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Madison County Genealogical Society

P.O. Box 631
Edwardsville, IL 62025-0631


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Robert Ridenour
Last Update:
6 Feb 2015


Unless Otherwise Stated, All Meetings are at 7:00 p.m.,  in the Community Room of the Edwardsville Public Library, 112 South Kansas, Edwardsville, IL. 

June 11, 2015

1904 St. Louis World's Fair

Join us as Angela Collins-Custer, Director of the Carrollton Public Library, presents some of the highlights of the 1904 World's Fair. The program will include stories of the fair's construction, its effects on current culture, some little-known oddities, and of course its storied destruction.

Angela is a wife and mother of two beautiful little girls. She received a degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Computer Management and Information Systems from SIUE. She was fortunate to have worked at the Louisa H. Bowen University Archives for the duration of her time at SIUE. She is currently the director of the Carrollton Public Library, only the 6th in its 113 year history. She is also a part time professional photographer and a history/pop culture buff.

40 Year's War Showcase

These presentations of historical events that occurred between the beginning of the Revolutionary War and the end of the War of 1812 should be enlightening for individuals with an interest in local and Illinois history. If you fit that description, please join us.

The following programs will be presented at the Alton Museum of History and Art, 2809 College Avenue, Alton Illinois, Phone: 618-462-2763, e-mail: The Museum is not open on Monday or Tuesday.

Saturday, May 30, 12:30 pm: "Treaties, Tension & Tecumseh: A review of the land cessions that sparked renewed resistance" presented by Michael Wiant

A series of treaties negotiated by William Henry Harrison in the first decade of the 19th century expanded U.S. Territory north of the Ohio River to the Mississippi River. The process created much confusion stemming from differences in attitudes about land ownership and different interpretations of treaty language to strengthening the relationship between the tribes and Great Britain. Mr. Wiant is the Director of the Illinois State Museum - Dickson Mounds. As an archaeologist for more than 40 years, he has explored the long history of Native Americans in the Illinois River Basin, sharing his insights through lectures, teaching, and publication.


Except as noted, the following programs will be presented at the Reconstructed Hill's Fort, 1395 Museum Avenue, Greenville,Illinois, Phone:618-248-5885 or 618-830-4433, e-mail:

Saturday, June 6, 12:30 pm: "Sacajawea/Bird Woman" presented by Ranger Nancy Hoppe.

The events of the only woman to accompany Meriwether Lewis & William Clark to the Pacific Ocean on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The program will examine Sacagawea's early childhood kidnapping, her marriage, her skills and character qualities used on the Expedition, the mystery surrounding her death and whatever happened to her baby boy. Hands on items relating to her story are available after the talk. Ms. Hoppe is a National Park Service Park Ranger Interpreter working at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis for the past 30 years.

Saturday, June 6, 1:45 pm: "John Murdock, Soldier and Indian Hater" presented by Linda Hannabarger.

John Murdock's early life saw several members of his family lose their lives in Indian attacks and this had a very strong bearing on the man John became. He served several stints in the militia during his life. A few tales of John's escapades will be added in telling this story. Ms. Hannabarger, of rural Ramsey, IL, is a columnist for the Vandalia Leader-Union and Ramsey News-Journal newspapers in Fayette County and editor of 'Fayette Facts,' the genealogical magazine for the Fayette Co. Genealogical & Historical Society. Since 2009, Ms. Hannabarger has taught beginning genealogy and writing classes at Kaskaskia College, Vandalia Campus.

Sunday, June 7, 12:00 noon: Trip to Bobby Eversgerd's Stone Fort in Germantown, Illinois.

We will meet at Hill's Fort at 12:00 noon and convoy/carpool to Eversgerd's Stone Fort. We should arrive at the fort about 12:30 pm and leave the fort about 3:00 pm. (If you know the location and wish to meet us there, feel free to do so.)

Saturday, June 13, 12:30 pm: "Battle of Hill's Fort" presented by Kevin Kaegy.

Isaac Hill was sent to the Territory by Thomas Jefferson to survey the land between Shoal Creek and the Kaskaskia River in 1808 so the government could eventually sell the land. When Hill finished the survey, he sold the cabins he had built to David White. White and others quickly finished the fort as there were skirmishes with the Indians during that period. In September, this unrest culminated in the Battle of Hill's Fort. Mr. Kaegy has served as a leader of the Bond County Historical and Genealogical Societies for over twenty years. He has also worked as an editor with Bill Wilson to co-author five books since 2002.

Sunday, June 14, 12:30 pm: "U.S. Flag, Fort McHenry, and Francis Scott Key" presented by Robert Ridenour.

