Saturday, December 14, 2013

Holidays and Family History

The holidays are the perfect time to start researching your family history. With family members gathered together, you should take the opportunity to collect information about their lives and discover what information they already know about your ancestry.

Begin your research by collecting old photographs, newspaper clippings, bibles, and family papers. Share these items with your family. Sharing these family heirlooms offer an ideal way to get family members to start reminiscing See if anyone can identify who is in the photographs. Ask if any other relatives have family items or heirlooms that they would be willing to share with you as you start your research.

Interview family members. Share stories together and record or write everything down. You're looking for more than just birth, marriage, and death dates--although, that information is extremely important. You also want family stories. If you can, try and record these discussions on your phone or computer.

Don't put off talking to your relatives! They're one of your best sources of information.

After you've collected some basic information, come to the library and we can help you further your research!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas in Glenview 1995

I found a great seasonal book in the Genealogy & Local History Room: The Best Christmas Decorations in Chicagoland by Mary Edsey. It was published in 1995 and features photos and addresses of the best places to see holiday decorations in the city of Chicago and the surrounding area.

The book includes two houses from Glenview: the Dorband house on Glenview Road and the Olsowski house on Huber Lane. The Olsowski's PVC pipe Christmas tree is a featured photograph.

Come by the Genealogy & Local History Room to peruse The Best Christmas Decorations in Chicagoland. There are lots of fun photographs and stories of holiday traditions from around the area. Most of the photographs are from the nineties but there are stories and pictures going back to the fifties!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Pilgrim Ancestry

According to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, about twenty to thirty million people are descended from the Mayflower pilgrims. One hundred and two pilgrims sailed to the New World and arrived near Cape Cod, Massachusetts in November 1620. Almost half of them died that first winter and still millions can claim ancestry from these original fifty pilgrims!

If you are interested in discovering your Mayflower ancestors, you can first search through the surnames of Mayflower passengers. The following are the eligible names compiled by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.

John Alden                                  Francis Cooke                                    Priscilla Mullins
Bartholomew Allerton John CookeWilliam Mullins
Isaac Allerton Edward DotyDegory Priest
Mary (Norris) Allerton Francis EatonJoseph Rogers
Mary Allerton Samuel EatonThomas Rogers
Remember Allerton Sarah EatonHenry Samson
Elinor Billington Moses FletcherGeorge Soule
Francis Billington Edward FullerMyles Standish
John Billington Mrs. Edward FullerElizabeth Tilley
William Bradford Samuel FullerJohn Tilley
Love Brewster Samuel Fuller (Son of Edward)Joan (Hurst) Tilley
Mary Brewster Constance HopkinsRichard Warren
William Brewster Elizabeth (Fisher) HopkinsPeregrine White
Peter Browne Giles HopkinsResolved White
James Chilton Stephen HopkinsSusanna White
Mrs. James Chiltonn John HowlandWilliam White
Mary Chilton Richard MoreEdward Winslow

If you think one of these pilgrims might be an ancestor, you can search to see if your family has been included in a lineage book. The General Society of Mayflower Descendants has published the three volume work Mayflower Descendants Through Five Generations which you can use in the Genealogy & Local History Room.

Other Mayflower-related resources the library owns includes:

Mayflower Marriages
Mayflower Increasings
The English Ancestry and Homes of the Pilgrim Fathers
Families Directly Descended From All the Royal Families in Europe and Mayflower Descendants 

Visit the General Society of Mayflower Descendants for information on joining the Mayflower Society and visit the Illinois' chapter for information on local Mayflower-related events.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Genealogy First Tuesdays

Our genealogy drop-in group will be meeting on Tuesday, December 3 at 6pm. Bring your questions and research problems to the Genealogy & Local History Room and see if we can help!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

During 2009 and 2010, the Glenview Public Library and Glenbrook South High School students interviewed local veterans as part of an oral history project.

In honor of Veteran's Day here are a couple of those interviews.

George Klein interviewed by Matt Moore on October 28, 2009. Mr. Klein served in the army during WWII and was involved in the campaigns at D-Day, Normandy, Lorraine, and Central Europe. 

