GSSI Newsletters

GSSI Newsletters


Volume 45 #7

        November, 2017

         We wish you a very Happy Holiday Season!!


GSSI Archives October Member Meeting






Mr. Ed O’Day, GSSI Archivist, introduced us to the records housed at the GSSI archive room.  The main reason for the archive was to document the societies activities.  But as our members are growing older, we were given their research for safe keeping.

Walking into the archive room, you are met with numerous notebooks and binders full of family histories.  And there is a binder listing what is available for your research.

The file cabinets are filled with all of the records from Dee Fozzard’s many years of researching, for the public. Contained in her records are photo copies of

Williamson County Death Records from 1916 to 1950.

As Ed opened a file drawer, he pulled out what used to be an old three ring black

binder.  This is the records of Caplinger/O’Neal families.  The handwritten history looks like it was dictated from a grandfather to grandson, maybe in the 1930’s.  Also of great interest is the diploma and awards from Emeline Cook a Herrin High School graduate in1914, all rolled up in a nice leather case.  Some of which might be sheep skin.

And another archive find was original land deeds from Union County 1839-1890.

It is so interesting to read the old handwriting on these documents!

The GSSI archives have family information that might be of interest to you.  To inquire contact Mr. Ed O’Day at


Union County News

P.A.S.T. "Silver and Gold" Holiday Luncheons

102 S. Main, Jonesboro, IL  62959

December 7,8,9, and 13,14,15,16.  Call 618-833-3347 or 618-713-7707/  or email by Dec. 1.  $20.00 each.

Doors open 11:30 and Lunch @12:00.  Only 24 seats available each day!


Lindell Barrell passed away Saturday, November 4, 2017.  Lin was a GSSI

Board member and SAGA editor from 2012 -2017.  Our condolences go out to

his family and friends.  He will be greatly missed.

Help Wanted!!!

GSSI is in need of your help.  The following appointed positions need to be filled for the 2018 year.

Second Vice President, Genealogist, Librarian, Membership, Publications, Parliamentarian and Editor of the SAGA.  If you would like to help, email President Jackie Lyell at


FINDING SCOTISH ANCESTORS ONLINE: January 9 2018, presented by Nancy Loe

ILLINOIS DIGITAL RESOURCES: February 13, 2018, presented by Tina Beaird


Visit to register.

Now is the time to renew your membership!  It is as simple as going to the section on our website! 

Earlier Newsletters may be found on the Newsletter Archive page










Volume 45 #6

August 2017

2017 GSSI Annual Conference Highlights

The day began with our member meeting and the selection of GSSI Board members.  Elected are:

Jackie LaRue Lyell       –  President

Phil Stucker                –  1st Vice President

OPEN                          -- 2nd Vice President

Julia Mowery               – Recording Secretary

Rosemary Mathis        – Corresponding Secretary

Gloria Cravens Spinks  – Treasurer

Joy Whitson Upton      – Member at Large

Linda Gale Mathis       – Director 2017-2019

Michael Spinks            – Director 2017-2019

Phil Stucker                 – Past President


 A large enthusiastic group of genealogists were treated to a day of learning, shopping and laughter.  The Genealogy Society of Southern Illinois was pleased to present guest speaker, Mark Lowe who presented a great four-part lecture on the pattern of migration on the road west. We were reminded that to be a good genealogist you must be knowledgeable of our countries’ history. That will give you clues to why your ancestors chose to move, how they traveled, and what they might have encountered along the way.

Mark suggested using Federal Records, Vital Statistics, Current deeds, surveys, federal land records, tax lists, personal property laws, Homestead Act, and the list goes on. He also provided us with numerous web sites and other resources, to help us with our research.   And he reminds us that you can find your information by using “CLUES” “Create a Profile, Link your ancestor & neighbors, Understand the Neighborhood, Examine each piece of evidence, Support your ideas with a research plan.”

During the breaks, there was time to shop with the vendors at the Book Fair. And there was also time, after our yummy lunch, to explore the GSSI Library. We look forward to next year!






Next GSSI Member Meeting 

Saturday October 14, 2017

1:00 P.M.

GSSI Archives

Cambria Community Center

302 S. Richart St.

Cambria, IL  62915

Speaker, Ed O’Day, GSSI Archivist

Mr. O’Day will present a program informing members of the resources in the GSSI Archive.  Hope you can attend to investigate the Archive for yourself!

Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) 

You might be acquainted with this great southern Illinois research facility.  IRAD at Southern Illinois University has collections for the following Illinois counties:

Alexander, Clinton, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Massac, Monroe, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, St. Clair, Saline, Union, Washington, White, and Williamson.

Finding out what county records are there is as easy as a click, call, or mail. Find out what records they hold by searching their web page.  The URL is They welcome mail and telephone requests for research help.

Illinois Regional Archives Depository, c/o Special Collections Morris Library – 6632, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL  62901-6632

Telephone: 618-453-3040

If you are visiting, the depository is not at Morris Library. So, when calling, ask for directions and copy fees.

Fall into Genealogy with New Classes!

If you are looking for classes to get your jump start into genealogy, John A. Logan’s new Continuing Education program has several classes that may spark your interest.  Genealogy classes range from basic or beginner’s level to those interested in DNA genealogy and 23 & Me.  Whether you are new to genealogy or just need to re-start your research, or want to know the latest in DNA genealogy there is a class for you.

Many classes are held on the campus of John A. Logan, others are held in Du Quoin or Carbondale.  Day or evening sections are available.

PS 021   Genealogy for Beginners, on Main Campus

PS 056   Genealogy Basic—bring your laptop or tablet for this course, off campus

PS 448   Genealogy for Beginners, off campus

PS 246    DNA & Genealogy, use of 23andme website and free programs, main campus & off campus

For specific information on dates/times/instructors, please use the following link:

There are some variations between the printed catalog that was mailed to residents AND the above link.  I would follow the above LINK to be sure.

Or call Continuing Education at 618 985-2828, ext. 8248.   Deadline for early registration is September 1 at 4 p.m.

On line registration is very simple if you use the PS number listed by the course and have a credit card.

Submitted by: Leann Johnson

Writing Your Story 

If you are familiar with writing your life story, this will be a cinch!  If not, the recent solar eclipse is a great beginning.

While it is still fresh in your mind, write a couple pages of your solar eclipse experience.   Your story could start with your location.  Did you have to work?  Or were you able to relax with family and friends?  How was the traffic in your town?  How did this event effect your community?  How did you feel watching the event?  Include those fun solar eclipse glasses, too.

Remember you are interesting!  You can do it!  Good Luck!

Tennessee Genealogical Society Fall DNA Seminar

Presents Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL

Debbie is the co-author with Blaine T. Bettinger of the award-winning DNA workbook, Genetic Genealogy in Practice, published by the National Genealogical Society (NGS).

When:  October 28, 2017:  8:00 a.m.

Where: Pickering Center, 7771 Poplar Pike, Germantown, TN  38138

Register at:

See you at the October Meeting!!!

Earlier Newsletters may be found on the Newsletter Archive page