Thursday, January 31, 2019

White Like Her

On Saturday, February 9, local author Gail Lukasik will be here to share her personal and genealogical journey to uncover her mother’s racial heritage.

After her appearance on PBS’ Genealogy Roadshow where her mother’s life changing secret was revealed, Gail was inspired to write White Like Her. The book is the story of her mother’s “passing” for white, her struggle with the shame of mother’s choice, and her subsequent journey of self-discovery and redemption. In the historical context of the Jim Crow South, Gail explores her mother’s decision to pass, how she hid her secret even from her husband, and the price she paid for choosing whiteness.

Haunted by her mother’s fear and shame, Gail embarked on a quest to uncover her racial lineage, tracing the Frederic family back to 18th century colonial Louisiana. In coming to terms with her decision to publicly “out” her mother, Gail changed how she looks at race, racial identity, and her black heritage.

Register online or call the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500. This program is presented in partnership with the North Suburban Genealogical Society.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

American AncesTrees by NEHGS

The New England Historic Genealogical Society launched a new family tree making service called American AncesTREES.

Create your own family tree for free through the NEHGS website. Import a GEDCOM file or start
your tree from scratch.

The site also allows users to add media and import DNA data. One of the nicer features of the site is the ability to easily create research logs, to-do lists, and notes. There are also apps that clip info from website to add to your tree.

NEHGS provides "hints" for your ancestors from sources in FamilySearch, FindMyPast, American Ancestors, RootsPoint, Newspaper Archive, as well as from other online family tree sites. They also offer "warnings" if information in your tree looks contradictory or incorrect. 

To find out more about American AncesTREES, sign up for this free webinar!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Puerto Rican Genealogy

Here are a few tips to keep in mind while searching for Puerto Rican ancestors.

Puerto Rico became a US Territory in 1898 as a result of the Spanish-American War. US Armed Forces began inhabiting the island during this period and you can find these service members listed in the 1900 US census.

In 1910, all residents of Puerto Rico began appearing in the US Census and you can find these records in Ancestry, HeritageQuest or FamilySearch. Keep in mind that Puerto Rican census records will be in Spanish.

Puerto Ricans born on or after April 25, 1898 were granted US Citizenship in 1917. Puerto Ricans born before 1898 may have naturalized and those records would be available at NARA.

The Spanish government in some Puerto Rican municipalities kept civil registrations of births, marriages, and deaths. Civil registration for the entire territory began in 1885 and these records contain a lot of important genealogical information. You can find Puerto Rican civil registration collections on Ancestry and FamilySearch.

When researching vital records before 1885, use Catholic Church records. FamilySearch has a collection of Puerto Rican Catholic Church records dating back to 1645.

For more information on Puerto Rican genealogy, visit the FamilySearch Research Wiki or watch one of FamilySearch's free webinars.

Monday, January 7, 2019

New FamilySearch Collections

FamilySearch is constantly adding new records to their online collections. FamilySearch now provides genealogists free access to over 8 billion record images! In 2018, these are the locations that had the most new records added:
Countries: US States:
To see what locations have new records added, from the Search page, click on "Browse all published collections."

Click on "Last Updated" under Historical Record Collections to arrange collections by date added/updated.