Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cleveland and Northeast Ohio Ancestors

Library of Congress: Western Reserve
The Western Reserve Research

Looking for a photo of a Cleveland Service man from 1940-1955? Try the searchable database held on the Western Reserve Historical Society website. Maybe your search needs to begin with funeral records. Pease , JD Deutsch, McGorray Brothers and Chambers funeral home books have been indexed for various years and available for online searches on the Western Research Historical Society website.

In addition to its online presence the Western Research Historical Society has a Research Center just waiting for researchers tracing their Cleveland and Northeast Ohio  ancestors; and is filled with manuscript collections offering textural social history, cultural references and photograph from as early as 1839.

If your early ancestors settled in the Western Reserve  -  Northeastern Ohio and western Connecticut lands, you will want to review the area history to understand the holdings and collections of the Western Reserve Historical Society. Note: this area was called the  Western Reserve since it was the far west part of Connecticut’s contribution to the westward settlement.

Genealogy Collections
Over 18000 family histories are include on microfiche and in other publications. Visit the Western Reserve Historical Society Family History website for information on genealogy research.

The Community History Archives holds special collections. Although the online presence of the African American Archives is rather extensive, the other ethnic collections are not catalogued online. Here’s a quick overview as reviewed online:
African American Archives
The African American Archives has an impressive  newspaper collection, beginning with the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church collection from 1839-1849. Another pre-Civil war publication was The Anti Slavery Bugle, New Lisbon, Salem OH, from 1845-1861. 

The Cleveland American, Ohio City, 1845 held the motto. “There is but one proper and effectual mode by which the overthrow of slavery can be accomplished, and that is by Legislative Authority; and this so far as my suffrage can go, shall not be wanting.

If your African American family was in the Cleveland area, you will want to peruse the Allen E. Cole Photograph Collection, 1919-1960’sof over 30,000 negatives and 6000 prints. Visit here for the listing of the AfricanAmerican Photograph Collections

Irish American Archives
The Irish American Archives holds papers and photographs. Available Collections are not online.

Italian American Archives
The Italian American Archives, established in 2005, is increasing its holdings through donations.

Cleveland Jewish Archives
If you are doing Jewish history research, the website at the Cleveland Jewish Archives  lists many area resources.

One of my recent searches included the Jewish Marriage and Death Notices searchable database which holds over 25,000 entries from the Jewish Independent and The Jewish Review and Observer (1889-1964)

Kathleen Brandt
accurate, accessible answers

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