Monday, December 28, 2015

Research Filing Systems

Need some inspiration for organizing and filing your research? There are multiple methods for organizing your research. You just need to find the one that works best for you.

Many prefer to file their research in folders. It's often the fastest and most intuitive way to organize. Blogger Jennifer Jensen describes her simple system of color-coded family folders here.

An example of surname binders from genejourneys
Another popular filing system involves creating surname notebooks. Here are some notebook tips from DearMyrtle:
  • Create a notebook for each major surname. You can also combine several smaller surnames into one binder and when one surname gets too larger, you can move it into it's own binder.
  • The first tab in your surname notebook should be labeled "Direct Lines." Start this section by grouping all of your direct line family group sheets together chronologically. 
  • After each family group sheet, include your documents (bmd certificates, photos, military and immigration papers, censuses, etc.) for that specific family.
  • You should have another section devoted to your collateral lines. These would be group sheets and documents for your parents' siblings, your grandparents' siblings, etc.
  • DearMyrtle also suggests having a tab in your binder labeled: "Research (not proven)." Here you can include the research you're doing on people who you suspect to be ancestors but haven't proven the relationship yet.

Whatever filing system you choose, you need to remember to be consistent and always file your documents as soon as you get them!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Family Tree Maker & Genealogy Software

Ancestry recently announced that they will be retiring Family Tree Maker. The software will be available for purchase through December 31, 2015 and Ancestry will continue to provide technical support until January 1, 2017.

Ancestry Member Trees will still be available (and you can create one even if you don't have an Ancestry subscription).

If you're looking for genealogy software, here are a few good options:
Also visit Family Tree Magazine's Genealogy Software Guide to help you pick out a new program. 

There's a good Genea-Musings blog post that explains what Family Tree Users should be doing now and what your future options are.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Genealogy for kids

The holidays can be a great time to introduce the kids to family history. Here are few genealogy activities for kids:
  • Share family stories and photos.
  • Make a family tree or a timeline for an ancestor.
  • Interview grandparents. Here are some sample questions
  • Teenagers or older kids can record an oral history with a family member on a smartphone.
  • Learn what your surname means and learn a few words in your ancestors' native language.
You can also get crafty:
Use Pinterest to find more great ideas!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Catholic Church Records

Roman Catholic Churches have traditionally kept extensive records about their members. These
records are particularly useful when civil records are unavailable. If you're researching Roman Catholic ancestors, here are some of the major records you should be looking for:

These are usually kept at the local church and contain records of sacraments such as baptism and marriage. Baptismal records generally include the date of baptism, the child's full name, the parents' names (along with the mother's maiden name), and the godparents' names. Marriage records include the marriage date and the names of the bride and groom (with the bride's maiden name). Marriage records may also include the parents' names (and mothers' maiden names), and information about residences and occupations. Marriages often occurred in bride's parish so look for marriage records there.

Deaths, Burials, and Cemetery Records
Some parishes kept records of deaths and burials. Especially look for death records in the church had its own cemetery. These records contain the date of death, date of burial, and sometimes the place of birth.

Marriage Banns, Dispensations, and Validations
Banns were announcements made in the parishes of a bride and groom three consecutive Sundays before a wedding was to take place. They only state an intention to marry and not that the marriage actually took place. Banns were used to help uncover any information about the why the couple may be ineligible to be married. A dispensation would be needed if an individual was not catholic or was a recent convert, or if the couple were closely related by blood or marriage, or if the bride was pregnant. Dispensation or validations of a marriage can be found at the diocese or sometimes at the church.

Status of the Souls or status animarum
Some churches created parish family books which include marriage, birth and death dates as well as migration information for family members.

Church Histories
Church and local histories, anniversary booklets, catholic newspapers and organization meeting minutes may all include information about your family.

Religious Order Records
If you have an ancestor who joined a religious order, there may be records of your ancestor and the family at the order's headquarters.

You can find Roman Catholic Church records at the local parish or the diocese. FamilySearch also has a large digital collection available for browsing online as well as many church records on microfilm.

