Friday, December 28, 2018

Genealogy Resolutions for 2019

What are your research goals for 2019? Here's a bit of inspiration to get you thinking about you may want to accomplish in the new year:

  • Interview your relatives
  • Share your research online
  • Add some social history to your genealogy
  • Double-check that you have cited all of your sources
  • Organize everything
  • Start writing your family's story
  • Join a genealogy society

Happy searching in 2019!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

New 2018 Genealogy Books

Check out some of the books we added this year to our circulating genealogy collection:

The Adoptee's Guide to DNA Testing
Includes recommendations on DNA tests and tools and how to analyze and use your results. The author also provides tips on how to reach out to potential relatives and discusses some excellent case studies.

Family Tree Factbook
A handy, well-designed guide that covers all of the basics of genealogy research.

Family Tree Historical Newspapers Guide
An in-depth look at how to find and use newspapers in your genealogy research. Includes helpful case studies and international resources too.

The Family Tree Scottish Genealogy Guide
Learn about the different types of Scottish records and how to access them. This book covers Scottish-specific research strategies and tips for breaking down your "brick walls."

Unofficial Guide to
Everything you need to know about!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

DIY Genealogy Gifts

Want to incorporate family history into your holiday gifts this year? Check out a few of these DIY ideas:

Search Pinterest for more great craft ideas!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Jamestown & Colonial Virginia

Forget the Mayflower and Plymouth, Massachussetts this Thanksgiving. Jamestown, Virginia was the first permanent English settlement in North America.

English settlers founded Jamestown and the colony of Virginia in 1607. Around 7,000 people would arrive in Virginia between 1607 and 1625.

Find your earliest Virginian ancestors with these books in the Genealogy & Local History Room.

Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia, 1607-1624/5
Genealogies of the earliest settlers in Viriginia through at least three generations.

Jamestowne Ancestors, 1607-1699: Commemoration of the 400th Landing at James Towne, 1607-2007
A list of all residents of Jamestowne Island from 1607-1699. The lists include information the time period the person resided in Virginia and their place of origin.

Jamestown People to 1800: Landowners, Public Officials, Minorities, and Native Leaders
Provides a thorough history of Jamestown and colonial Virginia. Includes in-depth biographies of  colonists and members of the native populations living in and around Jamestown.

Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607-1635: A Biographical Dictionary
Short biographies of the earliest prominent Virginian settlers.

Look for even more colonial Virginian resources in the Genealogy Room including vital records and local histories.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Polish Research

Are you looking for ancestors in Poland? Here are few sites to help you get started.

Begin by searching for indexed records on the Poland Research Page. Continue your search with digitized microfilm and books in the card catalog.

State Archives
Search over 35 million digitized civil registers and government documents from the State Archives of Poland.

Searchable digitized images of birth, marriage, and death records. The database contains records from every Polish province and also includes parts of the Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania.

Don't forget to look for resources for specific regions:

Created by volunteers, this database indexes transcriptions of vital records mainly from the province of Wielkopolska.

A collection of digitized vital records from the provinces of Kujawsko- Pomorski, Pomorski, Warminsko-Mazurskie, and Wielkopolskie. Records go back to the seventeenth century.

Lubelskie Korzenie
An index of Lubin parish registers. Many of the records include scanned images.

Pomeranian Genealogical Association
Search for transcriptions of christening, marriage, and death records from Pomerania.

Poznan Project
Transcriptions of 19th century marriage records from the Prussian province of Poznan. Digital copies of the records can be obtained with a donation to the site.

Visit the Polish Genealogical Society of America in Chicago for more resources and research help!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Family Tree Maker

The North Suburban Genealogical Society is hosting an Interactive Family Tree Maker Presentation on Friday, November 9, at 9 AM at the Northbrook Historical Society.

A representative from Family Tree Maker will discuss how to upgrade and use Family Tree Maker 2017 and its new features which include: Family Sync, Photo Darkroom, FamilySearch Integration, Color Coding, Saved Filtered Lists and Sync Weather Report.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Family History Month

Family History Month is almost over but here are some ideas for how to celebrate your history this month:
  • Make an old family recipe. After enjoying your meal, record whose recipe it is and why it is a family favorite. Try finding and making other family recipes. 
  •  Visit the cemetery. Find your ancestors' gravesites. Take photographs, record information, and do some tombstone rubbings.
  • Interview relatives. Ask questions about their lives. Record an oral history or incorporate their responses into your written family history.  
  • Create a scrapbook. Preserve and share old photographs and documents in scrapbooks or photobooks. Record the names and dates of people in the photos. 
  • Write your story. Start writing about your life. Use writing prompts from FamilySearch's #52stories to help you get started. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Family History Writing

How do you write an interesting family history?

