Come join us for GeneaQuest 2018

Saturday, June 23, 2018, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Northern Illinois University (NIU) Conference Center, Hoffman Estates, IL



James M. Baker

is a board-certified genealogist. He specializes in German, Midwest U.S. and early American genealogy research and DNA. He has written articles for National Genealogical Society and the Sacramento German Genealogy Society (SGGS). He has given webinars for Legacy Family Tree, for the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree and the Board for Certification of Genealogists and is a member of NGS, BCG, SGGS and the Southern California Genealogical Society.


  • Finding the Hardest Ones With DNA 
  • Finding the Hardest Ones: Seven Strategies 
  • Elementary, My Dear Watson! Solving Your Genealogy Puzzles with Clues You Already Have 
  • I Thought He Was My Ancestor: Avoiding the Six Biggest Genealogy Mistakes 

Lisa Louise Cooke

is an international renowned genealogy speaker and CEO of Genealogy Gems, a genealogy education company. Her works include four books (Mobile Genealogy, The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox Second Edition, How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers and Genealogy Gems), the Evernote for Genealogists quick guide, the video series Google Earth for Genealogy and over 100 videos at the Genealogy Gems YouTube Channel. 


  • Update Google! What’s New 
  • Create a Free Google Earth Map Collection for Your Research
  • Genealogy On the Go With Mobile Devices 
  • How to Organize All This Genealogy Stuff 

Jane G. Haldeman

is a professional speaker, a DNA lab presenter and owner of It’s Relative. She was president of the Illinois State Genealogical Society and has more than 25 years of research experience. The Chicago-area-based genealogist lectures on a wide range of topics both locally, at national conferences and webinar presentations. She is the author of A Genealogist’s Guide to Springfield, Illinois.

GENEAQUEST LABS (computers provided):

  • Getting the Most Out of Your AncestryDNA Results 
  • Repeat
  • Introduction to Using GEDmatch 
  • Repeat

Marty Acks

volunteers at WikiTree where he leads multiple surname studies and collaborates with other members. Marty is also a CAGGNI board member and heads the technology committee of the Downers Grove Historical Society.

GENEAQUEST PROGRAM: An Introduction to WikiTree, the Free Global Family Tree

Robert Allen

has been conducting genealogical research for 30-plus years and enjoys lecturing about FindAGrave. He currently serves as treasurer of CAGGNI.

GENEAQUEST PROGRAM: The Wonders of Find A Grave

Liz Ross 

speaks nationally, writes for print and blogs at DancingBranches.blogspot .com. In 2014, she founded “Second Saturday Genealogy.” Member of AGP, NGS, Chicago Genealogical Society, CAGGNI and regional societies.


Jacqueline Krieps Schattner

teaches genealogy classes at area libraries, volunteered at the Family History Center in Schaumburg for 15 years and is active in several genealogy societies, including CAGGNI, where she is secretary.

GENEAQUEST PROGRAM: Top 10 Genealogical Tricks and Tips

8:00 - 9:00 a.m    Registration

9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

1A        Jane G. Haldeman – Lab (computers provided) – Getting the Most Out of Your AncestryDNA Results // Genetic, Technology

You spit in the tube, mailed it to Ancestry and now you have your AncestryDNA results ... what do they mean? How do you get more out of that list of DNA Matches? This hands-on workshop will focus on what you can learn from looking at the Matches Predicted Relationship, the amount of Shared DNA, the Matches’ tree and Shared Matches to help determine who might be the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA).


    • Have tested with AncestryDNA. 
    • Have an Ancestry tree linked to your DNA. If possible should have a minimum of 3 generations. Can be a private tree.
    • Have an subscription.

1B        Lisa Louise CookeUpdate Google! What’s New // Research, Technology

Google continues to evolve and change every day. In this session, Google Guru Lisa Louise Cooke will give you an update on the most recent Google changes. Then she will unleash advanced search strategies for genealogy that you probably aren’t using, but are ‘must-haves’ in order to get the best results possible. Here are tips and tricks you can put into practice right away.

1C        James M. Baker – Finding the Hardest Ones With DNA // Analysis, Genetic

Case studies are used to illustrate the best strategies to find ancestors if you need to fill in gaps in your family tree back in the 6th and 7th generations. The discussion shows how to blend data from Ancestry, FamitlyTreeDNA and GEDMATCH.

1D        Marty Acks – An Introduction to WikiTree, the Free Global Family Tree // Genetic, Research, Technology

WikiTree is a free community of genealogists dedicated to growing an accurate single family tree using DNA and traditional genealogical sources. In this program, you will learn the key features of WikiTree, be shown how you can easily get started on the site and learn numerous tips and techniques to get the most out of your time on WikiTree.

