Friday, March 21, 2008

Local News from the Past

Like many libraries, Fremont Public Library in north suburban Mundelein (Lake County), Illinois, has a symbiotic relationship with the county genealogical society. The Lake County Genealogical Society's Research Facility (AKA the genealogy room) is on its second floor, and Fremont's web site lists and distinguishes three different Lake County genealogy web sites.

For the past ten years (apparently), Fremont has done something else so simple and so valuable that I can't believe it's the only one. Under the heading, "Local News from the Past," they've posted the "local" items from the weekly Lake County Independent from a century earlier -- 1 Jan 1897 through 23 Aug 1907, and I hope they haven't given it up now!

This listing was an enormous help in sorting and following my Burdick, Knigge, Aynsley families in the area -- like watching a movie unfold, sometimes plotless and sometimes with a plot you know the end of, as relatives gather around a sickbed.

Quite a few basic genealogy sources are like this. Preparing them week after week won't get you published or win any ingenuity rewards in the prestigious journals, but without them it would be just that much more difficult to have the resources to be ingenious with.

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