Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Have the Happiest of Holidays

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year


See you next year!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

EGS Annual Meeting & Holiday Lunch 2010

Our 2010 annual meeting was well attending by local members. We missed our president who was unable to attend because he was needed in Champaign on family business. Our vice-president, Judy Van Dusen, did a great job of filling in and the meeting progressed along nicely.
Suzanne Kovak, Judy Van Dusen,
Treasurer - Tom Cheetham
VP - Judy Van Dusen, Secretary- Suzanne Kovak

Our new executive board was unanimously voted in to office for 2011:
President: Judy Van Dusen
Vice President: Karen Myers
Am Secretary: Suzanne Kovak
Pm Secretary:  Anna Moy
Treasurer: Becky Higgins

Then it was break time and, being the good genealogists we are, we partook from the treats table even though our holiday luncheon was only and hour or so away. We did try to keep the options smaller this year, however.

After the break, we were reminded that our 2010 resolutions would be discussed at the January morning meeting. There are only a few weeks to made sure they've been met.
Then, some of our members shared special family heirlooms and stories with us. We were delighted by some of the unusual items and all the wonderful tales!

Then, we were off to Rolling Knolls Country Club where we mingled and talked and ate lots of food:

After the luncheon, we played a new game called Remembrance Roulette. We all had a number (on our place cards). If your number came up, you had to share a genealogy/family related story and then you got a prize. Since we all love hearing our fellow members' stories, a great time was had by all.

Friday, December 3, 2010

2010 Annual Mtg & Holiday Luncheon

Tuesday, December 7 is fast approaching. Hopefully, you have your reservation made for the holiday luncheon at Rolling Knolls County Club. The luncheon will follow our annual meeting at the Gail Borden Public Library which will begin at 9:30 am.

Bring along a heritage item or heirloom and a story to share. Also, dig back in your memory: have you fulfilled your 2010 genealogy resolution? The deadline is looming but you still have a few days to get that task completed!

Looking forward to seeing everyone for our only meeting in December!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sad News

Larry Pepper's mother passed away this morning. She was diagnosed with inoperable cancer just a short time ago.

Larry took his mother on a "Southern Tour" in October to visit people and places she wanted to see once more while she still felt fairly well. He was planning to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with her and other family members at her home in Champaign but her health declined quickly. The time was spent at her bedside in a healthcare facility.

Our deepest sympathies go out to Larry and his family.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog: What I learned at the NARA users group meeting Friday

This is a very interesting blog post about a meeting of the NARA (National Archives) users group in College Park, Maryland. I found it very enlightening.

DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog: What I learned at the NARA users group meeting Friday

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November Evening Meeting

Hi all,
The year she is a fleeting! This will our last evening meeting for 2010. You'll not want to miss it. Ann L. Wells of Wells Research Associates will speak about the Census. We all - should - know how important the census is in our genealogical research. Where better can we get a sense of our ancestors and their families than in the US census taken every 10 years; those wonderful snippets of personal history provide great details into their lives.

Be sure to come out and learn even more. November 18, 2010; Gail Borden Public Library; 270 N. Grove, Elgin, Illinois; 7:00 pm.

Hope to see you there,


Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Guide to Advanced Genealogy Searches

A Guide to Advanced Genealogy Searches

Helpful hints for the new Advanced Genealogy Searches from Genealogy In Time

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November Computer Interest Group

Tomorrow, Thursday November 11, the EGS CIG will meet in the computer lab room at the Gail Borden Public Library. Our topic is scheduled to the Working with Digital Photos but, since our photographic expert will be away, we'll be looking at Family Tree Maker 2011.

Hope to see you there.

November Morning Meeting Review

What a great turnout (52 heads) for a well-received presentation by Maureen Brady this morning. She provided helpful information for researching our Scottish heritage. Not only did she tell us where we might find data to help in our search but also let us know what not to expect and why. Knowing when records started and when they might be intermittent may just save many of us time and frustration in the end.

Thanks Maureen for added to our knowledge.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Just had to share this great blog post with you. It's a wonderful description of how and why we become obsessed with geneaolgy.

Click here and enjoy!! Consumption

Advanced Genealogy Search Engine

Genealogy In Time has developed a new genealogy-based search engine. Give it a try and let us know (with a comment) what you think. Just click on  the link below. If you like it be sure to save it to you favorites so you can return often.

Friday, November 5, 2010

November Morning Meeting

Wow, is it just me or does it really seem like it's been forever since EGS met? Our November morning meeting is only one week late but what a loooong week!!

Maureen Brady will be presenting Researching Scottish Ancestors on November 9. I personally have some ancestors who originally hailed from Scotland so I'm truly looking forward to this talk. Even if you're not into the location, I'm sure you'll find some interesting facts and tips.

Looking forward to seeing everyone next Tuesday!!

Friday, October 22, 2010


So here I am in Peoria at the Pere Marquette Hotel on the  eve of the Illinois State Genealogical Society's annual conference! Here's a picture of beautiful downtown Peoria at night.

The vendors have set up their booths and wares, the registration table is ready to go, the volunteers are anxious to assist. Our evening was one of work, conversation and fun!!

