Diary of Sergeant Joseph F Bold


Sgt. J.F. Bold (Ambulance Company 344 -311th Sanitation Train), a Rockford resident, details his activities in WWI in an unusual 55 page typed diary, from august 24,1918 (Camp Grant IL) to his discharge on January 31, 1919.

Rockford Public Library Local History Archives – Military Collection

WWII – Army Air Corps – Johnson, Capt. Kenneth A.L.

“Capt. Johnson is German Prisoner; Revives Hope Local Man is Safe”  Reported missing in action in the north African campaign February.  Johnson 34, was commanding a tank unit near Faid pass. Graduate of Rockford High School and University of Illinois. Was employed as an industrial engineer at Twin Disc Clutch. Called to active duty 1939 went overseas last May, first to England. wife, Mrs. LaWanda Johnson, kids Donald and Kathlyn (died 10/21/2012)

Source: Rockford Morning Star 4/18/1943


WWII Army Air Forces Zellers, Staff Sgt. Robert

21, Leaf River, a ball turret gunner on 8th Army B-17 Flying Fortress awarded air medal in England for meritorious achievement bombing over German military and industrial targets entered air force March 1943 (Harlingen Field, Texas). Was machinist for J.L. Clark Co.

Source: Rockford Morning Star 8/20/1944

WWII Army Air Forces Witte, Lt. Henry C.

second oak leaf cluster to his air medal, navigator on B-17 Flying Fortress based in England. Bombing operations over enemy Europe, overseas since February

Source: Rockford Morning Star 7/23/1944

England genealogy – county record offices

Counties (or shires) have been the maid administrative divisions in England for at least a thousand years.

Some websites helpful in locating records in an English county are:


Bedforshire and Luton Archives and Records Service (BLARS)  www.bedforshire.gov.uk/CommunityAndLiving/ArchivesAndRecordOffice/ArchivesAndRecordOffice.aspx

Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies:


Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire Archives    http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk

Cheshire and Chester Archives and Local Studies  http://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/libraries/eresources/useful_information_sites/local_and_family_history.aspx

Cumbria Archive Service     http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/archives/

Derbyshire Record Office    http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/leisure/record_office/

Durham County Record Office     http://www.durhamrecordoffice.org.uk/Pages/home.aspx

Essex Record Office     http://seax.essexcc.gov.uk/

Gloucestershire Archives    http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/archives/article/107703/Archives-Homepage

Hampshire Record Office  http://www3.hants.gov.uk/archives

Kent Archives Service   http://www.kent.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/history-and-heritage/kent-history-and-library-centre

Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland:   http://www.leics.gov.uk/recordoffice

London Metropolitan Archives:   http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/visiting-the-city/archives-and-city-history/london-metropolitan-archives/Pages/default.aspx

Medway Archives:  http://cityark.medway.gov.uk/

Archives in Norfolk:   http://www.archives.norfolk.gov.uk/

Nottinghamshire Archives:   http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/learning/history/archives/

Archives in Oxfordshire:    https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/public-site/oxfordshire-history-centre

Shropshire Archives:   http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/archives/

Somerset Archive and Record Service:  http://www1.somerset.gov.uk/archives/

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service:  http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/leisure/archives/homepage.aspx

Warwickshire County Record Office:  http://heritage.warwickshire.gov.uk/warwickshire-county-record-office/

Wiltshire and Swindon Archives:  http://www.wshc.eu/our-services/archives.html

Archives in Yorkshire:  http://www.archives.wyjs.org.uk/,  http://www2.eastriding.gov.uk/leisure/archives-family-and-local-history/, http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/article/23003/Libraries-and-archives


Source:  Inspired by Internet Genealogy magazine, July 2008

* Website URLs checked for continuity and availability Dec. 2014








Illinois Central Railroad

Illinois Central Railroad

The wages were $1.25 a day to build the railroad

It was completed September 27, 1856, taking five years to construct

705 mile railroad

Connected the northern, southern and central parts of the State

The city of Centralia was named after the Illinois Central Railroad

Later, four additional railroads were built east to west

It expanded the social, political, and economic climate of the State

The 1836 legislature granted a charter to build a railroad from Cairo to Galena

$3.5 million was set aside from the State for the building of a central railroad

The work was halted by the financial panic of 1837

The concept was kept alive by Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas

The 1850 Douglas Act was signed by President Fillmore

The bill called for Illinois to receive Federal land to build a central railroad

4000+ miles were made available

The State granted the charter to the Illinois Central Railroad Company

2.5 million acres were transferred to the company

The railroad would have to pay 7% shipping tax

The groundbreaking was at Cairo, IL on 12/23/1851

By 1852 funds were raised via bond sales in England to build the railroad

The chief Construction Engineer was Col. Roswell Mason

Hundreds of German and Irish immigrants were recruited from Europe to work on the railroad

Iron rails at $45 per ton were floated from England via New Orleans and Chicago

The line crossed the Great Western Railroad

The state hired Andrew Carnegie’s company to build a bridge across the Mississippi River

The state of Illinois’ population grew 2.5 million from 1850-1880

Illinois Central’s income in 1861 was $4 million, and in 1865 it was $8 million

Illinois Central hauled 291 million tons of goods in 1870, and 1,302 million tons in 1890

In 1877, Illinois Central bought the Chicago, St. Louis and New Orleans Line

Illinois Central purchased the Havana, Rantoul and Eastern Railroad and the Iowa Line in 1887

In 1888, Illinois Central built a line from Chicago to Freeport

Illinois Central built a huge bridge at Cairo over the Ohio River; it was completed in 1889

The Illinois Central headquarters was in Chicago, IL

Illinois Central installed telegraph lines, and the telegraph operators could signal station masters up and down the line

Illinois Central built the first sleeping cars, three years before Pullman

They were the first railroad to establish Post Office cars

Illinois Central was the first railroad to develop refrigerated freight cars

They were one of the five largest railroads in the U. S. by 1900

By 1926 the suburban line trains converted from steam to electricity


Source:  “Historic Illinois”, Vol. 29, No. 4, December 2006, Pages 3 – 7, Rockford Public Library’s Local History Collection

Dr. Charles Henry Richings

Richings, Dr. Henry son of Dr. Charles Henry Richings Rockford To-Day 1904 pp 15-16

Richings, Dr. Charles Henry born in England 2/26/1815 Rockford To-Day 1904 pp 15-16

Richings, Dr. Charles Henry medical education in Belgium Rockford To-Day 1904 pp 15-16

Richings, Dr. Charles Henry 2nd physician in Rockford Rockford To-Day 1904 pp 15-16

Richings, Dr. Charles Henry died 8/13/1884 Rockford To-Day 1904 pp 15-16

Source: Rockford To-Day 1904