Of course you want to include all the names and dates and events you've uncovered but to make your family history more engaging, you'll need to personalize the story and add social context.

Here are a few writing prompts that personalize and add interest to a family story:

  • How has your research changed your view of your family history? 
  • Was your family’s life impacted by important historical events? 
  • Has your research given you a better understanding of US history? What about the history of your family’s homeland? 
  • Have you visited a location where an ancestor lived? What does it look like now? What would it have looked like when your ancestor lived there? 
  • Do you remember any stories your grandparents told you about their lives or the lives of their parents or grandparents? Has your research backed up those stories? 
  • Do you know how your grandparents met and fell in love? How about your parents? 
  • Have you inherited any family heirlooms? Are there stories associated with these keepsakes? 
  • Write about an ancestor you find particularly fascinating. Why does their life interest you? If you could have a conversation with that ancestor, what would you ask?

Add social context to flesh out your ancestors' lives. To do this, look at the facts of your ancestors' lives and start asking yourself questions. For example: Did they live in the same place their entire lives? What was that place like? What was their occupation and what would their responsibilities in that job have been? Were they religious? What holidays would they have celebrated? You will want to think about the following themes when adding social context:

  • Emigration & Immigration 
  • Geography & Environment 
  • Property & Housing 
  • Community & Neighbors 
  • Ethnic Groups 
  • Religious Affiliations 
  • Childbirth & Childrearing 
  • Education 
  • Occupations 
  • Culinary Traditions 
  • Military Experience 
  • Civic Engagement 
  • Fashion 
  • Hobbies & Sports 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Beginning Genealogy

Here are a few beginner tips from yesterday's Beginning Genealogy class:

  • Start with yourself and move backwards one generation at a time
  • Look for family history clues in old documents, diaries, and newspapers that you may have at home
  • Interview family members 
  • Fill out pedigree charts and family group sheets to keep track of what data you have collected
  • Use online databases like Ancestry or FamilySearch to search for census records, vital records, and other documents but don't forget to contact and visit court houses, archives, libraries, and local historical societies to find documents that have not been digitized
  • Keep research logs to record your sources

Happy Searching!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Polish Genealogy Tours

Travel with the Polish Genealogical Society of America next year! PGSA has announced their 2019 genealogy tour schedule.

Research in Polish archives, visit beautiful towns, and discover Polish history and culture with PGSA. You can also schedule pre- or post-tour individual genealogical services. Next year's tours focus on Prussian Poland or Austro-Hungarian Galicia.

Monday, September 24, 2018


In Germany, an Ortsfamilienbuch (town family book) contains birth, marriage, and death information
about every person living in a specific area in a specific town. This information is helpfully arranged by family!

Finding your family's local Ortsfamilienbuch will provide you with valuable information. Family data is generally pulled from parish registers, civil registrations, court and land records.

To find an Ortsfamilienbuch, you need to know your ancestors' town of origin. Once you know where the family lived, search for the town on GenWiki (a German genealogy site) to find a bibliography of Ortsfamilienbuch for that town or region. The FamilySearch Wiki can also help you locate the books.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Mexican Genealogy Resources

Searching for ancestors in Mexico? This online course presented by Debbie Gurtler and FamilySearch will introduce you to the online resources you need to know.  Learn about the best databases and online archives and discover websites to help you with localities and immigration records.

Find more research guides for Mexico on FamilySearch's Learning Center and Wiki.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Abraham Lincoln at Glenview History Center

In celebration of Illinois' 200th Anniversary, the Glenview History Center will present the feature film Abraham Lincoln from 1930 starring Walter Huston. The movie will begin at 7 PM on the grounds of the Glenview History Center and a donation of $5 per family is suggested. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket.

