Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Glenview History Center

The historic farmhouse at the Glenview History Center is open again for the season. You can visit the house on Sundays from 1:00-4:00 PM.

One of the oldest homes in Glenview, Sarah Hutchings built the farmhouse in 1864. The Glenview History Center has furnished the property to reflect life in Glenview across different time periods.

The Hibbard Library is also open year-round on Tuesdays from 1:00-4:00 PM for researchers interested in Glenview history.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Beginning Genealogy

Want to get started on your genealogy but don't know where to start? Attend our Beginning Genealogy class on Tuesday, April 26 at 2 PM.

Learn the basic steps and discover the resources you need to start researching your family history.

Register online or call the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

CAGGNI Interest Groups

Are you having trouble using Reunion? Want to get the most out of The Master Genealogist? Or are you trying to decide what to do about Family Tree Maker?

CAGGNI (Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Northern Illinois) has special interest groups for genealogy software users that can help with your quandaries. These groups allow users to share their experiences and learn new tips and tricks about the software.

The Family Tree Maker Special Interest Group meets this Saturday, April 12 from 12:45-2:30 PM. The Master Genealogist User Group will meet on Saturday, May 14 from 10:30-12:30 and the Reunion Special Interest Group won't be meeting again until August 13. All meetings are held at the Schaumburg Public Library.

CAGGNI offers lots of other great programming about technology throughout the year too. Follow their website for updates. And don't miss their annual conference: GeneaQuest on Saturday, June 18.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

English Parish Registers

Civil registration didn't begin in England until 1837. To find ancestors before that date, you'll need to rely on church records -- particularly parish registers.

Starting in 1538, each parish was required to register all baptisms, marriages, and burials. Parishes governed church affairs within their boundaries. The library owns a copy of A Genealogical Gazetteer of England which can help you find your ancestors' parish.

Registers can provide an incredible amount of useful information. Each parish decided what to include in their records so you may find that information varies parish to parish but here are some examples of items that might be included in the registers:

  • Baptisms: parents' names, address, father's occupation, mother's maiden name, godparents, and date of baptism. (Remember this is not the date of birth! Sometimes parents waited until the children were older to baptize them as well.)
  • Marriages: home parishes for both the bride and groom, marital status (bachelor, widow, etc), ages, witnesses, and groom's occupation. Sometimes marriages did not occur at parish churches; therefore, marriage records may not always exist.   
  • Burials: date, age, occupation, address, spouse or parents' names, and sometimes the cause of death.

The Church of England has acted as the primary religious institution in England since the 16th century so it is likely that you will find your ancestors in their records. However, dissenters and nonconformist religious organizations also kept records of births, marriages, and deaths so don't give up hope if your ancestor didn't belong to the Church of England.

You can find parish registers on FamilySearch. You should also visit FreeReg. FreeReg has made it their mission to transcribe and index parish registers and nonconformist records from 1538-1837. It is an excellent resource for English genealogy research!

If records are not available online, you will need to contact the appropriate County Record Office to research parish registers in person.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Pennsylvania Archives

The Genealogy & Local History Room has an extensive Illinois genealogy collection but we have interesting resources for other states too. For example, we have eight volumes from the Pennsylvania Archives.

The Pennsylvania Archives is a multi-volume collection of letters, documents, and records pertaining to the colony and early state of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Legislature decided to publish these records in 1835. There are 138 volumes in the entire reference set. Glenview has eight volumes from the second series.

The most useful volume in this series is Volume II: Pennsylvania Marriage Licenses Prior to 1790. The editors explain colonial marriage laws and lists about forty years worth of marriages registered with the colony.

Volume II also contains foreign protestants naturalized in Pennsylvania, 1740-1773; officers and soldiers, 1744-1764; and ship registers, 1762-1776 (unfortunately, this only lists the ship name, the date of entry, and the ship master's name). There are some miscellaneous colonial documents and papers within this volume too.                                                      

The other volumes we own include:

  • Vol I - Minutes of the Board of War March 14, 1777 - August 7, 1777
    • Documents relating to military campaigns; also includes navy muster rolls, militia members, and British prisoner lists 
  • Vol III - Persons Who Took Oath of Allegiance to the State 1776 - 1794, 
    • Lists of men who supported the Revolution and papers relating to the war 
  • Vol IV - Papers of the Whiskey Insurrection of Western Pennsylvania 1794 
  • Vol V - Papers Relating to Colonies on the Delaware 1614 - 1682 
    • Early colonial records and letters; also includes lists of early settlers
  • Vol VI - Papers Relating to French Occupation of Western Pennsylvania 
    • French colonial records
  • Vol VII - Papers Relating to Provincial Affairs - 1682-1750 
    • Letters between early colonial officials and documents pertaining to Swedish and Dutch settlements
  • Vol XVIII - Documents Relating to the Connecticut Settlement in Wyoming Valley
    • Includes lists of early land owners in the Wyoming Valley

This is an important series if you're researching colonial Pennsylvania ancestors!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Free Online Genealogy Courses

Do you love free genealogy webinars and online classes? Here are a few websites to bookmark:

Use the Learning Center on FamilySearch to find hundreds of online genealogy courses. These online classes cover all aspects of genealogy research. You can watch five minute basic genealogy training courses or watch a series of  videos that explore one topic in-depth. Learn how to conduct research in Poland, decipher German handwriting, or gain a better understanding of probate records.

