Nobody knows what might someday occupy the building at 17 W. North St., but for 122 years it was the home of the Commercial-News. The proud inscription above the door reads, “THE PAPER THAT DOES THINGS.”

The Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Ind., is the home of The Genealogy Center, “the best single research stop for family historians between Salt Lake City and the East Coast.”

The handbills James M. Rees posted left no doubt he wanted his property back and his wife jailed. It noted he would pay a “A Liberal Reward” to anyone who would arrest the pair or let him know where they were.

Good Sunday morning, everyone! The season of giving thanks is upon us. It is easy to be grateful for the life you are living when you see so many others that struggle.

DNA websites and 23andMe have pledged to keep their users’ DNA data private, but recently a Florida judge approved a warrant to search GEDmatch’s database of nearly 1 million users — which is likely to encourage other agencies to request similar search warrants.

Good Sunday morning, everyone! I wanted to give an update on our 2019/2020 United Way Campaign. Thank you everyone who have already donated or pledged. We have been busy, and we are so grateful for that.

The Illinois State Genealogical Society has recently posted a blog announcing that a statewide database trial, Try-It! Illinois, will be offered through the end of November. Try-It Illinois 2019, the 19th annual statewide database trial, is sponsored by Secretary of State Jesse White and the…

Good Sunday morning, everyone! This time of year is very busy at the United Way office with not only the United Way 2019/2020 campaign in full force but with the beginning of the Christmas season through the Toys for Tots program.

"Hearing is listening to what is said. Listening is hearing what isn’t said.” — Simon Sinek

I get hot under the collar when I hear young people called “snowflakes.” I know it’s just the 21st Century version of “rock and roll will be the end of civilization as we know it,” but it still riles me. I wonder whether the complainer has ever known one of those kids, or are they judging an…

The U.S. Census Bureau has been hosting meetings around the country to answer questions about jobs and the hiring process in preparation for the taking of the 2020 census. A website at provides job details — overview and job qualifications — and answers to freque…

Good Sunday morning, everyone! As we go out, asking for our community to support our local United Way again this year, it is important for our residents to understand what and why we fund certain programs through local agencies.

Good Sunday morning, everyone! These days with all us of being pulled in many different directions, and life being so busy, we need to make sure we take care of our minds.

The sweet gum tree was losing battles with time and the elements. Three years ago, more than half the tree’s mast gave in to a thunderstorm. Last week, the remainder of top and a portion of the trunk was blown away by a strong south wind that swept across the prairie.

Genealogist Amy Johnson Crow has written a useful article, “Using the 1890 Civil War Veterans’ Census,” which can be read at Since most of the 1890 U.S. Population Census was destroyed, it is important to locate other sources that can provide helpful data for th…

The State of Illinois is noted for its free online access to the state’s genealogical records — including military records. For a better understanding of its collections of military records, a pamphlet, Genealogical Research Series Pamphlet No. 3: Military Records, available at https://tinyu…

The recent reopening of the restored Fischer Theater brings to mind the grand opening of the same building – then known as the Grand Opera House – on Nov. 5, 1884.

The fires from the distant burning buildings reminded Captain Joe Truax of the prairie fires he had seen back in Vermilion County. He was an officer in the 35th Illinois Volunteer Infantry and was fighting his way across the South in the Civil War.

Dick Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter recently reported on “a valuable gem.” The website called Unsplash “(dedicated to sharing stock photography) … claims over 110,000 contributing photographers and generates more than 9 billion photo impressions per month.”

Good Sunday morning, everyone! It’s happening all the time. Nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States according to the National Statistics Domestic Violence Fact Sheet. That is more than 10 million women and men a year.

“This is the best rest area I stop in, and I stop in a lot of them,” the Arizona truck driver said as he ate a snack at a picnic table at the Salt Kettle Rest Area on Interstate 74 west of Danville. He was a long-haul driver and he appreciated the park-like setting. He had just returned to t…

Utah’s governor recently signed a law that prevents law enforcement officials from obtaining user data from such DNA testing companies as and 23AndMe without a search warrant. Read more at

My Grandfather Dawless died in 1959. I was only 4, but I remember him. A few photos show that he was mighty proud of his seven little grandchildren.

