Archived News - July 2012

ISGS News - Friday, July 27, 2012
ISGS Newsletter Now Available - July/August 2012
Illinois State Genealogical Society July/August 2012 Newsletter
The July/August 2012 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.
ISGS Member News - Monday, July 23, 2012
Illinois Family History Expo – Visit a Museum While In Springfield
Last week, we posted about research facilities and Lincoln sites you could explore while you’re in Springfield for the Illinois Family History Expo on August 3 and 4, 2012.  Genealogists always love a good museum, so we’ve selected some Springfield museums that might pique your interest.
Unique Museums
  • Shea's Gas Station Museum 2075 Peoria Rd., 217-522-0475
  • Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation Museum 4000 N. Peoria Rd., 217-525-1922,
  • AeroKnow Museum 900 Capital Airport Dr., 217-544-6122,
Military Museums
  • Korean War Museum9 Old Capitol Plaza, 217-523-7230
  • Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Museum 629 S. 7th St., 217-522-4373
ISGS News - Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Upcoming Webinars - August 2012
On Tuesday, August 14, at 8 PM Central, Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA, will present Major Midwestern Archives & Their Records, which will introduce you to several major Midwestern repositories and their holdings, finding aids, websites, and special indexes. To attend this webinar, register at
Last week's webinar, Clue to Clue: Tracking a Family Over Time and Miles, presented by Jean Wilcox Hibben, PhD, MA, CG, is now available to ISGS members in the Members Section of the ISGS website ( Upcoming Webinars
For the complete list of upcoming webinars, visit And don't forget to spread the word by printing out a few copies of our webinar flyer to hand out at your local society meetings. The flyer can be accessed at
Please direct any questions to the ISGS Education Committee at
ISGS News - Monday, July 16, 2012
Speaker John Philip Colletta plans to bring “fun” to ISGS Fall Genealogy Conference Sessions
Whether he’s teaching about the workings of the National Archives or how to breathe life into ancestral records or how to overcome brick walls in genealogy researching, John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., can’t get away from using the word “fun.”
“I do indeed have fun,” says the Washington, D.C.-based lecturer and teacher. “We have a ball. I feel enthusiastically about what I teach. My lectures are full of humor, and I teach through real, true stories. I present real examples, showing real documents. No matter what I’m teaching – about the Archives or problem-solving, I am using stories, and that’s what keeps it fun and entertaining.”
The main speaker for the Illinois State Genealogical Society’s (ISGS) “Family History in Profile” Fall Conference to be held Oct. 19 and 20 at the Best Western Clock Tower Resort & Conference Center in Rockford, Illinois, Dr. Colletta received his advanced degree in Medieval French in the 1980s, but soon switched his career to genealogical research.
“I was teaching French at the American University and getting bored,” he recalls. “I started to do workshops at the National Archives and I started working half time at the Library of Congress – 20 hours a week for 20 years. But then I decided to make the big plunge and leave government employment.”
Today, Dr. Colletta is a popular lecturer and authority on genealogical research who conducts programs for the Smithsonian Institution’s Resident Associate Program, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and Boston University’s Certificate in Genealogical Research program. He also is a faculty member of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University in Birmingham, Al.
At the ISGS Conference, Dr. Colletta will be speaking on “Is Any Body There? – Tracking Ancestral Remains” at the Friday dinner banquet at 6 p.m., and will lead three sessions on Saturday, beginning at 9:30 a.m. with “Breaking Through Brick Walls: Use Your HEAD!” The other two sessions include “Our National Archives: The Astounding Institution & How to Use It” at 11 a.m., and “Discovering the Real Stories of Your Immigrant Ancestors” at 1:30 p.m.
“I was so delighted the ISGS chose the “Is Any Body There” talk for the banquet,” Dr. Colletta says. “I am going to present three real experiences I had trying to find the graves of my ancestors. I had one ancestor that was buried in three different graves at three different times. Another story will be about a great great grandfather of mine. I spent 30 years researching that story, but I never did locate a grave for him. I’ll talk about that particular funeral with it rosewood casket, but no bones. His body burned up in a fire. Genealogy can lead you to some interesting stories.”
Dr. Colletta has written a book about the graveless great great grandfather’s story entitled “ Only a Few Bones.” It recounts not only the facts about this grandfather’s life and death, but also the world he lived in – from Buffalo, New York, to post-Civil War era Mississippi. Putting one’s ancestor into context is a thread that runs through many of Dr. Colletta’s lectures.