Dorothy Murphy interviewed by Carrie Hanson on January 6, 2010. Ms. Murphy participated in the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps during WWII.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bring It Home, Glenview

Here is an article in today's Chicago Tribune about the Hangar One Foundation and the efforts involved in preserving the history of the Glenview Naval Air Station.

Visit Bring It Home, Glenview to learn more about the group's efforts to salvage, restore, and house a dive-bomber that crashed in Lake Michigan. And please visit the Glenview Naval Air Station Museum which is open on Saturdays from 10am-5pm and Sundays from noon-5pm to celebrate the Naval Air Stations veterans and to discover this important part of Glenview's history.

Credit: Chicago Tribune Archives. July 1, 1946.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Genealogy First Tuesdays

Our drop-in genealogy group meets tomorrow! Stop by the Genealogy & Local History Room between 2:00 and 3:30 pm to meet and work beside other genealogy enthusiasts. Bring your questions!

At October's meeting we had questions about Swedish, English, Czechoslovakian, and Iranian genealogy! 

Come see what we can help you find tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Next week we have a class on Learn how to use this amazing free database and discover all of FamilySearch's online resources on November 8 at 10 am. 

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

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

101 Best Websites 2013

Each year Family Tree Magazine publishes a list of 101 best genealogy websites. You can view the full list of websites on the Family Tree Magazine website.

I went through their list and found a few of my favorites sites for Midwest genealogy:

Cook County Genealogy
The best place to find birth, marriage, and death certificates for Cook County.

Illinois State Archives
This site includes some digitized maps and vital record databases but it also tells you exactly which depository to visit to find the genealogical records you're searching for.

Newberry Library
Is there anything better than the Newberry?

My Genealogy Hound
This new, free website by Hearthstone Legacy Publications lets you search through thousands of biographies extracted from old county histories. Most of the histories and maps currently available on the site focus on the Midwest.

Minnesota Historical Society
Includes databases for vital records, cemetery indexes, and state censuses. They also have a great collection of local histories and photographs.

Ohio Historical Society
Military records, vital records, school records, so many records of genealogical interest can be found on this site.

Wisconsin Historical Society
This site hosts a great collection of databases and biographical sketches.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Become a Citizen Archivist!

The National Archives has created a new crowd-sourcing project to make more of their records searchable online.

Volunteers are asked to contribute to document transcriptions by becoming a Citizen Archivist. You can browse the site to see what types of documents the NARA wants to transcribe.

It's a great project and as more documents get transcribed, the easier our research becomes!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Allen County Public Library Classes

October might be a good time for a quick trip to Indiana! In honor of Family History Month, Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, IN is hosting a variety of genealogy classes each day this month. You can find the full schedule here. Call 260-421-1225 or email to register.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Government Shutdown and Your Genealogy

While trying to do some research tonight, we've discovered that portions of the Library of Congress website and its digital collections are not accessible during the government shutdown. The National Archives website is still mostly accessible but the homepage has been changed and they've hidden most of their search features. Here's the direct link to the main search page. The page looks a little different but everything still works.

Also, the Great Lakes Regional Archive will be closed until the shutdown is resolved.

Digging Deeper with Ancestry

We still have space available for our Digging Deeper with Ancestry class on October 8 at 2pm. Discover all of the collections within Ancestry. Learn about different records and how to use them in your research.

You can register online here or register with the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500.

Monday, September 30, 2013

New Volunteer!

The Genealogy & Local History Room has a new volunteer. Linda Dooley will be volunteering with us on Fridays from 10-2pm.

Please stop by the room on Fridays for help with your genealogy research!

Volunteers staff the Genealogy & Local History Room on the following days:

Tuesdays, 10:00am-2:00pm
Wednesdays, 9:30am-12:30pm
Thursdays, 10:00am-2:00pm
Fridays, 10:00am-2:00pm

If you are interested in becoming one of our volunteers, you can download an application or contact Kimberly Schlarman.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Genealogy First Tuesdays

Our drop-in genealogy group will be meeting next Tuesday, October 1. Drop by the Genealogy & Local History Room anytime between 6:00 and 8:30pm. Work on your research, meet other genealogy enthusiasts and share your successful research tips.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Introduction to Ancestry

There will be an Introduction to Ancestry class at the library on Tuesday, September 24 at 2pm in the computer lab. Learn about all of the search functions in Ancestry Library Edition and discover how to get started with your research! 

