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About Karen

Welcome to Karen’s Chatt!

Thanks to our son Jeff who set up this website for me as a birthday present in January 2011. I had talked about having a website for some time and he made it a reality.

After creating the website he asked me what I wanted to do with it. I decided to try my hand at blogging and have been faithfully writing blog posts twice a week ever since. I try to share information about my genealogical activities and endeavors, my family history and genealogy, research about the Chatt area, information about the families and histories of Zion Lutheran Churches in Chatt and Schumm, and lots of old family photos.

I am from Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio, which is in west central Ohio. “Chatt” is just a mile from the Indiana state line. I actually grew up in the suburbs of Chattanooga, which would be one mile north of the village, in Mercer County farmland. I am married to Joe and we have one son, Jeff. We currently live near Celina.

I have had a lot of hobbies and interests over the years. I have collected Nippon, cacti, Precious Moments, dolls, stuffed bears, and even more stuff. I have painted ceramics, sewed, crocheted, counted x-stitched, rubber stamped and scrapbooked! Most of these hobbies have come and gone but genealogy is the one endeavor that has kept my interest the longest. I love genealogy!

My genealogical addiction began innocently enough, when I helped our son Jeff research a Mercer County Civil War veteran when he was in high school.  That was all it took. From that point on I was hooked on genealogy.

That was over twenty-five years ago. During my genealogical journey, in 2003 I became a Board-certified genealogist , certified by the Board for Certification of Genealogists®. In 2024 I retired my active BCG status, which basically means that I will not take clients, which I rarely did anyway. I also spent several years as a trustee, officer, and committee chair at The Ohio Genealogical Society. and am a past registrar of the Lima Chapter NSDAR.

I am also retired Registered Dental Hygienist, retiring in 2017 after a 44-year career, retiring from Grand Lake Family Dentistry in Celina, Ohio.

I have been our church organist for over 59 years, I enjoy playing piano, listening to all kinds of music, bird watching, gardening, reading, collecting antiques and quilts, and taking photos.

I hope you enjoy the blogs, the genealogical information, the photos, and other items posted and contained in this website.

Thanks for reading!
Karen Miller Bennett, Certified Genealogist®, Retired 2024

The words Certified Genealogist are a registered certification mark of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation, and the board name is registered in the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

(Updated Jan 2024)


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    • Brenda Leyndyke on March 19, 2012 at 6:21 pm
    • Reply

    Hi, Karen, I see you will be at the Midwest Geneabloggers Meet up. I will be too. We met in Springfield at the FGS conference last fall. It will be nice to see you in Fort Wayne.

    1. Hi Brenda. Nice to hear from you! I’m looking forward to the Meet-up on Saturday, too. It should be fun. In the meantime I really need to work on my research plan.

  1. Karen,

    I came across your website and have enjoyed reading several of your articles. I grew up in Willshire my parents were Henry and Norma Jean (carr) Schumm. My brother Greg and Sister Toby both graduated from Parkway High School. I attend Willshire School until 8th grade when our family moved to Northern Indiana. I have a lot of fond memories at Parkway School in Willshire and several of the students and teachers. Have a blessed Christmas season.

    Kip Schumm

    1. Hi cousin! I know your family and see Greg and Mary a couple times a year. I graduated from Parkway with Mary. Thanks for reading and have a Blessed Christmas yourself.

    • Karen Rink on April 24, 2015 at 10:37 am
    • Reply

    Hi Karen,
    I just found your blog and look forward to reading it. I am a native of Fort Wayne, live in France and have joined the DAR Palatinate chapter since it is closest to me. If you need any help with German research, let me know.
    Karen Rink

    1. How interesting to belong to an overseas DAR chapter. Thank you for the research offer. I will save your e-mail address. Thanks for reading…and writing.

    • Debra on January 15, 2016 at 3:31 pm
    • Reply

    Hi Karen

    I am a direct descendant of Samuel Bennett and Silence Platt. My cousin, uncle and I have been doing genealogy research on our family for many years so I was very excited to stumble on your website!

    • Randy Bollenbacher on July 3, 2016 at 3:37 pm
    • Reply

    Hello Karen, my name is Randy Bollenbacher and I graduated from Parkway High School in 1969. My parents are Rex and Mary Catherine. My brother is Dennis, who lives on my dad’s parent’s, Alonzo and Faye, farm on Strable Road. I am friends with Kirby Stetler and knew Tim Green before he moved from Chatt area. I just found your webpage today have enjoyed your articles. I remember you and your beautiful home place on the corner of 49/707. I currently live in Murrysville, PA which is about 20 miles east of Pittsburgh.

    1. Hi Randy! I do remember you and remember that you were friends with Kirby and Tim. I recall all of you singing? Maybe in chorus? I hope you have been well and I am glad you enjoy the articles on Karen’s Chatt. Thanks for writing!

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