“You always begin with the biographical facts,” he says, “but then you explore the time and place where those events were lived. You investigate what the land was like, what people were around them, what religious groups were in the area. You pull it all together so you see each ancestor as a distinct individual, and you then can see how vastly different their stories are.”
Dr. Colletta says many people have wonderful things they have inherited – jewelry, furniture, clothing, and oral histories. But they don’t pull these things into the story of their ancestors.
“Doing that brings your ancestors so much more vividly to life,” he says. “It takes more time, but when I lecture on how to do this, it’s the kind of talk that really gets people excited to go learn more about their ancestors.
“I don’t think anyone can go away from this Conference without gaining some information about new sources. There’s bound to be something there for anyone who comes.”
For more information and to register for the ISGS Fall Conference, which is co-sponsored by the Winnebago & Boone Counties Genealogical Society, visit the ISGS website at To learn more about Dr. Colletta, visit his website at
ISGS News - Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Join ISGS at the Illinois Family History Expo in Springfield!
The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) welcomes Family History Expos as it brings the Illinois Family History Expo 2012 to Springfield, Illinois on Friday, August 3 and Saturday, August 4, 2012.
Held at the at the Crowne Plaza Springfield, 3000 South Dirksen Parkway, in Springfield, Illinois, the two-day Illinois Family History Expo will feature the nation’s top genealogists and researchers. The keynote address is free to the public, as is an exhibit hall filled with professionals demonstrating the techniques, tools and technology to trace family roots.
“We are facing a whole new frontier and it is thrilling to be an explorer in this new age. Every day new technology evolves to help make the job of discovering our roots faster, easier, and more accurate,” according to Family History Expos founder, Holly Hansen.
Professional presenters will offer courses throughout both days to paid registrants. Course materials are available for study as soon as registration is complete. The materials are designed to help absorb materials during the class, and to serve as reference documents after.
Look for ISGS in the Expo Exhibit Hall
ISGS will be one of many exhibitors in the Exhibit Hall providing information about ISGS and its mission and projects. All attendees are encouraged to visit the ISGS booth to learn how ISGS can help them in honoring Illinois ancestry.
Early Bird Registration Ends July 17, 2012
Register before July 17, 2012 at and save $20 off the pre-registration fee and $50 off the walk-in registration. The early bird registration price is $49 for two entire days of genealogy education and fun. Registration after July 17, 2012 will be $69 and walk-ins can register at the door at the expo for $99.
To learn more about the Illinois Family History Expo 2012 visit the Family History Expos website at
About Family History Expos
Family History Expos teaches people to trace their roots with modern technology and proven techniques. We bring people together in the name of one of the world’s greatest assets-families. Family history research heals. It aids our patrons in defining and refining their own lives. Through our past, we all become one family. Family History Expos links the past and future through quality, affordable, accessible education. Family History Expos holds annual events throughout the United States and we are adding new cities this year.
To learn more about Family History Expos, visit
ISGS News - Monday, July 9, 2012
Update on ISGS $10,000 War of 1812 Challenge
The Illinois State Genealogical Society is proud to support the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ “Preserve the Pensions” campaign. As a part of this campaign we will be publishing a bi-monthly blog post that shares a few details about War of 1812 events that happened during the war this week.
July 3, 1814 – Capture of Fort Erie
On July 3, 1814 American forces led by commanders Major General Jacob Brown, Brigadier General Winfield Scott, and Eleazar Wheelock Ripley worked their way thru the darkness and fog to attack Fort Erie. At the time, Lieutenant General Gordon Drummond, the British commander, had turned over command of Fort Erie to Major Thomas Buck. Lieutenant General Drummond hoped that this would buy him some time so that he could concentrate his forces against the Americans.
However, as the American troops approached Fort Erie Major Buck ordered only a few shots to be fired, then he quickly surrendered the Fort to the Americans.
July 5, 1814 – Battle of Chippewa
Just two days after General Brown and Brigadier Generals Winfield Scott and Eleazar Ripley secured Fort Erie they were off to Chippewa. Their force was made up of 2,400 infantry, 200 artillerymen, 600 Pennsylvania volunteers, and 600 Indians. The American force successfully forced the British troops back to Fort George. For more information on the Battle of Chippewa visit:
ISGS $10,000 War of 1812 Challenge Progress
