Diedinhouse.com: A New Way of Looking at Death Records? – Black Sheep Sunday

“I think my house is haunted.  Can you see if anyone died or was murdered in my house?”

Believe it or not, this is a popular question at a library reference desk.  I thought about this subject quite a bit when I saw Jennifer Holik’s house history presentation last year.  Before the advent of modern hospitals and nursing homes, most natural deaths occurred at a family or individual’s place of residence.  This is still a trend today, as seen with at-home nursing services.

I haven’t found a definitive way to search for a death by way of address.  My ‘go to’ resources will allow for searches by city, township, county, state, or any of those combinations together.  This has limited genealogists, as there is not a definitive way to search for everyone who has died at a specific address.  In the instance of family members with differing last names who may have resided/died in a home, researchers are limited to searches for known individuals.  Inevitably, people fall through the cracks.

Which brings me to diedinhouse.com.  For a search fee of $11.99, the website and their researchers will find death records by address.  I was suspicious of this, as modern deaths may not be a problem, but finding deaths prior to 1990 may be an issue.  Sure enough, the site cannot guarantee search results prior to the 1990s due to a lack of digitization records.  There is an indication that records may be available from the 1940s onward, but information is limited in the FAQs of the site.

I don’t see this site as a golden ticket to genealogists, or most people looking for solutions to a haunted house, but it brings up an intriguing concept: When will genealogists have an opportunity to search for records by address?  When?  I ask, WHEN?

Would address death searches be useful to you?  Post your response today!

See you at the Library!



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Sign Up for Free Polish Genealogy Workshops and a Military Research Presentation this November! – Motivation Monday

ImageOctober and November are the final push for family Thanksgiving genealogy projects!  If you’re discovering your Polish roots, you won’t want to miss Fountaindale Public Library’s Polish Genealogy Workshop day on Saturday, November 2 from 10 am to 3 pm.  Guest speaker Steve Szabados will host two sessions Polish Immigration: Where, When, Why? and Polish Genealogy: Where to Start.  Both of these sessions will which will help you unpuzzle your ancestor’s immigration from continental Europe to the United States.

polish genealogyFrom 10 am to Noon, Steve will present Polish Immigration: Where, When, Why; which will help you discover more about your Poilsh ancestors immigration experience.  Where did they leave, why did they leave, how did they get here? This presentation studies the history of Poland and gives some insights to possible answers to the questions about your ancestors’ immigration. All three Polish partitions are covered and the material will hopefully clear-up your confusion why your Polish ancestors listed that they were born in other countries on early U.S. documents.give an more about Polish Immigration from 1700-1920.

Following a one hour on-your-own lunch break, Steve will present Polish Genealogy – Where to Start from 1 pm to 3 pm.  Where do you start your research of your Polish Ancestors? This presentation starts at the beginning with a brief summary of the border changes in Polish history. Then Steve will discuss the records that are available in both the US and Poland and where to find them. The last part of the presentation will cover how to interpret the documents.

Steve will have three books available for purchase: Polish Genealogy: Four Steps to Success, Basic Genealogy: Saving Your Family History, and Finding Grandma’s European Ancestors.  Research suggestions and light refreshments will be provided.  Sign up is free and open to the public!  Invite several friends and call (630) 685-4176 to sign up today!

ImageThe last Fountaindale Library Genealogy Club presentation for the year will be held on Wednesday, November 13 at 7 pm.  This meeting will host Jennifer Holik and her presentation Stories of the Lost, which will feature research strategies and resources for locating World War II casualties of war.  Jennifer will share her experiences in working with these modern day military records and the people soar tigersdocumented in the paperwork.  This program is free and open to the public, no registration required!

Although Jennifer will not have books for purchase the day of the lecture, all of her books and quick guides are are available for purchase online.  Light refreshments will be served.

The Fountaindale Genealogy Club meeting on November 13 will also debut the list of 2014 program and workshop schedule!  So you won’t want to miss this exciting event!

Sunday Genealogy Help Sessions will begin in January 2014!  Sunday Sessions are a great opportunity to receive one-on-one assistance with your research in a place where databases, knowledgeable staff, and a state-of-the-art microfilm reader are in one convenient location.  Registration for Sunday Genealogy Help Sessions will begin in December 2013, so stay tuned for updates!

See you at the Library!


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Try-It! Illinois Databases Are Here! – Wishful Wednesday


The Try-It! Illinois Database trial is is now live!  From now through November 30, 2013, you will be able to use a variety of databases for free from the comfort of your home computer!

This fantastic opportunity is brought to all state residents by the generous sponsorship of Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White and the Illinois State Library. Thanks to the partnerships between the Illinois State Library and the participating electronic resource vendors, there is no charge for accessing these databases during the trial period.

This year, several new genealogy databases are available to researchers, including two new resources: Genealogy Connect & Archives Unbound.

You will need a username and password to access these resources.  The Try-It! Illinois administrators have asked libraries not to provide login information electronically.  You can request login and password information from participating local libraries.

The Fountaindale Public Library provides a one-page handout which can assist you in navigating the site.  Try-It Illinois! information sheets are available at the 2nd and 3rd Floor Service Desk.  For more information call me at the library (630) 685-4201.

See you at the library!


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Sign Up for Free Online Genealogy Classes this Summer! – Tuesdays Tip

Summer learning abounds at the Foundaindale Public Library!

Come in from the summer heat into our air conditioned computer lab for two free Online Genealogy Classes!  Our classes will introduce you to new websites and tools which can help you with your family history research, and put you in touch with people who share your passion for genealogy research.

