Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Illinois State Genealogical Society Archives Tour

The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) sponsors a once a year, behind-the-scenes event at the Illinois State Archives and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, with workshops on specific topics.

This year's Spring Tours and Workshops take place on Saturday, 10 April 2010, in Springfield.

Read the ISGS Newsletter for more details and news.

Membership in the ISGS entitles you to receive a discount when you order death certificates, along with many other projects and benefits

There is also an ISGS Fall Conference, which will take place on October 23 in Peoria.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Breathing Life Into Old Records

The North Suburban Genealogical Society invites you to hear one of its distinguished members and author of several books speak on Breathing Life into Old Records.

Tom Reimer recently finished another book and will demonstrate how to “dig deeper” into the meaning of old records and add imagined descriptions and dialogue to bring events of the past to life.

When: March 20, 2010
1 PM: Problem Solving
2 PM: Tom Reimer: Breathing Life into Old Records.
Where: Glenview Library 1930 Glenview Rd. Glenview 60025
Contact: Jim Boyle 847 401 2579
Open to Anyone Interested in Genealogical Research. Free Admission.
Questions: email

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

NWSCG Meeting, March 16

Craig Pfannkuche will present “Non-Federal Civil War Sources for Family History Research” at the next meeting of the Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists to be held on Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. at Forest View Educational Center, Room 100, 2121 S. Goebbert Road, Arlington Heights, Illinois.

For the most part, the armies that fought in the Civil War were composed of regiments raised by state governments and led by officers from the home states of those regiments. While most researchers know about Federal military records, many states kept detailed recruiting and enlistment records. These records, along with other local records, provide a great deal of family history information beyond what can be found in Federal records.

Craig is on the Board of Directors for the McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society and the Chicago Genealogical Society. He is the Genealogical Archivist for the Chicago and Northwestern Railway Historical Society. He is also mentioned as a railroad resource person in the book “The Source.” Craig not only has given workshops and conference presentations, he has published many articles. The most recent was “Death on the Oregon Trail” in TRACER magazine for the McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society.

For more information, call 847-818-9159

Polish Genealogy Conference

The 32nd Annual Conference of the Polish Genealogical Society of America, 19th Century Research using 21st Century Technology, will take place October 1 and 2 at the Hilton Hotel, Oak Lawn, Illinois, 9333 S. Cicero Ave.

The schedule is still in formation; however, John Hallman will discuss the previously unaddressed topic of Lutheran church records; Meghann Pytka will explain the triggers of the mass immigration of Poles; and Judith Franzin will unearth treasures in Polish language records. There will also be sessions about inquests, urban research, lost children, probate, Polish Archives, and more.

There will be help for the new researcher in the form of beginning lectures, and for all with a Q & A corner and translation help. If you are serious about Polish Genealogical research, this is a conference you definitely want to attend.

Watch for future announcements on the PGSA web site.

Encyclopedia of German-American Genealogical Research

The Glenview Public Library owns a Reference copy of this wonderful book, call number R929.30942 SMI GENEALOGY

The Encyclopedia of German-American Genealogical Research, published by Clearfield, is still the best book available on German-American genealogy.

The emphasis is on research in America, with special focus on immigration records, German ethnic religious bodies in America, and manuscript and published source materials, both in America and Germany.

One of the most important parts of the book is the section on the "Locations of German-Speaking Congregations in the United States, 1906," based on a federal religious census of the time. This census gives considerable data on a number of the larger German-speaking denominations, enabling the genealogical researcher to establish the county in which German congregations were located.

The encyclopedia provides American researchers with background material on German customs, sociological stratification, governmental organization, and ethnographic considerations having a bearing on immigrant ancestors.

It also contains a section on genealogy in Germany, with emphasis on land records, state vital records, court records, census records, municipal records, and church records. There is a detailed breakdown of the sovereign territories of Germany and a history of the organization of the Holy Roman Empire.

Moreover, there is a section on language and names and one on heraldry, with a final section on German published sources.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Genealogy and Interlibrary Loan

If the genealogy book you need is not available at your home library, you may be able to borrow it using Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

Many libraries subscribe to the OCLC database known as WorldCat.

Their patrons can search for titles, authors, and subjects of genealogy books, magazines, and videos in libraries worldwide. When they find something they want to borrow, they ask their home library to borrow it for them.

Enter your Glenview library card number to use the FirstSearch WorldCat database from your home.

OCLC has a resource called WorldCat Focus on Genealogy which includes an FAQ, a tutorial on how to use WorldCat effectively, success stories of people whose genealogical research has been advanced by WorldCat, and a quick reference guide to using WorldCat.

If the item you want to borrow is reference material, the library that owns it might choose not lend it. But you might still be able to use it at that library. You might also be able to request copies of the parts you need.

