Newsletter Archive

Newsletter Archive

Volume 45 #3

April 2017


Tuesday, April 25 ,2017, is National DNA Day! 

The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) celebrates the April 2003 completion of the Human Genome project and finding the double helix of DNA in 1953.  Take a look at all of the discounted DNA tests that are being offered by the top testing companies.  Deals are on until the 25th.  This is the time to take advantage of this fantastic discovery!  And if you are still undecided, and are not sure of this new form of exploring your genealogy, sign up for the GSSI May DNA Seminar!!

GSSI May Quarterly Seminar
Saturday, May 13, 2017
1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
John A. Logan College
Carterville, IL  62918

Joy Whitson Upton, Genealogist and Librarian, will present a workshop on DNA and Genealogy.  Joy has taught DNA and Genealogy courses at JALC since 2012 and has presented workshops on the rapidly developing topic, throughout the state, under the auspices of the Illinois State Organization, NSDAR,  Currently she teaches classes at Carterville and Du Quoin focusing on free internet sites, which are helpful for genetic-genealogy researchers.  Ms. Upton's students marvel at her ability to take a complex subject understandable and to help researchers whatever their level of knowledge.

Trained as a librarian, Ms. Upton holds an MA in Library Science,  She served as librarian on the high school and college level during her teaching career  Upon "retirement" she devoted ever more effort to genealogical and family research.    She has served as President of the Illinois State Genealogical Society and the Du Quoin Public Library Board, and ahs been Illinois State DAR Librarian.  She has served in several capacities for GSSI, including Librarian and Board Member.

Her May 13 "DNA and Genealogy Workshop", sponsored by GSSI, is free and open to the public.  It will be held in room F119.  Prospective participants are urged to register at dstboner@gmail.com, so a sufficient number of handouts will be available.  Pre-registration is suggested, but not required.

Submitted by Dorothy Rudoni


Local historian and author, Darrel Dexter, has written a new book, “Pioneer Sketches of Union County, Illinois”, printed by the P.A.S.T. organization. The 200-plus page book is an edited and annotated update of the one he published in 1986. Dexter has used articles written by Dr. Sidney Smith Condon that were originally published in a weekly series in the Jonesboro Gazette, 1871.

Dexter has added pictures and many, many footnotes from Darrel’s vast knowledge and years of research on Union County and the genealogy of the early families. He is the author of over 30 historical and genealogy books and teaches history at Egyptian School in Tamms, Illinois.

The book is dedicated in memory of Geneva Wiggs, the beloved local photographer, who shared many of her historical photos with Darrel. Through a donation from LuAnn McGinnis of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and the help of many other “Friends of the P.A.S.T.”, it is hoped this book will appropriately lead into the 2018 Bicentennial Commemorations of Union County, Jonesboro, and the state of Illinois.

A book signing reception will be held at the Stinson Memorial Library in Anna on Sunday, April 30th at 2pm. (Please enter through downstairs side door.) Besides welcoming Darrel Dexter to say a few words about his research, the P.A.S.T. organization will honor Ms. McGinnis, who has roots in this area and who spurred the publishing of the book, as well as Mary Kay and Billie Kaye Hamlin, daughters of Mrs. Wiggs.

The fascinating book will be available for $25 at the reception, may be purchased at “This N’ That” Flea Market on South Main St., Anna, or at the P.A.S.T. Heritage House in Jonesboro. Also, books may be ordered by sending a check for $25.00 made to “P.A.S.T.” and mailed to Linda Hileman, 1370 Kaolin Rd., Cobden, IL   62920. Please add $3.00 to the amount of your check if you would like the book mailed to you.


Summer fun is coming!  

Mark your calendar.  On Saturday, June 10, GSSI will meet at the Chester Public Library for a program on GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH IN RANDOLPH COUNTY presented by Emily Lyons, area historian and retired educator.  Emily, who has been honored by the NSDAR for outstanding work in Historical Preservation, is a descendant of early French settlers.  Long active in planning the Fourth of July and other area historical celebrations, she will give an overview of the resources which researchers may find in Chester, Kaskaskia Island and Randolph County.   In addition to the beautiful Chester Library, Reid's Smorgasbord is a notable destination for a June day drive.  The GSSI program is free and open to the public.


