Archived News - November 2011

ISGS News - Wednesday, November 30, 2011
November/December 2011 Newsletter Now Available
The latest issue of the ISGS Newsletter is now available to ISGS members and non-members. Click here to download your copy (downloads in PDF - Adobe Reader required)!
ISGS News - Wednesday, November 23, 2011
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
ISGS News - Tuesday, November 22, 2011
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?
  1. Visit the Shop and Support Page at
  2. Click on a link and you’ll be taken to that retailers website.
  3. Shop for your products and make your purchase.
That’s it!
Frequently Asked Questions
  • If I use the Shop and Support ISGS links, do I have to pay a fee or extra for my purchase? No – you as the consumer don’t pay anything extra at any time. The retailer pays a percentage of sales to ISGS as a reward for bringing its members and supporters to that website to shop.
  • Do I pay higher prices if I use the Shop and Support ISGS links? No – you pay the same prices that you would find on the retailer’s website if you didn't use the ISGS links.
  • Will the ISGS website start carrying advertisements? No – the only places you’ll see the links and any graphics related to retail websites is on the Shop and Support ISGS page of the ISGS website. You may also see: - A simple ad for the Shop and Support ISGS page on the ISGS blog in the sidebar area of the blog - A link in the footer of ISGS blog posts when using a blog reader such as Google Reader - An occasional ISGS newsletter article or blog post reminding members to take advantage of the Shop and Support ISGS links when making purchases at genealogy websites.
Help Spread the Word!
Anyone – not just ISGS members – can use the Shop and Support ISGS page and its links to help support ISGS and its projects. Please let your friends and family know especially as we approach the holiday shopping season!
ISGS News - Monday, November 21, 2011
ISGS Office Closed Thursday, November 24, 2011
The ISGS Office will be closed on Thursday, November 24, 2011 in observance of Thanksgiving. The office will be open from 10am to 1pm on Tuesday, November 22, 2011. Regular hours will resume on Monday, November 28, 2011.
ISGS News - Thursday, November 17, 2011
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 birth parents’ name(s), age(s) and place(s) of birth.
“More than 2,000 people have contacted the Illinois Department of Public Health inquiring about filing a request on November 15, 2011 for a copy of their original birth certificate,” said Dr. Craig Conover, state department of public health acting director. “We anticipate our Division of Vital Records will receive numerous request forms tomorrow and in the coming days and we will work to process those requests as quickly as possible.”
How long it will take for an adopted or surrendered adult to receive a non-certified copy of an original birth certificate depends on a number of factors including, the completeness of the application, lack of an original birth record, the presence of an amended birth record or the need to contact an adoption agency or circuit court for an adoption decree.
Birth parents who surrendered their child for adoption and would like their identifying information to remain confidential during their lifetime, can submit a completed Birth Parent Preference Form. Approximately 350 preference forms have been submitted to the Department. While the Department will continue to accept Birth Parent Preference Forms after November 15, 2011, there is no way to ensure information was not already released prior to processing the Birth Parent Preference Form after that date.
Birth parents who prefer not to have their identifying information released can still confidentially provide medical information, such as genetically transmitted disease, to the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange (IARMIE) to be released to an adopted or surrendered child. Providing medical information may help an adopted or surrender person be proactive about health issues and live a longer, healthier life.
The Birth Parent Preference Form, medical questionnaire forms and the request form for an adopted or surrendered person to obtain a non-certified copy of their birth certificate, can be found at or by calling the Illinois Adoption Registry at 877-323-5299. The fee for submitting either form is $15, however, the fee will be waived for birth parents who complete the IARMIE medical questionnaire forms. All forms should be submitted to the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange. Adopted or surrendered persons must be 21 before receiving a non-certified copy of their original birth certificate.
© 2011, copyright Illinois State Genealogical Society
ISGS News - Friday, November 11, 2011
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 and in Victoria province Australia.
The best way to contact Jerry with specific questions about Illinois miners, is to visit and post a query.
ISGS News - Wednesday, November 2, 2011
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 Research Help.
ISGS News - Tuesday, November 1, 2011
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