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Finding Your Chicago Ancestors: A Beginners Guide To Family History In The City Of Chicago Paperback – March 1, 2005


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Finding Your Chicago Ancestors: A Beginners Guide To Family History In The City Of Chicago + Chicago and Cook County: A Guide to Research
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 329 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Claremont Press (March 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893121259
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893121256
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,135,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This book is significantly different from many of the books I have reviewed over the years. Most books that are billed as a guide to genealogy research in a particular location are simply lists of where records may be located. . . . This book also contains hundreds of suggestions, finer points, and other tips of use that go far beyond simple lists. . . . Author Grace DuMelle is well qualified to write a book on Chicago genealogy. . . . An excellent resource for anyone researching in the area. --Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

Reveals the wealth of documents available for those with Chicago ancestors and how to research them. With many black and white illustrations, author DuMelle covers everything from birth records to burial spots, including address, ethnic and occupational research, websites, Chicago-area research facilities, and tips on how to use microfilm and microfiche machines. Though the book is aimed at the Chicago research beginner, the author promises and delivers some surprises for the more experienced researcher. Professional genealogists who work with clients who have Chicago-area or Cook County, Illinois, roots will find this book worth the space it takes on their shelves. --Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly

The tone is conversational and the instructions are clear. . . . Anyone beginning Cook County research should have this book at hand, and it can serve as a touchstone for experienced researchers. --National Genealogical Society Quarterly

About the Author

Fascination with true stories from the past began early for Grace DuMelle. As a child, she heard tales of family connections to the Eastland disaster and the assassination of President McKinley. Several years in Washington, D.C. brought her face to face with pivotal places in the Colonial and Civil War eras.

At what is now Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois, Grace studied Chicago architecture under Frances Steiner, author of The Steiner Index to Oak Park building references. She also did extensive primary research in England for an independent study project on Charles Dickens. After graduation Grace became an advertising copywriter, using her writing and investigation skills.

While renovating her husband Walter Podrazik's family home, Grace hired a specialist to analyze title papers Walter inherited from his grandfather. The conclusion was that the home dated back to the time of the Chicago Fire. This was verified a few years later by the discovery of an 1872 newspaper in the living room wall.

Knowing that other homeowners and institutions would be interested in learning of their past, Grace launched Heartland Historical Research Service (HHRS) in 1995. Working on house histories, she used techniques her father had passed along for finding out about former owners. As her genealogy knowledge grew, she began accepting family history projects, including oral histories--—documenting the stories told by senior citizens before that knowledge is lost.

Heartland's projects have taken Grace to libraries and government offices across the Chicagoland area to find answers for clients. Some of Heartland's more notable cases involved finding the original plans for a home in Brookfield, Illinois, in a 1924 issue of Better Homes and Gardens,, and confirming the characteristics of Mary Todd Lincoln's Chicago neighborhood. HHRS has been featured in the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Southtown and on WGN radio. Past clients include the United States Department of Justice, the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, the Niagara Falls Museum in Ontario, Canada, and Graystone Communications in North Hollywood, California (parent company of The History Channel).

At the beginning of 2001, Grace entered into an association with the Newberry Library, one of the country's foremost humanities libraries, in their Local & Family History section. She guides patrons through the many resources there and frequently lectures on the Newberry's genealogical holdings.

Traveling and exploring are Grace's favorite pastimes. She relaxes with P.G. Wodehouse stories and nature walks.


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Customer Reviews

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This book was a true pleasure to read!
Alane A. Repa
There is so much hands-on interactive information that, with the help of this book, searching for the roots of your family tree will be fun and easy to do.
Reader Views
I have more than half the book highlighted.
Susan S

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If your family tree includes Chicago roots, you better make sure a copy of Finding Your Chicago Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide To Family History In The City And Cook County is on your shelf: family historian Grace DuMdelle shows how and what to research in a Chicago-specific guide to genealogy which covers everything from local resources to Chicago research facilities and how to access them. Any beginner can use Finding Your Chicago Ancestors because it also covers important changes in search routines, how to make the most of 'hidden documents', how to overcome common records-seeking problems and much more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer A. Grant on March 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was instrumental in getting my genealogy project going. I was able to find all sorts of information that I never would have thought of without this book. I got it from the library first and it was so great, I had to own it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Miriam Weiner on June 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
"Finding Your Chicago Ancestors" is a comprehensive guide for genealogists new to Windy City records. This area of the country has different nuances than New York City and other East Coast records. For example, parents' names don't appear on marriage licenses until 1968. DuMelle uses many ethnic examples and has a helpful chapter, "Ethnic Resources", pointing out societies, web sites and repositories. Using this book led me to the data I needed for further work in Eastern European archives. For someone who doesn't live in the Chicago area, this book is a "must" to navigate the many repositories, libraries and resources. It is well illustrated, easy to follow and written by an experienced professional. I strongly recommend it.
--Miriam Weiner, author of "Jewish Roots in Poland" and "Jewish Roots in Ukraine and Moldova," [...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maggie on August 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
Great help in doing research. I didn''t realize all the resources available at my fingertips until I read this book. Buy it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are working on Chicago family research you need this book! The information it contains is second to none. I have more than half the book highlighted.
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