Skip to content

Today's Hours: Thu: 9 am – 9 pm

View Hours

Mon – Thu: 9 am – 9 pm
Fri: 9 am – 6 pm
Sat: 9 am – 5 pm
Sun: 12 – 5 pm

View Closures

Have Ancestors: Will Travel

At our recent Genealogy Networking Group, we brainstormed various places we might visit this summer to do some onsite genealogy research. The list below was generated by those who attended this meeting and afterwards I added links to each location’s website for those who might be interested in planning a trip.road-trip

We talked about the two most important rules for genealogy research trips:

  1. Be prepared. Do advance research so you know what is available at each location and bring the tools you might need: flash drive (AKA memory stick or thumb drive), magnifying tool, camera or smart phone, maps, coins for vending/copying machines, notebook, laptop or tablet, paper clips, pens and pencils.
  2. Be nice to the librarians. This might seem silly and obvious, but try to remember that librarians are very human and more likely to go that extra mile for someone who is kind to them.

Here are the locations for genealogy research that were mentioned in our meeting. It’s not a comprehensive list, by any means, but a good place to start. If you click on each link, you will find information about each location’s collections, how to contact them and the address.

From closest to farthest:

Lake County Genealogical Society—Evergreen Dr. in Vernon Hills Village Hall

Chicago Genealogical Resources list:

Springfield, IL Family History Center:

Illinois State Genealogical Society:

Overview of Illinois repositories and genealogical resources and what they have:

Wilmette Historical Museum:

Wilmette FHL—has a great collection of Chicago microfilms

Naperville FHL—has a great collection Catholic archdiocese records

National Archives in Chicago:

Ethnic genealogical societies in area

Irish American Heritage Center—Fourth Sunday of the month 1-3 has research helpers

Polish Genealogical Society of America (headquarters in Chicago)

Greek genealogy resources from FHL:

Swedish American Museum (in Chicago)

Midwest destinations:

Wisconsin genealogist
Professional genealogist David McDonald of DeForest, Wis., researches at the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison, Wis. (Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/MCT)


Milwaukee Genealogical Society:

National Danish-American Genealogical Society (in Minneapolis)

Allen Co Public Library–Fort Wayne, Indiana

Madison WI Historical Society:

Wisconsin State Genealogical Society in Racine WI

St. Louis—National Archives—National Personnel Records Center:

Genealogy in Washington, D. C.:

National Archives Washington DC:

DAR library in Washington DC:

Library of Congress Research and Reference Services

Other places of note:

New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston:

Ellis Island (information about conducting family research at Ellis Island):

Don’t forget to visit:cemetery

Your ancestor’s public library and court house and the cemeteries where they were buried.

And, the Mecca for genealogists (try to go at least ONCE in your lifetime!):SLCFHL

Family History Library Salt Lake City


Categories: Genealogy

Tags: Genealogy

Cook Memorial Public Library District

Install Cook Memorial Public Library District

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap then “Add to Home Screen”