Three resource pages on The Advancing Genealogist had updates this week. I rarely announce page updates, but there were interesting additions you might want to peruse.
Thanks to my colleague, Yvette Hoitink, there are additions to the Historic Native American Law and Related Resources page (Peter Schagen letter), and the Historic New York Statutes page (Conditions as Created by Their Lords Burgomasters of Amsterdam).
The biggest updates were to the Lake County, Illinois: Resources Online page. New categories include “Military” and “Telephone Books.” Links to online resources were added to numerous categories, and they hold promise for those doing genealogical research in Lake County. A few new resources, free to access, are spotlighted below.
Barrington, Illinois, lies in both Lake and Cook counties. The Barrington United Methodist Church is in Cook County, but it is not far from the county line. Links to digitized church registers of the Barrington United Methodist Church include (but are not limited to) baptisms, marriages, and membership lists. A peek at the marriages show that they include people who were not Barrington residents (I saw a Chicago couple marrying here). The digitized church books are hosted by a public library that is doing a fantastic job preserving and sharing local history.
Digitized Fremont Township Annual Town Meetings, 1850 through 2013, are new on the site. The Fremont Township collection includes digitized Highway Commissioners Meetings, Highway Treasurer Reports, and more modern archived board meeting minutes. The township hosts the digitized records. The clerk there recognized the value in records preservation and in a transparent government.
Digitized Highland Park Telephone Directories (1908–1913) include Highland Park, Highwood, and Fort Sheridan. Another resource of interest to those with Highland Park area ancestors is the Jesse Lowe Smith Diaries collection (1888–1905, 1911—1934). Jesse might not be your ancestor, but his diary entries mention more than his day. The weather and people that he interacted with are noted. These collections are hosted by a public library that recognizes their value to the community, and to historians and genealogists.
History of the Ninety-Sixth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, is a new resource. I remember years back when our local genealogy society bit the bullet and purchased a volume. It wasn’t cheap, but it had great value to those with Lake County ancestors who fought in the Civil War. The volume is hosted on Google Books.
That was a sampling. If you have roots in Lake County, check out the offerings. If your people passed through the county, perhaps at a military base, take a peek at the Fort Sheridan and Great Lakes Naval Training Center resources. A Fort Sheridan photo collection is linked, as are 27 yearbooks for companies graduating the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. The photographs are hosted at the Illinois Digital Archives, and the yearbooks are hosted by FamilySearch and Internet Archive.
No matter where your research lies, consider that digitized records (like the originals), are sometimes hosted at a local level. We might lose sight of that. Being spoiled by large databases threatens to take our focus away from what we are missing on a smaller, but equally important level. Seek digitized records at libraries, historical societies and museums, and governmental agencies. Nose around in locations related to your research, and you might be pleasantly surprised. Create a resource sheet for your area of interest, so you can quickly access relevant digitized collections.
Fair warning, this is a time-consuming mission. It took hours to survey additions to online records in my county’s local repositories, and I have only scraped the surface.