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Rock County Genealogical Society
RCGS Home Page

An Affiliate Member of The Wisconsin State Genealogy Society

Email: RCGS Webmaster

RCGS Mailing Address: P.O. Box 936, Janesville, WI 53547-0936
Library & Archives New Location
: 430 N. Jackson St., Janesville, WI
Library Hours: Wed - Fri, 10AM - 3PM (call ahead)
Library Phone: (608) 752-5891
Library Email: Research Requests
Note: Research fees apply:
    - $20 per hour;
    - Copy cost: $1/page (Members $0.50/page)
    - What to Include in your Research Request
RCGS Program, Tues. Feb. 16, 2016, 6:30 PM: Oral History - Conducting Veteran Interviews (click for Info)



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Having trouble viewing Society web pages? Update your web browser to a newer version FREE, here: Internet Explorer, Mozilla FireFox or my favorite, Google Chrome Browser. You will also need the FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader program.

Search the Entire RCGS Site:
Use the dialog box below to search all RCGS pages simultaneously:
This is a quick way to find your surnames among all the online RCGS indexes.

REMEMBER: Our ancestors (and county clerks) were devilishly creative when writing surnames.
  • Try all surname variations; example: Search name variants individually: first search Smith, then search Smyth, and finally search Smythe.
  • Search more efficiently by looking for the all variations at once: Smith OR Smyth OR Smythe (Remember: Google needs you to capitalize the OR's)
  • Use Phrase Search (" ") to find the exact phrase "Rock Township" but exclude Rock River and Rock County.
  • More search tips are available at Google Search Tips.
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If you get "no hits" using this method, you can still manually scan each alphabetized index individually in the INDEX Menu, above in order to look for even more creative spelling variations.

Smart Search the Web for Ancestors:
use the link below to create a menu of smart searches of the World Wide Web:
This is an easy way to research specific ancestors. Enter a little family information and receive a list of focused Google searches that are both wickedly intelligent and conveniently pre-formatted.

Smart Search Link


Society Meetings:

The Rock County Genealogical Society meets monthly on the third Tuesday of the month, September through May at 6:30 PM. The December meeting, if any, is a holiday social event and there are frequent summer field trips and hands-on training, so check the RCGS newsletter, our web page, and local newspapers for details. Most meetings are held at the Helen Jeffris Woods Museum Gallery Room, 426 N. Jackson Street, in Janesville, WI. and are open to the public. RCGS Board of Trustees meets at 5 P.M. on the same dates and at the same location. Board meetings are open to the membership three times yearly at the April, October and November meetings.

Society Contact Information, Location and Library Hours:
Volunteers Needed ! We need your help to staff hours at the library. If you can spare a couple hours per week as a volunteer helper at the RCGS library, the Society welcomes your help. No special training is required. Click here for Volunteer Information.
MAILING ADDRESS: Rock County Genealogical Society, P. O. Box 936, Janesville, WI 53547-0936

NEW LOCATION: The RCGS library and office are located at the newly renovated Charles Tallman Home, 430 N. Jackson St. adjacent to the Tallman House Restoration in Janesville, Wisconsin.

HOURS: The RCGS library and RCHS archive are open to the public from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Wednesdays & Thursdays and 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. Fridays. Contact us by phone to confirm we will be open on a particular day or to request special accommodation.

EMAIL: The RCGS webmaster can forward your email questions or requests to the Society Librarian, our staff of researchers, the Society newsletter editor or others.

PHONE NUMBERS: RCGS library at 608-752-5891.

Society Newsletter:
RCGS members receive the Society Newsletter quarterly. The newsletter provides timely tips and research suggestions to aid you in your genealogical research. We also publish the latest news and events in Rock County and the Midwest. Members may submit queries about their Rock County ancestors at no charge.

Society Membership:
Joining the Rock County Genealogical Society provides you with an opportunity to connect with others dedicated to collecting and preserving genealogical and local historical materials. Current projects include copying and indexing of Rock County public documents including area cemeteries and newspapers. To join the RCGS call 608-752-5891, or view a Printable Membership Application form
or write the Society at the address at the top of this page.

RCGS MEMBERSHIP FEES:
  • Individual/Couple Membership: $20
    (single address)
  • Lifetime Membership: Details Soon
RCGS MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS:
  • Priority Response to Research Requests of the RCGS Library and RCHS Archive,
  • 10% discounts on purchases of RCGS publications and Indexes,
  • Waiver of the $10 per day admission & research fee when visiting the RCGS Library and RCHS Archives,
  • 50% discount on photocopies of Library/Archives materials,
  • Members-Only Look-up Service from among Rock County Genealogical Reference Books,
  • Four Quarterly Issues of the RCGS Newsletter in which You may Post Your Research Queries,
  • Post Your Ancestors' Names, Locations, Dates Online plus Your Contact Info to the RCGS Ancestral Surname Index,
  • An Annual "Genealogy Jump-Start": A free once a year search of occurrences of a single Rock Co. surname in the Library & Archives.

Society Meeting Dates and Speaker Information

  February, 2016 Program  
Tuesday, February 16, 2016, 6:30 p.m.

