Geneaology and Historical Documents
How to Conduct A Family Name Search
1. To get started, provide as much information on your family name as you can, including family member names, and especially marriage or obituary dates if possible. Plan to spend 1-2 hours of research.
2. Skim the Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Montgomery County, for names that can date back to the late 1800's.
3. A) Go to our Destiny Database. B) Type in your family name. C) If you find a family name or ancestor, look for and record the obituary date and article location in the Hillsboro Journal News or Montgomery County News.
Example:"Singler" > Troy Singler (my grandfather) > 11/20/1991 (Obituary Date) and P. A-12 (Newspaper Location).
4. Once you find this information, use the computer in our genealogy room and click on the Hillsboro Journal folder or the Montgomery County News folder and look for the date of the article.
Example: I skimmed for November 20th, 1991, which would be located in the in the Hillsboro Journal File 1991, July 1st to 1991, Dec. 30th. I found his obituary article on Nov. 21, 1991, and discovered the names of his parents.
1. Each file contains more than one newspaper, so you need to look very carefully for the front page listing the date of the paper (you can also look in the top right hand corner for dates).
2. Skim through more than 1 newspaper. It's possible dates can be listed incorrectly in our database, so look at 3 issues, 1 before, on, and after the date given from the database.
3. Have a hard time reading the paper? At the top of the screen on the PDF file, you will find a + button. Click the + to magnify the images and words in the newspaper.
4. If the papers date back before 1945-1950, the electronic copies of the microfilm can be very dark due to heavy ink and hard to read, therefore it is recommended to use the microfilm machine for papers dating prior to 1950.
See instructions below on using microfilm.
Hillsboro Library Family Name Records On File (physical files)
Geneaological or Historical Resources
See the directions above for conducting research.
2. The Journal-News Folder (Digital Files)
Includes digital PDF files that are copies of actual newspapers from microfilm or in physical form. These newspapers date from Jan. 5th, 1900 to April 28th, 2011. These files are located in a folder on the computer in the Genaology Room.
3. The Montgomery County News Folder (Digital Files)
Includes digital PDF files that are copies of actual newspapers from microfilm or in physical form. These newspapers date from July 25th, 1857 to August 30th, 2004. These files are located in a folder on the computer in the Genaology Room.
4. Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Montgomery County, Volume 2 (1888-1914)
As a certified and trained librarian, I highly recommend this resource for anyone looking for more information on a family name. Turn to the very back of this edition to find family names are listed alphabetically.
5. Marriage Records
We have marriage records from Fayette County from 1821-1874 and records from Montgomery County from 1821-1870.
6. Montgomery County Census
Contains records and names from 1825 to apprixmately 1860
Yes. We charge $15 due to the extensive amount of hours and energy it can takes to conduct this type of research.
(1-2 hours guaranteed.)
What Kind of Information Can I Expect to Get Back?
Family names including great-grandparents or ancestors. Birth, Wed, or Death Dates. Dates of specific articles mentioning family names or other information from the Journal News or Montgomery County News.
How Soon Can I Expect Results?
Please give us 24-72 hours to get back with you. The more time we can spend doing your research, the better your results will be.
When do I Pay?
We prefer you pay up front, but we will not cash your check until we have at least SOME records on your family or on the event you are looking for.
Will you do my search for Me?
Additional Research and Fees
If we have already spent 2 hours researching your family history, but you need more information we will require you to pay the library another $15 for further research.
While I am more than happy to help, as the director I am a very busy person and believe I or my staff should be compensated for my time away from daily duties.
How to Use Microfilm and the Microfilm Equipment
Loading the Microfilm
1. Find the microfilm you want to use located in the green file cabinets.
2. Load the microfilm using the diagram shown on the machine. Place the microfilm on the spool.
3. Feed the microfilm UNDER the 1st roll and OVER the 2nd roll. (See picture left with arrows)
Loading the Microfilm
4. Feed the microfilm UNDER the glass platlette
5. On the right side of the machine, feed the film OVER the 1st roll and UNDER the 2nd roll and into the spool.
6. You MUST feed the end of the film into the MIDDLE of the reel. (See picture left with arrows for details)
Adjusting and Aligning the Newspaper
7. To adjust the newspaper until it can be seen on screen, grab the metal pull on the sliding plate and move the plate forward or back until you can see an image on screen.
8. Turn the nob on the right side of the machine to align the picture. (Shown in picture 2)
Focusing the Microfilm (Viewing Clearly)
9. To focus the microfilm and see it more clearly, use the nob underneath the machine monitor.
Turning the Pages and Film Removal
10. To go to the next page, turn the right crank.
11. To go to the previous page (or go back), turn the left crank.
12. IMPORTANT! If you are finished, continue turning the left crank until all of the film has returned to the first spool (original roll).
Do NOT remove film until you have cranked the left handle all the way.
REFRAIN from touching the film except the ends to preserve the microfilm. Our hands have natural oils that can degrade the quality of the film.