Illinois Ancestors | Photos sought of veterans honored at Vietnam Wall

Illinois Ancestors | Photos sought of veterans honored at Vietnam Wall

The Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C., contains the names of more than 58,000 American veterans who were casualties of the Vietnam War. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) is committed to finding a photo of each of those named veterans. To date, fewer than 2,500 photos are still needed — 168 of them from Illinois. A list of these Illinois veterans can be seen at They include Troy C. Battles of Peoria, IL, born 12 July 1948, died 6 June 1968; John W. Clayton of Pekin, born 29 Aug. 1936, died 20 Nov. 1966; and Ferenc John Ramm of Danville, born 10 Dec. 1938, died 17 Dec. 1970.

Lists of missing photos of veterans from other states can also be viewed. Visit, select a state, and click on "missing."

A search for photos already in the collection can also be made. For example, Dennis W. Allen of Milford, born 18 Oct 1947, died 10 July 1968. Click on "more Information" to learn branch of service, rank, location of name on The Wall, and/or leave a "Remembrance" or read some of the "Remembrances" left by other friends or family.

The website includes instructions for submitting a veteran's photo online or by mail (access directly at One can also request a rubbing of the name on The Wall (free; done by VVMF volunteers.)

"Brought to you by the organization that built The Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Virtual Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring, remembering, and sharing the legacies of all those who died in the Vietnam War. Here you can go beyond the names on The Wall to see the faces, share the stories, and read the remembrances posted by friends, neighbors, classmates, and family members. ... To learn more about the effort to collect these photos and ensure their faces will never be forgotten visit"

RootsTech 2019 being planned

For almost 10 years Rootstech has been an innovative learning experience for thousands of genealogical researchers. Rootstech 2019 is scheduled for opening day to be Wednesday, Feb. 27, with sessions continuing through Thursday, Friday and Saturday of that week. Read some details at and make plans to attend. Registration begins Sept. 20.

Japanese-American histories now online

"The Rafu Shimpo online archive wasn't designed for genealogists ... [but] does provide researchers with many first-hand accounts of day-to-day life" of Japanese-Americans from the early 1900s to today, according to Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter at This Los Angeles publication grew to be the largest circulation newspaper published in Japanese in the U.S. A press release of this publication can be read at Access requires a one-time subscription.

Library of Congress scans photos

The world's largest library, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., is continually scanning the images in its collections of 14 million photographs and prints and making them available online. The LOC's website at, provides links to its prints and photographs in its online catalog. The collections include African-American Photographs Assembled for the 1900 Paris Exposition, Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints, Brady-Handy Collection, Baseball Cards, and Daguerreotypes from 1839-1864. It has been suggested to search for a specific location. For example, a search for Danville, Illinois, resulted in 160 photos, illustrations and prints. There are over 7,000 “hits” for Lincoln.

University newspapers now online

The Ancestor Hunt has posted links to 1,175 U.S. college and university student newspapers at Anyone whose ancestor attended one of these institutions may be pleasantly surprised at that student’s activities while at school — perhaps in athletics, a fraternal institution, etc. (Use quotation marks around a first and last name in order to search for that individual.)

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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