Archived News - August 2012

ISGS News - Tuesday, August 28, 2012

illinois The 1940 Census Index is Nearly Complete at FamilySearch

Last week, FamilySearch reported that the 1940 census indexes for all 50 states is complete, as are the indexes for Guam, Panama Canal, and Virgin Islands.  The final two territories, American Somoa and Puerto Rico, should be posted soon.  According to their blog post on August 21, the project “started on the April 4th of this year. With the posting of the last states today, we have published the census 73 days earlier than expected!”  That’s incredible!!

The ISGS indexing group was a major contributor to this project, having indexed over 325,000 records, and arbitrated another 57,000.  So go ahead, pat yourself on the back…you earned it!

This project will certainly help people find their family, or even themselves, in the 1940 census.  Were you able to finally find someone using the index?  Tell us about it in the comments!

P.S.  If you got the indexing bug from helping to index the 1940 census, why not continue contributing to FamilySearch indexing projects.  There are plenty to choose from, including a new community project for US Immigration and Naturalization Records.  Want to stick with Illinois records, help index the Chicago Catholic Church Records, 1833-1910 collection.

ISGS News - Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Upcoming Webinars - September 2012
On Tuesday, September 11, at 8 PM Central, Gena Philibert-Ortega, will present, Grandma did What!?: Researching your Famous and Infamous Relatives, which will explore various ways to research your famous or infamous ancestors. To attend this webinar, register at
Last week's webinar, Major Midwestern Archives & Their Records, presented by Paula Stuart-Warren, CGSM, FMGS, FUGA, 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, August 20, 2012
This week, Monday, August 20, 2012 through Friday, August 24, 2012, the ISGS office will not be open to receive visitors. You can, however, reach the office via telephone at (217) 789-1968 or e-mail at We'll follow up on your request as quickly as possible.
Normal office hours will resume the week of August 27, 2012.
ISGS News - Thursday, August 16, 2012
ISGS Office Secretary Part-Time Position Available
The Illinois State Genealogical Society is looking for an experienced office professional with strong administrative skills for its Office Secretary position. Applicants will need to staff the ISGS office two days a week at the Illinois State Archives and perform basic office duties.  Secretarial or administrative experience as well as proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel are required.
For more information, please contact
ISGS News - Tuesday, August 14, 2012
New Illinois Cemetery Location Project Database
The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) is proud to announce a new database at its website for genealogy and family history researchers - the Illinois Cemetery Location Project database. The database, consisting of almost 15,000 entries, is available for free and to the public at the ISGS website at
Researchers can search by cemetery name or cemetery nickname and filter results by county; all 102 Illinois counties are covered in the database.
Once a record is located, click on the "eye" icon to view the details about that specific cemetery:
Information includes county and township location as well as the address of the cemetery. In addition data related to Illinois veterans, church affiliation, online website and status of the cemetery (active, inactive, etc.) is also included if available.  Note: the Illinois Cemetery Location Project database does not include headstone transcriptions.
A special thanks to Becky Higgins, ISGS Cemeteries Chair for all her hard work in converting the 102 html-coded web pages from the former ISGS website located on RootsWeb.  This project required dumping the data into an Excel spreadsheet and then reviewing almost 15,000 lines of data for uniformity and to check formatting before the current database could be created.
The Illinois Cemetery Location Project is one of many projects of the Illinois State Genealogical Society. Click here for more information about the Cemetery Records projects at ISGS.
ISGS News - Monday, August 13, 2012
Using the Internet to find your family tree? ISGS Fall Conference speaker to share technology tips
Thomas MacEntee wants to usher genealogy researchers into the world of the Internet.
The Chicago resident who worked for more than 25 years in the information technology field before beginning his own business, High-Definition Genealogy, in 2008 will be sharing his expertise in Google, Facebook, self-publishing, and searching for living relatives during four workshop sessions at "Family History in Profile," the Illinois State Genealogical Society’s (ISGS) fall conference Oct. 19 and 20 to be held at the Best Western Clock Tower Resort & Conference Center in Rockford, IL.
"Many of us are intimidated by technology," MacEntee says. “We watch our children and grandchildren and are amazed at how easily they use smart phones and the Internet."
He wants to raise the knowledge of genealogy researchers, the average person who is interested in finding out more about their great grandparents and great great grandparents, so that they can get more out of their time spent looking for their roots. Even those who think they already know how to use Internet search engines can learn some new tricks, MacEntee believes.
"Many people think they know how to use Google, but the fact is they are using only about 10% of what Google has to offer," MacEntee says.
When it comes to Facebook, MacEntee explains he will be offering advice on how to protect one's privacy while still sharing genealogy information with others. His third session on self-publishing will review various options available for people who want to publish their own books or other items such as calendars and mementos. The fourth session will offer genealogists new Internet tools and sites to help them connect with other living relatives of a common ancestor.
