Olentangy Valley News

History today

Family trees will bloom at society's event

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New this year to the Powell Liberty Historical Society's Good Ol' Days: Revisiting the 1800s and Early 1900s event is a focus on genealogy.

There will be three individuals available at the Sept. 6 event to help interested attendees with research in a Genealogy Corner. Think: an air-conditioned building, laptops and Wi-Fi.

George Morrison, manager of the Powell branch of the Delaware County District Library, and Marilyn Battin, a retired reference librarian from the Bexley Public Library, will assist with general information about conducting research at local historical societies and through Ancestry.com. Both Marilyn and George are members of the Powell-Liberty Historical Society.

Debra Dunbar Nowell has a special interest in using DNA to help solve genealogy questions. She reminds us of the tools we have long had: oral histories and primary source documentation, such as census records and birth and death certificates. She is DNA administrator of the Franklin County Genealogical & Historical Society. She began using DNA in 2005, and those who attend the Good Ol' Days event will hear her share the knowledge and experience she has gained.

Nowell tells me that DNA as a research source was introduced in 2000. She says DNA has exploded onto the genealogy world stage and has given us a dynamic tool that can take research from "dead end" to "on the road again." She said she "jumped in with both feet and hasn't looked back."

Nowell leads DNA workshops plus a monthly DNA Interest Group that has hosted many nationally known genetic genealogy speakers at the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

She says, "DNA can help take your research to places and people unknown before. It can break through your brick walls, determine whether two males with the same surname are genetically related, prove (or) disprove a research theory, clarify surnames, discover your deep ancestral roots and ethnic percentages (Native Am-erican, Asian, African, European, etc.) and, especially, help those who are adopted discover their genetic relatives. Plus much more!"

You are invited to bring your questions to the Good Ol' Days event. The entire event is intended for families to enjoy, and could be an opportunity to learn more about yours. Bring your family pedigree charts for quicker solutions.

Nowell wants the community to know they can learn more with the DNA Interest Group, which meets on the third Wednesday of each month at the main branch of the Columbus library, 96 S. Grant Ave. in downtown Columbus. Coming up Sept. 16 is "The Miracle of DNA," with experts who help people with known adoptions in their families.

Two free workshops will be offered in the immediate future: "An Introduction to Genetic Genealogy" on Sept. 14, and "Understanding your DNA Test Results" on Sept. 28. Both will be held from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the library. Registration is required at columbuslibrary.org or by calling 614-645-2275.

Good Ol' Days: Revisiting the 1800s and Early 1900s will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 6 at 233 S. Liberty Street in Powell, across from Village Academy. In addition to the Genealogy Corner, craftspeople, period displays and demonstrations, Civil War and 20th-century music, square dancing and the sale of art, antiques and treasures, as well as food, will be part of the day's events. For more information, call 614-889-1182.

Carole Wilhelm is a member of the Powell-Liberty Historical Society.

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