Monday, July 28, 2014

WWI Draft Registration Cards

World War I officially began one hundred years ago today. WWI is a particularly fascinating time period to research and one of my favorite military records collections is the United States World War I Draft Registration Cards.

Beginning in May 1917, the Selective Service Act authorized President Wilson to increase the size of the US military. There were three draft registrations between 1917 and 1918:

  • June 5, 1917: All men residing in the US between the ages of 21 and 31 
  • June 5 and August 24, 1918: Registered men who had turned 21 since June 5, 1917
  • September 12, 1918: All men between 18 and 45
About 24 million men were registered--and these were not just American citizens. All men living in the US regardless of their citizenship were required to register. If an ancestor wasn't naturalized, a draft card may be the only place you can find an exact birth date and place of birth for them. Other information typically found in these records includes: address, occupation and employer, name and address of nearest relative, citizenship status, physical description and signature.

Remember that just because an ancestor has a draft registration card does not mean that they served in the war. The draft cards do not include any information about WWI military service. 

You can search for WWI Draft cards through Ancestry or FamilySearch.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Intro to Ancestry

Want to learn how to use Come to our class on Tuesday, July 22 at 6pm! Learn how to perfect your searches and start finding your ancestors.

Register online or call 847-729-7500.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Free Resources

You can always access Ancestry Library Edition for free while you're in the library but when you're at home and don't have a subscription to Ancestry, there are free resources you can access through their site.

You can search Ancestry's Free Index Collection. Search through selected collections of indexes. You may not always be able to view full records without a subscription but you can still find some great information.

You don't need a paid subscription to create a family tree on Ancestry. Upload information about your family and Ancestry will give you "hints" of records that might be applicable to ancestors; however, you'll need a subscription to view the full record.

And you can always take advantage of Ancestry's Learning Center. Videos and research guides can help you further your research.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Chicago Ancestors

Steve Szabados shared some great information last night on where to search for your Chicago ancestors.

Here are some of my favorite links for Chicago genealogy:

Chicago Ancestors -- be sure to check out the Tools section
Chicago Genealogy
A Look at Cook
Encyclopedia of Chicago
Cook County Genealogy
Cook County Naturalization Records
Cook County Assessor

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Researching Your Chicago Ancestors

Do you have Chicago Ancestors? Join us on Wednesday, July 9, and discover what sources are available and where they can be found. Databases discussed will include vital records, church records, state records, federal records, employment records, histories of the neighborhoods and many more. The sources that are reviewed will include online websites, genealogy collections held at the major libraries, collections at local libraries and collections compiled by area genealogical societies.

This program will be presented by Steve Szabados who has given numerous presentations to groups in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan and Wisconsin and wants to share his passion for Family History. He is a member of the Illinois State Genealogical Society, the board of directors for the Polish Genealogical Society of America, and also a genealogy volunteer at the Arlington Heights Library. His roots are Polish and Hungarian plus he has also had success researching Slovenian and Bohemian records. He has also written three books that over his tips for beginning your research and also European research.

Register for the program online or call the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

New Irish Records Available

Recently, the Irish Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht allowed all pre-1901 Irish census records to be released online.

You can find the census collection and other searchable Irish archives here. Unfortunately, the pre-1901 census records are not complete. Here's a little bit of information from the Irish Times:
True censuses were taken in Ireland every 10 years from 1821, a full two decades before anywhere else in what was then the United Kingdom.  
By the time the 1911 census had been completed, there were full sets of no fewer than eight censuses in existence, the earliest four transferred to the Public Record Office, the others still held by the Office of the Registrar-General, the body responsible for census-taking after 1851.
Then things started to go horribly wrong. 
First, at some point during the first World War, the Registrar-General ordered the 1881 and 1891 returns to be pulped, for reasons that are still murky. (The 1861 and 1871 returns had already been destroyed, shortly after the censuses were taken, again for reasons that remain unclear.)  
And then, of course, in June 1922 the Public Record Office was destroyed and every single item held in its Strong Room, including the four earliest censuses, was obliterated without trace. 
All that survived of them were the few bits and pieces that happened to be in use in the reading room or out for conservation: 29 parishes in Galway, Offaly and Meath (1821); 42 parishes in Derry (1831); part of Killeshandra (1841); parts of 14 parishes in Antrim (1851).
 So you can't search for census records for all of Ireland but it's still a great collection to have digitized and searchable (for free!) online. The National Archives of Ireland have a lot of other resources on their website to help with your Irish genealogy.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Genealogy First Tuesday

Drop by the Genealogy & Local History Room this Tuesday between 2-4:30 pm for individual help with your genealogy. Meet other genealogists and use all of the library's great resources!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wings Over Glenview

Students from Glenbrook South High School and local resident Lisa Zimbler produced a documentary about the history of the Glenview Naval Air Station. The documentary includes oral histories with some of the men who were stationed at the base.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Beginning Genealogy

Learn how to start your researching your genealogy! We're having a class on Beginning Genealogy next Thursday, June 5 at 2pm. Register for the class online or call the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500 x7700.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

FamilySearch Class

We're having an evening class on FamilySearch next week. Come learn more about this excellent free database on Wednesday, May 21 at 6pm. Register online or call the Reference Desk at 847-729-7500 x7700.