Tag Archives: Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library

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!










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. https://sites.lib.byu.edu/familyhistory/alphabetical-list/#S

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

Maps Links:

Library of Congress – https://www.loc.gov/maps/?q=maps

David Rumsey Map Collection – https://www.davidrumsey.com/

University of Iowa – Counties Histories Atlases – http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/atlases/

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

WISCAT – https://www.wiscat.net/MVC/  – Interlibrary Loan thru your public library

OCLC World Cat – https://www.worldcat.org/search?qt=worldcat_org_all&q=maps  –  Interlibrary Loan thru your public library




Oakwood Cemetery, Waukegan Illinois 24th Cemetery Walk 2018

Oakwood Cemetery, Waukegan Illinois

24th Cemetery Walk 2018

13 Jan 2019

Vicki’s note – Thanks to Ron Zarnick for sharing this Facebook video (see below.)

  Waukegan Illinois also has an Oakwood Cemetery.   See connections to the Waukegan Oakwood Cemetery grave site map, and a video of the Waukegan Historical Society 2015 Cemetery Walk including Ray Bradbury.  Read more about the history of Waukegan Illinois.

I also updated the BLOG “Genealogy Links and Helps” tab with links under ”

Vital Records – Birth, Death, Marriage (see also States; Countries by name): Death Certificates:

with links to databases that show what disease/reason the “cause of death” number (120 below) refers to, and a translation of historic/current medical terms for diseases:

See the source image

For some reason, one of my most popular postings on this BLOG is the “Oak Woods Cemetery, Chicago Illinois”.

The Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library did the tour of Oakwood Cemetery in Beloit WI in August 2018.  See BLOG posting “Stateline Travelers Part 10 – Visiting the Beloit Wisconsin Pioneers at Oakwood Cemetery Tour; Cemetery Clues .

We will also have the Program November 8, 2019 – “Stateline Travelers – Chicago Gangsters Connections to Northern Illinois & Wisconsin”, by (me) speaker Vicki Ruthe Hahn. I will get more information on this video for as I create that program.  🙂

See complete list of The Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library 2019 programs. (Also available on the BLOG tab at the top.)

8 sideways

Waukegan Illinois 24th Oakwood Cemetery Walk 2018, is called “Typical Illinois.” The actors tell us stories of Chicago Gangsters involvement in Waukegan, an Illinois Governor on trial, a writer of the Illinois Constitution, a visit from the White Sox & Cubs and more.

Click here to watch the one hour video tour.

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“statelinegenealogyclub.wordpress.com” for Contact Information, Links & Helps

January 11 – “NEHGS New England Historic Genealogical Society – ‘Get the Most from AmericanAncestors.org”, 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  https://www.arkivdigital.net/.  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 FamilySearch.org ->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!

StatelineGenealogyClub. wordpress.com BLOG

StatelineGenealogyClub.wordpress.com 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 “StatelineGenealogyClub.Wordpress.com”.  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 wordpress.com.  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”StatelineGenealogyClub.wordpress.com”  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 -“vhahn@beloitlibrary.org” for those.

The “BeloitLibrary.org” 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 wordpress.com 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 StatelineGenealogyClub.wordpress.com BLOG has been recognized by Cyndi’sList.com as a Wisconsin Genealogy resource, by Ancestry.com 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 – https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/guide-to-genealogy/.  So much fun to see their (young) enthusiasm for a hobby we all enjoy and share!

StatelineGenealogyClub.wordpress.com 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. – wordpress.com 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 – statelinegenealogyclub@yahoo.com.

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.

Creating Local History Community Archives, & Protecting Archives from Climate Change

Creating Local History Community Archives,

& Protecting Archives from Climate Change

5-31-2018 (updated)

by Vicki Hahn

SGS – Stateline Genealogy Sorter.

(Also see article from Pacific Standard Magazine on Protecting Archives from Climate Change below.)


We were very lucky at the Beloit Public Library that a recent major water leak did not affect our Genealogy/Local History Collection area.  As one Stateline Genealogy @ Beloit Public Library member said, “At least WE didn’t get any water damage.”  This water damage is not due to climate change, but a valid reminder of how vulnerable these archives are.

