“Records at the Winnebago County Courthouse” – Feb 4, 2023, Winnebago Boone County Genealogy Society Program

Subject:  WBCGS Meeting Program – Saturday, February 4 at 1:30 p.m.

“Records at the Winnebago County Courthouse”

By Bill Edmundson

WBCGS – Regular Meeting Program

Saturday, February 4 at 1:30 p.m.

NEW Meeting Location: Rockford Public Library, East Branch,

6685 East State St., Rockford IL

former Barnes & Noble building

We have a new meeting location.  Blush
Starting with our February meeting we are meeting at the Rockford Public Library, East Branch. 6685 East State Street, Rockford, IL.  Using the RPL will help us to have hybrid meetings.

Media Coordinator Diane E Schoppe McCue


What records are available at the Winnebago County Courthouse, and how do I access them? This presentation will cover the offices of the Winnebago County Clerk, the County Circuit Clerk, and some additional records at the Rockford Public Library. Types of records covered will include vital records (birth, marriage, and death), land records (grantor/grantee indexes and deeds), probates, and naturalizations.

Bill Edmundson has served as a board member of the Winnebago and Boone Counties Genealogical Society since 2009, specializing in handling local research requests. Bill has worked on his personal family research for more than 40 years, has published a family history book in 1995, and has helped with over 200 research requests our society has received. 

We are in critical need of volunteers. The 2023 Board has openings for three Officers and several Directors, bringing the future of the organization into doubt. If you want to see WBCGS continue to provide genealogical education and information to our membership and the community, please contact us to volunteer on our Board and preserve the future of this organization

For more information, call Diane McCue at (815) 543-2287

Visit us at our NEW website www.wbcgensociety.org or on Facebook, facebook.com/WBCGS!

Stateline Genealogy Club, LLC – February 11 Presentation by Vicki Ruthe Hahn


Finding the Genealogy of a House & Those Who Lived There” – (WAGS) Waupaca Area Genealogical Society

Using genealogy techniques of searching for house architectural clues, local history, legal documents, maps, and stories, to learn more about a building and all of its historical (or haunting) occupants

Online event – click on link I will add on this Posting, and on the Facebook events page (here) , one week before the event.

Conference Keeper.org


Here’s a resource for us genealogy folks that I heard about. Maybe you will find it useful. So many good sources of genealogy training, and much more. The YouTube Channels have a lot of free webinars plus all the other great sources.

ConferenceKeeper.org is the most complete genealogy calendar of events anywhere!  Here you will find thousands of genealogy webinars, seminars, conferences, workshops, podcasts and more, from genealogy societies, libraries, and other organizations all around the world. This should be your first stop for family history education!  Sign up for our once-weekly email to get news, deadlines, and updates, and see the events that were added the previous week.

What Can You Find Here?

  • A traditional Calendar with all genealogy events for every location listed by date.
  • A calendar of Virtual (online) events of all kinds.
  • A page listing just Conferences
  • Genealogy event pages by location – by specific areas of the US or Canada, as well as other world countries.
    • The US location pages include helpful links to state-level archives websites, and a list of genealogy societies for that state.
  • A Call for Papers page listing opportunities for genealogy speakers.
  • A Contest page, with genealogy-related giveaways
  • A page of Genealogical Education Programs that offer degrees or certificates
  • The Grants & Scholarships page lists opportunities available within the genealogy community.
  • Genealogy Volunteer opportunities – if you have a minute or an hour to spare.
  • A page of genealogy Podcasts and online Programs
  • A page of genealogy YouTube channels
  • A page of genealogy Job openings
  • Travel, Tours & Cruises lists those that are specifically for genealogy research and vacation.”

I will add a link to my BLOG “Genealogy Links and Help”s under the topics of:

BLOGs, Conferences, Webinars, Newsletters, Online Magazines, Podcasts, User Groups, & Facebook Groups for Genealogists, etc. (Most Free)”


Education, Jobs, & Volunteering in Genealogy

From their website –

“All For FREE!

ConferenceKeeper.org provides these services completely free of charge  as a service to the genealogy community.

The mission of ConferenceKeeper is to help individuals increase their knowledge, skills, and enjoyment of genealogical research by sharing details of genealogy events of all kinds.  Through submissions and online searches, ConferenceKeeper curates and organizes details of genealogy events and shares the information on a single, organized website and across various social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep up with upcoming conferences, seminars, and other local genealogy meetings! You can also sign up to follow our blog via email. We send out a once-weekly update of all the new events added to the calendar the previous week, plus upcoming deadlines.

