Monday, January 7, 2019

New FamilySearch Collections

FamilySearch is constantly adding new records to their online collections. FamilySearch now provides genealogists free access to over 8 billion record images! In 2018, these are the locations that had the most new records added:
Countries: US States:
To see what locations have new records added, from the Search page, click on "Browse all published collections."

Click on "Last Updated" under Historical Record Collections to arrange collections by date added/updated.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Genealogy Resolutions for 2019

What are your research goals for 2019? Here's a bit of inspiration to get you thinking about you may want to accomplish in the new year:

  • Interview your relatives
  • Share your research online
  • Add some social history to your genealogy
  • Double-check that you have cited all of your sources
  • Organize everything
  • Start writing your family's story
  • Join a genealogy society

Happy searching in 2019!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

New 2018 Genealogy Books

Check out some of the books we added this year to our circulating genealogy collection:

The Adoptee's Guide to DNA Testing
Includes recommendations on DNA tests and tools and how to analyze and use your results. The author also provides tips on how to reach out to potential relatives and discusses some excellent case studies.

Family Tree Factbook
A handy, well-designed guide that covers all of the basics of genealogy research.

Family Tree Historical Newspapers Guide
An in-depth look at how to find and use newspapers in your genealogy research. Includes helpful case studies and international resources too.

The Family Tree Scottish Genealogy Guide
Learn about the different types of Scottish records and how to access them. This book covers Scottish-specific research strategies and tips for breaking down your "brick walls."

Unofficial Guide to
Everything you need to know about!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

DIY Genealogy Gifts

Want to incorporate family history into your holiday gifts this year? Check out a few of these DIY ideas:

Search Pinterest for more great craft ideas!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Jamestown & Colonial Virginia

Forget the Mayflower and Plymouth, Massachussetts this Thanksgiving.  Jamestown, Virginia was the first permanent English settlement in North America.

English settlers founded Jamestown and the colony of Virginia in 1607. Around 7,000 people would arrive in Virginia between 1607 and 1625.

Find your earliest Virginian ancestors with these books in the Genealogy & Local History Room.

Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia, 1607-1624/5
Genealogies of the earliest settlers in Viriginia through at least three generations.

Jamestowne Ancestors, 1607-1699: Commemoration of the 400th Landing at James Towne, 1607-2007
A list of all residents of Jamestowne Island from 1607-1699. The lists include information the time period the person resided in Virginia and their place of origin.

Jamestown People to 1800: Landowners, Public Officials, Minorities, and Native Leaders
Provides a thorough history of Jamestown and colonial Virginia. Includes in-depth biographies of  colonists and members of the native populations living in and around Jamestown.

Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607-1635: A Biographical Dictionary
Short biographies of the earliest prominent Virginian settlers.

Look for even more colonial Virginian resources in the Genealogy Room including vital records and local histories.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Polish Research

Are you looking for ancestors in Poland? Here are few sites to help you get started.

Begin by searching for indexed records on the Poland Research Page. Continue your search with digitized microfilm and books in the card catalog.

State Archives
Search over 35 million digitized civil registers and government documents from the State Archives of Poland.

Searchable digitized images of birth, marriage, and death records. The database contains records from every Polish province and also includes parts of the Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania.

Don't forget to look for resources for specific regions:

Created by volunteers, this database indexes transcriptions of vital records mainly from the province of Wielkopolska.

A collection of digitized vital records from the provinces of Kujawsko- Pomorski, Pomorski, Warminsko-Mazurskie, and Wielkopolskie. Records go back to the seventeenth century.

Lubelskie Korzenie
An index of Lubin parish registers. Many of the records include scanned images.

Pomeranian Genealogical Association
Search for transcriptions of christening, marriage, and death records from Pomerania.

Poznan Project
Transcriptions of 19th century marriage records from the Prussian province of Poznan. Digital copies of the records can be obtained with a donation to the site.

Visit the Polish Genealogical Society of America in Chicago for more resources and research help!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Family Tree Maker

The North Suburban Genealogical Society is hosting an Interactive Family Tree Maker Presentation on Friday, November 9, at 9 AM at the Northbrook Historical Society.

A representative from Family Tree Maker will discuss how to upgrade and use Family Tree Maker 2017 and its new features which include: Family Sync, Photo Darkroom, FamilySearch Integration, Color Coding, Saved Filtered Lists and Sync Weather Report.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Family History Month

Family History Month is almost over but here are some ideas for how to celebrate your history this month:
  • Make an old family recipe. After enjoying your meal, record whose recipe it is and why it is a family favorite. Try finding and making other family recipes. 
  •  Visit the cemetery. Find your ancestors' gravesites. Take photographs, record information, and do some tombstone rubbings.
  • Interview relatives. Ask questions about their lives. Record an oral history or incorporate their responses into your written family history.  
  • Create a scrapbook. Preserve and share old photographs and documents in scrapbooks or photobooks. Record the names and dates of people in the photos. 
  • Write your story. Start writing about your life. Use writing prompts from FamilySearch's #52stories to help you get started. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Family History Writing

How do you write an interesting family history?

Of course you want to include all the names and dates and events you've uncovered but to make your family history more engaging, you'll need to personalize the story and add social context.

Here are a few writing prompts that personalize and add interest to a family story:

  • How has your research changed your view of your family history? 
  • Was your family’s life impacted by important historical events? 
  • Has your research given you a better understanding of US history? What about the history of your family’s homeland? 
  • Have you visited a location where an ancestor lived? What does it look like now? What would it have looked like when your ancestor lived there? 
  • Do you remember any stories your grandparents told you about their lives or the lives of their parents or grandparents? Has your research backed up those stories? 
  • Do you know how your grandparents met and fell in love? How about your parents? 
  • Have you inherited any family heirlooms? Are there stories associated with these keepsakes? 
  • Write about an ancestor you find particularly fascinating. Why does their life interest you? If you could have a conversation with that ancestor, what would you ask?

Add social context to flesh out your ancestors' lives. To do this, look at the facts of your ancestors' lives and start asking yourself questions. For example: Did they live in the same place their entire lives? What was that place like? What was their occupation and what would their responsibilities in that job have been? Were they religious? What holidays would they have celebrated? You will want to think about the following themes when adding social context:

  • Emigration & Immigration 
  • Geography & Environment 
  • Property & Housing 
  • Community & Neighbors 
  • Ethnic Groups 
  • Religious Affiliations 
  • Childbirth & Childrearing 
  • Education 
  • Occupations 
  • Culinary Traditions 
  • Military Experience 
  • Civic Engagement 
  • Fashion 
  • Hobbies & Sports 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Beginning Genealogy

Here are a few beginner tips from yesterday's Beginning Genealogy class:

  • Start with yourself and move backwards one generation at a time
  • Look for family history clues in old documents, diaries, and newspapers that you may have at home
  • Interview family members 
  • Fill out pedigree charts and family group sheets to keep track of what data you have collected
  • Use online databases like Ancestry or FamilySearch to search for census records, vital records, and other documents but don't forget to contact and visit court houses, archives, libraries, and local historical societies to find documents that have not been digitized
  • Keep research logs to record your sources

Happy Searching!