Midwest Roots Special Interest Group

The "Midwesterners" is an informal discussion group, focusing on researching ancestors who lived in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. We include Pennsylvania since so many ancestors traveled through the state and frequently settled there for a time before moving on.
This group usually meets during the months of September through April. Members gather in theLCGS Resource Room found at the Harvey Engelhardt Funeral Home at 1600 Colonial Blvd. in Fort Myers.
NOTE:  Cook County, Illinois Vital Record images are no longer available online in the Historical Records Collection of FamilySearch.  Please read more information at Illinois, Cook County Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records).
A lineage society is an organization whose members have shown proof of their descent from a qualifying ancestor such as a colonist or soldier. There are hundreds of such organizations in the United States. This collection represents only those active in the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Contact information for each organization is limited to a website, since officers, addresses and telephone numbers change frequently.
Print Materials to Explore
Recommended by our Members

  • Iroquois County Genealogical Society has a good genealogy library.
  • Also recommended for Chicago researchers: Chicago and Cook County: A Guide to Research by Loretto Dennis Szucs. Find this in the Fort Myers-Lee County Library Genealogy Collection - call # 929.1 Szucs.
  • War of 1812 Bounty Lands in Illinois, indexed by Lowell M. Volkel, published by Heritage House. Find this in the Fort Myers-Lee County Library Genealogy Collection - call # 929.3773 Lands.

  • Indiana Newspaper Bibliography by John W. Miller, published by the Indiana Historical Society.

  • Ohio Marriage Records Through 1820; and Ohio Marriage Records 1820-1830 (records from county courts). Both volumes published by the Ohio Genealogical Society.

Recommended books, published by Origins are:
  • Cemetery Locations in Wisconsin, compiled by Linda Herrick and Wendy Uncapher.
  • Wisconsin Genealogical Research by Linda Herrick.
  • The Wisconsin State Genealogical Society has published Searching for Your Wisconsin Ancestors in Wisconsin Libraries, 3rd ed., by Carol Ward Ryan. Find this in the Fort Myers-Lee County Library Genealogy Collection in the Wisconsin section. Call # 929.1072 Ryan.

Norwegian-American Research
  • Norwegian-American Genealogical Society provides translations.
  • Do a Google search “Norwegian-American Genealogical Society”.
  • Also, look for Thomsen, Finn A., Genealogical Maps & Guide to the Norwegian Parish Registers.

  • “Heartland Heritage” by Paula Stuart Warren (pp. 40-48), Family Tree Magazine, June 2003. A guide to research in the Midwest.
  • “Land of the Free” - Compiled by Grace Dobush (pp. 26-35), Family Tree Magazine, January 2005. A state-by-state directory of free online resources.

Suggested links to aid in your research can be found in the Links area. 
Using the category drop down box you can scroll to the state of interest.

For information about meeting dates and locations, please check our Calendar of Events area or call Carolyn Ford at 239-549-9625.