September General Meeting Minutes

2018 Sept General Meeting Minutes 9.17.18

18 members and guests were in attendance.

The meeting was called to order at 7 pm and Vice President Roger Frowein introduced Tim Howe to share information about the Rezab Prairie at the Old Macomb Cemetery.

SECRETARY’S REPORT: Minutes were shared and motion was made and passed to approve the minutes from the August meeting.

TREASURER’S REPORT: The Society has $63,593.58 in total assets currently.

VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT: Bridget Hinchee will discuss the Atkinson/McCord Cemetery at our October meeting.

MEMBERSHIP: We have 225 members, one new member and two renewals

PUBLICATIONS: The County History book is available for pickup for those who pre-purchased it.  There are a few left available for purchase at the Library.

VOLUNTEER: We need volunteers to staff the Library on Saturday, Sept. 29 and October dates.  We can also use volunteers to do indexing from their home computers.


WEBSITE: Jean shared information about the Announcements page, as well as an area for Queries.  She has asked for historical photos to be sent to her also.  They may be sent via email or regular mail.

OLD BUSINESS: Members were reminded of the ISGS Conference at the end of October in Springfield. Information is available at ILGENSOC.ORG.  McDonough County Clerk Gretchen DeJaynes will be receiving a Community Service award at the event.

NOMINATING COMMITTEE: We need a Volunteer Committee head. Elections will be held in October.  Let Debbie Nicholson know if you are interested prior to Saturday, October 13.

Meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.

Julie Terstriep, Secretary

The County History Books Have Arrived

The McDonough County History and Families Book have arrived. They may be picked up on Tuesday from 1:00pm – 3:30 pm and on Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 am – 3:30 pm at the Genealogical Center, 201 S. Lafayette St., Macomb, IL. For those that have elected they be mailed, they will ship directly from the publisher on the 18th and will take approximately 7-10 by USPS.

The book is available for sale at $69.95 (cash or check). However limited copies are available. Stop by the Genealogy Center (inside the Western Illinois Museum) during regular Center hours to purchase.

We are thrilled with this new book and anxious for you to get them. Thank you for your support.

Transcribing Archive Documents

From our August General Meeting Topic:


by Julie Terstriep



Would you like to volunteer to transcribe old documents?  Here are a few places looking for your expertise.



Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and

Smithsonian Institute

The National Archives

University of Minnesota – Civil War documents    (Phase 2 to begin soon)

University of Iowa  (Over 87,000 pages transcribed!)


Learning to read the handwriting:

Reading German Suetterlin handwriting

How to read Palmer Method Spencerian Script – free book on National Archives site:

Help with abbreviations:


Facebook groups :

Deciphering Genealogy Script

Genealogy Translations  – Group who will translate documents from one language to another.



From Find My Past blog (

  1. Analyze the record before you begin reading the handwriting
  2. Move slowly, very slowly
  3. Read for content first
  4. Conduct a letter by letter read and create a “key”
  5. Conduct a word by word read
  6. Read aloud
  7. Trace the handwriting
  8. Cross your t’s and dot your I’s
  9. The letter “s”
  10. “Th” and “y” and “y” and “t”

One common abbreviation in the past was to abbreviate “th” with a character that closely resembles the letter “y.” So, if you encounter a document that looks like “ye” that could mean “the.” You might also see the “e” written as a superscript because it wasn’t uncommon for the abbreviations to be written as the main letter with the rest superscripted with or without a line underneath.

You may also see “yt,” which is an abbreviation for that. “Y” is the abbreviation for “th” followed by a “t” would be “tht” or “that.”


  1. Take a rest.

August General Meeting Minutes

Monday, August  20, 2018

The August General Meeting of the McDonough County Genealogical Society was brought to order at 7 pm at the Western Illinois Museum.

The speaker for the evening was Julie Terstriep, who spoke about “Transcribing History” and shared how she transcribes old documents for the National Archives, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, University of Minnesota and University of Iowa.  She shared some interesting stories she discovered while transcribing including finding her 7 times great uncle’s Revolutionary War Pension records.  She  shared how others can also transcribe these documents.

The general meeting was called to order.

There was no Secretary’s report from the previous general meeting as he held an ice cream social rather than a meeting.

Marla gave the financial report.   We have $6463.84 in our checking account; $69,914.02 in total assets. A lockable cabinet was purchased during the month.  It holds old reports, original documents and extra copies of valuable books. New windows, previously paid for from Pella, have been installed in the Library.  Patrons commented on how much more quiet the library was.

Roger Frowein, Vice President, said he is looking for more topics for upcoming meetings.

Lin Stults reported we have 224 members, 27 of whom have not renewed.  Last notice renewal emails went out within the past two weeks.

Sat, Sept. 8 was set as a volunteer training date for those who are willing to help hand out the History Books.  (Allen reports these will be delivered, Tuesday, Sept. 11 @ 4:00 p.m.)

Julie shared information regarding scanning and reprinting of the 1992 History Book and the Church book authored by the MCGS.

Meeting adjourned.

Announcing Family Search Affiliate Library Status

We would like to announce that we are now a Family Search Affiliate Library.  Recently the main Family Search library in Salt Lake City discontinued its practice of sending out microfilm to focus on digitizing their entire collection.  However, due to copyright constraints, they are not allowed to make every document available online.  As an Affiliate Library you may now access these restricted resources at our center through our computers.  You may also access them on your own device while using our wi-fi connection.

Pardon our Dust!

The Western Illinois Museum is undergoing remodeling which is including new, energy efficient windows.  We are trying to remain open during the construction but some hours may be limited due to work in the area.

We are excited to get the new Pella windows.  Those of you who have done winter research with us will certainly not miss the cold drafts when working at our computers.

Family Tree Maker Giveaway!

We are giving away a copy of Family Tree Maker!

Family Tree Maker is one of the premier software packages for your genealogy research.  See more information at Family Tree Maker

Register to win by stopping by our center during regular hours and fill out an entry blank.  We will be drawing the winner at our Ice Cream Social on July 16.

Good Luck!