The Genlighten Blog

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Featured Provider: jolietgenealogy


Panoramic view of Joliet, Illinois, c. 1914 (from U. S. Library of Congress)

Illinois provider jolietgenealogy says, “Please don’t let the fact that I am only 28 years old fool you. I am very committed and passionate about genealogy.” He began researching his family during junior high school and plans to complete a master’s degree in library science after he finishes his degree in sociology. His specialty is Will County research.

How did you get started doing genealogy research?

When I was seventeen my paternal grandmother mentioned that her grandparents were buried at separate cemeteries. This was due to the fact her grandmother practiced in the Catholic church and her grandfather in the Presbyterian church. At that point my curiosity was sparked. I have not stopped researching yet.

How have you developed your research skills?

Over the years I have read books, articles, and quarterlies in search of new research strategies.

Do you have a genealogy superpower? If so, what is it?

If extreme stubbornness and unwillingness to give up on a brick wall is a superpower, that is mine.

Describe a challenging research problem you’re proud of having solved.

It took five years to track down my great-grandfather’s cousin. At some point he gave up custody of his two daughters to his sister and disappeared. I found his death record from the 1970’s in an online database. It was over forty years since he had vanished from our family. I persistently searched new databases until I was able to find a record concerning him.

Tell us a favorite story about one of your ancestors.

My cousin and I are still trying to unravel the story of my 3rd great-grandfather. Family legend says that he was a Cherokee Indian that was given to a White family as an infant. He was raised by that family in Ohio, enlisted in the Civil War, and eventually settled in Illinois. Our next step will likely be D.N.A. testing to see if the legend of his Cherokee heritage is true.

What’s the one must-visit repository for visitors doing research in your area?

Hands down the Bureau County [Illinois] Genealogical Society Library located in Princeton, Illinois. They have an extremely friendly staff of volunteers. Additionally, they have card file of over 67,000 indexed items. This includes obituaries and court records.

What tools to you use to create the reports/images that you provide to clients?

I currently use Family Tree Maker 2 (Mac Version) to prepare detailed reports for my clients. I also use Pages to compose written documents for my clients.

What advice would you give to someone trying to break through a 
brick wall?

Take a break from the information you have gathered. Go back at a later date and review the information you have. Sometimes something new will appear that you missed before. If that fails get a second pair of eyes to look the information over.

What hobbies do you pursue when you’re not doing research?

I am an antique junky. I particularly enjoy collecting green depression glass. Also, Midcentury Modern furniture is a passion of mine.

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