Joan Griffis

Joan Griffis

Illinois Ancestors | Marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day

Thursday, June 6, will mark the 75th anniversary of an important event in World War II: D-Day. That event saw American forces and their allies land on the beaches of Normandy.

Illinois Ancestors | Mayflower 400th anniversary plans in full swing

The year 2020 will mark the 400th anniversary of the historic voyage of the Mayflower ship from Plymouth UK to the Plymouth Colony.

Illinois Ancestors | Original Emancipation Proclamation on display

The 156th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation will be celebrated by having a free display of the original document at National Archives from April 14-16. The National Archives Museum is located in Washington, D.C., on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW, and the building will be open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.

Illinois Ancestors | Quarterlies can be gold mine for researchers

Genealogical societies have been publishing magazines for their members for decades.

Illinois Ancestors | Historic German newspapers available online

Newspapers can be an import source of family information (births, deaths, marriages, baptisms, intentions to migrate, retirements, etc.) Genealogists have learned to depend on English-language newspapers and noted genealogist Ernest Thode has provided an easy way to conduct similar searches in German-language newspapers in his book, "Historic German Newspapers Online." (This second edition incl

Illinois Ancestors | Time to be a part of genealogy societies

Genealogical societies are the backbone of genealogical research. For decades, they have been transcribing, indexing and publishing genealogical resources, educating researchers with workshops, conferences and webinars, and promoting good research practices.

All of this can be costly; thus, these societies depend on revenue from membership fees and other donations.

Illinois Ancestors | Remembering Pearl Harbor

It's been 77 years since that "date which will live in infamy" — Dec. 7, 1941 — the date that the Japanese bombed U.S. ships that were stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Few World War II veterans are alive today that remember that event; but none will forget. Also, all Americans should participate in remembering — or at least learning about that terrible date.

Illinois Ancestors | Veterans honored at 100th anniversary of end of WWI

This year, Nov. 11 will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The day was originally called Armistice Day but more recently called Veterans Day. Veterans of World War I are being honored by various entities — countries, states, counties, individuals and national magazines:

Illinois Ancestors | Have readers noticed shift in column's publication?

After 21 1/2 years of offering "Illinois Ancestors" as a weekly genealogy column to its readers, The News-Gazette has decided to reduce the publication of the column to monthly instead of weekly.

Illinois Ancestors | FamilySearch posts strategy for records preservation

FamilySearch has taken on the "nearly impossible feat' of preserving all genealogical records around the world, sometimes with 330 cameras operating in 50 countries and capturing as many as 40 million digital images of records each year.