Illinois Ancestors: Well-known genealogist stepping down

Illinois Ancestors: Well-known genealogist stepping down

Well-known genealogist and speaker Loretto Dennis ("Lou") Szucs has officially retired from her top position at Ancestry "to spend more time with her family." Also well-known for her many books, including "The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy," she has been a longtime member of the Illinois State Genealogical Society, has held various positions in several genealogical societies for the past 20-plus years, and has helped hundreds of genealogists with their research. Congratulations, Lou, for all you've done for the genealogical community at large.

New digital magazine

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) has launched a new digital publication, "NGS Monthly," which is available for all to read/download at The editor, Melissa Johnson, has stated, "The inaugural articles will set the stage for future content. The lead article in the launch issue, 'What is an NGSQ Case Study?' will help NGS members understand the purpose, significance, and structure of the case studies that appear in NGSQ [the NGS Quarterly], and the second article, 'Eight Tips For Deconstructing an NGSQ Case Study,' provides a look at some individual elements of a case study."

The March issue's articles are "The Proof is in the Writing" and "The Great Mix-up: Sources, Information, Evidence, and Proof." From the website mentioned above, click on "Read More" under the desired article; then click on "printer friendly" to select a printing option.

Members of NGS enjoy many benefits! In addition to the NGS Quarterly, members receive the NGS Magazine and Upfront with NGS blog, and have access to NGS databases and archives. For more information visit

Hillary's Celtic roots

As an avid fan of genealogist Megan Smolenyak, I was pleasantly surprised to learn of an article she recently wrote for a magazine that I had not been familiar with. The beautiful magazine, "Irish America," can be read at

Smolenyak has two articles in this issue: "Hillary Rodham Clinton's Celtic Roots" and "Irish Soldiers in World War I." Other articles include "Rare Photograph of 'Fully' Kearney: President Obama's Irish Ancestor Discovered," "How Hillary Helped End the Irish Conflict," "Brooklyn Was the New Ireland" and more! Beautifully illustrated in color, this publication can be enjoyed by all — not just those of Irish descent.

It appears that this website requires that one must login in order to copy/download these articles. According to information found online, "Issuu is the leading digital publishing platform delivering exceptional reading experiences of magazines, catalogs, and newspapers ... You can currently sign up as an individual or a business to publish on issuu for free. For more information, visit

Nevertheless, the magazine, "Irish America," can be read online without further action.

Genealogist's warning

Megan Smolenyak has expressed concern over wrong data in family histories — especially those of celebrities. In a recent article, "Hillary Clinton Family Tree A Wake-up Call For Genealogists," she observed that all researchers who researched Hillary "had a quarter of her family tree wrong" — by following information on the wrong Hannah Jones born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, around 1882. Her observations can be read at

Her final remark is worth noting. "If everyone got a quarter of Hillary Clinton's tree wrong, what about yours? Are the names adorning your family tree really your ancestors or just crowd-sourced fiction?" These are wise words, especially for anyone whose research is based on information provided by others!

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.

Sections (1):Living