Tomorrow can only bring more of the same, plus the bonus of wonderful speakers and learning experiences.
Bring It On!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

US Federal Land Records new website

This new beta site from the Bureau of Land Management was mentioned in this weeks Genealogy In Time newsletter. The explanation follows:

US - The Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) has just launched a new and improved website. This is the official US federal land records site. It is a valuable resource for anyone wanting to trace American ancestors who were homesteaders. The new website contains many new and improved features, including access to more than five million federal land title records (up from three million records on the old site) issued between 1820 and the present. The new website (which is still in beta) also has a better layout for searching for land patents, survey plats & field notes as well as land status records. Finally, the new website now allows map-based searches. Access is free. [US Federal Land Records]

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October 2010 Morning Mtg. Recap - DNA

This morning's meeting saw a great turnout to hear Karen Fugate's presentation on DNA. Based on the number and quality of questions during the Q&A, the talk was well received.
After a brief history of the science of DNA and discussion regarding Y-Chromosonme and Mitochondrial testing, Karen shared the results of her brother and cousin's submissions. (She used her brother in order to get the Y-DNA test).
With reports from the testing company she used, Karen pointed out how she learned of various people who may be related to her family and how the number of matching "markers" are significant The more markers matched, the better of chances. She also showed a map which indicated her family's haplogroup migration patterns back 25,000 years.
Most interesting to me was the negative result for the origin of this family. As in traditional genealogy, negative results can be as telling as positive. In the case of Karen's DNA testing, the results indicated that the family originated in Norway, not England as many family historians believed.
DNA testing can be helpful by supporting or disproving traditional paper trails and family lore. It is beneficial as one more item in our genealogy tool chest.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

October Morning Meeting 2010

Just a quick reminder that you won't want to miss the October morning meeting. Karen Fugate will be giving a presentation on DNA. I know many of us have a great interest in the use of DNA in genealogy. Join us to hear from someone with personal experience.

Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove, Elgin, IL; Tuesday, October 5, 9:30 am in the community rooms on the first floor.

Hope to see you there!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bud Frohardt

From EGS member Jean Frech:

I thought you would want to know that our dear friend Bud has had a small stroke. It seems to only have affected his left hand. He was hospitalized for a few days but is home now. He has been signed up for home therapy and someone has come out already to evaluate the situation. He sounds real chipper on the phone and Meriam seems OK too.

Get Well Soon Bud.

Ancestry acquires Footnote

The following was posted on-line tonight. There is sure to be a lot more discussion tomorrow.

From Examiner.com:

Today, 23 September 2010, Ancestry.com announced that it will acquire iArchives, Inc., the parent company of Footnote.com, Ancestry’s leading rival, for a price of about $27 million in cash, Ancestry stock, and liability assumption. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Teresa McMillan Video Online

Anyone interested in watching Teresa McMillan's talk on German Origins can do so for free at the Family Search site. This link will take you to the Research Classes Online page. Click on German Research to get to her video but be sure to check out all the other great talks and classes available.

These classes and videos are just one more way the LDS History Library assists the genealogical community.

Thanks to Carol Blohm to this suggestion.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

September Evening Meeting Recap

Professional genealogist and genealogical story writer Ursula Krause, visiting from Berlin, Germany, spoke to EGS members and guests last Thursday night. She gave an overview of what life was like in German manorial estates, villages, small towns as well as the rural community. Her overview included the reasons for emigration which included historical developments. Tips and tricks were also given to help determine where ancestors may have come from.

The meeting was so interesting and time went by so quickly that President Larry Pepper had to remind us that the library was closing.

If you were at the meeting and did not receive a handout, send us an email and we'll make sure you are sent one.

For more information about Ursula you can visit her website at www.rootseekers.com.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

September Evening Meeting 2010


Ursula C. Krause, a Berlin resident, will present “Immigration from Germany” at the September 16, 2010, 7:00 PM meeting of the Elgin Genealogical Society at the Gail Borden Library, Elgin, Illinois.

Have you wondered why your German ancestors left their homes and families for America? Find reasons why they left and the life left behind by following the Stange family who came to Illinois in 1855, from Brandenburg, Prussia.  Learn how to locate  records,  look  for clues through interpretation of the documents and find ways to overcome difficulties in German research.
Ursula Krause , a Berlin, Germany resident,  is a professional genealogist and fictional story writer with many years of experience.  Areas of specialization include German immigration to North America,  providing  family research in Germany and  writing immigrant  biographies for Americans with German  ancestry.  She is a member of  the Genealogical Societies of Mecklenburg and Pomerania and a lecturer of  “Immigrant Letters” at the John-F-Kennedy-Institute, Free University Berlin.  Ursula is fluent in German, English and Swedish.  For more information, please visit her website, www.rootseekers.com.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September Morning Meeting Recap

What a great start for the fall season!! We had 40 members and several guests in attendance.

Our speaker, Teresa Steinkamp McMillin made the trip to the meeting all worthwhile with her presentation So You’ve Found Your German Town of Origin…Now What?? Teresa gave us hints for finding your German town on a map (may not be as easy as it soundsJ), encouragement and resources for deciphering the German script/writing we may encounter, instructions about the types of records that may be available, and help regarding how to access these records. Her talk was nicely organized and simple to follow. 

