Thursday, December 24, 2009
If you haven't completed yours yet, there is still time.
And while you're working on completing your 2009 resolution, think about what you hope to accomplish during 2010. The resolution box and forms will be available for anyone needing to submit their 2010 resolution.
See you soon.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Helen Sclair, R.I.P.
Helen Sclair's address during the last years of her life will remain unchanged into eternity. A recognized authority on cemeteries and burial practices, Mrs. Sclair lived in a house on the grounds of Bohemian National Cemetery on Chicago's Northwest Side since about 2001. Her cremated remains will rest not far away under a granite stone bearing the inscription, "The Cemetery Lady, An Advocate for the Dead."
Mrs. Sclair, 78, died of cardiac arrest on Wednesday, Dec. 16, in the Harmony Healthcare and Rehab Center in Chicago, where she had been recovering from surgery, said her daughter, Lu Helen Sclair.
Mrs. Sclair lectured around the country to groups like the Association for Gravestone Studies, taught on burial and genealogical related topics at the Newberry Library, and possessed encyclopedic knowledge of Chicago-area cemeteries. Her work also sharpened knowledge of the Immigration patterns that shaped Chicago.
You can read more in the Chicago tribune at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-obit-sclair-bddec20,0,6468565.story.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Footnote has made its collection of records related to World War II free through the end of December. Just go to Footnote's home page: http://www.footnote.com/
Sunday, December 6, 2009
One of my finds was the following birth announcement (Rushville Republican, 18 Jun 1930, BIRTHS page 3, col. 2):
Mr. and Mrs. Dayton Stewart living east of Carthage are the parents
of an eight pound baby girl born at their home Sunday. The girl was named
I had the Dayton Stewart family of Carthage in my file which included all the children's names but no dates. This is a relatively distant collateral line but I'm always happy to get new data of any kind. At least now I could confirm the birth date of Mary Lou even though I still didn't know if sister, Phyllis, or brother, Harold, are older or younger than she.
I recorded and documented my find and continued on with my research. There, among the reports of family dinners, court issues, marriage announcements and such, was a letter to Santa from Phyllis Stewart (Rushville Republican, 10 Dec 1930, page 6, col. 3).
Dear Santa Claus: I am a little girl 6 years old. I go to Mays school, my
teachers name is Miss Blount. For Christmas I want a rocking chair, a ring and a
violin as when school is out I want to take violin lessons. Don't forget my
little sister Mary Lou as this is her first Christmas, bring her something to
play with and don't forget my brother, Harold, bring him something nice. He
is 12 years old.
From your little friend,
PHYLLIS MAY STEWART
P.S. I am sending 10c to help some other child that will not have as much as I.
Who would have thought in that little letter to Santa a genealogist could get information that approximates birth years for the two siblings of Mary Lou Stewart? You never know where or how new data will appear.
Merry Christmas and Good Hunting to you all,
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Today is Tombstone Tuesday for bloggers. Since I don't have a blog of my own -- yet-- I've posted my entry here.
This is a photo of the table stone for Luke Higgins of Ballinrobe, Ireland 1808-20 Jul 1873. The photo was taken 18 Jul 1996 after several days of searching and with the help of County Mayo History Center in Ballinrobe.
My husband, sister-in-law and her husband, and I took this trip to Ireland early in my research of the Higgins family. Because of that I had low expectations of getting much further while there but wasn't about to pass up a trip to Ireland. I did have some undocumented hints that the family had been in the area of Ballinrobe and as luck would have it the history center was located in there. Things started to pop within hours of our arrival.
Our hostess at the B&B asked what had brought us there and when we answered we were looking for information of our Higgins family she said, " Higgins, ah, Higgins - I think Leo [Leonora] was a Higgins. I'll ring her up." And so she did and so started our week long visit with relatives we didn't even know were still around.
Back to the stone, our visit to the Catholic cemetery was very productive but we weren't able to find a stone for the progenitor known to us as "Old Luke" (he's far from the only Luke in the family). When I brought this up at the history center a map of the old section of the cemetery showed the location. Alas the old section was covered with briers and brambles and was difficult of traverse. However, we were determined and so we trudged in following the directions and landmarks from the handdrawn map. Nothing, not stone.. until my husband swaying side to side said, "I think I'm standing on something here." He and our brother-in-law took out their pocket knives and began cutting away the over-growth and there is was - still legible.
My husband stood before it and as he began to read the inscription the church bells rang out, "
Don't you just love serendipity!!
