Illiana Lifestyle Spring 2023 | Page 5



Saluting those who help us find our roots

People are fascinated by history . The more personal it gets for people , interest in learning about it grows . Local and family histories are among the most fascinating , as evidenced by the popularity of historical museums and genealogy research .

My family has always embraced its history , and I ’ m grateful for it . Ancestors on one particular branch of my family tree even produced a detailed book , with photos , tracing its roots back to both England and Ireland . It reveals in one segment that my “ three times ” great grandfather came to the U . S . with his mother during the famine that devastated Ireland during the late 1840s . He was 8 years old at the time . There is also a photo of a document signed by one of my ancestors that also contains the signature of Thomas Lincoln , Abraham ’ s father . Both were part of a group who took legal action against the government during a land title dispute in Kentucky in the early 1800s .
Family histories like that abound , thanks to those who had the foresight to record it , preserve it and pass it on .
We are dedicating this edition of Illiana Magazine to those who toil in the field of historic preservation and genealogy . What they do is admirable and oh-so-important . What ’ s more , they teach and coach others in the art and science of collecting and preserving artifacts of all types , as well as developing genealogical skills so that accurate personal histories can be complied .
Reporter Jennifer Bailey developed our cover story by spending time with Sue Richter , director of the Vermilion County Museum in Danville . Her story delves into what can be found in the museum and how Richter and her staff of volunteers work to preserve and protect the historical treasures that come their way .
Jennifer also visited Danville Public Library to see what that institution is doing to help individuals develop genealogy skills and learn the fine points of researching and gathering key information for building family ancestral timelines .
Also told by Jennifer in this issue is the story of Rhea and Larry Weatherford of Danville and how they collect artifacts from their own and other families in order to pass them down to future generations . They work to keep the artifacts together so they can be viewed as a collection rather than as individual , random pieces .
Our final story in this issue was written by Hannah Shillo and introduces readers to the Illiana Genealogical and Historical Society and its president , Mark Denman . The all-volunteer organization provides resources to help assist those who are undertaking a genealogical journey .
Those are our main stories , but we are also introducing a new feature that will be repeated in successive issues . It ’ s called “ Then & Now ” and will present an old photo of a scene from the Danville and Vermilion County area . Right underneath that vintage photo will be a current image taken at approximately the same place all these years later . You will find two of these pages in this issue . Our thanks go out to the Vermilion County Museum for assisting in this project .
We hope that you enjoy this issue of Illiana Magazine . Enjoy your spring !
Max Jones | Editor , Illiana Magazine
Publisher Amy Winter ( 217 ) 477-5111
Editor Max Jones ( 217 ) 477-5183
Design Natalie Reidford ( 812 ) 568-8991


Reporters Jennifer Bailey ( 217 ) 477-5178
Hannah Shillo ( 217 ) 477-5181
Sales Manager Cindy Decker ( 217 ) 477-5105
Advertising Sales Julie Randall 217-477-5117