It's All Relative

News and tips about genealogy and local history. RSS

Posted by jmiddendorf on 09/16/18
Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with FamilySearch! FamilySearch is offering four days of Hispanic family history webinars from Tuesday, September 18 to Friday, September 21. Webinars will be available online, free of charge. Webinars scheduled from Tuesday, September 18 to Thursday, September 20 will be in Spanish, and the webinars scheduled for Friday, September 21 will be presented in English. Lecture topics include DNA, migrations, and more.
Posted by lbanovz. on 02/13/18
The Arlington Day was a local newspaper that ran from January 1966 to March 1970. We are the only library that we know of that has the Arlington Day microfilm. It's been in the library's possession for some time, but was recently rediscovered. It has been added to the catalog and can be found in the Shackley Room's microfilm collection. This will be a unique source of local history featuring news, business advertisements, and obituaries. Come check it out!
Posted by lbanovz. on 12/28/17
Happy holidays everyone! I wanted to give you an update on the status of the Family History Library transition. As many of you know, the window for final requests of FHL films closed on August 31, 2017. As of December 13th, a new login protocol has also been put in place. Users will need to create a free individual username/password in FamilySearch in order to run any searches. Once logged in, users will have access to the full range of images available to AHML as an affiliate library. I highly encourage you to take a moment to go over the helpful guide that FamilySearch put out on finding digital images of records on the website. You can take a look at it here. Happy hunting! - Lauren, 28 December 2017
Posted by susanmayer on 09/05/17
There are only two days left to order films from the Family History Library! The last day is Thursday, 7 September 2017.
FamilySearch has announced that digitized images will be available at affiliate sites. The Arlington Heights Memorial Library is a Family History Affiliate center. The necessary information has been given to the FamilySearch transition team.
There is a long queue of affiliate centers waiting to get connected. I will post an update on this blog when we have been notified that we are up and running.
Thank you for your patience during this transition.
~Susan Mayer, Specialty Info Services Librarian
Posted by susanmayer on 07/03/17
Happy Independence Day!
Celebrate the holiday throughout July with three new genealogy resources available in the Shackley Room.

Virginia in the American Revolution, North Carolina in the American Revolution, and Massachusetts and Maine in the American Revolution are guides that include useful research strategies and information on where to locate sources in libraries and archives, as well as sources on microfilm or in digital format. Each volume lists resource type, including local government records, taxation records, military records, agricultural records, information on prominent citizens, and general historical overviews.

Whether you are searching for ancestors during the American Revolutionary War, or are interested in learning more about this period in American history, these three volumes are invaluable resources to aid in your research.
Posted by susanmayer on 03/20/17
The month of March has been designated “Try A Pod” Month by a large group of podcasters and producers. Podcasters are encouraging current listeners to introduce their friends, coworkers, and relatives to this lively platform for keeping up with everything from new books to niche interests. Using the hashtag #trypod, loyal listeners can share their favorite podcasts and point to why they love listening. defines podcasts as “a digital audio or video file or recording, usually part of a themed series that can be downloaded from a website to a media player or computer.” Genealogy podcasts are a wealth of information for every level of researcher. From product updates to what is new on FamilySearch, you will be able to find something that will spark your interest. Here is a short list of my current favorites, but you can find a more complete list at the Podcast page on Cyndi's List. You can download podcasts using Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, or Stitcher on your mobile device or tablet. You can also directly download a podcast to your desktop computer by saving the podcast file. Happy listening!

Susan’s Favorite Podcasts (in alphabetical order)
Ancestral Findings-Genealogy Gold: New episodes are published every Tuesday.
Backstory: Backstory takes current events and looks at them through an historical eye. It is fascinating and a good way to gain social history research.
Ben Franklin’s World: This podcast about early American history provides wonderful information “about historical people and events that have shaped current events.” Unless you have a famous ancestor, or one who left behind written records, this podcast can help you gain insights to what your ancestor may have experienced.
The Genealogy Gems with Lisa Louise Cooke: Lise Louise Cooke offers insightful and useful techniques for family history research.
The Genealogy Guys Podcast & the Genealogy Connection: The Genealogy Guys George G. Morgan and Drew Smith discuss a range of genealogy topics and interview leaders of the genealogy community.
Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips: This is a great resource to improve your family history writing. Podcasts cover tips on grammar, punctuation, and usage in a fun and helpful manner.
Twice Removed: Hosted by A.J. Jacobs, the man behind the biggest family reunion in 2015. He says, we are all one big family and his podcast is the show that proves it. Twice Removed began episodes in December 2016.
Posted by susanmayer on 01/30/17
Do you have ancestors from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, or Australia and New Zealand? The Arlington Heights Memorial Library now has access to a fantastic database called “FindMyPast.” Using this database, you can search over 2 billion records that focus on U.S., British Isles, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand resources. FindMyPast is a different database than Ancestry or FamilySearch and has different searching capabilities. To get you started, here are the nine categories of information available on the database: 1) Birth, Marriage, Death & Parish records 2) Census, Land, & Substitutes 3) Military Service & Conflict 4) Immigration & Travel 5) Newspapers & Periodicals 6) Institutes & Organizations (including prison and workhouse records) 7) Education & Work 8) Directories & Social History 9) Churches & Religion Follow this link for more information: Or watch this brief tutorial : FindMyPast is available in the Arlington Heights Memorial library on your laptop or any public computer:
Posted by susanmayer on 12/02/16
The holiday season, when families come together, is a perfect time for telling and retelling family stories and sharing memories of loved ones. Learn techniques for gathering these stories for future generations from personal historian Diane Dassow, who will lead you through the process of conducting successful interviews. Come share your favorite holiday stories, listen to others, and enjoy cider and cookies on Saturday, December 10 at 1 p.m. Bring the family!
Posted by susanmayer on 09/22/16
Publishing Your Genealogical Writing
You’ve worked hard on getting your genealogy research together. What’s next? Come hear our three panelists, Mike Karsen, Teresa McMillin and Steve Szabados, tell their journeys of taking their research into a published book or article. If you have been wondering about how to self-publish your research, you are sure to come away with new ideas and clarity. The panel will be held in the Cardinal Room Saturday October 8 from 1 – 3 pm. Register online at
or by calling 847-392-0100.
Posted by susanmayer on 07/26/16
Our podcast series concludes today with the story of Ludmilla Strangul Schneider. Born in Tomsk, Russia in 1923, she traveled across the country while the winds of World War II were blowing. Ludmilla continued her migration into Germany. After getting married, she crossed the Atlantic to start a new life in Chicago. Her daughter, Lucy Sears, shares with us the story of her mother's perserverance.
Special thanks to Michael Weiss for composing the music; Sydney Jarol of Programs and Exhibits for editing; and of course Diane Pellettiere, Steve Szabados, Ron Andermann and Lucy Sears for sharing their family heroes.
Please share your thoughts about The Stories of Family Heroes podcast. Thanks for listening! 
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