MAY HE WHO IS TO COME TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD GRANT ETERNAL REST TO THE
SOUL OF LUKE HIGIGNS WHO DEPARTED THIS THE 20TH JULY 1873 AGED 65 YEARS
Friday, November 20, 2009
I'm really sorry if you missed last evening's meeting because it turned out to be very enlightening. Our scheduled speaker was unable to make it but gave us a week or so notice which is always helpful. Ann Braasch scurried into action to find a replacement topic and began organizing a "Genealogy Gathering".
The focus of the program highlighted the varied ways our Society serves our members and the genealogical community:
We heard about the work being done by our volunteers who maintain the website and its many facets, including all the effort put forth by those who indexed and digitized the records we provide there.
Always laboring but seldom celebrated are the ever faithful crew indexing the old Elgin newspapers; we also gave kudos to the library staff who enter those records into the online library database making them available to the world.
Our donations to the 50/50 program has helped to purchase another 20 books for the library's genealogical collection.
Another service rarely mentioned is the research done by our EGS genealogist, Judy Van Dusen. Judy shared with us the procedure followed when providing this service as well as a few interesting situations she's encountered. Judy also mentioned the tremendous work done in years past by the late Vi Swanson, a previous EGS genealogist.
We also talked about one of our newest tools, this blog. Our hope is that members well come to rely on the blog to keep them updated on the latest events for EGS but also that they will use it to post their successes, newly found websites or helps, request for information, and a myriad of other purposes.
For me, the meeting was a reminder that our Society as vital to the Genealogical community today as it was at it's inception 37 years ago.
Hope to see you at the annual meeting on December 1st.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
The sessions were packed full of useful information. The presenters, Grace DuMelle and Ginger Frere, from the Newberry Library did a superb job as usual. From what I could tell even the most experienced researchers among the group came away with a new view of possible avenues to follow. I know I have several hints to put into practice. Who knows I may just find out about those missing twins after all :)
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
One of the best things, in my opinion, is he provided information on where and how to access these records. How many times have you left a presentation thinking "wow, what a great idea, now if I only had a clue about how to find that data!" Well, Matt gave us plenty of clues as to where to find these sometimes elusive records.
Matt spoke primarily about the schedules for agricultural, manufacturing & industry, mortality, slave, "defective, delinquent, dependent" and social statistics. Using examples, he showed what information in provided in the various years and schedules. Of course, not all states and not all census years are covered and, as always, some that were covered have been destroyed;but, if you're lucky and determined, you may be able to get some real insight into you ancestor's life and times using these schedules.
Don't forget next month is our annual meeting and holiday lunch!
Monday, November 2, 2009
I hope to see you there.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
1) What is the most unique, strangest or funniest combination of given name and last name in your ancestry? Not in your database - in your ancestry.
2) Tell us about this person in a blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook.
3) Okay, if you don't have a really good one - how about a sibling of your direct ancestors?
My choice is my 2nd great grandfather, Burwell Spurlock Blue, born 1821 near Barbourville, Virginia. I'm not sure if his name is unique, strange or funny but I've be willing to accept any or all of these descriptions.
Because I felt his was such an odd name, I spent considerable time researching in an effort to understand why his parents would saddle a child with it. Burwell's siblings fared much better in the naming conventions receiving such unassuming handles as Martha, Richard, Mary, Daniel, Elizabeth and Isabelle. So why Burwell Spurlock?
I won't go into the research but eventual I learned about Rev. Burwell Spurlock, 1790-1879, the first Methodist circuit rider preacher in the area of Virginia that the Blues were living at the time of young Burwell's birth. Rev. Spurlock must have had a major influence on the family and thus earned the honor of his namesake.
From "Descendants of John BLAW (BLUE), d. 1757 Somerset County, New Jersey" Fifth Generation, Page 65:
Family legends indicate that he [Burwell Spurlock Blue]was born in Virginia at "the foot of the BLUE Ridge mountains". He was a fiddler and a dancer, and liked to tell "tall tales". He said he "could stand flat-footed and jump as high as his head". He did have big, flat feet, was an excellent woodchucker, and "could drink his weight in whiskey".
I wonder of old Burwell Spurlock would have been very proud of that description?
Saturday, October 24, 2009
My day began early, about 6:30 a.m., partially because I know that construction in our area makes it nearly impossible to get anywhere in a timely manner even early on a Saturday and partially because I wanted time to meet up with friends and peruse the vendors before any sessions got started. My strategy worked on both counts so I was seated in the auditorium among EGS friends with my new denim shirt in the bag at my feet well before the meeting was called to order.
The business meeting was short and well executed. Among the business at hand was the presenting of awards. Among the award winners were two well-deserving members of the Kane County Genealogical Society – Linda Eder and “Sandy” Chalupa. (Congratulations to them!!)
