Just a Few Suggestions on Research Trips for Family History
by Cindy Leonard – 02-18-16
I am guilty of probably all the suggestions I am including in this article. It seems that this past year we have had a number of visitors who needed assistance but were not sure where to find their family information. Please feel free to add to my list and share with us. I don’t want this to sound like a complaint article but rather a helpful tool for both visiting researchers and those of us here who volunteer to help.
1) Before your travel to the place you are looking for your ancestors, find out what information is available in various offices and libraries. A phone call or a letter to the local library, county offices, or town officials before you leave home gives you information to plan your trip.
2) If you are looking for people to help you with the records when you arrive at your research site, make those plans in advance. As with our Macoupin County Genealogical Society organization, we are all volunteers. There are only two or three of us who are registered at the Staunton Public Library as contacts for visitors searching for family information. We aren’t always available for last minute visitors. We have a form for visitors to complete regarding their requests and how to contact you. It is on the table in the Genealogy Room.
3) Our society has our collection in room at Staunton Public Library which has been graciously provided for us to house records, microfilm, and a computer with files available. This room is staffed by volunteers – not the library staff. It works for us. Lately, we have had visitors who were confused that the collection at Staunton is not part of the library collection.
4) Other libraries in the county have family history sections and their library staff will assist you.
5) Please be courteous when you visit the various stops on your research trip.
6) We have a Macoupin County Archives group who volunteer time at the former Carlinville Public Library Building. They accept donations to search the records that are stored there and are USUALLY open on Fridays but, you should check in advance. (NEED contact info here)
7) The best way to contact us for detailed information about your family search and trip is either by e-mail or phone. Our mailing address is: Macoupin County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 95, Staunton, IL 62088-0095. Libraries in the county have listed phone numbers as do the county offices. Our e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
8) When you contact us, please share as much detailed information as you have including: name of ancestor; birth, marriage, death date; known area of residence in Macoupin County and date(s) in the county.
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