Thursday, December 29, 2016

New Year's Resolutions

Have you been thinking about your genealogy goals for the new year? Here are a few suggestions for your 2017 to-do list:

  1. Get your research organized
  2. Interview a relative
  3. Join a genealogy society (maybe NSGS?)
  4. Read a local history or a surname study
  5. Digitize and label your family photos
  6. Create a family history scrapbook
  7. Take a research trip
  8. Share your genealogy online
  9. Participate in a genealogy do-over
  10. Attend a genealogy class (our class schedule is here)

Happy searching in the new year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Write Your Story

At some point during your research, you'll probably start considering if you want to write your family history. Writing is the best way to preserve your history. Creating a family tree is great but stories add depth to your genealogy. Personal anecdotes and details make your ancestors feel like real people and not just names and dates.

A writing project may sound intimidating but it's easy to get started.

First decide what sort of family history you want to write. Do you want you write a memoir or a biography? Are you creating a scrapbook filled with memorabilia? You also need to focus on the scope of your work. Many writers like to trace their line from themselves to the earliest known ancestor but maybe you would prefer to focus on the life of one specific person and their descendants?

When writing about ancestors that you know little about personally, use general historical information. Ask yourself: What was their profession? What would their typical day have been like? Are there any significant stories from their hometown that would have impacted their lives? What about national or international events or catastrophes? Did they move to a new area? How would they have adapted? What languages did they speak? What cultural or religious celebrations would they have observed? Using social history can help you pick out a common theme or plot for your story. For example, you can focus on the immigration experiences of your ancestors or on life as a pioneer settler.

Remember to cite and document your sources! They give your research credibility and help others with their own research.

If you want to get started or need moral support, join one of the NSGS writer's groups.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Swedish American Genealogical Society

The Swedish American Genealogical Society meets at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago. The society presents genealogy programs and speakers once a month. You can visit the museum calendar for information on specific events.

If you're particularly having problems with your Swedish ancestors or don't know how to get started you can book a private research appointment with a member of the society on Wednesday afternoons. You'll have access to expert genealogists and be able to use the Society's resources. There is a fee associated with the presentations and the research sessions.

If you're looking to do even more Swedish research, there's the Swedish-American Historical Society located in the North Park neighborhood of Chicago. They focus on the experience of Swedish American immigrants in North America. You can search the digital archives of their quarterly online.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Oral Histories

The holidays are a great time to capture oral histories with your family. Here are a few books to help you get started.

The Oral History Workshop
This is an excellent resource! About a third of the book is devoted to sample questions revolving around a central theme for your interview. The authors also explain how to get started and how to turn an interview into a story. Helpful checklists and tips for archiving round out the book.

The following books also offer advice on copyright and publishing your oral histories in a variety of mediums. They discuss interview techniques and guides for transcription as well. These resources are especially useful if you're thinking of staring a large project:

Doing Oral History
The Oral History Manual
Recording Oral History

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

DNA Blogs

Everyone has questions about DNA and genealogy. Here are a few blogs that can help you figure it
all out:

Your Genetic Genealogist
CeCe Moore is a professional genetic genealogist. Her blog breaks down the different tests and explains how to incorporate them into your research. She also lists great basic resources and recommendations for testing.

Roberta Estes, a scientist and genealogist, explains in-depth the various DNA testing services available and helps interpret results.

The Legal Genealogist
While Judy G. Russell mostly writes about the law and genealogy, she also does a series on DNA.

Other worthwhile blogs:
The Genetic Genealogist
Through the Trees
Genealem's Genetic Genealogy

And for even more information, check out the new book The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mayflower Descendants

Do you have Mayflower ancestors? The General Society of Mayflower Descendants can help you find them. The Society was founded in 1897 and strives to publish authoritative genealogical information about the Pilgrims and their descendants.

The Genealogy & Local History Room contains a few publications from the Society of Mayflower Descendants including the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Illinois. We have three editions in the Lundberg Collection: 1925, 1947, and 1962.

These volumes list members of the Society living in Illinois and includes their genealogies back to passengers on the Mayflower.

