Tuesday, October 9, 2018




The 2018 Harvest Daze Pumpkin Contest theme of "Cartoon Pumpkins" brought out the creativity in almost 40 participants with 26 pumpkin entries. Thanks to all participants, and special thanks to Mrs. Devine, art teacher from Glenn Raymond Middle School and Watseka Community High School. Jessica Runner, a genealogy volunteer helped us man the tent both days.

A little rain now and then did not deter our visitors! The voters had much difficulty casting their votes, but we still had a steady stream of people stop by to view the pumpkins and vote.

The President's Choice, honoring the pumpkin showing the best use of the theme went to a group of students from Glenn Raymond Middle School in Watseka. Natalie, Amelia, Jacob and Camden created the classic "Tom & Jerry" cartoon, #603.

Visitors voted for a favorite pumpkin in each of four categories, then cast a vote for the best pumpkin overall. Winning the "Pick of the Patch" this year were Alyssa, Gabby and Mikey with their "Green Witch" pumpkin, #613.


Category 100 was Youth Carved, for those 12 years old and younger. Winner was Skyler with his "Pacman" pumpkin, #101.

Category 200 was Youth Painted/Decorated, for those 12 years old and younger.

1st place - Makennah with "Olaf" #203.
2nd place - Scarlett with "Pete the Cat" #211.
3rd place - Tyler with "Sylvester" #206.
4th place - Clara with "Tweet Bird" #207.



Category 400 was Adult Painted/Decorated for those 13 and older.
1st place - Salina with "Pumpkin with Sombrero" #403
2nd place - Albert with "Freckled Face and Nose" #401


Category 600 was Organization or Group Painted/Decorated.
1st place - TIE
   Alyssa, Gabby and Mikey with "Green Witch" #613
   Cody, Zoey and Emily with "Stitch" #614
2nd place - Natalie, Amelia, Jacob and Camden with "Tom & Jerry" #603
3rd place - Amber, Austin, Emma and Ethan with "Mike Wazowski" #610



Another contest was guessing the weight of the "Couch Cartoon" pumpkins. The total weight of "Porky Pig" and "Melissa the Duck" and "Tweety Bird" was 70 pounds, 14 ounces. Sawyer J. was the winner of the $10 prize with his guess of 70 pounds, 7 ounces. Amazing!! (Notice the rain-soaked sign.)


All other entries are shown below. We were extremely impressed with the creative efforts by all participants. How many of these cartoon characters can you name???









Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Please Join Us in 2018

(a little late).

We hope you are sticking to your New Year's Resolutions, and we hope one of them is organizing and working on your family history.

Next thing I need to let you know: Following more than 3 months of Rootsweb problems and no access to our web site, we have moved our web site from Rootsweb to a new domain. You can now find our web site at http://iroquoiscountygenealogy.org. Most of the pages are active, including PayPal pages and resources. We think our new web address will be much easier to remember, too.

We have a busy year planned. Save these dates. Hope you can join us. Remember for more information, you can email us at iroqgene@yahoo.com or call us at 815-432-3730. Watch our Facebook  page or this blog for more details.

February 19 – Our first Kid’s Day – Start your Genealogy on school holiday. Grades 5 and older, with adult or responsible sibling. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Old Courthouse Museum in Watseka, IL.

March 10 – Conference: DuPage CountyGenealogical Society in Naperville, IL.

March 24 – Program: DNA presentation, 9:30 a.m. coffee, 10:00 a.m. program. Old Courthouse Museum in Watseka, IL.

Infamous and Notorious of Iroquois County
  April 15 – Program: Infamous and Notorious of Iroquois County, 2:00 p.m. at Old Courthouse Museum in Watseka, IL.

  May 7-11 – One-on-One Week, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Genealogy Archives at Old Courthouse Museum in Watseka, IL.

May 2-5 – National Genealogical Society Annual Conference, Grand Rapids, MI.

June 24 – Program: Terry Lynch and Histories For Kids “Happy IL Bicentennial Birthday Bash!”, 2:00 p.m. Courthouse grounds and Courtroom at Old Courthouse Museum in Watseka, IL. #Illinoisproud

July 13 – Friday the 13th Superstitions Supper, 4-7 p.m. at Old Courthouse Museum in Watseka, IL.

July 18-22 – Iroquois County Fair, Crescent City, IL. See us in the Commercial Building.
Come see us at the Iroquois County Fair!
August 6-10 – Program: One-on-One Week. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Genealogy Archives at Old Courthouse Museum in Watseka, IL.

August 11 – Kankakee Valley Genealogical Society 50th anniversary. 4th floor of Kankakee Public Library, Kankakee, IL.

August 5 – Dog Days of Summer 5K and Dog Run, date tentative, beginning at Old Courthouse Museum in Watseka, IL.

August 22-25 – Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, Fort Wayne, IN.
Cemetery Walk: Sugar Creek Chapel Cemetery

September 9 – Program: Cemetery Walk, location TBD. We will start voting on the cemetery soon from our Facebook page.

