Category Archives: How-to-do genealogy

Stateline Genealogy Club, LLC

Stateline Genealogy Club, LLC

June 7, 2019

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

Screenshot_2019-05-16 Photos - Google Photos

I retired as a Reference Librarian in March, and wanted to continue my work helping people with genealogy and stateline Wisconsin/Illinois local history.  It is important to me that I am able to continue the Stateline Genealogy Club, meeting at the Beloit Public Library that I founded in 2012.

Below is information about the  new genealogy business I formed.  It is from my new Stateline Genealogy Club, LLC brochure that I just created.  ( The actual brochure is not fuzzy like the first snipped/pasted/enlarged version on the BLOG.  I added the brochure in a second clearer, but smaller font as well.)  I can email the brochure to you.

Beloit Public Library has contracted with me to continue organizing, leading, and presenting the monthly (newly named) “Beloit Public Library Genealogy Classes” there.

I will see you at the Library for the June 14 program –

“Crossing the Border, French Canadian Ancestors”, by speaker George Findlen. The steps, resources & aids that one needs to successfully identify the parents of an immigrant who settled in the U.S. from Quebec,

and every second Friday of the month!  The patent/brand “Stateline Genealogy Club”  and logo now belong to me.

I continue to do presentations at various stateline Libraries, and Historical/Genealogical Societies, etc. –  (see tab above “Presentations by Vicki” for the calendar).  I will let you know of other libraries in the area that contract with me for more regular programs.

My work searching an individual’s family genealogy will be limited, as I will concentrate on consultation with teaching/helping people who are researching their own history, doing local presentations, contracting with Libraries, and writing this BLOG.  (As you know, it takes a lot of time to “do” genealogy.)

Most questions about specific Beloit, Wisconsin family/local history questions should be answered by phoning the Beloit Public Library directly at (608) 364-2905.   I have done some basic genealogy training with the staff, and will be doing more training.

Only contact me if more detailed or extensive research is needed.  I will be at the Beloit Public Library after the monthly programs for 1 hour, if someone wants to briefly get help from me in person without paying me a fee.

It is not as easy now that I am not working at the Library 40 hours a week as the “Resident Librarian Genealogist”.  My Stateline Genealogy Club, LLC company will be part-time as I want time to do the many hobbies I enjoy, including researching my own family history!










Prince Hall Masonic Lodge Picture Research – African American, Beloit, Wisconsin

Prince Hall Masonic Lodge Picture Research-

African American, Beloit, Wisconsin

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

15 May 2019

I was very happy and honored to be given the photograph below (as the Beloit Public Library genealogist and historian), so that it could be preserved and more people could see it.  After researching the photograph, I donated both the photo and the research to the BHS Beloit Historical Society, Beloit Wisconsin to fulfill their request for more Beloit African American photographs and artifacts.
“…your gift (photo) to the BHS…wow! what a piece of history for us to have! Thank you!”
That photograph has the best chance of being preserved and properly displayed at BHS, (especially after it’s rough physical history – story below) .
Prince Hall Photo panoramic stitch1925 Prince Hall Masonic Lodge African American Convention in Milwaukee Wisconsin
I had to scan the 36 x 8 photograph (and back) in 2 sections on the Library photocopier (free for the public).  The panoramic picture above is after I “stitched” the 2 overlapping photographs/scans into one on my computer.  I used the free Microsoft App Image Composite Editor  (more information and download here)
There is an initiative to gather and to archive more materials from Beloit families related to the Black Great Migration to Beloit 1910-1970, and the history of the black community in BeloitBeloit College students under Professor Beatrice McKenzie and the Beloit Historical Society are collaborating to find items that can be digitally photographed and returned.
There was a History Harvest Community Collection event on March 22, 2019 at New Zion Baptist Church Beloit, Wisconsin.  Attendees shared letters, photos, objects, and/or stories of their own or their family member’s migration from the South to work in Beloit’s factoriesStudents digitally captured the artifacts that community members brought to the harvest and are making a digital exhibit that will be housed on the Beloit College and Beloit Historical Society websites.
The 1925 Prince Hall Masonic Lodge African American Convention in Milwaukee Wisconsin photo (copy) and research will also be filed in the Beloit Public Library Local History Collection Pamphlet File under – GEN – Organizations and Clubs (The Prince Hall Masonic W.B. Kennedy Lodge No. 106 (later #3)
Here is the story of that photograph, which was ironically found in a Beloit African American church!:

Beloit African American Organization Convention Photograph

May 9, 2018

“This photograph comes from the estate of Richard J Walsh, delivered by his trustee and sister Bridget Walsh (to Beloit Public Library.)

Richard found the photo in the rubble of a church being torn down, the old Emmanuel Baptist Church, at Athletic and E. Grand in Beloit.  The photo had slid down a wall.

James Caldwell copied this photo when his family visited our farm (Walsh Family Farm, was Walsh Brothers Farm).  His wife Cheryl Johnson was related to the Ben Gordon family, who lived and worked on our farm for decades.  The Gordon’s had moved here from Alabama.”  Bridget Walsh

Further notes:

– Ben Gordon’s son Jerry Gordon, California, has done his family’s genealogy, per Bridget Walsh.  The Walsh children played with the Gordon children on the farm.

Bridget Walsh identified Ben in the photographs from the Beloit Oral History Project by Louis Koch – African American Up North – Fairbanks Flats (1976).  (Note – the photograph numbers on the on-line Index don’t seem to match the numbers on the photographs now.) Photographs are available world-wide on-line on the Beloit Public Library homepage , and in two Blue notebooks in the Library Local History Collection:

Shelf Location
Shelf Number
Beloit Public Library Genealogy GEN 977.588 K811 V.1
Beloit Public Library Genealogy GEN 977.588 K881 V.2

Bridget Walsh told me the story of  Ben Gordon’s first wife Etta May.  Etta May died from a chicken scratch infection that the doctor mis-treated. .  They lived (in a house provided by) and worked on Walsh Brothers Farm.  Ben moved to Fairbanks Flats and worked for Fairbanks Morse after Etta May died.  He remarried later.


The 134 photo caption says, “Ben Gordon holding photograph of himself & his first wife from Ross Hill 1921” (near Houston, Mississippi)

– On the back of the panoramic 1925 Prince Hall Masonic Lodge African American Convention in Milwaukee Wisconsin photo is written in pencil – an O symbol with 2 lines through it, the number “380”and “Mr. Creighton”. (Hint – look at the back of historic photographs for clues to their origin or identification.)

Prince Hall Photo back rotated

-The Prince Hall Masonic W.B. Kennedy Lodge No. 106 (later #3) Beloit Wisconsin was chartered by the Grand Lodge in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 1, 1925.  Maybe the 1925 Prince Hall Masonic Lodge African American Convention photograph documents the men that attended that charter ceremony.  Bridget mentioned that she had been told that there were men from several states at this convention.

– Beloit Oral History Project by Louis Koch – African American Up North – Fairbanks Flats (1976) photographs show a similar (later?) Beloit African American Organization photograph with fancier aprons and vestments in photograph 110.

110lThe caption is “Odd Fellows Lodge, including Revered Ogiss Dillon; ca 1940. (AB) This looks like Prince Hall Masonic Organization (see the aprons & white gloves), rather than Odd Fellows, added by K. Simmons 08-01-2006”

I looked at both the 1925 and the 1940 photos to see if I could see any men that were the same, but could not see any resemblances.  The clothing for each year does match the fashion for that year.  (Hint – look at people’s eyes, ears, noses, foreheads, other facial features, and stances to see the same person of a different age.)