The books also include histories of the pilgrims and information about the Illinois chapter of the Society of Mayflower Descendants.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Final Rolls of the Five Civilized Tribes

The Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory are invaluable for researching ancestors from the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, Choctaw and Seminole tribes.

In 1893, President Cleveland created a commission to negotiate land treaties with the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole tribes. The tribes agreed to abolish their governments and recognize Federal laws in return for allotments of land. Individual members had to apply with the Commission to be deemed eligible for tribal land.

Between 1898 and 1907, the Federal government received approximately 250,000 applications but the Commission only approved 101,000 names to be added to the Final Rolls. About one-fourth of these individuals were full blood.

The Final Rolls were published in 1907 and list applicants' tribe, name, age, sex, and degree of blood. These documents are important sources for genealogy research in the "Five Civilized Tribes."

Monday, November 7, 2016

Organizing Your Genealogy

Need some ideas for online organization? Sign up for our class on Wednesday, November 9 at 2:00 PM.

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

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Genealogy & Local History Room Hours

The Genealogy & Local History Room is now open on Thursday nights and one weekend a month! View our schedule here.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Online Genealogy Resources For Free!

Join us this Wednesday at 10 AM for a class on online genealogy resources. Discover free genealogy websites to help you build your family tree and break down your “brick walls.”

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

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Best Websites 2016

Every year Family Tree Magazine announces it's 101 Best Genealogy Websites. Here are a few of my favorites from this year's list.

An aggregated collection of databases and links. It's a nicely designed website and easy-to-use.

Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States
Charles O. Paullin and John K. Wright’s classic historical atlas is updated with 21st-century technology.

Chronicling America
This Library of Congress site allows you to search newspapers from 1836 to 1922.

CSI: Dixie
Nineteenth century coroners' inquests from South Carolina. There's a relatively small number of inquests but the information provided here offers a fascinating glimpse into death (and life) in the nineteenth century.

A digital library of more than 14 million volumes. Search for local and family histories, archival documents and more.

International Society of Genetic Genealogy Wiki
Get all of your DNA and genetic genealogy questions answered here.

Unknown No Longer
A database by the Virginia Historical Society that hopes to record the names of all of the enslaved Virginians that appear in the Society's documents.

A genealogy wiki. Collaborate with others to create a unified family tree.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Genealogy Research Day

Celebrate Family History Month with us this Saturday! Have you hit a brick wall or do you need help getting started with genealogy? Drop in at the Technology Lab or the Genealogy & Local History Room between 1-4 PM to get individualized help.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

New Weekend Hours!

Drop by the Genealogy & Local History Room this Sunday to use our print collections or to get research help. Our volunteer, Jonathan, will be here from 1:30-5:00 PM.

The Genealogy & Local History Room will be open at least one weekend per month. Check our schedule for details.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Online Resources for Mexico

Happy National Hispanic Heritage Month!

FamilySearch recently uploaded a new free webinar on Online Resources for Mexico. The webinar includes tips for finding online church directories and gazetteers as well as some great databases and online archives.

FamilySearch offers lots of webinars for MexicoLatin America, and general Hispanic genealogy.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy

The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy by Val D. Greenwood is a classic genealogy text. First published in 1973, you'll still find The Researcher's Guide being used as a textbook in many genealogy courses.

Published in 2000, the third edition can feel old-fashioned. The sections on correspondence and computers are especially outdated. But chapters on evidence and standards of proof provide excellent introductions to these topics for the casual researcher. Greenwood also offers timeless information on genealogy subjects such as records, in-person research, terminology, and organization.

An essential text for the genealogist wishing to become a more serious researcher.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How I Use DNA in My Genealogy Research

The Glenview Public Library is hosting a program with the North Suburban Genealogical Society this Saturday at 1 PM.

How I Use DNA in My Genealogy Research with Caron Primas Brennan
Genealogist Caron Primas Brennan will talk about the “why” and “how” of DNA testing in genealogy research. Using case studies and examples, she explains how she incorporated DNA testing into her research.

