The Illiana Genealogical & Historical Society continues to have a long and colorful life. Originally housed in the basement of the Danville Public Library when the society was first formed in 1964, IGHS has continually grown in membership and holdings and is currently proud to be mortgage-free at its current location at 215 W. North St., Danville, IL 61832.
Thanks to the efforts of its members and officers, this society, which was the first incorporated genealogical society in the state of Illinois, can be justly proud of all it has accomplished through the years, including the burning of the mortgage at a Holiday Open House last month.
With many organizations falling on hard times, it is refreshing to know Illiana area researchers have financially supported this noteworthy society so that genealogical records will continue to be available for generations to come. The volunteers who devote countless hours to staffing the library, copying records, performing research, copying tombstones, etc., are to be thanked for their hard work. Additional volunteers are always needed; perhaps a New Year’s resolution could include contacting IGHS and making a personal commitment to help in some way.
The collection of genealogical materials at the Illiana Genealogy Library is one of the best in the state. The research records that are available include county and township histories; Vermilion County, Illinois Marriage Records, 1826-1915;Vermilion County, Illinois Birth Records, 1877-1900; Vermilion County, Illinois Death Records, 1877-June 1902; Vermilion County, Illinois census records, 1830-1920; Vermilion County, Illinois probate records/wills, 1830-1956; and Vermilion County, Illinois naturalization records, 1860September 1906.
This library also has cemetery tombstone inscriptions, obituaries, Quaker books, city directories, school yearbooks, plat books, pedigree charts of members, family histories, family files, and land records.
IGHS members and/or members of the Governor Bradford Chapter of the DAR may use the library materials free; others are asked to donate $2 per day for the use of the library.
Mail requests can be made for a fee. Members of IGHS can request a volunteer to perform two hours of research for $16; non-members can request two hours of research for $22. The fee includes research in the materials mentioned above plus five pages of photocopies free; additional pages cost 25 cents each. Allow four to six weeks for large research requests.
A membership in IGHS is $20 per calendar year — a bargain for anyone doing research at the Illiana Genealogy Library. The winter hours of the library (until March 31) are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hours may change due to bad weather. Therefore, when in doubt, call 431-8733. Visit the IGHS Web site at http://www.illianaghs.org.
Queries, as well as a general exchange of genealogical material that readers would like to share, will be printed in the column for free. Contact Joan Griffis by e-mailing JBGriffis@aol.com