Catholic Church records for Chicago from 1833-1925 are available online. You can browse this collection by parish and date.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Great Thanksgiving Listen

The holidays are the perfect time to learn more about your family history and StoryCorps wants you to interview your relatives this Thanksgiving as part of the Great Thanksgiving Listen. Download the StoryCorps app which will help you select questions, record your interview and upload it to the StoryCorps archive in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

StoryCorps is specifically encouraging students to interview their older relatives this Thanksgiving but all ages are welcome to use the app and upload their interviews.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Common People by Alison Light

If you need inspiration on how to write a good family history, I highly recommend Common People: In Pursuit of My Ancestors by Alison Light. It is exactly what a family history should be.

Light recounts the history of her family not just through anecdotes and data taken from census records but she recreates the world of the working poor in which her family lived. She researches workhouses, insane asylums, slums, and pauper’s graves. She describes the lives of bricklayers, Baptist preachers, domestic servants, and those in the navy. She reads local histories to understand how the geography of a place shaped her ancestors’ lives. Through Light’s research, she gains a better understanding of her ancestors and the worlds they inhabited.

I’ve always felt that while doing genealogy, you learn just as much about the history of society by the records your family leaves behind as you do about your ancestors--and sometimes, you may end up learning more about society than you do about your own family. Light demonstrates that genealogy is more than just names and dates but is really about bringing to light the lives of the “common people” and how politics, wars, religion and geography have affected the lives of everyday citizens.

This book also demonstrates why it's important to read local histories and to do your historical research while doing genealogy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Glenview Veterans' Oral History Project

The Glenview Veterans Oral History Project was a collaboration between the library and Glenbrook South High School. Glenbrook students interviewed local veterans at the library between 2009 and 2010. These oral histories are now available for you to watch on YouTube.

Happy Veteran's Day.!

Sunday, November 8, 2015


Come learn about HeritageQuest this Wednesday at 10 AM. HeritageQuest is a great basic database for beginning genealogists. Find great local and family histories, military records, and censuses with this library resource that you can use from home!

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

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Local Author Fair

The library is hosting a local author fair this Saturday from 11 AM - 2 PM. There are a couple of drop-in sessions that may be of interest to family historians.

If you're interested in putting together an oral history project:

Storytelling from the Oral to the Written
Members of the Alliance Française du North Shore
12:45 PM-1:30 PM • Youth Program Room

Everyone has a story to tell, but for those personal stories to be remembered and preserved, they have to be purposefully recalled, communicated, and recorded. The presenters, whose contributions to a video and print project as interviewer, narrator, transcriber, translator, and editor, will reflect on the interactive and collaborative process of engaging with multiple narrators and their personal stories. Their work to capture the first-hand experiences of children and young adults during World War II can easily be adapted to other themes and objectives, perhaps, to preserve family stories. Presenters: Margot Steinhart, William Sand, and Denise Rano.

If you need to figure out how to get that family history published:

Sharing Your Story: Tips on Getting Your Writing Published
Dina Silver
1:30-2 PM • Multipurpose Room

Learn about the world of self-publishing and how to transition from self-publishing to traditional publishing from an author who has been successful with both.

You can also meet and talk with local authors (including local historian Bev Dawson) in the Community Room.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Glenview & Explore Chicago Collections

Chicago Public Library just unveiled their new Chicago archives portal, Explore Chicago Collections. You can easily search several Chicago-area archives from one site. This is a great new local history or genealogy tool!

There are even some great old photographs available online for Glenview. Here's a sampling:

From the Chicago Daily News, ca. 1917; collection: DN-0068864

Image of a man drinking from the bear fountain originally located at Glenview Road and Pine Street in Glenview, Illinois. Edwin S. Jackman dedicated the fountain at the first Glenview Day on September 15, 1917. The fountain is presently located east of the former village hall, now the Park District building in Jackman Park.

Forest Preserve District of Cook County Records
Forest Preserve District of Cook County Records
Two photographic from the Forest Preserve District of Cook County of a Picnic at Small Harms Woods, Glenview Preserve, ca. 1900-1925.