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

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Researching Your Ancestors' Occupation

Knowing your ancestors' occupation gives context to their life stories and can tell you a little bit

about how they lived. Fortunately, there are plenty of records to help you identify how your ancestors made a living.

Census Records
In 1850, the US Census began recording occupations. More recent censuses ask more detailed questions about a person's employer. Also, check the non-population schedules. Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Industry schedules give more details about a person's occupation. The Agriculture schedules for instance ask about acreage, livestock and crops grown on a farm. You'll see exactly what your ancestor farmed and how it compared to other farms in the neighborhood.

City Directories
City and county directories list residents with their addresses and occupations. You may discover their work address here too and possibly find an advertisement for their business.

News stories, obituaries, and even wedding announcements may include information on a person's occupation. Farmers' auctions and business news can give you further details about your ancestor's living. Search the local advertisement sections for business ads.

Tax Assessments Lists
IRS Assessment lists include information about occupation and income. They also list other luxuries your ancestor may have owned.

Military Records
Draft registrations asked for a person's employer. Pension records include information about a serviceman's military career and, occasionally, their post-military work and income.

Immigration Records
Passenger lists, emigration records, and passport applications may also note a person's occupation.

For Labor Day, Ancestry's occupation records are free to search through Monday!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Skokie History

In addition to our Glenview history collection, we have a large selection of local histories for communities throughout Illinois. If you're researching local families or the history of the north suburbs, we have many items that can help you out.

One item particular to our library is A Tour of Old Niles Centre compiled by the Skokie Historical Society. The village of Skokie was incorporated in 1888 as Niles Centre. The village voted to change the name to Skokie in 1940.

This pamphlet guides you on a walking tour of historic Skokie sites. What did the corner of Lincoln and Oakton look like in 1834? Who were the early settlers of Niles Centre and where did they live? The Skokie Historical Society explains the history of the village and describes its historic sites and events. It's a fun little tour of north suburban local history.

You can find other items on Skokie history here.

Monday, August 15, 2016

European Genealogy Class

Join us this Thursday at 2 PM for class on European genealogy. We'll cover the process for researching ancestors in Europe and how to track down European sources.

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

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Italian Records

The most important part of researching Italian ancestors is finding their place of origin. Until Italy unified in 1861, each region, city-state, and duchy had its own method for record-keeping. Luckily for Italian genealogists, most families traditionally stayed in the same area of Italy for generations so you may only need to become familiar with one region's records.

After discovering the town of origin, the major records you'll be searching for include:

Civil Registration Records 
These are records of births, marriages, and deaths. When Napoleon conquered large parts of Italy in 1804, he established civil record-keeping. Napoleonic Era records are kept it each state's archive. After the fall of Napoleon in 1815, most regions stopped civil registrations but some communities continued the registers. From 1815-1865, the creation and location of these civil records will vary from town-to-town. State record-keeping began again in 1866 and these records can be found in the registrar's office of your ancestor's hometown.

Church Records
In the early 1500s, the Catholic Church began requiring their clergy to keep records of baptisms, marriages, and burials. Some parishes may have begun documenting these rituals centuries before.
Unfortunately, Church records may not always contain a lot of information.

Census Records
The first Italian census was taken in 1871. Censuses are taken every ten years. From 1871-1901, census information varied from region to region. Most of these records, only list the head of the household. In 1911, censuses began documenting detailed information for every member of the household.  Census records are held at the state archives of each province.

Family Status Certificates
These are unique Italian records of family groups that can include information on at least three generations of family members. Certificates list every individual in the household as well as all parents' names, maiden names, and residences of family members who have left the community. They are held in the registrar's office of the family's town of residence. Availability of certificates vary from region to region.

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Death of Robert Kennicott

Here's a fascinating article from the Chicago Tribune about Glenview's own Robert Kennicott. Smithsonian scientists believe that they have solved the mystery of Kennicott's death in Alaska! The article also discusses Robert Kennicott's many contributions to the Smithsonian.