Program: Outdoor 1930s Movie, Abraham Lincoln
Date: Sunday, September 16th
Time: 7 PM
Location: Hibbard Library
                1121 Waukegan Road
                Glenview IL 60025
Tickets: Suggested donation of $5 per family

Monday, August 27, 2018

One Community, Many Stories – Glenview Reads Together

The Glenview Public Library invites you to join us in our new community-wide reading program. We will be reading The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina HenrĂ­quez. The book tells the story of two families and their American immigrant experience. We will hosting book discussions, programs, and events centered on family stories and immigration. Below is a selection of programs that may appeal to family historians.

Maura’s Eyes: An Irish Girl’s Experience of Ellis Island 
Sunday, September 16, 2-3 PM • Community Room
Award-winning storyteller and theater artist, Megan Wells, portrays a young Irish girl’s Ellis Island experience as she weaves together tales from books, journals, and family stories.

Early Mexican Settlements in Railroad Boxcar Communities 
Thursday, September 20, 7-8 PM • Community Room
In the first half of the 20th century, railroads employed and housed large numbers of Mexican immigrants. Dr. Antonio Delgado discusses this vibrant community and the contributions they made to the growth of the Midwest.

Find Your Family Immigration Records 
Wednesday, September 26, 2-3:30 PM • Technology Lab
Bring your research and learn how to find your immigrant ancestors in passenger lists and naturalization records. Glenview Library Card required.

Beginning Genealogy
Tuesday, October 9, 2-3:30 PM • Technology Lab
Learn the basics of genealogy research in this hands-on workshop. Glenview Library Card required. 

Chicagoland’s Immigration Story with Max Grinnell 
Wednesday, October 10, 7-8:30 PM • Community Room
Join author and University of Chicago urban studies professor Max Grinnell as he presents a historical context for understanding the importance of immigrant communities and their unique contributions to the Chicagoland area.

Family History Writing Workshop 
Monday, October 15, 7-8:30 PM • Multipurpose Room
Get inspired to write your family’s history! Volunteers from the North Suburban Genealogical Society will share their writings and offer tips for recording the story of you and your family.

See the full list of events and to register for programs here or call 847-729-7500.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Rediscover Your World War I Soldier's Experience

Tina Beaird will help us uncover our WWI ancestors this Saturday, August 11 at 1 PM.

Many federal WWI personnel records were destroyed in a National Archives fire in the 1970s. Tina offers ways to locate copies of peripheral federal military records and provides solutions for recreating some of the lost history in these “fire” records by also using local government documents, newspapers and base records.

Presented in partnership with the North Suburban Genealogical Society.

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

Monday, July 30, 2018

Chicago and Cook County Resources

Next Wednesday, August 8 at 10 AM learn to navigate genealogy resources for Chicago and Cook County.

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

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Glenview Founding Families

Are you descended from one of Glenview's earliest settlers? You can find information about the founding families of Glenview and the area in the Genealogy & Local History Room.

We have family history folders in our clippings file. Each file contains family group sheets, pedigree charts, and copies of documents pertaining to the family. A full list of the names in the files is here (under Biographies).

Search Glenview Family Trees for online pedigrees of many of the earliest pioneers in the area. The information in the trees is taken from cemetery transcriptions and research conducted by local genealogist Gertrude Lundberg. There is information for over 14,000 individuals on the site.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Census Records

Join us Tuesday, July 24 at 2 PM and learn how to search in US census records. Discover tips for finding and using these amazing records in your research.

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

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Civil War Reenactor at the Glenview History Center

This Sunday visit the Glenview History Center and see Mitch Ransdell will reenact "A Day in the Life of a Civil War Soldier." Read more about Mitch and the program here.

The program begins at 2pm in the Hibbard Library and a donation of $5 is suggested.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Discover the Hidden History of Camp Skokie

Camp Skokie Valley Headquarters from the Winnetka Historical Society

This Sunday, Beverly Dawson will present the hidden history of Camp Skokie at the Glenview History Center. Camp Skokie Valley began as a tent camp for workers from the CCC and eventually housed the 740th Military Police Battalion. During the latter years of WWII, Camp Skokie became a German POW camp.

The program begins at 2 PM in the Hibbard Library and a donation of $5 is suggested. Afterwards you are welcome to tour the Victorian farmhouse!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Discovering Your UK/Irish Roots Online

Join us Saturday, June 9 at 1 PM when Debra Dudek will discuss the resources and search techniques for the three big UK and Irish databases: FindMyPast, ScotlandsPeople, and RootsIreland. Learn what’s new and how privacy and information rights impact your quest for records.

