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There are only 2 days left at the current price! 

Network with other family historians! 

Learn from expert speakers! 

The exhibitor hall is full! 

The syllabus is ready for print! 

The door prizes and raffle items are ready for you to win! 

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Don’t miss a full day of genealogy on February 15, register today!


RootsTech is next month, February 6–8, 2014, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Did you know they live stream several keynote speakers from the RootsTech website?  And last year they shared – The Family History Department invites all interested stakes to host a local family history fair with classes, provided from RootsTech, an annual family history and technology conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

 Our local Naperville Family History Center is hosting Tools for Finding your Ancestors Family History Fair 2014  (scheduled for April 2014)  Please join us for a day of exciting classes.  Some of the classes will be live and presented by local experts.  Others will be recorded presentations of classes that were originally presented at Root Tech in Salt Lake City, February 6-8, 2014.  There will be a mid-day lunch break with many interesting displays and time to talk with other researchers.  Online registration will be available on this page in the near future.


DCGS 2014 Conference is February 15th

39th annual conference

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Our 2014 conference speakers are Debra Mieszala, CG, Marsha Peterson-Maass, Steve Szabados, and Paul Milner.  As requested, we selected more methodology topics geared toward the intermediate to advanced genealogist.  And we added a fourth track, Fundamentals of Genealogy, specifically designed for “newbie’s” that will be presented by Marsha Peterson-Maass of the Newberry Library.

Early registration with a DCGS membership gets you the best prices.  Become a Member and Register for the Conference today.

Download the flyer or the brochure to hand out at your genealogical society meetings.



Saturday, February 15, 2014 in St. Charles, IL.

Our 2014 conference speakers are Debra Mieszala, CG, Marsha Peterson-Maass, Steve Szabados, and Paul Milner.

As requested, we selected more methodology topics geared toward the intermediate to advanced genealogist.

And we added a fourth track, Fundamentals of Genealogy, specifically designed for “newbie’s” that will be presented by Marsha Peterson-Maass of the Newberry Library.

Early registration with a DCGS membership gets you the best prices.  Become a Member and Register for the Conference today.

Download the flyer or the brochure to hand out at your genealogical society meetings.


 A Day with Dick Eastman

Saturday August 17, 2013  9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Wheaton Public Library, lower level meeting room

225 N. Cross Street, Wheaton, Illinois 60187

Advance online registration is REQUIRED

$34 includes 4 sessions & boxed lunch, or $25 for sessions only


Seating is limited to 100, NO walk-ins, NO refunds for cancellations

Guest Post by Linda Herrick Swisher

On February 25, I attended my first DuPage Genealogical Society Conference. I was drawn by the All-Star speaker lineup of Lou Szucs and Juliana Smith from, as well as Paul Milner, Tony Burroughs, Maureen Brady, and Jennifer Holik.

Coming from the southern suburbs, and never having been to St. Charles, I wanted to start the day well-rested, without worrying about travel time or getting lost. I made reservations for Friday night at the Hilton Garden Inn, a very clean, attractive, quiet facility with a VERY comfortable bed.

The next morning, I headed downstairs where there was a good walk-in crowd. Having pre-registered, sign-in took just seconds — simply a matter of picking up my name tag and syllabus. Door prize tickets were already tucked into the name badge, which sported a color-coded dot to allow hotel staff to quickly serve one’s preselected lunch option.

The vendor area seemed quite busy, with a good variety of products and services, societies and repositories. The schedule allowed for ample time for browsing or rest breaks between sessions. One could choose from a great selection of door prizes.

A three-track conference gave attendees a choice. Trying to decide which session to attend was the hardest part of the day! Lecture rooms were good-sized, and nicely filled. Having the speaker remain in one room was a convenience for the speaker, and attendees seemed to have no problem finding the correct room. Upstairs, lunch was served quickly and there was even enough time for more shopping before the afternoon sessions started.

The sessions I attended ran smoothly, with volunteer monitors to watch the door, do introductions, and also alert speakers of the five minute mark. The evaluation form stapled to the back of the syllabus made it easy to complete the form and turn it in at the end of the conference, along with name tags.

I understand that attendance figures were nearly record-setting. It sounds as though attendees were drawn by the topics, as well as the recent focus on genealogy due to “Who Do You Think You Are?” Kudos to Carole Magnuson and the conference committee. A great deal of planning goes into such an event, and from what I could see, they had all the bases covered. Thanks also to the vendors and door prize contributors.

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*** I originally posted this on my Generations site last week after a discussion on Twitter about genealogical societies and distance members. What are your thoughts? Please share the post and comment below. Thanks! ~Jennifer Holik-Urban


At FGS 2011 last week I had a conversation with a President of a Genealogical Society in SW Missouri about research, the society’s benefits, etc. I had tried to meet this person in May when I spent the month down in SW Missouri but we were unable to meet up.

He suggested I join the society. That had been on my mind for a while. Looking at their membership benefits this morning I was a little shocked. $28 for an individual and this does not include a quarterly. The other benefits are GREAT for local members though. Sadly I am not one of them. The quarterly is a separate subscription for $15 a year.

Now, let me say I was born in Chicago but spent many years growing up in SW Missouri. My roots are not there. I have done a lot of pro-bono research for a good friend and one of his relatives by marriage because they have roots in the state and I have been able to look at records my family just can’t provide. My Bohemian ancestors came off the boat and settled in Chicago after 1880 and prior to 1925. I have no Civil War history or anything before that. This friend’s research lets me explore that.

So why would I want to join this society? Because number one, I want to expand my business into Missouri more. My parents still live down there so I have a free place to stay. Good for clients who need research done near where my parents live – the hotel (and some meal) expense is gone from their bill.

