2008 Patriots & Pioneers
History and Genealogy Conference Speakers
List of Speakers and Their Background
Ada (Woodson) Adams is a graduate of Ohio University’s College of Education. She is the current President and was the co-founder of the Multicultural Genealogical Center in Chesterhill, Morgan County, Ohio with her husband, the late Alvin C. Adams, the first African-American graduate of the Ohio University School of Journalism. She currently serves on the Athens County Library and the Athens Foundation Boards. As a result of several research projects, she co-produced a book; A Significant Presence: A Pictorial Glimpse of the Black Experience in Athens County, Ohio and has submitted articles for books produced by the Multicultural Genealogical Center. Ada participated in oral history interviews that resulted in the production of the Morgan County Wallpaper Play, a State of Ohio Bicentennial Project in 2001-2003. Ada was awarded the Midwest Archives Conference (the nation’s largest regional professional association for archivists) President’s Award in May 2007 for her research, documentation and dissemination of the rich history of the multicultural people of the Ohio River Valley. On her Father’s side, her ancestry goes back to Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson.
Scott Britton has taught a number of individual Learning and Retirement classes at Marietta College concerning the Civil War and has given frequent speeches throughout the Mid-Ohio valley concerning various aspects of local soldiers and their actions in the during the Civil War. His is a Past President of the WCHS, Past Commander of the General Benjamin D. Fearing Camp, SUVCW and is currently Secretary and Historian of the Marietta Chapter SAR. For the past 3 years, he has served as the Ohio Department SUV’s Buffington Island Representative. He was a member of the 2003 Ohio Bicentennial Committee in Washington County and has performs many living history presentations on the Washington & Wood County Civil War Soldiers at local schools, for local civic and veterans organizations, as well as local public events since 2000. He has written several historical articles for the Marietta Register newspaper as well as the WCHS and New Matamoras Historical Society newsletters.
Henry Burke has studied African-American genealogy and Underground Railroad history for over 50 years. He has received a number of awards for his work on the Underground Railroad research and is active in many local historical and genealogical groups. He wrote a weekly newspaper columnist for nearly 10 years and has written four books on the Underground Railroad and slavery: Escape of Jane, Mason Dixon Line, The River Jordan and Washington County Underground Railroad. For more information on his life and historical research background, visit http://henryburke1010.tripod.com.
Wes Clarke has been working as an archaeologist in the American Midwest for over thirty years, including field work throughout Ohio and at some of the major earthwork sites at Chillicothe. He is currently employed by the Ohio Department of Transportation, Marietta office, as an environmental planner with a focus on cultural resource management issues. Wesley has worked on the Indian Acres archeology dig in Marietta for a number of years and has examined sites around Washington County involving local Native-American cultures.
Julia Engle has been a lifelong resident of Washington County, Ohio. She received an Associates Degree in Business Management from Washington Tech (now Washington State Community College). She has been an employee in the Washington County Public Library, History & Genealogy Department for over 15 years. She is a member of the WCHS and is currently the Corresponding Secretary of the Washington County Chapter, OGS. She has compiled the multi-volume local obituary collection at the History & Genealogy Department from 1989 to Present.
Ken Finkel joined the Mt. Moriah Masonic Lodge # 37 in Beverly, Ohio in 1983, progressing through the officer line and became Master of that lodge in 1988. He served as presiding officer in Rufus Putnam Chapter # 108 Royal Arch Masons in Beverly, Marietta Council # 78 Royal and Select Masons of Marietta and Marietta Commandery # 50 Knights Templar. He was elected and received as a Knight York Cross of Honor in 1999 and served three years as a District Deputy Grand High Priest for the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Ohio. He belongs to the Scottish Rite as a 32 degree mason and several other appellant Masonic bodies too numerous to mention. He has studied the history of the Masonic fraternity for many years and have taught many classes pertaining to that history. He is an avid genealogist and a life member of the Lower Muskingum Historical Society in Beverly and is currently President of the WCHS.