For more information about Teresa and the services she provides check out here website at www.lindstreet.com

Saturday, September 4, 2010

U.S. Immigration Collection

U.S. Immigration Collection

Free access to Ancestry's immigration collection this weekend. If you get a chance, take advantage. You never know what you might find!

Genealogy In Time - Seattle Post Photo Gallery

Newest Genealogy Records on the Internet: "US – The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which had the dubious distinction of being one of the first US major city newspapers to be forced to go 100% online (see Why Newspapers are Dying), has created an online archive of historic Seattle images. The photo galleries are organized by topic. Access is free. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer Historic Photo Galleries]"

If you do Seattle research, this could be a great find.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Death in EGS family

It is with great sadness that we report the death of EGS member Don Tuttle. His obit, published in the Elgin Daily Courier-News, follows. There were also two articles about Don in both the Courier and the Daily Herald. A search on his name should bring up the articles. We will miss Don and we send our condolences to his family.

Donald E. Tuttle

Donald E. Tuttle, 90, of Elgin passed away Sunday, August 29, 2010 at Provena St. Joseph Hospital, Elgin. He was born July 22, 1920 in Medford, Minnesota, the son of George and Margaret Landon Tuttle. He had been a resident of Elgin for 48 years. Don was a veteran of WWII serving in the U.S. Navy. He joined School District U46 in 1960 as Planetarium Director, a position he held for 24 years. He also taught astronomy at Elgin Community College for many years, retiring in 2009. He was a loving husband and father who will be missed by all who knew him. Don is survived by his wife, Carol Heywood Tuttle whom he married on September 3, 1949, his three children Susan Koeller, Richard Tuttle, and Donna Hoppe, six grandchildren, and his sister Dorolyn Sohner Hafer. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00AM, Saturday, September 4, 2010 at Epworth United Methodist Church 37W040 Highland Ave., Elgin, 60124. Visitation will precede the Memorial Service from 9:00AM until the time of the Service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Epworth United Methodist Church, which will fund AV Equipment; or to the Elgin Genealogical Society at P.O. Box 1418, Elgin IL, 60121. For further information on Don, please call (847)741-8800 or visit www.lairdfamilyfuneralservices.com.


Published in Courier News on September 2, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Ancestry Insider: FamilySearch In a Corner

If you're wondering what Family Search from the LDS is up to, take a look at this blog post. Very interesting.

The Ancestry Insider: FamilySearch In a Corner

Monday, August 30, 2010

Genealogy Guide to Google Country Search Engines

Check out this interesting article and helpful hints from Genealogy In Time on-line magazine.
Another way to get more out of Google!!

Genealogy Guide to Google Country Search Engines

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Trail Widens

I thought I'd share some research work I've been doing in preparation for publishing the story of Charles & Salome Ruch, an immigrant couple on my husband's side. Unless you follow my personal blog, MyGenealogyPondering, you probably aren't aware of my journey with this couple this past year.

I determined early on that I'd begin the story with Charles & Salome and not delve into the family left in France - Bouxwiller, Bas-Rhin, Alsace to be precise. However, recent discoveries have changed my plan slightly. You see the archives in France have posted on-line and free French Civil Records. Among these records are ten-year tables (a list of births, marriages and deaths for each village in a ten-year period beginning in the 1700s). I had no previous knowledge of these tables.

In the past, I had viewed various films from the LDS of some civil records and copied pertinent to my core families; however, now these - at least an index of these - are posted to the pilot website. (Browse, Europe, France). Since I originally viewed the films, I've learned much more about the families.

Long story short - between the LDS indices and the ten-year tables I've been able to document many familial relationships. Since I have new and more information, I've decided to included in my publication descendants charts for the oldest progenitors I have recorded. I'll let future family historians delve deeper.

Bottom line - never give up. More and more information is coming on-line to help us in our research.

September Morning Meeting

September seems to be EGS German Research Month. If you have German ancestors, you'll not want to miss either meeting this month. If you don't have German ancestors, come anyway. It's amazing the things you can learn from any presentation! 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 9:30 am at Gail Borden Public Library, Teresa McMillan will speak on "You've found your German town of origin: Now What?"

Teresa is a professional genealogist who specializes in German-American and Midwest research. 

More on the evening meeting later:)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Genealogy Program at Arlington Heights

Mark your calendars. This looks like a great program!!

Dear Genealogy Colleagues,
I want to announce a very interesting genealogy program at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library on Saturday, October 16--The Language of Genealogy
Translators will be available to help patrons with their documents. The languages will include German, Polish, Italian, Latin, Russian, Ukrainian, and Swedish...

Thank you very much.
Michael Mulholland, M.A./Library & Information Studies
Local History/Genealogy Librarian
Arlington Heights Memorial Library
500 N. Dunton Ave.
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
(847) 870-3643

Monday, August 16, 2010

August Evening Meeting

Our own Sandy Granholm will present "How to write and publish your family history" Sandy published her family history last year; a feat I know many of us would like to complete ourselves.

We can all learn from the achievements of others when they are willing to share their process. Thankfully, Sandra is always happy to help others in their genealogy pursuits.

We hope to see you at Gail Borden Library, 270 Grove Ave., Elgin at 7:00 pm on August 19, 2010.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

CIG August Meeting

We are discussing genealogy blogs and are about to submit a new post.