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

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Glenview's Wagner Family

Here's an interesting article in the Glenview Announcements about the Wagner family. It includes a couple of great photographs taken from a former Glenbrook South student.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Old Occupation titles

Occupations and titles have changed a lot throughout the centuries. Here are some interesting old job titles I've found:

Bagman Traveling salesman
Ballad Monger Sold printed ballads on the street
Bibliothecary Librarian
Clicker Servant who would stand outside a shop and invite people to enter the store
Colporteur Bookseller
Eyer Made eyes in needles
Farrier Veterinarian and/or shod horses
Gelder Castrated animals
Henchman Groom
Lavendar Washerwoman
Neatherder Cow herder
Peregrinator Itinerant wanderer
Plumber Made sheet lead to be used in architecture, roofs, and stained glass
Revenuer Federal officer concerned with illegal distilling
Snobscat Shoe repairer
Stuff gown Junior barrister
Tipstaff Policeman
Vulcan Blacksmith
Yardman Railroad worker

If you're looking for more information on old occupations, has a nice Glossary of Old Occupations & Trades and you may also want to check Cyndi's List for more information.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Researching Occupations

There are several places you can search to find the employee records of your ancestors. If you already know your ancestor's occupation or employer, here are some records you may want to search for.

Labor Union Records
Most labor unions kept membership records. Some records may be available at local archives but most will be held at union headquarters. If you're looking for Chicago-area records, you can contact the Illinois Labor History Museum for information about local unions and labor movements.

Railroad Records
Chicago is a great place to research railroad employee records. Railroad workers are interesting in that they received their own Social Security Numbers and their own special pensions. Pension records for railroad employees can be found at the Railroad Retirement Board in Chicago. The Chicago History Museum also has records for the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.

Official Church Records
Many denominations kept or published directories of clergymen often with biographical information for each member of the clergy. These can be located at local church archives or at denomination headquarters.

Professional & Licensing Associations
Legal professionals are required to register with the state after passing the bar exam. Law directories have been published regularly since the 19th century and can often be found in law libraries or legal association archives. The American Medical Association has been keeping records on licensed medical practitioners since the 1800s as well. Many state archives will also have license records for lawyers, doctors, teachers, and any other professions that require licenses.

Indenture & Apprentice Records
If you're researching colonial ancestors you may find indenture or apprentice records. Information found in these records will vary but many of them will contain: the name of the apprentice, a parent or guardian's name, who they're being apprenticed to, location and length of the apprenticeship, the title of the trade and the types of skills the apprentice will be expected to perform. Some of these records will be government documents, others may belong to a church, some may have been more informal, private arrangements.

Other Places to Look:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Celebrate Your Ancestors' Labor

On this upcoming Labor Day weekend, we will celebrate the social and economic achievements of American workers. What did your ancestors do for a living? Researching your ancestors vital information is important but discovering your ancestors' occupations can help flesh out their lives and give you some interesting insight into how the family lived and their status within their communities.

Some common sources to discover your ancestors' occupations include:
  • Census records
  • City Directories
  • Obituaries
  • Newspapers
  • Tombstones (Check out this tombstone in Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago!)
  • Social Security Administration SS-5 Application Form
  • Wills
  • Probate Records
  • Pension Records

This is probably one of the most interesting--and revealing--genealogy topics you can research!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Genealogy First Tuesdays

Genealogy First Tuesdays starts up again next Tuesday, September 3 at 2pm!

Drop by the Genealogy & Local History Room anytime between 2:00 and 4:30 to research and to meet other genealogy enthusiasts. Share your favorite research tips and tools and help us break down our brick walls.

You can register at the Reference Desk, by phone (847-729-7500 x7700), or online.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Glenview History Center Civil War Encampment

The Glenview History Center will be commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War at the History Center's historic 1864 house museum grounds on Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1, 10am-4pm.

