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2019 CAGGNI Board of Directors

Contact: board @ caggni.org

Board Position Descriptions

  

President
Alan Wilson                                   

member since: 9 Nov 2007
President (2016-present)
FTM Chair (2011-2015)
DNA SIG Co-Chair (2015-2019)

Contact: president @ caggni.org

Alan Wilson has been working on the genealogy of his family for eight years. He has used various software tools and databases, including Family Tree Maker, Ancestry, The Master Genealogist, Webtrees, WikiTree and Gramps. Alan became interested in DNA for genealogy in 2008. Since then he has tested with Family Tree DNA and Ancestry, and he has used DNA comparisons on Family Tree DNA, DNAGedCom, GedMatch, Y-Search, YBase and Ancestry. 

A member of CAGGNI since 2008, Alan is currently the co-leader of the DNA Special Interest Group (2015- present). He is a regular contributor to the CAGGNI monthly newsletter and a past leader of the Family Tree Maker Special Interest Group (2011-2015). Alan lives in Long Grove and is married to Past President Michelle Bray Wilson. 




Past President
Nancy R. Thomas
                           

member since: 1 Aug 2007
Past President (2016-present)
President (2014-2015)
Program Chair (January-June 2014)
GeneaQuest 2014 Conference Chair (2013-2014)
Vice President (2013-2014)

Contact: pastpresident @ caggni.org

Nancy has been searching for her ancestors and her husband's for over 30 years. She published The Roeser Family: Ancestors and Descendants for a family reunion using Family Tree Maker software. Nancy has enjoyed traveling to her ancestral homes in Ireland, England and Germany, as well as other parts of the world. She is especially interested in pre-fire Chicago history. Her case study on Irish research has been presented at several genealogical society meetings in the area, including CAGGNI.

A retired Professor/Reference Librarian at the College of DuPage, Nancy was President of the DuPage County Genealogical Society from 1979-1981 and 2009-2013.




Vice President/Program
Edwina Thomas

Member since: Jun 2011
Vice President/Program Chair (2019-present)

Contact: vicepresident @ caggni.org; programs @ caggni.org

Edwina Thomas started having family reunions after she lost her last grandparent in the 1980s. She took descendant lists of each branch from a cousin. This list grew to include ancestors as well. Edwina has gone as far back as slavery on her mother’s side and become the family historian by default.

Edwina has degrees in business and accounting, one daughter, two grandsons and one great-grandson. She has lived in the area for more than 40 years and now lives in downtown Arlington Heights.


  

Secretary/Archivist
Open 

Contact: secretary @ caggni.org; archivist @ caggni.org



 

Treasurer
Bill Neurauter

member since: May 2016
Treasurer (2019-present)


Bill started his interest in genealogy in the spring of 2012 when a friend found an overview on Ancestry.com of his paternal great-grandfather Sebastian who was living in Etz-Tirol, Austria, in 1881 before leaving for Hamburg with his two brothers and a sister-in-law. Bill relied on Google and FamilySearch.com before doing his DNA with 23andMe and AncestryDNA. He recently contacted a second cousin on his mother’s side, who he never knew.

Bill has a background in accounting and retired from the Illinois Air National Guard and Air Force Reserves after 32 years. He is licensed in Illinois for personal lines of Insurance. He and his wife, Marlene, met square dancing, where they have been active in the Chicago Metro Council and State Council of Square Dancing.


  

Membership Chair
Dennis Murray

member since: Jan 2016
Membership Chair (2018-present)

Contact: membership @ caggni.org

Dennis is a retired Human Resources and Talent Acquisition Specialist in the engineering and video game industries. He was born and raised in northern New Jersey and has a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Marquette University. In 1974, Dennis settled in the Chicago area where he raised two children with his wife Susan. 

His genealogical interests started eight years ago and he’s been bugging his known relatives ever since. His heritage is Irish and Eastern European – most likely Lemkos of the north Carpathian Galician region. His wife’s family is northern Italian, immigrating to Iowa, Illinois and California. Dennis has helped two adoptees find their biological parents which were very rewarding experiences. He has keen interests in world travel and has seen the totality of a solar eclipse. He says, “The only thing left is having tea with the Queen.”