It is very hot and humid here today so our attendance is down a bit. However, we're having a great time in the cool library.

Have a peek at our EGS website and see some wonderful records there.

Monday, August 9, 2010

EGS CIG August Meeting

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at our CIG this month. We'll be meeting this Thursday, August 12, at 9:00 at Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove, Elgin, IL.

Our topic this month is Genealogy Blogs. We'll look at how to find them, how and why to create one, how to have them "delivered" to you and more. Come with questions and suggestions. As always the more we share the more we learn.

Shades - The Wedding Issue

Shades - The Wedding Issue

If you love wedding pictures, you'll love this issue!!
What a wondering FREE online magazine.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August Morning Meeting Review

We had a wonderful turnout this morning for an extremely interesting talk. Jerry Allen presented "Researching Civil War Ancestors" but provided so much more.
Jerry grew up on a farm in LaCrosse County, Wisconsin. At the University of Wisconsin (UOW) - LaCrosse - he received a BS in Mathematics and Physics and at UOW - Milwaukee -  he received a MS in Mathematics. He currently works in downtown Chicago as a pension consultant.
Although not a professional historian, Jerry has had a life-long interest in history with a special interest in the Civil War and American Indian Conflicts. This morning he focused on his great-grandfather, Captain John K. Allen of the 78th Illinois Infantry Regiment. His research led him to visit the National Archives, the Chickamauga National Military Park, other historic sites, along with various internet sites dealing with Civil War history, military records and genealogy.
Jerry Allen as Captain John K. Allen of Co. H, 78th Reg. Illinois Infantry
Jerry not only instructed us with informative information but also entertained us with wonderful stories. He also came in full Union Army uniform, even though the heat of the day caused him to remove his jacket to proceed with his talk.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

August Morning Meeting

Join us for the morning EGS meeting, August 3, 2010, at Gail Borden Public Library at 9:30 am. Our speaker, Jerry Allen, will be presenting “Researching Civil War Ancestors”. I’m told he’ll come to us in period dress.
Even if you don’t have Civil War Ancestors, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this talk.
Here’s hoping we’ll see you there!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Genea-Musings: Genealogy Message Board Searcher

Check out Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings post about a great new message board search engine specifically for genealogy! It's an add on for Google. Give it a try!!

Genea-Musings: Genealogy Message Board Searcher

Friday, July 16, 2010

Wonderful July Evening Meeting

I hope everyone enjoyed last night’s meeting as much as I did!!

First, we were pleased to present a $1,000 scholarship check to this year’s recipient, William Holderfield. William is currently working towards his doctorate in Public History at Loyola University. He shared some of the surnames from his personal genealogical search and also his goals for the future. We wish him the best and are pleased we can be of some small help.

Pictured: William Holderfield and President Larry Pepper

Then, we heard from our speaker, Tim Pinnick. He gave us such an enthusiastic and educated talk that whether one had coalminer ancestors (Tim would say “yet”) or not, the insights Tim presented carry over to any research project.

He suggested we not overlook the “gold mine” to be found in thesis and other published student papers. If you can find such papers written on you subject, you’ll find most of your research already done for you!

If you are looking for information on coal mining or even a specific coalminer, check out Tim’s website. He has wonderful helps and links to help you in your search. Also, don’t be misled by the URL, Tim has lots of general mining tips and hints for all to use. Look for him at www.blackcoalminerheritage.net.

If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, take advantage of it. He is a joy to the ears and he lightens the heart!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Historical County Boundaries

Newberry Library (Chicago) has put their Atlas of Historical County Boundaries online. What a wonderful resource for genealogists! Check out changes in boundaries to make sure you're looking for information in the correct county. Also, don't assume your ancestor's records will all be in the same county just because he/she never moved. It's just possible the county did!!

Be sure to bookmark this site in your favorites so you can return to it whenever you need it.

My daughter’s fingernails : Billy Coffey

My daughter’s fingernails : Billy Coffey

This isn't genealogy; more about keeping memories. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

July Evening Meeting

You'll not want to miss our meeting Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 7:00 pm at Gail Borden Public Library!! Nationally known speaker, Tim Pinnack will present "Coal Dust in Your Veins:  Tips, Strategies, and Resources to Bring Your Coal Mining Ancestor to the Surface".

Tim has spoken at many genealogical conferences across the country, taught at the Genealogy Institute at Samford University in Alabama and will be speaking at the upcoming Illinois State Genealogical Conference in Peoria. We are fortunate to have him with us for the evening.

Whether you have coal mining ancestors or not, you'll want to join us for this interesting talk.

See you there!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Leah and Ann would like to thank all EGS members who came to the tailgate treat fest. Thanks to you the left overs were manageable.

July Morning Meeting Review

MY BAD!! Sorry about giving the wrong program information in my last post. Thanks to Ann for making the correction.
However, if you came to the meeting you know what an interesting and fun gathering it was!! Gail Hershenzon presented Do's and Dont's of Cemetery Research with great enthusiasm, expertise and humor. She shared her personal experiences as a volunteer at the Woodmere Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan. She handles all the cemetery's genealogy requests and, also, has placed burial information on their website. If you have Detroit ancestors, you might want to check out www.woodmerecemeteryresearch.com . She also suggested using the Michigan website for death certificates 1897-1920 and much more. (Use the SEEK section of the website.)

