Archived News - September 2011

ISGS News - Monday, September 26, 2011
ISGS Members Can Now Add Their Own Surname Research Data
The Illinois State Genealogical Society maintains a Surname Research Database over on its website at The public is invited to search for their own surnames and use the Email Inquiry icon next to each listing to contact the respective ISGS member about a specific surname.
Now, ISGS members can enter their own surname information on the ISGS website and also add alternate spellings or edit existing surname information. To do so, simply login at the ISGS website and click Edit Profile under the Members Section. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and start entering surname information for your ancestors. Only ISGS members can submit surname data - this is one of the many benefits of an ISGS membership. If you aren't already a member, click here to join us!
ISGS News - Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Education Committee Seeks Your Valuable Input

Yesterday, in ISGS Announces Its New Education Committee, we introduced you to this new committee. Now, we’d like your input to help shape the work of this committee. We’ve created a survey to help us get a feel for what genealogists are looking for in terms of educational opportunities. The survey results will help the Education Committee determine what will be implemented in the future and how we will go about doing so.

We'd like to hear from both ISGS members and non-members since some of our efforts will be geared toward the genealogical community as a whole. Your honest and candid answers are much appreciated.

As an incentive for completing the survey, those who are 18 years of age or older may provide an email address at the end of the survey to be entered in a drawing for a free one-year membership to There are five memberships up for grabs. Only one entry per person. The contest ends October 10, 2011.

Click here to start the survey.

ISGS News - Tuesday, September 20, 2011
ISGS Announces Its New Education Committee

The Illinois State Genealogical Society is pleased to announce the appointment of an Education Committee for the purposes of: 

  1. Providing genealogy education to our members and the genealogical community as a whole.
  2. Educating the general public about genealogy in order to get people interested in discovering their family history, while promoting the study of genealogy.

So far, ideas for genealogy education for members and the genealogical community include enhancing our annual conference, producing webinars or online videos, establishing study groups, developing instructional guides, and sponsoring research trips.  In order for us to figure out what to implement and how, we will be conducting a survey via our website starting Wednesday, September 21, 2011.  Look for the announcement tomorrow morning.

ISGS also hopes to educate the general public about genealogy through community outreach projects.  We also plan to target our youth to get them interested at an early age and to start capturing the stories of their living relatives.  Planning in this area will begin after the first of the year.

The Education Committee is just getting started.  There are a lot of great ideas already, but we will certainly need your help to make them a reality.  If you would like to be involved in this committee, please fill out the Volunteer Form and check “Education Development” under the Areas of Interest section.  If there is something specific you would like to work on, please note it in the field markedAdditional special talents or interests.  The Education Committee chair will contact you beginning in early November to discuss volunteer opportunities within this committee.

For more information about the Education Committee, or to share your ideas with us, please email

ISGS News - Wednesday, September 8, 2011
Insider's Guide to Illinois Genealogy
Illinois State Genealogical Society Debuts New Guide for
Family Historians with Prairie State Ancestors
The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) proudly announces the debut of the Insider’s Guide To Illinois Genealogy – a handy reference guide for family historians and genealogists. With the Insider’s Guide researchers will find everything they need to get started to find Prairie State ancestors.
The Insider’s Guide To Illinois Genealogy laminated “quick card” contains:
  • An overview of Illinois history in a timeline format
  • A section on migration patterns related to how Illinois was settled
  • Helpful research strategy tips for the beginning genealogist
  • Over 130 different links to websites covering different aspects of Illinois genealogy over 26 subject sections including Census Records, Vital Records, Obituaries, Military Records, and more.
The Insider’s Guide will be available in limited quantities during the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ 2011 Conference in Springfield, Illinois. Visit the Illinois State Genealogical Society at Booths 205/207 in the Exhibit Hall at the Prairie Capital Convention Center to purchase your copy or to join ISGS. The guide will be given away FREE to the first 100 members who join ISGS.
With a conference special price of $5 each, the guide is expected to sell quickly. The guide can also be purchased online at for $7 which includes shipping and handling.
ISGS Publicity Chair and Webmaster Thomas MacEntee notes: “ISGS is one of the first large genealogy societies to publish a research guide in this popular format. The ‘quick card’ is laminated, light-weight and can be slipped into a backpack or laptop bag for genealogy research trips.”
The Insider’s Guide To Illinois Genealogy was produced with the help of several ISGS board members who collected links to many online resources. In addition, attention has also been given to archives, libraries and repositories for “in person” research.
Janice Fritsch, ISGS President, states: “One of the purposes of ISGS is to disseminate information about Illinois.  The Insider's Guide to Illinois Genealogy not only helps ISGS in accomplishing its purpose, but also provides genealogists with an easy-to-use, ‘hands-on’ tool for finding Illinois ancestors. It is a must-have and will make a great gift for relatives, friends, your society or your library.”
ISGS News - Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Great Illinois Genealogy Scavenger Hunt Winners Announced at FGS 2011 Conference


Chicago Directories and Southern Illinois Diary Win Awards

As Part of FamilySearch Research Wiki


The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) will award the top two prizes in The Great Illinois Genealogy Scavenger Hunt during the Old Fashioned Prairie Social event in Springfield, Illinois on Wednesday evening, September 7, 2011. The event is part of the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ 2011 Conference being held in Springfield, September 7-10, 2011.


