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 document is a transcript of Martha Ten Eyck’s speech in 1912, remembering how she begged Lincoln for his help nearly 50 years before in 1864, to get her husband released from Confederate imprisonment.

It is fortunate that ISGS is making this article available free to non-members. Perhaps there will be readers who will decide to become members in order to receive this informative journal on a regular basis.

On the left side of the ISGS homepage, click “join/renew.” It’s an easy process.

Societies to merge

The leaders of the National Genealogical Society and the Federation of Genealogical Societies have announced that they plan to merge these two organizations.

According to Dick Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, the “end result should be one national organization that can better serve the genealogy community and do so at significantly lower expense.” The official announcement can be found at This new group will continue to operate as the National Genealogical Society (

Cemetery video

Megan Smolenyak’s Honoring Our Ancestors August 21 newsletter ( includes a link to a video by The Genealogy Guys, George Morgan and Drew Smith, and their story about a unique Florida tombstone: Down Under – William & Nancy Ashley.

Ironically, that very cemetery has recently been in Florida’s news. View this video at and note its significance today by clicking on Smolenyak’s link to “fresh article about the very cemetery where we had taped.”

Chinese twins reunited

Smolenyak’s newsletter also has a link to a fascinating article in the Los Angeles Times, “One is Chinese; One is American. How a Journalist discovered and reunited identical twins.” Read the article at

Favorite heirlooms

Do you have a special family treasure, such as a monogramed spoon or a distinctive linen? Will your descendants know their significance? Read some advice on documenting such heirlooms at

Beginners take note!

Genealogist Sunny Jane Morton notes that “Online genealogy resources, where they exist, are usually scattered across several Internet locations. If you do find a record, the website itself can be confusing at best. If you’re just starting out researching your family history start at these ‘25 Best Genealogy Websites for Beginners,’” found at

Most of the sites listed are free, but an icon is provided to indicate those that require a fee. Hopefully experienced researchers are already familiar with the sites listed. For example, researchers have learned to search for names and places at google (

But how many are familiar with related sites on Morton’s list that should be considered: Google Translate, Google Books, and Google Earth?

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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