For more information about Robert Kennicott's adventurous life and death, read A Death Decoded about his final expedition to Alaska. You can also peruse Kennicott's letters and correspondence in the Kennicott family papers on microfilm.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Irish Research at NEHGS

Search for your Irish ancestors for free at the New England Historic Genealogical Society!

When you create a free account with at NEHGS, you will have access to their Irish records.You can also find ebooks and research guides on Irish genealogy.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Find Your Female Ancestors

Tracing female ancestors can be challenging. On Tuesday, July 19 at 10 AM, we'll be having a class about which records will help you find those elusive maiden names.

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

Monday, July 11, 2016

Genealogy Research Day

Have you hit a brick wall in your research or do you need help getting started with genealogy? Are looking to spend a Saturday sharing your successes with other genealogy enthusiasts? Join us on Saturday July 16 for our Genealogy Research Day. Drop in at the Technology Lab or the Genealogy & Local History Room any time between 1-4 PM to get individualized help and to utilize our resources.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Two Centuries of US Immigration

Here's an interactive map highlighting two centuries of immigration to the US. It's interesting to watch the changing patterns of immigration from Western Europe to Eastern Europe to eventually the Americas and Asia. You can find more graphs and visualization of US immigration here.

Understanding the history of immigration to the US is an important part of researching your immigrant ancestors. Knowing immigration patterns can help you determine when and perhaps why your ancestor emigrated to America. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Immigration Records

Need help understanding passenger lists or unsure of where to find naturalization records? On Wednesday, June 29 at 2 PM, we'll be exploring immigration records.

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

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Northfield Permits to Bury

The Lundberg Collection contains many unique items including much of Gertrude Lundberg's own research. Ms. Lundberg was interested in the history of the Glenview area and in the genealogy of many of its founding families. She was especially enthusiastic about documenting local cemetery records.

Ms. Lundberg made a record of Burial Permits for Northfield Township which can be found with many of her other projects in the Lundberg Archives Box 1. Northfield Township established their burial permit system on March 14, 1903. The records were kept with the township clerk until July 2, 1916 when Cook County began issuing their own burial permits.

These permits contain information about people who died in Northfield Township but not everyone listed in these records was buried in the area. You can search through Ms. Lundberg's transcriptions of the permits or you can search for early Glenview family burial records online with Glenview Family Trees.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

German Emmigration

A great resource for finding information on German emigrants is the Deutsche Auswanderer-Datenbank (German Emigrants Database) at the Historisches Museum Bremerhaven. This project collects information on emigration to the United States. The main focus of the database is on European emigrants who left from German ports.

The German Emigrants Database collects passenger manifests principally between 1820-1897 and 1904-1907. The site also studies European emigration to the US and collects information about German emigrant ships.

You can search online for the names of emigrants in their collections or the Friends of the Museum Association will also perform searches for you for a fee.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Summer Programs at the Glenview History Center

The Glenview History Center will be hosting a variety of programs at the Hibbard Library this summer:

Improvised Jane Austen on June 12
Civilian Women of the 1860s presented by Luetta Coonrod on July 17
Dismounted Cavalry Program presented by Barry Burget on August 12

All programs start at 2 PM. Suggested donation of $5.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Heroes on Deck

Tomorrow night, Heroes on Deck will premiere on WTTW at 9 PM. The documentary explores naval training operations on Lake Michigan between 1942 and 1945. Pilots stationed at the Glenview Naval Air Station participated in this training program. The filmmakers provide unique insights into our area's naval history.

If you miss tomorrow night's showing, check the WTTW schedule for more air times.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Illinois at Vicksburg

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Czech and Slovak Genealogy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Census Records class at GPL

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

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

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Glenview History Center

The historic farmhouse at the Glenview History Center is open again for the season. You can visit the house on Sundays from 1:00-4:00 PM.

One of the oldest homes in Glenview, Sarah Hutchings built the farmhouse in 1864. The Glenview History Center has furnished the property to reflect life in Glenview across different time periods.