From the Chicago Daily News, 1912; collection: SDN-057775
Caddies holding golf bags in front of them, standing in front of a canopy on the grounds of the Glen View Golf Club in 1912.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Surname Meanings and History

Understanding the history of your ancestors' surnames may help you with your genealogy research and can give you a clue as to your ancestors' lives.

Most surnames fall into four categories:
  • Descendants/Given names -- prefixes or suffixes are added to a given name to establish a relationship. e.g. Anderson, O'Connor, Fitzgerald, MacDonald.
  • Occupational names -- indicates a person's career. e.g. Baker, Brewer, Miller, Smith.
  • Geographic or location names -- derived from where a person lived. This could be a place name, e.g. London, or describe the landscape, e.g. Hill, Pond.  
  • Nicknames or descriptive names -- suggest a person's distinguishing characteristic, e.g. Short, Brown, Long, Fairchild.
Name dictionaries use historical documents to trace a name throughout history. Several of the dictionaries in the Genealogy & Local History Room can tell you a name's meaning and etymology and may help you place the name in historical and geographical context.

Some of the best dictionaries for American name research include:

Also look for dictionaries for your specific ethnic group. For example: 

Look for more name dictionaries in the Genealogy & Local History Room.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair

The National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair is happening today and tomorrow.

Check out the session schedule and download class handouts and you can watch the live stream on YouTube.

If you can't follow the live stream, the sessions will be archived and available for you to watch whenever you like. Follow NARA's YouTube page for more genealogy videos!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Getting Started with Ancestry

Learn the basics of on Tuesday, October 27 at 10 AM.  Discover how to easily navigate our most popular genealogy database.

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

Monday, October 12, 2015

How to Research Hispanic Ancestors When You Don't Speak Spanish

Do you want to research your Hispanic ancestors but do not speak Spanish? There's an article on the
GenealogyBank Blog about how to get started doing research in Spanish.

You will also want to consult the Spanish Genealogical Word List on the FamilySearch Wiki. And don't forget to take advantage of Google Translate.

Buena suerte!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Family History Research Day

Celebrate Family History Month with us this Saturday!

Need help getting started with genealogy? Have you hit a “brick wall” in your research? Join us for a Family History Research Day. Our genealogy experts can help you with your research in the technology lab or visit the Genealogy Room to use our print collections. Drop in any time between 1-4 PM to get individualized help, learn new tricks, and utilize our resources.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Books for National Hispanic Heritage Month

Discover some of our great print resources for Hispanic research in the Genealogy & Local History Room:

Hispanic American Genealogical Sourcebook
Discover basic genealogical records for Hispanic Americans, the major archives and organizations devoted to Hispanic research and understand the history of Hispanic emigration.

Finding Your Hispanic Roots
Learn about basic research techniques, records, and sources for all major Hispanic countries.

Hispanic Surnames and Family History
An exhaustive collection of Spanish surnames in Latin America and the US with resources for finding family history research for those names.

Census Records for Latin America and the Hispanic United States
A survey of census collections for Latin America and the Hispanic US. Explains where to find them and what information is included in each census. Extremely helpful for Spanish colonial records!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15-October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Start finding your Hispanic ancestors with this class from FamilySearch: US Hispanic Immigrants: Finding Their Place of Origin.

You can find more online courses in Spanish on FamilySearch. They have courses specifically for Latinoamérica as well as classes that cover the basics for all of Spain, Latin America, and Mexico.

Monday, September 7, 2015

FamilySearch Family Trees

If you have an account with FamilySearch, you may occasionally be frustrated with their Family Tree features. Last week at the BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy, Ben Baker discussed some of the common problems users have with their trees.

You can find the slides of his presentation online. He describes where FamilySearch Family Tree information initially came from and discusses the different collaborators who add information to trees.

