Stephenson County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 514
Freeport, IL 61032-0514
Summer (from Memorial Day
to Labor Day)
- Mon thru Thurs 9 am to 8
- Fri 9 am to 6 pm
- Sat 9 am to 5 pm
- Closed Sun
- Mon thru Thurs 9 am to 9
- Fri 9 am to 6 pm
- Sat 9 am to 5 pm
- Sun 1 pm to 4 pm
If you mail a query, be sure to include a SASE.
Meetings are held the first Thursday of every month, except January and
Dues are $8.00 per calendar year (begins January), and includes a subscription to the newsletter. New members may join any time of the year and will receive back issues of the newsletter for the current year. Dues received after November 1st are applied to following year. Please include SASE for return of membership card.
The newsletter is published four times a year. Members may submit queries for publication in the newsletter free of charge, non-members $1.00 per query.
The Society is happy to announce that we now have acquired our county's vital record microfilms from "Illinois State Archives". Our new county clerk, Vici Otte, gave the Archives permission to duplicate these films for us. We followed the Illinois state guidelines in purchasing the following years:
Births: 1878 - 1899 (indexed) Includes some Delayed
Deaths: 1878 - 1949 (indexed 1878 - 1915) (1919 - 1949 index in process)
Marriages: 1837 - 1924 (indexed 1878 - 1915) (1916 -1924 in process)
These are exact copies of films held by the county clerk. These records may be viewed in the Freeport Public Library's History Room during the hours when volunteer staff is on duty. Photocopies are also available by donation of $1.00 per page. Some files require two pages.
Copies may be requested by mail. Please include a SASE. To have indexes checked for your people, make sure the birth, death or marriage record is here. You will be notified as to how many, if any, exist. If the records are not yet available you will need to contact the county clerk's office.
Books for sale:
"History of Stephenson County, IL 1880" by W. H. Tilden, with
599 pages and every name index, printed by off set lithography and hard bound. The purchase price is $45.00 + $5.00
postage and handling. This contains the following: Churches, First Steelers,
Business, History of Villages, History of Each Township, few pictures of early settlers, Societies, Manufacturers,
Organizations, Newspapers, Civil War Volunteer Rosters, Biographical Sketches by Township, and much much more.
"The Present Advantages and Future Prospects of the City of
Freeport", soft cover with name index. Price $7.00 + $2.25 postage and handling.
"Kent for a Quarter and a Century" by Philip Keister originally printed in 1952.
$32.50 plus postage.
"Illustrated Freeport" Originally printed in 1896, 184 pages;
$40.00 plus $4.00 postage
Please make check payable to Stephenson County Genealogical Society.
The Stephenson County Genealogical Society adheres to the GENEALOGIST'S CODE OF ETHICS.
1. That I will treat with the greatest care and respect all public records and library books which may be available for my use.
2. That I will speak with courtesy to all employees of a vital records office, or of a public library, when requesting to see any vital records or library book, and when finished with such record or book, I shall express my thanks to the person attending to my request.
3. That I will not tear, erase, mark or remove any public record or library book, and will refrain from
mutilating, defacing or otherwise destroying any part of such public record or library book.
4.That when I have finished viewing any public record or library book, I will return it to the proper or designated place.
The Stephenson County Genealogical Society is pleased to announce the reprinting of "Illustrated Freeport". Originally printed in 1896 by Journal Printing Company, this book contains numerous chapters including:
Freeports Early History, Freeports Fire Department, Our Public Schools, The Churches of Freeport, The Early Bar of Freeport, The Medical Profession of Freeport, Our Manufacturing Interests, The Newspapers of Freeport.
The book is 184 pages and will be faithfully reproduced on archival paper and hardboard. A new every name index has been compiled by members of SCGS. The pre-publication price is $39.50 + $4.00 postage and handling. After December 31st, the publication date, the price is $45.00 + $4.00 postage and handling. Please send a SASE with your order. If you wish to save the $4.00, you may arrange to pick up your book. Our web-site has the mailing address.
Illinois State Genealogical Society's Marriage Record Project
The Stephenson County Genealogical Society was prevented from participating in this project by the previous county clerk. The State of Illinois allows the county clerk to deny permission to duplicate the vital records.
There is some concern, on the county clerk's part, about having these records on-line. Previously we had copies of indexes that were un-matched, separate for bride and groom and without dates. We could determine from them that the marriage was in Stephenson County. A handful of dedicated members of SCGS have been and will continue to work at keeping the History Room of the Freeport Public Library a "Treasure Trove" for researchers. The recent criticsim on the internet has been incorrect and in some cases mean spirited. Under no circumstances would the SCGS fail to meet its obligation to members and fellow researchers. We are constantly in search for new books, etc., to add to our collection. The cost of the Vital Records was no small investment. To get them into a usable form will require much time and deadication. They are not in a form that may be scanned as some have suggested. This could well be a future project. Incidentally, the October meeting's talk was on using the records. I hope this clears up the discussion on this matter. If you have any questions on this, please contact Doris Stake at the Stephenson County Genealogical mailing address.
Also due to a change in Freeport Public Library policy, we may change the start time for the meeting to 7:00 P.M. The city corporate council has told the library they may no longer allow us to remain past the library closing time. In the past, the library locked us in, which meant we would use the side door at the end of the meeting. The corporate council says if they do this we are no longer handicap accessible and could not get emergency help, in an emergency.
Joe Ginger, President SCGS
©1999-2005 Stephenson County Genealogical Society