An ancestry “field trip” to southeast Ohio…

Map of Athens County, Ohio, United States with...
Map of Athens County, Ohio, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If it’s February, we must be on the road somewhere!

How true that is, as I write this from the quaint and pleasant surroundings of Athens, Ohio. Last year it was the warmth of Florida, but not this time around. This winter, we decided to forego a visit to the Sunshine State, opting, instead, to take more frequent and shorter trips from our humble abode in northern Illinois. Thus, we have visited our daughter’s family up in Michigan, and I have hit the trail to my older sister’s place and my mom’s on the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio.

And now, we are on a genealogical “field trip” in southeastern Ohio (Hocking County, Athens County) for my wife, who is heavily into the Ancestry.com business. She is in the midst of researching her father’s side and is working her way back—slowly but surely—into the early 1800s and earlier, if she has any luck during the course of the next two days.

For me it’s a wonderful change of pace, and I always am up for a road trip, especially to parts of the country where I’ve never been before.

Leaving her place of employment yesterday afternoon at 4 p.m. (Central Time), we set off for the rolling hills and woodlands of this beautiful part of Ohio, arriving shortly after midnight. The weather was cold but dry, and our travels were smooth and without any hitches. By the time we were settled into our room at the Super8 Motel, it was after 1:00 a.m.

With an appointment scheduled back up in Logan (25 miles away) at 9:00 a.m. this morning, we needed to get up early enough to get ready and then have some coffee and a light breakfast at the motel. Suffice it to say that it was definitely a short night, but we made the appointment and met a couple of interesting and friendly “local” gents, Sam Sloane and Richard Klinger, at the Hocking County Historical Society. The fact that the place was closed for the winter didn’t deter my intrepid wife of getting into the place to search for various pieces of family history (cemetery records, birth, marriage certificates, etc.) as she’d contacted Mr. Klinger previously, and he agreed to meet us at the building, even though the winter schedule was in effect.

Carolyn didn’t really obtain too much information that she’d hoped to, but she did learn that much of what she was expecting to find could probably be found in the Athens County Historical Society and Library, and so that’s where we are now as I write this blog update.

Ohio Bicentennial Barn, Athens County
Ohio Bicentennial Barn, Athens County (Photo credit: J. Stephen Conn)

Athens is a very old town, the home of Ohio University, and the location is charming and quaint. I was here one time—long ago—when I played a couple of hockey games for Kent State. I didn’t see much of the campus or the town then, since most of our time was spent in the ice arena and back at the old dorm where we stayed that one night in 1971. So tomorrow, at some point, we are planning a nice tour around the place, once we take a break from running hither and yon in search of the long-ago relatives of a bygone era! More on our adventure in my next post…CortlandWriter

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