How about this for a little known fact? – “In March, 1775, Prince Hall and fourteen other free Negroes of Boston Massachusetts were made Master Masons in an Army Lodge attached to one of General Gage’s regiments, then stationed near Boston.”  (This was the beginning of of the Masonic organization that led to the Beloit Chapter.)”   and “

-James Caldwell may have used the panoramic Organization Convention photograph in their DVD.  “Through their eyes: the history of African Americans in Beloit, WI from 1836 – 1970”, [videorecording (DVD)] Author Caldwell, Jim. Caldwell, Cheryl. Harris, Paulette Ivy. Lamont, Tony.  Publisher Jim and Cheryl Caldwell Foundation, Publication Date 2011; Shelf Location – Beloit Public Library     Non-fiction DVD 977.588 THROUGH


Follow-up on Using Evernote vs OneNote

Follow-up on Using Evernote vs OneNote

20 March 2019

Vicki Ruthe Hahn

See the source image

Vicki’s note – At the March 8, 2019 Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library program., we talked about using various gadgets, and apps, to assist you in genealogy organization/searching.  The Legacy Family Tree webinar by Thomas MacEntee included using Evernote, which is equivalent to OneNote.  I am looking into using Evernote vs OneNote for myself.

The following articles are helpful, but I still have not decided which one to use. And there are other note-taking apps available.

It may help to read about the few different features, and the comments in the articles below:


1) Evernote vs OneNote: Note-Taking to the Extreme

By Joseph Gildred
— Last Updated: 27 May’18

Both apps are evaluated and compared point by point in the first article.  Andddd – both are good!  They are declared to be the best two of any note-taking apps.

“Microsoft OneNote has 8.2 points for overall quality and 97% rating for user satisfaction; while Evernote has 8.0 points for overall quality and 98% for user satisfaction…. Facebook Microsoft OneNote has 122668 likes on their official profile while Evernote profile is liked by 424835 people.”


2) Compare Microsoft OneNote vs Evernote

by Finances On-line, Reviews for Business, Jan 22, 2019

Wrike is another app which is evaluated and contrasted to Evernote and OneNote in this second article.  The article compares the features of each of the three apps side by side.

3) OneNote vs. Evernote: A personal take on two great note-taking apps

I still have not decided whether to use Evernote or OneNote.  There are free versions (and paid versions) of each, but it would be easier to invest the time into learning and using just one.  However, this third article is by someone who uses both, and has for years.  Why not?  He says:

“Although Evernote and OneNote are both note-taking tools, they have very different emphases and can be used for quite different purposes.

If you’re primarily looking for a tool that lets you easily capture, organize and find content from the web, you’ll want Evernote, because its tools for doing that are exemplary. If you instead want to create notes from scratch and have them in well-organized notebooks, OneNote is the way to go.

Then again, you may be like me. I’ve been using both of them for years. OneNote is my go-to tool for organizing and taking notes for projects such as books and articles. I use Evernote for research.”


MCIGS McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society 2019 Summer Conference

MCIGS McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society 2019 Summer Conference

10 March 2019

Vicki’s note – my favorite stateline conference to attend. Great world-class speakers, nearby, inexpensive.  Speakers – Lisa Louise Cooke, Jay Fonkert, CG,

Michael Lacopo, DVM, and Diahan Southard.

I have gone the last few years and will be there this year:


MCIGS 2019 Summer Conference

Saturday, July 13, 2019
​8:00 am-3:30 pm
McHenry County College
8900 U.S. 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012
Download a brochure


Early registration: (February 15, 2019 – June 15, 2019)

  • Members $50.00
  • Non-members $50.00*

​       * Due to an error in our marketing materials, all early registrants will receive the price of $50.00.

Late Registration: (Postmarked after June 16, 2019)

  • Everyone: $75.00

(Lunch not guaranteed for registrations received after 6/30/19)

$20 Fee will be charged for cancellations prior to 6/16/2019.
No Refunds after 6/16/2019.

