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.