The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) has introduced a new advantage for being a member of that society: a series of video presentations to assist researchers who use libraries, archives and other research facilities in Illinois.

Called “Good To Know” presentations, these productions are only available in the “Members Only” section of the ISGS website (

The first four in this “Good To Know” series cover four repositories in the Illinois Regional Archives Depository System (IRAD). They pertain to IRAD locations in NIU at DeKalb, WIU at Macomb, SIU at Carbondale, and UIS at Springfield.

The presentations include a short introduction as well as information about parking locations, hours, contact information, whether you can bring electronic devices or pens/pencils inside, even where the outlets & vending machines are located—all essential information for anyone planning a research trip to these locations.

The Illinois State Archives has published a helpful booklet, Local Governmental Records Listings Arranged by County, which is available free at, and includes information on each of the 7 IRAD repositories and their holdings. IRAD information (including links to databases) is also available on the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office website at

Anyone wishing to become an ISGS member or who needs to renew a membership, can learn essential details and purchase a membership at

Copyright quiz

Judy G. Russell (“The Legal Genealogist”) has posted a Copyright Pop Quiz that illustrates copyright ownership by comparing two photographs. Visit and perhaps be surprised!

Women’s History Month

This month, which has been designated as Women’s History Month, is an appropriate time to celebrate the women in our families. Perhaps a new effort should be made to learn more about them — especially their maiden names.

For example, a google search ( for “Finding Female Ancestors” results in several websites and publications offering helpful suggestions including Find her marriage record; Research all of her children and their records that name their mother; Research other people identified in her household in census records.

Readers Digest has posted “30 Pioneer Women Who Changed The World" at, and names Susan B. Anthony, Marie Curie, and others. The mothers in our family tree are no less important and should be recognized.

German-American Families Identified

Carl Schlegel compiled four volumes between 1916 and 1926 presenting “the origin of German-American families in this country.” Each family history includes two or three generations prior to the immigrant ancestor and continues with four or five generations in America in the 18th or 19th century.

A list of the 213 main families in this monumental work, from Ackerman to Zobel, can be found at the publisher’s website, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., at Major genealogical libraries may have a copy of Schlegel’s "American Families of German Ancestry in the United States," “the largest collection of German-American genealogies ever published.”

Researchers may wish to look for their German family in this resource.

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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