If the item you need is owned by the National Genealogical Society Book Loan Collection, your home library will have better luck borrowing it for you.

In November 2001, the National Genealogical Society (NGS) moved most of their lending library holdings from their headquarters in Virginia, to the St. Louis County Library (SLCL) in St. Louis, Missouri. The collection consists of approximately 20,000+ books. Previously loaned only to NGS members, this collection is now available to the general public through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) via their local library.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Celebrated Citizens of Glenview

Ten years ago, in the year 2000, the Library created a series of portraits called Look Into Books, which showed celebrated citizens of Glenview with their favorite books.

You can enjoy this series again by clicking the forward arrow to play the slideshow.

You can also view the Look Into Books portraits with more details at Digital Past in the Glenview Area History Collection.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Organizing Your Genealogy Project

Thank you to the Clearfield Company for the following reviews:

If you are beginning to accumulate a fair amount of paper in the early stages of your research, it's probably time to take stock of what you have and how you plan to organize it--even before you enter the information into a computer database--lest you start drowning in an ocean of paper. Our popular author Bill Dollarhide has formulated four simple rules for organizing notes and documents:

1. Use one size of paper for all note-taking---preferably standard 8 ½ x 11 sheets.

2. Separate sheets by the surname of interest. If more than one surname is discussed, make additional copies for those families.

3. Create a surname notebook to store the sheets, and divide the book into sections for the place of origin of the records.

4. Give every sheet a number, so that you can make an index to the records.

Mr. Dollarhide develops each of these tips in detail in his popular book Managing a Genealogical Project. Making excellent use of charts and tables, he goes on to explain the three main types of descendancy numbering systems for genealogy: the Register System, the Record System, and the Henry System. Mr. Dollarhide explains the pros and cons of each system and proposes his own technique for combining Ahnentafel numbering with the Henry System. Managing a Genealogical Project also offers a number of other suggestions for organizing your family history data--with or without a computer. .. One of the most important features of the book is the collection of "Master Forms" (relationship chart, research log, ancestor table, etc.), which you can photocopy over and over again, and use to enter and organize the information you gather by hand.

The Library owns a copy of Managing a Genealogical Project : a Complete Manual for the Management and Organization of Genealogical Materials by William Dollarhide.

It can be checked out. The call number is 929.1 DOL

The following books also offer suggestions for organizing your genealogy project:

The Complete Beginner's Guide to Genealogy, the Internet, and Your Genealogy Computer Program by Karen Clifford shows you how to get started in your family history research; how to organize your family papers; how to enter information into a genealogy computer program so that you can easily manage, store, and retrieve your data; how to analyze the data and place it in various tables, charts, and forms; and how to put together a family history notebook--all the while using conventional record sources with a modern search and retrieval system.

Check it out at 929.1 CLI

The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy by Val Greenwood incorporates the latest thinking on genealogy and computers, specifically the relationship between computer technology (the Internet and CD-ROM) and the timeless principles of good genealogical research.

Check it out at 929.1 GRE

Friday, February 5, 2010

Faces of America Blog

On the Faces of America Blog, Harvard scholar and FACES OF AMERICA host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. offers insights into what he learned during the production of the series.

National Archives in February

The National Archives at Chicago will be closed on Presidents' Day, Monday, February 15. Due to the possibility of early closure on other days, researchers are strongly encouraged to contact a reference archivist ahead of time by phone (773-948-9001) or email ( prior to planning a visit.

In addition to the regular hours of 8:00 AM to 4:15 PM, Monday through Friday, the Archive is also open to the public the second Saturday of every month from 8:00 AM to 4:15 PM. Upcoming dates are Fabruary 13 and March 13.

Visit the National Archives at Chicago's Facebook Page. For event updates, highlights from their holdings, and rapid news stories, become their fan on Facebook.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nordic Genealogy

The Nordic Family Genealogy Center (located in the Swedish American Museum in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago, 5211 N. Clark St.) hosts genealogy classes from 10 a.m. to noon the fourth Saturday of each month, January to November.

Additional time is given to researchers every other month, between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Annual membership: $20 for Museum members; non-members pay $10 per session. If possible, bring your laptop computer and family information to class.

The Genealogy Center is open for individual research Wednesday afternoons between noon and 3:30 p.m. Individual assistance is provided by experienced members of the Center.
The Center owns Genline and other resources helpful to researchers of Nordic family history.

For further information, call the Swedish American Museum at (773) 728-8111 and leave a message for Marilynn Jeglum, or e-mail:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Faces of America

The new PBS series Faces of America with Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. builds on the success of his earlier series African American Lives.

Faces of America uses genealogy and genetics to explore the family histories of 12 renowned Americans, in an attempt to answer the questions, "Who made America? what makes us?"

The series premieres nationally Wednesdays, February 10 - March 3, 2010 from 8-9 p.m. on PBS.