During the month of June 2011, ISGS in partnership with FamilySearch, hosted a virtual, online scavenger hunt and asked the public to submit their favorite Illinois genealogy resources to be included in the FamilySearch Research Wiki ( Described as “free family history research advice for the community, by the community,” the research wiki contains a page for each of the 102 Illinois counties as well as many other subject matters related to genealogy.


The prize for the best original narrative article – a RootsTech 2012 conference registration – will be awarded to Darcie Hind Posz for her article on Chicago city and social directories. Posz provided valuable information for genealogy researchers and it has been incorporated into the Chicago Directories section of the FamilySearch Research Wiki (,_Illinois#Directories).


The prize for most unusual resource – a membership to ISGS – will be awarded to Angie Kelly for Tillie’s Tales ( Tillie’s Tales is a blog capturing the 1930s diaries of Kelly’s grandmother Bertille Brand Klein who lived in southern Illinois.


Diane Loosle, Genealogical Community Services Manager for FamilySearch notes: “This project is a fantastic example of what can happen when our community works together to preserve and share knowledge. FamilySearch has been very happy to work with ISGS in an effort to provide resources about Illinois state and county-level research to the community for the benefit of all family historians. The knowledge contributed is now available for use by current family historians and, just as important, is also preserved for future historians. A big thanks to all those who shared their knowledge and contributed to the FamilySearch Research Wiki. Special thanks go out to Lise Embley, (Wiki Volunteer) and Danielle Batson (FamilySearch) as well as Thomas MacEntee (ISGS) who provided the leadership for the project. FamilySearch hopes to see many more collaborative projects like this one in the future as we work together to provide free research resources to the genealogy community.”

ISGS News - Friday, September 2, 2011
Awards To Be Made At FGS 2011 Conference, Sepember 8, 2011
September 2, 2011 – Springfield, IL. On Thursday, September 8, 2011, six individuals will be honored by the Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) with awards for their outstanding achievements in the field of genealogy. ISGS will present the awards at the upcoming Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Annual Conference – Pathways to the Heartland – September 8-10, 2011 in Springfield, Illinois. The recipients include:
  • Robert G. Buecher, of St. Louis, Missouri will receive the ISGS Community Service Award for his work with the St. Clair County Genealogical Society. Buecher has indexed many cemeteries in Southern Illinois; translated numerous church records, created surname indices to historic St. Clair County newspapers, posted genealogy records online including a history of Millstadt, Illinois, and has published numerous books.
  • Elizabeth A. “Libby” Grimm, will posthumously receive the Volkel Hall of Fame Award for her exceptional service to the McDonough County Genealogical Society, the Illinois State Genealogical Society, and the genealogical community at large. Grimm held several ISGS board positions from 1984-2003 and was the recipient of the ISGS Local Service Award in 1981 and its Special Recognition Award in 1990.
  • Mary Matson Hawk and Donald D. Schmidt, both of Toulon, Illinois, will receive the ISGS Individual Writer Award as co-winners this year. This award is selected by the editorial board of the ISGS Quarterly and is for the article Kathleen Matson’s Pioneer Heritage in Stark County, Illinois published in the Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 42, Number 3, Fall 2010.
  • Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, will posthumously receive the Volkel Hall of Fame Award for her work as editor of the Federation of Genealogical Societies Forum as well as for her service to the Illinois State Genealogical Society. From 1981 through 1987, Luebking served on the ISGS board in several capacities and was a full-time researcher, educator, published author and editor in the genealogy field for 35 years.
  • Nelda Ravens, of Bonfield, Illinois, will receive the ISGS Community Service Award for her service to the Kankakee Valley Genealogical Society since 1969. Ravens has performed important work related to extracting information from local church records and gaining permission to index and indexing county probate records as well as records of the Recorder of Deeds office.
  • Harold Workman, of Naperville, Illinois, will receive the ISGS Special Recognition Award for his unwavering service to the Fox Valley Genealogical Society for the past fourteen years. Workman has held a board position every year since 1997. In addition to those positions, he has served as facilities manager for the FVGS annual fall conference for over 12 years.
Janice Fritsch, ISGS President notes, “Each year ISGS honors people or societies who have given to the genealogical community beyond the ordinary. This year is no exception. Thank you to those who submitted nominees for an ISGS award and congratulations to the award winners.”
ISGS News - Thursday, September 1, 2011
ISGS Office Closed Monday, September 5, 2011
The ISGS Office will be closed on Monday, September 5, 2011 in observance of Labor Day.
The office will be open from 10am to 1pm on Tuesday, September 6, 2011.  Regular hours will resume on Thursday, September 8, 2011.
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