Millie (Covey) Fry is a graduate of the Kent State University School of Library and Information and a retired librarian with over 38 years of service in libraries in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. She developed Library Leadership 2000, a week-long leadership conference for young librarians in Ohio who work with nationally recognized librarians serving as their mentors. Millie was named Librarian of the Year in 1995 by the Ohio Library Council, received the national ASCLA Award for Leadership Excellence in 1996 and the KSU School of Library and Information Science named her the 1998 Alumni of the Year. She appears in Who’s Who of American Women. Millie is the author of The Charles Snodgrass Family: Frontier Life in the Monongahela Valley; Women on the Ohio Frontier (winner of the 1978 Ohio American Revolution Bicentennial Commission essay contest); German-American Communities, Churches, Cemeteries, and Records in Washington County and Adjoining Townships in Noble and Monroe Counties, Ohio; Tecumseh’s Unrequited Love; James Galloway and Tecumseh: The Pact of Peace and Friendship; At the Monument: Standing Where They Fell (with Debra Ice); and Kin-nections. Millie began researching her family in 1969 and enrolled in genealogy classes taught by Joy Moulton, a nationally recognized genealogist and author, in Columbus, Ohio in the early 1970s and participated in a week-long family research conference in Salt Lake City in 1980. Millie is a member of First Families of Washington County, First Families of Ohio, Washington County OGS and Marietta Chapter, DAR where she helped establish their research library. She lives in Marietta where she is the owner of a family research business.
Sharon Gardner is a Registered Nurse who was born and raised in Morgan County, Ohio. She has been a genealogical researcher for 40 years, 20 years as paid researcher. She has been the President of WCOGS for 14 years and Editor of the WCOGS newsletter for 15 years and is a member of the OGS.
Nancy Hoy received a Masters degree in Liberal Learning from Hood College in Maryland. She has been a long-time architectural tour guide and lecturer in Marietta with Campus Martius Museum, American Association of University Women, Elderhostel and the Marietta Trolley Tours. An architectural historian in the Mid-Ohio valley, she has taught Architectural classes in the Continuing Education Department at Marietta College and has placed a number of houses and historical properties in the Mid-Ohio Valley on the National Register of Historic Places. She is the past President of the WCHS, past Secretary of Habitat for Humanity, past Secretary of the Welfare League and has been a member of Telesis.
Jim Miracle is a Retired US Navy Hospital Corpsman and Substitute Teacher in the Wood County School System. He has been the Chairman of the Wood County Historic Landmarks Commission, WV since 2001, President of the West Augusta (Wood County, West Virginia) Historical And Genealogical Society since 1997, is a member of the Wood County Historical and Preservation Society, a Past Senior-Vice Commander & Junior Vice Commander of the General Benjamin D. Fearing Camp, SUVCW and serves as its current Secretary. He performs many living history presentations on the Civil War Soldier and Civil War Medicine at local schools and public events. He has authored History of the Miracle Family of Ohio; John Andrew Miracle and Co. D, 63rd O.V.I.; Central Station, Doddridge County, West Virginia: Railroad Center to Obscurity, the Demise of a Small Town; and Beechwood, The Saga of a Steel Community on the Ohio River.
Larry Perkins is currently an Associate Professor at Belmont Technical College where he teaches online and in-class genealogy. He received a BS from the University of Maryland and Masters in Education from Ohio University, is the Founding President of the Ebenezer Zane Chapter SAR, Past President Ohio Society SAR, Past Trustee National SAR, current Vice President General, Color Guard Commander & Executive Committee Member National SAR and is currently President of the Cumberland Trail Genealogy Society.
Charlotte Powell graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. She completed several graduate classes at OU and Ashland College and is a retired teacher from Warren Local School District with 32 years of service. She co-managed the Artists Building in Craft Village on Blennerhasset Island and has been a genealogy researcher since 1999. Charlotte is currently active with the Belpre Historical Society & Farmers’ Castle Museum in Belpre.