The Hibbard Library is also open year-round on Tuesdays from 1:00-4:00 PM for researchers interested in Glenview history.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Beginning Genealogy

Want to get started on your genealogy but don't know where to start? Attend our Beginning Genealogy class on Tuesday, April 26 at 2 PM.

Learn the basic steps and discover the resources you need to start researching your family history.

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

Thursday, April 14, 2016

CAGGNI Interest Groups

Are you having trouble using Reunion? Want to get the most out of The Master Genealogist? Or are you trying to decide what to do about Family Tree Maker?

CAGGNI (Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Northern Illinois) has special interest groups for genealogy software users that can help with your quandaries. These groups allow users to share their experiences and learn new tips and tricks about the software.

The Family Tree Maker Special Interest Group meets this Saturday, April 12 from 12:45-2:30 PM. The Master Genealogist User Group will meet on Saturday, May 14 from 10:30-12:30 and the Reunion Special Interest Group won't be meeting again until August 13. All meetings are held at the Schaumburg Public Library.

CAGGNI offers lots of other great programming about technology throughout the year too. Follow their website for updates. And don't miss their annual conference: GeneaQuest on Saturday, June 18.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

English Parish Registers

Civil registration didn't begin in England until 1837. To find ancestors before that date, you'll need to rely on church records -- particularly parish registers.

Starting in 1538, each parish was required to register all baptisms, marriages, and burials. Parishes governed church affairs within their boundaries. The library owns a copy of A Genealogical Gazetteer of England which can help you find your ancestors' parish.

Registers can provide an incredible amount of useful information. Each parish decided what to include in their records so you may find that information varies parish to parish but here are some examples of items that might be included in the registers:

  • Baptisms: parents' names, address, father's occupation, mother's maiden name, godparents, and date of baptism. (Remember this is not the date of birth! Sometimes parents waited until the children were older to baptize them as well.)
  • Marriages: home parishes for both the bride and groom, marital status (bachelor, widow, etc), ages, witnesses, and groom's occupation. Sometimes marriages did not occur at parish churches; therefore, marriage records may not always exist.   
  • Burials: date, age, occupation, address, spouse or parents' names, and sometimes the cause of death.

The Church of England has acted as the primary religious institution in England since the 16th century so it is likely that you will find your ancestors in their records. However, dissenters and nonconformist religious organizations also kept records of births, marriages, and deaths so don't give up hope if your ancestor didn't belong to the Church of England.

You can find parish registers on FamilySearch. You should also visit FreeReg. FreeReg has made it their mission to transcribe and index parish registers and nonconformist records from 1538-1837. It is an excellent resource for English genealogy research!

If records are not available online, you will need to contact the appropriate County Record Office to research parish registers in person.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Pennsylvania Archives

The Genealogy & Local History Room has an extensive Illinois genealogy collection but we have interesting resources for other states too. For example, we have eight volumes from the Pennsylvania Archives.

The Pennsylvania Archives is a multi-volume collection of letters, documents, and records pertaining to the colony and early state of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Legislature decided to publish these records in 1835. There are 138 volumes in the entire reference set. Glenview has eight volumes from the second series.

The most useful volume in this series is Volume II: Pennsylvania Marriage Licenses Prior to 1790. The editors explain colonial marriage laws and lists about forty years worth of marriages registered with the colony.

Volume II also contains foreign protestants naturalized in Pennsylvania, 1740-1773; officers and soldiers, 1744-1764; and ship registers, 1762-1776 (unfortunately, this only lists the ship name, the date of entry, and the ship master's name). There are some miscellaneous colonial documents and papers within this volume too.                                                      

The other volumes we own include:

  • Vol I - Minutes of the Board of War March 14, 1777 - August 7, 1777
    • Documents relating to military campaigns; also includes navy muster rolls, militia members, and British prisoner lists 
  • Vol III - Persons Who Took Oath of Allegiance to the State 1776 - 1794, 
    • Lists of men who supported the Revolution and papers relating to the war 
  • Vol IV - Papers of the Whiskey Insurrection of Western Pennsylvania 1794 
  • Vol V - Papers Relating to Colonies on the Delaware 1614 - 1682 
    • Early colonial records and letters; also includes lists of early settlers
  • Vol VI - Papers Relating to French Occupation of Western Pennsylvania 
    • French colonial records
  • Vol VII - Papers Relating to Provincial Affairs - 1682-1750 
    • Letters between early colonial officials and documents pertaining to Swedish and Dutch settlements
  • Vol XVIII - Documents Relating to the Connecticut Settlement in Wyoming Valley
    • Includes lists of early land owners in the Wyoming Valley

This is an important series if you're researching colonial Pennsylvania ancestors!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Free Online Genealogy Courses

Do you love free genealogy webinars and online classes? Here are a few websites to bookmark:

Use the Learning Center on FamilySearch to find hundreds of online genealogy courses. These online classes cover all aspects of genealogy research. You can watch five minute basic genealogy training courses or watch a series of  videos that explore one topic in-depth. Learn how to conduct research in Poland, decipher German handwriting, or gain a better understanding of probate records.

Ancestry has a YouTube channel with videos on different aspects of research using, AncestryDNA, FamilyTrees, and more.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society regularly updates their free webinar offerings. You must create a free account with NEHGS to view the videos. Most of their offerings cover the colonial era and New England research but you can webinars on a variety of other subjects as well.

Did you know that all Illinois State Genealogical Society live-broadcast webinars are free and open to the public? Webinars are broadcast on the second Tuesday of each month. After the live broadcast, you do have to be a member of ISGS to view their archived webinars. You can find their schedule here.

And don't forget to use GeneaWebinars to find free webinars from genealogical and historical organizations from across the US!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Israel Genealogy Research Association

The Israel Genealogy Research Association maintains an excellent genealogy site that's helpful for both Israeli and general Jewish genealogy. 

The site is free to use but you do have to create an account with them before you can access their databases and resources. You will need to be a paid member to view some of the images in their collections. 

Searchable database collections include vital records, censuses, address books, immigration, military records, and more. Searches can be done in both English and Hebrew. These record collections are primarily for Israel but you may be able to find records created in Jewish communities elsewhere. They are constantly adding new collections to their databases as well.

The IGRA has also created some amazing and comprehensive research guides for Jewish genealogy in specific countries too. These guides contain lots of great resources. For example, the guide for Poland includes maps, translations, links to Jewish vital records, ghettos and concentration camps, Jewish cemeteries and military records.

You can also watch free videos and webinars on a variety of genealogy topics.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Filby's Passenger and Immigration Lists Index

Beginning in 1820, the US government ordered that all ship manifests and passenger lists be handed over to customs officials upon arrival in the country. These records are held by the National Archives and are available to search on Ancestry.

If your ancestor arrived in America before 1820, finding passenger lists becomes more difficult. Often you must rely on print resources to find these early immigration records.

One of the best resources for these passenger lists is Passenger and Immigration Lists Index by P. William Filby (often just referred to as 'Filby's').  This is an index to published immigration lists found in periodicals or reference books. Supplements to the original three volume index are published annually.

Filby's now contains over five million records. You must search the original three volume set and each supplemental volume which can be time consuming--but is well worth the effort! Filby's may seem intimidating but it is actually easy to use.

To use Filby's, search for your ancestor's name. Each volume is arranged alphabetically by last name and each entry may include a birthdate, the port entry and the date of entry. There will also be a source identification number and page number. Once you find your ancestor, make a note of the source and page number. At the front of the volume, you'll find all of the print resources listed by their source number. You can find some of these resources in the Glenview Public Library. The others you can locate with WorldCat.

For example, I search for Alexander Sessions and find him listed in one of the volumes. The information I find shows that Alexander Sessions arrived in Massachusetts in 1677. The source number is 3274 and the page number is 213.

