Dayton Ohio East Family History Center

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Dayton Ohio East Family History Center (FHC) is a branch of FamilySearch and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah (United States). Our goal is to provide resources to assist you in the research and study of your genealogy and family history by:

• Giving personal one-on-one assistance to patrons
• Providing access to genealogical records through the Internet and the microfilm loan program
• Offering free how-to classes

Consisting of computers, related family history programs, internet access and open 33 hours per week, the Dayton Ohio East (DOE) Family History Center is a stand-alone center. We have a collection of CDs, books, historical material and digital-imaging equipment, with the ability to copy film and fiche to your USB drive, CD or paper. Microfilm and microfiche readers are also available. We have a staff of dedicated volunteers. Our more experienced volunteers are able to help with specific research challenges. There is no cost to visit a Family History Center. We are open to anyone with an interest in genealogical research.

Location & Map:

  • Address: 3060 Terry Drive, Fairborn, Ohio 45324-2136
  • Main entrance & parking is in back of building
  • Handicap entrance & parking is in front of building.
  • Location on Map

Phone: 937-878-9551 E-mail: 


  • Wednesdays: 1-9 pm
  • Thursdays: 9 am-9 pm
  • Fridays: 9 am-5 pm
  • Saturdays: 10 am-3 pm


  • Closed Saturday, 31 March and Friday & Saturday, 6 & 7 April

ss Schedule

Beginning Family History

Presenter: Robin Wirthlin is an accidental genealogist – something started over 17 years ago when writing a college paper about her American Heritage. In addition to having a degree in molecular biology and the excitement of being a full-time mom, along the way she has learned a thing or two and her love of genealogy has blossomed into a passion. Currently, she is most occupied at solving riddles and finding hidden gems for her neighbors’ family trees. Robin emphasizes finding stories that will help family members come alive and gets a rush finding family documents. She currently has enough material to write several best-selling novels of family history mysteries, but doesn’t have the time! She’s too busy sleuthing! Robin has spent loads of money copying old photos, documents, and family histories. Robin has been to England, Germany, and Denmark in pursuit of learning more about her ancestors.

Details: Tuesdays, 10:00 – 11:30 am, March 6, 13, 20.


Week 1: Learn the 3 most important things to do when gathering your family history. Start with yourself, and work back in time to gather information about your family. Learn how to use pedigree charts, family group sheets, research logs, and other tools to build a working model of your family tree. Learn where to look for information, and how to record it.

Week 2: Climb up the branches of your family tree by gathering birth, marriage, and death records. Census records are a great way to trace the locations and learn more about the origins of your family. Learn about primary and secondary sources, how and where to find them. Learn about and use the resources in FamilySearch to gather documents.

Week 3: Tips on organizing the information you’ve found. How the Family History Center can help you continue the search, resources available to you. Continue the search to find your ancestors and learn more about their lives, and the heritage they have passed on to you.

Register: e-mail us at
Please include your name, e-mail, phone & class you would like to take.

Italian Genealogy

Presenter: Michael W. Garrambone is a retired Army Officer and Military Operations Research Analyst for InfoSciTex Corporation in Dayton, Ohio. He graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Engineering Science and has master’s degrees in operations research, business administration, and education. He is a volunteer staff member at the Fairborn Family History Center where his interests are in Italian genealogy, historical research, computer applications, and all aspects of graphics and teaching. He has been doing family history research since 1988 where he has been tracking immigrants from Sicily and Central Italy, and early African and Native Americans from the Virginias. He is a web, database, and map user and keeper of correspondence. He has used the Family Tree Maker program since 1990 and is familiar with scanning, computer graphics, and most research sources at the national, state, and local archives. He likes to share interesting stories and unusual turn of events that have occurred in his own family searches.

Details: Saturday, 10 March, 9:00 am – 12 noon in the Church Building beside the Family History Center.

Follow the signs once you arrive at the building.


