Thursday, December 24, 2009

January 5th Meeting

Just a reminder that our 2009 resolutions will be discussed at the next morning meeting.
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

December 21, 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,0,6468565.story.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

This being Christmas week I may not get time later on to post so let me just say to all my friends in EGS and the Genealogy Community:

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Free WWII Records Through December

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:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dear Santa

Recently, I decided to do some newspaper research using the Newspaper Archives available through my membership at Godfrey Memorial Library. These are the digital images of the previously microfilmed documents from Heritage Quest. With no specific plan in mind, I first browsed the list of newspapers available. To my surprise, the 1930 and 1931 issues of the Rushville Republican from Rushville, Indiana are on-line. (Before, I've always had to make a trip to Rushville to read any of these papers so my excitement grew.) I began with a search for the surname STEWART which produced lots of hits just as I expected since that line has been in the Rushville area as long as Indiana has been a State and before.

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
Mary Lou.

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).
Carthage, Ind.
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,


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

Tombstone Tuesday

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!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

November Evening Meeting

Hi all,
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

Finding Your chicago Ancestors

I attended the "Finding Your Chicago Ancestors: Strategies for Every Stage of Life" workshop at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library yesterday, November 14. Among the other 70+ attendees were Rhonda Weisschnur and Dorothy Gallagher which just added to my enjoyment. Also, our own Joan Murray was working as a volunteer for the program.

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

Meeting November 19 2009

Our meeting Thursday evening will be " A Genealogical Gathering ". We will be sharing what our society does and how it serves. You will gain new insights as to the workings of our society. We will share ideas on how you can use holiday gatherings to expand on your own studies and research. It will also be a time for you to tell of your special genealogical finds in the year 2009. Come prepared to share and socialize.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

EGS November Morning Meeting

Great meeting this morning!! If you missed it, you missed a very informative presentation by Matt Rutherford on Federal non-population schedules and how they can help our genealogy research.

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

November Morning Meeting

I'm really looking forward to the EGS meeting tomorrow morning. Matt Rutherford, a librarian from the Newberry library, will be presenting "Using non-population census schedules." We're all familiar with the population schedules and the great genealogical information found there but how many us of are versed in the use of the other schedules and how they can impact our research?
I hope to see you there.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Genealogy Fun

Here's Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge for October 24, 2009: (Randy's blog can be found at Genea-Musings.)

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

ISGS Conference

As promised, this is a sharing of my experience at the ISGS conference, Piecing Together the Puzzle of Our Past, held today, October 24, 2009 at the Elgin Community College in Elgin, IL. Full day conferences are great and what I’m about to say is not a complaint but I’m wound up and exhausted all at the same time.

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

Preparing for ISGS Conference

It’s a dreary afternoon after a dreary morning. Since napping isn’t really an option, I’ll spend some time preparing to attend tomorrow’s Illinois State Genealogical Society’s annual conference. There’s paper and pencils/pens to pack and, of course, I don’t want to forget to bring my program or my registration receipt confirmation.

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

Playing the Game

My dad would be 99 this year so divided by 4 and rounded up gives me #25 which translates to my great great grandmother, Elizabeth Simpson. At least I have information on her which is more than I can say if I had hit #26 or #27 or #28.

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

Genealogy Game

Hi all,

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 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

Good Bye Summer

I think I have received my last sunburn for 2009. Now I am on an academic calendar with an elementary school schedule. I have reached a brick wall with my North Carolina research and when cold weather sets in I will change surnames and geographic locations. Seems like a good plan anyway. Dont forget to wish the Tuttles a happy anniversary. Jewel Shop and Share dates in November are 16, 17, & 18. Print out the coupon and make copies for friends and neighbors ( it all helps). Membership renewal forms for 2010 are available and we encourage new members. Do you know anyone who might like to visit or join EGS? We always welcome visitors and new members. Do you have any ideas for programs? Is there anything you need help with? We have a very knowledgeable group, an excellent library, and a computer interest group ready to help you out with suggestions for your research. You dont have to be a genealogist to have fun at EGS. Even if you are a casual researcher or just want to know who are your ancestors someone at EGS can help you. The change in seasons or schedule can be a good time to renew or revise your goals. Perhaps you can help with newspaper indexing, ( we need a chairperson ). Perhaps you can help with Hospitality. Maybe you have a story to write for the newsletter. Try it. You might like it. And others will learn and enjoy also. from Ann Braasch

Saturday, August 15, 2009

August Computer Interest Group

It was practically standing room only at the Computer Interest Group last Thursday morning. How nice it is to see that enthusiasm and support remains high for this endeavor.