Living history presented by:

Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War
Camp Custer
Sons of the Veterans Reserve
US Signal Corps & Infantry
1st Michigan Engineers
General George Thomas
Traveling Civil War Museum


Friday, August 23, 2013

Digging Up Family Roots in Sicily

There was a great article in this past Sunday's New York Times about author Russell Shorto's trip to Sicily to discover his family's origins. This is the sort of research trip every genealogist dreams of!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dinner with the Kennicotts

For an evening of dinner and outdoor theater, the Glenview Park District is inviting the public to learn more about the area’s most prominent, historical family.

 Dinner with the Kennicotts is Sept. 6 at The Grove nature and education center, 1421 Milwaukee Ave., where park district employees will perform a 40-minute play portraying the Kennicott family in the pavilion. 

The dinner includes starters and beverages in the Kennicott house, a buffet dinner at the Redfield Estate and interaction with the actors.

Horticulturalist and medical doctor John Kennicott brought his family to Glenview from New Orleans in 1836. They lived in a log cabin until he built his home in 1856 for his family. Kennicott’s son, Robert, was a noted naturalist and explorer who founded the Chicago Society Academy of Science in 1956 and served on the Illinois Natural History Society.

Read more at the Glenview Announcements.

Dinner with the Kennicotts is 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 6 at The Grove. For ticket information, call (847) 299-6096 or register at Park Center, 2400 Chestnut Ave., Glenview.

If you want more information about the Kennicotts, the Glenview Public Library has the Kennicott family papers on microfilm in the Genealogy & Local History Room.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair

On September 3-4, the National Archives will be hosting its first ever Virtual Genealogy Fair. The seminars will be available live via webcast and the recorded sessions will be made available later.

They don't have the schedule of speakers yet but topics will include: Native American and African American history, immigration, Civil War pensions, US Colored Troops, and Navy Deck logs.

Continue to check the NARA website for updates.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Studs Terkel in Glenview

I recently discovered Media Burn, an independent archive of video footage with a focus on Chicago.

I found the following video that was produced by the Glenview Community Church and Glenview Television. The video is a recording of Studs Terkel discussing his book Will the Circle be Unbroken? at the Glenview Community Church in September 2001. Glenview village president Larry Carlson and Minister Howard Roberts also appear in the video. There's also a Q&A session with the audience.

It's Studs Terkel so, of course, it's a great video and worth watching.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are? is now airing on Tuesdays nights on TLC but full episodes of the new season are available on the TLC website.

You can now watch the latest episode where Zooey Deschanel discovers her Quaker roots and learns about their abolitionist history.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

BillionGraves is a website with an interesting premise. The site encourages users to download an app to their smartphone or tablet and take pictures of gravestones at cemeteries they visit. The app uses the phone's GPS to identify the cemetery and will tag every photo's location exactly. The app uploads the photos automatically to the website and maps the locations of the photos. Volunteers online look at the photos that have been uploaded and transcribe the information off of the headstones into a searchable database.

BillionGraves hopes to eventually have photos of one billion graves
(or more!) searchable on their website. The site has been around for a couple of years but it's growing in popularity and already has an extensive collection of graves in the US.

The database itself is easy to use and GPS tagging also makes it simple to visit a cemetery and find the location of a specific grave site too. While the database is not quite as extensive as FindAGrave, the site is growing all the time. That's the charm of BillionGraves. It's incredibly easy for users to help grow the collection by choosing to either go out and photograph grave sites or by just sitting at the computer, transcribing what others have already uploaded.

If you want to help with photographing graves, the app can be downloaded for free through Android Market/Google Play or the iPhone App Store.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Vacation's Over....

What do you do once you return from your genealogy vacation or research trip?