We encourage you to register online for the event.  Alternatively, you may download a registration form and send in your payment.

Feb. 8, 2019 Program on Maps


Feb. 8, 2019 Program on Maps


Vicki Ruthe Hahn

Here is the handout for the Stateline Genealogy Club February 8, 2019  program on maps.  Unfortunately, I will not be there due to not coordinating well from one year to the next.  I did not have my 2019 calendar when I planned a vacation to Arizona based on the schedules of my children and their families.  Guess what? February 8 is the second Friday of the month! Duh. Sorry about that.

The program will go on with some Beloit Library staff member starting the webinars.  I just wanted members to have an electronic copy of the links, so that you can access them more easily if needed.

BYU Brigham Young University is a great new resource that I found for learning how to do genealogy.

Have fun learning, and see you next time on March 8.  I endured the bitter double digits cold last week in Wisconsin, but I am avoiding the ice storms and cold again this week in sunny balmy 40 – 60 degrees Arizona.  Drive safely and stay warm.


February 8, 2019 Program “Using Maps in Genealogy” Handout

Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library

Play these videos:

Maps – BYU Family History Library (YouTube):

  • Locating Your Ancestors Exactly From Maps and Gazetteers – James Tanner = 56 minutes

  • Land Ownership Maps – Nicky Smith (11 minutes; only play minutes 2 – 11) = 9 minutes.

  • S. Land Records – John Hendrix = 49 minutes

  • Sanborn Maps – Bonnie Barker= 6.30 minutes (turn down the volume to minimize hum)


Other BYU videos – Using Maps, (and other topics) are at:

Sanborn Maps:

BYU Family History Library Resources, unless otherwise noted, these are available on internet.

Book – “Fire Insurance Maps: Their History and Application”, by Diane L. Oswald

Maps Links:

Library of Congress –

David Rumsey Map Collection –

University of Iowa – Counties Histories Atlases –

Google the Place Name plus Cadastral, Parcel, Land Ownership, Survey, Plat, Atlas, (plus Map)

WISCAT –  – Interlibrary Loan thru your public library

OCLC World Cat –  –  Interlibrary Loan thru your public library




Julian Calendar vs. Gregorian Calendar

Julian Calendar vs. Gregorian Calendar

Vicki’s note – article from FamilyTree magazine.  The various timing of countries converting from one calendar to another may be one reason for difficulties matching up the dates/days/months/years of historical or family events.  It took over 300 years for most all countries to finally adopt the Gregorian Calendar.

Why do Russian Orthodox Christians and the Serbian, Macedonian, Georgian, and Ukrainian Orthodox Churches celebrate Christmas so much later than Western Christians?  The Russian Orthodox Church (and these others that comprise the Eastern Orthodox Church) still observe the Julian calendar.  Their Christmas is Jan. 7. rather than Dec. 25 on the Gregorian calendar.

During the Soviet era, the celebration of Christmas in Russia was banned (along with the celebration of other religious holidays) so the traditions were changed to New Year’s to fit within the law. Since 1991 Russian Orthodox Christmas has been a public holiday in Russia.

Although the Russian Orthodox Church still uses the Julian calendar, the Russian government uses the Gregorian calendar just like the rest of the world.

Some Eastern Orthodox Churches – Greek, Cyprian, American, and Romanian are among the churches that use the Revised Julian calendar; introduced in 1923 to be closer to the Gregorian calendar. 

Read the entire article here.

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Map of Gregorian Calendar Adoption Dates

“Most modern countries use the Gregorian calendar to trace the passage of time. But it wasn’t always that way. Here’s when each country adopted the Gregorian calendar—and why it matters for researchers.

Have you ever looked at a record and seen the letters O.S. or N.S.? You can thank (of all things) calendar systems for the strange nomenclature. During the Renaissance of the 16th century, the Catholic Church switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. As a result, predominantly Catholic countries such as Spain, France, Italy, Poland and Portugal skipped 10 days ahead. The rest of the world stayed behind.