Thank you to all of our kind donors! So far we have collected over $2,500! We still need your help to reach our goal of $10,000!
$10,000 War of 1812 Pension Match Challenge
In support of this digitization project the ISGS announces the ISGS $10,000 War of 1812 Pension Match Challenge. ISGS will MATCH any contribution (up to the first $10,000) made to the Preserve the Pensions project before December 31, 2012. For instance, if you donate $100, the ISGS will match your contribution for a total of $200! In addition, has announced it will also match ALL ISGS contributions which would mean any contribution you make will actually be QUADRUPLED! Your $100 contribution would become a $400 contribution! Any size contribution is welcome! A $10 contribution equals about 80 pages of Pension files digitized as part of the Preserve the Pensions project.
The goal of the “Preserve the Pensions” campaign is to raise the $3.7 Million needed to digitize the War of 1812 Pension Application Files that are currently stored in the National Archives and make them freely available online. The pages are being digitized as funds become available and some of these files are already viewable by visiting
To make a contribution via Pay Pal or for more information visit our web site at Or mail a check, made payable to Illinois State Genealogical Society (Put “War of 1812” on Memo line), to: Illinois State Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 10195, Springfield IL 62791-0195.
ISGS News - Friday, July 6, 2012
1940 Census Indexing, ISGS Helps With 5 Million Goal
The Illinois State Genealogical Society group for FamilySearch Indexing keeps on truckin’ during the month of June, keying over 81,000 records and arbitrating over 10,000.  To date, we’ve indexed over 280,000 records!  Way to go everyone!
And, on July 2, FamilySearch set a goal to index/arbitrate 5 million records within a 24-hour period.  Not only was the initial goal of 5 million reached in less than 16 hours, but it was surpassed.  Over 7.2 million records were indexed and over 3 million were arbitrated, for a total of 10,340,879.  That’s amazing!  The ISGS group generously contributed to the goal by indexing over 17,000 records and arbitrating over 1,600.  A special thanks to our top contributors on July 2:  Pamela H., Arlene J., Julie T., and Cheryl W.
Illinois is currently 53% complete—that’s a 22% increase from our last status update in early June.  The project overall is about 81% complete and we are nearing the finish line.  This is a huge accomplishment in just three short months.  The following states are completely indexed and can be searched on the 1940 Census page on the FamilySearch website:
  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wyoming
The following states are nearing completion:
  • District of Columbia
  • Arkansas
  • Kentucky
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia
Every little bit helps, so even if you can only index a page or two, please consider signing up to index.  Be sure to select “Illinois State Genealogical Society” as your affiliated group when you sign up.  If you are already an indexer and are not affiliated with the Illinois State Genealogical Society group, you can update your indexing profile by following the instructions in our blog post How To Change Your Affiliated Group in FamilySearch Indexing.
Keep up the GREAT work!!
ISGS News - Tuesday, July 3, 2012
July 2012 Webinar - Clue to Clue: Tracking a Family Over Time and Miles
Are you interested in learning more about genealogy methodology and using a variety of records? If so, join us next week for our July webinar, Clue to Clue: Tracking a Family Over Time and Miles, presented by Jean Wilcox Hibben, PhD, MA, CGSM.
Date: Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 8:00 pm Central
Description: Using various clues, this presentation shows how to move from one piece of information to the next to piece together the life of an ancestral family. The steps used are illustrated so that they can be followed by the beginner as well as the seasoned genealogist. Use of census, probate, property, and personal records, among others, are explained.
Presenter: Jean Wilcox Hibben, PhD, MA, CGSM
A native of the Chicago area, Jean Wilcox Hibben has a PhD in folklore and MA degree in Speech Communication. A national speaker and former college professor, Jean is a Board-Certified genealogist; Director of the Corona, Calif. Family History Center; volunteer at NARA, Pacific Region facility; President of the Corona Genealogical Society and the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (as well as a Board member for APG); and secretary for the Genealogical Speakers Guild. She lives in the Lake Mathews area of Riverside County, California; maintains a regular blog at; and can be reached through her website
Recordings and Syllabus Also Available For ISGS members who cannot attend on June 12th, a recording of the webinar, along with the syllabus, will be made available in the Members Section of the ISGS website at If you're not already a member of ISGS, visit Join ISGS! for more information.
ISGS News - Monday, July 2, 2012
ISGS 2012 Ancestor Photo Contest Winners