Mr. Ridenour will discuss the evolution of the American Flag from 1777 to today, with a side visit to Fort McHenry and a young lawyer. Mr. Ridenour is currently the President of the Madison County Illinois Genealogical Society, First Vice-President and Grave Marking Coordinator for the of the Illinois Chapter of the Society of the War of 1812, Grave marking Chairman for the Genl George Rogers Clark Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, and a Regional Director for the Illinois War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.

****At the Courthouse Square in Greenville ****

Sunday, June 14, 2:00 pm: "Sons of the American Revolution Historic Flag Program" presented by the Genl George Rogers Clark SAR Chapter and narrated by Jim DeGroff.

Mr. DeGroff is extremely interested in American history, especially that of the colonial through early 1800s timeframe. That interest has evolved to include the identification of flags, and their use and importance in early America. Local vexillophiles (a person who likes, admires or enjoys flags) will enjoy viewing this historic flag program. Mr. DeGroff is the past-president of the Genl George Rogers Clark Chapter Sons of the American Revolution and past-president of the Illinois Society of the War of 1812 and active in the War of 1812 Bicentennial events.

Saturday, June 27, 12:30 pm: "British Invasion of Wabash and Lower Ohio" presented by Gordon Howe.

Saturday, June 27, 1:45 pm: "Battle of New Orleans" presented by Dale Phillips.

The program is a step-by-step reconstruction of this battle that ended conflict between the U.S. and Great Britain. To this day, this battle is generally thought of as the end of the War of 1812, even though it was fought after the war was officially over. Mr. Phillips is Superintendent of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield and guide/lecturer for the Delta Queen Steamboat Company.

Sunday, June 28, 12:30 pm: "Dubious Battles of the War of 1812" presented by Gillum Ferguson.

The material shared from his book is devoted to the experience of Illinois during the War of 1812, a crucial stage in the transition from territory status to statehood. The book and today's program is the result of two and a half years of research among original documents and appears in time for the observance of the war's bicentennial. Mr. Ferguson has been an Illinois state prosecutor for six years and Assistant U.S. Attorney in Chicago for 25 years.

Sunday, June 28, 1:45 pm: "Forty Years War Closing Program" presented by Bill Wilson.

Mr. Wilson is the president of the Illinois Chapter of the Society of the War of 1812, a member of the Genl George Rogers Clark Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, President of the Hills Fort Society, and Chairman of the Illinois War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, and a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society.


Madison County Recorder Creates Index to Civil War Discharge Papers

The Madison County Recorder's Office in Edwardsville has created an on-line index listing the names of Madison County Civil War soldiers who recorded their discharge papers there following the war.

More than 140 Madison County Civil War veterans had their discharge papers recorded in the Recorder's office after the war so they would have proof of service to receive their pensions.

The discharge papers contain a wealth of information about the veteran, including a physical description, the company, regiment and captain they served under, the term of service, their birthplace, age at discharge, occupation and location of enlistment. Some of the papers also list individual battles the veterans participated in.

The Madison County Recorder's office has recently undertaken preservation and access measures for the documents, including scanning, indexing, and re-housing of the documents into Archival quality protective sleeves.

The Recorder's office was assisted in the indexing project by students of Dr. Erik Alexander, a Civil War professor at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. Dr. Alexander offered extra credit to his students who participated.

The index is currently available online at The documents themselves will also be available online in the future. Copies of the actual documents will be available for a fee.

Anyone who would like a copy or has questions about the documents can contact Casey Weeks at 618-296-4507 or

Genealogy Sharing Day at Trinity Lutheran, Worden

Dear Madison County Genealogical Society,

Our congregation is planning to host German Heritage Days, September 12-13, 2015. As part of this celebration we will be having a Genealogy Sharing Event on Saturday, September 12 from 10 am until 2 pm (and later if people choose to stay). Obviously given the theme and location of the event, the idea is to encourage people with German ancestry in northern Madison county to attend, share information, and meet their long lost cousins. There will also be a craft fair on site that day and concessions with Bratwurst.

I hope to see many of you there....and please spread the word!

Contact information: Trinity Lutheran Church, 219 McGaughy St., Worden, IL. 618-459-3991,

God bless,

Pastor H. R. Curtis
Trinity Lutheran Church, Worden, IL
Zion Lutheran Church, Carpenter, IL

No Programs Scheduled for the Following Dates

August 13, 2015

September 10, 2015

October 8, 2015

November 12, 2015

If you have something you would like to see presented or you would like to make a presentation, please contact the president, and we will try to accommodate your wishes.