The recent prolific spring rains, and potential for flooding may be a good opportunity to pay attention to how you have your own personal valuable genealogy papers, artifacts, and books stored.  Years ago, the only things I cared about retrieving after a major house fire, were my purse and my photograph albums.  I have had items damaged by a furnace humidifier leaking, children recording over my Grandmother’s family history interview, dogs teething, etc.  Life happens – protect your history items.  Imagine anything happening.

The whole 1/4 of the Beloit Public Library, next to our Collection, was roped off for the month of April due to water damage from H-VACs leaking water overnight from the second floor.  The HVACs are not over the Genealogy/Local History Collection, but part of that was roped off also as the rehab crew worked.  The end of the Mystery Fiction Collection, and the Riverside Meeting Room were both inundated. The Library did lose 450 books from the Mystery Collection.  All of the furniture, carpet and ceiling in the Riverside Room had to be replaced, and some shelving ends. That being said, we were lucky.

And, I am continuing to add uniquely valuable items to our Local History Collection.

I have just gotten the go-ahead to start (retroactively to April 2015) get our Beloit Daily Newspapers microfilmed again, once we get funding from our Library FABL Friend at Beloit Library, or Foundation groups. The Beloit Daily News BDN cut paying for supplying the microfilms to Beloit Public Library and the Beloit College Archives Library at that time.  (This may take a few years.  It will include a request to purchase a second microfilm machine, as our old one has failed for good.)  I will also ask for the purchase of a third microfilm storage cabinet.  Sooner than that, we will move a third Local History lateral pamphlet file cabinet into our Genealogy/local History area.

Thanks to specialized Library Volunteers – we will soon have a complete Index to Book of Beloit (1 , 1836 – 1936) by  Linda Smith, which I will be getting into print.  (There has been an incomplete index available, but the new complete one will make searching so much more thorough.)  Linda also recently created a complete Index to Book of Beloit II, 1936 – 1986, which we have as a book in our Genealogy/Local History Collection.

The Beloit College Archives has a whole card catalog full of indexed cards to supplement the original Book of Beloit I.  I will have them compare our volunteer’s work to see if they have anything in addition (doubtful:) )  I will share the finished Index digitally with the other local history organizations – Beloit Historical Society, Rock County Historical Society, South Beloit Historical Society Wheeler House, Hedberg Public Library Janesville, and Beloit College Archives Library.

Phyllis DeGraff, another volunteer, has just finished creating an Index to, and digitally retyping a local history by Beloiter  “Woodrow Wilson Memoirs”.  This was from a typed manuscript that we received from Custom Book Binding (local publisher) . The manuscript is waiting my review, and later the publisher will give the Library some finished books once they are published.

Two other big local history collection additions are in the works (maybe done in a year?) Monette Bebow-Reinhard (a new volunteer) has started to transcribe the 1976 Beloit – Black Oral History CDs.  These are the interviews of several relatives/immigrants recruited from Pontotoc, Mississippi to work at Fairbanks Morse in Beloit Wisconsin.  These interviews have never been fully transcribed and will be a valuable printed resource on the important (local history) African American Up North Migration and Jim Crow experience.  The CDs can be checked out at the Library.  There are also on-line digital audio recordings that you can listen to on the WHS Wisconsin Historical Society website for free.

Fred Burwell, from Beloit College Archives Library, shared this:

“Here is a link to their main page on the oral histories:


If you click on any name at the side, it will lead you to a table of contents for that particular recording and you can click on a further link to the actual sound.  For some of the people there are multiple links to more than one recording.

There’s also a transcript for the Rubie Bond recording, although my guess is that it is not a complete transcript: https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/pdfs/lessons/EDU-LessonPlans-RubieBondOralHistory-Transcript.pdf

I am glad to hear that you have a volunteer interested in transcribing these incredibly valuable recordings.  I would love to have the transcripts!  They would be really useful for students and other researchers.”

Another project in the works, is a coincidence of timing.  We will have the work of a veteran on Vietnam Veteran Obituaries (donated to the Hedberg Public Library) in our Beloit People and Families Bookcase under “Veterans”.  And our Library Page, Susan Park, has gathered cemetery information as part of her long efforts to honor fellow military veterans while doing general volunteering work for FindaGrave.com .  An excellent photographer, and thorough researcher, Susan is working on creating books of all military burials in the Rock County cemeteries. In awhile, she will have her “Rock County Veterans in Oakwood Cemetery” book completed for our collection.   Later she will have her “Rock County Veterans in Eastlawn Cemetery” book completed.

