9 March 2012                                             Geneseo Genealogy Group

 The March 10 presentation by Ellie Carlson, an Illinois Humanities Council Road Scholar, about late 19th century domestic life, and her portrayal in costume of Mrs. Mary Florence Potts, an inventor during that period, was outstanding and enjoyed by all.  

    Sirius Genealogy 2.0 at http://www.siriusgenealogy.com has completed its conversion from a blog to an online “community” for both amateur and professional genealogists. Membership is free. There are advertisements on the side, but there are useful web tools, Google Gadgets, links, and services there as well as places to post queries and contribute info, and news of interest to genealogical fans and pros alike. You may find something to help you in your research there.

    The Newberry Library in Chicago has completed the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries for all of the U.S. This free, online database covers every day-to-day changes in any county boundaries - from 1634 to 2000, for all of the U. S. This great resource is available online at http://publications.newberry.org/ahcbp. You can explore and overlay different types of info about the counties, check by year for what the boundaries were then, and more. It’s interesting to see how county boundaries changed. If you look, you’ll be surprised how many different counties that Henry County IL and its current area have been included within previously.

The University of Texas at Austin's Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection is an ongoing project online at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/index.html. The site is well organized and easy to use to find and see the  maps there for counties, states and countries all over the world. More maps are added regularly, and it is another good place to look for maps to assist your research.

Dakin Fire Insurance Maps, like the familiar Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, are excellent source for documentation of hundreds of different cities in different times and eras. The Dakin maps were created by the Dakin Publishing Company of San Francisco in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At http://digicoll.manoa.hawaii.edu/maps/index.php, the University of Hawaii, for example, has posted a digital collection of 79 maps of the major cities in that state. You can see the maps, search for particular features like parks and businesses, and post queries for the staff.

The University of Iowa Libraries has created a nice digital collection of 11 Iowa children’s diaries online at http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/diaries/index.php. These diaries were written between 1862 and 1907, and were provided from the collections at the Iowa Women’s archives, the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Old Capitol Museum. You can click to see the highlights of the collection, browse, or look around by decade. These diaries can help you get a better feel for what your ancestors then may have experienced, feared, felt or fretted about then.

It’s also interesting to see what homework was like years ago!


When we meet again on April 13, the 1940 census will be accessible online. You can bookmark and go to http://1940census.archives.gov now to see a video about it, and then later be able to more quickly get to it when it’s finally available. The National Archives also has the ”Research Our Records” page at http://www.archives.gov/research/census/1940/finding-aids.html just for   the 1940 census with lots of info, instructions, help and links to resources that you will want to use in your research for your ancestors’ locations in 1940. Be ready to find your people in the 1940 census after April 2, 2012 at 8 a.m. CDT….…..                               Cathy M. Stone


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