Sunday, April 15, 2018

Italian Immigration

Italian Immigrants
Library of Congress LC-USZ62-87554
Italians Americans make up the fourth largest European ethnic groups in the US. Most Italian
immigration happened between 1880 and 1915 when about four million Italians emigrated to America.

The National Archives provides easy access to some Italian immigration records through the Italians to America Passenger Data File, 1855-1900. This collection consists of an index of 845,368 passengers who arrived in Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, New York, and Philadelphia between 1855-1900. The Data File includes information about passenger's name, age, town of last residence, destination, and gives you information on finding the ship's manifest.

After you find your ancestor's town of birth, visit Ancestors: Archives for Genealogical Research which is the official portal to the various State Archives in Italy. And don't forget to search for church records. The Italian Catholic Church website can help you locate your ancestor's parish church. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Glenview Naval Air Base and The Hangar One Foundation

Join us Saturday, April 14 at 1 PM for a local history presentation. Bill Marquardt will discuss the Glenview Hangar One Foundation which works to preserve the history of Naval Air Station Glenview and several of the base’s historic buildings.

Presented in partnership with the North Suburban Genealogical Society.

Thursday, April 5, 2018


Learn how to navigate FamilySearch with us Tuesday, April 10 at 2 PM. We'll discuss basic search functions, explore hard-to-find record collections, and discover the FamilySearch Wiki and other online learning tools.

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

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

FamilySearch Tips

Did you know that 77% of the records on FamilySearch can't be found through a basic "Historical Records" search? If this is the only place you search on FamilySearch, you're missing most of their collections!

Under the "Search" tab, click on "Catalog" or "Books" to find record collections that are usually not searchable under "Records."

The catalog searches FamilySearch's entire collection of genealogical materials. Search for items by title, record type, family name, or geographic location. Some of these collections are not available online but others are digitized and browsable. You can find lots of European records here.

Find and read digitized books from FamilySearch and other genealogical institutions. Many of these items are local histories, family histories, or surname studies.

Don't ignore the "Find a Collection" section at the bottom of the "Search Historical Records" page. Search by collection title or click on "Browse all published collections." Narrow down your search by geographic location and see all collections for a specific area.

Explore these 'hidden' collections and soon you'll be breaking down your brick walls!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Illinois Maps

Celebrate Illinois' 200th birthday with some very interesting maps! See how the state has changed with Illinois: Mapping the Prairie State Through History

This book includes maps from the 1670s to the present as well as essays about different aspects of Illinois history. The maps record boundary changes, detail the growth of towns (both large and small), and chart railroad and industrial expansion in the state.

Maps make great resources for family historians too. Trace your ancestors with Family Maps of Cook County, Illinois compiled by Gregory A. Boyd.

If you family was an early settler in the area, they may have received a land patent. Boyd gives you three maps: a land patent map, a current (ca 2006) road map, and a historical map which lists cemeteries, railroads, and waterways. Look for you family in the surname index or search the map of your ancestors town and neighborhood to find family names.

While land patent maps sound confusing, they're easy to use. For example, here you see a road map of Glenview. The library would be located in box 35.

And here is the land patent map. You can see that Edwin Clark received a patent for the land the library currently sits on in 1840. 

Find your ancestors' original homestead or see who originally owned your current property. Maps can add lots of context to our family histories.

And for more historical maps, check out the map case in the Genealogy & Local History Room.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Irish Research

Find your Irish ancestors this weekend and search Irish records for free on in honor of St. Patrick's Day!

Don't know where to start? Ancestry's Irish research guide can help you get started finding records in both the US and in Ireland. The guide also highlights their major Irish collections.

You can also visit the Irish American Heritage Center on Saturday for their St. Patrick's Day Festival. Celebrate Irish culture and visit the IAHC Library for genealogy workshops throughout the day.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Social Media for Genealogists

Want to learn how to integrate social media into your genealogy research? Join us Tuesday at 2 PM to discover which social networks to use and how to share and crowdsource your research.

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

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


RootsTech starts next week on February 28. Can't make it to Salt Lake City? RootsTech is live streaming general sessions on their homepage. Learn about how DNA testing and the latest trends in technology are changing the way we do genealogy.

View the full schedule here.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

DNA & the Genealogical Proof Standard

Confused about how to use your DNA results to further your genealogy research? Join us this Saturday at 1 PM for Karen Stanbury's presentation: “Using DNA Test Results in the Genealogical Proof Standard.

The presentation covers the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) and an exploration of DNA specifically within its framework. Learn about the types of research questions that use DNA test results as evidence and understand how DNA test results can be correlated with documentary evidence. We will also discuss published proof arguments incorporating DNA evidence.

This program is presented in partnership with the North Suburban Genealogical Society.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Illinois Bicentennial

This year we're celebrating Illinois' bicentennial. Illinois became the 21st state on December 3, 1818.

Visit Illinois 200 to see how the state is honoring its birthday, find out how to get involved, and learn about Illinois' past.

Look for upcoming Illinois 200 programs we're hosting at the library and discover more Illinois history in the Genealogy & Local History Room. We have shelves of Illinois history books dating back to the 1800s.