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From: patricia meyers <>
Subject: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] Cook County volunteer program
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2008 16:55:40 -0800 (PST)


Hi Nan and listers,
Nan, as I promised you, here is the process for volunteering:

I started the volunteer program with Cook County today by going to orientation. You have to be a really dedicated genealogist (or else be insane!) to do all that is requested beforehand. I think it is definitely worth it.

First I contacted Lois Travis, a wonderfully helpful supervisor of the program. She told me what to do . I had to fill out an application (Lois mailed me the form). I also had to send a copy of a photo ID (I used my passport rather than my driver's license). I sent it in (last November) and then the county did a background check on me. It took some time for them to contact me due to the holidays pllus they were "busy."

Lois called me a week ago and we set up my orientation for today from 10AM to 1PM. As usual the best laid plans.....I got out of there about 2:30PM. We met Dorothy Brown who likes to meet all future employees, interns and volunteers. What an admirable woman she is. She's done so much for the county in bringing it into the 21st century.

I had my photo taken for my departmental ID, was shown where I would be working (not the most pleasant of surroundings...but that's because the program is running on a grant).

Four other people are volunteering other than myself. We are keying in naturalization records from 1906 to 1929. They are working on 1917 right now, so progress is definitely being made. The National Archives is funding the grant til November of 2008.

If you are interested, you can pick your own days and times. I have chosen Thursday afternoons from 1PM to 4:30PM.

You can contact Lois at and request an application.

I hope some of you decide to volunteer. The sooner the data is in, the sooner we will have access. I don't know if the plan is to go online with it or not, I would hope so. Of course, somebody has to profit from it so I don't know that plan either, but I will find out.

My first day is this Thursday. I will let you know how it goes if you are at all interested. It looked like the computers were new, but I didn't get that close. There's probably about 12 or more. Wednesdays seem to be the most popular days, so think of another day to come in to be sure of having a seat and a computer.

Hope to see you all there! Oh, also they can't let anyone do it from home or another location since Lois is responsible for the care of the docket books which are the source documents.

The other four volunteers are: one woman from Westchester, one man and two women from Gary, IN

You can contact me if you have any questions you think I can answer....if I have no answer for you, I can find out the answer!

All the best,
Patti Meyers
Westmont, IL



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