  • As soon as you get home, you should begin recording all of the information that you have gathered on your trip. It's best to input all of your new data while everything is fresh in your memory.
  • Document and label your photographs, photocopies, and scanned images.
  • If you managed to collect a lot of new information on your trip, be sure to keep it organized so that you do not lose or misplace any of your new notes and research. 
  • Create source citations for all of your new evidence.
  • Once everything has been documented and organized, begin to process all of your new information. Processing everything you have learned on your trip may take some time but you should compare new information with your previous research. Revise your data, consider new evidence and reevaluate where you are in your search.
  • As you document your evidence, make note of which repositories gave you the most information and which offered the least. Record any useful information or impressions you made about the places you visited. This information can help you decide which institutions may be worth another visit in the future.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tour de l'Acadie

In August 2014, the World Acadian Congress (Congrès Mondial Acadien) is meeting in New Brunswick,
Québec, and Maine. If you have Acadian or French Canadian ancestry, there will be plenty of opportunities to explore Acadian history and culture and to research your Acadian roots. You can learn more about the congress and start registering for events at their website.

But if you cannot wait until next year to explore your Acadian heritage, bicycle tours are being organized around the region from now until the Congress in 2014. Join the Tour de l'Acadie Pre-Congrès Tour 2013 and discover your roots and experience a great road trip. Vive le Tour!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

National Archives at Chicago

The National Archives in Chicago is another great location for a genealogical research trip.

The Regional Archives in Chicago have an extensive microfilm collection that includes:
  • Federal Census Records
  • Indian Census Rolls for Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota
  • Naturalization Indexes
  • Passenger Arrivals
  • Military Service and Pension Records

The Archives also has paper records of:
  • World War II Draft Cards
  • Indian School Records
  • Criminal, Civil, and Bankruptcy Case Files
  • Farm Ownership Case Files

In addition, they store other historical records such as maps and photographs from 1800 to the 1990s for the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

It is suggested that you contact the Archives before visiting. You can also initiate research by phone, by email or by mail.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Newberry Library

Manuel Rodriguez. Compendio Geografico, c.1768. 
The Newberry Library in Chicago has the largest collection of genealogical resources in the area. It's actually one of the best genealogy research institutions in the United States and it's definitely worth a visit!

The Newberry's collection contains thousands of genealogies and local histories from all regions of the United States, Canada, and the British Isles. They have published transcriptions, indexes and abstracts of vital, military and legal records and their collection of Civil War unit histories is one of the country's best. The Newberry also has access to many online resources and periodicals from across the country. Search their catalog and visit their genealogy page for research guides and for more information on the collection.

Also, be sure to check out this article from CAGGNI. They provide a great overview of what to bring, helpful hints, and what rules you need to keep in mind when you visit the Newberry.

Monday, July 15, 2013

NGS Research Trips

The National Genealogical Society sponsors research trips to Washington DC and Salt Lake City each year. These trips are led by professional genealogists who can help guide you on how to take advantage of the great genealogical resources available in SLC and DC. You can spend six days at the Family History Center in SLC or you can use the genealogical resources at the National Records and Administration, the Library of Congress and the Daughters of the American Revolution Library all under the guidance of NGS experts.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Genealogy Libraries in the Midwest

You don't have to travel too far to find some excellent genealogy resource centers. Two of the best genealogy centers are here in the Midwest: Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, IN & Mid-Continent Public Library that services the Kansas City, MO region.

The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library has one of the largest genealogy research collections in the US. They have more than 350,000 printed materials and 513,000 items on microfilm and microfiche. The Genealogy Center has a large collection of American and European family histories, city directories from across the US, passenger lists, military records, Native American, African American, Canadian, and European records. One of the Center's missions is to collect US genealogy and local history publications including a significant collection from Illinois.

The Midwest Genealogy Center at the Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence, MO is the largest public genealogy library in the US. They have almost three-quarter of a million genealogy research materials. Many of their items are kept in open stacks that visitors may browse and much of the collection actually circulates (and is available for inter-library loan if you cannot make it out to Missouri). Their collection includes family histories, archival collections, city directories, Native American resources and Midwest pioneer collections.

Friday, July 5, 2013

New Volunteer

We have a new volunteer in the Genealogy & Local History Room. Susan Mayer will be working with us on Wednesdays from 9:30-1:00.

The Genealogy & Local History Room is open the following hours:

Mondays, 9:30-12:30
Tuesdays, 10:00-2:00
Wednesdays, 9:30-1:00
Thursdays, 10:00-2:00

Please drop by to work on your research or to browse our interesting collection.