2017 Family History Conference and Book Fair

 co-sponsored by

The Genealogy Society of Southern Illinois and John A. Logan College

Saturday, August 12, 2017  8:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.

Ray Hancock Conference Center John A. Logan College Route 13 & Greenbriar Road, Carterville, IL

Featured Speaker:

Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA

You can now register on the GSSI website!

Hurry, space will be limited with this popular speaker!


Need something else to do?  Check out Willard Library Midnight Madness Genealogical Event.  It is 5 days and 5 nights of Research and Workshops.  June 19-23, 2017

Register at their website: http://www.willard.lib.in.us/calendar_of_events then click on "June". or call 812-425-4309.


Did you know?    If you are missing any of your SAGA issues, we have the following sets available.  2000, and 2006 through 2015. Just email us your order.



This year is shaping up to be a great time to research your family lines.  If you are exploring the courthouses, libraries, or investigating cemeteries, remember to make lists to maximize your research time.  And if any member gets stuck, just email us and ask Rhonda, our GSSI Genealogist, for help.  Have Fun and Be Safe!! (And remember the bug spray!)


Volume 45  #2

March-April 2017


GSSI May Quarterly Seminar
Saturday, May 13, 2017
1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
John A. Logan College
Carterville, IL  62918

Joy Whitson Upton, Genealogist and Librarian, will present a workshop on DNA and Genealogy.  Joy has taught DNA and Genealogy courses at JALC since 2012 and has presented workshops on the rapidly developing topic, throughout the state, under the auspices of the Illinois State Organization, NSDAR,  Currently she teaches classes at Carterville and Du Quoin focusing on free internet sites, which are helpful for genetic-genealogy researchers.  Ms. Upton's students marvel at her ability to take a complex subject understandable and to help researchers whatever their level of knowledge.

Trained as a librarian, Ms. Upton holds an MA in Library Science,  She served as librarian on the high school and college level during her teaching career  Upon "retirement" she devoted ever more effort to genealogical and family research.    She has served as President of the Illinois State Genealogical Society and the Du Quoin Public Library Board, and ahs been Illinois State DAR Librarian.  She has served in several capacities for GSSI, including Librarian and Board Member.

Her May 13 "DNA and Genealogy Workshop", sponsored by GSSI, is free and open to the public.  It will be held in room F119.  Prospective participants are urged to register at dstboner@gmail.com, so a sufficient number of handouts will be available.

Submitted by Dorothy Rudoni


MICHAEL Mc NERNEY INTRIGUES GSSI MEMBERS WITH ACCOUNT OF RESEARCH
ON DISTINCTIVE GRAVE MARKER.

In December, 2015, Michael McNerney intrigued GSSI members with a discussion of research concerning a distinctive grave marker initially observed in Pope County in 1994.  Subsequently, McNerney traced the "Necked Discoid" (which to some suggests the human form) through southern Illinois to southern and western states.  He found it in Europe and even Africa.  Archeologist McNerney believes the artifact may reveal much about the migration of human beings.  His remarks were well received in 2015 and the audience urged him to return when he had concluded his then forthcoming second book.  Less than a year and half later, A SHAPE IN TIME AND SPACE; THE MIGRATION OF THE NECKED DISCOID GRAVE MARKER: THE ILLINOIS SAMPLE is "at the press."  The author made good on his promise to return to GSSI.  His interesting Power Point presentation on the "Necked Discoid Grave Marker" was well received by the attentive audience.  Some recalled McNerney's appearance on a GSSI panel, organized by Jeanette O'Boyle, at Stone Fort, several years ago.

Despite the considerable body of evidence McNerney has accumulated, and the decades he has invested in research, his enthusiasm for the topic suggests he has not completed his scholarly, investigative work.  His new book will be available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com in April, 2017.


The Genealogy Society of Southern has always provided its members with excellent research help.  Our volunteer researchers have had the opportunity to help members with southern Illinois research.  Now we are happy to announce that our newest volunteer genealogist is Rhonda Hagston.

Rhonda was born and raised in Franklin County and has lived most of her life in southern Illinois. (Except 7 years spent in the Carolinas).  She has been researching her family since the age of 16 but remembers talking to her Granny about it at a much younger age. And she also teaches beginning genealogy classes for John A. Logan College in their Continuing Education program.