Keep in mind that Family Trees are public and that FamilySearch actively tries to prevent duplicate trees. Your Family Tree does not belong only to you and does not necessarily reflect your own research. Collaborators are imperfect and upload incorrect information all the time--and let's be honest we make mistakes in our research too. But FamilySearch Family Trees are free (one of the few free family tree services offered anywhere online) and Baker's presentation offers tips to help you cope and fix some of your frustrations.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Cemetery Sleuthing

Join us on September 12 at 1 PM for Patricia Desmond Biallas' program on Cemetery Sleuthing:
Searching for ancestors in local cemeteries is not for the faint of heart, but ghosts and goblins are the least of your concerns. Missing gravestones, mis-marked markers, and gravestones that were never engraved lead to discoveries that are thrilling, disappointing and mysterious, in turn.  
What to expect, what not to expect and preparing for the unexpected are all covered in this “How To” of cemetery sleuthing. Etiquette, safety, and working with the cemetery office staff, will also be covered, as will tips on maintaining an attractive gravesite for your ancestor.  
Whether you’re just getting started in cemetery research or you’ve been doing it for a while, you’re sure to enjoy some fascinating stories and gain valuable tips as Pat shares her experiences in sleuthing our Chicago cemeteries. 
This program is a partnership between the Glenview Public Library and the North Suburban Genealogical Society. Register online or call the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

New Collection of Wills in Ancestry

Starting today Ancestry is uploading millions of wills and probate records including a collection of Illinois wills dating from 1772-1999. An article in the Chicago Tribune describes some of the wills of prominent Chicago politicians and businessmen. Were your ancestors as stingy as the man who left his son-in-law "a rope and suggested he hang himself with it" or were they more like George Pullman who left his daughter an island in the St. Lawrence River?

Wills offer interesting insights into your ancestors' personalities and relationships. And, most importantly, they offer a lot of names to add to your family tree!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Orphanage Records

Here is an interesting article by D. Joshua Taylor about the history of orphanages in the United States and how to trace orphans in your ancestry. As with doing any research, it's important to understand the history of the area where your ancestor lived and what records would have existed during that time period. When researching orphans (or adoptions), you will first need to do your historical research!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Korean Genealogy

The most important record for Korean genealogy research is the JokBo or Chokbo (족보). These are
family genealogies and histories generally passed down to eldest sons. Families and genealogy organizations are beginning to publish JokBo online.

Inje University Genealogy Library has a guide on how to read Korean genealogies. You can also search their collection of genealogies.

A great resource for learning more about Korean genealogy and records is Korean Genealogy Online. The author discusses civil and family records, family names, and the Korean language and culture. The site also offers a free genealogy eBook with research tips for English speakers.

Some Korean records are available through FamilySearch. Search for ancestors on the Korea Research Page or browse through the collection of Civil Service Examination records.  FamilySearch has also digitized Korean genealogies going back to 1500. You can browse the collection by family name, location and year.

Search the FamilySearch Catalog to find Korean genealogies as well as civil and military records on microfilm or as published books. Microfilm may be ordered from FamilySearch and viewed at the Glenview Public Library.

You can also search for records at the National Archives of Korea (in Korean) or explore their website in English.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Atlas of Historical County Boundaries

County boundaries have changed a lot during this nation's history. When searching for county-level records (birth, marriage, and death records) or when browsing census data, it's important to know which county your ancestor lived in. The Newberry has a great site that can help pinpoint what county your ancestor was living in during a specific period of time. The Atlas of Historical County Boundaries contains interactive maps and county histories and is a great resource for US genealogy research.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Dr. Kennicott & the National Agricultural Hall of Fame

Dr. John Kennicott was inducted into the National Agricultural Hall of Fame last month. Read about the induction here. If you want to learn more about Dr. Kennicott's life and agricultural achievements, check out this biography written by Elizabeth Kopp of the Grove. We also have the Kennicott family papers available on microfilm.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Redfield Estate at the Grove

The Redfield Estate at the Grove was built in the 1920s by descendants of the Kennicott family. Glenview Television produced a short documentary on the architecture of the estate and the history of Bertha Redfield's family.  

The library owns several of Donald Culross Peattie's books many of which were written at the Redfield Estate. And visit the Genealogy & Local History Room for more information on the Kennicotts and the Grove.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Want to learn more about Come to our class on Wednesday, July 29 at 2 PM. Learn database search techniques and discover the extensive online services offered by this nonprofit genealogy organization.

