Planning a Family History Trip? by Cindy Leonard


I am guilty of probably all of the suggestions I am including in this article. It seems that this past year we have had a number of visitors who needed assistance but were not sure where to find their family information. Please feel free to add to my list and share with us. I don’t want this to sound like a complaint article but rather a helpful tool for both visiting researchers and those of us here who volunteer to help.

  1. Before your travel to the place you are looking for your ancestors, find out what information is available in various offices and libraries. A phone call, e-mail, or a letter to the local library, county offices, or town officials before you leave home may provide     information to plan your trip.
  2. If you are looking for people to help you with the records when you arrive at your research site, make those plans in advance. Our Macoupin County Genealogical Society organization is all volunteers. There are only a few of us who are registered at the Staunton Public Library as contacts for visitors searching for family information. We aren’t always available for last minute visitors. We have a form for visitors to complete regarding their requests and how to contact you. It is on the table in the George and Santina Sawyer Genealogy Room.
  3. Our society collection is in a room at Staunton (Illinois) Public Library which has been graciously provided for us to house records, microfilm, and a computer with files available. This room is staffed by volunteers – not the library staff. Other libraries own their genealogy collection – our Genealogical Society owns the collection in Staunton, IL. We have had visitors who were confused that the collection at Staunton is not part of the library collection.  Our collection does not circulate.
  4. Other libraries in the county have family history sections and their library staff will assist you.
  5. Please be courteous when you visit the various stops on your research trip.
  6. The best way to contact us for detailed information about your family search and trip is e-mail or mail. Information about our society can be found on this link: http://macoupinctygenealogy.org/mcgs/index.html Our mailing address: Macoupin County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 95, Staunton, IL 62088. Our e-mail address:  searchmacoupin2015@gmail.com
  7. When you contact us, please share as much detailed information as you have i.e.: name; birth, marriage, death date; known area of residence in Macoupin County and date(s) in the county.
  8. We invite you to become a member of our society. We have membership applications in our genealogy room. Our quarterly – The Macoupin County Searcher is a wealth of information and is included in your membership.