Batavia Public Library

Hands-on Genealogy Computer Classes

We offer Genealogy classes ranging in content throughout the year. Many of our genealogy classes are featured on a repeating basis. Check our calendar for the next date.

One-hour, hands-on computer classes. Basic computer skills, including mouse & keyboard proficiency, are required. Registration is required; please call the Reference Desk, 630-879-1393, ext. 200.
* Class requires registration

Genealogy: HeritageQuest & America’s Obituaries

Learn how to search U.S. Census records, city directories, and cemeteries as well as how to search for recent obituaries and death notices in over 400 U.S. newspapers by state. Find next class »

Genealogy: Ancestry Library Edition

Learn how to search for birth, marriage, death, military and immigration records. Find next class »

Genealogy: FamilySearch.org & Other Websites

Learn how to search for your deceased ancestors in historical records worldwide. Find next class »

Genealogy: Free Websites

Learn to use genealogy websites such as Cyndi’s List, the USGenWeb Project, Find a Grave, and more.  Find next class »

Upcoming Genealogy Classes & Events

Genealogy Websites

Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet
Includes hundreds of thousands of links. Sites are constantly added and updated.
Other Links to On-Line Genealogy Sites:

Legacy.Com

A global network of online obituaries that provides timely news of death. ObitFinder® searches obituaries from more than 1500 national & international newspapers, dating as early as February 2001.

Roots Web
A free genealogy site sponsored by fee-based Ancestry.Com. Links on how to start research, databases, family trees, message boards.

Ancestry.com Family History Wiki

A great place to leam more about family history, census, immigration, military and vital records. Get help with African American, Jewish, state and county research. Learn about record types, societies and archives. A service from Ancestrv.com

Obituary Daily Times

Volunteers contribute indexes of obituaries from their local papers. Entries are put into a searchable database. Entries are emailed to list subscribers.Volunteers can contact contributors for an actual obituary. Updated on a regular basis.

Genealogy Resources from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:

Family Search Historical Records
Search for deceased ancestor in historical records worldwide. Search a specific collection or browse all published collections. You must create a free account to be able to search records.

Family History Library Catalog
Search the catalog for the Family History Library in Salt Lake by surname, author, subject, place. This site lists titles of publications and other sources.

Family History Library Books

Family History Books is a collection of more than 350,000 digitized genealogy and family history publications from the archives of some of the most important family history libraries in the world. The collection includes family histories, county and local histories, genealogy magazines and how-to books, gazetteers, and medieval histories and pedigrees.

Family Search Affiliate Library

Batavia Public Library is a FamilySearch Affiliate Library. Patrons will be able to view restricted film images that cannot be viewed from home on one of our library computers or from a laptop connected to the Batavia Public Library WiFi network. You will need to sign in to your FamilySearch.org account or create a free account and search for the restricted images.

FamilySearch has cancelled their microfilm and microfiche program from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City which means that you will no longer be able to request genealogical microfilm via the FamilySearch.org website and have microfilm delivered to the Batavia Public Library.

Other Large Genealogy Collections:

Allen County Public Library, Fred J. Reynolds Historical Genealogy Department, P.O. Box 2270, 900 Webster Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46801-2270. 260-421-1200.
Describes types of sources available in one of the largest genealogy departments in the United States: family histories, census records, passenger lists, military records, Native American records, African-American records, sources for various states and countries.

Illinois State Archives, Margaret Cross Norton Building, Springfield, Illinois 62756. Reference: 217-782-4682. Fax: 217-524-3930. Genealogical resources include records for state and federal censuses, births, marriages, deaths, probate, land sales, military service, veterans, and related records.

Library of Congress, Local History and Genealogy Reading Room,

Jefferson Building, Room LJ G42, Washington, D.C.20540.

General information about the collections and facilities

Online catalog for publications cataloged recently (older materials are listed in a card catalog at the library)

Chronicling America – Search America’s historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1990-present.

National Archives and Records Administration – 700 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20408.  

Genealogical holdings of the NARA in Washington, D.C., include microfilmed federal censuses, military service records, immigrant and passenger arrivals, and other records for biography, genealogy, American Indians, and Black Studies. The above web site provides information about genealogical research at the NARA, but it is not an online catalog or index.

Archives Library Information Center, On-line Public Access Catalog:
NARA publishes various registers and guides to collections and microfilm of federal censuses and other records. Microfilm can be purchased or rented. 