Ancestry has a YouTube channel with videos on different aspects of research using, AncestryDNA, FamilyTrees, and more.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society regularly updates their free webinar offerings. You must create a free account with NEHGS to view the videos. Most of their offerings cover the colonial era and New England research but you can webinars on a variety of other subjects as well.

Did you know that all Illinois State Genealogical Society live-broadcast webinars are free and open to the public? Webinars are broadcast on the second Tuesday of each month. After the live broadcast, you do have to be a member of ISGS to view their archived webinars. You can find their schedule here.

And don't forget to use GeneaWebinars to find free webinars from genealogical and historical organizations from across the US!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Israel Genealogy Research Association

The Israel Genealogy Research Association maintains an excellent genealogy site that's helpful for both Israeli and general Jewish genealogy. 

The site is free to use but you do have to create an account with them before you can access their databases and resources. You will need to be a paid member to view some of the images in their collections. 

Searchable database collections include vital records, censuses, address books, immigration, military records, and more. Searches can be done in both English and Hebrew. These record collections are primarily for Israel but you may be able to find records created in Jewish communities elsewhere. They are constantly adding new collections to their databases as well.

The IGRA has also created some amazing and comprehensive research guides for Jewish genealogy in specific countries too. These guides contain lots of great resources. For example, the guide for Poland includes maps, translations, links to Jewish vital records, ghettos and concentration camps, Jewish cemeteries and military records.

You can also watch free videos and webinars on a variety of genealogy topics.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Filby's Passenger and Immigration Lists Index

Beginning in 1820, the US government ordered that all ship manifests and passenger lists be handed over to customs officials upon arrival in the country. These records are held by the National Archives and are available to search on Ancestry.

If your ancestor arrived in America before 1820, finding passenger lists becomes more difficult. Often you must rely on print resources to find these early immigration records.

One of the best resources for these passenger lists is Passenger and Immigration Lists Index by P. William Filby (often just referred to as 'Filby's').  This is an index to published immigration lists found in periodicals or reference books. Supplements to the original three volume index are published annually.

Filby's now contains over five million records. You must search the original three volume set and each supplemental volume which can be time consuming--but is well worth the effort! Filby's may seem intimidating but it is actually easy to use.

To use Filby's, search for your ancestor's name. Each volume is arranged alphabetically by last name and each entry may include a birthdate, the port entry and the date of entry. There will also be a source identification number and page number. Once you find your ancestor, make a note of the source and page number. At the front of the volume, you'll find all of the print resources listed by their source number. You can find some of these resources in the Glenview Public Library. The others you can locate with WorldCat.

For example, I search for Alexander Sessions and find him listed in one of the volumes. The information I find shows that Alexander Sessions arrived in Massachusetts in 1677. The source number is 3274 and the page number is 213.

Next, I search for source number 3274 at the front of the volume. 3274 is the number for the book: Directory of the Ancestral Heads of New England Families. I will find Alexander Sessions on page 213 of this book.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Military Records Class at GPL

Military records can help you learn more about your ancestors who served in the armed forces but they can also tell you a lot about other family members and provide great genealogical clues (including those ever elusive maiden names!). Discover how to find and use military records in your family history research this Tuesday at 10 AM. Register online or call the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Tips for Finding Maiden Names

Researching female ancestors presents several problems. As a result of women's legal and social status at various points in history, it's difficult to find records specifically about them. Finding maiden names can be particularly frustrating for a genealogist. Here are a few tips for finding those elusive maiden names: 
  1. Marriage records are the most obvious place to find your ancestor's maiden name. If you can't find a certificate in the county records, try searching for church or religious records that may have been created for the marriage. And don't forget to search the local newspaper for wedding announcements. 
  2. Search the cemetery where she is buried. Sometimes a maiden name is listed on her tombstone or she may have been buried near her family members or even in the family graveyard. Research the people in nearby graves and look at the burial records for the cemetery. Her maiden name may also be included in an obituary or on her death certificate. 
  3. Research each of her children--even the ones not directly in your family line. Her maiden name may be listed on a marriage or death record for one of her children. Also, look at the names of witnesses to a marriage or to a religious or legal proceeding. These witnesses may be her relatives. 
  4. Sometimes the best way to find information about a woman is by researching the men in her life. Look closely at all documents relating to her husband. Her maiden name or her relatives may be mentioned in his records.
  5. You can always find clues in probate or land records or military pension applications. A woman or her family may be mentioned in a will as an heir or as a witness. Occasionally, husbands may purchase or receive land from their in-laws. Military pensions are an excellent resource for finding information about women. Details about a veteran's marriage are often included in pension applications.
  6. Look for a repetition of names in the family. They could be names associated with her family. Women also often gave their children her maiden name as a middle name. 
  7. Study census records carefully. Older members in the household may be the wife's parents. Families sometimes took in young relatives too so research the names of everyone listed in the household even if a familial relationship is not obvious. Also, look at the names of the families around the household. The family may have lived next to the wife's relatives.
  8. Once you have a possible maiden name, start researching all of the local families with that name. Look at old census records and find a family with a daughter with the same age and name as your ancestor. You may have to make inferences and assumptions but document all of your evidence!