Number two, I enjoy a challenge and exploring new repositories and records. Every family’s story is different and I learn so much doing work for others.

Number three, because I want to network and make solid contacts with other researchers and repositories in that area. Again, I want to expand my business down there and build a reputation. I also want to learn things from those researchers because some of my Chicago clients have families that passed through Missouri. Even if that client work does not allow me to travel, I will still learn of resources to suggest for future research or to attempt to obtain long-distance.

Number four, I want to write articles for their quarterly. I want to learn from quarterly articles and be in the “know” about what’s going on in the society so my education level rises.

So what can this society, or others, offer me, as a distance member?

  • A quarterly with their membership. This particular society offers that separately. Need to cut costs? Offer it online like other societies do and a paper option for those who do not like using the computer for such things.
  • Online databases.
  • Online publications that are free for members. I’d rather have access to online books and quarterlies rather than fill my personal library with paper books that I may rarely use because I do not have much business there.
  • Finding aids for their collections. This society in particular has their own research library AND a collection at the main public library in town. I think they have a finding aid they give to members. If they posted that on their website for everyone, they might just attract other members because of all the amazing resources they have. I visited their research library and the main library so I know some of what is there.
  • Ways to network. They have a blog but it isn’t updated very often. They are not on Twitter or FaceBook unless I have completely missed them. I did ask my contact at the society about this. My local society, DuPage County (IL) has a blog that I run. After FGS I have many more ways to expand how we use it and to encourage distant members in particular to post and hopefully strike up more conversations.
  • Consider a webinar of one of the workshops they offer.
  • Post meeting and workshop handouts and summaries online. You know who does a great job of this? Tony at the Schaumburg Library. Schaumburg is fairly close but I have not yet been able to attend a meeting. I can always go to his blog and see what’s going on though from his posts and handouts. His handouts also contain other resources and his comments on articles he’s read in genealogy magazines and journals.
  • Get some Official Bloggers working at your meetings or conference if you have people willing to do this. Then distance members can be in the know.

There may be other things but those are the biggies off the top of my head.

What do you think a society should offer distance members? Please comment below.

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Join the DuPage County (IL) Genealogical Society for their 37th Annual Genealogy Conference. The conference will feature speakers: Paul Milner, Loretto (Lou) Szucs, Juliana Smith, Tony Burroughs, Jennifer Holik-Urban, and Maureen Brady.

Date: Saturday, February 25, 2012

Place: Hilton Garden Inn, St. Charles

Time:  8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Registration: Download a conference registration form here.

Twelve lectures to choose from which include:

1A Finding Your English Ancestors: The Big Four Paul Milner
We will examine available indexes, how to access and interpret the four primary records groups for English research: civil registration, census, church records and probate. These are the primary records you need when searching for anyone from the fifteenth to the twentieth century.

1B Advanced Search Tips for Juliana Smith is home to more than 6 billion records in more than 30,000 collections. But what’s the best way to find what you’re looking for in all that information? This class will teach you how to make the powerful search tools at work for you to help you locate your ancestor, discover their stories, and so much more.

1C Don’t Get Burned: Getting Around the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 Tony Burroughs
The entire city burned in 1871, but many records survived to aid your search for Chicago ancestors. Learn which records survived, and methods of getting around the fire.

2A 10:30 Effective Use of England’s National Archives Website Paul Milner
Learn how to effectively use the research tools, indexes and catalogs on this large website to find your ancestors and to put them into their correct historical context.

2B A Dozen Ways to Jumpstart Your Family History Project Lou Szucs / Juliana Smith
With so many new sources and methods popping up, it’s hard to keep up with it all. This lecture is designed to point to ways to stay on top of it all, and to provide the ideas you need to get going!

2C Creating Order Out of Chaos Tony Burroughs
Have you searched in every courthouse, every library, and every archives and still haven’t solved your riddle? One of the keys to success in genealogy is doing more with what you have. Sometimes the pieces are there, we just need to look at them in different ways. Reorganizing and analyzing may solve your riddle.

11:45 Luncheon served upstairs.

3A 1:30 Buried Treasures: What’s in the English Parish Chest? Paul Milner
The English parish was both an ecclesiastical and a civil jurisdiction. Both jurisdictions created informative records and kept them in the Parish Chest. This presentation will examine the breadth and wealth of information that can be found, going well beyond the baptism, marriage and burial registers.

3B Discovering Midwestern Repositories Lou Szucs
In terms of research opportunities, the Midwest is the land of opportunity! This presentation will be a mini tour of some of the best places to find your family records. Not only will you learn what some of the greatest libraries, archives and other institutions have to offer online, but you’ll better understand the benefits of a personal visit.

3C Navigating the National Archives Tony Burroughs
The National Archives has 33 facilities, which hold approximately 21.5 million cubic feet of original textual materials, in addition to microfilm and electronic
records. It’s the largest archives in the United States and most of the 4 billion pieces of paper in its collection are not on the Internet. It can be very intimidating,
unless you understand how it operates, and can master the finding aids.

4A 3:00 Branching Out: Connecting with others using Social Networking and Online Family Trees Jennifer Holik
Learn how to use social networking and online family trees to branch out and expand your family research.

4B The “New” FamilySearch Website Maureen Brady
The FamilySearch website was completely redesigned in December, 2010, with a new look and much more content, including indexes linked to the images of original documents and a library of instructional videos. This presentation will provide an overview of the new content, as well as search techniques and navigational tips and tricks.

4C The Six Phases of African American Genealogy Tony Burroughs
This is an overview of the methods and sources in the six distinct phases that are the building blocks of African American genealogy. It progresses from beginning to more advanced research, highlighting some of the problems and complexities of African American genealogy along the way.

Watch this blog for more information and also visit our website.

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1940 census

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