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Showing posts from March, 2022


There are only TWO DAYS LEFT until the 1950 Census is released! Are you ready? Check out this helpful information to help you prepare! ISGS ran a special issue of the Quarterly  last summer, focusing on how to prepare for the 1950 census. You can still purchase a copy through our Online Store- CLICK HERE! Our Office Manager, Vauna, will prepare your order promptly! NARA has a special 1950 Census Website, packed with everything you need to know ahead of the census release- plus research and learning materials, videos, and much more! Be sure to bookmark this page, as the link to the 1950 Census will be available here starting on Friday! Steve Morse  also has some helpful info, including tips for locating the enumeration district (ED) your ancestors lived in during the 1950 Census! Are you interested in being a 1950 Census indexing volunteer? FamilySearch is heading a massive volunteer project to help index the 1950 census! Their 1950 census page also offers a tone of helpful info for u

Website of the Week and Associate Member News

This week's featured website is the University of Illinois' Library digital collection of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps!  This collection includes over 1,700 images of pre-1923 Sanborn fire insurance maps from all over the state of Illinois. The maps were originally made to assist insurance underwriters in determining fire insurance rates, but today, historians use them to help document family homes and businesses. These maps can help you picture what your ancestor's neighborhood looked like in the late 19th and early 20th centuries! Associate Member News! The Winnebago & Boone Counties Genealogical Society will host their next meeting via Zoom on Saturday, April 2nd, 1:30pm. Daniel Hubbard will present, "Warrants & Patents & Deeds, Oh My!" Check out the WBCGS Facebook page or email to get your Zoom link!  BOOK SALE! The Polish Genealogical Society of America is offering the book Slaughterhouse: Chicago's Union Stock Yard a

ISGS is on VolunteerMatch!

ISGS is now on VolunteerMatch - and we need VOLUNTEERS! Check out our open opportunities HERE!     Most of our open positions can be done virtually, and we have a variety of options available to fit different schedules and talents, including: 2022 Conference Committee Chair Virtual Programming Support Chair Digital Asset Manager Marketing & Publicity Chair Advocacy Chair Advertising Chair These positions are also listed on the ISGS Website.  Contact us through VolunteerMatch, or email for more info! © 2020, copyright Illinois State Genealogical Society

Website of the Week- Illinois Labor History Society

If you have an Illinois ancestor that may have joined a union, or participated in the Labor Movement in Illinois, be sure to check out the Illinois Labor History Society website! The Illinois Labor History Society encourages the preservation and study of labor history materials in Illinois. The site includes helpful research resources, including: Past ILHS newsletters full of historical information A link to the "Labor History in 2:00" podcast for some quick historical references Education resources for ancestors that worked on the I & M Canal or participated in the Pullman strike of 1894, plus articles, tons of links, and more! The ILHS has donated their history archive to Roosevelt University in Chicago. The collection includes more than 1,300 photos as well as many items relating to the Haymarket Riot and the Chicago Stockyards. The website includes a link to a searchable index of the ILHS archive, plus contact information for research inquiries. © 2022, copyright

2022 Conferences- Mark your calendars!

Member Society Conferences! RICIGS is celebrating their 50th Anniversary with a Virtual Conference Featuring the Legal Genealogist, Judy Russell! CLICK HERE for more info! Don't miss these conferences beyond Illinois! Dallas Genealogical Society Spring Seminar, featuring Diahan Southard- "Using DNA Strategically: Tools to Identify Ancestors," Saturday April 23rd © 2022, copyright Illinois State Genealogical Society

Website of the Week and Upcoming Events!

This week's featured website is the Aurora Public Library's Genealogy & Local History page! This is a must-visit website for any genealogist with family connections to Aurora, the second-largest city in Illinois. Some features include: Make appointments to visit the Local History Room at the Santori Main Campus in downtown Aurora Several helpful and searchable indexes, including a guide to the Aurora address conversion in the 1920s, the Beacon News  obituary index and other cemetery/burial indexes, and marriage indexes, including a partial list of marriages at Saint Nicholas Church Listings of local cemeteries and genealogical societies, and tons of links to genealogy websites Resources for African American and LGBTQ+ research A downloadable brochure of the Library's onsite collections in the Local History Room Links to a fantastic virtual program series available on YouTube for FREE, that covers the history of Aurora's cemeteries, famous Aurorans, the city during

ISGS MEMBERS: Important Message about the Spring 2022 Quarterly

ISGS Members- please see below message regarding the Spring 2022 issue of the ISGS Quarterly The 1950 Census is coming on April 1! Publication of the Spring Quarterly has been delayed until mid April so our team of genealogists can cover this significant genealogical event. We ask your patience when your Quarterly doesn’t show up as usual. It’s on the way. The Fall Quarterly will be a special edition featuring what you, our readers, have found in the 1950 Census. There are sure to be some surprises. Send us an article about your discoveries to by 1 July 2022, with photos if possible. We want your stories! —Richard R. Anderson, editor, the Quarterly. In case you missed it, be sure to check out the Summer 2021 edition of the ISGS Quarterly, a special issue filled with all the info you need to prepare for the 1950 census! You can purchase copies through the ISGS Online Store! © 2022, copyright Illinois State Genealogical Society

Website of the Week- Celebrating Women's History Month

Honor your women ancestors from Illinois and the Midwest with these great online research resources! Online databases from the Illinois State Archives- Check out the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, where you can search for brides by their maiden name. Did you know that the design of the current State Archives building was largely influenced by Margaret Cross Norton, the first State Archivist of Illinois from 1922-1957? ISGS Members!- Check out these webinars in our online archive:  (not a member? Join today! ) "Desperately Seeking Susan: Finding Female Ancestors," presented by Amy Johnson Crow, CG (March 2012) "Finding your Femme Fatales: Exploring the Dark Side of Female Ancestors," presented by Lisa Alzo (March 2015) "Nurses, Matrons, Laundresses & Cooks: Documenting Women in the Civil War," presented by Angela Y. Walton Raji (March 2017) Illinois Digital Archives- check out these examples of collections for Illinois history and women's resea

Honor the Prairie Pioneers in Your Family with ISGS!

Do you have any early Illinois settlers in your family? You have the opportunity to honor them with a Prairie Pioneer Certificate!  The ISGS Prairie Pioneer lineage certificate program was organized for the U.S. Bicentennial, and the first pioneer was certified in 1982. Since then, ISGS has certified over 3,000 Prairie Pioneers and counting!  There are three categories of Prairie Pioneer Certificates: Prior to Statehood- This includes any ancestors that settled in the territory that later became Illinois, up to the year 1818. 1819-1850-  Early Illinois settlement 1851-1880- Later Illinois settlement up to 1880 Any direct ancestor who settled in any part of Illinois may qualify for a Prairie Pioneer certificate! This includes ancestors that settled in early Chicago or the surrounding area too! CLICK HERE to review the Prairie Pioneer application. Applicants are required to provide documentation proving the pioneer's date of residency in Illinois, along with proof of lineage.  Reac