The Julian calendar, introduced by Julius Caesar, was imprecise, making it difficult for the Church to determine when to celebrate the Easter holiday. This presented problems for the clergy, astronomers and long-term recordkeepers. As a result, Pope Gregory XIII introduced a new, more precise timekeeping system. Under the “Gregorian calendar,” every fourth year is a leap year, allowing the calendar to more closely follow the Earth’s revolution around the sun.

Adopting the new calendar presented some difficulties, however. To “catch up,” countries adopting the calendar had to skip ahead several days. Citizens of these Catholic countries that switched to the new calendar fell asleep Oct. 4, 1582, and woke up the next day on Oct. 15, 1582, having lost 10 days from the calendar year.

This map shows Gregorian calendar adoption dates by country.

The map above illustrates the year each country adopted the Gregorian calendar, and the number of days dropped upon adoption…”

2019 Programs for Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library


Hot off the presses.  These are the programs for 2019.  I am excited to learn more at these programs next year.

There will be a 2019 Programs tab on  the BLOG in 2019 when I move the 2018 programs to the “Previous Programs” tag.  I will have copies printed as bookmarks available soon at the Library, and next week at the December 14 Program:

December 14, 2018 – “Laurence Ousley of the Beloit Public Library – Researching and Writing an African-American Family Life Story”, by Vicki Ruthe Hahn 

 I hope to see you there.       


2019 Programs for Stateline Genealogy Club

@ Beloit Public Library

605 Eclipse BLVD, Beloit WI 53511                                  

2nd Fridays of the month 10 a.m. – noon.

All are welcome. Free resources and support to those learning or doing research on their family history.

BLOG“” for Contact Information, Links & Helps

January 11 – “NEHGS New England Historic Genealogical Society – ‘Get the Most from”, Legacy Family Tree webinar by Claire Vail. In Classroom.

February 8 –”Using Maps in Genealogy”, various webinars from BYU:

Understanding Maps, Land Ownership Maps, Locating Ancestors from Maps and Gazetteers, Sanborn Maps, U.S. Land Records

March 8 – “You Use WHAT for Genealogy? Wonderful Uses for Unusual Tools” Legacy Family Tree webinar by Thomas MacEntee – How to Use Google, Copyright, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Blogging, Dropbox, Social Media for genealogy.

April 12 – “Research Your Swedish Heritage in Living Color Using ArkivDigital”, by speaker Kathy Meade from  Swedish Church Records and other Historical Records online.  In Classroom.

May 10 “Genealogy Clues Found in Obituaries and Funeral Home Records”, by speaker Jarod Williams, , Rosman Funeral Home (rescheduled from 2018.) In Classroom

June 14 “Crossing the Border, French Canadian Ancestors”, by speaker George Findlen. The steps, resources & aids that one needs to successfully identify the parents of an immigrant who settled in the U.S. from Quebec.

June 28, 2019 – Bonus 2nd Friday Tour & Research at WHS Wisconsin Historical Society.  Van Galder Coach Bus So Beloit IL FastMart/McDonalds 8 a.m. boarding to Madison WI/UW Campus Langdon/Park.  Return early evening.

July 12 “Finding the Genealogy of Houses, and Those that Lived In Them” by speaker Vicki Ruthe Hahn

August 9 “An Introduction to WikiTree, the Free Global Family Tree” by speaker Marty Acks.    A community of genealogists growing an accurate single family tree using DNA & traditional genealogical sources.

September 13 – “NARA; Introduction to Genealogy at the National Archives and Records Administration” on-line Slideshow by Claire Kluskens (presented by Vicki Ruthe Hahn)

October 11 – “Reminiscing – Life Writing Your Story for Posterity to Share with Your Family”, by speaker Vicki Ruthe Hahn. Hands-on exercises & suggestions on how to reflect your own life through words, photos, and mapping.  Bring a photo or picture from your past that you want to write about.   Part 2 -“Soda Fountains to Robots”, amusing stories and vignettes of local personalities in local family owned pharmacies with author Connie Sveum.  Copies of her book will be available for purchase and signing.