Susan recently won the award from a  local Rock County veterans group – Montford Point Marine Post.:

“This past Saturday I was presented the Homer Hempstead Humanitarian Service Award by the National Montford Point Marine Association, Chapter 41.  An Award for Veterans, presented to Veterans, for serving Veterans.  The award was based on all the cemetery work I have done in Veterans Sections of our cemeteries.  I have photographed and created Memorial Pages for over 782 Veterans graves.  I strongly feel no Veteran should be lost or forgotten. 

Freedom is not Free.

Simply put, it’s Veterans taking care of Veterans.”

(On left – Major General Anderson, on the right Susan Park.)

And finally, a new book on Beloit by Robert Burdick,  “Growing Up in Beloit” was donated to the Library.  These are stories based on the articles that he wrote for years in the Beloit Daily News, Savoy Section.  http://squarepegbookshop.com/product/growing-up-in-beloit/  .  Bob has been coming to the Library for years to research aspects of his articles in our Genealogy/Local History Collection.


How to Protect Rare Books & Manuscripts From the Ravages of Climate Change

(Vicki’s note – on-line article from Pacific Standard magazine, thanks to Ron Zarnick.)

(Read the full article here:)

“Almost all American archives are at risk from disasters or changing temperatures. Community history will probably be the first to go…”
“Centuries of written history are at risk of being damaged by climate change. Yet archivists, the stewards of this history, have sometimes been slow to wake up to the danger.
This history, in the form of manuscripts, codices, printed books, and other material artifacts, is kept in expensive and well-ventilated university collections; it is tucked in crumpling cardboard boxes under the desks of local librarians; it sits crammed into the storage cupboards of city governments. Some documents attract scholars from around the world, while others hold scant interest beyond hobbyist historians. Many are irreplaceable.

Almost all are at risk of degradation caused by projected temperature changes, humidity, sea level rise, storm surges, and precipitation, according to new research on United States collections by a group of archivists and climate scientists.

…”The No. 1 thing you have to do to keep rare archival material from growing mildew or falling apart is to maintain a constant temperature and humidity,” Tansey says. “If the atmosphere outside is constantly hot one day, cold the next, that means you’re having to use that much more energy to keep your building at a consistent temperature for your collection, which is often contributing to climate change itself.” 

…There are measures that archivists can take to protect their collections, including identifying opportunities to relocate temporarily in the event of a disaster, or revamping storage facilities in light of local risks.”


What Car Bumper Sticker Would You Want?


What Car Bumper Sticker Would You Want?

Vicki Ruthe Hahn


If you were creating a bumper sticker to tell the world about your genealogy hobby, what would you declare? Genealogy is the number one hobby, (except May – August, when gardening is temporarily the number one hobby!) 

These are sayings thought up by a Library staff committee when we were promoting our new (2013) Ancestry.com Library Edition database at Beloit Public Library.

We still have Ancestry.com Library Edition database at Beloit Public Library!

Find Family

Find Your History

Dig deeper

Past Look

Past Links?

Who’s Behind You?

Connect the dots….

Discover Family

Your History

Family Connections

Beneath the Surface

Indoor Sport

Meet the Family

Meet Your Family

Wild Ones?


Your Family Book

Family First

Family Tree?

Doing it In the Library






Irish DNA Registry’s Facebook Group

Irish DNA Registry’s Facebook Group

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

SGS Stateline Genealogy Sorter

April 7, 2018


Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library member Karen Bernard inquired about this resource that is new to me.

Irish DNA Registry’s Facebook group

It is a closed Facebook support group that you have to ask to join.

The group is focused on DNA test results connected to Irish results only.

The whole purpose seems to be finding Irish cousins,

and helping genealogy searchers link to finding out more about their Irish (location) origins.

One must first have taken, and gotten results, from a DNA test.

Then upload the test results onto the free universal sharing site –


GEDmatch.com  (https://www.gedmatch.com/login1.php)
before joining this Facebook group.
GEDmatch offers a matching tool that may help with interpreting your DNA test results
whether you are Irish or not.

