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The Honor Roll Project, posted by Heather Wilkinson Rojo at, is seeking volunteers on Veterans Day (Nov. 11) to “photograph a local honor roll or war monument and transcribe the names.” The data will be posted and made available for researchers.

According to the website, several locations already have veterans’ names posted on the website: including two monuments in Illinois: the World War I Honor Roll at Naperville and also the Korean War Memorial at Oakbridge Cemetery in Springfield. Visit for more information.

There are many such monuments in Illinois and elsewhere with names of veterans to be remembered. What a wonderful way to honor veterans on Veterans Day — by participating in this special project.

NARA digitizes Navy Muster Rolls

The National Archives & Records Administration has announced that more than 500 volumes of U.S. Navy Muster Rolls have been digitized and are accessible to the public through the National Archives Catalog.

“These records are the official lists of enlisted sailors assigned to different ships from 1861 to 1879.” The data includes “names, birthplaces, ages, discharges, and physical description of enlisted seamen but also information on contraband sailors, which referred to African-Americans who escaped enslavement and served in the Navy during the Civil War.” Read more about this project at

Columnist cites 'messy consequences' of DNA testing

The combined efforts of a genealogist and law enforcement that resulted in the identification of the “Golden State Killer” has also enabled the solving of other cases. However, Dick Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter has called attention to some “messy consequences” of DNA testing. His article can be read at; the one he references is at

Collection of war letters

The Center for American War Letters at California’s Chapman University is a manuscript collection of war letters “from every American conflict, beginning with handwritten missives composed during the Revolutionary War and continuing up to emails sent from Iraq and Afghanistan.” Samples of these letters can be read at, including a letter from a WWII soldier with a bullet hole through it.

Ultimately, the center hopes to become “the nation’s largest and most preeminent archive of personal wartime correspondences.” More information can be found at

An article in telling of the beginnings of this collection by “one intrepid historian,” Andrew Carroll, can be read at

Historic materials plentiful at library

According to a recent posting online at, the History Room of Peoria’s Public Library has a wealth of material for local history buffs as well as genealogists tracing their family histories. “The history room maintains thousands of historic books, photos, and microfilm newspaper records …[with] some of the more fragile artifacts kept in a back room not generally open to patrons.”

The library’s History Room is located in lower level one of the library’s main branch, 107 NE Monroe, and is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Local researchers should check out this gold mine of valuable resources.

2019 webinars scheduled

The Illinois State Genealogical Society continues to provide free monthly webinars for the genealogical community at large at 8 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.

The remaining webinars for 2019 will be:

— Nov. 12: “Chicago Research: Planning is the Key to Success.” Presenter: Jeanne L. Bloom

— Dec. 10: “Illinois Servitude & Emancipation Records.” Presenter: Anita Boyd

Visit for webinar descriptions and links to registration.

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.