Illinois Veterans’ History Project At the Illinois Secretary of State Website

Hi Everyone!

I came across the following wonderful piece of information in the December 2011 copy of the Newsletter of the Chicago Genealogical Society.

To all Illinois veterans please be aware the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State has established an Illinois Veterans’ History Project.  Living Illinois veterans as well as deceased Illinois veterans can be honored and their military service history can become a permanent history within the Illinois Secretary of State Office. 

Genealogy researchers can honor deceased ancestors who had military service and lived in Illinois.  This is a very nice feature, tribute and honor we can bestow on our deceased veteran ancestors.   The following quote was obtained from the Illinois Secretary of State website for this project:

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Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White initiated the Illinois Veterans’ History Project to create a permanent record of the names and stories of Illinois war veterans and civilians who served our state and country during war, so that their contributions will not be forgotten.

To participate in the Illinois Veterans’ History Project, Veterans or their family members can complete the Illinois Patriots Information Form and also share their remembrances on the back or on a separate sheet of paper. Those who participate will receive an Official Certificate of Appreciation for their participation in this project. The Illinois Patriots Information Form is also available at Driver Services facilites statewide.

The Illinois State Archives, a division of the Secretary of State’s office, will collect the information and place it in a permanent repository. White’s initiative follows a law passed by the federal government authorizing the Library of Congress to collect and preserve the histories of American veterans and civilians who served in wars from World War I to the present.

If you would like to participate in the National Veterans’ History Project through the Library of Congress, please visit their website at www.loc.gov/vets/.

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You can access the main database website from the Illinois Secretary of State Office at:

Illinois Veterans’ History Project Data Base

What a great way to preserve the military history of living Illinois veterans as well as to honor and preserve the military history of deceased Illinois veterans.  All it takes is a small amount of time to fill out the questionnaire especially if your research has already uncovered the military information of that Illinois veteran.  All questionnaire material is available directly from the above links.

You can see samples of filled-out and returned material at the Illinois Digital Archives at:

Illinois Digital Archives/Illinois Veterans’ History Project

Take a look at the material and consider honoring a living Illinois veteran as well as a deceased Illinois veteran.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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