Illinois Ancestors: Article traces Irish ancestors in New Jersey

Illinois Ancestors: Article traces Irish ancestors in New Jersey

The January 2014 issue of the free online genealogy magazine Irish Lives Remembered focuses on New Jersey in the first of a series of American resources for tracing Irish ancestors. Joe Buggy's sites and sources may even be helpful for "seasoned researchers."

Fiona Fitzsimmons has written an article on Meryl Streep's McFadden and Strain families, who came from "everybody's favorite Irish county — Donegal" and settled in New Jersey.

Maureen Wlodarczyk's article, "Immigrant Life on the Cobblestone Streets of Jersey City, New Jersey," is the story of her ancestors, "just one of hundreds of thousands of such stories that ... form the patchwork of the American immigrant experience."

The issue also focuses on Dublin County North and South with 26 pages of resources and tips. (Dublin city in detail is covered in the February issue.)

With many more articles, illustrations, maps, lists of resources and current genealogical activities and publications, this 80-page magazine can be read/downloaded at and is sure to be helpful and enjoyed by anyone with Irish ancestry.

Birth certificate substitute

Birth certificates are required for a variety of situations. For example, such proof of birth may be needed in order to quality for Social Security, retirement benefits, or to apply for a passport. However, such proof of birth might not be available.

The U.S. Census Bureau provides an "age search" service by searching the federal population census of 1910 to 2010 and issuing an official transcript of the results for a "congressionally mandated fee" of $65.

The transcript "will list the person's name, relationship to household head, age at the time of the census, and state of birth." The full schedule, personal one-line entry of personal data for that one individual (except for the years 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000), can be furnished for an additional $10. State of birth and citizenship is only available in census records from 1910 to '50.

A completed BC-600 application for Search of Census Records, signed by the person for whom the search is to be conducted is required. Information regarding a child who has not yet reached the legal age of 18 may be obtained by written request of either parent or guardian. The BC-600 form may be requested from the Personal Census Search Unit, U.S. Census Bureau, P.O. Box 1545, Jeffersonville, IN 47131; phone 812-218-3046; fax 812-288-3371.

Additional information on this service can be found online at This website also has links to other interesting information. For example, Other Genealogy Data includes a list of frequently occurring surnames from the 2000 census.

The name Smith heads the list with 2,376,206 occurrences, followed by Johnson (1,867,160) and Williams (1,534,042).

Census records facts

A helpful publication, Factfinder for the Nation: Availability of Census Records About Individuals, at, contains census information that should be of interest to all genealogists.

For example, it includes all the questions asked on each census (1790 through 2000) and a chart listing the sources of some other useful records about individuals.

Societies on Facebook

A list of Genealogical & Historical Groups/Pages on Facebook (in English) is available as a free downloadable PDF file with several thousand links at

It should be noted that the list fails to include the Illiana Genealogical & Historical Society, the oldest incorporated genealogical/historical society in Illinois. (The society's 50th year celebration banquet is Sept. 27.)

The IGHS website is and on Facebook at

Visit this URL for links to photos, events, and posts by others. There is a "mystery photo" to be identified and an interesting article was posted on 13 June 2013, "Your ancestor's birth date tells you what wars he may have fought in (1726-1936.)"

IGHS library

The IGHS Library, 215 W. North Street, Danville, has a most impressive collection of research materials, having been gathering them for the past 50 years.

Lowell Volkel, the society's first president, and Charles Haggerty, of the Danville Public Library, were most influential in the library's beginnings and continued growth.

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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