 

Newsletter Editor
Rose Lehne                                      

member since: 2011
Newsletter Editor (2015-present)

Contact: newsletter @ caggni.org

Rose enjoys making the connection to her ancestors and finds researching, continuing education, teaching and technology rewarding aspects of family history research. Wanting to share stories with family members she started printing a semiannual newsletter. Out of the 30 copies distributed, she hopes a few of them will survive the years for a future genealogist to find. 

Rose enjoys European travel and has had the opportunity to visit her father’s birthplace in Sicily and the church in County Clare, Ireland, where her 2nd great grandparents were married. She is currently on the board of the DuPage County Genealogical Society where she is Web Coordinator and Conference Chair. A frequent contributor to the CAGGNI Newsletter, she also provides the Best of 101 Tips column.

  

Promotions/Publicity Chair
Marty Acks

member since: Jan 2016
Promotions/Publicity Chair (2018-present)

Contact: promotions @ caggni.org, 
fundraising @ caggni.org

Marty became a genealogy enthusiast in 1999 after having caught the bug from his mom and dad. He continues to expand on their work to this day. He currently volunteers at WikiTree where he contributes to the global family tree, leads multiple surname studies, assists other members and monitors activity as a WikiTree Ranger. Marty is also a member and volunteer at Downers Grove Historical Society. Marty’s vacations now often include a hunt for ancestors. In 2016 he traveled to Scotland to visit the ancestral homeland of the Porterfields, on his maternal grandmother's side.

During the day Marty works in the computer software industry, specializing in payments and e-commerce websites. He is also a co-founder of Silvon Software in Westmont, IL. Marty lives in Downers Grove with his wife, Carine. They have one adult son, a daughter-in-law and a one-year-old grandson.

 


Website Content Director
Nancy I.Z. Reese

member since: 28 Jul 2012
Website Content Director (2016-present)

Contact: webmaster @ caggni.org

Nancy began her search in 2000 for her ancestors, most of whom arrived in the U.S. before the Civil War. She has researched in archives and libraries across the U.S. and will never forget finding the obituary of her great-great-great grandmother, who died in Oregon, in a small town library in Indiana. This great-something grandmother later turned out to be the granddaughter of a Revolutionary War soldier.

Nancy retired in 2012 after 32 years with the Chicago Tribune. She now volunteers at the Mount Prospect Historical Society and the Mount Prospect Public Library in its genealogy department. She is immediate past president of the Garden Club of Mount Prospect. Nancy has served on the newsletter committee and the road trip committee. She and her husband, John, a golf professional, enjoy antiquing in their spare time.





 
 

GeneaQuest Conference Chair
Michelle Wilson

member since: Nov 2007
GeneaQuest Conference Chair (2019-present)
President (2010-2013)
Membership Chair (2015-2017)
DNA SIG Co-Chair (2015-2016, 2020-present)

Contact: geneaquest @ caggni.org

Michelle has been active in the local genealogy community for over 10 years. In addition to holding multiple offices for CAGGNI, she speaks throughout the Midwest, most frequently on DNA, French Canada, ancient ancestry and creating family history books. She is currently Registrar at a local DAR chapter. An engineer by training, Michelle consults for the medical device manufacturing industry.



Road Trip Chair
Marti Gustafson                                          

member since: Feb 2015
Road Trip Chair (2016-present)

Contact:  RoadTripChair @ caggni.org

Marti was born and raised in Evanston, IL. She began her search in genealogy in 1991 after the death of her mother. Her dad told her that he was of German decent and from Germany. It was not until she went to the Newberry Library that she found out the Welters came from Luxembourg. Marti started her genealogy research with the Family Tree Maker CD and the free 3 months subscription to Ancestry. 

Marti has worked in information technology for 20 years, mostly at Sears Holding in Hoffman Estates. Prior to that, she worked as a statistician for Washington National Insurance in Evanston and Allstate Insurance in Northbrook. Marti joined CAGGNI because she was interested in the road trips – now she is the chair of the committee.

  

Special Interest Group Leaders

Family Tree Maker SIG
Cathy Gulbrantson and Liz Ross
 

Contact:  ftm @ caggni.org

Cathy Gulbrantson has been working on genealogy on and off for about 25 years after her paternal aunt provided the printout of the family tree at a family reunion. She started using Family Tree Maker about 15 years ago and has been using Ancestry more recently.  She has recently started using Family Tree Maker 2019 and looks forward to using some of the new features. Cathy, who has been a member of CAGGNI since 18 Sep 2011, was a member of the 2019 Road Trip Committee for the trip to Washington, D.C. 

