The National Genealogical Society has posted a helpful article, “Nine Tips to Start Your Family Tree,” at . Be sure to click on appropriate links to other resources listed on the left side of the page.

For example, Free Genealogy Resources include free fillable pedigree charts and family group sheets. NGS books, trips, and courses might also be helpful resources to consider.

For additional information on NGS, phone (800) 473-0060.


The most recent issue of the Illinois State Genealogical Society’s “Newsletter” (Vol. 41, No. 4, July/Aug 2020) is now available online, free, at Included in this issue are the new “Tip from the Genealogist,” an updated list of virtual events, a list of “Who’s Who in ISGS,” and a special feature highlighting Hamilton County and other associate societies.

Be sure to save the date, Oct. 24, for ISGS’s Virtual Conference, “Seeking the Past, Envisioning the Future.”

Anyone with Illinois ancestors would be wise to check out the many publications (including several back issues of the “Quarterly”) that ISGS has for sale. Information on the online store can be found at Also visit the ISGS website’s Free Databases & Indexes page at


The Indiana Historical Society’s Jack Smith Lincoln Graphics Collection has more than 700 images of our 16th U.S. president, Abraham Lincoln, at By holding a cursor over any image, one can learn additional information: subject, date, and description.

For example, in 1869, U.S. currency included a 50-cent bill, with a portrait of Abraham Lincoln is on it. There is also a portrait of a young Abraham Lincoln “with tousled hair.”

Several Abraham Lincoln portraits are without his beard (which he grew after receiving a letter in 1860 from 11-year old Grace Bedell suggesting he grow one “to improve his appearance.” Lincoln was this country’s first fully bearded president.)

This collection of images is truly unique.


The Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) will award scholarships to up to three African American students, to cover up to $1,700 of the tuition, travel, and lodging expense of attending national genealogical institutes in 2021.

For example, the Midwest African American Genealogical Institute, based at the Allen County Library in Fort Wayne, is one of the five institutes listed and is scheduled for three days in early July 2021.

“Applicants are required to submit an essay and a sample of their genealogical research … (and) can be of any age, but should exhibit intermediate or higher skills that have prepared them for an in-depth learning experience.”

Applications for these scholarships are due Sept. 8. Read further BCG details at


The article in the National Archives publication, “Prologue” (Fall 2002, Vol. 34, No. 3), “An Overview of Records at the National Archives Relating to Military Service,” at, is sure to be helpful for genealogical researchers.

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

Recommended for you