Genealogy ConferenceKeeper.org, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization.

Organize, Protect and Preserve


Need help with the physical management of your genealogy archive materials? Here is a Link to one solution – ArchiveYourPast.com by Anni Parsons:

If your genealogy collection needs a little love and care, contact us to help. We’re here to help preserve and protect your family documents, photos, and heirlooms! www.archiveyourpast.com

2 People – “Same” Name

2 People – “Same” Name

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn


I find the articles from FamilyHistoryDaily.com

have very helpful genealogy advice. You can also sign up for lessons from them. We have all ran into the problem of running into the 2 people with the “same” name, same location, and similar dates.

This article by Janet Meydam on how to sort “Same Names” people gives some good advice. I have use the whole facts comparison charts several times to sort even confusing 3 people. You can use a quick Word or Excel chart with columns to line up the facts to compare better.


Technologically Tired; A Genealogist Searching for Solutions – Part 3 – File Name Organization and Linking to Legacy Family Tree

A continuation of my BLOG Posting Technologically Tired; A Genealogist Searching for Solutions – Part 2; Exploring Genealogy Filing Organization Systems – Paper, Digital, and Photographs”; 29Jan2022, Revised 22Aug2022

See also my BLOG Posting “Technologically Tired; A Genealogist Searching for Solutions – Part 1 – How I converted my Great Grandmother’s Hand-Written Diary with OCR into Editable Text Using the vFlat Scan App and Google Drive; 17Jan2022, Revised 22Aug2022

Technologically Tired; A Genealogist Searching for Solutions – Part 3 – File Name Organization and Linking to Legacy Family Tree

23Sep2022, updated 13Oct2022

By Vicki Ruthe Hahn

It has been a long time coming for me to decide how to organize my genealogy file names. Months! Years! I have researched a lot of different methods, some of which I have shared here on my BLOG (see Postings above .) I have listened to programs, podcasts; taught genealogy organizing, and read many articles and postings (and the comments) on Facebook Groups, IE

“How Do I Get My Genealogy Stuff Organized? Family History for Beginners, and Detective Techniques for Experienced Genealogists, Part 3 “https://wordpress.com/page/statelinegenealogyclub.wordpress.com/169728

Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do-Over – “https://www.facebook.com/groups/genealogydoover”

Technology for Genealogy – “https://www.facebook.com/groups/techgen

The Organized Genealogist – https://www.facebook.com/groups/organizedgenealogist

Legacy (Family Tree) User Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/LegacyUserGroup

Gretchen’s Genealogy Organizing Plans(reference workflow and organizing methods for both paper and computer files) https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=gretchen%27s%20genealogy%20organizing%20plans

This process has continued since I Posted “Technologically Tired; A Genealogist Searching for Solutions – Part 2; Exploring Genealogy Filing Organization Systems – Paper, Digital, and Photographs“; 29Jan2022, Revised 22Aug2022 . My additional motivation in this phase has been setting up a consistent file organization that links well on my PC Microsoft Windows 10 computer to my Legacy Family Tree software.

Your documents and media (pictures) files are located on your computer (each in their own locations) and are only linked to that Legacy software. It is critical to keep the links active by keeping a consistent file name. The link is broken if you rename your file. Then you have to mend it.

The complete basic Legacy Family Tree Standard Edition software is available for free, and can be downloaded onto your (PC, not available for MAC) computer here:https://legacyfamilytree.com/ (The software can be used on your different computers/laptops – one at a time.) You can pay for more features with a one-time purchase of the Deluxe Edition. Legacy software is not an on-line database and it is private – only on your computer, controlled by you.

One of my most frustrating stumbling blocks was that everyone has their own way of organizing, and I had to research most of them before I could decide what to use. I wanted a ready answer. I have been experimenting with the different types of file naming organizations. Hint- start small with just one person’s files or one family. Use that labeling to see if it works for you.

I wanted to be consistent and have a long term solution so that I could find any information easily. I also wanted to make it so that anyone looking at my files (after I’m gone) could understand clearly what was there – especially people who don’t “do” genealogy!

