The Huntley Farmside
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ntley Volume 40 No. 29 Farmside Your hometown rfewspaper ^ Thursday July 20,2000 © 2000 Press-Republican Newspapers Getting to the roots of genealogy Family tree grows from knowledge of who you are t •. • by Cassie Peterson Correspondent Genealogy has increased in popularity in recent years. More and more people want to find out who they are and where they come from: Roberta Smith, a retired librarian, said that she became interested in genealogical research shortly after Alex Haley's book, "Roots: The Saga of an American Family," was published in 1976, At the library, she was besieged with questions from patrons who wanted to research their own family histories. At the time, no one at the library knew how to help them, so Smith decided to take a course in genealogy. She was immedi¬ ately hooked, - "There is something addic¬ tive about it," she said. "When ypu find one ancestor, you want to find another." Smith enjoyed her new hobby so niuch that she wanted to share it with others. She was soon doing genealogical research professionally. In 1981, she co-founded the McHenry County Hlinois Genealogical Society. The group's 350 members, who live all over the United states and in other countries, share a common bond - ances¬ tral ties to McHenry County. Smith teaches beginning genealogists at monthly meet¬ ings of MCIGS. She also pre¬ sents programs on genealogy throughout the area. Most recently, she conducted the program, 'Tracing Your Family Genealogy,' at the Huntley Area Public Library last Tuesday. In her introductory semi¬ nars, she teaches noviceis how to get started on their own fam¬ ily trees. Smith said that it is important to start with what you know. The first step, according to Smith, is to look around your home to see what records you have, e.g. birth, marriage and death certificates. Once you know what you have, you can begin an organized search for what you need. "Work from the known to the unknown," said Smith, By knowing what you have, you will know what you heed to get from other sources, shch as the county courthouse. In addi^ tion to vital records, much can be learned from census infor¬ mation and land, tax or even church records,' The Internet can be a useful tool for research, but Smith warns, "The computer is one of the last things to turn to." She said that although there are many good Web sites for genealogical research, they vary widely in the accuracy of the information provided. These sites may provide valu¬ able clues, but the facts must be verified through accurate records. Smith said that the biggest mistake made by begin¬ ning genealogists is failing to validate the information they have found. "You have got to prove you are who you say you are," she emphasized. Smith said that one of the most rewarding aspects of genealogy is discovering inter- . esting and unusual stories about people in your past. She recounted an anecdote about one of her ancestors who had served as a lieutenant in the French and Indian War. The officer had died of smallpox and was buried by his troops. Later a group of Indians dug up the body to take the uniform and other personal items. All of the Indians involved died of smallpox. Consequently, Lt. John Hubbell was reputed to have killed more Indians after his death (above) Distant relatives of Huntley genealogy enthusi¬ ast Joel Garretson. He has traced his roots back through the 1600s. (right) An old wedding photo of Marlene Garretson's grandparents inspired her own bouquet. Though the remake was not as impres¬ sive as the cascading floral arrangement held by her grandmother, it was nice to have the image to emulate. - than while he was alive. If you are interested in learning more about geneal¬ ogy, the McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society meets the second T^hursday of each month at the Bethany Lutheran Church, 76 W. Crystal Lake Ave., Crystal Lake. A begin¬ ner's class begins at. 6:15 p.m., followed by the regu¬ lar meeting at 7 p.m. Additional information is available by checking out the MCIGS Web site at www.mcigs.org or by call¬ ing Roberta Smith at (815) 459-2563.
|Title||The Huntley Farmside|
|Creator||The Huntley Farmside|
|Coverage||Huntley, Illinois, United States|
|Description||Weekly Newspaper from the Huntley Area Public Library Collection|
|Rights||This material may be protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S. Code).|
|Publisher||This Collection was digitized and loaded into CONTENTdm by OCLC Preservation Service Center (Bethlehem, PA) for the Huntley Area Public Library.|
|Source||Reproduction of library's print newspaper archives|