Those researching local genealogy will find many helpful materials in the library archives. We have cemetery records, family histories, photographs, and more. The library archives also houses the genealogy records and materials of the Knox County Genealogical Society, which are available for use by the public. Most genealogy material is located on open shelving near the microfilm materials.
When using the Internet for genealogy, it is important to consider the source. There is often no way to tell if the information has been properly researched and accurately documented. You may want to view this information as simply a starting place for your own research adventure.
Here are a few good starting places for genealogy research on the Web:
Discover your ancestors with the world’s largest family history website. Start a family tree, browse census records and more online at Ancestry.com. (Only available from within the library.)
Cemetery Database for Linwood and East Linwood
A fairly new database with all of the people buried in the two cemeteries. Additionally, there are listings for the state cemetery for unclaimed people from the mental hospital as well as prisoners and homeless persons.
Christine’s Genealogical Website
Resources and information for African American genealogy research.
Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites
Compiled by Cyndi Howells, Cyndi’s list is one of the most comprehensive genealogy sites. See the Illinois section for links to online vital records, newspapers, immigration records, and more.
Ellis Island Records
Free access to the Ellis Island records; genealogy research tips and free downloadable charts and forms to organize your family history research.
The Church of Latter Day Saints maintains this useful genealogy site. Among other things, it provides research tips and free access to the 1880 U.S. Census data.
Illinois Department of Vital Records
Search by county the Illinois Department of Health Database records for birth, adoption, marriage, divorce and death records. Years of coverage vary.
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency
Formerly known as the Illinois State Historical Library, this is a repository for materials relating to the history and people of Illinois.
National Park Service Database of Civil War Soldier Records
Names and other basic information from the 6.3 million records of the National Archives about Civil War soldiers and sailors from both sides.
Part of the US GenWeb project, this site provides links to many resources for genealogy research.
Knox County Genealogical Society
The Knox County Genealogical Society was formed in 1971 for the purpose of locating and making available information of a historic and genealogical nature. The Society encourages the individual genealogical research of its members and other individuals. The Society has published material pertaining to Galesburg and Knox County. A list of publications is available upon request. The research collection of the Knox County Genealogical Society is presently housed at the Galesburg Public Library. This collection includes genealogies, census records, periodicals and other resource material.
The mailing address of the Society is P.O. Box 13, Galesburg, IL 61402-0013. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research help and study groups are available to aid and assist members. A Genealogy Committee is able to do basic local research for out-of-town members for a small fee. The research fee is $10 per hour for members and $20 per hour for non-members. The one hour fee and a self-addressed, stamped envelope must accompany the request. Additional charges are $1.00 per page for newspaper microfilm copies. An additional charge will be $0.15 per page for “other” copies. Please include an email address if you have one. If you have no email address please include a phone number. Microfilm of available newspapers at the Galesburg Public Library can be searched for an obituary. When sending a request to the Society, please remember to state your requests as simply as possible with exact names, time periods and general locations, if known. A list of researchers will be provided upon request for further searches in the library and/or the Knox County Courthouse.
A Society “genie” is usually at the library to help beginners and introduce others to the collection every Wednesday from 1:00 pm. to 4:00 pm. No appointment is necessary.
Knox County Genealogical Society meetings are held monthly on the second Monday at 7:00 pm at the Trinity Lutheran Church, 304 E Ferris St, Galesburg. The programs are varied and include workshops, question/answer sessions and talks, both by outside speakers and by local members. All meetings are open to the public and guests are welcome.
Annual membership is $25 a year. A membership application is available at the library. The application and fee should be mailed to the Knox County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 13, Galesburg, IL 61402. A Family membership will be $30, a Life membership $350, and a Family Life membership $400. Foreign memberships to Canada please include a $12 postage donation plus the membership fee. Members of the Knox County Genealogical Society receive a subscription to the Society’s newsletter, Quarterly, and the opportunity to include a five generation chart in the Society’s extensively cross-referenced Family Ancestor File. Beneficial contacts with other researchers can be made through such a file, as well as through queries printed in the Quarterly free of charge to members. The Spring and Summer quarterlies will be mailed out at the same time around June. The Fall and Winter quarterlies will be mailed out at the same time around December.