The sessions I attended were interesting and informative and I heard good things about the sessions I wasn’t able to attend. I know I picked up several tips I’m anxious to try but am too tired to start tonight.
As for me, I’m happy I made the effort to go today. I appreciate all the work that went into putting on the conference and all the hours expended by the speakers to prepare the talks for us. Now my plan is to put my feet up and relax for the rest of the evening.
Friday, October 23, 2009
The day promises some excellent topics and speakers. Michael John Neill, Craig Pfannkuche, Ann Wells to name a few; and, of course, our own Larry Pepper will be presenting on digital restoration of photographs. In addition, who doesn’t love perusing the vendors’ tables? (Oh, that reminds me, I must remember my check book and credit card.)
I’m sure many of our members will be attending and I’m looking forward to spending lunch and breaks with them. Hopefully, we’ll spread out to various presentations so we can share new-found knowledge with each other.
That’s it for now. I’ll post a follow-up after the conference and let you know how it went.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Elizabeth Simpson was born 8 Dec 1815 in Scotland, the daughter of John and Jane (Wilson) Simpson
She (and her husband Adam Russell) came to NY aboard the American Congress (1855) and then moved to Chicago sometime before the 1860 census as they both appear on that census (Chicago, Cook Co., IL)
Elizabeth died in the home of her son John in South Bend, Pacific Co., WA. She is suppose to be buried in Lake Forest Cemetery in Lot 78 but I haven't found her yet.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I’m a little bit late but, I guess, better late than never. It is Sunday afternoon and I came across the “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun” from Randy Seaver's blog found at http://www.geneamusings.com. Last nights game is called “Genealogy Roulette and as it turns out was quite fun.
“Here are the instructions, look below for my answer.
1) How old is your father now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your “roulette number.”
2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ahnentafel. Who is that person?
3) Tell us three facts about that person with the “roulette number.”
4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook note or comment, or as a comment on this blog post.
5) If you do not have a person’s name for your “roulette number” then spin the wheel again – pick your mother, or yourself, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!”
Here's my answer:
My father would be 94 is he had lived. 94 divided by 4 is 27. That number relates to my 2nd great-grandmother Malvina Laura (Revelee) Blue.
1. Malvina was born in 18 Feb 1833 probably in Butler County, Ohio.
2. She married Burwell Spurlock Blue in Butler County, Ohio on 15 Jan 1849. Because his father disapproved of Burwell (of Dutch descent) marrying an Irish girl, the couple was disowned by the Blue family.
3. Malvina bore 12 children. Due to terrible financial problems after the death of Burwell in 1877 she had to place at least 3 of her children in the Indiana Soldier’s and Seamen’s Orphans Home.
I have much more research to do on this family but have certainly found them very interesting.
Give this game a try. I’m sure you’ll find it educational and fun!!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Our topic for the day was the use of US Genweb and, I think, we all learned something along the way. Of course, US Genweb is a volunteer site which means that some locations are better represented than others; however, it is free and is extremely helpful to many genealogists. Even if a viewer doesn’t find information about the specific person or family being researched, the general information provided, such as the history of the location, look-up volunteers and other resource locations, may send him/her in the right direction.
Please remember there will be no CIG meeting is September. We will resume our meetings on October 8 with discussion of Facebook and its possible application to genealogists. I hope to see you there.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Here is a belated update from me. We had our August morning meeting today but this meeting was a bit different than most of our meetings.
The difference was that our speaker failed to attend.
As our starting time drew near I became more concerned and quickly called 411 info for the speaker's telephone number, after several attempts I finally got the number and contacted the speaker's spouse, only to be told he was at an appointment at least 30 minutes away.
So we had to "wing it" for a presentation.
We had our usual business meeting with an extra item of my apology for my assumption that the speaker would remember out date and show up.
What we did for our presentation was have a group share of some success's and experiences we have been having with our genealogical researches.
We had a good meeting with many people sharing, the strong possibility of a volunteer for the position of Program Chair (Which is Fantastic!!), updates on some member medical situations and a 60th Wedding anniversary announcement.
After our meeting a couple of people told me they thought we had a great meeting.
I want to say thanks; but it is the members that make this group and our meetings great.
Monday, July 13, 2009
I haven't posted for awhile so I thought I should share a little about my summer so far.