Register online or call the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500 x7700.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

French Genealogy

Célébrez la fête nationale de la France! It's Bastille Day. Find your French ancestors with these great websites:

Provides links to other genealogy sites and online archives.

Searchable database of archive records, indexes, and family trees.

Contains information on the history and geography of French family names.

Includes articles on French genealogy records and links to Departement online archives.

Search for records on FamilySearch and use their online tutorials to learn more about French research.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Hawaiian Genealogy

Hawaii has a unique history compared to other US states. Because of its interesting past, searching for genealogy records in Hawaii is a little different from other parts of the US.

Hawaii usgenweb is a great website to help you understand Hawaiian history and genealogy. The site also provides links to online genealogy resources.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs runs the Papakilo Database and collects documents and data pertaining to historically significant events and places in Hawaiian history. Search their genealogy indexes, newspapers, maps, and more.

Hawaiian Roots is a nonprofit organization devoted to providing online genealogy resources and research assistance. The site includes the state censuses of Hawaii and articles on various Hawaiian records and how to find them.

To further connect with your Hawaiian ancestors, use the library database Mango to learn the Hawaiian language!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Daughters of the American Revolution

Find your revolutionary ancestors on the Daughters of the American Revolution website.

The Genealogy page of the DAR site explains how to get started with genealogy and how to conduct research at the DAR library in Washington, DC.  

You can also search the DAR's online databases. Information in the databases is pulled from DAR membership applications. They include databases for:

Ancestor Database: Previously known as the Patriot Index, this is a database of members' "original" ancestors. These ancestors provided patriotic service during the Revolutionary War. If you can prove your lineage from one of these patriots, then you are eligible to join the DAR.

Descendants: Searches through every name on the lineage portions of DAR applications. These are all of the recorded descendants of the Revolutionary War Era ancestors.

GRC: This is a database of the Genealogical Records Committee Reports and includes transcriptions of gravestones, family Bibles, and personal collections created by DAR members. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Free Database Access

In honor of Independence Day, several databases are offering free access to records this weekend.

Ancestry lets users search for records from the original thirteen colonies through July 5th. Search for free here.

If you're looking for early colonial ancestors, NEHGS has a great offer this holiday weekend. The New England Historic Genealogical Society will allow guest users to search the Great Migration Study Project until July 8th. This is an excellent resource if you're looking for ancestors who migrated to New England between 1620 and 1640.

And with Fold3, you can search for Revolutionary War military records through July 5th.

Happy Fourth!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

New Genealogy Room Hours

The Genealogy & Local History Room is now open on Tuesday evenings! Our volunteer, Karen, will be in the room every other Tuesday from 7:00-8:30 PM. For the summer, the room will be open the evenings of June 30, July 14, July 28, August 11 and August 25.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Caribbean-American Heritage Month

This June marks the 10th anniversary of the creation of National Caribbean-American Heritage Month.

There are plenty of great resources online to help you find your ancestors in the Caribbean. Here a few:

Caribbean Genealogy Research
Includes lists of country-specific resources, records depositories, and a surname index.

Caribbean Family History
Databases of burials, religious records, and slave compensations primarily for Barbados.

Cuban Genealogy Center
Links for Cuban genealogy records.

Genealogy of Jamaica
Information and online resources for Jamaican genealogy.

Puerto Rican Hispanic Genealogical Society
Articles and resources for research in Puerto Rico.

You can also search FamilySearch's collections for the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominica. Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the US Virgin Islands.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Genealogy with Kids

Looking for a good summer activity that will introduce your kids or grandkids to genealogy? Janice Nickerson has great ideas for games that will get children involved with their family history. She lists ideas for quizzes and family trivia, family photo jigsaw puzzles and a scavenger hunt!

Monday, June 8, 2015

European Genealogy Resources

The hardest part of researching European ancestors is actually finding European records online! Here's a list of some online resources that can help you get started.

And don't forget to visit Cyndi'sList, RootsWeb, and WorldGenWeb to find more great European genealogy websites.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Unforgettable Story of Unbroken with Byron Kinney

The story of the best-selling book Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand about the life of Louis Zamperini, WWII P.O.W. survivor, is a riveting story of survival, suffering, salvation and forgiveness.

