Ancestry Library Edition |Census Records | City Directories & Phone Books | CDs, Microfiche, & Microfilm | Family History Books & Files | FamilySearch Affiliate Library | Hidden Treasures | Historic Maps | “How to Do Genealogy” books | Newspapers | Obituaries | Pamphlets | Periodicals | Where the Trails Cross | Local History Research | Other Helpful Materials (see link to our catalog)

Ancestry Library Edition

While you are inside the SSGHS Library, you may access Ancestry Library Edition using your own computer. Ancestry Library Edition delivers census data, vital records, directories, photos, and more. Content is from North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and more. This resource is provided through the generosity of one of our members.

Census Records

Ancestry Library Edition and FamilySearch feature U.S. Federal Censuses for 1790-1950.

Our area of interest is the Chicago Southland, encompassing 20 townships in south Cook and east Will Counties. We have collected microfilmed census reports for these areas:

  • All available Federal Censuses for our area for 1820 through 1930
  • We have purchased or generated indexes for many of these years. We also have a finding aid to use with the 1930 census
  • State censuses for our area for 1825 through 1865
  • A military census of able-bodied men (aged 18 to 45) which was taken between 1861 and 1862

In addition to the above, we have scattered films for various areas and years.

We have some films for the Roseland-Pullman area, the East Side of Chicago, and western Lake County, IN. These purchases were made in response to user requests.

Also, check catalog and CDs for other areas.

City Directories & Phone Books

What follows is not a complete list of city directories found in the library, but rather a list of a few large runs. All the directories, with the exception of the Chicago directories in the cabinet, are cataloged.

MFL 977.311 D-CHI Chicago City Directories 1871, 1880-1917, 1923, 1928-1929.

Hard copies in the cabinet:
Chicago City Directories 1878, 1889, 1892, 1894-1908, 1911-1917, 1923.
These are all in a very fragile condition.

Chicago Telephone Books 1900, 1903, 1903, 1903. Classified, 1910, 1911, 1914, 1920, 1932, 1933, 1937, 1938, 1943, 1944

Chicago Reverse Directory 1950.

On shelves:
977.299 D-POL Hammond – includes Calumet City, Munster, and Whiting. 1943, 1945, 1948, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1961-1966, 1968-1971, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977

977.299 D-CAL Calumet Region Phone Books. 1946-1951, 1954, 1955, 1957-1964, 1966

977.3161 Pullman area phone books. 1911, 1948, scattered 1961-1985

Not cataloged – on shelves: Phone books for the greater Chicago area. 1970s+

CDs, Microfiche, & Microfilm

Dozens of Indexes, Census and Bible Records, Family Trees, etc. are in this collection. Directions on how to use CDs are inside each case.

Family History Books & Files

We have many books that are surname specific as well as a large collection of surname-specific files in the Family Files cabinets.

FamilySearch Affiliate Library

The SSGHS Library is a FamilySearch Affiliate Library; library users may access many records not available when using FamilySearch from home.

Hidden Treasures

  • Naturalizations in the Court at Calumet City
  • Index to Naturalizations and Declarations of Intent, Chicago Heights Public Library
  • Records from select Funeral Homes: Carlson, Otto, Zechlin, Fedde-Helfrich, Hack, Claude E. Griesel, Davis-Hammond-Prowell
  • Will County World War II Inductees
  • Calumet City Burial Permits
  • Acme Steel corporate records and newsletters
  • Green Garden Township Assessor’s books: 1901-1942 – Real Property – Personal Property; Account Books; Plat Maps; and Road and Bridge Records.
  • Oak Forest Hospital Cemetery burial records (on microfilm)

Historic Maps

Our map case contains a variety of maps, many of which are listed in the file box atop the case. We also have some atlases, which are cataloged. In addition to those items, we also have a number of historic maps on microfiche. Here is a list of those.

For Cook County

1851 – Reed (Includes Cook, DuPage and Will Counties)
1861 – Flowers
1862 – Flowers (Published by Burhans and Van Vechten)
1870 – Van Vechten
1886 – Snyder
1890 – Snyder
1898 – Snyder

For Will County

1851 – Reed
1862 – Burhans and Van Vechten

Other large plat maps are located in the cabinet opposite the computers:

  • WPA Plat Map – Green Garden Township, Will County.
  • The Real Estate Map Publishing Co’s Atlas of Thornton in two volumes. 1926.

Sidwell Maps for the following townships:

  • Lemont
  • Bremen
  • Rich
  • Bloom
  • Worth
  • Calumet

“How To” Books on Genealogy and Genetic Genealogy

We have books on doing basic genealogy research, cemetery research, Chicago and Cook County research, DNA, immigration, forms, ethnic groups, court records, etc.