And in her words. "I am very excited to join GSSI as their genealogist!"  Email her your queries at: gssi@ilgssi.org.

Rhonda Hagston, GSSI Genealogist


A Note from the Webpage Manager

The main page of the GSSI website has two places that ask for a log in.  This has confused new members and generated appeals for help from other members who have lost their passwords.  Please note - Logging in with a password is not required to view most of the website.  The primary purpose of www.ilgssi.org is to give everyone an opportunity to learn about the society.  Any visitor to the site may join and pay dues on line, order books or CD's, read Newsletters, or register for a conference without logging in.

The purpose of logging in is to give members access to those web pages which are not open to the general public.  Those members-only pages currently include numerous obituaries and death notices from southern Illinois newspapers that are password-protected.  Viewing them and downloading their content is one of the privileges of paid-up membership in GSSI.  Members must log-in to read the obituaries.  In an attempt to make matters more clear, the "Member Login" link in the top right hand corner of the Home Page now reads "Login (for Member-only pages)."

The other place on the Home Page that asks for a Log In is mid-page in the right-hand column.  Members who have forgotten their assigned password should scroll to the bottom of that form and click on "Lost Password."

Using that link will bring up for a new form which asks for your username or email address and explains that after you fill and submit the form you will receive an email with instructions on creating a new password.

If you are a GSSI member and have never logged in to the Society's web page, I urge you to do so now.  You will notice a Welcome message in the space where the Log In box had been located. Opening either "Dashboard" or "Profile" will give access to your GSSI online account.  The "My Account" page is the place to enter or change your mailing address, change the email address that we have on file, check the status of your book or CD order, or change your password.

I hope the above explanation helps make navigating the GSSI website easier, but if anyone still encounters a problem, finds an error on the website, or has a suggestion on how to improve it, please let me know.

Ed O'Day (edoday@gmail.com)


Illinois Bicentennial is 2018!

Do you have a story to tell about your family's' migration into the new state of Illinois?

                        Is there a unique family member you would like to write about?

GSSI would like to commemorate this occasion by featuring your stories in our quarterly publication The Saga of Southern Illinois. If you have a good story to tell about your ancestor, whether it be about their growing up in a small town or growing strawberries to sell.  We would like to publish it in THE SAGA for all to read. And just think about how many folks would benefit from knowing about our history through those family members who settled here. Since the names in THE SAGA articles are indexed, you might just be able to connect to that long lost cousin!

Send your articles and clear pictures, by email, to GSSI at: gssi@ilgssi.org. Put "Saga Article" in the subject line.

We are really excited to begin getting your articles!!


Willard Library Genealogy Event

The Willard Library, of Evansville, Indiana, is having a genealogy learning event.
FLAVOR YOUR FAMILY HISTORY, April 8, 2017. (9:00 am - 3:p.m.)  Four classes with Sue Berry and Nell Jordan DAR,UDC,NSDU.

Register for this course by phoning 812-425-4309 or go directory to their website at: willard@willard.lib.in.us.


   

Volume 45  #1

January - February 2017


GSSI January Quarterly Meeting

The winter doldrums subsided, for an afternoon for GSSI members who attended the first quarterly meeting of 2017.  A panel of four Genealogists presented their expertise on how to pursue your research.

Our won Dorothy Rudoni opened by presenting the panel topic, how to research when you can't find it on the internet.  Introduced were panel participants Jackie Lyell; GSSI Board President, Leonard Lucas; Board Director, Gloria Spinks; Board Director, and Helen Lind, Expert Genealogist, and has written several research guides about Williamson County, IL.

Leonard Lucas described how he navigates the system to research relatives in Ireland.  He explained the differences in researching in another country, particularly in finding and obtaining records, and the difficulty in arranging payment.  He explains that, as he goes along in his research, he also writes stories about the people he researches.

Gloria Spinks gave a great presentation about the Find A Grave website,  She gave us the history of its beginning and the importance of submitting information.  This free site is a great place to find where relatives are buried.  You can add or correct information, that is about a relative, by contacting the administrator, of that post.  She reminded us to always validate the information posted, as not to get incorrect information.