Tools for DNA and Genealogy Research
GEDmatch provides DNA and genealogical analysis tools for amateur and professional researchers and genealogists. Most tools are free, but They do provide some premium tools for users who wish to help support with contributions. One will need to upload DNA and / or genealogical (GEDCOM) data to make use of the tools there. Registration requires your name, email and a password of your choice. Click HERE to register.

You can  also upload your DNA test results to FTDNA (Family Tree), or MyHeritage for free, as this will add greatly to your contacts and hopefully your results.
You do not have to have a membership to MyHeritage.

The Irish DNA Registry’s Facebook group has enough members to get results:

Members · 5,152

Getting your DNA tested can help break through brick walls.
There is nothing to lose and so much potential for gain.

There are frequent sales at each of the DNA testing companies for about $60 for a general autosomal test.

Males can spend more, and be tested at FTDNA for their Y DNA.

Once your tests are done, and submitted to the various comparison sites (particularly
GedMatch), it is there for posterity.

Your sample at FTDNA is kept for any future developments, so there is no need to re-test.

Ideally you should have your oldest living relative/s sampled, as well as having siblings, cousins and other more distant known relatives tested.  This for comparison and elimination to narrow down most recent common ancestors (MRCAs). (This is a new term to me.
Include as complete a family ancestry tree as you can plus all
known ancestral surnames. To compare a DNA match one needs clues!

Irish peoples have emigrated all over the world.
Searching Irish ancestry seems to be especially difficult, due to the destruction of key records in Ireland.
Here are some especially helpful links to resources to help you search your Irish Ancestry:

(4-7-2018 I am sad to say that Sean E. Quinn’s “all things Irish” website IrishAncestors.net

is not longer available. It was a great resource.  I do not know what happened, and will let you know if I find out.)

See MANY, many more links at The StatelineGenealogyClub.wordpress.com BLOG under the top tab
Genealogy Links and Electronic Helps and then search alphabetically DOWN  to

“Irish Ancestors, (see also Scots- Irish Ancestors)”

DNA is increasingly proving the links where paper trails fail.

Karen, thanks for letting us know about this Irish DNA Registry’s Facebook group.
I too am finding my Irish Ancestors difficult.
And thanks for reminding me about uploading my DNA results to GEDmatch.com, and FTDNA and MyHeritage.com.
One more thing that I want to do soon.

More Historic Beloit Newspaper Microfilms at the Beloit Public Library

More Historic Beloit Newspaper Microfilms at the Beloit Public Library

February 22, 2018

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

Image result for historic newspaper microfilm

Many more  of the Historic Beloit Newspaper Microfilms are cataloged and available now for patrons to use on the microfilm machines at the Beloit Public Library.
These were paid for by FNDN Beloit Public Library Foundation.
The patrons are going to love having these additional microfilms.
I put the reels into the bottom right hand side of the microfilm case.
Once the  rest of the microfilms get cataloged,
I will re-arrange the whole case with the earliest newspapers first, (by title).
See the source image
These have been added to the microfilms we have had:
Beloit Free Press (1848 – 1903) with a new one 1900 – 1903.
Beloit Daily Grit (1892 – 1897)
Beloit Daily News BDN (1897 –  March 2015)
(Then look on BPL homepage on-line)
See the source image
These are the titles we have added so far:
Weekly Argus (1885 – 1888)
Beloit Weekly Outlook ( 1880 – 1884)
Beloit Deutsche Zeitung 1895 – 1896
Weekly Citizen & Weekly News (1888 – 1906)
Beloit Labor Journal (1902 – 1903)
Soul City Courier (Oct 1976 – Jan 1977)

More information about the on-line Library newspaper holding is under the  BLOG tab “Genealogy Links and Electronic Helps”.

March 1, 2018 Update

More microfilms cataloged and added:

Beloit Outlook  (Jan 3, 1879; Jan 8, 1880 – May 8, 1880)

Beloit Outlook (Jan 3, 1880 – Jun 26, 1880)

Beloit Daily News! (Aug 14, 1945)

Crusader – Rockford IL  (Sep 1952, Nov 21, 1952; Jul 3, 1963 – Mar 29, 1957)

Crusader – Rockford IL  (Sep 6, 1968 – Jun 2, 1971)