The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) is pleased to announce the names of officers that were elected at the Annual Membership Meeting on October 17, 2021. These include President Vicki Dixon Mattson of Waukegan and First Vice President Tina Beard of Oswego. Biographies of these and other officers and directors can be found on the ISGS blog at

New Irish e-magazine online

The latest issue of the free e-magazine, Irish Lives Remembered, Issue 54, Autumn 2021, is now available at Included in this colorful, educational publication is information on the surname O’Hanlon of Orior (in County Armagh). One doesn’t have to have Irish ancestry to enjoy this magazine.

Nominations sought

Was there a notable genealogist in your county or state that deserves special recognition? The National Genealogical Society (NGS) is currently seeking nominations for its prestigious Hall of Fame award. Read details at or call 1-800-473-0060. Deadline for submissions is December 15, 2021. ( It should be remembered that Illinois genealogist, Lowell M Volkel, had been nominated by ISGS and elected to the NGS Hall of Fame in 2008.)

Asian research now easier

FamilySearch has posted an article illustrating how a researcher, Derek Dobson, has learned about record indexing and Asian research at Also Christie Chiang uses a FamilySearch clue to discover living relatives and a treasured ancestral Jaipu (Chinese genealogy book of her clan) at

Ghosts seen at Civil War sites

With current trick or treat activities limited by COVID-19 restrictions, perhaps this year’s Halloween events could include reading some spooky books about ghosts. For example, “Ghosts of the Civil War: Exploring the Paranormal History of America’s Deadliest War” by Rich Newman (MN: Llewellyn Publications. 2017) identifies160 battlefields, forts, and other locations along with historical and tourist information and ghostly sightings at each site. Readers are encouraged to visit and experience similar encounters. Newman’s other books are detailed at Check your local library for availability.

Another author specializing in ghostly sightings is Troy Taylor, whose website at, American Hauntings: Haunted History, Books, Tours, and Events, provides links to enough ghostly things for Halloween and the months ahead. For example, on Feb. 12, 2022, there will be a special event in Alton, Illinois, Dead of Winter; for details visit

Past Halloween tricks

Lisa (“Are You My Cousin?) Lisson has posted some of her family’s Halloween tricks and treats at What tricks and/or treats were your family’s favorites? (I’ll bet they weren’t anything like Lisa’s family’s “flaming cow poop. Yes, you read that right!”)

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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