Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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Oct 26

Celebrating Family History Month in October

Posted on October 26, 2016 at 12:05 PM by Elise Kelly

Many individuals and communities across the world are interested in researching their family history/genealogy. It has become a tremendously popular hobby. accounts are purchased daily and ancestral DNA
Family History documents at the Greene County Archives.
testing is being conducted for people in countries all over the globe.

Family Tree via Wikimedia Commons
As we near the end of October, let's commemorate Family History Month. According to Steve Anderson, author of the Family Search Blog, October "is a time to remember our roots and celebrate our unique histories and identities.

It also happens to be the month that we celebrate several specific heritage days (German-American month, Italian Heritage month, Polish American Heritage month, etc.)"
 Polish-American novelty flag courtesy of Elevatorrailfan via Wikimedia Commons

We would like to share some easy and enjoyable activities that you can be apart of to celebrate Family History Month. Anderson came up with a list of several activities to keep you in the spirit of Family History Month (See Below).

1. Start researching your family treeStarting your own family tree is a lot easier than you might think. Start by talking to your parents and other family members. What they tell you can provide you with some great clues to where to start looking for information.There are some great online genealogy sites to help you get started. These sites all provide excellent guides and easy to follow helps to get you started. Visit (free) ($), (free), and many other genealogy websites to take the first steps to get started.

2. Record some of your parents’ memories of their younger years—You think you know your parents until they start talking about things that happened before you were born or things that they never spoke to you about when you were a child. One day your parents will be gone and you will not be able to go to them to get their advice. Why don’t you do it now and have it preserved so that you can enjoy and their posterity for generations to come can benefit. Not sure what questions to ask? Visit the Wiki and see hundreds of thought provoking questions.

3. Post your photographs on the internet for others to enjoy—Many of the online genealogy websites mentioned above provide a safe place to store and share family photographs. You can also add stories with your photographs. Now, when kids have to do a family history report for their school project, it will be as simply as logging on to a family history website and downloading some pictures, a story or two and some historical facts. It just doesn’t get any easier than that.

4. Begin writing down some of your own life stories—Most people think that writing a personal history is such a huge task that they never get around to writing it. But if you break it down to answering just one question a week, it’s amazingly fast and simple a personal history comes together. I would give almost anything to have had even just one of my ancestors write down some of his/her thoughts and have them to read today. What a priceless legacy to leave to your posterity.

5. Record the voices of your young children or grandchildren and keep them to listen to when they are older—We all love how adorable our kids and grandkids sound when they are young and their high angelic voices say the cutest things. But before you know it, those kids grow up and those sweet voices fade away and are forgotten. Take an hour or two one evening and spend some fun family time recording your kids sharing stories with you and singing their favorite songs. It’s quick and inexpensive and will be a treasure forever.

6.Visit a cemetery and take pictures of family tombstones—This not as gruesome as you might first think and it’s very easy to do this from the comfort of your home. With internet sites like and, it’s amazingly easy to find an ancestor’s tombstone. Both of these sites have millions of pictures of tombstones from cemeteries throughout the world. Try it. may be surprised at how easy it is.

7. Call a relative you haven’t heard from in a long time and reestablish those family connections—Most calling plans allow you to call anywhere in the United States and talk as long as you want for no additional cost. So, you can’t use the excuse that it’s too expensive to call Aunt Fern in Sheboygan. Take a minute and think about a family member you haven’t spoken to in a while and give them a jingle. It’s time to renew those bonds with that cousin or aunt you haven’t heard from for so long. It’s time to catch up with what’s happening with them.

8.Cook a family favorite dish and invite family or friends over to enjoy it with you
—Every family has a dish that has been handed down for generations. Why not cook a family dish each week during this month and explain to your kids where it came from. You say you don’t have any family dishes that were passed down? Well, create some, write down the recipe and tell your kids that you are starting a tradition that you want them to pass down to their kids.

Trace Your Family on your lunch hour -  Follow fourteen suggestions to trace your family history on your lunch hour!

The possibilities of activities are endless. Enjoy your family heritage and teach it to your children and grandchildren.

Until Next Time!

This Week's Trivia Question: October is also heritage month for _______ Americans.

Answer to Last Week's Trivia Question:
According to the 1850 Census Record showcased above, who was Jacob Real and his family living with? Answer: Beavercreek farmer, John Ogden.


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