Illinois Ancestors | Cemetery restoration workshop is Saturday

Illinois Ancestors | Cemetery restoration workshop is Saturday

The Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green St., U, will be hosting a two-part cemetery restoration workshop. Part one will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday in Lewis Auditorium at the Urbana Free Library. John Heider, a professional gravestone conservator, will teach how to properly care for Illinois cemeteries and grave markers. Participants will also learn how to document a cemetery, repair and reset certain types of grave markers, and how to probe for unmarked graves. Part two will consist of field work in Roselawn Cemetery, from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday or from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The workshop is limited to 20 participants and is free, but registration is required. Contact the Archives at 217-367-4025 or Visit for an illustrated brochure.

RIP Lloyd Dewitt Bockstruck

The genealogical community has lost one of its "giants of genealogy." Lloyd Dewitt Bockstruck, prolific author, librarian, educator and lecturer, died Sunday, May 27, in Dallas, Texas, at the age of 73. An Illinois native, he received degrees from Greenville College, Southern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Urbana. He also received a certificate from the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Stamford University and was well-known for his work at the Dallas Public Library. For many years he authored the genealogy column, "Family Tree," in the Dallas Morning News. He also wrote numerous articles for genealogy magazines and newsletters. He will be greatly missed.

Immigrants to U.S. entered in many ports

Millions of immigrants arrived at New York's Ellis Island, which opened in 1892, and this port is an excellent starting point for researching immigrant arrivals. However, earlier arrivals to New York City were processed through New York's Castle Garden. A search of Castle Garden records can be made at

Other ports that saw the influx of immigrants included Boston and Galveston, Texas. Read David A. Fryxell's article in FamilyTree Magazine, "15 Websites for Finding Immigration Records," at

Poorhouse records of Ulster County, N.Y.

Transcriptions of early archival records of Ulster County, New York's Hall of Records include Poorhouse Admission Records, 1838-39, 1852, 1875, and 1880-1900. These records can be searched at Researchers may also wish to take advantage of additional links on this website; e.g., poorhouse projects, photo gallery and burial records (1838-1954.)

YouTube has many genealogy videos

Ellen Anderson has attempted to gather information on all the active YouTube channels that provide "regular educational or entertaining genealogical content" that would appeal to a wide audience. She has made such a list available at Her two top favorites are Family History Fanatics and The Barefoot Genealogist.

FamilySearch has saved world's records

Anyone who has ever wondered why FamilySearch has such a vast collection of records from around the world, should read the article, "FamilySearch's Strategy to Help Preserve the World's Archives" at World War II was about to take its toll. "Near the dawn of the war, before Hitler's troops invaded Poland in 1939, Archibald Bennett, the secretary of the Genealogical Society of Utah, the predecessor of FamilySearch, issued a plea to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to preserve 'priceless original records containing genealogical data.'"

Thus, the microfilming of records from around the world was begun, and copies were stored in a granite mountain in Utah.

Family history in unexpected places

Nutfield Genealogy has posted an informative article, "10 Unexpected Places to Find Family History Online," at No doubt there may be some researchers who already have used one or more of the resources mentioned in this article, but the list is important. Note that comments from readers emphasize that the best resources are not on the Internet.

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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