Tag Archives: Historical Societies

Washington County Historical Society

About two weeks ago, I sent an email off to the Washington County Historical Society in NY. I was trying to see if they might have information on my brick wall ancestor, John O’Connell. See my previous post to learn more.

Today, in the mail I received a large envelop in the mail. I was so excited. My hopes were that they had more information to add to my tree. Unfortunately, they had nothing new to add. Though, they did say they are willing to do more research if I have any more clues for them. They also sent phone #’s so that I can try to get ahold of a vital record. Hopefully the numbers they sent will connect me to a live person, unlike the numbers I have found that no one answers.

I love that these historical societies will do research for free. The only thing they are asking for is $.25 per copy they send you or a new member in their society. I have been planning to join this society for awhile and hope to do so in the near future.

I appreciate all of the societies out there that are assisting other family historians like myself.


Working with local Historical Societies

While out running some errands today. I made an unexpected, but long over due stop at the Morton Grove Historical Society (in IL). Though  Morton Grove is only  about 20 minutes away by car, depending on traffic, it is not an area that I get to often. The reason for this stop is because my paternal Great Grandmother, Ella (Jonas) Jaeger was raised in Morton Grove and I was interested to see if the historical society would have any information on either the Jonas or Jaeger family. 

The Historical Society was not open today and their museum can be viewed by appointment only. I went into a small building off the side of the museum and met a wonderful women by the name of Mary. Now this stop was meant to be super quick, my oldest daughter was in the car and needed to be someplace quick (she was meeting up with a old friend from High School). So Mary did a quick search in her computer and told me that she had a picture of a Max Jonas (Max is Grandma Ella’s younger brother) and she might have a few other things as well. I asked if it was possible to come back and see her in a little bit so that I could drop my daughter off, and she was more then happy to have me come back. I ran my daughter to meet her friend and got back to the society as quick as possible.

Mary pulled the original picture and made me a photo copy. Unfortunately, Max may be in the photo (which is from 1911 I believe), but the listing of names does not tell us how to identify the child in the picture. This particular picture is of a classroom setting, so there are many boys and girls in it. At this point, I have no other picture of Max to compare this one to. I will end up sending a copy to an Aunt and hopefully she will be able to pick him out. 

Mary also found another picture that had a Margaret and a Mary Jonas in one other picture, I am not sure if they are related to my family or not, but she made me a copy of this photo as well. They also had a few letters that were sent out in 1966 to the graduating class of 1916 for a class reunion, these letters were signed by a Ted Jonas. At this point, I have no Ted in my family files.  But you never know if he will end up related. 

Mary was more then pleasantly helpful. I enjoyed spending some of my afternoon with her, going through the information they do have. This family line is not one that I have done any research on in the past. Mary gave me a few tips to aid in my research on this line. Hopefully within the next week  I will be able to work on these tips and maybe move the family line back a little bit more. 

If you are ever in the area of the Morton Grove Historical Society. Take time to check it out. I am glad I did. 

Thanks again to Mary for all your assistance today and a special thanks to all the people who take the time to donate information and photo’s to their local societies!

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