We have the following newspapers on microfilm:

  • MFL 977.3151 P-SOU-C Daily Calumet: April 25, 1919-August 13, 1919 and July-Dec 1887
  • MFL 977.3161 P-CAL-I Calumet Index: Scattered dates from January 1932-April 1949. Look at the boxes for the exact dates.
  • MFL 977.3161 P-SOU-R South End Reporter: 12/31/29 – 5/21/31
  • MFL 977.3167 P-HAR Harvey papers Misc.: Scattered dates from 1891 to 1940
  • MFL 977.3167 P-HAR-C Misc. Harvey Tribune-Citizen: Jan. 13, 1905 to Sept. 11, 1914
  • MFL 977.3167 P-HAR-T Misc. Harvey Tribune: June 3, 1893 to Dec. 29, 1933, July 25, 1940
  • MFL 977.3167 P-SOU-H South Holland Star Tribune: January 1, 1978 to December 31, 1982
  • MFL 977.3251 P-NEW New Lenox Community Reporter: Nov. 17, 1983 to Feb. 26, 1986
  • MFL 977.3254 P-MON-R Monee Review: Dec. 20, 1917 to Sept. 24, 1931
  • MFL 977.3256 P-PEO-V Peotone Vedette: Feb. 2, 1894 to June 3, 1920
  • MFL 977.3256 P-PEO-E Peotone Eagle: April 1876 to Dec 28, 1889
  • MFL 977.326 P-KEN Kendall County Record: 1983
  • MFL 977.326 P-LED Ledger Sentinel (Oswego, IL): Vol. 34:1 (1983)

A number of loose newspapers are in the cabinet underneath the CDs. These are not cataloged. Each drawer has a list in it of the papers found in the drawer. These papers have not been filmed.

Dolton/Riverdale Pointer: 1917-1942. Scattered issues – see list in the drawer

Harvey Tribune and other Harvey papers: 1902 – 1966. Scattered issues – see list in the drawer.


The file cabinet behind the Librarian’s desk contains obituaries pasted onto file cards. They are arranged in alphabetical order. They begin about 1968. Most come from the Chicago Heights Star although other papers are represented. This collection is continued in notebooks shelved according to the location of the newspaper. Years covered include 1977 through 1985 and 1987 through 2000. Each notebook is indexed.

Obituaries from other papers include those from:

  • Crete Record 1993-2000
  • Peotone Vedette 1979-1997
  • Misc. other papers plus funeral cards (mostly from the Roseland area)

The following materials on the shelves contain obituaries:

  • 977.311 D-CHI Vital Records from Chicago Newspapers 1883-1848
  • 977.299 D-HAM Times Obituaries – Calumet Region of Indiana and Illinois. November 1980 – January 1, 1982
  • 977.299 D-Ham Hammond Times Obits. Misc. 1982 and Jan 2 – May 8, 1988

Research Series publications which could contain obituaries include:

  • Vol. 4 – Greater Roseland Area Newspaper Extracts 1882-1894
  • Vol. 6 – Harvey, IL Newspaper Extracts April 11, 1891 – Jan 11, 1902
  • Vol. 8 – South Side Snippets Oct 11, 1906 – June 29, 1907

Where The Trails Cross (Our journal)

Look in WTTC Volume 25:2 for obituaries and newspaper extracts published by us. Volume 34:1, contains extracts from Harvey newspapers from 1890 through 1918. Indexes to the Blue Island Sun-Standard obits are found in three different issues of Where the Trails Cross (WTTC). Obituaries may be ordered from the Society. The obits are $5.00 each plus a SASE.

We have the following newspapers which could contain obituaries:

  • MFL 977.3251 P-NEW New Lenox Community Reporter: Nov. 17, 1983-Feb. 26, 1986.
  • MFL 977.3254 P-MON-R Monee Review: Dec. 20, 1917-Sept. 24, 1931.
  • MFL 977.3256 P-PEO-V Peotone Vedette: Feb. 2, 1894-June 3, 1920.
  • MFL 977.3256 P-PEO-E Peotone Eagle: April 1876-Dec. 28, 1889.
  • MFL 977.326 P-KEN Kendall County Record: 1983.
  • MFL 977.326 P-LED Ledger Sentinel (Oswego, IL.): 1983.
  • MFL 977.3161 P-CAL-I Calumet Index: Scattered dates from Jan. 1932-April 1949. Look at the boxes for exact dates.
  • MFL 977.3161 P-SOU-R South End Reporter: Dec. 31, 1929-May 21, 1931.
  • MFL 977.3161 P-HAR-T Harvey papers. Misc. scattered dates from 1891-1940. Look at boxes for exact dates.
  • MFL 977.3167 P-SOU-H South Holland Star Tribune: Jan. 1 1978-Dec. 31, 1982.

