Travel Buddy and I have visited Illinois before, but we have almost always traveled through the southern part of the state.
This time, we had a number of genealogical sites to visit, and a wonderfully historic one, as well.
First, we traveled to Springfield, and visited Lincoln’s Tomb. Such an impressive monument. I can’t believe we’ve never been to visit it before. Plenty of tour buses were headed that way, too, bringing tons of folks in to pay their respects to a great man.
While in the area, we heard a rumor that for the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s death (2015) the plan is to run Lincoln’s train (designed for his use in life, it was never used by him except in death) along the same route it traveled when bringing Lincoln’s body back to Springfield, following his assassination in Washington, DC. If this is true, we wonder who will ride it, what stops it will make, and how wide-spread the travels will be.
In Decatur County, I struggled to find anything related to my Beach and Dalton families, but it was not to be.
From here, we drove north to Sycamore, Illinois, a beautifully preserved town with blocks and blocks and blocks of restored houses from the 1800s. We couldn’t decide which way to look, it was all so amazing!
For the next three days we used this area as a hub, driving first to McHenry County (but unsuccessfully finding anything on my Gilliland family) then on to Boone County (where my ancestors Anna Randall DeWolf and Putnam DeWolf are buried in separate cemeteries, and without tombstones, but at least I could visit the areas where each was buried) then through Ogle County, where Lewis H. Jones and Eliza Gilliland were married (didn’t stop…already had their marriage information, and besides, tornado warnings were sounding) and finally to Palmyra, in Lee County, where my great-grandfather William Jones was born, and my great-great-great-grandfather Cyrus Jones was not only buried, but had a tombstone. (Yessssss!!)
I did not discover much about my family in Illinois, but I greatly enjoyed visiting where they had lived, and sometimes, that’s enough.