Helen Lind is an avid researcher who has written several books about Williamson County, IL.  She described being able to actually look at original records, at the court house, many years ago.  Now the clerks will pull and copy information.  She told that the Land Records are underutilized records.  The could have family names listed, which would be of great help.  Probate and Will books will provide a great amount of information which you can still research yourself.  She told of the old Circuit Clerk calling and donating thousands of old records from 1839 to the 1960's.  The records included criminal, divorces and some coroner records.  Also included were records about the Poor Farm, how it began, and that they were buried without stones, because of the cost.  The Pauper Cemetery is located, by WDDD Radio Station on Rt. 37, in Marion, IL.  She explained that if you want to come and look at these records, they will get them for you and can be copied for a small fee.  Their website is https://www.wcihs.org.

Jackie Lyell spoke about networking with people who like genealogy, as much as you do!  There are several genealogy conferences throughout the country each year.  This is where you can avoid those folks that roll their eyes at you, when you just mention genealogy.  Suggestions to explore would be The Federation of Genealogy Societies, National Genealogy Society, Roots Tech, and local seminars and conferences, in the area where your ancestors lived.

Afterwards questions were fielded by the panel and some folks lingered to explore our GSSI Genealogy Library within the John A Logan College Library.

This was a well received seminar.  Lots of good information was presented, to help you in your family quest.


GSSI General Meeting  Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.  John A. Logan College Library

We are pleased to, once again, present Archaeologist and Author Mike McNerney.  He will be speaking on his extensive research on Grave Monuments and information contained in his forthcoming new book.  All members are welcome to bring guests.  This program is free and open to the public.


GSSI Spring Workshop  Saturday, May 13, 2017.  1:00p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at John A. Logan College

Genealogist and Educator Joy Upton will present a workshop on The Use of DNA in Genealogical Research.  Upton, who has taught classes on DNA and Genealogy throughout the state will lecture on current genetic research pertaining to genealogy and provide a guide for those who want to utilize genetic science in researching family history.

This free workshop is provided as a service for our GSSI members and will be open to the general public.  However, those planning to attend should pre-register by May 1.  This will enable us to have adequate space and have plenty of handouts available.

Register by emailing the Newsletter Editor dstboner@gmail.com using "WORKSHOP" as your subject.  Or you can phone Dorothy Rudoni at 618-525-6225 or Dusty Renee Boner at 618-942-7452.  Please leave your name, how many attending and a contact number.

The exact JALC room number and parking instructions will be announced after May 1.  Please pre-register and take advantage of this timely opportunity!


Free Live Streaming Genealogy Sessions

Can't make it to Roots Tech this year?  Never Fear!  There will be live streaming sessions online this year.  You will be able to listen to several of the sessions, including some of the keynote sessions.  Just go to their homepage at RootsTech.org.  Click on "Menu" then "Live Stream Schedule".  These are available February 8-12.

Lisa Louise Cooke will also have live streaming sessions from her booth at Roots Tech.  Just go to her Genealogy Gems Facebook Page.  Click on the "Like" button.  This will allow you to follow the page and you will be notified on Facebook when to tune in.  She also has the scheduled times on her Facebook page.


Free Webinars

Illinois State Genealogical Society Website features free webinars each month.  February 14 - Freedmen's Bureau Records.  Diane Richard will be the presenter.  Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1351772958627269635.  There are only 500 spots open for each webinar so register soon.

March 14- Nurse, Matrons, Laundresses & Cooks. Documents Women in the Civil War.  Angela Walton-Raji will be the presenter.  Register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8176273406953966595.

These are great ways to get more information without traveling!


And we couldn't leave out this article from Christmas!!

Christmas with Herrin Area Historical Society

For a second year, the Herrin Area Historical Society has presented a lovely Christmas program full of music, good cheer and holiday goodies.  Our own GSSI Vice President, Phil Stucker is also the HAHS President.  Cheryl Trench was our Master of Ceremonies for the evening

Our own GSSI Board Member, Don Riggin entertained us with beautiful piano music on two Christmas carols: the Christmas Song and As Lately We Watched, a 19th Century Austrian carol.  We heard beautiful solo vocal performances from Rich McNeil and Sharon Sexton Gaddis.  the program also included memories of Christmas Past by Emaline Wilcox and Doris Grant Fry.

the Herrin Area Historical Society (HAHS) meets monthly at the conference room at the Herrin City Library.  Membership dues are $25 for individual and $35 per couple.  You may contact the group via website http://herrinhistory.org/ OR:  HAHS, P.O. Box 127, Herrin, IL  62948

