Illinois Ancestors | FamilySearch posts strategy for records preservation

Illinois Ancestors | FamilySearch posts strategy for records preservation

FamilySearch has taken on the "nearly impossible feat' of preserving all genealogical records around the world, sometimes with 330 cameras operating in 50 countries and capturing as many as 40 million digital images of records each year.

David Ouimette manages the strategy team that decides which records to preserve. At is an interesting article explaining this research strategy and how individuals can help.

Ellis Island immigration records searchable online

FamilySearch and The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation Inc. announced that their complete collection of New York Passenger Arrival Lists from 1820-1957 are now searchable for free on the Internet.

The details of this announcement can be found at along with links to the Castle Garden New York Passenger Lists (1820-1891) at, the Ellis Island Passenger Lists (1892-1924) at and the New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists from 1925-1957 at

"Ellis Island replaced Castle Garden as the immigrant landing hub in 1892. ... Immigration records hold lots of clues about who they were, why they came, and what experiences they had." Famous people who passed through Ellis Island include composer Irving Berlin, and actors Bob Hope and Cary Grant.

An article by Gail Dever, at, notes that the Castle Garden website "identifies many immigrants whose final destination was Canada."

Free Illinois yearbooks online

The Ancestor Hunt has posted a list of links to free online high school and college yearbooks at Yearbooks are a "fun set" for a genealogist to search, providing information about an ancestor's life — interests, sports, clubs — "and often some goofy snapshots of them before they settled into being an adult." The website also offers links to some articles that "may convince you to research these gems. ... Some yearbooks are not searchable but are an image of each page in the yearbook."

Georgia's public libraries featured in online guide

Georgia's Treasures: Exploring Your Genealogy, History and Culture at Public Libraries is a most informative listing of that state's dozens of public libraries. At each facility's listing includes contact information, scope and important holdings. It should be noted that many libraries "collect museum-quality art and artifacts that highlight the cultural history of Georgia and its residents."

For example, the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library in Moultrie has an extensive collection of Scottish material, "with information on more than 130 Scottish clans and related groups."

"For the most up-to-date listing of online genealogy resources available at Georgia's public libraries and affiliated organizations, please visit"

Georgia Civil War veterans buried in Illinois

At is a list of prisoners of war from Georgia who died at Camp Douglas, Chicago, IL (1863-1865) as printed in the Macon Weekly Telegraph in 1866. Each entry includes the veteran's name, date of reported death, and military unit.

"Register of Confederate soldiers who died in Camp Douglas, 1862-65 and lie buried in Oakwoods Cemetery, Chicago, Ills., 1892" is booklet available at that includes veterans from Georgia. Each list has over 300 names of men from Georgia, not all the same.

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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