Since our normal meeting rooms were being used, we met in the library's meeting room 1 upstairs. This is a brand new very comfortable meeting room; however, Not Treats Allowed. Well, that was simply not acceptable; how can genealogists meet without some food involvement??!! Our hostesses for the day came to the rescue and created a wonderful tailgate party for us. As you can see, we had a fun, ad hoc, Independence Day feast!!

July meetings

the morning meeting is Cemetery Research

the evening meeting is Coal Dust in my Viens

Monday, July 5, 2010

July Morning Meeting

The July 6, 2010 morning meeting looks to be a great one. Tim Pinnack presents "Coal dust in your veins".
Be sure to join us at Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove, Elgin, IL. The doors open at 9:00 am and the meeting begins at 9:30.
Hope to see you there!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Revolutionary War Documents on Footnote

Revolutionary War Documents on Footnote

Have Revolutionary War ancestors? Looking for something to do over this 4th of July weekend?

Revolutionary Was Documents on Footnote free through July 7!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Irish Records online---FREE

Irish Genealogy, hosted by the Ireland Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport, has added a large number of new church records of baptism, marriage and death to their free Web site. This brings the total to over 2 million church records from Dublin City and counties Kerry and Carlow, plus a subset from Roman Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Cork & Ross. These records include transcriptions and, in many cases, digitized images of the original records (though these are not yet available for all online records) taken from Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland parishes, as well as a small number of Presbyterian records relating to a congregation in Lucan. Best of all, these Irish church records can be accessed online completely free of charge.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010

SanDisk SD Card

From a recent Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter...
Genealogists often are concerned about the life expectancy of data stored on digital devices. Most digital cards, jump drives, and similar devices typically are guaranteed to store data for only a few months or years.

SanDisk has now announced a one gigabyte Secure Digital card that can store data for 100 years, but can be written on only once. Secure Digital cards are used in many digital cameras as well as other devices. The WORM (write once, read many) card is "tamper-proof" and data cannot be altered or deleted, SanDisk said in a statement. The card is designed for long-time preservation of crucial data like legal documents, medical files and forensic evidence, SanDisk said.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Who's who in the family tree?

I think in a recent newsletter I printed a page that helped define relationships such as who is my cousin's son's daughter to me? Now there is a website that will help. Just type in cousin's son's daughter and they will show you the family tree. Try it yourself at: http://www.wolframalpha.com

BTW the answer is first cousin twice removed.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

July EGS Meetings

At our June evening meeting, which by the way was very interesting, there was some confusion about July meeting dates.
I have been notified that there is no change in dates for July - morning meeting July 6; evening meeting July 15. However, the morning meeting will be held in conference room 1 upstairs, not in our normal meeting rooms.

Also, don't forget the July CIG on July 8.

See you there!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Family Tree Maker: How Do I Do That?

Family Tree Maker: How Do I Do That?

This is helpful how-to article from Ancestry for some seldom done so often forgotten tasks in Family Tree Maker.

Ancestry Tells about Genline Purchase

Ancestry.com Acquires New Family Member: Sweden’s Genline.se

Information from Ancestry about their purchase plans for Genline. Interesting article.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Genealogy Insider - Ancestry.com to Buy Genline

Genealogy Insider - Ancestry.com to Buy Genline

Those who use Genline will be interested in this post.
I wonder if Ancestry will just absorb the databases or create yet another category of membership?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Family Stories: It Doesn't Matter

Family Stories: It Doesn't Matter

Please take the time for read the above post. IMHO, it was one of the best I've read in a long time. I'm sure we can all relate to what Caroline has to say.

Google Caffeine Equals Big Genealogy News

Google Caffeine Equals Big Genealogy News

Read this article from Genealogy In Time to hear about how Google searches should be getting even better than ever. I can't wait to see what may pop up now!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Navy Service and Medical Records

Navy Service and Medical Records

At our CIG meeting on Tuesday, Don Tuttle mentioned that he doesn't find his WWII naval records online. We did a quick search at the time and came up with nothing.

Based on the above link regarding Naval records, I believe we now know why. Check it out for yourself.

No, Don, not everything is on the internet:)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Illinois Genealogy Websites

Here are some Illinois Genealogical Websites. Some of these were discussed at the Computer Interest Group meeting on June 10, 2010. Hope they're helpful.

Journal of the Ilinois State Historical Society 1950-2006.

Illinois State Gen Soc Website

Illinois State Gen Soc Blog

Free Illinois Genealgoy Search Engines

Access Genealogy - Illinois Genealogy

Illinois Genealogy Links

ALHN Illinois-Land of Lincoln

Illinois State Archives - Genealogical Records

Illinois State Archives Gen. Databases

GeneaSearch - Illinois Genealogy

GeneaLinks - Illinois Genealogy

Cyndi's List - Illinois

My Illinois Genealogy

Genealogy Trails - Illinois

Kindred Trails - Illinois Genealogy

US GenWeb

There are many more and, of course, many that address specific counties. Be sure to remember to use whatever search engines you use - Google, Bing, Ask, Yahoo, Dogpile, etc. - to find more.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Genea-Musings: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Feeling Lucky?

Genea-Musings: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Feeling Lucky?