On Saturday, June 13 at 1 PM, WWII Air Force B-29 pilot, Byron Kinney, will share his personal connection to this fascinating story via his mission to Japan that was instrumental in saving 700 starving POWs, including Zamperini. Mr. Kinney will also speak about the continuing story of their relationship especially during the past 25 years.

In partnership with the North Suburban Genealogical Society.

Register for the program online or call the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500 x7700.

Friday, May 29, 2015

European Genealogy

Are you ready to "jump the pond" and start researching your ancestors in Europe but don't know how to get started? Join us for a class on Friday, June 5 at 10 am and learn how to find your ancestors in European sources!

Register online or call the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500 x7700.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Researching Common Last Names

Trying to find ancestors with common surnames can be daunting. Dr. Henry Louis Gates and Meaghan Siekman offer some helpful research strategies in their genealogy column at The Root.

In particular, I like their idea of researching related families:
Even if people in one of your lines had a common surname, they may have married or were closely associated with people who had less-common surnames. If your Tom Jones married Catharine Hornburg, you’ll want to focus on researching the Hornburg family. Documents for associated families, particularly land and probate records, may mention your ancestors. 
In addition to families that married into your Jones family, pay attention to their neighbors or to people who served as witnesses to your family’s wills, land records, marriages and births. People often migrated and settled with people they knew, and if you notice a pattern of the same surnames always living near your family or participating in major events of the family, it may be worth doing a bit of research on them, too.
Great tip!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Immigration Records Class

Need help understanding immigration and naturalization records and where to find them? Register for our class on May 20 at 2pm. Sign up online or call the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500 x7700.

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Hidden Half of the Family

Celebrate your female ancestors this Mother's Day and track down those maiden names!

One of my favorite reference books is The Hidden Half of the Family: A Sourcebook for Women's Genealogy. This excellent resource will help you find the records you need to find maiden names and other genealogical records of women.

Women have not always had the same legal standing in the US as men so they do not show up in government records the same way as your male ancestors. This book explains the changing legal status of women throughout the years and how these laws differed state by state.  By understanding how your female ancestors interacted with the government, you can figure out which government records are likely to mention her.

For instance, a woman was not allowed to devise a will in Illinois until 1872 so don't look for female ancestors' wills in Illinois before that date.

Aside from the history of women's legal status in the US, The Hidden Half of the Family also provides an excellent bibliography of women's resources for each state, lists where to find marriage records, and provides a directory of important archives. This is an essential resource for women's genealogy!

If you need more help with search strategies, see A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Female Ancestors.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Jewish American Heritage Month

May is Jewish American Heritage Month.

If you're researching your Jewish ancestry, you'll want to visit the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois in Northbrook. The have a research library with over 800 volumes on Jewish genealogy and host programs once a month. JGSI also maintains a searchable Online Death Index, a database of death records from local cemeteries.

Another great local resource is the Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland by Mike Karsen.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Organize Your Genealogy

Join us on Wednesday, May 13 at 7 PM for "Where Did I Put Great-Grandpa?" a program on organizing your research materials.

Developing a system to organize your family data so that no relatives “get lost” in the mass of information is a daunting task. Genealogist Caron Primas Brennan will discuss methods of effectively organizing your genealogical information so you can always “find Great-Grandpa.”

Register online or call the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500 x7700. Non-Glenview Library cardholders are welcome to attend.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Illinois Genealogy Resources

Missed our class on Chicago and Cook County Resources? Check out our Illinois Genealogy Resources Page for links to online resources, local genealogy societies, and record depositories, archives, and libraries.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Chicago and Cook County Resources

Find your Chicago Ancestors! Discover local resources to help you research your Chicago and Cook County genealogy. Sign up for our class on Tuesday, April 21 at 10 AM. Register online or call the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500 x7700.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Genealogy Research Day

Need help getting started with genealogy? Have you hit a brick wall in your research? Join us for a Genealogy Research Day.

Drop by the Technology Lab or the Genealogy & Local History Room any time between 1 and 4 PM on Saturday, April 18. Volunteers and staff will be available to help you with your research.