Program Title: Oral History - Conducting Veteran Interviews

Location: Meet at Helen Jeffris Woods Museum Gallery Room, 426 N. Jackson Street, in Janesville, WI which is two doors south of the Lincoln Tallman Restorations. (Click for map & directions). There is handicapped parking in the rear of the building with additional parking at the Charles Tallman House, 430 North Jackson Street, or across Mineral Point Avenue at the Mercy enclosed parking ramp. There is no charge for parking in the Mercy parking ramp.

Cost and Invitation: Free and Open to the Public.

Program Presenter(s): Chuck Bailey, Janesville - RCGS Board Member

Chuck was born in LaCrosse but lived in Janesville until his 18th birthday, when he joined the Navy. As a Volunteer in Basic Training for Submarine Duty, he served onboard five nuclear subs as a Radio Operator and Supervisor. His overseas assignment was at a Navy Communications Station in Philippines in the mid-1970s. As member of the Sub Group Admiral's staff, he trained officers in procedures for launching ballistic missiles. While serving in the United States Navy (USN), Bailey received a Liberal Arts AA Degree from Long Beach City College, then during a break in military service was awarded a BS Degree at UW-La Crosse. Following his retirement from the Navy in 1996, he completed a Computer Info Systems AA Degree through Blackhawk Tech.

Bailey started conducting family history research while stationed in New England around 1975, and was accepted into the Sons of American Revolution. He attended the 300th year anniversary of one family line in 1988, at Germantown, PA. Among other volunteer work, he conducts the pinning and certificate ceremony for Mercy Hospice patients through the 'We Honor Vets' program, and has been conducting Rock County area oral veteran interviews for the WI Veterans Museum for the past five years.

Program Summary: Chuck will present the 'How To' of an oral history interview and the recording of someone’s memories. During his presentation, Bailey will discuss Oral History Principles & Best Practices, The Art of the Oral History Interview, Interview Questionnaire, Workflow and Technology, Pre- and Post-Interview Best Practices, and Tips for Good Sound Recording.


  March, 2016 Program  
Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 6:30 p.m.

Program Title: Family History Projects: How to Share Your Research With Family Who Don’t Care

Location: Meet at Helen Jeffris Woods Museum Gallery Room, 426 N. Jackson Street, in Janesville, WI which is two doors south of the Lincoln Tallman Restorations. (Click for map & directions). There is handicapped parking in the rear of the building with additional parking at the Charles Tallman House, 430 North Jackson Street, or across Mineral Point Avenue at the Mercy enclosed parking ramp. There is no charge for parking in the Mercy parking ramp.

Cost and Invitation: Free and Open to the Public.

Program Presenter(s): Lori Bessler has worked at the Wisconsin Historical Society Library Archives since 1988. She is a Reference Librarian and Outreach Coordinator. Lori has lectured throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest on genealogical topics for over 25 years and has been researching family history for over 35 years. She specializes in breaking down brick walls and finding hard-to-find resources.

Program Summary: We all love to share our research, but do we all have family who want to hear all of the details? There are many ways to share the stories that you have uncovered. This lecture will provide examples of many projects to consider. We don’t have to do the 300 page genealogical book in order to get our family’s attention about their history.


  April, 2016 Program  
Tuesday, April 19, 2016, 6:30 p.m.

Program Title: Program Title Yet to be Determined

Location: Meet at Helen Jeffris Woods Museum Gallery Room, 426 N. Jackson Street, in Janesville, WI which is two doors south of the Lincoln Tallman Restorations. (Click for map & directions). There is handicapped parking in the rear of the building with additional parking at the Charles Tallman House, 430 North Jackson Street, or across Mineral Point Avenue at the Mercy enclosed parking ramp. There is no charge for parking in the Mercy parking ramp.

Cost and Invitation: Free and Open to the Public.

Program Presenter(s): Rev. David McDonald, Old Northwest Research, LLC, of DeForest, WI

Program Summary: Pending


  May, 2016 Program  
Tuesday, May 17, 2016, 6:30 p.m.

Program Title: Community Research as a Genealogy Tool

Location: Meet at Helen Jeffris Woods Museum Gallery Room, 426 N. Jackson Street, in Janesville, WI which is two doors south of the Lincoln Tallman Restorations. (Click for map & directions). There is handicapped parking in the rear of the building with additional parking at the Charles Tallman House, 430 North Jackson Street, or across Mineral Point Avenue at the Mercy enclosed parking ramp. There is no charge for parking in the Mercy parking ramp.

Cost and Invitation: Free and Open to the Public.

Program Presenter(s): Jennifer Ehle is a social worker who lives in Madison. She has done genealogy research for over 35 years. She is President of Evansville Grove Society, facilitator of the Evansville Genealogy Group, and Adjutant General for the Madison History Roundtable. Previously she served as past-president for Friends of Wisconsin Historical Society and WI State Society Colonial Dames XVII Century, and a past national officer for the National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century (Librarian General) and board member for Wisconsin Society of Mayflower Descendants.

Program Summary: Jennifer Ehle of Evansville will discuss the reasons for, and benefits of, conducting a systematic investigation into the communities where our ancestors resided. The investigation will identify new relatives and offer insight into the world in which they lived.  She has utilized community research in planning family reunions and writing biographies on her ancestors.


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Rock County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 936, Janesville, WI 53547-0936
copyright 2002, all rights reserved

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