Friday, August 22, 2008

Cook County, Illinois -- Genealogy Online

A new Web site offered by the Cook County Clerk's office aims at helping users research their ancestry, according to a recent article. Cook County Genealogy Online, a recently unveiled online database will make available more than 6 million historical Cook County vital records, with free index searches. For a fee, genealogists can download high-resolution scans of original documents. The site does not provide access to all vital records, however. As noted in the article, by Illinois law, genealogy records are defined as birth certificates 75 years or older; marriage licenses 50 years or older; and death certificates 20 years or older. For more information visit the Cook County Genealogy Online web site.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Place names and boundary changes can direct research

"I grew up at Coles Station, Illinois. We all said "at" because Coles Station is not much of a town — so we never really felt like we were 'in Coles Station,'" writes Judy Rosella Edwards, in her article, "Coles Station: The Ever-Changing Place Name." The article shows how one small town not only changes names over the years, but is claimed at different times by different counties. This story is repeated over and again in genealogy and underscores the importance of local area research. Not only do county boundaries change when new counties were formed, as we see in the census maps, but individual towns may be claimed by one county and then the other for economic or political reasons. And communities along state border lines always deserve close examination; where the research seems to suggest an ancestor migrated from one place to another, it may be they never moved an inch, but the borders changed. Such details are significant in finding people at different times and in locating documents. Even today, in various parts of the world, wars are changing boundary lines, countries come and go and place names are changed to suit the new regime. There is much more to the geography of the world than the lay of the land.

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Keep an open mind when browsing resources

In her article, "Researching Civil War Volunteer Infantrymen from Havana, Illinois,"
Judy Rosella Edwards reminds us that key information may be found in the most unlikely sources. In this case, a Civil War military regimental history happens to include the names of those who pre-paid for copies of the book -- you never know who that might include. So keep in mind when browsing resources for your time and place, there may be more to a source than meets the eye.

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Friday, January 4, 2008

Mid-1800s German/Francisan settlement in Illinois

If you are looking for German immigrants in the United States who spent some time in Ohio before disappearing from your genealogical timeline, you may try looking for them in Tuetopolis, Illinois. In her article,"Migrations from Vechta, Germany to Teutopolis, Illinois," Judy Rosella Edwards provides background on this community, along with many names of those who settled there and founded the St. Joseph's Diocesan College and the Sisters' School.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Nauvoo, Illinois -- a new look

A fresh perspective is always welcome in the world of genealogy. In her article, "Nauvoo Retains Its Place in History," Judy Rosella Edwards takes a look at Nauvoo, Illinois after the Mormons were driven out, pointing out that ethnic and religious groups have a history in the area. Among the newcomers was one Christian Jung, a German immigrant and staunch Lutheran who spent his life "devoted to reinventing Nauvoo." The article also mentions the French Icarians, a group of French idealists attempting to establish a Utopian society.

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Orphan Trains: The Illinois Apprenticeship Agent

The idea put forth, justifying the shipping the children across the country on so-called Orphan Trains, was for children without family and without means to be placed in the protective care of an adoptive family. Many of the children ended up as indentured laborers in a forced labor situation, in which there was really no escape until they became of age. In her article, "Orphan Trains: The Illinois Apprenticeship Agent," Judy Rosella Edwards give a brief history of the New York Juvenile Asylum and recounts the placement of children "apprenticed" through the organization's Chicago branch, some 4, 557 children.

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GenWeekly -- Delivering a Fresh Perspective for Genealogists