Short Videos




Updated Newsletter below!


Do you have any church records/photos we could digitize?

Copyright free material may be of interest to others and preserve the memories
Contact me at

Looking for Land Records?

New – a surname index to property owners on the McLean County
1856 & 1866 Maps and the 1874, 1895, & 1914 Atlases of McLean County
Compiled by William LaBounty – maps are in the Genealogy Library

62 Genealogy 1 min videos

Thanks to Michele Simmons Lewis !

August 6

Genealogy Meetup

New Location – Normal Township Hall

304 E. Mulberry, Normal

2:00 pm  – Register in advance

Click for details

Just added to Free Programs

Why oh Why do your Y-DNA

Tanner Tolman

– Presenter

Presented originally at RootsTech 2023

Click for details

Free Ancestry?

Visit our library on the 2nd floor of

the McLean County Musuem of Histoy

Bring your laptop and use our free WIFI

Visit to begin searching

Ancestry for FREE !

New Feature

Genealogist Michele Simmons Lewis, AG, CG of Mad Hatter Genealogy has over 46,000 followers.

Watch her short videos of genealogy tips here

Topics include:

-DNA Client Case  – finding an unknown parent

-Rookie mistakes – tips for Pros and Rookies alike

-PSAs – 62 Quick Tips for Everyone

-Searching FamilySearch – Get every possible nugget

These short videos are full of real life tips and tricks.
More to come each week !

Are You related to George Washington or Elvis?

Rand learns from FamilySearch he is related to
George Washington !
You may be too.
To try out this free feature at familysearch:
Open an account at
or login your existing account.
Enter your family tree with yourself at the root. As you enter
relatives going back, look for a suggested match from FS that has
an identification number. Try to get enough entered that each
branch of the tree ends in a person that is already in the database.

Then open a new tab while still logged in and goto:

(P.S. George and I are only cousins, I am not a direct decendent)

What is a FamilySearch Affiliate Library?

The FORT in Lexington and The McLean County Genealogical Society library in the McLean County Museum of History at 200 N. Main, Bloomington are “FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries.”   FamilySearch has millions of free records for conducting genealogical research.  Many of the records are available to your home computer at “”, but often copies of specific items can only be retrieved at a FamilySearch Center or Affiliate Library.  For example, Illinois Death Certificates are a pain in the butt to obtain often costing $20 or more at County Clerk offices (why is that?).  You can order Illinois Death Certificates from the Illinois State Genealogical Society for $10.00 at

But make your way to The Fort or our library on the 2nd floor of the McLean County Museum of History, and you can download them for FREE.  If you bring a laptop, and you log onto the wifi at MCMH, your laptop is recognized as being inside the library and you will have access.


Members of TMCGS have free access to MCMH and it is open late Tuesdays !

Why Be a Member?

Members have free access to all publications thru the website.

Presentations are keep for 30 days in the member’s area.

Members have exclusive access to McLean County Birth and Death records.

Members have immediate access to all past Gleanings from 1967 – present.

Membership dues support our work to digitize and keep the website going.

We have added many new books, videos, and features to make genealogy fun.


Check under FREE BOOKS to discover some not found anywhere else

General Meetings Open to Everyone – Come ask for help or assist others – Brick Walls Broken !

July 2, 2024, 2:00 P.M.  and

August 6, 2024, 2:00 P.M”Genealogy Meetup” IN PERSON or zoom.  LOCATION CHANGE.  The Normal Public Library will be closed for repairs so the Normal Public Library “Genealogy Meetup” will meet at 104 Norrth Street, Normal.   You can also ZOOM in.  The group will discuss brick walls and give each other suggestions on breaking thru.  Do not goto the Library !

September 17, 2024, 6:30 P.M.

November 19, 2024 – Election of Officers

Board Meeting Zoom Links and Forms <Click>

September 10, 2024, 6:30 P.M.

November 12, 2024, 6:30 P.M.

How to Use this Site

For research, we have made our Gleanings indexes availble to the general public.  Search them for surname and other information, noting the Gleanings Issue.  Then Join or Log in, as members are given access online to all Gleanings issues.

Many FREE resources are available to all.  They include: Ancestral chart, family record, street name fun, popular links, our cemetery guide publication with directions and descriptions of McLean County cemeteries !

The McLean County Museum of History offers many attractions and events – some via ZOOM.  Click here or on the photo for more information.

The MCGS Genealogy Library is on the 2nd floor and offers books and journals from around the country, computers set up with Ancestry and Family Search, and often a volunteer to assist you.  Hours of operation are here (

On Demand Programs available to Members – Sign up and learn today !

Tina Beaird Presents “Illinois Digital Resources”

    Tina Beaird is owner of Tamarack Genealogy and is a history librarian in the Chicago area.  

    This program is a “fire hose” of information.  Fortunately you can pause the presentation anytime to make notes on the two handouts provided.  So much of what is available is digital and Tina shows us where to look to find information that does not automatically pop up as a hint. Two handouts are available.  Log in or join now to view this program in the member’s area.   

If you missed Tina Beaird’s presentation “Becoming a Census Sensei”, please login or join now to view it in the member’s area under Presentations!  

It is a wonderful program and has so much information.  I love being able to pause the video to make notes on the handout when I need to process  something.

  Tina is an author, lecturer, and owner of Tamarack Genealogy.  She holds an MLS with a specification in archives preservation and often lectures at conferences both local and national.

   National, State, Special, Education, and Indian censuses are discussed !

Susan Kaufman Presents “Unusual Sources”

    Susan Kaufman is Senior Manager  at the Houston Public Library.  

    This interesting program presents unusual sources of information that you will not find easily.  Have an interest in History?  Check out the listing of all Civil War soldiers to receive an artificial limb.  This is just one of the many sources Susan illuminates.  A downloadable handout is available.  Log in or join now to view this program in the member’s area. 

Mimi Davis Presents “New Databases at BPL”

    Mimi Davis is the Electronic Resources Librarian at the Bloomington Public Library (BPL).  Learn about the new Genealogy Databases available.

    BPL has two new databases “Heritage Hub” and “Black Life in America” that are rich with genealogical information.  BPL cardholders can access these information sources from home. The slide program is available as a downloadable file.   Log in or join now to view this program in the member’s area.