Cathy, who retired in 2015, was an IT project manager working in various IT roles for over 40 years.  She recently has gotten back to pursuing new genealogy research. Living in Palatine, she has been  married for over 30 years, has two grown children and two cats. 



Cathy Gulbrantson


Liz Ross has been researching since “pre-Ancestry” and cut her genealogical teeth on Civil War pension records at NARA. She researches Utah to D.C., lectures regionally and writes a “not everyday” blog at dancingbranches.blogspot.com. A member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, she has been a member of CAGGNI since 26 Dec 2012. Liz is currently a member of the GeneaQuest 2020 committee.


Liz Ross

  

Roots Magic + TMG SIG
Larry Olson

member since: 31 Dec 1994
RM+TMG Special Interest Group Leader (2015-present)

Contact:  tmg @ caggni.org

member since: 31 Dec 1994
Promotions and Publicity (2015-2017)
Secretary (2013-2014)
Membership Chair (2003-2005)
Genealogy Mentor (2002)
Program/Publicity Chair (1999-2001)
President (1996-1998)

Larry Olson is a Minnesota native who has been doing family research since the early 1970s, when a grandmother told him he was related to John Philip Sousa. He has never proved that legend, but he's discovered a lot of other things and had a great time doing it (Norwegians and Germans on his side, and Swedes and Revolutionary War on his wife's). He hopes that one day someone in his immediate family will appreciate all the work he has done (while he was neglecting them for dead relatives and dusty old records...). Larry works for the IRS Crime Lab as a forensic document examiner.

One of Larry's proudest accomplishments was presiding when CAGGNI was born. The group had been created several years before as the Northern Illinois Personal Ancestral File User's Group (NIPAFUG) at the Schaumburg LDS Church. Because of increasing diversity of genealogical interests, the group decided to expand its scope and became the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois, or CAGGNI.

 
 

Reunion SIG
Bruce Christopher

member since: 19 Jan 2013
Reunion for Mac Special Interest Group Leader (2015-present)

Contact:  reunion @ caggni.org (please include the word genealogy in the subject line)

Bruce started studying his family tree in high school and can even say he started using computers in this hobby as early as 1972, though in a very limited way. His areas of research include Scandinavia, British Isles, Canada and Colonial America. Since 2011, he has participated in DNA testing. 

Bruce joined CAGGNI in January 2013, becoming the Reunion SIG leader effective January 2015. He has been a user of Reunion for Macintosh since at least 1998 and has used it to build a fairly large family tree and publish it online with photos and source citations.

 
 

Internet SIG
Alan Wilson

member since: Nov 2007
Internet Special Interest Group Leader (2016-present)

Contact: internetSIG @ caggni.org

See Alan's bio above.


 
 

DNA SIG
Dr. David Stumpf & Michelle Wilson   

Contact: dna @ caggni.org

Dr. Stumpf is Professor Emeritus at Northwestern University. His research involved genetics. He is board certified in neurology, pediatrics and clinical informatics; his portfolio for certification by the Board Certification for Genealogists is in review. He is a lifelong genealogist with roots in the Netherlands (paternal) and across the American frontiers (maternal). He codes his own software and tests new methodologies.

See above for Michelle's bio.



Storytellers SIG
Marti Swanson

member since: 2009
Storytellers Workshop Leader (2015-present)

Contact:  storyteller @ caggni.org

Marti is a retired English teacher who's active in retired teachers' activities on the local, regional and state level. She belongs to several genealogical societies, both county-based and surname-based, and publishes a newsletter for one surname. She has a 5-acre natural yard featuring close to 100 kinds of wildflowers, lots of oaks and hickories and two ponds. She has 2 dogs, 3 children, 4 grands and 5 greats.

 

Colonial America SIG
Bob Allen & Mary Hoyer   

Contact: colonial @ caggni.org

This SIG has as its objective the study of America’s 13 colonies – their creation, their history including a timeline for each, sources of information, identification of ancestors and relatives, understanding of the geography and an exchange of information by attendees.

Immigration and migration patterns will be explored and in-depth explanations of how to uncover information beyond names/dates/places will be discussed. Lineage societies will be explained and amazing resources like the Library of Virginia and the Germanna Foundation will be covered.

 
  


Copyright, Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois

CAGGNI, P.O. Box 59567, Schaumburg, IL 60159-0567
webmaster @ caggni.org

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