Archived News - October 2011

ISGS News - Monday, October 31, 2011
Updated FamilySearch Collection: Illinois, Probate Records, 1819-1970
On October 20, 2011, FamilySearch updated the Illinois Probate Records collection containing images from 1819-1970. The collection is not indexed, but researchers can browse through images by clicking here. The collection description at FamilySearch:
Collection of probate records, which includes will, indexes, and other documents created to track the distribution of estates of deceased individuals who lived in Illinois. Probates were generally recorded in the county of residence. This collection covers probate records created by Illinois courts, 1819-1970, but the content and time period of the records will vary by county. A few additional county court records are also present. Additional records may be added to this collection. Check the wiki or browse the collection to determine current coverage.
Learn more about Illinois Probate Books in this article at the FamilySearch Research Wiki.
ISGS News - Friday, October 28, 2011
Special FGS Discount for RootsTech 2012 Available for Three Days Only!
Thanks to our society's association with FGS, RootsTech is extending a very attractive discounted rate of $99 for three days only to any members of our society who would like to participate in this one-of-a-kind, dynamic conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. RootsTech is a leading edge conference designed to bring technologists together with genealogists, so they can learn from each other and find solutions to the challenges they face in family history research today. More than 3,000 people attended the inaugural conference in 2011 and their feedback on RootsTech was overwhelmingly positive. Don't miss out in 2012! Take advantage of the special $99 registration rate and we look forward to seeing you at RootsTech 2012!
  • A new family history and technology conference
  • February 2-4, 2012
  • Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • FGS registration discount is available October 27 to 29
  • Use the promotion code FGS when registering to receive the FGS discount rate
At RootsTech, genealogists and family historians of all skill levels will learn technology-based solutions to accelerate their research. From the Expo Hall and participant-driven unconferencing discussions to the RootsTech Playground, this conference is ground-breaking and unique. Check out for the most current information. Be one of the thousands of RootsTech 2012 attendees to:
  • Experience hands-on workshops and interactive classes to accelerate your research
  • Help influence the future of genealogy
  • Learn and share new ways to adapt technologies to genealogy
  • Help leading-edge technology providers better understand your needs
  • Participate in panels, product demos and many networking opportunities
There will be sessions of interest to novices through advanced technology users, including:
  • Hands-on workshops
  • Sneak peek demonstrations of new products and services
  • Interactive presentations and panels
  • Unconferencing discussions (last minute, on-the-fly sessions by attendees)
Go to to see the full list of topics and sessions. Register at between October 27-29, 2011 and use the promotion code FGS to receive the $99 rate.
  • $99 FGS promotion rate October 27-29, 2011
  • $129 Early bird rate until November 30, 2011
  • $189 beginning December 2011
RootsTech is sponsored by Microsoft, Dell, FamilySearch, Oracle, the National Genealogical Society, brightsolid,, the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the New England Historic Genealogical Society,, Brigham Young University, and the Association of Professional Genealogists.
ISGS News - Monday, October 18, 2011 Now Has Sam Fink's Index Online!
If you aren't in the habit of researching records in Cook County, Illinois prior to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, then the term "Sam Fink Index" probably means nothing to you. Click here to access (you must have a subscripton to to access the images).
Here is an idea of what the Sam Fink Index is and why it is important:
Marriage records with the word FINK in the license field were transcribed from a microfilm copy of the typescript Chicago Marriage and Death Index compiled by Sam Fink. Mr. Fink's compilation of pre-1872 marriages was an attempt to recover information about early Cook County marriages lost in the Great Fire of Chicago on October 8–10, 1871. The index includes the names of the bride and groom, the date of the marriage and the newspaper in which the marriage appeared.
The Sam Fink Index was microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah and a copy of this microfilm is located at the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. The only additional information that this depository can provide is the name of the newspaper in which the marriage appeared. Information entered into the Sam Fink Index was transcribed from the following Chicago area newspapers:
Chicago Tribune Chicago Evening Journal Chicago Democrat Chicago Evening Post Chicago Record–Herald Chicago Daily News Chicago Examiner The Inter-Ocean
Until recently, a researcher had to visit their IRAD location or another repository like The Newberry Library to access this index on microfilm.  
Now, thanks to, the Sam Fink Index is part of their new database Cook County, Illinois, Marriage and Death Indexes, 1833-1889. This is big news for Illinois and Cook County researchers - hopefully online access to these records will help break down some brick walls!

ISGS News - Monday, October 17, 2011

JustAJoy Membership Winners Announced

Last month, ISGS held a contest in conjunction with a survey about genealogy education.  We’d like to offer a big “thank you” to everyone who completed the survey.  We received over 200 responses and this will certainly help us plan for educational opportunities in the future.

MP900384835Of those who entered the contest, five people were randomly drawn to receive a free one-year membership to  Our lucky winners were:

  • Judy Osland
  • Gordon Schmaus
  • Robin Kessell
  • Mary Jo Vepley
  • Barbara Coakley

Congratulation to our winners!

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