasiness is usually related to the speed of viewing. I suggest experimenting with your scrolling speed to find one that's comfortable. We think we can scan quickly, but the brain's ability to handle the motion has a different idea. Works for me!
Kath
Thursday, January 17, 2008 9:57:50 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Here's a tip for using FHL microfilmed records: Run a place search of the online catalog at FamilySearch (under the Library tab), entering your ancestor's county.

Then, just browse the topics to see what records are available on microfilm. Each film's listing tells you what type of records are on that roll and what years are covered, so you can tell whether your ancestor might be mentioned. You'll probably see records you never thought to look for.

Since most FHL film is repoduced from what's at local repositories, if you live in your ancestor's county, you may be able to find the same film at a library or records office and forego the rental fee.
Diane
Sunday, January 20, 2008 11:25:46 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Researching your way is fine but it doesn't pay to purchase cd's from them. I bought 2 sets and one set has 3 cd's that do not work. I contacted them and they won't do anything about them. Went through the steps with them on installing them and that was fine. I offered to send the bad cd's back to them and they would only say that it wasn't necessary as the set on their desk worked fine. What that has to do with mine, I have no idea. Needless to say, I'll never purchase anything from them again. Thanks for listening.
Larry
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