William “Bill” Reynolds has written numerous articles and has been a researcher of the early Northwest Territorial settlement for over 30 years. Bill has a BA in Art History and Elementary Art Education from Kent State University in 1970. He has been an employee of a local area history museum and been a speaker at frequent venues regarding General Rufus Putnam, aspects of the Revolutionary War and Ohio’s pioneer settlers. He was a member of the Brigade of the American Revolution living history association where he conducted educational seminars and demonstrations who served as a historical consultant to the award-winning PBS documentary film, Opening the Door West.
Eric Richendollar has been conducting genealogical research since 1982, having published a number of articles in genealogical and historical society newsletters and local history books. He has been an employee at the Washington County Public Library since 1999 and a Library Assistant in the Local History & Genealogy Department since 2001.
Catherine Sams was born and raised Washington County, where she graduated from Washington Technical College (now Washington State Community College) with a degree in Accounting. She has been an avid family historian and genealogist for 34 years and has been employed for 11 years at the Washington County Public Library, Local History and Genealogy Department. Catherine has published 9 books on Washington County cemeteries & census records and 1 book on her family history. In 1983 Catherine was the founder of the WCOGS and served as the President and Newsletter Editor for 3 years. She has been the Editor of WCHS newsletter, The Tallow Light, since 1998. She is a medieval re-enactor thru the Society for Creative Anachronism and was a member of VestRus, a Viking re-enactment group that has built a 20 foot replica of a Faering ship with original methods and period tools.
Nancy Sams is the current President of the Belpre Historical Society, Administrator for the Farmers’ Castle Museum Education Center in Belpre, Ohio and was Co-Chair of the 2003 Ohio Bicentennial Committee in Washington County. Nancy was the a 4-H Program Assistant, retiring following 31 years service from Ohio State University Extension in Washington County. She was responsible for recruiting and training Adult Volunteers and Members, planning and organizing 4-H Project Judging, coordinated 4-H County and Belpre City Government Days (1975-2001) and conducted 4-H in-school programs. She has co-authored three project books, Into The Past, Homespun Clothing and Family History Treasure Hunt. She served on the research committee to develop the Ohio “4-H Citizenship Guide” and represented the East District on the state 1902-2002 Committee that planned Ohio 4-H Centennial events and activities.
Beverly (Cochran) Schumacher began tracing her various family branches in 1979 and was a founder of the Athens County Chapter of the OGS in 1980 and has served as President for the first three years and many years since. She is a member of the DAR and served many local and state chairmanships including the Nabby Lee Ames Registrar and Regent and the Ohio State District Director. She serves on the Board of the Athens County Historical Society and Museum and for about 25 years served as Editor of their newsletter, The Bulletin. She organized First Families of Athens County and is a member of Colonial Dames of the Seventeenth Century and has served two chapters including delegate to their National Conference. She is the Ohio State Registrar for Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America. She is a National Volunteer Genealogist for DAR and Colonial Dames receiving her training and certificates by attending classes in Washington D. C. at their National headquarters. In the last three years, Ms Schumacher has completed more than 60 applications for the Marietta and Ewing Chapters of the SAR and none have been rejected. Beverly has compiled, authored, edited, co-wrote or helped with about 40 genealogical publications used for mostly Athens County research. Currently, she is cataloging the genealogy/history library for the Athens County Historical Society & Museum in Athens.