Here's Randy Seaver's game of the week. Why not give it a try. You can post your outcome as a comment to this post and share the results with us.

Your mission tonight, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1) Go to http://www.google.com/ and enter a search term and click on the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button.

2) Try your name, your local society, favorite genealogy terms, whatever you want. Do at least three, and as many as you want if you have time. Be creative! Have fun!

Genealogy This Week: 5 June 2010

Check out this article and link about newspaper research from Genealogy In Time newsletter for June 2010.

A Great Genealogy Brick Wall Solution for Newspapers - One of the most intractable problems in genealogy is trying to trace ancestors from countries that simply failed to keep official government records of births, marriages and deaths. Well, this week, we have a good genealogy brick wall solution for you. Try to trace your ancestors through newspaper announcements. The only problem with this approach is 1) knowing what newspapers may have existed in the part of the world where your ancestors came from and 2) even if you did know what newspapers existed, it can often be hard to access copies of them. This is where the free website ICON (International Coalition of Newspapers) can be immensely valuable. Simply type in the city/region/country (in the field 'Country') and year that interests you. The site will provide you with a list of known newspapers for the area. By clicking further on an individual newspaper name you can find out what libraries keep copies of the listed newspapers. This is a great resource.{Click here for the link to ICON}

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

~ Shades Of The Departed ~

~ Shades Of The Departed ~

Check out this wonderful e-magazine. It's free and it's tremendous. This issue is about photos and suggests some great gifts.

May Morning Meeting and More

Thanks to our faithful members for supporting our member sharing programs. We had 43 in attendance at our June morning meeting yesterday. Hopefully, each person learned something to take home and use in their research.
The program was presented by a panel make up of Suzanne Kovak, Carol Blohm and me. The topic: What We Learned at Recent Conferences: Fox Valley, Dupage, and Illinois State Genealogical Societies. Each of us spoke about a session or two we had attended and shared some of the great information we made available to us there.
Even when you attend a conference, you can’t go to all the sessions – unless there is only one speaker. It was very enlightening to hear about talks I wasn’t able to hear. We were able to pass along some of the tips and knowledge we picked up along the way.
During our Q&A segment, Judy VanDusen reminded everyone that these conferences are great places to shop!! It’s a chance to see a number of vendors all in one place; a rare opportunity.
I hope to see everyone at the June evening meeting on the 17th when Steve Szabados presents Write your Family History. Steve will share his method of organizing his research into readable documents so everyone can understand and enjoy reading about their heritage.
Also, don’t forget the Computer Interest Group will meet at 9:00 on Thursday, June 10. This month will be looking at Illinois online research sites.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors: Genealogical.com Offers 25% Discount on Any Book or CD During Memorial Day Weekend

AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors: Genealogical.com Offers 25% Discount on Any Book or CD During Memorial Day Weekend

Check out this post to get special code for 25% off sale at Genealogical Publishing Company for Memorial Weekend. Hurray before it's too late!!

How to Cite a Funeral Card | Destination: Austin Family - StumbleUpon

How to Cite a Funeral Card | Destination: Austin Family - StumbleUpon

Check out this blog post from Thomas MacEntee. Very helpful information about citing unusual items.

Genea-Musings: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun- your Relationship Calculator

Here's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver. Give it a try. You can post your findings are a post here or as a comment to this post or a comment of Randy's site. I'll post mine later.

Have Fun

Genea-Musings: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun- your Relationship Calculator

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun- your Relationship Calculator

Hey genealogy buffs - it's Saturday Night, time for more Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (come on, don't be a party pooper...) is:

1) Open up the genealogy software program of your choice.

2) Think about two special people in your family tree (your parents? your spouse? a famous person? a distant cousin? yourself?).

3) Use the Relationship Calculator in the software to determine the relationship between the two special people. If you don't know where to find the Relationship Calculator, go to the Help button and find out. Follow the directions!

4) Tell us about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a comment to this post on my blog, or in a Note or comment on Facebook.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Nationwide Gravesite Locator

Nationwide Gravesite Locator

In honor of Memorial Day. If you're looking for a military grave, check out this site. This is for veterans & family buried in military cemeteries or with government grave markers.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Unexpected Genealogy Superheroes - Family Tree Magazine

This interesting article from Family Tree Magazine:

Unexpected Genealogy Superheroes - Family Tree Magazine

Without these folks, priceless historical records would've been lost.
While doing research for a book in Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series, author Daniel J. Burns, a Duquesne, Pa., police officer with a passion for history, was approached by a man who’d retired from a local steel mill.
Some years ago, the man had heard that the complex—now closed and all but abandoned—was scheduled for demolition. Although he was physically handicapped, he decided to explore the mill offices before the bulldozers arrived. In a drawer of an old desk, he found two large photo albums filled with dozens of surprisingly high-quality 8x10 photographs of the mill taken just after the turn of the 20th century. All had complete descriptions and were dated from 1914 to 1918. When he gave the books to Burns, he said that he was “happy to finally find someone who appreciated their true value.”
Burns also did some rescuing of his own. One day at the police station, Burns was talking to the city’s maintenance man as he dumped a box of old city hall files into the outside dumpster. At the top of the trash pile was a torn photo (above). After cleaning up the photo, Burns realized it was a treasure. “The photo, taken in 1909, showed the Duquesne Police Department, posing proudly in front of city hall in their uniforms, brass buttons and all,” Burns says. “It’s the only local photograph known of its kind.”

