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125 Gems of the Genealogy & Local History Library: Gems 21‒30

Plat Maps #HaynerGenealogyGems

Plat is a term for a survey of a piece of land to identify boundaries, easements, flood zones, roadways, and access rights of way. It is the legal description of a specific piece of real property and is required if land is to subdivided for building homes, creating parks, and setting aside rights of way. The Genealogy & Local History Library has a variety of local Plat Maps. These maps are a good tool in property research as well as helping locate the areas where our ancestors lived.

21. Plat Maps

Connie Clayton #HaynerGenealogyGems
Connie Clayton has been volunteering in the Genealogy Library for well over 7 years. She is our longest tenured volunteer. She is an industrious lady who wears a big infectious smile. Connie works on a variety of projects that include copying scrapbooks and helping us compile research on local history subjects. She has become affectionately known as our “jack-of-all-trades.”

22. Connie Clayton

Walnut Grove Dairy Display #HaynerGenealogyGems

Walnut Grove Dairy began in 1857 on a farm near Fosterburg called Walnut Grove. Casper and Josephine Joehl came to America from Switzerland and started off selling milk door-to-door but, over time, bought out other small local dairies. In 1911 Walnut Grove bought a confectionery and began producing ice cream as well. The Walnut Grove Dairy display case at the Genealogy & Local History Library contains milk bottles, promotional material, photographs, newspaper ads, and other items related to the long history of Walnut Grove Dairy. Come check it out before the display comes down this summer!

23. Walnut Grove Dairy Display

View of Alton from Maple Island #HaynerGenealogyGems

This oil painting depicts a beautifully detailed view of Alton, Illinois, from Maple Island on a bright sunny day. The painting bears a plaque that reads, “Alton 1867 painted by Mrs. Rice.” The painting was given to the library in 1910 by George Roper of Rock Island, Illinois. Nothing about the painting or the artist appears in the local historical literature until the March 3, 1910, issue of The Alton Evening Telegraph. There, a brief article announced the painting’s donation and identified the artist as “Mrs. Rice, who lived near Fourth Street on Langdon [in Alton] many years ago.” For more information and to see the incredible details (including some that require a magnifying glass), visit us at the Genealogy & Local History Library!

24. View of Alton

Pam Bierman #HaynerGenealogyGems
Pam was hired in 1998 for the Indexing Department, but has also processed books and magazines in the Tech Services Department, repaired damaged items, processed library card applications, and was the Overdue Coordinator for a year. She started in the Genealogy Department in 2002. Pam’s husband is a volunteer. She has two children and four grandchildren. She lives in Brighton and enjoys boating, sketching, and target shooting.
Favorite Illinois Room books:
Footprints and Echoes by Viola Voss
Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty by Nick Del Calzo & Peter Collier
The Great American Tradition: The 75th Anniversary of the Budweiser Clydesdales by Digby Diehl
Favorite local places: The Great River Road

25. Pam

Footprints and Echoes #HaynerGenealogyGems

Footprints and Echoes by Viola W. Voss is a wonderful little snapshot of Alton history condensed into a 72-page paperback. The amount of valuable local history information found here is simply amazing. Conversational, with sections on the different neighborhoods in Alton, Footprints and Echoes has headings like “One Woman Vigilante Society,” “Pioneer Churches,” and “Alton’s Illinois State Fair 1856.” It ends with a section on penny candy stores.

 26. Footprints and Echoes

Dancing Dolphins at the Library! #HaynerGenealogyGems

Two dancing dolphins spotted at Hayner Library!
Winter, spring, summer or fall, these playful porpoises can be seen frolicking in the lower garden area beside the Hayner Building at 401 State Street. Constructed of preformed concrete and granite stone, these statues were donated during the summer of 1980 in memory of Ann Whitney Olin. Ann was an active member of the Jennie D. Hayner Library Association from 1947‒1957.

27. Dancing Dolphins

History at Hayner blog #HaynerGenealogyGems

A gem you can access from anywhere, the History at Hayner blog shines a light on interesting aspects of Hayner’s history and Alton’s history. Make sure to check out recent articles “102 Years of Alton Women at the Polls” and “Alton Prohibition Stories,” both written by our wonderful volunteer Ann Davidson.

The Ursuline Sisters of Alton #HaynerGenealogyGems

The Ursuline Sisters of Alton left the area in 2014 after more than 150 years of dedicated service.
In 2004, ten years prior to their departure, the staff of the Hayner Genealogy & Local History Department saw a need to begin documenting the history of this convent. This compilation of newspaper articles includes obituaries, jubilees, and anniversaries, and is now a part of the Illinois Room collection. We even have a recording of an oral history interview with Sister Gertrude Becker, who was 102 years old at the time. The sisters are gone, but they will not be forgotten.

29. Ursuline Convent book

Research Guides #HaynerGenealogyGems

What websites will help you find your ancestors?
The wedding picture caption only gave the husband’s name. Who was the wife? Genealogy staff member Beth Phillips found the answer by using the online Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, images of the Belleville, IL, Diocese Records on, online copies of obituaries, and census images on
Hayner Genealogy Research Guides and our helpful staff can point you to the websites you can use to find your ancestors!

 30. Research Guides

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