Linda Showalter is the Special Collections Associate at the Marietta College Library, where she assists researchers in accessing rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and other historical materials. She recently served as project archivist in preparing the Manuscripts and Documents of the Ohio Company of Associates for preservation and digitization, a project funded in part by a Save America’s Treasures grant. She is the author of History Goes to School, a manual for small museum educators, and the former editor of The Magic Lantern, a local history publication for elementary students, and of The Tallow Light, the journal of the WCHS. With over twenty-five years’ involvement in Linda has developed and presented numerous programs for school groups, genealogists and historians
Lynne (Bodny) Shuman graduated from Wittenberg University majored in elementary education and received a degree in business from Indiana University. While living in Fort Wayne, Indiana she became active at Historic Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne Youtheatre and Artlink (a contemporary artspace.). During her twelve years there, she extensively researched and performed her first-person personna, Mary Stark Stickney, daughter of Revolutionary War hero, General John Stark. After more than 30 years working with Not-for-Profits in several states, Lynne has come to know the challenges of promoting and marketing small organizations. She has presented “The ABCs of PRs” for the Ohio Museums Association and for the Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums. She is currently the Executive Director of “The Castle” museum in Marietta. Lynne has also been involved with the performing arts since childhood. She also acted in and wrote scenes for two historic plays based on documented events in Fort Wayne and wrote many articles for the Fort’s quarterly newspaper Inside Old Fort Wayne, which she co-edited. She is the author of Past Presents, a Guide to Northeast Indiana, co-author of Youtheatre, 50 years of Children’s Theater in Fort Wayne, and photographic historian of Fort Wayne Cityscapes.
Ernie Thode is manager of the Local History & Genealogy Department of the Washington County Public Library in Marietta, OH. His interests include Germanic genealogy, German-Americana, and German names. He is the author of several books on Germanic research, including Address Book for Germanic Genealogy, German-English Genealogical Dictionary, and co-author of A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your Germanic Ancestors. He has won several awards in writing contests of the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors for his “Family Tree” column in the Marietta Times.
Rachel Verhoff has a Bachelors degree from Miami University and a Masters Degree from Wright State University where she specialized in public history with an emphasis on archival administration. She has worked as the Curator/Director for the Logan County Historical Society and as the Local History Coordinator for the Flesh Public Library, where she managed an archive and a local history museum.
Gary S. Williams is a lifelong resident of Ohio. A native of Tuscarawas County, his first job was on the archaeological excavation of Fort Laurens, Ohio’s only Revolutionary War fort. He has a B.A. in History from Marietta College, a Masters of Library Science from Kent State University, and 25 years experience as a librarian. He lives near Caldwell, Ohio. His is the author of four books: Historic Tours of Ohio;, Spies, Scoundrels and Rogues of the Ohio Frontier; Gliding to a Better Place: Profiles From Ohio’s Territorial Era and The Forts of Ohio: A Guide to Military Stockades.
Jean Yost is graduate of Ohio University and lifelong resident Barlow area. He is the current President of the Marietta Chapter, SAR and is the Coordinator of the Marietta Chapter’s Patriots and Pioneers Project. From 1995 to 2000 he was the Donor and Volunteer Coordinator for major renovation of the Floral Hall (T-Building) and other buildings on the Historic Barlow Fairgrounds. In 2000 and 2003, as a member of the Western Washington County Historical Society, he served on the White Oak Bicentennial Committee and the Ohio Bicentennial Project at the Barlow Fairgrounds. He currently serves on the Board of the Muskingum Valley Chamber of Commerce and is a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran of Vietnam and member of American Legion Post 64.
Louise Zimmer worked for 18 years as Manager of WCH&G, for 4 years at the O’Neill Senior Center as activity coordinator and as a clerk at Sugden’s Book Store for 10 years where she selected and purchased books for their local history collection. She served as a historical consultant to the award-winning PBS documentary film, Opening the Door West and was a past historical columnist for the Marietta Times. She has researched, wrote and produced a radio program 5 days a week since 1980 and can be heard each weekday on WMOA 1490AM called Pioneer Past. A certified genealogist, she is one of the most popular storytellers in the entire Mid-Ohio Valley where she speaks at various local schools, the Institute for Learning in Retirement, Elderhostel, various groups and festivals including the Soakum Festival at Caldwell and on board both the Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen. She has also written True Stories of Pioneer Times and More True Stories from Pioneer Valley.
DAR - Daughters of the American Revolution
PBS - Public Broadcasting System
OGS-Ohio Genealogical Society
SAR-Sons of the American Revolution
SUVCW-Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War
WCH&G Washington County Public Library, History & Genealogy Department
WCHS-Washington County Historical Society
WCOGS- Washington County Ohio Genealogical Society