Public Access Catalog:
NARA publishes various registers and guides to collections and microfilm of federal censuses and other records. Microfilm can be purchased or rented.

National Archives and Records Administration – Great Lakes Region, 7358 S. Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL 60629-5898. The facililty for the Great Lakes Region contains retired records from federal courts and agencies in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Newberry Library, Genealogy Collections, 60 West Walton Street, Chicago, IL 60610-3305. 312-943-9090.
Overview of the genealogy collection, suggestions about search strategies, lists of biographical dictionaries, and links to online genealogy sites.

Newberry Library’s online catalog

ChicagoAncestors.org is a project of the Genealogy and Local History section of the Newberry Library.  The project is intended to help genealogists and local historians discover and share historical information about Chicago.  Although use of the site is free, registration is required to contribute material to the site. Researchers and genealogists are encouraged to contribute their own family information, historical research, queries and photographs. User contributions are moderated.

Local Historical and Genealogical Societies:

Gustafson Research Center, Batavia Depot Museum, 155 Houston Street, Batavia, IL. 60510. 630-406-5274.  
Collections for Batavia genealogy include over 800 family histories in a biographical file, marriage indexes for 1840-1900, indexed probate records and circuit court records for 1860-1960, census microfilm for 1840-1920, indexed scrapbooks containing obituaries and other records for 1900-1995, city and telephone directories, and related materials.

Elgin Area Historical Society and Museum, 360 Park Street, Elgin, IL 60120. 847-742-4248. Fax: 847-931-6199. Collections include Elgin probate records and Elmer Gylleck collection of 10,000 historical photographs.

Geneva History Museum, 113 South Third Street, Geneva, IL 60134. 630-232-4951. 

Collections include probate and other court records for Geneva, files for families and buildings, photographs, directories for the Tri-Cities and early directories for Kane County, publications of the Kane County Genealogical Society.

Kane County Genealogical SocietyPO Box 504, Geneva, IL  60134

St. Charles History Museum – 215 East Main Street, St. Charles, IL 60174. 630-584-6967. Collection includes over 15,000 artifacts.

Fox Valley Genealogical Society – PO Box 5435, Naperville, IL  60567-5435

DuPage Genealogical SocietyPO Box 3, Wheaton, IL  60187-0003 

McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society – PO Box 184, Crystal Lake, IL  60039-0184

Illinois State Genealogical SocietyPO Box 10195, Springfield, IL  62791-1968 

GenWeb Projects:

U.S. GenWeb Project
Provides links to state projects, and from there to county projects. Information for state and counties varies, but includes biographies, local history, cemetery records, transcriptions of census records, maps for counties and townships, query pages, and other genealogical resources.

Illinois GenWeb Project
Links to county projects, Illinois ancestry registry, State of Illinois Archives Database, etc.

Kane County, Illinois, GenWeb Project
Links to local libraries, historical and genealogical societies, newspapers. Resources such as transcribed biographies, obituaries, and probate records of county residents; township maps; veterans buried at Kaneville Cemetery; directory of photographic studios to help identify dates of photographs. 

Where to Obtain Copies of Vital Records:

United States
How to obtain birth, death, marriage, and divorce records from agencies in states and counties. Indicates years for which records are available and fees. Related links to foreign vital records and adoption resources.

Illinois

How to obtain birth, death, and marriage records in Illinois.

Cook County   

The Genealogy Unit of the Cook County Clerk’s Bureau of Vital Records provides non-certified versions of birth, death and marriage records for the purpose of genealogical research. Records found on this site are for Chicago and Cook County dating back to 1872.

Kane County  

We have birth records starting in 1855, death records from 1866 and marriage records starting in 1836. Keep in mind that all births, marriages and deaths will have to have taken place in Kane County, Illinois. Also, prior to 1916, state law did not require births, deaths or marriages to be filed. So some records may not have been recorded. Birth records will be available online if the document is 85 years or older; death records will be available if the record is 20 years or more; and marriage certificates will be available if document is 50 years old or more.

Immigration: 

Ellis Island

During the years of Ellis Island immigration from 1892-1924, there were more than twenty million individual stories that would eventually be shared with family and friends.   

Castle Garden This free site offers access to an extraordinary database of information on 11 million immigrants from 1820 through 1892, the year Ellis Island opened. More than 100 million Americans can trace their ancestors to this early immigration period.

Cemetery Research:  

Find a Grave 

A free resource to find the graves of ancestors.  Create virtual memorials, add ‘virtual flowers’, photos, and a note to a loved one’s grave by creating a free account. 