MacEntee says he became hooked on genealogy in 1977, like many others, after watching the miniseries, Roots. He began asking his great grandmother questions about his own heritage until, in 1989, his mother handed him a book, "David Putman and His Descendants, 1645-1916."
"My great grandfather, John Ralph Austin, who was born in 1896, was listed in that book, and the book traced my Dence and Putman lines," MacEntee says. "Only 100 copies were privately printed and I cherish the copy I have."
"What I like most about genealogy are the stories – and my attempts to substantiate them with well-researched facts and information,” MacEntee adds. "I also like the problem-and-puzzle-solving aspect. That’s why I often call genealogy 'CSI without the icky bodies.'"
In addition to MacEntee’s workshops, the ISGS conference, which is being co-sponsored by the Winnebago & Boone Counties Genealogical Society, will offer 12 other sessions by eight other speakers on such topics as "Our National Archives," "Illinois Settlement and Migration Patterns," "Belonging to Writing Groups," Swedish genealogy research, and how to save family heirloom photographs. The conference also will offer Youth Workshops for young people grades 1 to 4 and 5 to 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20; a dinner at 6 p.m. on Friday, featuring Dr. John Phillip Colletta, a Washington, D.C.- area genealogist and lecturer, who will speak on, “Is There Any BODY There? – Tracking Ancestral Remains;” and opportunities to visit vendor booths on both Friday and Saturday.
For more information, or to register for the conference, visit the ISGS website at
ISGS News - Wednesday, August 8, 2012
August 2012 Webinar - Major Midwestern Archives & Their Records
Here's your chance to learn about research facilities in the Midwest and the nuggets of information they hold. Knowing what's available and how to use these resources will certainly help you advance your genealogy research. Join us for next week's webinar, Major Midwestern Archives & Their Records, presented by Paula Stuart-Warren, CGSM, FMGS, FUGA.
Date: Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 8:00 pm Central
Description: Dates, names, ages, relationships, lawsuits, prison records, church records, bibles, probates, and more await us in archives. This presentation highlights some major Midwestern archives and their holdings, finding aids, websites, and special indexes. An overview will be presented for each state’s archive and some will be covered in greater detail. Archives are not created equally! For the states we are covering this is very evident. Some have a combination state historical society and/or library and the state archives. The websites, research services, online databases, range of holdings, and even the mission statements show big differences. We will also look at other unique archives in the Midwest. The main aim is to show the wealth of material available, how to access it, and why the on-site experience can be so rewarding.
Presenter: Paula Stuart-Warren, CGSM, FMGS, FUGA
Since the early 1980s Paula has worked full time in the area of genealogical and historical research, lecturing, consulting, and writing. She has been a Board-certified genealogist since 1988, passing the every-five-year renewal assessments by the national Board for Certification of Genealogists. She is a firm believer in continuing education in genealogy and strives to keep up-to-date by participating in national and local conferences, reading the publications of many genealogical and historical organizations and individuals both off and online. She completed the week-long U.S. National Institute of Genealogical Research held at the National Archives in Washington, DC.
Recordings and Syllabus Also Available For ISGS members who cannot attend on August 14th, 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.
In Memoriam Kim Kasprzyk
The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Kim Kasprzyk former ISGS Director and former Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Treasurer and Director who died on Sunday, August 5, 2012, surrounded by her family. Services will be held in Libertyville, Illinois beginning on Wednesday, August 8, 2012. Please see Kim’s obituary for more details.
At ISGS, Kim was the Newsletter Editor since 2008 and was also responsible for maintaining the society’s Military Certificates program.
At FGS, Kim was instrumental in the success of the FGS 2011 conference held in Springfield, Illinois when she served as Registrar for the conference. According to Pat Oxley, President of FGS, “Kim was so efficient, conscientious and even-tempered through the whole process. She worked in parallel with Cath Trindle, our out-going Treasurer in training to be our new Treasurer. Kim was willing to help with any task put before her. I cannot say enough about what a warm, wonderful person she was and how much I loved working with her.”
Kim was passionate about family history and when asked to describe herself, her work and what mattered most, she said:
Genealogy has been a part of my life for over 22 years, way before computers and the luxury of doing research in the comfort of my own home. Since then my “addiction” consumes almost as much time as a full time job. Besides trying to do my own research I’m active in the Illinois State Genealogical Society, the German Interest Group of Wisconsin and I run the Cook County, Illinois GenWeb page. My real full time job is as a nurse auditor in the emergency room at a local hospital. I’m married to a musician and have 4 step-children and 3 step-grandchildren. Besides genealogy I enjoy travel, weaving, gardening and reading.
The ISGS and FGS organizations, as well as the entire genealogy community, will miss Kim including her smile and her passion about genealogy. Her contributions to family history will live on through her good works and the many lives she touched.
ISGS News - Monday, August 6, 2012
ISGS Office Hours - Change for Thursday, August 9, 2012
Please note that on Thursday, August 9, 2012 the ISGS office will be open from 8:00am to 10:30am.
Normal office hours will resume on Monday, August 13, 2012.