Bay genealogical workshops help attendees 'climb' family trees

On June 17 and June 19, the Martha Devotion Huntington Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) held genealogical workshops at the Bay Village branch library as part of Bay Village’s Bicentennial celebration. Those attending began to learn how to “climb” –  branch by branch and limb by limb – their family trees.  

“Climbing Your Family Tree” introduced the methods and resources of genealogy - finding and documenting successive generations of ancestors. Who knows, a Duke, an Earl or an American Revolutionary patriot may just be lurking somewhere in your past!

Speakers included Doris Gorgas, Martha Devotion Huntington DAR Chapter Regent; Vicki Catozzi, Western Reserve Historical Society research librarian; and Nancy McGrew, County Public Librarian and DAR Chapter Treasurer. Presented were two methods of record searching for past relations: a manual search of actual documents and records and an electronic search using the how-did-we-ever-get-along-without-it Internet.

Mary Kay Wilson, DAR Chapter Secretary, demonstrated how to navigate the genealogica internet. Today, emails and web sites are much more efficient than “snail mail” and brochures. Several free websites were presented.

So where do you go to begin “climbing your family tree”? There are many local sources, limited to our geographic region, including the Cleveland Grays ( and the Ohio Genealogical Society (

For a large, exceptionally fine database, access, the Family History Center of Latter Day Saints for genealogical research.

A lineage society seems to exist for every type of heraldry. Over 100 Societies are listed on the Hereditary Society Community website at This site provides links to specific Societies to assist anyone in determining their lineal membership qualifications for a specific Society. 

Societies have a varied array of membership qualifications.  International memberships for the  National Society Daughters of the American Revolution ( must document lineal descent from a patriot (soldier or civilian supporter) who contributed to the 18th-century American Revolution. While the DAR is for women, men of similar lineage can join the SAR – National Society Sons of the American Revolution ( 

For domestic ancestries, there are Societies such as the Alamo Defenders’ Descendants Association ( 

Want to spice up your genealogical research? Check out Descendants of the Illegitimate Sons and Daughters of the Kings of Britain ( 

WARNING!  Genealogy can be habit forming! Once started, you’re always looking for that one last ancestor who may have been royalty (and maybe left their future generations a European castle), or someone rich and famous, whose unspent nest egg may just be waiting for you claim! 

Regardless of your lineage, the Hereditary Society website may have an organization for you!

Email Doris Gorgas at for more about genealogy or DAR membership.

Deb Marisch lives in Bay Village and is the Librarian/Historian of the Martha Devotion Huntington Chapter NSDAR. She can be contacted at 440-871-7680 or

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Volume 2, Issue 13, Posted 7:57 AM, 06.21.2010