Burials of Epidemic Victims

If your ancestor was the victim of a 19th century epidemic, it’s possible his or her burial is listed in this Ancestry Library Edition (Ancestry LE) record collection: U.S., Find a Grave, 1600s-Current Widespread epidemics that killed numerous persons in a short span of time created the need for additional burial places, and often led…
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Illinois Prison Cemeteries

As some of you may know, my first job as a librarian was Director of the Library at Joliet Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois. At the time, Joliet had the dubious honor of hosting not one but two maximum security prisons. Joliet Correctional Center (where I worked) held mostly first-time offenders and men considered low…
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They Backed the Wrong Horse

We like to talk about our patriot ancestors: i.e., persons who served in the Continental Army or Navy, or who supported the war effort financially. But we sometimes forget that some colonists did not want to break from King and Country. These people were known as Loyalists, and as it turned out they bet everything…
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Pauper Burials

We all may sometimes wish that our ancestors were oil barons or mining magnates, but it’s more likely that we had one or more ancestors who died in considerably lesser circumstances. These poor souls were generally buried at city or county expense. You can search for such burials in Ancestry Library Edition (Ancestry LE) in…
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African American Cemeteries

While you are probably aware that African Americans in this country were subjected to segregation in many localities, you may not realize that segregation often continued after their deaths. Restrictive covenants prevented them from buying houses in “whites-only” neighborhoods, and similar legalities prevented them from being buried in “whites-only” cemeteries . You can search for…
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Potters’ Field

A potters' field is a place where a city or town can bury unclaimed bodies (usually, but not always, paupers). The name derives not from a person named Potter but rather from the Bible. When Judas Iscariot attempted to return the thirty pieces of silver he had been paid to betray Jesus, the temple priests…
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U.S., Chicago and North Western Railroad Employment Records, 1935-1970

This record collection in Ancestry Library Edition (Ancestry LE) indexes railroad employee records from the Chicago and North Western Railroad and the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway. It was digitized from the collections of the Chicago & North Western Historical Society. Since this record collection indexes more than 1 million records, it is…
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