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.