One of the highlights so far was attending a reunion for my Leisure side of the family. It was held just outside Fairmount, Indiana which is the birth place of actor James Dean. Fairmount is a small town in rural Indiana and if you look hard enough you'll usually find a relationship with almost every longtime resident. At the last reunion, I learned that I am very distantly related to James Dean. That knowledge pleased me as his was the only poster I hung on my wall as a teenager:)
The majority of the Leisures that attend the reunion today (this was the 88th) are descended from my 2nd great-grandfather's (Joseph Leisure) brother, Nathan. However, in the beginning the reunions were attended by some 200 family members primarily from line coming from Rush and Grant counties. My line remained in Rush county and Nathan took his family to Grant county. Of course, these brothers had 4 other siblings which must have accounted for some the the attendees.
This year there were only 45 of us altogether and of those about 10 were from the Rush county Leisures. We all enjoyed some great food, good times and wonderful stories of our ancestors. The event was well worth the time and drive.
Of course, I couldn't get so close to Rush county without going home for a bit. My husband and I spent the night in Rushville where I was born. We had the good fortune to be in town for the County Fair so between that and a lovely walk through the beautiful park we were well entertained for the evening.
I guess that's it for this post. I'll have to share more later.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
If you use Adobe Reader, I would strongly suggest that you upgrade to version 9.1.2 immediately. It is available at no cost from Adobe: http://www.adobe.com.
From the Washington Post:
Adobe Issues Security Updates for Reader, Acrobat
Adobe Systems Inc. on Tuesday released security updates to remedy at least 13 security flaws in its PDF Reader and Acrobat software. Updates are available for Mac and Windows versions of both programs.
Monday, June 8, 2009
If you get a message from a friend claiming that they "sent you photos on Tagged" or that they “sent you a private message on Tagged", proceed cautiously. These e-mail messages usually ask, "Want to see the photos?" or “Want to read the message?” You probably don't.
A quick search on Google produces the answers, however. It seems that Tagged is a questionable business (earning a grade of F from the BBB) that surreptitiously steals address books from people and sends e-mail messages to everyone in that address book. If you get a message from Tagged and open it, your addresses will be stolen and used to send more messages out.
Sometimes your DELETE key is your best friend.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
The board feels that increasing our membership is crucial to the survival of EGS. The board and I are open to all ideas about how we can achieve this goal. I encourage all of you to think about this and make a suggestion, or better yet help plan the actualization of your suggestion. To keep our society alive and healthy requires input and energy from us. Remember if we do not do anything we are just coasting and coasting slows down and eventually stops.
The archive was in my local library where it shared half of the basement with the children’s department. Full bookshelves covered two walls of the archive. Many of the books did not have indexes but a few of them had an index created by a volunteer who read each page, noting who and what page, alphabetized that list, and then typing it all up. Covering a third wall there were vertical file cabinets. These cabinets contained the ubiquitous manila files that were full of genealogically significant articles clipped from the local newspapers by many volunteering hands and hearts.
Miss. Carpenter and volunteers from the local Genealogical society zealously guarded all of these books and files. I remember a few volunteers (Mrs. Payne, Mrs. Roberts and Miss. Hadden). I attended beginning genealogy classes taught by Mrs. Payne and Roberts. I remember talking with Miss. Carpenter; she was a friend of my Grandmother, who had recently passed away, and after school, I did yard work for Miss. Carpenter. I once asked her if she had researched her family and she said that she never had and that it did not interest her. I remember shaking my wise thirteen-year-old head not understanding. How could anyone have no interest in his or her genealogy! Miss Carpenter also told me about the arthritis in her hands and that she believed it was from using her manual typewriter to answer the years and years of research queries, she had received.
Now forty years later, I still visit that same archive, but now it is housed in it own room on the second floor of a new addition to my old library. Today I am using a computer, loaded with a popular genealogical software application. I have access to online databases, forums, and mailing lists courtesy of the World Wide Web, but the pencil, curiosity and imagination still come in handy. Something else that still comes in handy today is the manually created indexes and the vertical files, created by the tireless volunteers I knew back then. They helped me then and are still helping me today; they have left a mark on me and I bet some volunteers have done the same for you.
Just a re-post of my May 2009 newsletter article.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Be sure to come with any suggestions or questions you may have.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Windows XP is the most widely used operating system in the world. It seems a bit strange that Microsoft is ending general support of its most widely used product.
Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP on 14 April 2009, more than seven years after the operating system originally shipped. While the company says it will continue to provide free security fixes for XP until 2014, any future bugs found in the platform will not be fixed unless customers pay.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Don't forget about the Computer Interest Group the Thursday, April 9 at 9:00 am in the Computer Class Room at Gail Borden Public Library.
Our topic is a review of the basics using files and folders. I'm sure we'll have time to address other more general questions you may have as well.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
It is an effort to preserve Illinois History as related to high schools which are no longer functioning. Perhaps you have a parent or grandparent who went to a high school that no longer exists. This is a site where you can find out about it. You don't have to go back that far...Wheaton-Warrenville High School opened in 1973 and closed in 1983.