Presented in partnership with the North Suburban Genealogical Society.

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

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Getting Started with

Learn how to start your genealogy research with We'll go over the basics of the world's most popular genealogy database on Thursday, June 7 at 2 PM.

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

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Prairie Pioneers of Illinois

If your ancestor settled in Illinois before 1880, you may find valuable information about them in the Illinois State Genealogical Society's Prairie Pioneers of Illinois. This two volume work records biographical and genealogical details for the earliest settlers in the state and lists when they arrived in Illinois.

The Illinois State Genealogical Society still collects information on Illinois' early pioneers. Their website lists the names of 3900 individuals but does not include genealogical information on them. The society is also currently collecting information on families who have lived continuously in Illinois since the state's founding in 1818.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Military Records

Military records provide lots of genealogical details. Even if your ancestor didn't serve in the military, you can still find useful information in draft records. Join us Tuesday, May 22 at 2 PM and discover how to find and use military records in your family history research.

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

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Chicago, Milwaukee, St Paul & Pacific Railroad History

Join us at the Glenview History Center to learn about Glenview's place in railroad history!

Bob Storozuk, president of the Milwaukee Road Historical Association, will will discuss the history of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St Paul & Pacific Railroad -- with special emphasis on Glenview.

This program will be on Sunday, May 20th at 2 PM at the Hibbard Library at the Glenview History Center. A suggested donation of $5 is appreciated.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Local Newspapers

Newspapers play an important role in genealogy and local history research. We have several resources to help you find local newspapers and articles.

To begin, search our obituary index for Glenview-area obituaries. You can also find local articles about specific topics, businesses, or people in our newspaper clipping file located in the Genealogy & Local History Room.

For more in-depth research, consult our online databases or browse our microfilm collection.

Newspaper databases: 
This covers the entire United States but you can find a variety of local newspaper coverage dating back to the 1800s. This includes the historic Daily Herald whose coverage includes Glenview. For more recent articles, try the following databases:

Chicago Sun-Times (1986-Present)
Chicago Tribune Archive (1849-1994)
Chicago Tribune (1989-Present)

Daily Herald (1995-Present)
Glenview Announcements (1995-Present)
NewsBank: Illinois

Local newspapers on microfilm:
The Niles Center Press

Northbrook News

Glenview View

The Announcements:
Glenview, Northbrook, Northfield
Glenview Post

Glenview Announcements

Glenview Journal

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Tall Trees

Learn about the history of the Tall Trees neighborhood. In the latest episode of the Glenview TV's Off the Shelf, Yvonne Wolf interviews Dan Wassmann, the author of Tall Trees: An Illustrated History. Discover what makes this Glenview neighborhood unique. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Italian Immigration

Italian Immigrants
Library of Congress LC-USZ62-87554
Italians Americans make up the fourth largest European ethnic groups in the US. Most Italian
immigration happened between 1880 and 1915 when about four million Italians emigrated to America.

The National Archives provides easy access to some Italian immigration records through the Italians to America Passenger Data File, 1855-1900. This collection consists of an index of 845,368 passengers who arrived in Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, New York, and Philadelphia between 1855-1900. The Data File includes information about passenger's name, age, town of last residence, destination, and gives you information on finding the ship's manifest.

After you find your ancestor's town of birth, visit Ancestors: Archives for Genealogical Research which is the official portal to the various State Archives in Italy. And don't forget to search for church records. The Italian Catholic Church website can help you locate your ancestor's parish church. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Glenview Naval Air Base and The Hangar One Foundation

Join us Saturday, April 14 at 1 PM for a local history presentation. Bill Marquardt will discuss the Glenview Hangar One Foundation which works to preserve the history of Naval Air Station Glenview and several of the base’s historic buildings.

Presented in partnership with the North Suburban Genealogical Society.

Thursday, April 5, 2018


Learn how to navigate FamilySearch with us Tuesday, April 10 at 2 PM. We'll discuss basic search functions, explore hard-to-find record collections, and discover the FamilySearch Wiki and other online learning tools.

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

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

FamilySearch Tips

Did you know that 77% of the records on FamilySearch can't be found through a basic "Historical Records" search? If this is the only place you search on FamilySearch, you're missing most of their collections!

Under the "Search" tab, click on "Catalog" or "Books" to find record collections that are usually not searchable under "Records."

