It's All Relative

News and tips about genealogy and local history. RSS

Posted on 07/24/13 | Comments
Move over David Letterman! The Shackley Room presents Jacquie Schattner's Top Ten genealogy tips:
10. Interview relatives! Either in person, or by phone, letter or email.
9. Identify people by writing the names on the backs of photos. Ask others to help you.
8. Use * in you online searches. John* picks up Johnson, Johnsen, and Johnston. Try variations of names (William Thurber, William O Thurber, Bill, Billy, Wm, Will* or even Thurber, William.) Keep a list of all variations of surnames.  Use those variations when you are searching a new website(e.g. Stanbro, Stanbury, Stanberry, Stanbrough).
7. Two great websites to start with are (free at the library) and (available from home).
6. Other good websites for beginners include and (both are free from home).  By using your library card you can access many of the library's databases - Access Historical Archive, Fold3 (has military records),  and HeritageQuest to name a few.
5. For Illinois records try:
4. There is an excellent genealogy library in Chicago. Newberry Library is fantastic. 
3. If you order films from, you can request they be sent to the library to be examined and make paper or electronic copies during any of the hours that the library is open.
2. Some great tools to consider using are a data program like Familytreemaker or Reunion, a portable scanner, and the snipping tool which is probably  already on your computer and free!
1. Please ask the Shackley Room volunteer or Michael Mulholland any genealogy questions you might have. We are always happy to help.
Jacquie Schattner teaches the Beginner's Help in Genealogy class, held the second Thursday of each month from 7-9p.m. Check out the next class! Register online.
Posted on 07/19/13 | Comments
Now is a great time to begin your family research, with more digitized resources published online and research aids available than ever. Need help getting started? Come to Beginner's Help in Genealogy where our team of experienced volunteers will help you learn how to utilize research tools and take advantage of resources available through the library's Shackley Room for Local History and Genealogy.
Please register at the Info desk, call 847-392-0100, or go online.
Thursday, August 8, 7-9 p.m. in the Cardinal Room.
Posted on 07/05/13 | Comments
Celebrate Bastille Day and discover how to research your French roots! If you have family from France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and other French-speaking countries, this genealogy program will arm you with the tools and French genealogy terms you will need to locate your ancestors.
The French Genealogy program will be held in the Cardinal Room on Saturday, July 13 at 1:30 p.m.
Please register at the Info desk on the first level, call 847.392.0100, or go online.  
Posted on 07/03/13 | Comments
The celebration of Independence Day reminds us that our country was founded on immigrants from the Old World- and many of us have ancestors that traveled across continents and oceans to settle in the U.S. Why not check out the genealogy programs offered at the library? There are plenty of exciting programs held next week- so whether you are new to genealogy research, have Swedish or French ancestors, or want to improve your skills, there is a program for you!
Swedish Genealogy Research: Wednesday, July 10, 10 a.m.-3 p.m in the Shackley Room. Sign up for one 30-minute session with Kathy Meade.
Beginner's Help in Genealogy: Thursday, July 11, 7-9 p.m. in the Cardinal Room. Register at the info desk, call 847-392-0100, or go online.
French Genealogy Research: Saturday, July 13, 1:30 p.m. in the Cardinal Room. Register at the info desk, call 847-392-0100, or go online.
Posted on 05/13/13 | Comments
OK. You've done your spring cleaning and discovered all those old photographs and VHS tapes of family gatherings. . What to do with them? Easy. Digitize them! With your Arlington Heights library card, you can use the resources available in our new Digital Studio to convert old media into new. Contact Digital Services to schedule an appointment.
Posted on 03/05/13 | Comments
It's a new year for genealogy programs.
  • Polish Genealogy Research Help - Sign up for a one-hour session. March 5, April 3, May 1 from 6-9 pm
  • Every second Thursday of the month from 7 -9 pm -- Beginner's Help in Genealogy. March 14, April 11, May 9
  • Swedish Genealogy Research Help. March 13, April 10, May 15. Times vary so check the Library Events Calendar.
  • Catholic Church Records in Chicago. Saturday, March 23 from 10 -12
  • Italian Genealogy. Saturday, March 23  1:30 - 3:30
Register online or call 847-392-0100.
Posted on 01/16/13 | Comments
The new genealogy room is now open for research! Volunteers have returned to help you locate the information you need. Computers, a copier, and microfilm reader/printers are also available. Come see our new home. Where is it now? The Kathrine Shackley Room for Local History and Genealogy is located on the first floor at the north end of the library. Look for the large local history mural and you will find us! See you soon!
Posted on 12/10/12 | Comments
The holidays are upon us and it is a time for families to get together. What better time to talk about the family! Bring out the old photos, contact a distant cousin, listen to holiday stories from your older relatives. After all that, you can then make a New Year's resolution to start researching your family history. Ready! Set! Start!
Posted on 11/26/12 | Comments
There are still a few spaces open for Swedish research. Sign up now  for a 30 minute session on Wednesday, December 12 from 1 to 5:30. You can register online or call 847-392-0100. Last call!
Posted on 09/25/12 | Comments
The genealogy collection has a temporary home on the first floor. It is located in the center of the library behind the magazines and newspapers and will be here during the remodeling period. Then it will move to its new home on the first floor. Library staff at the Ask Here desk can help you locate materials and answer any questions.  Yes, you can still do your genealogy!