And remember that we still have volunteer opportunities available. You can fill out an application or contact Kimberly Schlarman for more information.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


This is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Union and Confederate soldiers fought for three days starting July 1, 1863.
Monument to 8th Ill. Cavalry at Gettysburg

Three regiments from Illinois fought at Gettysburg:

8th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry
This regiment was mustered in 1861 along the Fox River in St. Charles.

12th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry
The 12th was mustered in Springfield but also contained two companies known as the McClellan Dragoons who organized in Chicago.

82nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry
Organized in Springfield, this regiment consisted mostly of German, Scandinavian and Jewish immigrants.

Do you have ancestors who fought in the Civil War? I had at least three Civil War ancestors whose regiments fought at Gettysburg!

The National Park Service has an excellent database for searching for your Civil War ancestors. The site will also allow you to see a history of the various Union and Confederate regiments and gives a nice overview of the major battles. The NPS can also help you plan a trip to a battlefield.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Genealogy Tours and Cruises

Are you looking to get away this summer and do a bit of genealogy research but don't know where to start? Cyndi's List has compiled lots of excellent links to different tour and travel groups that specialize in helping you discover your heritage. Travel anywhere from Ellis Island to the Czech Republic!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Curtiss-Reynolds Airport

The Chicagoan, Vol. 7, No. 13. Copyright The Quigley Publishing Company, a Division of QP Media, Inc.
If you're planning on travelling this summer by plane, you'll probably be leaving from either Midway or O"Hare; but at one point, you could have chartered a flight right from Glenview. In fact, in the late 1920s, it seemed that Glenview would become Chicago's major airline hub.

The area around the Chicago Municipal Airport (now Midway) was becoming surrounded by both new residential neighborhoods--which encroached on the airport's ability to expand--and new industry--which created smokey, unsafe air conditions for pilots. Seeing an opportunity, land was purchased in north Glenview to create the next major Chicago airfield and the Curtiss-Reynolds Airport opened in 1929. Curtiss-Reynolds boasted modern clubhouses, state-of-the-art lighting, a pilot training school, and the largest hangar in world at the time. Unfortunately--just nine days after the airport was dedicated--the stock market crashed, the Great Depression began and the demand for commercial aviation started to decline.  

The Curtiss-Reynolds Airport on opening day. October 20, 1929.
DN-0089767, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago History Museum.
The Curtiss-Reynolds Airport managed to stay open during the 1930s by hosting entertainment events such as National and International Air Races and commercial companies would offer sight-seeing tours over Lake Michigan. In 1937, the Navy began leasing space in Curtiss-Reynolds' Hangar One. Soon the airport became the Glenview Naval Air Station.

You can read a fun article from a September 1929 issue of The Chicagoan here. The author visits the newly built Curtiss-Reynolds Airport and learns about the burgeoning aviation business. It's really fascinating! Imagine flying for only 35¢ a mile!

And if you're interested in more of Glenview's early aviation history, visit the Genealogy & Local History Room where we have books and articles on Curtiss-Reynolds and the Naval Air Station.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Planning Your Research Trip

Genealogy research trips can be incredibly informative but require a lot of planning. It's better to be fully prepared before you begin your journey so you can get the most out of your trip. Here are some tips to help you prepare:

  • Narrow the scope of your research. Try to focus on just one person or family. Keep a list of what information you already have and what information you're trying to obtain.
  • Try to create an outline of your research goals. Decide what facts you would like to check and what records you may be looking for. 
  • Familiarize yourself with the region you will be visiting. Research local libraries, historical societies, courthouses, archives, churches and colleges. Try to find out what records may be available at each location you hope to visit. 
  • Contact the centers where you plan to do research. Verify their hours, location, and the scope of their collections. Learn about each facility's research policies. Will you have access to original documents or digitized copies? Can you bring in your own research notebooks and laptop? What are their policies on photocopying materials?
  • Search the library or archive's online catalog and make a list of items you may want to look at. Focus on items that are unique to the area: manuscripts, family histories, local histories, photographs, local newspapers, church records, etc.
  • Map out your locations and create your travel itinerary. 
  • Before you go, double-check that your home library does not already have access to some of the materials you may be searching for.