November 8 – “Stateline Travelers – Chicago Gangsters Connections to Northern Illinois & Wisconsin”, by speaker Vicki Ruthe Hahn

December 13 – “Lineage Groups – Proofs for DAR, SAR, Colonial Dames, Etc.”  A group presentation by local experts, and using ->search>Wiki> lineage societies


Haunted and Historic Stateline – Genealogy of Haunted Houses


Haunted and Historic Stateline –

Genealogy of Haunted Houses


By Vicki Ruthe Hahn

SGS – self described Stateline Genealogy Sorter

Beloit Public Library hosted a Halloween Program October 29, 2018 with 54 attending.  I don’t even know how I have been assigned to host these programs every year, but it has given me insight into some angles of genealogy that I never considered before the last few years.  I really don’t like this aspect of Halloween, but attending and hosting the programs has been interesting.  You may have read my companion posting “Other Travelers – Part 1 – Genealogy Psychic Abilities and Me. Do Folks with Psychic Abilities Have an Easier Time Doing Genealogy?”

This year,  paranormal investigator and local historian Kathi Kresol, and spirit medium Sara Bowker joined us for local ghost stories:

2018 Oct 29 Haunted & Historic Stateline Sara Bowker, Vicki Hahn, Kathi Kresol

Sara Bowker, Vicki Ruthe Hahn, and Kathi Kresol

2018 Oct 29 Haunted & Historic Stateline Sara Bowker & Fans

Sara Bowker and some of her fans.


Kathi has written some books about the topic which we have at the Beloit Public Library to check out:

Cover image for Haunted Rockford, Illinois

133.109773 KRESOL

Cover image for Murder & mayhem in Rockford, Illinois
977.331 KRESOL

Kathi and Sara talked about many things that go bump in the night!  They explained that spiritual is tied to the land, and that Native American Indians had a lifestyle that honored that.  Spirits thus are found near Indian Mounds.  Other geographical features that influence the attraction of spirits are running water, and limestone.  Now, can you say “Rockton IL, Rockford IL, and Beloit WI?

Fear and charged emotions can feed spirits strong attraction to a location.  Historic war re-enactments can trigger spirits activity as well.  They mentioned that even a piece of antique furniture from a troubled situation, or a rock from Alcatraz Island Prison can be haunted.
Paranormal research groups have studied the Stephen Mack house in Macktown (Pecatonic) IL, Tinker Swiss Cottage in Rockford IL, and Hanchett-Bartlett Homestead (an 1857 Victorian farmstead house) in Beloit WI.  All three have been tested as having paranormal activity, and ghosts.
A trio of ghosts – presumed to be Stephen Mack, his wife Honnenegah, and their son who died young, have been sighted walking together by the Macktown house in the cemetery where they are buried.  Several young child ghosts have been sighted at the Beloit Homestead – one even having a mischievous personality that matches one of the families son who died early.
These ideas may spark some interesting insights on doing genealogical research on a house.  Even if you you are not “sensitive” to the presence of spirits, you may want to be aware that there are people who do feel that.
I am not, but even I could feel a profound sadness and something strongly while visiting the Battleground of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  So many thousands of men killed in War there in three days of battles.
At any rate, this is just one very small angle of “How to do the Genealogy of a House”, which will be the subject of the program  that I am researching for the Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library to present on December 13, 2019.  Be looking for the complete list of 2019 Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library Programs soon!

1790-1840 U. S. Federal Censuses – Searching Hints

1790-1840 U. S. Federal Censuses – Searching Hints

1 DEC 2018

Vicki’s Note – article and Youtube “Finding Unnamed Ancestors on the 1790-1840 Censuses” by Will Moneymaker.  You can subscribe to receive articles. 