The best organization method is one that makes sense to you and how you think. As the moderators on the Facebook Legacy User Group say – are you a “lumper” or a “splitter”? Do you like general categories or detailed ones? (See more organization suggestions in the links on my Posting Technologically Tired; A Genealogist Searching for Solutions – Part 2; Exploring Genealogy Filing Organization Systems – Paper, Digital, and Photographs; 29Jan2022, Revised 22Aug2022.

Most of the systems are based on surnames, document type, location or date. So alphabetical or numerical. Color coding can be used in conjunction with some of those. There are systems that combine more than one organization system, or you can create your own combination. Where would you look for file information on a person that you have researched?

Here are some of the different file labeling organizations that I experimented with:


Some organize their whole naming system by location first – no thanks. I will use this only for Census, City Directories, and Maps (because of the multiple surnames). I use a “Location” Sub-folder. The file names list the location name in reverse order, then the Record, then the date, then the name IE “USA, Pennsylvania, Montour, Danville_1890 US Census_ZARTMAN, Joseph”. Where/What/When/Who

Date first:

IE “1910 abt_RUTHE, Theodore_MOORE, Effie (RUTHE)_RUTHE, Sarah May_Ruthe old farm house, Foster Point, Eldorado, McDonough, IL”. I liked the rest of that filing structure, but I decided that Surname first would be a better way for me to search for my files. The date can be pulled up by a keyword search.

Multiple nested sub-files:

I tried using the multiple named sub-folders (folders by Surname, then more sub-files by document/event type) approach. This made the file storage path/name sequence too long for Legacy or my computer. Every file name digit and space counts. I also found the layered searching for where to put a new file irksome and confusing. I decided to forget most of the sub-folders and just put the complete information into each file name. Then the overall length of the final file sequence is shorter. The information of each file is not dependent on the naming on another hierarchical file.

I have been looking into meta-file software to save some of the details on photographs, so that I would not have to add all the information into the file name. I have not found a Metadata app that works easily, and it is one more layer/app to go through/maintain. The built-in Microsoft Photo editing metadata is incomplete and does not always carry along with the picture in some sharing instances. I believe it may not carry over to a new computer??


This will be my main way of file name organizing. An example (from a newspaper) is “C>This computer>Pictures”>”JOHNSON, Louisa C (ADAMS)_1852-05-20, Thu_Obit_The N.J. Standard_pg 2 col 5_Middletown-Point, Monmouth, New Jersey”. Who/When/What/Where

I capitalize surnames to distinguish them as I have too many “Adams”, “Michael”, “Ruthe”, Bennett” families, etc.. Then comma, space First Name (Middle initial or DOB-DOD if needed for people with the same name). I label women with their Family (maiden) name. I add any married names in order, in parentheses that are in effect at the time of the occurrence/event – i.e. (ADAMS) in above.

I use the underscore symbol _ between file parts to make it arrange in computer order.

Next I put in the year of occurrence (date of a newspaper article/document) dash – month (2 digits), dash – day (two digits) so that it arranges by year under a person’s name. I add the day of newspaper publication as a three letter abbreviation so the actual date of an event reported can be calculated.

Next I name a one word event. IE “Engagement”, “Wedding” (for ceremony), “Marriage” (for license), “Obit”, “Birth”, etc.

Then the name of the newspaper/publication, then the page number (and column number) so anyone can find the article/resource again. Next I write out the location name, including the County. “Hey Google, what is the county for Middleton-Point, New Jersey”? You would add information for a book/website – the publisher/location/copyright year/URL.


I use Mary Hill’s Color-Coding System. Her method and other systems are here on Cyndi’s List.https://www.cyndislist.com/organizing/color-coding/“. This is the organization system that I teach. Mary Hill also uses a combination of organization files by Surname, and by Location. I modify the surname colors that she uses.

I may (decided not to) create four Master folders under my great-grandparents surnames. Or I might create 8 folders – one for each of the eight surnames. I would put/find all of those distant shirt-tail relatives and married surnames I don’t know well in these 4 or 8 master files: IE MasterFile 1 – “RUTHE/MOORE” > with sub-file names “RUTHE” family , or “MOORE” family, or “WILSON” family, or “HARRINGTON” family, etc. Master File 2 “JEWISON/LEIGHY”. Master File 3 – “BENNETT/SHULTZ”. Master file 4 “ZARTMAN/WOLFE” This would group those relatives into the family branches that give them meaning.

The files under each folder would get the color coding that I have assigned to the four grandparents (with 8 tints for each great-grandparent surname). I will have to learned how to ‘color” the files on my computer!