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


Hello Everyone,
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

Hi all,
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

June 25 2009 meeting

Our meeting date is a change from our usual third Thursday of the month. This month it is the fourth Thursday. Same time, 7:00p.m. Same place, Gail Borden Public Library. We are in for a treat as our own Bill Blohm will share his "Top Secrets for Research". What a wonderful experience I had in the genealogy area of the Gail Borden Library with Mr. Blohm as my guide. He will have great tips for both beginners and "old hands". This is a great opportunity for members to bring a friend to our meeting or to welcome visitors. See you there.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Adobe alert

Adobe has released a new version of its Acrobat Reader that fixes the security problems that have been found in many versions of the program.

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:

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

Email messages from

A Heads Up...

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

Elgin Genealogical Society is in the middle of a series of four workshop meetings. The primary purpose of these workshops is to generate guests to our meetings with the hope that the guests would join our membership. The first two meetings did have several guests, of these guests some did join EGS. This was great!
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.
In 1969, I started my genealogy research with curiosity, a pencil, a pen (oh horrors), a three ring binder, and family group sheets from Evertons. The curiosity was free, the pen, pencil and binder were leftovers from the previous school year but the genealogy sheets were fresh and they cost twenty-five cents apiece. I was very careful with these pages and I am certain I made illegal (gasp) photocopies of these pages. I can see myself quietly going over to the copier when Miss. Neil Carpenter, the archivist, was busy making copies and then sneaking back to my chair, before Miss. Carpenter or the copyright police caught me. Remember, I was a thirteen-year old kid with an active imagination and my source of income was mowing yards, so cost was definitely an issue.

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

Computer Interest Group

Just a reminder that our CIG will be meeting this Thursday, May 14 at 9:00 am at the Gail Borden Public Library in the computer classroom. This month's topic is Cleaning Up Your Hard Drive. I'm sure we could all use some instruction there:) The discussion will be facilitated by Bob and Bill Brandes, our resident "geeks" and that's meant in only the nicest way.

Be sure to come with any suggestions or questions you may have.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

On May 5th our own Karen Meyers will present a "Beginning Genealogy Workshop". This is a great opportunity to invite friends to discover their roots and for all of us to review strategies to help us continue our own research. Be sure to come and enjoy interesting fellowship.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Microsoft ending support for XP

From Dick Eastman's newsletter:
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.


I am looking for program ideas. Is there anything that is especially interesting to you.? Have you heard about a speaker or topic? What have you been searching lately? What have you found lately? and how did you find it. Many members state organization is a problem ( or at least something they often let slide and get behing on) Do you have any organizational strategies you want to share? Do you need help with a brick wall? Do you have a story to share with the members? I am often amazed at the talents we have within our membership. Is there something you can share with the membership?

web site

I want to remind you what a great web site EGS has. When I search on line I make it a point to visit the local genealogy web site and have found them useful. You have an opportunity to help others on our EGS web site. There is a member surname list ( our members and their surnames they have searched ) under the alaphabet is a printable form. By printing out and filling out this form ( and turning it in to EGS) you can update or add your surname and search list. You may provide information to others or maybe someone has something for you. I have found information this way.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Computer Interest Group

Hi all,
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

Use your coupons

Remember we have Shop & Share Days set up at Jewel for April 6, 7, and 8, 2009. Present your coupon at any Jewel checkout and EGS will receive 5 percent of your purchase. This is a great way to give money to your society without it costing anything more than the groceries you are buying. A coupon was in the March newsletter and will be available at the April 7 meeting at the Historical Society. If you need a coupon and need it before the meeting or you can't make the morning meeting, please let me know. Sara

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Check this out: website

I heard about a cool website that I would like to share with you. It is found at:

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

April 7, 2009 Meeting

Hi everyone.