Billion Graves 

A free website that preserves records found in cemeteries throughout the world. They use modern technology to capture images of headstones with their GPS locations so users worldwide can access those records anywhere.


Fee-Based Genealogy Services:

Ancestry

Search an Ancestry World Tree; birth, marriage, and death records; census records, military records, message boards; and other sources. Cost of subscription ranges from $29.95 quarterly for U.S. and Canadian Records to $189.95 for an annual Super Subscription.


How to Locate a Professional Genealogist:

Association of Professional Genealogists
This organization has over 1,300 members worldwide. From the home page click on Directory of Members. To identify professionals in a particular state, click on the state abbreviation in a pull down menu and then click Search. Other lists identify genealogists in foreign countries. You can also search for genealogists with specific geographic or research specialties.  Click on a genealogist’s name to obtain contact information and statements on professional background.

For magazine articles and other information, search the Library’s Reference Databases.

(A Batavia Public Library card number and PIN are required to access Reference Databases outside the Library.)

Links to Other Web Sites:

The Batavia Public Library provides links to other, external web sites as a service to its patrons and for informational purposes only, as part of its mission “to provide and ensure access to materials and services to meet the lifelong learning needs of residents and organizations.” However, use of other, external web sites is voluntary on the part of each individual visitor.

Such other, external web sites are not operated, controlled, or maintained by the Batavia Public Library. While the Library works to provide links to only those web sites that are accurate and useful to visitors of the Batavia Public Library web site, the Library is not responsible for the content of other, external web sites and cannot guarantee that such web sites will not change without the Library’s knowledge. Inclusion of such links in the Batavia Public Library web site does not imply the Library’s endorsement or approval of the linked sites, their sponsors, or content.

Old Newspapers on Microfilm

Searching for ancestors who lived in Batavia? Batavia Public Library’s Local History Room has resources for you to find where your ancestors may have been born, where they lived, and when they may have died. One resource is the Kane County Chronicle on microfilm, dating back to when it was the Batavia Herald. Other holdings include the Batavia Herald from 1893-1976, the Batavia Chronicle from 1976-1990, and the Kane County Chronicle from 1990-September, 2014. Also housed in the Local History Room on microfilm is the Aurora Beacon News from 1848-1917 and the Batavia Republican from 1990-2000.

Use the Library’s microfilm machine to view microfilm—and to print or email the information you find. If you need assistance using the machine or looking for information in our Local History Room, please ask at the reference desk.

Census Data

Census microfilm is available for Kane County for 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940.

Federal and state censuses for the United States for 1790-1940 can be accessed online at the Library through the Library’s reference databases HeritageQuest and Ancestry Library Edition. Patrons with a Batavia Public Library card can access HeritageQuest (but not Ancestry Library Edition) from their home computers.

Researching your family history?

Genealogy Research Help

Whether you’ve just started, or would like help overcoming obstacles, schedule an appointment with a librarian who will provide a one-hour, one-on-one session to guide you in your research. Batavia Public Library card required.
Available Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm. Contact the Adult Reference Desk, 630-879-1393, ext. 200, for details.

FamilySearch Affiliate Library

Batavia Public Library is a FamilySearch Affiliate Library. Patrons are able to view restricted film images (that cannot be viewed from home) on one of our library computers or from a laptop connected to the Batavia Public Library WiFi network. You will need to sign in to your FamilySearch.org account or create a free account and search for the restricted images.

Online Resources

The Batavia Public Library has great online resources to help you with your research. These resources are free to use – just log in with your Batavia Public Library card number.

  • HeritageQuest includes federal censuses from 1790 to 1940. An extremely important feature makes it unnecessary to travel to distant repositories: full-text for over 22,000 family and local histories searchable by people, places, and publications. You can also search PERSI (a Periodical Source Index) to locate citations (but not full-text) for relevant periodical articles.
  • Ancestry Library Edition (accessible only at the Library) also includes federal censuses for 1790 to 1940. In addition to numerous family and local histories, this database also provides access to digitized birth, marriage, death, immigration, court, land, and probate records; family trees; and a variety of blank forms that you can use to record your genealogical research.
  • America’s Obituaries & Death Notices includes full-text for recent obituaries from over 400 U.S. newspapers. Obituaries in most newspapers have been digitized and indexed only for the last two decades or less. Obituaries in the Chicago Tribune, however, have been digitized and indexed from 1860-present.