Illinois Ancestors: ISU yearbooks available online

Illinois Ancestors: ISU yearbooks available online

Researchers who are interested in the Illinois State University (aka Illinois State Normal University prior to 1964) will be pleased to learn that a collection of yearbooks, published from 1892 to 1994, is being made available online free at

The three yearbooks that have been in existence are The Index (1892-1971), the New Student Record (1975-94) and the Graduate Record (1975-93.) The website provides a list of the yearbooks along with links to online copies.

(It is noted that "the Graduate Record, volumes 1984-88 and 1992, were either not published or none were available for digitization.") There are several options available for viewing the books online. This information comes from the Illinois State Genealogical Society blog.

Founding Fathers' papers

The National Archives and Records Administration has posted the papers of the six founding fathers of the United States online at

The correspondence and other writings of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams (and family), Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison comprise "over 119,000 searchable documents fully annotated, from the authoritative Founding Fathers Papers projects."

For example, a search for "Aaron Burr" (using quotation marks) results in 481 "hits," each including a sampling of the writing about him — most interesting reading, especially for anyone wishing to research this individual. (It includes information on his marriage as well the remarriage of his widow.)

Anyone researching a Revolutionary War-era individual, might learn of new details in this valuable database.

This information comes from Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, July 3.

Gravestone preservation

Eastman, in his July 5 newsletter, has recommended the writings of Jonathan Appell to anyone seeking expert advice on tombstone preservation.

Appell's website, Cleaning Gravestones, Monuments, and Stone Sculptures (, should be bookmarked for continual reference. His helpful articles should also be studied; visit

For example, some often-overlooked advice: "If the stone shows signs of chipping, scaling, flaking, or other forms of deterioration, do not clean. You will do more harm than good."

ALPL collections

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library has more than 172,000 books and pamphlets, 3,000 maps and 1,200 periodical series.

To learn more about the library's printed sources visit From this site, one can also learn about searching online or borrowing on interlibrary loan.

Many of the materials in the ALPL are helpful to researchers, and over the years the library staff has compiled helpful guides to the library's holdings. Links to theses guides (which are in PDF format) are available by clicking on Collection Guides and Bibliographies on the website above, or by going directly to

Topics include Census Reports of the French in Illinois, Cherry Mine Disaster, Civilian Conservation Corps, Confederate Regimental Records, Navies of the Civil War, Sultana Disaster and more.

"Life in Saudi Arabia"

The Illiana Genealogical & Historical Society will host Renee Carver on July 27 as she presents "Life in Saudi Arabia" at the Illiana Genealogy Library after a dinner at 6 p.m.

Carver and her husband, Charles, moved to Danville from North Cypress, where he had been director of the Heart Institute at King Faisal Hospital and Research Center in Saudi Arabia. He is chief medical officer of Presence United Samaritans Medical Center.

The cost of the dinner (consisting of slightly Americanized Mideastern fare) and presentation is $15 per person.

Reservations may be made by calling 431-8733.

Queries, genealogical questions from researchers and genealogical materials readers would like to share will be printed in this column free. Joan Griffis may be reached via email at or by sending a letter to Illinois Ancestors, c/o The News-Gazette, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.

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