German Genealogical Research

Quote from Illinois Libraries article, "Ethnic Dimension in Family History" by Loretto D. Szucs

Multitudes of Germans and Irish went to northern Illinois during the great immigration waves in the 1840s and 1850s. Germans, freeing themselves of the suppression of the democratic revolutions in their homelands, found great potential for using their skills and beginning a new life in Illinois farmlands and metropolitan areas.......A tabulation of the 1910 U.S. Population Census revealed that Germans ranked first in number among the foreign-born in Illinois.

German Genealogy Links | Recommended Reading | German Interest Group


Illinois Chapter of Palatines to America
P.O. Box 3884
Quincy, IL 62305

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Illinois State Historical Library
Springfield, IL

Largest collection of Illinois newspapers including German language papers from locations throughout the entire State of Illinois

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The Goethe-Institut Library
Equitable Building
401 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 329-0074

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German Interest Group
(Known as GIG)

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 2185, Janesville, WI 53547

Meets at Wisconsin Power and Light Building (a short drive from Winn. Cnty)
3730 Kennedy Rd. (north of Hwy. 14), Janesville, WI

Call Delores at (608) 752-0714 for more information

The German Interest Group was formed, by founder Donna Kjendlie, to educate and support our members in German genealogical research. Our group is made up of different levels of researchers, beginner to advanced.

GIG sponsors monthly evenings of speakers and an annual workshop.

Meetings are usually the first Monday of each month. Exceptions are in September when we meet on the second Monday and not at all in January, June or July. Meeting information is announced in local newspapers and genealogical newsletters.

Yearly dues are $7.50 single or $10.00 per family and include a quarterly newsletter. Membership year starts with the month you pay. Back issues and samples of newletter are available at $3.00 per issue. To join send your name, address, phone no., e-mail address and German surnames and German locations you are researching along with your check made payable to: German Interest Group, P.O. Box 2185, Janesville, WI 53547-2185.

GIG, as a group, does not do any research for others. If you have a question that could be answered by writing a query, then we encourage you to become a member. Members are allowed to submit free queries to our newsletter. If you correspond with us, and expect an answer, please enclose a Self-Addressed, Stamped Envelope.


Note: Some of the information provided below will be helpful only to those whose immigrant ancestors spent time in Cook County before coming to Winnebago or Boone Counties. It was not unusual for an immigrant to stay in Chicago until something "better" opened up elsewhere or until the crowded conditions in the city or the epidemics of illness encouraged movement.


Chicago Historical Society
Clark Street at North Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 642-4600

Has an extensive collection of German language newspapers on microfilm

German language publication - Deutsche Amerikanische Geschichtsblatter, published between 1901-1937, by the German-American Historical Society of Illinois

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University of Illinois at Chicago
Special Collections Department

(312) 996-2742

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The Conrad Sulzer Library
4455 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625

Has German-American selections in the historical collection.(Historical collection entrance is located at Leavitt Street (2200 West) and Montrose Avenue (4400 North).

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German-American religious periodicals/newspapers - quarterly newsletter info - The Bush-Meeting Dutch contact Dr. David Koss, Illinois College, Jacksonville, IL 62650.He has been extracting obits from the following sources:

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German Genealogical Links

Palatine and Pennsylvania-Dutch Genealogy

General and German-Related Genealogy Links

German Genealogy Homepage

German and American Sources for German Emigration to America

German Genealogy Frequently Asked Questions

18th Century PA German Naming Customs

Palatines to America

Cyndi's German Genealogical Links

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Recommended Reading

Locating German Places of Origin in American Church Records by Lorraine K. Ferguson, 5 German Genealogical Digest 14-25 (1989)

Unscrambling the German-American Churches by Dr. David Koss, The Palatine Immigrant, Vol. IX, No. 3 (1984)

Church Records in the United States by Richard W. Dougherty, Ch. 5, The Source (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing Company, 1984)

The Lutheran Trail by Louis J. Schwartzkopf (St. Louis: Concordia Press, 1950)


[Winnebago County Homepage] [USGenWeb] [ILGenWeb] [Boone County Homepage]


Katy Hestand

County Coordinator

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This page created by Cecelia Yeruski for the ILGenWeb Project.
Last updated: Monday, 18-Apr-2005 10:03:23 MDT