family history

Uncovered Gravestones in Leal Park

Leal Park, 303 W University Ave, Urbana, IL

During recent park improvements, undertaken in 2020, portions of ten gravestones from the Old Urbana Burying Ground were unearthed in Leal Park. Work ceased on the project to add additional parking spaces and an accessible path to the administration building, while the Public Service Archaeology & Architecture Program from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign assisted the Urbana Park District in complying with the State of Illinois laws regarding the protection of cemeteries. Work on the park improvements resumed, and the Public Service Archaeology & Architecture Program provided the Archives with information and digitally enhanced photographs from the project. Read more about Uncovered Gravestones in Leal Park

Recently Processed: Orphan Train Collection

Ilinois Central Train, 1856In the second half of the 19th century, welfare organizations on the East Coast were looking for ways to find homes for orphaned and homeless children. Their solution, beginning in 1854, was to send children to rural areas across the country, primarily the Midwest. Organizations such as the Children’s Aid Society and the New York Juvenile Asylum sent children by train to these areas, where they were placed in homes to work, often on farms, and to receive an education. These trains have since been labeled “Orphan Trains,” and many traveled to Champaign-Urbana and surrounding communities. Read more about Recently Processed: Orphan Train Collection

Love Family History, Love Reading Fiction? Here are Titles that Combine Both!

Just in time for the Urbana Free Library’s Summer Reading Program, the Archives has created a list of twenty fiction titles with themes of family history and genealogy. All of these books are available at the Urbana Free Library and include books for both adults and kids. Of course if you’re interested in non-fiction books, the Champaign County Historical Archives has a wide array of genealogical titles too.  Happy Summer Reading! 

The Famous DAR Murder Mystery The Monsters of Templeton

When I was Young

Read more about Love Family History, Love Reading Fiction? Here are Titles that Combine Both!