The National Archives prepares for the 1950 census

To help researchers prepare for the release of the 1950 Federal Census of Population on April 1, 2022, the National Archives has launched a new 1950 Census web page at Read NARA’s announcement at Then click on the “Visit the 1950 Census Resources Page” link, then look for links to census questions, blank census forms, research tools, and more.

Illinois State Archives help researchers

Many genealogy researchers are familiar with the searchable online databases available at the Illinois State Archives website at . It is even possible to do a “global search” for an individual in each of these databases. It is also important to realize that the Archives has an extensive collection of publications. The State Archives publications page, at, offers many booklets, pamphlets, and digitized forms (in PDF format), including Research Series pamphlets that cover African American records and federal census records. The research series also includes an overview of the Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) Prairie Pioneer certificates and an introduction to the ISGS microfilm collection. This often overlooked resource contains various records covering 43 counties in Illinois. (ISGS members have access to detailed microfilm finding aids through the ISGS website.)

Also available on the publication page are links to past issues of the Archives newsletter, For The Record, with news from the Archives, current projects, and more. Any issue can be read/downloaded for free.

The State Archives Publications page also lists print publications that can be ordered. These include materials for teachers and each teaching pack includes a teacher’s manual and facsimiles of documents (related documents kept in the archives) as well as transcriptions. The subjects of these documents: Abraham Lincoln in Illinois; Hard times in Illinois, 1930-1940; The Illinois and Michigan Canal, 1827-1911; Illinois at War, 1941-1945; From the Ashes 1872-1900 (The Chicago Fire); and early Chicago, 1833-1871. Materials are reasonably priced ($10 or $12) but are free to Illinois educational institutions (if ordered on institution letterhead.)

Updated death certificates

Joe Beine’s Genealogy Roots blog has posted additions to its website of indexes and searchable death records online (USA) ( for the following counties in Illinois: Adams, Cook, Fulton, Lee, and Peoria; also, Jasper, Jennings, and Shelby counties in Indiana.

Start projects in February

Ancestral Finding has released some suggested projects for February. As Valentine’s Day approaches, Genealogy Valentines is on the list. at[JG1].

Newsletter always interesting

Megan Smolenyak’s Honoring Our Ancestors newsletter for January 26 includes a link to Genealogy Guys, (George Morgan and Drew Smith) “a touching and bittersweet story about a pair of headstones in Tampa.” Enjoy the video (skip the ads) on

Smolenyak also reveals Governor Rick Scott’s real name to and provides a link to “the craziest obituary you’ll ever read” on

FamilySearch News

FamilySearch, a source of billions of free records, posted a “2022 Overview of FamilySearch” on; wow!