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Madison County Genealogical Society

Minutes of the Meeting - May 12, 2011

The May 2011 meeting of the Madison County Genealogical Society was held at the Edwardsville Public Library on Thursday, May 12, at 7:00 pm.

President, Robert Ridenour, called the meeting to order.

The following reports were presented.

Financial report for the month of April 2011, as follows:

In the Library

Elsie Wasser reported that the Society had received two new books:

Cherokee Commission Dockets, Vol. 4 by Jeff Bowen (1800's)

125 Years of Grace l848 - l973, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Collinsville, Illinois by Louise Nicol Meier - Donated by Cindy Reinhardt


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, Barbara Hitch, at, about a gift membership.

May Meeting

On May 12, 2011, the meeting of the Madison County Genealogical Society was held at the Edwardsville Public Library. Lola DeGroff and Linda Rosenthal presented a program titled How to Become a U.S. Daughter of 1812. The program also included information on becoming a member of the men's group, The Society of the War of 1812.

Lola DeGroff retired from the Department of Defense following more than 20 years of service. She is the outgoing regent of the Silver Creek DAR chapter, having served four years. Lola is a member of the Illinois War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy, and the United States Daughters of 1812. She and her husband, Jim, actively support many heritage and historical events.

Linda Rosenthal has a BS in Art Education K-12 and is working on a Masters in Archaeology/Anthropology. Linda is a past member of St. Clair County Junior Service, Past President of the American Cancer Society of Washington County, Past Chair of the Washington County Arts Council, and a Past Washington County Representative for the Southern Illinois Arts Council. She is currently the Vice Chair of the Illinois War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, a member of Hill's Fort Society, a member of the Madison County Historical Society, a member of the Madison County Genealogical Society, a member of the Kentucky Historical Society, and Regent of the Ninian Edwards Chapter NSDAR. She has researched and compiled a book on the Ninian Edwards Chapter's 100 years, researched and found 14 more Revolutionary Soldiers buried in Madison County, and has been instrumental in placing stones and markers for 18 soldiers, 4 wives, and 2 daughters of the Revolution. She is currently researching War of 1812 Soldiers buried in Illinois.

Lola DeGroff made the following statement: "People ask: Why do you join these lineage organizations? My answer to that question is, I feel that if my ancestor was brave enough to leave his family and everything he had to go off and fight a war to protect the citizens of this country, the least I can do is to make sure that whatever that person did is never forgotten. Sadly, a lot of our veterans' graves are not marked as being one who helped protect our country since it was organized."

On the website, there is a link to the Illinois Chapters. There are three chapters in Illinois. The closest one to Madison County is the Kaskaskia Chapter. The other two chapters are the Sangamon River Chapter and the John Kinzie Chapter near Chicago. There is talk of starting another chapter in the Morgan County, Illinois, area. There had been a chapter in that area in the past.

The Daughters of 1812 website includes a database of 1812 soldiers associated with the members. Your ancestor may already be in this database. You must be 18 years of age to be a member of the Daughters of 1812. Junior membership is available to girls and boys from birth through age 21. Young women between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five are known as Flora Adams Darling Daughters in honor of the Society's first president. The Daughters of 1812 covers the period from 1784 to 1815. If you have an ancestor who fought in a war in that period, or contributed some other kind of service (See the website for details of this service.), you would probably be eligible to become a member.

The men's society, The Society of the War of 1812, is a little different - your ancestor must have served in the military between November 7, 1811, and July 18, 1815.

The Daughters of 1812 website also has links to other databases including, where you can find Pennsylvania and North Carolina soldiers' records. and are great sources of information to help prove genealogy of War of 1812 ancestors. The C. E. Brehm Library in Mount Vernon, Illinois, is an excellent source of information on Revolutionary War soldiers and their families. Many of the soldiers of the Revolutionary War and/or their sons were veterans of the War of 1812.

Many of the books listing veterans of the War of 1812 are not definitive. Bounty land records can reveal those who served in that war. gives you access to the General Land Office records. From the land records, you can find whether an individual was given land for their service in the War of 1812 and the county where that land was located.

Once you have the county location, you can go to to find the graveyards near your ancestor's land. The odds are that your ancestor was buried in a graveyard near his home. If your ancestor, in his advanced years, went to live with one of his children, you will have to use census data (also available at to track him.

The available records of 1812 veterans in Illinois do not always include the Rangers. The Ranger service may also be found using

Sometimes locating the required information on an individual requires using several sources. To find the information you want, you must be a detective.

Linda and Lola demonstrated some of the websites available to find land grant information. In spite of some problems with the WiFi connection, they were able to find information on individuals for people in the audience.

This presentation was well received and generated many questions. In fact, the meeting lasted until almost 9:00 p.m.