Jenny Barkley writes in the Paris Beacon News (Illinois) about Fred Delap’s efforts to put Illinois Civil War records online. Illinois has done a lot of work to put records online for genealogists and historians, and its because of people like Fred Delap. This covers almost 300,000 soldiers from Illinois, and their number of descendants could literally run into the millions. Before now, these records were only available in offline, in person at the archives where they were stored, and you had to look through ledgers (which probably didn’t help with preserving the ledgers from a historical perspective).
Excerpt from the article:
For years, Fred Delap of Kansas has focused on Illinois soldiers who served in the Civil War. Now, the Civil War Muster Rolls are instantaneously available at the push of the button from the Illinois State Archives web site, the result of his efforts.
â€œPersonal information about the more than 285,000 Illinois soldiers who served in the Civil War is now available on the web site and will be a boon to genealogists and historians looking for information,â€ said state archivist Jesse White. â€œThis information was taken mainly from large, bulky ledger books that in the past could only be accessed through research at the Norton Archives building in Springfield.â€
The original Muster Rolls were hand written, gathered from the enlistment records, Delap explained when interviewed at the Edgar County Genealogical Society where he routinely volunteers his time.
The database contains the names of soldiers who fought with Illinois units during the Civil War. In most cases, it also shows the soldiersâ€™ age, physical description, hometown and service record, including the dates of entry into and discharge from service. A search can be conducted electronically based on any of these details.