They are also looking for information so if you know of such a high school and/or have photographs or stories, they welcome contributors.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Just a reminder that the April 7, 2009 meeting will be held at the Elgin Area Historical Society Museum at Old Main on the campus of the Elgin Academy.
Please try to carpool as parking is at a premium at the museum during the school year.
EGS member Sandy Granholm will be discuss publishing one's family history.
See you there.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Jeanne informed us of the many "seeds" to help find missing and/or additional data for our deceased ancestors. She reminded us to go beyond the tombstone in search of more detailed facts from varied resources like: certificates of undertakers, burial permits, coroner or medical examiner reports, funeral homes, monument makers and many more. Jeanne also warned of several "weeds" we may find along the way that could send us in the wrong direction.
This was an evening well spent.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Our speaker, Grace DuMelle presented "A Window to the Past" Uncovering your past in land records. Many of our members have requested a program which would give helpful tips for using land records and Grace filled that bill completely. Her handouts will be very helpful in the future and the examples she gave showed many various information items that may be found through the use of land records.
Judy VanDusen filled in for our president, Larry, who was under the weather and unable to come. (Thanks for not passing along any germs, Larry:)) Judy moved the meeting along smoothly. The main item of interest for the business meeting was a grade "A" from our audit committee after reviewing the 2008 records!
Hope to see everyone at the evening meeting.
Monday, February 16, 2009
I planned on joining this group and was looking forward to meeting some people and learning about what they had in their library. This group meets quarterly and this meeting happened to be the celebration of the 20th anniversary of ASHHS.
Walcott is a small farming community of 1400 people located in Scott county a couple miles South of interstate 80 and West of Davenport about six miles.
As I entered Walcott I saw a sign advertising a potluck supper for later this month at the VFW hall, which happened to be where ASHHS was meeting today. I also passed the Casey's gas station with one car probably belonging to the employee and a mixture of new and very old buildings. The only people I have seen so far were two pre-teen boys who were walking quickly along the road towards Casey's. As I turned the corner to where the VFW hall should be, I found the street was suddenly packed with parked cars and a line of people crossing the street from the VFW parking lot into the hall.
The change in mood from sleepy farm village into somewhere that I had to actually wait in a line of cars to enter a parking lot was very very surprising.
After I parked and found my way inside I was again mildly surprised at the number of people inside, there was probably one hundred in attendance. As usual I was the youngest in the group.
The meeting started with the ASHHS choir singing four songs in Platt (the Low German language) this was a first for me. The fifth song was Happy Birthday in English, this one I could join in on. After the scheduled Happy Birthday in English, a handful of members in the audience sang Happy Birthday back to the choir in Platt. I was so surprised to hear so many German accents in the room.
The meeting then when into a typical society business mode with the reading of minutes, treasurers report and the other obligations. The president was new and stumbled a bit, but everyone was friendly and there were lots of laughs and good fellowship for all.
This adventure of visiting and joining a heritage society will be interesting for me and I will keep you updated as events happen. I believe this will be fun and rewarding and I encourage you to search out and consider joining a similar society for yourself.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Feel free to ask questions that may come up in your research. Your fellow members may just have an answer for you or at least be able to set you in the right direction.
Share you triumphs and revelations as they come along so we can all rejoice with you.
Share the URLs to your favorite genealogy websites and databases and let us know how you use them and how they might help the rest of us in our research.
There are countless possibilities and I'm looking forward to each and every one.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Hope to see everyone there:)
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
We have three Volunteer Chair positions that should be filled, these are-
Program Chair for mornings,
Program Chair for evenings.
Any wonderful person that steps up to any of these positions will have help in performing the duties of these positions. Currently the the calendar for 2009 programs is pretty full so anyone volunteering for am or pm chair will have a "head start" on scheduling programs.
I know many of the members of EGS are currently helping on a project or with treats or as an officer or that you may have previously volunteered for chairs, committees and worked on projects; but this society does not exsist because of past work and projects.
If we as a group do not work together by volunteering, by putting our energy into our group, this group will wind-down until it stops. We must put energy into our Society Today and Tomorrow so our Society will continue to operate Today, Tomorrow and beyond.
So please seriously think about what you can do to help keep our Society alive and growing.
I am sure I speak for Judy's many friends in EGS in expressing our sympathy and best wishes.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Blogging would be a great way for families to stay in touch and share research information they find. A private blog for members only would work very nicely for that purpose.
That's it for now.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009