How can I find information on my family’s Stephenson County roots?
A genealogist, whether professional or the family researcher, is an explorer. We trace the paths of our ancestors; learn about the world they lived in and the circumstances they experienced. Some discoveries are anticipated, others are unexpected and often surprising.
One thing every genealogist learns in their journey is that it’s impossible to go it alone. Often our ancestors lived extraordinary distances from our dining room tables where our searches begin.
That’s where the Stephenson County Genealogical Society (SCGS) can help you.
SCGS maintains a microfilm collection of vital records from Stephenson County including birth certificates (3 May 1855 to 8 Jun 1915); delayed births (25 Jan. 1903 to 26 Jan. 1912); marriage records (24 Jun 1837 to 29 Dec 1940); death records (6 Jan 1878 to 23 Dec 1964).
In addition, access is available to the extraordinary collections in the Frances Woodhouse History Room at the Freeport Public Library. These collections include area newspapers from the 18th,19th and 20th century, City Directories, county and family histories.
If you are unable to visit us in the History Room, you can request documents using the Research Request form. There is no charge for research conducted by SCGS volunteers. Copies for vital records are $2 each.
All documents will be emailed to the requester; hard copies can be picked up in the History Room (Freeport Public Library, 100 Douglas St., Freeport, IL) or mailed with receipt of a self-addressed, stamped envelope. If you plan to pick up your documents, please make arrangements with SCGS, in advance of your trip.
This SCGS service is intended to support genealogists by providing access to limited numbers of documents and information. Please understand that our volunteers cannot do your genealogy for you nor complete multiple, extensive requests. Our volunteer time is limited and we need to be able to respond to all of the requests we receive in a timely manner.
Request vital records, documents, and other records.
- Requests will be responded to within seven days of receipt.
- An email will be sent to the contact person with the information and/or a list of the documents found or with notification of a negative search. Any documents — except vital records — will be attached to the email.
- For vital records requests, an invoice will be sent that includes total cost and information on paying electronically or with a check by mail. There is no additional fee for electronic payment. Upon receipt of payment, copies of the vital record(s) will be emailed (or mailed if a self-addressed, stamped envelope is included with mailed payment) to the email or postal address on the contact form.
Volunteers are at the Frances Woodhouse History Room, located on the first floor of the Freeport Public Library (100 E. Douglas St., Freeport, Illinois) during the following hours:
Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday – 9 to noon
Tuesday – 1 pm to 5 pm.
Wednesday – 10 am to 2 pm.
Click here to arrange for an appointment. Appointments must be requested at least 72 hours prior to requested time.
Please remember that the History Room is manned by volunteers. It’s always best to contact SCGS in advance of your trip to ensure someone will be there to help you.