Good Sunday morning, everyone! We are asking individuals in Danville and surrounding communities to help us determine what our focus should be in the coming years.

Ghost stories and haunted houses are hardly related to genealogical research — or are they? On a personal note, an ancestor of mine, Rebecca Cornell, appeared as a ghost to her brother, John Briggs, to reveal her murderer. This was all documented in Rhode Island court records and detailed in…

Good Sunday morning, everyone! October is upon us this week and there is a lot about October and the beginning of fall that we can all love. Although the topic for today isn’t as pretty and popular, it is truly needed.

Danville’s new high school opened 95 years ago this month. When Francis Watkins walked in the new school on opening day in 1924. she recalled her first impression was, “This is grand!”

The most recent issue of the Iliana Genealogical & Historical Society’s (IGHS) quarterly publication, Illiana Genealogist (Vol. 55, No. 3, Fall 2019), has been sent to the society’s members and is available to view or purchase at the Iliana Genealogy Library, 215 W. North St., Danville, …

A college student needs a special place to read … some quiet, comfy little nest, far from blaring stereos, overheard conversations and other annoyances.

Mike Rodriguez purchased a photo album at a flea market in Texas for $8 and then realized its pages were filled with family information and photographs — all pertaining to people in Madison County, Illinois.

Good Sunday morning everyone! In the last couple of weeks, myself and my two volunteers, they are the ones with the physical strength and truck and trailer, made life a little easier for several families in the Vermilion County area. I think I need a name for this duo besides Dave1 an Dave2.…

He was an unusual archeologist, but he was well-equipped for a dig. Those sharp front claws made him the leading backhoe of the small mammals that frequented the farm from time to time.

The Illinois State Genealogical Society’s (ISGS) website ( provides a link to “How Lincoln Saved Her Husband,” an article in the ISGS Quarterly (Summer 2019) that tells of a long-forgotten document that is finally in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

The Vermilion County Administration Building, 201 N. Vermilion St., is an architectural gem and a tribute to Danville’s most-renowned permanent resident: U.S. House Speaker Joseph G. Cannon.

Good Sunday morning, everyone! We live every day in the pursuit of happiness, each of us with our own idea as to what that is and how we are going to get there.

Genealogist Joe Beine has posted his Genealogy Roots Blog, at, notifying researchers he has updated his Online Searchable Death Indexes & Records Website (USA). Included in this update is Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947 at FamilySearch. (Conduct a s…

Not that long ago, our family fleet consisted of three vehicles, all with manual transmissions: Laurie’s 5-speed Toyota Camry, my 3-speed Ford pickup and my weekend toy, a 4-speed Chevy, built in 1930.

Good Sunday morning, everyone! I came across the topic of waiting, not patiently waiting, unfortunately. It was very eye opening of how we have become this hurry, instant gratification kind of society.

Progress in the city of Danville, and America’ s love affair with the automobile, ended the tenure of one of the city’s landmarks in 1932.

Good Sunday morning, everyone! Last weekend was one of those horrific weekends. Mass shootings, taking innocent lives and affecting the lives of countless others for years to come.

This Week's Circulars


Dorothy Alice Skinner, 71, of Perrysville, Ind., died Tuesday evening, December 3, 2019, at Franciscan Health East, Lafayette, Ind. She was born June 25, 1948, east of Danville, Ill., the daughter of Daniel Lawrence Mitchell and Myrtle Alice Taylor Mitchell. Dorothy graduated from Westville …

Barbara Ann Kester, 89,of Veedersburg IN, died December 4, 2019 at the Waters of Covington. Funeral service 1:00 PM Saturday December 7, 2019 Dickerson Funeral Home, in Veedersburg. Visitation begins at 11:00 AM Saturday