Our Online Genealogy Class is held from 1-2:30 pm on Sunday, July 21 and Sunday, August 4. The class will include overviews of both new sites and how-to directions to use them successfully.  Handouts, flash drives, and book recommendations will be available.  Following class, participants may conduct their own research and receive one-on-one assistance.

Individuals wishing to use the session to conduct genealogy research but not participate in the class are also welcome. Registration is free and open to the public.  To register or for more information, contact the library at (630) 685-4176 or by e-mail at ddudek@fountaindale.org.

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Sign up for June Civil War Genealogy Programming! – Tuesday’s Tip

Do yoImageu have a Civil War veteran in your family tree?   Learn how to research your veteran ancestors during Fountaindale Public Library’s Civil War Genealogy Workshop on Saturday, June 1 from 10 am to noon.  Librarians Tina Beaird and Debra Dudek will share the resources, records, newspapers, and other materials to help you with your research. You’ll walk away with new information which will give great insight into the lives of soldiers who fought for both sides of the conflict.

Later in the day, author Michael Weeks will present Finding Hallowed Ground: America’s Civil War Sites Today from 1-3 pm.  The program highlights the history and accessibility of Civil War sites and how small or obscure locations can hold incredible stories.  Following the program, Michael will sign copies of his book The Complete Civil War Road Trip Guide: 10 Weekend Tours and More than 400 Sites, from Antietam to Zagonyi’s Charge.  The cost for each book is $15.

These programs are free and open to the public.  Please register by calling the Fountaindale Public Library at (630) 685-4176.

Stop by the library on Sunday, June 23 from 1-2 pm for program entitled “The Underground Railroad”.  Appearing as an owner of a ‘safe house’ in Illinois, Terry Lynch explains how a safe house was used as a stopping point for the slaves to gain rest and nourishment before continuing on to safety in Canada. Several safe houses in the Chicagoland area will be highlighted.  This is a free drop-in program designed for attendees of all ages.

All three of these Civil War programs were made possible with a grant presented by The Library of America in partnership with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and is supported by a grant from The National Endowment for the Humanities.

ALSO: The next Genealogy Club meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 12 at 7pm and will feature Bruce Troyer’s presentation of Genealogical Clues in the Photographic Process.  Participants are invited to bring a few photographs with them to the program, as Bruce will be available after the lecture to assist with any photo identification questions.  This is the last meeting of the Genealogy Club before the summer break, so save the date for this great program!

See You At The Library!


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Exciting Summer Genealogy Programing @ The Fountaindale Library!

Looking for a great way to kick off your summer research season?  The Fountaindale Public Library his hosting a fantastic array of programming which will help engage your next genealogical challenge!

Did your ancestors take up sides during the Civil war?  Join us on Saturday, June 1 at 10 am for our Civil War Genealogy Workshop!  Learn about the resources, research sites, and strategies for learning more about your Artillery-Civil-War-001veteran ancestors!  Light refreshments served.  Handouts and research materials provided.

Later in the day, join us for a fantastic program entitled Finding Hallowed Ground: America’s Civil War Sites Today with author Michael Weeks.  While many Civil War sites are preserved as national or state parks, most are not. However, even the smallest sites hold incredible stories. Experiencing them firsthand remains the most memorable and enjoyable way to learn about the war and provides tangible ties to our not-so-distant past.  An author book signing will immediately follow the event.

Dofflemyer_familyThe FPLD Genealogy Club will host photographer Bruce Troyer for his program entitled Genealogical Clues in the Photographic Process on Wednesday, June 12 at 7 pm.  Following the progress of early American photography, Mr. Troyer will help you spot clues in your family photographs which will assist you in your research.  This program is a must for anyone interested in dating photographs, and discovering more about how early photography impacted our ancestors.  Bring a few of your photographs to share, and Mr. Troyer will help you access a time period and help you discover more information about your items!

Need some help with your online research?  Learn new skills with our free online genealogy classes!  Held on Sunday, July 14 and August 4 from 1-5 pm, our Beginning Online Genealogy Classes will held from 1-2:30 pm. Following class, participants may conduct their own research and receive one-on-one assistance. Individuals wishing to use the session to conduct genealogy research but not participate in the class are also welcome. Registration is required.

Good luck with your summer research and we’ll see you at the library!


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Space stil available for Genealogy Day 2013!

There’s still time to register for our amazing Genealogy Day!   Join us our fantastic free program on Saturday, April 20 from 9:30 am to 4 pm and learn more about the following genealogical topics:

Homesteading Records -  The Homestead Act of 1862 allowed any qualified individual to claim up to 160 acres of free land. Over 1.6 million people rose to the challenge and claimed 270 million acres of land. Original homestead claims are a fantastic collection of documents, certificates, applications, land descriptions, citizenship affidavits, testimonies, and written receipts. Learn how to access these great records and how they can fill in the gaps to your research.

Naturalization : Beginning ofgenealogy day flyer pic your U.S. Family Heritage - Find your immigrant ancestors’ naturalization papers and to see the beginning of your roots in American History. Traditional and online sources are reviewed. Great program to find clues to your heritage.

Using Railroad Records in Family History Research - Vast members of Americans in the 19-20th centuries were railroad employees. Many personnel records still exist and provide a potential treasure of family history data to researchers. Learn about the real history of railroads in the US and ways to access these valuable records.

In addition to the speakers, participants will enjoy Door Prizes, Society Booths, Author Book Signings, and refreshments.

Participants are asked to bring a brown-bag lunch or pre-order a lunch from Brooks Café.  You can email a lunch order form from the Brooks cafe website: http://brookscafe.weebly.com/

Due to limited parking, please carpool or make arrangements to be dropped off for this event!

If you have any questions, call the library at (630) 685-4176!  Call your friends and sign up today!

See you at the Library!


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