Genealogical, historical, lineage, veteran, and ethnic societies often collect, transcribe, and publish information that can be helpful to genealogists. Lineage societies, such as the DAR, Colonial Dames, and the Sons of the American Revolution, require members to prove they are descended from people such as colonists or soldiers. National lineage societies such as the DAR are described in United States Societies.
Genealogical and historical societies can provide historical information about families in the area or ancestors of society members. They may sponsor such activities as The History of Illinois Centennial Farms and Applications for Illinois Prairie Pioneer Certificates, cited in Genealogy.
Genealogical and historical societies occasionally publish transcriptions of original records. Most publish quarterly periodicals, a few of which are listed in Periodicals. Use the Periodical Source Index (Persi) to find periodicals and articles for Illinois localities.
Many counties and some cities have historical and genealogical societies, most of which will be listed in the Directory of Illinois Museums and the book by Reithmaier, both cited in Illinois Archives and Libraries. See United States Societies for a national directory of genealogical and ethnic societies. Also see Illinois Ethnic Groups for additional ethnic organizations.
- Illinois State Genealogical Society
Illinois State Archives Building, 2nd Floor
Norton Building Capitol Complex
400 E. Spring Street
Springfield, Illinois 62756
The Society is active in preserving and making available data pertaining to individuals, families, and groups who lived in Illinois. They have lists of research resources and databases to find information on Illinois ancestors.
- Illinois State Historical Society
210 1/2 S. 6th Street, Suite 200
Springfield, Illinois 62701
P.O. Box 1800
Springfield, Illinois 62705-1800
The Society promotes awareness, understanding, research, preservation, and recognition of history in Illinois. The location and text of state Historical Markers are online at their website.
Grand Army of the Republic (GAR)
The GAR is the largest Union veterans organization in the country. Over 715 post were organized in Illinois. In 1888 Illinos had 552 post with a membership of 30,293 veterans.
- Genealogical Society of Southern Illinois
John A. Logan College Library
700 Logan College Road
Carterville, Illinois 62918
Telephone: 618-985-2828, Ext. 8338
Hours: vary by season, see website
The Society focuses on Alexander, Clay, Clinton, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Lawrence, Marion, Massac, Monroe, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Richland, Saline, St. Clair, Union, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, White, and Williamson counties. The Society's book and microfilm collection is housed at the John A. Logan College Library. The Society publishes a newsletter (click here for recent issues) and a quarterly journal The Saga of Southern Illinois (click here for a topical index that breaks down what has been published county-by-county).
- Chicago Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 1160
Chicago, Illinois 60690-1160
The Society collects and preserves the records of Chicago ancestors, and is working to stimulate an interest in those who contributed to the establishment of Chicago and the surrounding area. The Society has extracted vital records from Chicago-area newspapers that are indexed online. They publish a quarterly Chicago Genealogist (click here for a topical index).
Additional resources for Illinois societies may be found in the Illinois-Societies topic page of the Family History Library catalog (FHLC). Copies of records on FHL microfilm and microfiche can be ordered for viewing at FamilySearch Centers . Also find Illinois society resources available at other libraries (WorldCat) . Explore how to search WorldCat and the FHLC .