Next, I search for source number 3274 at the front of the volume. 3274 is the number for the book: Directory of the Ancestral Heads of New England Families. I will find Alexander Sessions on page 213 of this book.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Military Records Class at GPL

Military records can help you learn more about your ancestors who served in the armed forces but they can also tell you a lot about other family members and provide great genealogical clues (including those ever elusive maiden names!). Discover how to find and use military records in your family history research this Tuesday at 10 AM. Register online or call the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Tips for Finding Maiden Names

Researching female ancestors presents several problems. As a result of women's legal and social status at various points in history, it's difficult to find records specifically about them. Finding maiden names can be particularly frustrating for a genealogist. Here are a few tips for finding those elusive maiden names: 
  1. Marriage records are the most obvious place to find your ancestor's maiden name. If you can't find a certificate in the county records, try searching for church or religious records that may have been created for the marriage. And don't forget to search the local newspaper for wedding announcements. 
  2. Search the cemetery where she is buried. Sometimes a maiden name is listed on her tombstone or she may have been buried near her family members or even in the family graveyard. Research the people in nearby graves and look at the burial records for the cemetery. Her maiden name may also be included in an obituary or on her death certificate. 
  3. Research each of her children--even the ones not directly in your family line. Her maiden name may be listed on a marriage or death record for one of her children. Also, look at the names of witnesses to a marriage or to a religious or legal proceeding. These witnesses may be her relatives. 
  4. Sometimes the best way to find information about a woman is by researching the men in her life. Look closely at all documents relating to her husband. Her maiden name or her relatives may be mentioned in his records.
  5. You can always find clues in probate or land records or military pension applications. A woman or her family may be mentioned in a will as an heir or as a witness. Occasionally, husbands may purchase or receive land from their in-laws. Military pensions are an excellent resource for finding information about women. Details about a veteran's marriage are often included in pension applications.
  6. Look for a repetition of names in the family. They could be names associated with her family. Women also often gave their children her maiden name as a middle name. 
  7. Study census records carefully. Older members in the household may be the wife's parents. Families sometimes took in young relatives too so research the names of everyone listed in the household even if a familial relationship is not obvious. Also, look at the names of the families around the household. The family may have lived next to the wife's relatives.
  8. Once you have a possible maiden name, start researching all of the local families with that name. Look at old census records and find a family with a daughter with the same age and name as your ancestor. You may have to make inferences and assumptions but document all of your evidence!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

DNA, Behind the Scenes

Come learn about DNA and genealogy on Saturday, March 12.

DNA testing has become part of genealogy, but what does it really mean? What are the different tests? Why do they tell us different things? Where did we get the different components of our genetic heritage? Who should be tested? How can DNA testing be used to attack genealogical problems? Dan Hubbard will explain what you need to know about DNA and your genealogy.

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

This program is presented in a partnership with the North Suburban Genealogical Society.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Why Newspapers?

If you haven't started using newspapers in your research, you may be missing out on a lot of interesting information. Newspapers may complement information in the official documents you've already found but they can also help you break down your brick walls.

Here are few reasons why you should search in newspapers:

  • Newspapers can verify or supplement vital records. They may not be official documents like birth, marriage, and death certificates but they can  help you discover the date those records were created. Look for obituaries, birth, engagement, wedding, anniversary and probate notices. The dates you find in these newspaper articles may help you find the official certificates.
  • Stories give context to your ancestor's life. Newspapers give details that official records often lack. Discover what your grandmother wore on her wedding day or learn the specifics of your grandfather's occupation. You will never find these kinds of details in marriage certificates or census records. 
  • Learn about your ancestor's community or time period. Don't just read your ancestor's obituary--read the entire newspaper! Read about the community your family lived in and the major news events that would have affected their lives. You'll gain a better understanding of your ancestors and their life stories. 

Genealogy can be about more than just collecting names and BMD dates. Use newspapers to give life to ancestor's stories. 

Find online newspaper resources here

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Historical Newspapers

Learn how to find and use historical newspapers in your research on February 23 at 10 AM. We'll cover free online resources and the library's newspaper databases including GenealogyBank.

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

Thursday, February 11, 2016

African American Genealogy Resources


Black Roots: A Beginner's Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree
A simple introduction to African American Genealogy. Describes how to get started with genealogy research and goes in-depth on how to find African American documents.

