Friday, April 26, 2013

Society Spotlight: Elgin Genealogical Society

EGS LogoThe Elgin Genealogical Society (EGS), in Elgin, Illinois, began in 1973 around the kitchen table of founder Pat Lose. Before long the group outgrew the table and required a much larger room. The meeting rooms at the Gail Borden Public Library (GBPL) in Elgin were the perfect option because not only was its location convenient to most members, the Library had a wonderful collection of research materials.

The group officially organized in 1976 with its stated goals of bringing together persons who are researching family history; informing people of the value of and need for preserving family and local history; providing information, methods, and practices of family research; fostering idea sharing; seeking, preserving and making available material concerning past and present families; and encouraging officials to preserve public records and genealogical collections and make them accessible to interested persons.

EGS members are spread throughout the US with ancestral interests all over the globe. With its various program topics the Society assists in improving its members’ research methods and organization. EGS gives back to the genealogical community by providing Elgin and Kane County data through its website and records provided to GBPL for its website.

Currently, an individual membership is $20/year.  In addition to the numerous educational programs provided EGS, members also receive a quarterly newsletter either by email or postal mail.

EGS meets twice a month at the Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove, Elgin. The morning meeting convenes on the first Tuesday each month at 9:30 AM and the evening meeting at 7:00 PM. Both meetings are always open to the public.  EGS also has a Writer's’ Group, which meets on the second Thursday of each month from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM at the Gail Borden Public Library.

In partnership with the GBPL, our volunteers extract vital records information from Elgin historical newspaper microfilms, which is then input into the Local Newspaper Index database held on the library’s website.

The EGS website provides many free databases for genealogists such as death records from various funeral homes and the Warner Monument Company, church records from St. John Lutheran and Faith United Methodist, indexes for Elgin divorce and probate records, and much more. The website also provides a surname list and queries viewable by the public but postings are reserved for members only.

Our EGS genealogist will conduct research at the GBPL and the Elgin Area Historical Society Museum for a $10 donation for up to one hour. These donations are used purchase historical and genealogical reference materials for the GBPL genealogy section.

EGS is a sponsored group of the GBPL. GBPL holds an exceptional collection of genealogy materials that EGS contributes to through a 50/50 program. EGS donates 50% towards the purchase of certain materials and GBPL provides the other 50%.

Since the 1990s EGS has provided over $20,000 in scholarships and grants to assist local graduate students studying in the field of library sciences, museum studies or history, and organizations furthering genealogy or local history.

For additional information about EGS, visit their website or contact them by email at ElginGS@aol.com.  You can also follow their blog or find them on Facebook.

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