Great way to make better use of the rather vague 1790-1840 Censuses. His thorough techniques will help us find our ancestors. 

One can also use an extension of his techniques to find African American slave ancestors from that time period.  Look for the head of household/slave owner’s name.  Match up the possible people, by age and sex hash marks, that could be your ancestor.  Look in later Censuses for people with that last name in that County or adjacent counties.  Freed slaves often took the surname of their former masters, and did not move far.

US GenWeb project: volunteers providing free online genealogy help, links and information for every U.S. state and county; and Special Projects, gathering useful data you can access for free.

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“Have you used the 1790-1840 census records in your genealogy research? Many beginning genealogists skip these valuable record sources because they do not believe they will include anything useful for them. After all, these early census records only recorded the names of the heads of households. Everyone else in the household was nameless, though the 1810-1840 census records break down males and females in each household by age group and free or slave status. The 1840 census even lists how many people living in the household are Revolutionary War veterans. This might not seem like much to go on to discover the people who lived with your early ancestors (and discover new ancestors in the process), but it can be done. You just have to know where to look for clues to the identities of those check marks under the gender and age categories on these old census records. Here’s how to do it…

Make a Chart to Get Organized

Start Checking Later Censuses

Search Later Censuses By Last Name and Age for Grown Children

…Other places you can check to get names of a parent for children that may include the name of your head of household to confirm the relationship include FindAGrave, FamilySearch, and the various state pages of the US GenWeb project.

Read, or watch, the full article here.



StatelineGenealogyClub. BLOG BLOG

25 Nov 2018

By Vicki Ruthe Hahn

SGS Stateline Genealogy Sorter (a self-designated description of what I do!)

12statelinegenealogyclublogo-lg-3.jpgFour and 1/2 years ago I created the Blog “”.  The Beloit Public Library management assigned this to me as one of my work duties June 15, 2014.   It was a way for me to inform the people that come to the Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library, (which I founded April 13, 2012), and to connect with the wider genealogy population in the Illinois Wisconsin stateline area to let them know about the great genealogy program and resources that the Library has.  Three supervisors had me continue this BLOG.

(Anyone who comes to the Stateline Genealogy Club is a “member”.  There is no cost or obligation.  The Library pays me to facilitate their genealogy program.)

It was decided that I communicate this as a BLOG rather than as a Facebook page.  It was certainly an interesting learning experience to create a BLOG.  My first trial version was using a GOOGLE BLOG, but it was too frustrating to have to incorporate their standard (at that time) of concentric “circles of friends”.  This is my second “Theme” using  I will continue to improve the layout and usability of this BLOG as I have time to learn even more options.

However, that is the problem.  I will have less time to work on the BLOG for awhile.  (Some of my family responsibilities have taken a lot of my time, but will be the material for lots of BLOG postings in the future.)  And:

Recently new Beloit Public Library management has decided that, “going forward”, doing this BLOG will no longer be one of my work duties under a new service model .  I will not be able to work on my BLOG during work hours.

This BLOG has become important to many people in the Stateline Genealogy Club, and to others.  So I have decided to volunteer my own time to continue writing this””  BLOG.

I continue to be assigned to oversee the Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library, and the overall Local History/Genealogy Program, collections, Library microfilm requests, and volunteers at the Library.  So I will still be able to assist you in the Library, or you can contact me through the Library -“” for those.

The “” homepage has a link to the Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library through a link to this BLOG.  Click on “Resources”, then:

Stateline Genealogy Club

Stateline Genealogy Club offers resources and support to those doing research on their genealogy. Programs are held regularly on the second Friday of each month from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.


The surprise is how widespread this BLOG is now viewed.  I receive posting ideas from many genealogy and history sources – other’s online  BLOGS, links to government sites, emails from Club members, newspaper clippings given to me, news reports, family suggestions and experiences, etc.   I always source my material and give full credit and links back to other’s work.

