State Focused Research | Illinois
I'm starting this series with Illinois because it's my home state. I thought about starting with Delaware, the first official state, and moving down the list. Or maybe alphabetical. But finally decided upon this rather random selection. I think it will progress just as randomly, sometimes it's good to be surprised!
Some of my favorite research sites are slightly off-radar by today's definition.
First I'd like to talk about Genealogy Trails. From their homepage: "Our goal is to help you track your ancestors through time by transcribing genealogical and historical data and placing it online for the free use of all researchers. We are all about adding data for you to use in researching your family lines!!!We know that what you're looking for is data -- and we have LOTS of it right here.Our hosts work continuously to bring you fresh, interesting and NEW data (well.... as new as hundred year old data can be!!!)" Pretty much everything you need to know to begin your Illinois research is contained within the pages of Illinois Genealogy Trails. This is a thorough, well thought out site - and they are always looking for volunteers!
Companion Yahoo! Group: Genealogy Trails/Illinois
Next up, RAOGK. Another volunteer site. A treasure trove of links, well organized and easy to understand. From this site you can request look-up from a team of Illinois volunteers. Or add you name to the volunteer list id Illinois is your home-base.
ILGenWeb is an oldie but a goody! Volunteer based also, this database was founded in 1996! From their home page: "ILGenWeb isn’t an ordinary genealogy website. Ordinary websites are those where text and sometimes pretty pictures are present, but trying to get in touch with a real person to help you with your research… impossible. The strength of ILGenWeb is its many volunteers, some of whom have spent over a decade assisting others with their Illinois research. Using our county page visit the Illinois county your ancestors lived in and first try and find any information the county may freely provide on their pages (most have some sort of search built in). If the particular fact isn’t available online, then reach out to the county coordinator (cc) and they will try and assist you as best they can. Most county coordinators have their email address available on their website, though some will use contact forms."
Illinois State Wiki
Illinois State Catalog
State societies and archives include:
Illinois State Genealogical Society
Illinois State Historical Society
Illinois State Archives
A comprehensive list of newspapers can be found at The Ancestor Hunt's Illinois page.
For social context look at Illinois Digital Archives, DPLA Illinois Hub and the Newberry library
For Cook County/City of Chicago check these out:
Linkpendium: Cook County Genealogy
A Look At Cook
Encyclopedia of Chicago
As I discover more resources I'll update this post. Do you have any Illinois favorites that I've missed? Please share!
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