From the August 2010 Family Tree Magazine

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Genea-Musings: Military Records on WorldVitalRecords.com FREE from 27 May to 1 June

Randy Seaver posted the following on his Genea-Musing blog.
To go to his blog and read the whole press release, click here:

Genea-Musings: Military Records on WorldVitalRecords.com FREE from 27 May to 1 June: "Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Military Records on WorldVitalRecords.com FREE from 27 May to 1 June
Gena Philibert Ortega sent this press release along:


WorldVitalRecords.com Invites Family Historians to Honor Their Veteran Ancestors by Researching Military Records

To help families discover their ancestors WorldVitalRecords provides free access to U.S. Military Databases"

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

EGS June Newsletter

I just finished reading the June newsletter. What a interesting issue!! Some great articles!! Be sure to read it all!

Great job, Sara. Thanks so much.

While I'm at it, here's a reminder about the June morning meeting coming up next Tuesday. We'll have a panel sharing some tips and information gleaned from recent conferences they have attended.

Hope to see you there or, as my brother would say, "Hope to see all y'all there!"

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog: Sepiatown!

Check this out. An opportunity to add historical pictures (even those you may own) to an online map for all to view! If you have MidWestern ancestors, you might want to follow this blog, too:

Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog: Sepiatown!: "Saturday, May 22, 2010
SepiaTown: From Here to Then is a mapped photo collection, open to additions -- a cool idea without much Midwest coverage yet. (Search on 'Chicago' and start zooming out, and you will see some.) Can you help add to this would-be 'world-wide window on the past'? With good citations too?

Posted by Harold at 4:55 AM

Genea-Musings: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- The Time Capsule

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver. Now this looks like a good time!! Let's give it a try and post some results on the EGS blog.

Genea-Musings: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- The Time Capsule: "Saturday, May 22, 2010
Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- The Time Capsule
Hey genea-fanatics, it's Saturday Night, time for more Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you deign to accept it (come on, it's fun!), is to:

1) Go to the dMarie Time Capsule Website - http://dmarie.com/timecap/

2) Select a date in your family history that you want to know about. You might pick a birth date or wedding date of your parents or grandparents.

3) Enter the date into the search form, and select the news, songs, toys, books and other things that you want to feature.

4) Share the date, why you picked it, and the results of your Time Capsule study on your own blog, in a comment to this post, or in a comment or post on Facebook."

New Genealogy Records - GenealogyInTime.com

From Genealogyintime.com weekly newsletter:

New Genealogy Records - GenealogyInTime.com: "US – The David Rumsey Map Collection has added 764 new maps online to complement the some 20,000 maps and images already on the website. New maps are added online on a regular basis (the entire offline collection consists of over 150,000 maps). Most of the maps are of America. All the maps are high resolution and users can zoom in and out on various parts of the map. A great resource for genealogists. Access is free. Below is a sample image of part of a map of Philadelphia from 1860. [Link]"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Source Citation Trick: Embed Citation in Image Properties | Destination: Austin Family - StumbleUpon

Great tip from Thomas MacEntee. Add source citation directly to digital images! Check it out!!

"I wanted to share one trick that I've developed in citing my sources and linking the digital images for those citations. In summary, it involves editing the metadata comments of the image and adding the source citation. This way, if I share the image with a fellow researcher, they can get the source citation automatically and I don't need to send it separately or my entire research log."

Source Citation Trick: Embed Citation in Image Properties | Destination: Austin Family - StumbleUpon

EGS May Evening Meeting

Be sure to come to the evening meeting this month. Our own Lynda DeGroot will present "How to hire a professional genealogist". Lynda has been working as a professional genealogist for several years. Her expertise in the area will surely help us decide when and why we might need a professional's assistance in our research.

See you there!!

Thinking of you

I have just reviewed our events from the EGS website. There is a good variety of programs planned. As always Becky keeps us up to date with the computer interest group. If you are not participating you are missing a lot of good stuff and interesting people. If you have a specific interest that is not being addressed let someone on the board know about what it is that interests you. We will check it out and find an person with expertise in that area. Don't forget what a great resource Bill and GBPL are to our community. Also do not forget how valuable you are in your genealogy quest. Take and label pictures, document your family history and write your story for your descendants. Someday you will be an ancestor. This will be a way of leaving your imprint and touching the future.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Great Britain Map Tool

If you have ancestors/family from Great Britain, check out the cool new tool created by Genealogy In Time Newsletter of May 15, 2010. Here's their description and link:

Cool New Genealogy Tool
We have created a fun, interactive map of 1940 Great Britain.  It was created from detailed survey maps from the 1920s to 1940. You can use it to find your ancestor's home town.  What is neat about this tool is that it overlays a modern map of the UK. You can use this tool to compare how the region looked in 1940 at the beginning of the Second World War to how it looks today! {Click here to access this cool genealogy tool}

Friday, May 14, 2010

Place Name Searches in FHL Online Catalogue

Donna Pointkouski who write the blog Past is Prologue has an interesting article titled: 

Research Tip: Searching for Towns in the FHL Catalog.