Since 2014, I have posted 667 postings, there have been 21,341 views, and 14,209 visitors.  There are 69 “followers”, 15 Bloggers, and 54 email.

The BLOG became much more helpful and popular after I added a tab (“Page”) in 2016? for “Genealogy Links and Helps”.   You can click on the Genealogy Links and Helps tab at the top of the BLOG.  The links are organized by topic.  I started that Page as a way for me to gather all of the many useful on-line genealogy links (and forms) into one place for myself, and realized it would help all of you too.  I continue to add (mostly free) links there frequently.

The value of those links is that, even though I was not able to post as many times this year as in the past three, the views have increased.  There were 1,018 in October 2018.  That lets me know that I am on the right track.

Some email followers have discovered that they miss the links on that tab by only relying on reading the emails they get when I post.  It helps to go to the actual BLOG  once in awhile.  One member told me, “Oh, I am just going to live on this (Genealogy Links and Helps) Page!”

The BLOG has been recognized by Cyndi’ as a Wisconsin Genealogy resource, by who contacted me to ask if I would add their military link.  My favorite is an after-school group of students (from I don’t know where!)

“History at Home: A Guide to Genealogy” –  a Special Site Shared with Us by the After-School Students doing a Family Tree Project

who found my site while doing a genealogy project and asked if I would let them use the BLOG, and also asked me to share the genealogy links project (that they had gathered) with you –  So much fun to see their (young) enthusiasm for a hobby we all enjoy and share! BLOG has proven to be a boon to many genealogists throughout the world.  At last count, people from 122 countries have viewed the StatelineGenealogyClub BLOG.  Granted, some of those are only one or two views, and some may have been spam/hacking attempts, but I am still amazed at the variety on the list.  (P.S. – does a great job filtering out any problems, so no worries for you or me.)

I think it goes back to “genealogy is the most popular hobby in the United States, until the summer, when the most popular hobby is gardening.”  The same seems to be true of the world.  It is due to our innate curiosity is to learn more about ourselves and where our families came from.

I am destined to specialize in being the generalist genealogist, rather than specialize in any one region/topic.  So I know a little about a lot of things.

My ancestry is American – Scottish, Irish, Welsh, English, German, French, and (by way of DNA testing) Iberian Peninsula (Spain/Portugal).  My children have the addition of at least Bohemian and Native American Indian.

I received my college degree in anthropology with a history minor, my Masters Degree in Library Science, and have worked in almost every role in public libraries – Page (book shelver), Assistant Clerk, Children’s Librarian, Head of Circulation Librarian, Library Director; as well as stints doing cataloging, academic and specialized libraries.  March, 2019 will mark my 26th year working at Beloit Public Library, WI.  I also substitute taught for two years – and, of course, any subject, any grade.

Communities from central western Illinois to southwest Wisconsin have been my home, and I enjoy traveling and learning the local history of wherever I am.

This BLOG has also sparked another way for me  to reach out to let the stateline community know about the Genealogy program at the Beloit Public Library.  My postings on local topics have caught the attention of several organizations in the Illinois Wisconsin stateline area.  I have been giving genealogy presentations at libraries and genealogy/history societies in the area for the last 2 years.

The BLOG statistics jump each time that I do a Genealogy Club or an outreach presentation because I always refer to this BLOG as a great bibliographic genealogy resource.  The highest stats in one day was the 72 views by 50 visitors on November 10, 2018.

I create 2 – 4 new programs each year that I also present at the Stateline Genealogy Club.  I will be adding another tab at the top of this BLOG about my “Genealogy Presentations” so that you can learn more about their content, reception, and my scheduled events.  The best on-going way  to contact me about presentations, questions about my BLOG, and general genealogy questions is at my BLOG email –

I invite you to continue sharing my genealogy-related explorations as I follow my innate curiosity and quest for learning.  Let me know if there is anything about the BLOG that can improve it.  Happy sleuthing.