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.