Pumpkin Contest 2017
 October 6-7 – Harvest Daze, Ham & Beans Dinner, Pumpkin Contest at Old Courthouse Museum in Watseka, IL.

 November 3 – General Meeting at Old Courthouse Museum in Watseka, IL.

December 19 – Volunteer Luncheon - location TBD.

Looks like lots of FUN! See you in 2018!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

It's a Party! Pumpkin Contest Returns

It's back - the ICGS 3rd annual Pumpkin Contest, and we have lots to celebrate this year! Our theme for this year:
"It's a Party!"

Just look at these historical events:
  • Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Iroquois County Historical Society in 2017,
  • Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Iroquois County Seat of Watseka in 2017,
  • Getting ready for the 2018 Bicentennial of the State of Illinois,
  • Getting ready for the 2020 50th Anniversary of the Iroquois County Genealogical Society.

The Iroquois County Genealogical Society sponsors the Pumpkin Contest, which is part of the 38th annual Harvest Daze of the Iroquois County Historical Society.

2016 Youth Winner-Painted
2016 Youth Winner-Carved!

There is no charge to enter. We will give awards of 1st, 2nd and 3rd for each age/pumpkin category.

You can download full rules and entry form HERE or enter online from that page. 

Return your entry form to ICGS by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5, set up your pumpkin from 8:00-10:00 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7. Join in the fun!

See pictures and the full results from 2016 HERE.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

"We the Pumpkins" Contest Harvest Daze 2016

In this Presidential Election year, the Iroquois County Genealogical Society Harvest Daze Pumpkin Contest theme was "We the People Pumpkins!"

The Pumpkin Contest drew 27 carved and painted/decorated pumpkins in 6 categories. There were a total of 430 votes cast.

President's Award
Pick of the Patch
The theme of “We the People Pumpkins!” inspired the ICGS President’s Award entry, a pumpkin painted and decorated with an quill and ink bottle and a painted parchment sheet showing the Preamble and Article One of the Constitution. A team of four WCHS art students, Miryam Bevelle, Sadee Wuethrich, Natalie Sapp and Nathan Wilson created the pumpkin.

All other winners were chosen by votes of Harvest Daze visitors. First place winners and their categories include Ginny Lee-Pick of the Patch, Aubrey Chandler-Youth Carved, Scarlett Siebert-Youth Painted/Decorated, Stacy Beam-Adult Carved, Ginny Lee-Adult-Painted/Decorated and the Lee Family-Organization Painted/Decorated. See all pictures and winners on our Pictures page.

"Big Creeper"

The contest to guess the weight of the Big Pumpkin, aka "Big Creeper" was won by Marissa Baldwin-Clements. Her winning guess was just 1 pound 12 ounces over the actual weight of 156 pounds, 12 ounces. Thanks to Clara for raising such a great pumpkin. I hear that she checked on the pumpkin frequently and was often seen encouraging the pumpkin to grow.

Although there was a steady shower most of Saturday morning, we had a great turnout of pumpkins and visitors. The weather finally cooperated on Sunday and we had a great time with our pumpkin friends!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Celebrate 150th Birthday and Independence Day 2016

Celebrate 150th Birthday and Independence Day 2016

Iroquois County Genealogical Society is parading this summer with the Iroquois County Historical Society.

To begin, we are celebrating the 150th birthday of the 1866 Iroquois County Courthouse, now a museum housing the Historical and Genealogical Societies of Iroquois County. Since 1975 it has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

We started the parade season with our Birthday Cake float at the Milford Fun Days, June 25th, whose theme was "Under Construction." This is such a fitting theme for family history and genealogy, don't you think. Seems like there is always more to learn in our family history search.

But we found more parades with great themes for genealogy and family history.
Upcoming parades:
  • Onarga, IL Independence Day Celebration, July 2, 11 a.m. Theme: "A Time to Remember"
  • Watseka, IL Fourth of July Celebration, July 4, 11 a.m. Theme: "Pride in our Past, Faith in our Future"
  • and more to follow in Iroquois County communities,
  • ending with (we think) the Hoopeston (Illinois) Sweet Corn Festival parade in September.
Remembering items and people of our past
The Old Courthouse in Iroquois County, Illinois was built in 1866, which makes this year the 150th birthday of this historic building. Both the Iroquois County Genealogical Society and the Iroquois County Historical Society share this remarkable building which houses the Old Courthouse Museum.

The Historical Society collection includes items showing the history of Iroquois County, from the lives of its people, to the life of its land. Visit the Victorian Parlor, old Bedrooms, Veterinarian and Doctor Rooms, One Room School, Animal and Rock rooms. You can see the building's original Courtroom where county cases were argued for a century.

Located in the several old county vaults are our Genealogical Society treasures, original record books of the county, probates, estate records, land records, tax records, military and education records. If that's not enough for you, we also have newspaper microfilms, maps, atlases, cemetery records, church records, and the list goes on.

Next year, 2017 will be the 50th anniversary of the Historical Society and 2020 brings in the 50th anniversary of the Genealogical Society. Lots to celebrate around here.

Happy Independence Day, USA.