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Madison County Genealogical Society

Minutes of the Meeting - January 24, 2013

The January 2013 meeting of the Madison County Genealogical Society was held at the Edwardsville Public Library on Thursday, January 24, at 7:00 pm. (Due to a minor scheduling disconnect, the meetings for January, February, and March are not on the usual day.)

President, Robert Ridenour, called the meeting to order.

The following is the Treasurer's report for the month of November:

The following is the Treasurer's report for the month of December:


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.

January Meeting

On January 24, 2013, Joy Upton, genealogy teacher for John A. Logan College presented a program titled New Approaches and Sources in Genealogical Research.

Joy discussed thirty-five different websites containing free databases and computer databases. These included many familiar websites, such as Cyndislist, Rootsweb, Fold3, Genealogy Trails, Genealogy Tools, FamilySearch, Illinois Secretary of State, and DAR as well as some not so familiar, such as DigitalBookIndex. She gave each attendee a printed list of these websites. However, she has asked that I not make this list available on our website.

Many of the websites that Joy mentioned require you to sign in to get access to the databases - even though they may be free. You may have to download a Microsoft viewer.

Ms. Upton recommends Cyndi's List ( if you have hit a "brick wall." Cyndi's List changes constantly. It is a good place to find tutorials - they will be under 'H' for How-To. There are many different types of lessons available here, including lessons on using Rootsweb. Cyndi's List has a category for 'Free Stuff.'

The New England Historic Genealogy Society ( is the oldest genealogical society in the United States and they have a huge library. But they also have free databases online. They constantly change what databases are put online for free access. You can sign up for a weekly notice of what is being put online. All their databases do not pertain to New England.

If a country keeps any records at all, it keeps records of its military. There are numerous websites available to search for military records ( The George Rogers Clark papers pertaining to the Illinois Regiment of Virginia Troops are indexed and that index is available online.

If you are searching for Revolutionary War records (, you have to know whether to search the state records or the Continental records. Land patents from the Revolutionary War are also available online.

Ruth Ann's Military Links ( is not just about women. It covers every type of military and has much information available.

Every branch of service has their own website: Merchant Marine (, Navy and Marine Corps (, Army (,, Coast Guard (

If, in your research, you find a typed record, keep in mind that there is another set of eyes and brain between you and the actual record. There is always the chance for differing interpretations of the old handwriting.

The biggest brickwall is usually going backwards from ~1810 into the 1700s, which is very necessary to find required DAR and SAR connections.

Fold3 ( get its name from the tradition that the third fold in a flag folding ceremony honors and remembers veterans for their sacrifices. Some of the databases on the Fold3 website are pay sites but not all. is a very useful search engine. You can search with "name" (Do not put quotes around the name.) + family, eg, Jones Family, and you will get a huge list of genealogy home pages on that family.

South Carolina ( has a large number of databases available.

Two of the websites ( and contain lists of books that are online and can be read on your computer or downloaded to your electronic reader free of charge.

All the US Federal census records (with the exception of the 1890 and the recently released 1940 records) and many State Census records can be found online (, although some of the records may be on pay sites.

The DAR ( and SAR ( records are online and searchable. This information is very valuable for those seeking membership in these organizations.

This was an interesting presentation and generated questions and comments from the audience.