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

Join us at the DuPage County Genealogical Society’s 2014 Conference on February 15, register today

Originally published-DCGS eNEWSLETTER, OCTOBER 2013, VOLUME 5 ISSUE 5


Carol’s Living Story by Caron Primas Brennan

            I won a raffle prize at the DuPage County Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference in St. Charles, Illinois on February 23, 2013.  My prize was a Living Story for the subject of my choosing by Janette Quinn of  In May 2013, I asked her to work with my mother Carol (Koepke) Primas and write her story.

            Janette met with Mom twice to interview and digitally record her memories in her Lombard home.  I provided many family pictures and documents to help stimulate Mom’s memory (she is 82 and still pretty sharp!) for the interviews.  Janette used the family history and photos and also conducted independent research about the places, people, activities and circumstances of Mom’s life.  She also encouraged Mom’s own writing about memories and messages she considers to be most important. Finally, Janette melded interviews, research and musings into an almost 50-page book.  

            My sisters and I were anxious to hear what Mom had to say.  While I provided old family pictures, my sisters sent her questions they wanted answered and other suggestions.  Even though Dad is no longer with us, there was a lot of his information in the book as well.  Mom and Dad had been married over 50 years when he died and had a lot of history together.

            We received the final copy a few weeks ago.  It is wonderful!  Mom has read it several times and we have shared it with other family members.   Mom’s brother Dick passed away in 2002.  His children were grateful to hear about his childhood through Mom’s story.  

            From my perspective, it was a great family bonding experience.  I think Mom was a bit more open with an “objective third party” listening and taking notes than she would have been with a daughter.  It stimulated discussions with all the children about other family members which never made it into the book.  The younger generations learned about things they might not have otherwise known – like as kids, Mom and Dick jumping on the bed and breaking it.  It is a great legacy.  We had copies made for all the daughters and there are enough copies that each grandchild will have one of their own.

            After reading it, we are already planning additional “chapters”.  It was also noted that while Mom talked about daughters and grandchildren, no mention was made of son-in-laws!  We also decided we would like more pictures – but we are a picture-oriented family.

            We as a family agree this would be a wonderful experience for all families!  Thank you to DCGS and Janette for this great gift!       

LivingStoriescombo is a member of the Association of Personal Historians and the    Association of Senior Service Providers. Its principal, Janette Quinn, lost both of her parents at ages 55 and 60 to cancer on September 17, 1973 when she was 18. Her personal and corporate mission is to preserve families’ most valuable assets, the stories of elders in their own words, before it’s too late.  She holds a B.S. in journalism from Northern Illinois University and an M.S. in management consulting from DePaul University. 

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.


DCGS 40yrs cloud dtd Kraken5

DCGS is celebrating 40 yrs 1974-2014

The DuPage County Genealogical Society was founded in 1974 as the Lombard Suburban Genealogical Society.  In May 1981, the Society moved its reference collection to the Wheaton Public Library (WPL.)  We have has continued to contribute to its genealogical collection over the years, helping it to become one of the premiere genealogical research locations of the Chicago suburbs.

Join us at this year’s Conference on February15, 2014 in St. Charles, IL.



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.

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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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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