Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Illinois at Vicksburg


The Battle of Vicksburg began on May 18, 1863 and culminated with Vicksburg surrendering on July 4. Ulysses S. Grant's military campaign was one of the major successes of the Civil War. In 1906, The Vicksburg Military Park dedicated a memorial to the service of Illinois volunteers who participated in that campaign.

The Lundberg Collection contains the book Illinois at Vicksburg which was printed to commemorate the dedication of the Illinois State Memorial at Vicksburg.


Illinois at Vicksburg describes Grant's campaign in detail and the aftermath of the siege. The volume also contains information about each Illinois regiment that served at Vicksburg. Each entry includes the regiment's history, its role in the battle and a roster of soldiers.

It's an interesting resource for anyone with Illinois ancestors who fought in the Civil War!


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Czech and Slovak Genealogy


We just added a great new book to our collection: The Family Tree Polish, Czech & Slovak Genealogy Guide. Here are few other resources specifically for Czech & Slovak research.

Archives in Chicago:
Archives of Czechs and Slovaks Abroad
A collection of materials and personal papers about the Czech and Slovak immigrant experience. Contains publications from communities across the US and also has information on thousands of Czechoslovakian refugees from 1940s.

Czech & Slovak American Genealogy Society of Illinois
The Society keeps a collection of books and materials for Czech & Slovak research. They are particularly helpful with research of immigrant ancestors in Chicago.

Online Research:
Czech Census Searchers
This site identifies all of the regional, district, and city archives in the Czech Republic and identifies the major records you can find in each archive.

Researching Czech Church Records on the Internet
A personal website that explains how to find Church Records for the Czech Republic online.

Slovakia Genealogy Research Strategies
Explains how to find and use Slovak records.

Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International
Provides a thorough list of helpful links for genealogy, history, and travel.

Visit the WorldGenWeb pages for the Czech Republic and Slovakia. And the Foundation for East European Family History Studies is an excellent resource!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Census Records class at GPL

Census records are more than just a count of the population of a country or state on a specific date. They are also important genealogical records! Census records can provide many clues about your family history. Learn how to search these records on Wednesday, May 11 at 10 AM.

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

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 Ancestry.com, 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.