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Showing posts from November, 2011

November-December 2011 Issue of ISGS Newsletter Now Available

The November/December 2011 issue of the ISGS Newsletter is now available to both ISGS members and non-members.

Visit the ISGS website at and click ISGS Newsletter to download the current issue (in PDF) and to view past issues going back to January/February 2008.

© 2011, copyright Illinois State Genealogical Society

Arcola High School Yearbooks Now Available

Yearbooks from Arcola Township High School in Arcola, Illinois are now available for free on the website. ISGS 1st Vice President Larry Pepper helped scan the yearbook pages, uploaded them to the Ancestry site and indexed them as well!

Currently, ISGS has fully-indexed the yearbooks for 1921 and 1922. Yearbooks for 1926 and 1927 are available in image only format and the indexing will be completed very soon.

To view the ISGS Collection at, click or visit the Free Databases section of the ISGS website at

© 2011, copyright Illinois State Genealogical Society

5 Soldiers Added to the Military Certificates Database

ISGS has a Military Certificates database online that lists the certificates issued as part of the Military Certificate project that honors Illinois soldiers.  The database lists the soldier’s name along with their unit, county, and the ISGS Military Certificate number.  This searchable database is available to anyone under the Free Databases section of the ISGS Website. Civil War Soldiers Added Since August 2011Willis Jones William Malone Simon RentzWorld War I Soldiers Added Since August 2011Michael MilaskyWorld War II Soldiers Added Since August 2011Robert Milasky

4 New Prairie Pioneers Honored

ISGS has a Prairie Pioneers Certificates database online that lists the certificates issued as part of the Prairie Pioneers Certificate project that honors Illinois pioneers.  The database lists the pioneer’s name along with the county, the year they came to Illinois, and the ISGS Prairie Pioneers Certificate number.  This searchable database is available to anyone under the Free Databases section of the ISGS Website. Pioneers Added Since August 2011Christian Godfried Kath Russell Moore Lewis Griffin Payne Johan Heinrich Shore

New Shop and Support ISGS Program

Do you purchase genealogy products and services online at retailers such as, Shop Family Tree and others? Did you know that now you can not only purchase great family history items online but also help support ISGS, its mission and its projects?

Visit the new Shop and Support ISGS page on the ISGS website at before you make a purchase at any of the participating retailers. Using these links, ISGS will receive a portion of any sales and these funds will go to help various projects at ISGS.

The new Shop and Support ISGS page is a new affiliate marketing project meant to provide an income stream in support of the many projects related to Illinois genealogy and family history at ISGS. Participating retailers include, GenealogyBank, Legacy Family Tree Store, Shop Family Tree and more!

How Does the Shop and Support ISGS Page Work?
Visit the Shop and Support Page at on a link and you’ll be…

Updated Illinois Adoption Laws Allow Adoptees To Access Original Birth Certificates

Just in time for National Adoption Day on this Saturday, November 19th, adopted or surrendered adults born in Illinois can submit a request for a non-certified copy of their original Illinois birth certificate.

Those applying for the certificates must have a birth date on or after January 1, 1946. See Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Original Birth Certificates at the Illinois Department of Public Heath for instructions and more information.

The Illinois Department of Public Health issued the following press release on Monday, November 14, 2011:

SPRINGFIELD – Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 15, 2011 is the first day adopted or surrendered adults can submit a request for a non-certified copy of their original Illinois birth certificate. Under the amended Illinois Adoption Act (750 ILCS 50), adults born on or after January 1, 1946 in Illinois who were surrendered or adopted, can request a non-certified copy of their original Illinois birth certificate, which typically includes the birt…

Illinois Miners

Jerry Sherard has tipped us off to a valuable resource for those researchers with Illinois ancestors who may have worked as coal miners.

The Illinois Miners message board on is a FREE resource which can be found at Jerry regularly posts items to this board and has a vast knowledge of mining accidents in the United States, Canada and Australia:
I currently have about 485,000 mining accident records (fatal and nonfatal) covering most of the United States, provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec in Canada, and provinces of New South Wales and Queensland in Australia. However, about 283,000 of the mine accident records are the state of Pennsylvania. The mining accident records are from the late 1800s through the early 1900s. I have knowledge of all major mine disasters in the US and Canada. I can provide advice on finding U.S. mine fatalities from the late 1960s and later …

Ask A Genealogist: Illinois Adoption Records

Question: I was born in Illinois and adopted. How do I obtain a copy of my original birth certificate?

Answer: Until recently, obtaining a copy of such record was impossible without a court order. With the passing of Public Act 96-0895, now adopted adult children have a much better chance to obtain a non-certified copy of their original birth record.

If the birth parents have not requested the information to be kept private, anyone any adult who was born in the state of Illinois can request the non-certified copy of the original birth record with parental identifying information. More information and methods to apply can be found at

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Do you have a question about Illinois resources, records or research strategies? Send your inquiry to the ISGS Genealogy Committee at If your query helps answer a “how to” question of interest to our members and readers, we’ll print the query and answer i…

Our Surnames Are Showing!

Did you that there are close to 400 surnames of Illinois ancestors in the ISGS Surname Research Database  ( which allows any visitor to view surname information and contact researchers? Make a visit and see if there isn't a member of ISGS who might be researching one of your surnames. Then leave a message and who knows, you might be breaking down a brick wall!

While the public can review the entries in the ISGS Surname Research Database and contact researchers, only members of ISGS can submit their surname information to be listed in the database. Click here to learn about the other ISGS membership benefits and how you can join ISGS.

One neat feature of the database:  researcher contact information is never displayed or given out! The database acts as a “message relay” system and lets the ISGS member decide if they want to contact the other researcher!

For complete instructions on how to use the ISGS Surname Research Database, please see Surname Re…

Insider's Guide to Illinois Genealogy Gets Noticed!

Thanks to ISGS 1st Vice-President Larry Pepper who recently found ISGS and its popular Insider's Guide to Illinois Genealogy mentioned in the Danville The Commercial-News newspaper on October 16, 2011. Click here to read the entire article.

The author, Joan Griffis, provides basic information about the guide and ends the article with this great suggestion:
When ordering for yourself, you may want to consider buying extras for special friends and/or family members. This easy-to use guide will be used again and again and its convenient format makes it handy to slip into a backpack or laptop bag for that genealogical research trip.Click here to order your copy of the Insider's Guide today!

© 2011, copyright Illinois State Genealogical Society