Click on the link to check it out.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

EGS CIG May Meeting Update

Due to the nasty weather last night and this morning, our attendance was down a bit for the Computer Interest Group. However, the interest was in great form.
Judy Van Dusen showed us many of the different options on Find a Grave, looking at both the Famous and those not famous. Then, I went through the process of submitting information and pictures to the site. Hopefully, everyone learned something (I know I did) and will use this site in the future.

Next month we'll be talking about many of the various sites for Illinois research.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

EGS CIG May Meeting

Hoping to see a good group at the Computer Interest Group Tomorrow. We'll be discussing the website Find A Grave. If it's new to you, why not click on the link and check it out?
I'm happy about the topic because it caused me to get involved and add a few people. Lots more to go but it's a valuable and useful site for genealogists.

Have a good day!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Historical Newspapers Free

Check out this Dear Myrtle blog post for information regard free access to Footnote's historical newspapers for the month of May - http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/2010/05/footnote-open-access-to-newspaper.html.

Free is always a great price!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

May Morning Meeting

David M. Bartholomew, author of Pioneer Naturalist on the Plains; The Diary of Elam Bartholomew will be presenting Civil War and Lincoln in Grandfathers Diary for our morning meeting this May 4, 2010. How interesting to hear about that time in our history through the words of someone who lived through them!!

I wish I could be with you to hear this presentation but I will be in Erie, PA on a short genealogy research trip. I've been procrastinating with this trip for a long time and am happy to finally be getting it done! Thanks to some tips from Bill Blohm's April evening presentation, Planning a Research Trip, I know the places I plan to visit will be open when I'm there and I've made contact with someone I'm sure will be very helpful to me while I'm there. If you're interested in more about my project and my trip, check out my blog MyGenealogyPondering.

See you at the CIG on May 13 and/or at the May evening meeting on May 20.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Illinois Harvest

Illinois Harvest is a free website which is a result of a project of the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. http://illinoisharvest.grainger.uiuc.edu/
Type in "genealogy" in the keyword box and there are over 300 books of the over eleven million which have been digitized. If you can't take a research trip, maybe you can find something in this collection.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Planning a Research Trip

I'm sure, everyone in attendance at our April evening meeting last night benefited from Bill Blohm's talk on how to plan for a research trip. He provided a thorough list of what to do prior to the journey so that you can make the best use of time when you get there. 

Foremost is deciding on the detailed objective/s. Determine where you'll need to get the information you seek - libraries, archives, courthouses, churches, cemeteries, special   collections, historical museums...

But, first, check your local library (Gail Borden is a great start!!). No need to travel across the country, if you can find the answers here at home. Also, check out on-line sites that may be helpful, such as Family Search for their research guides and US GenWeb for county information.

Bill stated how important it is to call ahead to the various places you're planning to go to make sure they will be open at the time you'll be there. Don't necessarily trust the days and hours listed on a website as it may not have been updated recently. Make appointments where available.

Also, be sure to make accommodation reservations. You don't want to be left out in the cold!!! 
Thanks, Bill, for an informative evening. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

April Evening Meeting

This Thursday evening's EGS meeting will be presented by Bill Blohm, Gail Borden Research Librarian. His topic is "How to plan a research trip". Be sure to come out to hear this talk as it is so important to be prepared when heading out to a court house, library, archive, cemetery, etc.

We spend lots of time talking about organizing our genealogy information, findings, documents, images and such but just as important is knowing how to get ready for the "hunt". I'm sure Bill will set us on the right path.

Hope to see you there,


Thursday, April 8, 2010


We had another rousing Computer Interest Group meeting this morning. Our topic was a review of some options available in the Family Tree Maker software. Even though we varied in reference to versions we use, I think we could all relate to the questions and answers.

Next month, we’ll be looking at the Find A Grave website – what it can do for us and what we can do for others through it.

Hope to see you there.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

When you hit a brick wall...

I have always heard that when you can't go any further, go back and review what you have done...what you have already gathered. Yesterday I was looking for a photo on my computer and was in my Taylor Family folder. I saw a copy of a Civil War Pension reference that I must have found many years ago (or a few days ago) because I certainly didn't remember that Franklin Taylor had been in the Civil War. I now have a new lead to follow just by reviewing what I already had. I found a better image on footnote and will start pursuing this in the near future. Sometimes you can take a step forward by stepping back.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Family Search Book

Family Search completes digitizing 60,000 books. See this link for more details http://genealogysstar.blogspot.com/2010/03/over-60000-books-scanned-in-family.html. Your family's book may just be available on-line. Check it out!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Some times the "old" way is better

As I work online to fill in some gaps in my genealogy I have clicked and printed forms to mail, fax to different places to get birth, marriage and death records. Today when I got home from work I had a phone call from Winnebago County asking me to call them regarding my request. She found the marriage license I requested but no matter what she did she couldn't get a readable copy. The ink was too faded. However she was able to copy the marriage application. I appreciated the extra step she took for me but the next comment was even better. I sent the request using VitalChek (a form that came up on quite a few of my recent searches). The lady said I could save some money if I just sent the request to them directly. I have done just that and remembered the way I used to do genealogy before using the internet to make things easier. And I did remember to send a SASE with my letter and check. Thank you Trish.