Italian Genealogy I. If you listened to the first generation Italian-Americans, they told stories about their families coming to America and earning a living in a land of opportunity. These folks were often in a hurry to become Americans and yet they retained their Old World customs and culture. What they did not always do, was pass their history onto the next generation. They spoke and lived their heritage, but they wrote little and rarely kept significant documentation. The onus is on us to search out this heritage but the trail is often cold and somewhat disjointed. Fear not for there is a way to put together the branches of the Italian family tree. Come to the Italian Research presentation to see how to find those Italian family members. The presentation will show you what to search, and how to go about it. We will talk about Italy, Italians, and Italian records, but mostly about how to use what is readily available to track down those “paesanos. 

Italian Genealogy II. If you liked “Italian Genealogy” than grab your lasagna and come to this savory second portion for more interesting aspects of searching about in the Big Boot. In this session we cover more about the land and the cities and towns where your families come from. We talk about the do’s of record hunting, and show more examples of various records and how to identify your family information contained in them. We explore Italian ship records, citizenship papers, photographs, and those significant church documents. There are discussions on history and culture, references and websites. It is great if you attended “Italian Genealogy” first, but either way be prepared for a few of those unbelievable but true unique Italian stories about the Italian “albero genealogico” hunt.

Italian Genealogy III. In this third installment we are now deep down in the pasta. We are concentrating our efforts on understanding, obtaining, and interpreting the Italian and Latin forms of the documents you can expect to see as a result of the hunt. We talk a little history and how it pertains to the records and work on the stylized versions of documents that you would expect to find by reading the portions that contain your family data. Expect to learn some key vocabulary words to classify documents, occupations, and the relationships of family members. This presentation reviews some of the items of interest from presentations I and II and goes further in extracting information you need to make informative charts and to improve your guessing abilities.  After all is done, expect to think like Dv Vinci, talk like De Niro, and search and perform you "Italian detective work" like "Columbus or Columbo."

Register:  email us at
Please include your name, e-mail, phone and class you would like to take.

Tracing Your Immigrant Ancestor

Presenter:  Barb Muchnij, BA, MS, has been on the staff of the Dayton Ohio East Family History Center for over ten years.  She has served as Staff Training Coordinator and continues to work one-on-one with patrons of all levels of research experience.  Barb has taught genealogy classes at Wright State University ILR and at local genealogy workshops.  Of Irish, Corninsh, and Polish descent, Barb has reconnected with her ancestors and visited their lands.  She shares in the excitement of others as they do their family research.

Details:  Tuesdays, 2:00 - 3:30 pm, March 6, 13, 20.


Do you long to know your immigrant ancestors and where they came from?  Explore WHAT records they left behind, WHERE to access them, and HOW they will lead you to your ancestors.  Learn strategies to identify the villages where they were born and lived, so you can continue searching for earlier generations.

Class I:  Set research goals and develop strtegies to identify the names, birth dates, and places of birth of your immigrant ancestors.  There are dozens of records that can contain useful information.  We'll start to look at records created durin and after immigration to the US.

Class II:  We'll review and expand on that long list of records available in the US that can lead you closer to your immigrant ancestors.  Sometimes more advanced strategies are required to trace those elusive ancestors back to their homelands.  What are some of these strategies?

Class III:  Now you have found the name of your ancestral village.  Learn how to determine wher the village is located, what records from the village are available, where they are stored, and how to access them.  Set new research goals.

Register:  e-mail us at
Please include you name, e-mail, phone and class you would like to take.

Staff Training Meetings

Center Resources


  • (List additional collections you have such as the types of books and microfilm you have on indefinite loan; though you will not want to list every single item you have. Just give visitors to this page a general idea of your resources.)

Databases and Software

  • FHC Portal: Our center has access to the Family History Center Portal page which gives free access in the center to premium family history software and websites that generally charge for subscriptions. 

Hardware and Equipment

  • 7 computers
  • 4 printers
  • 8 microfilm readers
  • 4 fiche readers
  • Digital Imaging Equipment for copying film or fiche to USB drive, CD or paper.

Center Services

Staff Research Specialties

(Include sections for any other services your center provides. Add additional sections for those services. See the Mesa and Logan FHC pages for examples.)

Resources in the Local Area

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Volunteer at the Center

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