These are just the basics. Here's a great 20 minute discussion presented by the Midwest Genealogy Center and FamilySearch about preparing for your trip.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Gathering: Ireland's Family History Year

According to the latest census information, more than 35.5 million Americans claim Irish ancestry. In fact, more than an estimated 70 million people around the world claim to be of some Irish descent.  In honor of those with Irish heritage, Tourism Ireland has announced 2013 to be Ireland's Family History Year. There are plenty of talks, seminars, clan gatherings and activities scheduled to keep an Irish researcher busy. And in October, you can attend Back to Our Past--a large genealogy conference in Dublin.

Visit The Gathering and for more information about Irish heritage activities and other pertinent tourist information.

If you cannot make it to Ireland this year, a great Facebook page has been created in honor of the event. They have been posting great links to digitized materials and the site hosts expert Q&As where you can send in your Irish family history questions.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Have Book! Will Travel!

The Glenview Public Library's annual Summer Reading Program, Have Book. Will Travel, begins on Saturday, June 8. Remember to signup at the Reader's Services Desk to earn prizes for what you read this summer.

And to celebrate our Summer Reading theme, this blog will be be focusing on travel and genealogy this summer.

At a certain point in your genealogy research, you will realize that you cannot do all of your research online and you will actually have to venture out and visit libraries, archives, historical societies and courthouses to continue your research. These research trips can take you to different parts of your home state or to different parts of the world. Genealogy research trips can help break down your brick walls and verify information you've only seen online.

We will explore genealogy research trips this summer so you'll be prepared for your next excursion! And remember to check out all of the Summer Reading events happening at your library!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Genealogy & Local History Room

Just a reminder that the Genealogy & Local History Room is open throughout the summer. We have volunteers who keep the room open and who are willing to help you with your research.

Volunteers staff the room on:

Mondays, 9:30-12:30
Tuesdays, 10:00-2:00
Thursdays, 10:00-2:00

Please drop in and say, "hi!"

If you have an interest in genealogy or Glenview history, we have volunteer opportunities available. You can fill out an application or contact Kimberly Schlarman for more information.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Photo Detective

This is such a fun blog! The Photo Detective by Maureen A. Taylor sponsored by Family Tree Magazine investigates mystery photos sent in by readers.

Most of us have inherited boxes of unidentified photographs. Photo historian Maureen Taylor analyzes photographs using clues such as fashion, hairstyles and background props to help identify the time period and the people in the photographs. You can submit your own mystery photos for Maureen to analyze. She discusses how photographs can be used to supplement your family research and best practices for preservation.

The Photo Detective is just an enjoyable read too. There is a lot of interesting social history there and old photographs are always fun to peruse.

Friday, May 31, 2013

NSGS June Meeting

The North Suburban Genealogical Society will be meeting on June 8 at 1pm at the Northbrook Historical Society. Nancy Thomas will be presenting a lecture titled Breaking Down a Brick Wall, or How I Found the Marriage Record of My Irish Great-Great Grandparents. Find out about breaking down brick walls and pick up some Irish research tips!

Visit the NSGS website for more information. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Military Records

Why not search for your ancestor's military records this Memorial Day?

Military records are important genealogical tools that can offer a wealth of information about not only the veteran but about the entire family. As well as military information, you can discover medical information, marriage, birth, and death dates, employment history, and physical descriptions. Pension records are especially interesting and can include personal family items such as letters and even pages from family bibles.

The Veteran's Service Records page on the National Archives and Records Administration site is a great place to start your search. You can search for some military records through ARC and AAD or you can request copies of military records directly from NARA. Some military records may also be available at the National Archives in Chicago.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Free Genealogy Webinars

There is always more to learn in the field of genealogy research and there are plenty of free online sources to help you keep current on the newest trends.

GeneaWebinars compiles and creates calendars and lists of free genealogy-related classes, meetings, and webinars that anyone can attend. It's the perfect way to keep up-to-date with the latest research trends and to discover new tips and tricks.

Right now, GeneaWebinars is showcasing free webinars presented by the Illinois State Genealogical Society.