Membership in this group is open to anyone interested in learning genealogy research skills or assisting others.  A donation of any amount is requested as a membership fee.  All FOG donations go toward renewal of the Ancestry-Library Edition database.


Genealogy Research Alive in Chatham

Do you have burning family history questions?  Are you interested in ways that genealogists document their sources?  Do you know what a GEDCOM is and how you can use it?  These are just a few of the many topics that bring researchers to the Chatham Area Public Library on a quarterly basis for their Friends of Genealogy (FOG) meetings. 

With a core membership of about 15, meetings can range up to 25 or so family historians from throughout the county and beyond.  Interests and experience range widely, so newcomers need not be shy.  There is also no restriction to residents of Chatham.  In fact, one of the group’s three co-chairs is from Macoupin County.  The passion for genealogy is what connects members.

In addition to the co-chairs, Alanna Sablotny, a Genealogy Reference Librarian is available at the meetings to answer questions regarding the library’s Opal Lee Chatham History & Genealogy Room holdings or to offer technology assistance to patrons who need help organizing and labeling their digital files and photographs.  Alanna can also help attendants at the meetings navigate databases relevant to genealogy research, such as the library’s local history database (, the Chatham Obituary database, Genealogy Bank, and

As a branch of the library’s “Friends of the Library”, attendees of FOG meet to discuss family research problems, successes, tips and tricks, travel to important genealogy repositories and occasionally to make field trips to hear outside presenters.  The group is a wonderful chance for like-minded genealogists to gather regularly and exchange ideas.  There is no fee for attending the meetings although donations to the library are always greatly appreciated. 

For more information, contact Alanna at the library at 483-2713 or asablotny [at]