The Illinois State Genealogical Society is proud to announce the winners of its recent Ancestor Photo Contest held earlier this year.

Rotating Ancestor Slide Show Added to ISGS Website

There were 12 photos selected from the many images submitted by ISGS members and they are all available for viewing at the ISGS website. We’ve created a “rotating slide show” which will display two images when you click on a sidebar menu item.
ISGS 2012 Ancestor Photo Contest

In addition, place your mouse pointer over an image to learn more about the person or persons depicted and which ISGS member submitted the photo.
You can also view all of this year's winning photos and those from previous years by clicking Free Databases in the sidebar and selecting Ancestor Photos.

Winners and Photos

BLOESE family
The photo shows the Bloese family in 1937 in order of age from oldest to youngest.  Missing was the oldest sister Rose.  Please note that it was boy girl from top to bottem.  Included are Emil, Mitzi, Gus, Josephine, Fred, Lorraine, Leonard, Lucille and John.  Submitted by Arlene Johnson.
DRIVER, William and CAMPBELL, Sallie
Sallie (Campbell) Driver and her young childen:  Mary, Charlie, and John and her two oldest son:  William and David.  This photo was taken about 1896. Submitted by Janis Forte.
William and Sallie (Campbell) Driver Family taken about 1898.  Pictured are:  Front row left to right seated:  Elena, Mother Sallie with unknown child on her lap, Father, William, Mary, and Rebecca.  Standing:  Mary, (little boy) John, Edgar, William, Sarah.  Submitted by Janis Forte.
ESWINE, Stephen
Stephen Eswine prior to 1902.  Stephen Eswine was the owner of one of the finest "retail Liquor establishments" on the Ohio River, located in Old Shawneetown, IL (Gallatin County) He died in 1902 at age 34 of typhoid fever, leaving a wife and 3 young children. Submitted by Sandra Parker.
FLOYD, James Bailey and Family
Four generations abt 1911 (l to r): Miranda Wasson Ray (my grandmother) b. 18 April 1887 Pope County, IL; 
Lola Ray (Miranda's daughter) b. 21 August 1910 Saline County, IL; James Bailey Floyd (Miranda's grandfather) b. 20 September 1843 Pope County, IL; Alice Floyd Wasson (Miranda's mother) b. 4 March 1866 Pope County, IL. Submitted by Debra Vordenbaumen.
HICKS, WIlliam Riley and GORE, Cora Belle
"The Family Portrait"This is my great grandparents and 3 of their children and my great, great grandmother, we believe te photo was taken in western KY abt.1898.  They came to so IL in the early 1900's in a covered  wagon train. William Riley Hicks and wife Cora Belle Gore, her mother, Permila Jane Gupton Gore and 3 of their children, Leo Guy, William Arthur and Hattie Hicks. Submitted by Cleta Shirley.
LUDOLPH, Henry Conrad Jr. and VanCURA, Catherine
Catherine VanCura Ludolph holding her son, Henry Conrad Ludolph, Jr, (my grandfather) and three of her daughters, l-r Mary, Jessie and Edna.  This was taken in 1905 in the Bridgeport neighborhood in Chicago.  Catherine VanCura Ludolph was born the day of the Chicago Fire.  Family story is that as her father was running to get the midwife, he was arrested for not helping fight the fire.  Speaking only Bohemian, he couldn't explain what he was doing.  The desk sargent at the Chicago Police Station where he was taken, understood Bohemian and let him go.  Submitted by Annabelle Caldwell Bradshaw.
My grandfather, Henry Conrad Ludolph, taken in the Bridgeport neighborhhood of Chicago on August 12, 1906. Submitted by Annabelle Caldwell Bradshaw.
MINOR, Jackson and JAMES, Elizabeth and Family
Jackson and Elizabeth (James) Minor Family taken about 1896.  Front:  Jackson, young boy, Tea C., Elizabeth with Clarence on her lap.  Standing behind:  Francis, Eugene and John.  Submitted by Janis Forte.
SHIRLEY Brothers
"Boys will be boys" My Grandfather and his brother and brother's in law. Bottom Row:Harrison Shirley, Arthur Hicks. Top Row: Jesse Cochran and Clarence Shirley (my grandfather). Submitted by Cleta Shirley.
Just Hangin' Around  my grandfather and his brothers loading Hay. Clarence,(my grandfather) Harrison, Denzil & Melvin Shirley.Plus his bother in law, Clarence Hicks.  This was taken on Clarence Shirley's farm in Rural Desoto, IL. Submitted by Cleta Shirley.
Will Zachmeier (1883-1972) Shawneetown, IL --a lifelong bachelor who lived with his widowed sister and helped her raise my grandfather and his siblings. He was an active outdoorsman who tended the channel lights on the Ohio River with a tiny boat. His own mother had been widowed young and he often told how she  "raised them on a washboard, but she got us by".  Written on this postcard photo is the words--"I am on my way to Denver on my Bike." Submitted by Sandra Parker.
Note: All images are property of the person submitting the image. Please do not copy or use these photographs in any way without first contacting the submitter and asking for permission. Contact ISGS at for more information.