Loose papers in the cabinet underneath the CD’s – these are not cataloged. Each drawer has a list in it of the papers found in the drawer.

Dolton/Riverdale Pointer: 1917-1942 scattered issues. See list in drawer.

Harvey Tribune and other Harvey papers: 1902-1966 scattered issues. See list in drawer.

Index to obituaries – we have the index; someone else has the obituaries.

  • 977.299 D-LAK INDEX Lake County, Indiana and Illinois area obituary collection 1960-1970 Obituaries are at the Lake County Public Library in Merrillville.
  • 977.299 D-HAM Index of obituaries from the Hammond Times 1940-1949
  • 977.311 D-HOL Index to obituaries in Dziennik Chicagoski 1890-1929
  • 977.311 D-HUS Deaths in the Chicago Defender 1910 – 1920
  • 977.311 D-OBI Obituary dates from Denni Hlasatel
  • 1891-1899, 1930-1939, 1940-1949
  • MFL 977.3168 D-STA-O Obituary Index to the Chicago Heights Star 1906-1993

Other clues to death dates will be found in church records, Social Security Death Index, Illinois Department of Health Death Index, funeral home records, cemetery readings, necrologies, probate records, indexes to vital records, veterans’ burials, etc. Many of these types of records can be found in our library.

Pamphlet File

1) An underused resource at the SSGHS library is the pamphlet file. In the file drawers are numerous newspaper clippings, church bulletins, lists of Boy Scouts, 25 year and 50 year commemorative bulletins of clubs and churches in the area. For Worth Township, there is almost a full drawer of materials in the “Illinois, Cook County, Worth Township” drawer. But be sure to look at the Index, located in a yellow notebook on the Librarian’s Reference Shelf, for numerous filing categories. We have information on many countries (mostly European), states, and counties within those states, plus filings by topic.

2) Many types of maps: Plat maps have the names of land owners on them. Road maps list names of towns (the best are old maps which list villages long gone). Insurance, sometimes known as Sidwell maps, give you the legal description of homes. SSGHS has these and many other types of maps. Many are stored in flat files just above the Librarians desk. Most of the rest are located in the road and map atlases next to and above the file cabinets. We have maps from many states and many European countries. Also, don’t forget that many books have maps within the pages or maps of battles in war. Also check the file boxes on the shelf with the encyclopedias. The folders contain many early maps, as do the encyclopedia.

Remember: Almost all of our materials at SSGHS can be photocopied for just 15 cents per page (for members) & 25 cents per page (for non-members).


SSGHS Library receives several journal and/ or newsletter publications from genealogical societies. With the exception of the newsletters in boxes on the small shelf, all materials received are cataloged.

Access to the information in these and other periodicals on our shelves is through the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) and the Genealogical Periodical Annual Index (GPAI). The GPAI is no longer being published, but early issues are on our shelves. PERSI is available in our library on CD, and online at The Genealogy Center. Materials are indexed in PERSI by location and by family name.

If a reference is found to a periodical in one of these indexes, check the catalog to see if we have the periodical. If we do not, there is information available on how to order the desired article from Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne (those in PERSI).

“Where The Trails Cross”

Over 50 years of mainly one-of-a-kind articles in our SSGHS Journal: “Where The Trails Crossare indexed. See Vol. 37, number 1 as well as Vol. 50, number 1 for subject indexes.

Special Features for Local History Research

  • County histories
  • Local histories
  • Church histories and records
  • Census records and indexes
  • Computer and CD-ROMS
  • Early regional newspapers
  • Cemetery readings
  • Plat and topographic maps
  • Telephone books (previous years)
  • City directories, especially Chicago and Calumet Region
  • Calumet City Court Naturalization records (1929-1954)
  • Obituary files of some local newspapers since 1968
  • Back issues of Where the Trails Cross, our journal (includes research from primary sources in the area)

Other Helpful Materials We Can Provide

  • Online catalog of our collection
  • Place name location aids
  • DAR Lineage books
  • Copy machine, microfilm, fiche readers and printer
  • Indexes to genealogical periodicals (PERSI and GPAI)
  • Periodicals from many states and societies, some of them European
  • BISHOP and CONE surname material – see our Research Assistance page for details