Illinois Ancestors: Dates set for genealogy conference and cruise

Illinois Ancestors: Dates set for genealogy conference and cruise

The 10th annual genealogy conference and cruise, hosted by Heritage Books Inc. in consultation with Wholly Genes, Inc., will be held aboard the Crown Princess, Nov. 29 through Dec. 6, 2014, and travel to the "Mexican Riviera."

It will include "approximately 17 hours of genealogy, technology and DNA lectures presented by the preeminent experts in their fields."

The scheduled speakers include Angie Bush (professional genetic genealogist), Cyndi (owner and creator of website Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet at, J. Mark Lowe, Craig Roberts Scott and Bill Litchman.

The cruise will leave Los Angeles and then cruise to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas and then return to Los Angeles. This event is almost always sold out so register early to avoid missing the opportunity to attend.

Visit for more information and links to registration. A cruise deposit is due May 15.

According to Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter (April 26), "In many ways, a genealogy cruise is similar to a genealogy conference in a convention center on land, only better. The scenery is better, the food is better, and all participants will have an opportunity to share a meal with a world-class genealogist or to schedule one-on-one time to discuss their specific research challenges."

Illinois public domain land

The Illinois State Archives has provided a most helpful website that explains Illinois Public Domain Land Tracts and offers a search of such records at

Click on "departments," then "Illinois State Archives," then "databases."

If a search is made for an individual, the results will show the land's legal description, section, township, range, meridian, date purchased and county. A click on a name will take one to a page with additional sale information including place of residence and price of land.

This website also provides specific information on the rectangular system, which was established to replace the previous "metes and bounds" system.

This system divides Illinois into 36-square-mile townships.

Each section within the township can then be further divided and a map illustrates these divisions.

"The database contains information about nearly 550,000 land sales from the 54,740 square miles of the public domain sold within Illinois."

Ohio society to change name

As of May 24, the organization known as the Ohio Historical Society will change its name to Ohio History Connection.

When the society was founded 60 years ago its name was The Ohio State Archeological and Historical Society. Since then some people have felt that the words "historical" and "society" were too exclusive and antiquated. The newest name change, the result of two years of research, "will usher in the next evolving generation of historical preservation [and] the word 'connection' better explains how people can access Ohio history."

For example, Ohio Memory has more than 426,000 items in its digital collection and The Ohio History Connection is digitizing 325,000 pages from 65 Ohio newspapers dating back to 1836.

Visit and "explore Ohio history through stories, photos, videos, and events."

Irish magazine update

Eileen Munnelly, publisher of the free eMagazine, "Irish Lives Remembered," has announced, "We have now gone bi-monthly — our next edition will be the May/June edition and will be available the first week of May." (This article is being written in April.)

"We are working on other titles and also provide contract publishing and we felt that it was a huge effort committing to a monthly magazine. Since we have made the decision it has freed up more time allowing us to grow other avenues of the business."

Genealogists (and others) who have been enjoying this free online publication are sure to be pleased that it will continue to be available at

This website also provides links to the 22 issues previously published. Each issue includes a featured section on a particular county in Ireland, providing valuable research information for each location.

Articles are also being prepared to continue the search for Irish records in specific U.S. states — with Illinois to be included sometime later this year.

Queries and 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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