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

March Evening Meeting

Last night we had an excellent turnout for Jeanne Larzalere Bloom's presentation "Pushing Up Daisies:Cemetery Research". Several guests joined our members to hear Jeanne's talk and, I believe, even the most seasoned researchers among us came away with some new and helpful information.

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

A 100th Birthday

Anne & Lela

As most of you know, I've been associated with the Orphan Train Heritage Society (OTHSA, now the National Orphan Train Complex(NOTC)) for many years. Over those years I've had the privilege of meeting many of the riders and, as time would have it, many of these precious people have passed away. However, this made a trip to Lincoln, Nebraska on the weekend of February 21 even more special.

My husband and I were part of a 100th birthday celebration for our dear friend, Anne Harrison. She was an orphan train rider at the age of 2 1/2. She was among the children who wasn't told that she wasn't the biological child of her adoptive (in this case, she was adopted) parents and so learned about it by accident as a young adult. It wasn't until she was in her 80s that she finally got her birth certificate from NY and found her parents' names.

Anne has a good placement and has been a great supporter of the OTHSA and a wonderful friend to us. The lovely lady next to Anne in the picture is Lela, another orphan train rider, who just recently turned 95.

March Morning Meeting

We had a great turnout for our meeting yesterday morning. It was wonderful to see so many of our members there after the difficult winter we've been through. Those who came were, I'm sure, were not disappointed with the program, the conversations or the treats. I know I was happy I was there.
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

Ethnic Heritage Society

Hello everyone, This last weekend I travelled way over to Iowa to attend a meeting of (ASHHS called "Ashes") the American Schleswig-Holstein Heritage Society in Walcott. Schleswig-Holstein is the region in Northern Germany where my Pepper family came from in 1871.
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

Genealogy Jeopardy

Don't forget we'll be playing Genealgoy Jeopardy at our February evening meeting this Thursday the 19th. Be sure to join us and bring along your thinking caps:)

Friday, February 13, 2009

CIG meeting

I think we had a fun meeting yesterday. Here's hoping that at least some of our members take the time to check out the EGS blog on a regular basis. Also, please let me know if any of you would like to be able to make posts to the blog; I'd be happy to set you up. That way you can keep us advised of your research progress or ask questions that someone else in the society might be able to answer. Let's help each other in our common endeavor of finding our families in history.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

View Rita's Blog

The EGS CIG worked on setting up a new blog. We used Rita Gholson's family blog as an example. Stop by and check it out at

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Don't forget to come to the Computer Interest Group meeting this Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009 at 9:00 am in the computer classroom at the Gail Borden Public Library. We'll be creating a blog for Rita Gholson and her family. Join us as we learn how quick and easy it is to set-up this great communication tool.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

At our February morning meeting, we spent considerable time reviewing and discussing this blog. Hopefully, now the members will begin to request authorship and start using this new means of communication. Though new, this technology is easy to use and will give us quick and easy access to each other.
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

The program for the February morning meeting has been changed. Our speaker is unable to attend due to family obligations. In lieu of the scheduled program, we will be discussing our New Year Resolutions, helping each other with brick walls or other problem areas and previewing this Blog.
Hope to see everyone there:)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Volunteers Needed!

EGS is in need of help.
We have three Volunteer Chair positions that should be filled, these are-
Newspaper Indexing,
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.


My condolences to Judy Van Dusen, her husband Bill, son Erik, daughter Rebecca and all of the other family members for the passing of Bill's Mother this last Saturday, January 17, 2009.
I am sure I speak for Judy's many friends in EGS in expressing our sympathy and best wishes.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Our New Blog

Here I am again; just trying to get a feel for how everything works. The Computer Interest Group (CIG) will be discussing setting up and using a blog at our next meeting. That would be Thursday, February 12, at 9:00 am at the Gail Borden Public Library.
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

The January 15th evening meeting has been cancelled due to impending weather issues. Hope to see you at the February morning meeting.


Welcome to the new Elgin Genealogical Society's blog. We hope this will add value to our members and provide quick updates as needed, as well as, helpful hints as we research our families. For further information about our society and helpful Elgin area records to review be sure to check out our website at