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 Illinois State Library.

Library staff and library users will have the opportunity to survey and evaluate a wide variety of electronic resources. The list of resources can be found at

To register for Try-It! Illinois, visit and click “I am an Illinois librarian or a library user and would like to access ‘Try-It! Illinois’” on the right hand side of the screen. Enter your contact information, and the name of your local library. You will be contacted with login information.

Imposters could impersonate a relative

An eye-opening article at cites the possibility of an imposter using genetic testing results to “construct a fake genetic profile to impersonate someone’s relative. … Researchers have found that GEDmatch is vulnerable to multiple kinds of security risks.” It’s unfortunate that some people could be so malicious.

Blogs & websites

Genealogical researchers are wise to take advantage of the wealth of research tips and advice that is available on a regular basis in genealogical blogs. A website created by experts at Feedspot, “Top 100 Genealogy Blogs and Websites in 2019 for Genealogists and Family History Researchers,” lists these posts along with links to subscription sign-ups. Visit this list at and scroll down the list (there are 122 of them) and select those that appear to be relevant to your research.

Sleepover at the National Archives

“Have you ever wondered what happens in a museum after the building closes and the lights go out? Now’s your chance.”

A special sleepover at the National Archives Museum in Washington, D.C., is scheduled for Feb. 1-2; time: 6:30 pm Saturday until 8:30 am Sunday. The event is recommended for children 8-12 years old; chaperones must by 21 and older and adults must be accompanied by a child.

“During the fall sleepover, explorers will dive into our nation’s treasured records; explore the museum with a scavenger hunt; sleep in the Rotunda near the Declaration of Independence and Constitution; and make memories to last a lifetime."

Visit for details.

Has your local genealogical or historical society considered having a sleep-over as a fun fund-raiser?

DNA testing

Anyone who has received a DNA test kit as a gift or is considering buying one should read a recent post that advises the advantages and disadvantages of participating. Primarily, “it’s important to think carefully about your privacy before you take the test. … A DNA health test can upend your life.”

This important article can be found at “The most important thing is to go in with your eyes open. Know what to expect, realize the limits of the test and guard your privacy.”

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

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