Slave Genealogy: A Research Guide with Case Studies
This book specifically focuses on research strategies for finding slave ancestors. The case studies offer great examples of how to uncover your family lines.

African American Genealogical Sourcebook
This reference book explains the backgrounds of the records and resources most important to African American researchers. It also includes major repositories of records and genealogy societies that specialize in African American research.

Similar genealogy source books in our collections include:
African American Genealogy: A Bibliography and Guide to Sources
A Bibliography of African American Family History at the Newberry Library -- Consult this bibliography before your next research trip to the Newberry!
Black Genesis: A Resource Book for African-American Genealogy -- This book very nicely breaks resources down state by state and year by year.

And check out these online resources too.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Glenview Genealogy

The Appleyards of Glenview (photo from the Glenview History Center) 
Researching ancestors from Glenview? Here are a few of our online resources that can help you out.

Glenview Family Trees is a compilation of birth and death information of some of the earliest settlers to the area. We have trees for families such founding families as the Appleyards and Dewes. The information is taken from cemetery records and burial permits that were transcribed by Gertrude Lundberg.

If you're looking for obituaries in Glenview newspapers, our Obituary Index will tell you if an obituary exists and where to find it. Check the Master Index to see if your family members or a local business has been written about in our Glenview history books. 

We have a photographs of some of the founding families of Glenview in the Illinois Digital Archives. You can also find scanned images of the 1909, 1912, and 1913 Glenview Telephone Directories in this collection.  

Monday, February 1, 2016

RootsTech Online

If you're unable to attend RootsTech this year, you can live stream several of the sessions. You can find the streaming schedule for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday here. The recorded sessions will also be archived on the RootsTech website for a limited time. Learn some new research techniques and discover how to utilize the latest technology with your genealogy.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Choosing a Genealogical Software Program

Many Family Tree Maker users may be looking for new genealogy software soon. The following webinar is by the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Rhonda R. McClure discusses how to select the software that's right for you.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Chicago: The Wonder City

We have many books about the history of Chicago in the Genealogy & Local History Room but one of our more unique histories is Chicago: The Wonder City.

Written and published in 1893 by Eugen Seeger, this book highlights the city's achievements and promotes the Columbian Exhibition. Unlike some of our other Chicago histories, this book does not focus on biographies of wealthy Chicagoans but instead examines the city's rapid rise and it's place in United States history. There is a detailed section on the Chicago Fire, anarchists' plots and politics, and Seeger discusses Chicago's cultural life as well.
There are some great photos and illustrations of the city's architecture and some nice bits of historical trivia. A genealogist may be interested in Seeger's description of the waves of immigration to the city and how each ethnic group has contributed to the success of Chicago.

Overall, it's a great snapshot of Chicago in 1893.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Genealogy Research Day

Do you need individualized help with your research? Join us on Saturday, January 16 for our Genealogy Research Day. Learn new techniques, access our databases, utilize our print resources and let us help you break down your break walls.

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

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

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Ancestry Class

Do you know the basics of searching on Ancestry but need to learn more advanced search techniques? Join us for a class Wednesday, January 13 at 2 PM. We'll learn about the various records and special collections on Ancestry and discover new search tips.  

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

Monday, January 4, 2016

Genealogy Do-Over

With the start of the new year, it's a good time to think about doing a Genealogy Do-Over. The concept is that you set aside all of your previous research and start over from scratch.

When most of us started compiling our family histories, we did't know or appreciate the importance of citing sources or fully analyzing evidence to prove facts. We gradually learn the process of how to properly conduct our genealogical research.

Perhaps your methods have improved and your current research is impeccable but what about all of your early work?  Instead of just reviewing all of your past research, why not start entirely over?

Blogger Thomas MacEntee created the Genealogy Do-Over in 2014. Last year, he blogged about the process and has written an ebook to help others start over. The Genealogy Do-Over blog also includes different research prompts for each month to help you get through a year of new research. And join the Facebook group for research help and to see how others are starting over.