Thursday, February 2, 2012

Start of the Record Survey for Dellibac Research

So if you've visited the site lately, you may have noticed that I've started a series of posts on the Dellibacs. I'm trying to answer the question of where (exactly) did Moise Dellibac come from. To find the answer, I've decided to start the research from the very beginning and document my work and progress on the site.

To begin with, I gave a bit of background in a previous post; the starting point information, that is. You can find that here . The next step is to compile a record survey of what records are available for me to consult. Since Moise Dellibac lived in two Illinois counties, Iroquois and Kankakee, over the course of the period I'm tracking him (about 1855-1893) the records survey will have two parts, one for each county.

Moise's first U.S. appearance is in the 1855 Illinois State Census, where he is living with his family in Iroquois County. So my records survey section will begin in Iroquois County.


To start with, I consulted the familysearch wiki for Iroquois County to get a basic jist of what's available. You can use the wiki as a starting point for just about every state and county, and even other countries. You can find the wiki here . Here's what I found for Iroquois County, IL

-birth records begin in 1878

-marriage records begin in 1866; earlier records were burned in a courthouse fire in 1866 but a reconstructed list was made by using entries from the Iroquois Journal newspaper and the St John the Baptist Catholic Church records. These records were then entered into the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index available on the IRAD website

-death records begin in 1878

-land and probate records begin in 1834; land records and original land purchases, from the 1830s to the 1880s, are available on FHL film and indexes are available on the Iroquois County Genealogical Society and GenWeb websites (there are no Dellibacs listed)

-various Catholic church records are available on FHL film and also as published abstracts, but it is currently unknown which church, if any of those available, were for the French speakers (more research on this is going to have to be done to find out where they may have gone to church if in fact they attended in Iroquois Co at all)

-Moise was probably in his late 30s-early 40s at the time of the Civil War, and as far as I can tell, he could not read or write in English, and chances are looking pretty good that he didn't speak English either so it's not very likely that he would have enlisted. However, it would be worth checking some of the military databases to check for him or any of his siblings, especially younger brothers, might have enlisted

-As an immigrant, the possibility of Moise going through the naturalization process is there. Iroquois naturalization papers are in the office of the County Clerk and IRAD also has the dockets (though they begin in 1873). The IRAD records begin too late for Moise, as he would already have been living in Kankakee County for some time by then. The Iroquois County Genealogical Society has indexes for the petitions and final papers beginning in the 1850s, which is the right time, but no Dellibacs are listed.

-Chronicling America has several Iroquois County newspapers listed, but very few that stretch to the 1850s, and none are in French. There are three however, that are is the right time range and are available (mostly partial holdings) on microfilm in the Watseka (town seat) library: 1- Iroquois County Press 2- Iroquois County Journal 3-Iroquois Republican

While I was in Salt Lake City last week for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), I was able to steal away a few hours for some personal research. I took advantage of the time and started scouring some Iroquois Co. films looking for Dellibacs. I also checked a few Kankakee films, with a bit more success, but I'll save that for the Kankakee County section. Here is what I was able to check for Iroquois County:

-Iroquois County Grantee Index, 1835-1857 (no Dellibacs)
-Iroquois County Marriages, 1851-1878 (Moise and Anastasia not found)
-Iroquois County Naturalizations (Moise not found)
-Land Ownership Maps-Iroquois and Kankakee Counties, 1860 (Moise was not found but there was a notation for a "Canadian Settlement" on map #117. If Moise's Kankakee County land description can be found, it would be a good idea to return to this map and see if it falls within this area)

This is not a comprehensive list of what is available for Iroquois County, just the ones I thought would be the best to hit in the very limited time I had available. For a full list of what is available for the county, go here

So that's the rundown of what I've found so far for Iroquois County, IL. Next up, Kankakee County, IL records survey

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