Branching Out at the Green Township Genealogy Club

Written by Joe Armstrong, Content Specialist, Downtown Main Library

We insist on being a library for all. All minds. All modes. All needs. More than 2.4 million visits are made to the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library each year from customers living in and working in our diverse, vibrant, and unique neighborhoods. Our series “Meet a Library Customer, opens a new window” shares the stories that minds of all kinds have each day at CHPL.

Visit the Green Township Branch around 11 a.m. every third Thursday of the month, and you may think you’ve walked into a historical research convention. For over a decade, the Green Township Genealogy Club has been meeting monthly to discuss the latest tips and tricks for tracking down hard-to-find historical information.

Howard Rechel first visited the Library to help his mother research their family’s past. After attending a genealogy club meeting, he not only discovered powerful tools available at the Library but also a group of people with a common interest.

Researching Ancestries for 10 Years and Counting

Whether it’s tips on reading passenger manifests, searching Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps maps, or learning new ways to explore a database, the Green Township Genealogy Club has something new for its members to explore each month.

“The club has been going on for over ten years now," said Tonya Dryer, Library Customer Advisor at the Green Township Branch. “It gives our community a chance to get together and learn about something that they have a like interest in."

Club members select each meeting’s topic and get hands-on experience with the unique research resources, opens a new window available for free at the Library, like Ancestry Library Edition, opens a new window and Fold3 History & Genealogy Archives, opens a new window.

“It’s very interesting topics,” said Howard. “There’s a lot of feedback from the members on what we cover."

Uncovering Your Heritage

One of the reasons Howard and other members of the Green Township Genealogy Club have been meeting for so long is the access to the wealth of historical information housed in the Library’s collection.

Thousands of items, many containing rich genealogical information, are available in print or online through CHPL’s Digital Library. “We draw from our great resources at the Library,” said Tonya. “They have print materials; they have digitized so many historical documents.”

“If anyone out there is interested about your ancestors or you’re researching now and hit a brick wall, the Library is a great resource for the databases and information,” said Howard.

“We’ve led many people to find photographs of their ancestors,” said Tonya, including land patents from ancestors' property, and much more.

View all CHPL genealogy research databases,, opens a new window available for free with a Library card.

Find a Genealogy Event at a Library Near You

The Library’s genealogy research services are available to anyone with a library card – and there are many genealogy clubs and events to explore across Cincinnati and Hamilton County. 

These clubs and events are designed for our customers to discover their history through our one-of-a-kind collection of local history items, said Tonya, “and the Library is a liaison to the vast amount of material."

What’s best of all, says Howard, is the time (and occasional frustration) that’s saved by starting your research at the Library.

“I’d highly recommend going to your library and just talk to library staff,” he said, “They can point you in the right direction and save you a lot of headaches going down the wrong road.”

Explore the Library’s genealogy research services, opens a new window and find a Library genealogy event near you, opens a new window