Stalker Needs Articles

The Stalker is in dire need of articles. We need input from all members.

Send your contributions to Scott Delicate at


Madison County Pioneer Certificate.

If you are a direct descendant of an early (prior to 1880) resident of Madison County and can supply documented proof, you can obtain a certificate stating that fact. You would also be eligible if your ancestor was living before 1812 in the area that became Madison County. (When Madison County was originally formed, it reached to the Canadian border).

The fee for each certificate application is $20.00. One certificate is included in the fee and will be mailed after eligibility has been determined. Application fees are not refundable.

Brothers, sisters, children, or grandchildren of the applicant who wish to apply at the same time as the original applicant also need to fill out an application. Their documentation need only show direct relationship to the original applicant. These additional applications include one designated certificate each. The fee for additional certificates is $10.00 each.

If you are interested in applying for a Madison County Pioneer Certificate, click here. for an application and instructions.

A New Cemetery Web Site

Have you heard? You can now view over 55,000 photos of tombstones from 78 cemeteries in Madison, Macoupin, Jersey, and Greene counties free online! Also included are photos of the Smallpox Island Confederate POW Memorial in West Alton, Missouri, and of cemeteries in Leelanau County, Michigan. For more information, click here.

Archaic Medical Terms

If you are having trouble determining what your relative died from, you might want to consult to see if a definition of the medical terminology is given.

[From the Texas Research Rambler Genealogical Group]

Mystery Photos

We have been asked about some place to post unknown photographs where they can be viewed by others and perhaps the subject(s) can be identified. We have added a "Mystery Photographs" link to the MCGS home page. If you can identify any subject in any photograph, please send an e-mail to the address given with that photograph.

If you have any photographs you would like to have added to the "Mystery Photographs" pages, please send them to me at (Note: My internet provider limits the size of my e-mails, including attachments, to 10 Meg.)



Digital Scrapbooking

On October 11, 2012, Lola DeGroff presented a program on Creating a Digital Scrapbook.

Lola had a handout that leads you through the steps of creating a scrapbook page and exporting it as a JPEG. It then leads the user through the steps of uploading the pages and having the scrapbook printed. If you would like a copy of this handout, it can be downloaded or printed here.




Judy Nelson

155 N. Main Street
(618) 296-4470

For additional information contact Judy Nelson 618-296-4932

For Immediate Release


EDWARDSVILLE, July 23, 2012 -Madison County Circuit Clerk Judy Nelson announced the Circuit Clerk's Office has undertaken an extensive initiative to preserve thousands of historic court records through digital imaging.

"Creating digital images of historic records ensures they will be available for research and safe against loss or disaster," Nelson said. "But equally important is that once the digital images are created, they are being published online and available to the public. The records are valuable to historians and genealogists, as well as people just curious about family history."

To read the entire article, click here.



Troy Times-Tribune Looking for Information

On Thursday, May 31, 2012, the Troy Times-Tribune ran an article under the title of Down Memory Lane. This article included a photograph of The Blackjack Band. Only four out nine members of the band were identified. If you know anyone who ever played in The Blackjack Band, perhaps you can help identify the "unknowns." Click here to see the article.



*** NOTICE ***

Dues for 2015 are now being accepted. We would very much appreciate receiving your renewal checks ASAP. Delinquent members (unpaid on 31 January 2015) will receive no more Society publications until their dues are paid.


Do you have a family member that is interested in (or even obsessed with) genealogy? A membership in the Madison County Genealogical Society would be a very thoughtful gift. A gift card will be sent to the recipient of any gift membership.

The following memberships are available:
Individual/Family Annual Membership $20.00
Patron Annual Membership $30.00
Life Membership $250.00

Contact our Secretary, Petie Hunter, at, about a gift membership.



Now Available and Taking Orders

The Ten Year Stalker Index, 1991-2000, is complete; and we are taking orders for either a printed copy, 330 pages, for $45 or a copy on CD for $15. The CD copy is searchable using Adobe Reader.

A new Ten Year Stalker Index, 2001-2010, is complete; and we are taking orders for either a printed copy, 304 pages, for $35 or a copy on CD for $15. The CD copy is searchable using Adobe Reader.

To place an order contact Petie Hunter, at



Visitors are always welcome. 



Goals of the Society

To encourage and educate persons in the study of family history and research methods.
To preserve genealogical and historical record.
To inform people of the importance of collecting, preserving, and circulating genealogical literature.
To promote research, publish, and circulate genealogical records and information

To further these goals, the Society maintains a genealogical library room in the Edwardsville Public Library, holds workshops, invites guest speakers on topics relevant to genealogical research, and publishes genealogical records.




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