I just downloaded FolderMarker.com app to prioritize and color code genealogy family files on my computer. I can now add an assigned color to the the file rather than add another layer of four Master folders to show which (Grandparents Surnames) ancestral line that family is in. My assigned family colors are based on Mary E. V. Hill’s Color-Coding System (Legacy) for genealogy. My paper files follow the same color-coding. This is already helping me keep immediately keep track visually of where my families belong.

Be sure and add the free version “https://foldermarker.com/en/install-complete/?PrgVer=” , not the Trial version, unless you want to pay for more colors.

MRIN – Master Register Identification Number:

The software that you use will assign a RIN (individual’s record Identification number) and a MRIN (married record Identification number) to each person/marriage in your collection as you add the person. This is an organizing method that I decided not to use. The ID numbers can get reassigned by the Software, are not in chronological (age) order, and you need a list to translate the # coded people into names.

Applying My File Organization to Legacy:

Now to apply this to my Legacy Family Tree software program on my computer. First there are some options that you have to choose in the software program.

I have all of of my media on my Windows 10 HP computer in “C>This computer>Pictures”, both photographs and photographed documents. Some documents are duplicated as PDFs in “C>This computer>Genealogy, Family>Sub-folders” with my Word documents. The photographs that I take for my day-by-day are stored in “Google Photos”. When I take photographs or scans of documents, etc on genealogy searches, I copy them into “Pictures”.

I decided to refer the Legacy media link option to my “C>This computer>Pictures”, with a backup to Dropbox, instead of another duplication into the Legacy preferred “C>my computer>User>Vicki>Legacy>Media”. It cuts down on the file name digit length. Since I save my media into my “Pictures”, it made more sense for me to not add another place to have Legacy look to.

Final Considerations:

I have to decide if women will stay in their father’s file (with only marriage/divorce information in their husband’s surname folder), or if they will have all events go to their husband’s file after marriage. Something else to consider – what if the people intermix their (Master file) names by marrying?!! No filing system is without problems.

I don’t want a file system that is so abbreviated or coded that someone else cannot figure out what it is. The trick is to make sure that the total file name is 255 or less, including the file path name. I may need to modify with abbreviations to make sure the file name length will work – IE 2 letter State abbreviation, etc.

Hurrah! I’m about ready to implement all of this into my Legacy after a long time experimenting. It may be the organization method that will work for me always. It suits the way that I think. It may help you too!

Hints – Be sure and use the same organizing method on both your computer files and on your paper files. Write down a summary of your organization method for you and others to refer to. Be consistent. Update your Master method document if you decide to modify your file name organization.

Let’s tame that unruly beast of information that we keep discovering for our exponentially ever-expanding list of relatives back in time, and forward too!

Wisconsin Historical Society WHS On-line Conference 2022


Five topics – each day-long with 4 sessions on different Dates. Recorded so you can listen to them for 30 days after Workshop with registration.

Fall 2022 Genealogy Workshops Registration is now open!
Join us this Fall for 5 genealogical online workshops!  Each full day webinar workshop is recorded and recordings remain accessible to all registrants for 30 days after the event.  These are all online workshops that can be attended from the comfort of your home. 

Register today!

September 10 – African American Genealogy with Patricia Glover-Howard
September 24 – Polish (Czech, Slovak) Genealogy with Steve Szabados
October 8 – Genealogical Records with Eleanor Brinsko
October 29 – Basics of DNA and Genealogy with Dana Kelly
November 12 – German Genealogy with Antje Petty

WHS workshops

Cost: $40 each topic / Workshop.
Society members and WSGS-Wisconsin State Genealogical Society receive a 10% discount.
Advance registration is required by noon Nov. 10.

Click on the title of each workshop to find out more, and to register:

African American Genealogy Workshop

Sep 10 :: Online Webinar ::
Explore fascinating resources and uncover the history of your African ancestors.
African American

Genealogy Workshop

Polish Genealogy Workshop

Sep 24 :: Online Webinar ::
Explore fascinating resources and uncover the history of your Polish, Czech, and Slovak ancestors.

Genealogy Workshop

Genealogy Records Research Workshop

Oct 8 :: Online Webinar ::
Explore fascinating resources and uncover the history of your ancestors.
Genealogy Records

Genealogy Workshop

German Genealogy Workshop

Nov 12 :: Online Webinar ::
Explore fascinating resources and uncover the history of your German ancestors.
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