The Champaign County Genealogical Society (CCGS) was established in 1969. On Friday, April 25, 1969, eleven genealogists met to form an organization dedicated to encouraging each other in their desire to discover ancestors. Some had roots in Champaign County, while others had no ties at all to the county. They not only worked on their own family histories, but contributed to making records easily available to all.
The purpose of the CCGS is to:
- Promote genealogical and historical research.
- Aid in the publication and preservation of genealogical and historical records and manuscripts.
- Provide programs designed to assist both the beginning and the advanced genealogist.
CCGS serves all of Champaign County and currently has around 150 members from around the country. New members are always welcome, whether you are researching Champaign County ancestors or not. The Society enjoys encouraging and assisting others in their genealogy quest. An individual annual membership currently costs $20 and they also offer student, family, organization, and patron memberships.
Society members enjoy the following benefits:
- Subscription to the Champaign County Genealogical Society Quarterly (published electronically in March, June, September, and December; all back issues available online).
- Access to tombstone transcriptions of several Champaign County cemeteries.
- Ability to add as many surnames as you want to the surname database (non-members can only search the database, not add names).
- Access to the Members Forums (post queries, ask questions, share information, etc.).
- Access to searchable Champaign County birth and death record databases, which cover the years 1878-1918.
- Access to a searchable members list.
- Access to CCGS minutes and reports.
General membership meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 7 PM in the Lewis Auditorium at The Urbana Free Library (basement), located at 210 West Green Street, Urbana, Illinois. These meetings generally last 60-90 minutes and are open to the public. Meetings start with a short business meeting, followed by a speaker, discussion of research problems, or show-and-tell time. The April general membership meeting is a joint dinner with the Champaign County Historical Society. This meeting, open to the public, also starts at 7 PM and is held in the Lewis Auditorium at the Urbana Free Library. All meeting dates, times, and speakers can be found on the Calendar of Events page of their website.
While CCGS does not have its own library, it is affiliated with the Champaign County Historical Archives located at the Urbana Free Library (210 West Green Street, Urbana, Illinois; second floor). It is open to the public and no appointment is necessary (for further information please call 217-367-4025).
Resources include a photo atlas of Champaign County, books, journals, newspapers on microfilm, directories, school yearbooks, county records on microfilm or in paper form, manuscripts, images, maps, oral histories, local organization newsletters, special collections of businesses, organizations, or individuals, and much more. The focus of the collection is Champaign County but the collection also contains numerous books on other counties in Illinois and states east of the Mississippi as well as general genealogical reference materials. The holdings can be searched online. In addition to these resources, patrons can also access online databases including GenealogyBank, World Vital Records, HeritageQuest, Fold3, and Ancestry Library Edition.
The Society is currently working on creating an every-name index for all of its Quarterlies. These will be available on the public portion of our web site. In addition, a book entitled, The Nofftz, Messman(n), Holl, and Krueger Families of Pesotum Township, Champaign County, Illinois, Volume 2, is in progress and will be available soon.