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

Join us to get individualized help, learn new tricks, and utilize all of our print and electronic resources!

Monday, April 6, 2015

FamilySearch Apps

FamilySearch has added a new App Gallery to their website. The apps are mostly websites that help you organize or find information to add to your family tree but some such as MobileFamilyTree you can download to your portable devices.

Apps, such as Kinpoint, analyze your family tree, explain what information is missing and provide insights into what records you need to search for. Others, like HistoryLines, organize and visualize the lives of your ancestors in unique ways.

My favorite is RootsMapper which syncs with information in your FamilySearch Family Tree. RootsMapper then plots out the routes your ancestors traveled across generations. It's an easy and interactive way to visualize your family's migration.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

NSGS April Meeting

On Saturday, April 11, the North Suburban Genealogical Society will host a Panel Discussion and Q&A at the Northbrook History Museum.

The NSGS Member Panel will include:

Clark Dean, CG -- Finding Two Illusive Women: A Case Study
Judy Hughes -- A Fresh Look At Brick Walls; New Ways to Rethink Old Problems 
Terry Jackson -- An Adoption Story: Italian Immigration & The Newberry Library
Tom Van Heule -- How to Convert Old Data (Slides & Pictures) Into Computer Files

The meeting begins at 1:00 PM and is free and open to the public. Guests are welcome and are invited to bring a friend and enjoy refreshments. The meeting room is on the lower level and has a ramp for handicap accessibility.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Glenview Street Names

Do you know who the Dewes, Rugens, or Linnemans were? What streets in Glenview used to be Potawatomi trails?

Glenview History Center librarian, Beverly Dawson, discusses the history of Glenview's street names with the Glenview Journal.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Beginning Genealogy

Want to start researching your genealogy but don't know where to get started? Come to our Beginning Genealogy class on March 24 at 10 am. Register online or call the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500 x7700.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Irish Genealogy Resources

Here are some resources to help you find your Irish roots this St. Patrick's Day.

Irish Genealogy Websites:

National Archives of Ireland
Digitized archives include: census records, tithe applotment books (essential for pre-famine research), and soldier's wills.

Irish Genealogy
Sponsored by Ireland's Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, this site contains searchable census, church, and civil registration records particularly for Dublin, and Carlow, Cork, and Kerry counties.

Roots Chat
Irish resources and a help forum for research questions.

From Ireland
A compilation of free Irish resources available online.

Ancestor Search from Irish Times
A history of Irish surnames with interactive maps and resources.

Roots Ireland 
Database of the Irish Family History Foundation. A great resource but you must be a member to search their records.

For more websites, visit the FamilySearch Wiki page for Ireland Genealogy Websites.

Irish Genealogy Resources at GPL:

Erin's Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada
A four volume set based on newspaper notices, regimental records, and petitions for land grants. Includes maps of the areas of peak migration, surnames, and an index of ships.

The Dictionary of Irish Family Names
Includes name etymology, related forms, origins, and geographical distribution.

Irish Genealogy: A Record Finder
Learn where to find census returns, wills, directories, land and law records, and much more.

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors
Perfect for beginners. Describes the basics of research and procedures for finding information.

Find more resources in our catalog.

Irish Resources in our databases:
Use Ancestry Library Edition in the library to access Irish Catholic registers; birth, marriage, and death records; Griffith's valuation; and more.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Important Tip from Genealogy Tip of the Day

Genealogy Tip of the Day: Do You Work Without Maps?: When you get all "into" researching a person or family in an area that is unfamiliar to you, do you stop and take the time to find maps of the areas where the people of interest live? It is important to know county, state, and other boundaries and the relative proximity of the places where you think people live. It's even more imperative in a "new" area where the geography may be unknown to you.

Don't assume you "know" the geography "good enough" or that the states are small enough that it doesn't matter. Look at maps. Analyze locations. Determine how far apart different residences for your ancestor are.

Don't get so caught up in the search that you lose sight of the geography in the process.