Submitted by Leann Johnson


November 2016
Volume 44 #10

logan-museum

GSSI members tour John A. Logan Museum

For the quarterly meeting, GSSI Members met at the John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro, IL and received a very enjoyable and informative presentation from Curator Mike Jones. Mr. Jones, and museum staff are compiling information on Civil War soldiers, from John A. Logan’s 18 Southern Illinois counties. And some of our GSSI members were able to add their ancestors to that list. Their research also involves discovering how each soldier died, whether it was in a battle, in a prison or in hospital from disease. But many soldiers were discharged and passed away at home from disease they had gotten in the war. Their research involves trying to establish each soldier’s information including how they died and where they are buried. To date their investigation concludes that of the 3,446 soldiers, in their data base who died, of that 2,338 died from disease.

If you have information on a civil war ancestor from Southern Illinois, consider donating your information to the John A Logan Museum. Also, if you are interested in knowing if they might have information on your Civil War soldier, just contact them, and they will be glad to check their records. You can contact them at John A. Logan Museum, 1613 Edith Street, Murphysboro, IL 62966. Their website is http://www.loganmuseum.org.


St. John's Lutheran Church Celebrated their Bicentennial!

st-johns-churchOn Saturday, September 17, 2016, St. John's Lutheran Church held an open house to honor its bicentennial. Our own Don Riggin, GSSI Director, and an accomplished organist played a few hymns on the organ there in the sanctuary. Sunday the 18th the church was packed with visitors and 4 former pastors assisting the current pastor don-riggins-at-organwith the morning service. A delicious dinner followed. Printed information from the church says: "St. John's Church, founded by settlers from North Carolina in 1816, was the first Evangelical Lutheran Church in Illinois. These settlers met in homes and barns until 1822 when the first worship building was erected. Three years later a petition was signed to the North Carolina Synod to send a German/English speaking preacher. During 1827, a preacher arrived along with an accomplice who later organized the Casper Church, north of Anna. A new church building was built and dedicated in 1856 at the location of the present day St. John's. As Union County became settled, so did the church. Since 1952, St. John's has shared services with First Lutheran Church in Dongola. Presently, services are held at St. John's every third Sunday of each month. Sixth and Seventh generation of descendants can be found in attendance today."


Member Happeningsmike-3

We are so familiar with going to cemeteries and photographing family headstones. Or doing tombstone rubbing, for your Civil War relative, where the stone is almost unreadable. But what of a relative, that you have discovered, is in an unmarked grave.

Avid genealogists, Mike and Gloria Spinks, have run into the problem of locating Mike’s great grandmother’s grave. Recently they invited me along to try to find where great grandmother’s grave might be located. They have all the research, that definitely says, she and her baby were buried together in the County Line Cemetery in Jackson County, IL Trying to solve this mystery, Mike and Gloria decided to try Dowsing for the grave. They narrowed family lore information and actual records to find a logical location, then proceeded to dowse for a possible grave site near relatives.

Dowsing has been used for generations to find water for wells and to locate graves. Using two metal rods, like a cut up metal coat hanger or (like my grandfather) welding rods, are your tools. Held loosely in your hands, the rods will react differently as you walk from one end of the grave to the other. If there is a body present, the rods will cross in front of you and will uncross when you are past the grave. In cemeteries in America, in Christian burials, the head will be pointing west and the feet east. And if you hold rod over your head you can determine the gender. The rod will begin to swing around and if it is a female it will point to the head. If it is a male, the rod will point to the feet.

Well, after a little practice on a male and female grave, they have located a grave next to two relatives. Using the dowsing techniques they had researched, they know that a female is buried there. With their previous research, and this new discovery, they are fairly sure that this may be the great grandmother and child, they were trying to locate. With all of these discoveries, they could feel safe in placing a memorial in that area. Determination does pay off.

Really a fun research day! Submitted by: Dusty Renee Boner

mike-4


Enjoy Webinars?

Check out the new ISGS 2017 Webinar Series at http://ilgensoc.org and upcoming live webinars from Family Tree at: http://familytreewebinars.com/upcoming=webinars.php


It is that time again!

Don't forget to renew your membership for 2017. You can renew right from this site!


Have a wonderful Holiday Season!


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