Illinois Ancestors: New genealogy course offered

Illinois Ancestors: New genealogy course offered

The National Genealogical Society has announced the release of its newest course, American Genealogy Studies: The Basics. This course is to be the first in a series of online courses developed by NGS "to help those interested in finding their family."

This self-paced course is intended for those who are beginning their research, or for those who wish a quick refresher on the latest updated genealogical information. The course consists of four modules that must be completed in order: Getting Started; Create a Research Plan; Home Sources; and Family Traditions and Connecting with Others.

The introductory price is $30 for NGS members or $45 for nonmembers. Visit the society's website for complete information at

National Archives moves

It had been announced that about 398 cubic feet of personnel-related records are being moved from the National Archives at College Park, Md., to the National Archives at St. Louis.

A helpful guide that explains the holdings of this facility can be found at

Although the records held by the National Archives at St. Louis are described, they cannot be accessed from the website. One may access records by visiting the Archival Research Room in person; an appointment can be scheduled from the website. Or one could employ an independent researcher or one could submit a written request by mail (by following the instructions on the website.)

On a personal note, I have requested a specific search by mail and although the records I sought were not found, I can be reasonably certain that the National Archives does not have the personnel records I requested.

Revolutionary War burials

It has been estimated that 3,500 veterans of the American Revolutionary War are buried in Indiana. The Indiana Society Sons of the American Revolution has catalogued over 2,200 such graves and posted additional personal data on such veterans on its website at

From this website one may conduct a search in the categories of name, state served, and/or county buried. For example, there are 20 Revolutionary War veterans buried in Fountain County, 10 in Vermillion County and 28 in Parke County.

Patriot details might include date of birth, date of death, place of burial, service pension number, marriage, children, and source of information.

For example, the data provided for John Judd states he was born 27 June 1761, Waterbury, New Haven County, Conn., the son of John Judd and Elizabeth Richards. He died 3 April 1825 in Parke County, Ind., and is buried in Adams Cemetery, Parke County. He married April 1793 in Chenango County, N.Y., to Hannah Lyman (born 28 Nov 1775, died 26 Jan 1840 Parke Co., Ind.) Information is also provided on their seven children (including names, dates, locations, spouses), his service in the military, and pension number. Cemetery information includes GPS data.

Thus it is apparent that this burial database includes much more than death information and the website should be checked for one's possible Indiana veterans of the American Revolution.

Photo albums: Obsolete?

Every family has a collection of photographs, either in albums or old shoe boxes, with cherished reminders of happy occasions. In today's fast-paced society, however, there seems to be less time to devote to organizing such collections and many photos today are on cell phones and other devices.

Heidi Glenn has written a helpful article, "In The Digital Age, The Family Photo Album Fades Away," which can be read at Some excellent advice is provided — including how to begin the organization process, making backups and proper storage.

On a personal note, as a Christmas surprise one of our children scanned hundreds of our slides and put them on CDs for us and gave extra copies to others in the family. They are also in Picasa on my computer and are being enjoyed more than when they were stored in slide containers.

Lost/found photos

Several websites have collections of old photographs that have been found in thrift stores and flea markets.

DeadFred offers a free search of a vast collection of identified photos at; click on "search photos."

Cyndi Howells' website has links to many other websites — including eBay — that offer photographs at

Such a quest can be time-consuming — but worth it if a family photo can be found!

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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