June 4, 2012

Taking Stock in June: Motivation Monday

What summer plans? This koala at the Columbus Zoo knows how to take it easy.

I can’t believe we’re nearly halfway through 2012 already. The year is flying by, isn’t it? The last two months have been busy ones for me, highlighted by the OGS Conference in Cleveland and the NGS Conference in Cincinnati. I got the website for my genealogy business, Buckeye Family Trees, up and running, which was a huge goal. It seems like a good time to pause for a minute and take a look at where I’m at and what I want to work on in the summer months.

  • Create a research plan to explore who Michael Herrel was, and what relationship (if any) he had to my great-great-grandfather, John George Herrel. In my quest to identify John’s parents and place of origin in Germany, I’m finding it necessary to research all of the Herrels living in Cincinnati, Ohio in the 1880s and 1890s. I’m excited to try some of the reporting, correlation, and analysis techniques for FAN research (friends, associates, neighbors) presented by Elizabeth Shown Mills and David Ouimette in their excellent lectures at NGS.
  • Begin documenting my Ballenger, Clark, and Eberhard ancestors for my application to the OGS Century Families of Ohio lineage society. 

  • Find places for everything in my new home office (previously my older daughter’s bedroom, and now our guest room/office). I hate to admit it, but I have stacks of papers, brochures, and stuff from conferences and research trips that have been accumulating in piles in my dining room. I don’t want to bring those into my nice clean room without sorting and weeding them out. Then I need to file and organize what I want to keep. My goal is to be “pile-free” by the end of the summer. I’m inspired by Michelle Goodrum’s posts for the 21st Century Organized Family Historian.


  • Attend at least two days of the Ohio Genealogical Society Summer Workshop, which is being held June 18-22 at the OGS Library. I’d like to go the entire week, but will have to see if my schedule permits.
  • Participate in the Advanced Research Methods course, coordinated by Dr. Thomas Jones, at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) from July 22-27. Although I expect to work hard, I’m excited about this course and the whole experience of GRIP.
  • Listen and take notes on one webinar each month.

Along with client research and my volunteer responsibilities, that should be more than enough to keep me busy this summer. I’d love to hear your plans. What do you hope summer will hold for you?


  1. Thanks for the link to the Century Families of Ohio. On that same page was first Families of Ohio. I should do that since my ancestors were in Ohio in 1807. I had never heard of it before or the summer seminar. I have put that on my list for next summer - Is it every year? As usual you are a fountain of information. I couldn't accomplish one fourth of what you do.

  2. You're too modest, Margel--I know you do plenty! it waits to be seen what I actually accomplish from this list :) But to answer your question--yes, OGS has a summer workshop week every year. It's not too late to register for this year if you want. Let me know if you're considering it.

    And as for First Families, if you can show your ancestor was in Ohio by 1820, you should definitely do it. I'm a member of it, and I'd be glad to help you with your application. The deadline is Dec. 31. I'm doing Century Families (in Ohio at least 100 years ago) this year, but will do a supplemental application to First Families in the future, because I found some more early settlers in my line. Maybe we can do it the same year and go to the ceremony together.

    Hope your summer's off to a good start!

    1. Yes, each lineage society has a luncheon or dinner at the OGS Conference. But no worries, you don't have to come to it. Your application will be accepted and the work you've done on your family preserved regardless of whether or not you can attend the conference.

  3. Margel and Shelley,
    Margel -- were your ancestors in Hamilton County? If so, I want to talk to you about the lineage societies that are also part of the Hamilton County Genealogical Society, too.
    The applications for both Ohio and Hamilton Co. are almost identical. Next year, the OGS Conference will be held at the Millennium Hotel in Cincinnati (across the street from the Convention Center). You could get your lineage recognitions at that conference and then for HCGS. We have a separate Heritage Luncheon, usually in October. I'm a member of the Century Families, Settlers and Builders and First Families for HCGS. I'm also in the Century Families and Civil War veterans for OGS. Like Shelley, I'd be willing to help.

    1. Thanks, Kathy. You've made me realize that once I get more research done on my Herrel ancestors in Cincinnati, I should put in an application for HCGS Century Families. John arrived after the 1880 census and rented rather than owned property. Are city directories acceptable as proof of residence?

      I already have the OGS 2013 conference in Cincinnati marked on my calendar :)

  4. Check out this link to see what two of the medals look like for HCGS -- similar recognitions for OGS: http://jonesfamilymatters.blogspot.com/2009/10/first-families-of-cincinnati-ohio.html

  5. Shelley - I'm with you. It's hard to believe this year is half over! Thanks for the motivation to look at what I've accomplished so far this year and what I'd like to do with the rest of the year.
    Good Luck!

    1. Thanks, Cindy, and good luck with your goals, too!

  6. Thanks for the mention Shelley. You keep ME inspired!

    You will love Dr. Jones course. I did! Just be sure you arrive well rested because you will work and learn.


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