The catalog searches FamilySearch's entire collection of genealogical materials. Search for items by title, record type, family name, or geographic location. Some of these collections are not available online but others are digitized and browsable. You can find lots of European records here.

Find and read digitized books from FamilySearch and other genealogical institutions. Many of these items are local histories, family histories, or surname studies.

Don't ignore the "Find a Collection" section at the bottom of the "Search Historical Records" page. Search by collection title or click on "Browse all published collections." Narrow down your search by geographic location and see all collections for a specific area.

Explore these 'hidden' collections and soon you'll be breaking down your brick walls!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Illinois Maps

Celebrate Illinois' 200th birthday with some very interesting maps! See how the state has changed with Illinois: Mapping the Prairie State Through History

This book includes maps from the 1670s to the present as well as essays about different aspects of Illinois history. The maps record boundary changes, detail the growth of towns (both large and small), and chart railroad and industrial expansion in the state.

Maps make great resources for family historians too. Trace your ancestors with Family Maps of Cook County, Illinois compiled by Gregory A. Boyd.

If you family was an early settler in the area, they may have received a land patent. Boyd gives you three maps: a land patent map, a current (ca 2006) road map, and a historical map which lists cemeteries, railroads, and waterways. Look for you family in the surname index or search the map of your ancestors town and neighborhood to find family names.

While land patent maps sound confusing, they're easy to use. For example, here you see a road map of Glenview. The library would be located in box 35.

And here is the land patent map. You can see that Edwin Clark received a patent for the land the library currently sits on in 1840. 

Find your ancestors' original homestead or see who originally owned your current property. Maps can add lots of context to our family histories.

And for more historical maps, check out the map case in the Genealogy & Local History Room.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Irish Research

Find your Irish ancestors this weekend and search Irish records for free on in honor of St. Patrick's Day!

Don't know where to start? Ancestry's Irish research guide can help you get started finding records in both the US and in Ireland. The guide also highlights their major Irish collections.

You can also visit the Irish American Heritage Center on Saturday for their St. Patrick's Day Festival. Celebrate Irish culture and visit the IAHC Library for genealogy workshops throughout the day.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Social Media for Genealogists

Want to learn how to integrate social media into your genealogy research? Join us Tuesday at 2 PM to discover which social networks to use and how to share and crowdsource your research.

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

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


RootsTech starts next week on February 28. Can't make it to Salt Lake City? RootsTech is live streaming general sessions on their homepage. Learn about how DNA testing and the latest trends in technology are changing the way we do genealogy.

View the full schedule here.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

DNA & the Genealogical Proof Standard

Confused about how to use your DNA results to further your genealogy research? Join us this Saturday at 1 PM for Karen Stanbury's presentation: “Using DNA Test Results in the Genealogical Proof Standard.

The presentation covers the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) and an exploration of DNA specifically within its framework. Learn about the types of research questions that use DNA test results as evidence and understand how DNA test results can be correlated with documentary evidence. We will also discuss published proof arguments incorporating DNA evidence.

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

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Illinois Bicentennial

This year we're celebrating Illinois' bicentennial. Illinois became the 21st state on December 3, 1818.

Visit Illinois 200 to see how the state is honoring its birthday, find out how to get involved, and learn about Illinois' past.

Look for upcoming Illinois 200 programs we're hosting at the library and discover more Illinois history in the Genealogy & Local History Room. We have shelves of Illinois history books dating back to the 1800s.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Weird DNA results?

Have you submitted your DNA to Ancestry, 23andMe, or another genetic genealogy site and been surprised by the results? Kristin V. Brown didn't understand the results of her aunt's DNA test so Brown decided to get her own DNA tested by three different companies. She received three different genetic heritage results.

Brown decided to investigate how DNA testing companies decide a person's genetic ancestry and she spoke with Adam Rutherford, a geneticist who explained that "we’ve got a fundamental misunderstanding of what an ancestry DNA test even does."

Read Brown's informative article here and join us in February for a further discussion of genetics and genealogy.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Family Charts

Want to get started with your family history this year? The first step is to start collecting the information you already know. You can start writing this information down in a family tree, pedigree chart, or in family group sheets.

You can create online family trees for free through or MyHeritage. If you prefer paper, there are lots of free forms you can find online. Ancestry and Family Tree Magazine have a collection of printable sheets. You can also find links to more creative charts and trees at Cyndi's List or search Pinterest for downloadable forms and creative ideas.