Follow Genealogy Tip of the Day for more great tips!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Glenview History Center Tea & Luncheon

The Glenview History Center is hosting a Downton Abbey Tea and Luncheon next week!
For more information visit their website

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Irish American Heritage Center

The library at the Irish American Heritage Center will be open from 1-7 pm on Saturday, March 14 for Saint Patrick's Day. Take advantage the library's collection of Irish genealogy resources and volunteer genealogists. Also, enjoy Irish music, dance, crafts, and food at their Saint Patrick's Day Celebration!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Updates to HeritageQuest

HeritageQuest just released a new user interface and added content. They've added lots of great research aids and made their census map collection easier to find.

HeritageQuest's census collection has been expanded with complete, indexed census records for each US Federal Census 1790-1940 and they've added all of the supplemental (veterans, slave, etc.) censuses too. It's also much easier to search these collections. Search options are now similar to Ancestry's.

HeritageQuest also has searchable Freedman's Bank records, Revolutionary War pensions, family and local histories, city directories, various federal government documents, and PERSI--an index of names and articles from hundreds of genealogy periodicals.

Best of all, HeritageQuest is available from home with your library card!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Genealogy & Local History Room Saturday Opening

The Genealogy & Local History Room will be open this Saturday from 2-5 PM. A genealogy volunteer will be here to help you get started on your research or to help you break down those pesky “brick walls.” Come enjoy our beautiful room and all of our wonderful resources!

The Genealogy Room is usually open Monday-Friday 10 AM - 2 PM or by appointment. Call the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500 ext. 7500 for more information.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

RootsTech 2015

If you missed the RootsTech conference in Utah a couple weeks ago, you can still catch up with all of the last tech news!

RootsTech is a conference dedicated to genealogy and technology. Check out the 2015 video archive to learn about the best apps, newest databases, genetic genealogy, and discover new ways to find, organize, and to showcase your research online.

Here's a great video by D. Joshua Taylor about what he considers to be essential technology for today's genealogist.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Census Records

Want to learn more about census records and how to use them in your genealogy? Attend our class on Wednesday, February 25 at 10 am. Register online or call the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500.

Monday, February 16, 2015

African American Genealogy

African American genealogy can be challenging but there are a lot of great online resources to help
you find your ancestors. 

This is an online community for African American researchers. They sponsor chats and have an active online forum that can help answer your research questions. The site also collects and has several small databases of slave records, vital records, and other historical documents. 

African American Gateway
Hosted and created by the Allen County Library this site collects links for research in specific states, countries, regions, or topics. Their Illinois page includes links to local depositories and archives, digitized photos and documents, historical information, and an excellent bibliography. 

A valuable site for finding free African Americans before 1865. The materials include census records, tax lists, wills, deeds, "free Negro registers," marriage bonds, parish registers and Revolutionary War pension files.

Don't forget about Cyndi's List and the Freedman's Bank Records on HeritageQuest (which you can access at home with your library card) . 

Also, check out Henry Louis Gates' column on The Root. He discusses common problems with African American genealogy and offers insights into African American history. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Genealogy Roadshow

Snowed in and looking for something to binge watch? PBS has episodes of Genealogy Roadshow available on their website.

Watch the St. Louis episode for stories from the Midwest!

Friday, January 30, 2015

First Tuesday

The Genealogy & Local History Room will be open this Tuesday evening from 6-8:30 PM. Drop by to get personalized help with your research!

Monday, January 26, 2015


Stop by this Thursday for our class on GenealogyBank. It's a great database for researching old historical newspapers. Sign up online or call the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500 x7700.

Don't forget to check out our list of digital historical newspapers. All of the sites are free to use. Or visit the newspaper links on Cyndi's List.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Irish Family History Day

This Friday, January 23, celebrate Irish Family History Day with Findmypast!

They will be hosting a free webinar with Irish family historian Brian Donovan. Donovan will be discussing Irish records and can answer any questions you have about Irish research. The webinar will start at 11 AM.

Sign up for the free webinar here.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Learn how to use the library's newest genealogy database on January 29 at 2 pm. Learn how to use historical newspapers in your genealogy research with this great new resource! Sign up online or call the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500 x7700.