Chicago Genealogical Society


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  • 1 Nov 2017 3:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Chicago Genealogical Society invites you to attend our first Saturday of the month program this Saturday, November 4th. Our speaker will be David L. Keller, author of “The Story of Camp Douglas, Chicago's Forgotten Civil War Prison.”

    Built in 1861 Chicago, Camp Douglas was the largest Union Army prisoner-of-war camp for Confederate soldiers taken prisoner during the American Civil War. The book was written from the 19th Century mind-set and 20/20 hind sight. Camp life is told through the diaries, journals, and letters of prisoners from the camp. It was described as “80 acres of hell”. Don’t miss this compelling story. 

    David Keller is a long time resident of Chicago and an amateur historian. Retired since 2002, he devotes much of his time to volunteer activities including the Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago History Museum and American Youth Soccer Organization. David’s interest in Camp Douglas comes from his interest in the Civil War, Civil War Prison Camps and 19th century Chicago history. The founder of the Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation, Mr. Keller is in demand as a speaker on the Civil War and Camp Douglas and has written two books, The Story of Camp Douglas, Chicago’s Forgotten Civil War Prison and Robert Anderson Bagby, Civil War Diary (Annotated) 1863-1865.

    The program will be at the Newberry Library, 60 West Walton, Chicago, and begin at 1:30 p.m. The program is free.

    We hope you can join us!

  • 25 Sep 2017 3:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Chicago property records are a superb place to find family history data. In those records, a researcher can find information about when a family member purchased property, the economic condition of the family, legal actions concerning the family, sales to, possibly, other family members, pre-1917 death information (filing of probates), and, occasionally, evidence of criminal activity. Those interested in researching such records from after 1871 can find the “grantor-grantee” (seller-buyer) records at the office of the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.

    To access such records, one needs to have a LEGAL address for the property (for example – Lot 3, Block 9 of Benson’s subdivision of Weber’s addition to Chicago in Section 16 of Town 43 North, Range 14 East of the 3rd PM). To find such an address, one needs to consult a property either the modern Sidwelll maps

    (Chicago Public Library, 4th floor) or an older property atlas.

    A magnificent property atlas of Chicago in 1872 is now readily available for at home researchers of Chicago and Chicago family history researchers. Following the destruction of Chicago property records (with the exception of those held by the Chicago Title Company) by the 1871 Chicago Fire, a good mapping of city property lines was sorely needed. Otto Peltzer, a German immigrant who came to Chicago in 1853 and, beginning as a draftsman in the Cook County Recorder’s Office, rose to become Chief of Maps at the Recorder’s office between 1860 and 1876, decided to use his own personal collection of data to produce those much needed maps.

    The result of his work was the “PELTZER’S ATLAS OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO” which he published in 1872. This set contains beautifully done maps showing each piece of property in the city, as well as lot numbers, subdivision legal descriptions, and exquisitely drawn maps of all of the parks in the city. The maps in the set show all streets and alleys using the NAMES OF THE STREETS AS THEY WERE NAMED IN 1872! Railroads and station sites are also drawn on the maps.

    A “World Cat” search brings up only three sites where this atlas set can be viewed: the Newberry Library, the University of Illinois Chicago, and the University of Illinois Champaign. Peltzer ordered the printing of only 100 copies of his atlas set (selling in 1872 for $400 each or about $8,000 today). They are an extremely rare atlas set.

    The Chicago & North Western (Railroad) Historical Society owned a set of those maps but had them auctioned off to help with the raising funds for an enlarged and permanent C&NW Historical Society railroad archives on the property of the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, IL. The staff at the archives of the Chicago & North Western Historical Society ( scanned all the pages in each of the four volumes before sending the set to auction.

    For those with a strong interest in Chicago history and genealogy, a copy of this atlas is an essential part of one’s Chicago collection. The Chicago & North Western Historical Society is selling a disc containing all four volumes of the Peltzer atlas.

    To learn more and to order, visit

  • 11 Mar 2015 7:33 AM | Anonymous

    Using the blog gadget, you can add a blog to your Wild Apricot site to provide timely updates and information to your membership.

    By using Recent blog posts, you can display a list of the most recent blog posts, with links to the full posts. The list will include the date of each post and the name of the poster – with the name linking to their profile if available.

    For instructions on inserting, moving, and deleting gadgets, see Gadgets.

  • 11 Mar 2015 6:36 AM | Anonymous

    You can create as many different blogs as you wish. You can limit access to a blog by placing it on a restricted page. If you make the page public, you can still use the blog gadget settings to control functionality for visitors and members.

    You can read more about setting up blogs on our Blog help page.

    If you are looking on more information on how to use blog, you can find it here.

  • 11 Mar 2015 5:37 AM | Anonymous

    This is another sample blog entry. Depending on your readers' access permissions, they can comment on your posts, and reply to comments.

    You can learn more about setting up blog pages on our Blog help page.

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Chicago Genealogical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  Address: PO Box 1160, Chicago, IL  60690-1160

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