10:00 - 10:30 a.m.      Break

10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

2A        Jane Haldeman – Lab (computers provided) – Getting the Most Out of Your AncestryDNA Results // Genetic, Technology

REPEAT.  See 1A for details.

2B        Lisa Louise Cooke – Create a Free Google Earth Map Collection for Your Research // Geography, Technology

Come to this session and you’ll walk out with potentially thousands of free historic maps organized for your family history research. And the good news is, you don’t need a lot of tech know-how to do it! You’ll learn how to find free digital maps for your ancestral locations, add them as permanent map overlays to Google Earth and then organize them into your personal map reference collection. We will also cover best practices for keeping them organized so that they continually enrich your research.

2C        James M. Baker – Finding the Hardest Ones: Seven Strategies // Problem-solving, Research

Case studies illustrate seven strategies to find the most challenging data: (1) collaborating with other genealogists; (2) search engine research; (3) digging in giant tomes; (4) checking property/tax records; (5) broadening the search; (6) performing on-site research; and (7) analyzing DNA evidence. 

2D        Robert Allen – The Wonders of Find A Grave // Research, Technology

It’s a wonderful genealogical website – and it’s free. With input from many volunteers, it contains great information on tens of thousands of people. Its two main search engines, “Search by Name” and “Search by Cemetery,” can lead you to data, pictures, obituaries and more regarding your ancestors and relatives. Plus, it has special features like “Searching for Famous People” and “Adding Flowers and Notes.” We will discuss the many ways to search the website, some tricks of using it, ways you can add information, how to identify others researching the people you are finding, how to create “virtual cemeteries” and more.

11:30 - 1:00 p.m.      Buffet Lunch

1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

3A        Jane Haldeman – Lab (computers provided) – Introduction to Using GEDmatch // Genetic, Technology

Want to play in more than one DNA pool? Use tools not available with some DNA testing companies? GEDmatch is a free DNA utilities website created and run by volunteers. GEDmatch is free, but some advanced tools are available for a small fee. With GEDmatch you can match people from other testing companies, make chromosome comparisons with your matches and have access to advanced tools unavailable on other websites. This workshop will help to make sense of the free “One-to-Many” matches tool, the One-to-One compare tool, how to compare your matches in the Chromosome Browser, use the Comparison Matrices and understand your results. This is a hands-on workshop.


    • Have tested DNA with one of these companies: AncestryDNA, FTDNA, WeGene, MyHeritage or 23andMe
    • Have received your DNA results
    • Uploaded your Raw DNA file to GEDmatch,, see Raw DNA file Uploads instructions.
    • Please upload at least 2 days before the workshop for your GEDmatch results to be available.

3B        Lisa Louise Cooke – Genealogy On the Go With Mobile Devices // Technology

Tablets and smartphones are built for hitting the road and are ideally suited for genealogy due to their sleek size, gorgeous graphics and myriad of apps and tools. In this class you will discover the top apps and best practices that will make your mobile device a genealogical powerhouse! (iOS and Android).

3C        James M. Baker – Elementary, My Dear Watson! Solving Your Genealogy Puzzles with Clues You Already Have // Analysis, Problem-solving, Research

Case studies show problem solving methods where key data are missing – without embarking on new research – by analyzing data such as naming patterns, birth/marriage witness data, inheritance data, sibling data, timelines, family migrations and other data already in your database.

3D        Liz Ross – What About Women? // Analysis, Problem-solving, Research

Women make up about 50% of the population, but seem to present about 85% of the difficulties: almost invisible legally, changing surname at marriage and living with kin in old age. Tour the documents and techniques useful for finding the other half.

2:00 - 2:30 p.m. Break

2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

4A        Jane Haldeman – Lab – Introduction to Using GEDmatch // Genetic, Technology

REPEAT. See 3A for details.

4B        Lisa Louise Cooke – How to Organize All This Genealogy Stuff // Organization

Save yourself future frustration and disappointment by putting a solid genealogy organizational plan in place for all the types of items that will be coming your way. I personally use the systems that I am sharing with you, and they have proven to be reliable and efficient. We will cover systems for four types of stuff:

    1. Organizing All This Paper! The Physical Items Organization System.
    2. Organizing All That Genealogical Data! The Family Tree Data Organization System.
    3. Organizing All These Digital Files! The Digital Organization System.
    4. Organizing All that Web Information! The Online Notetaking System.

4C        James M. Baker – I Thought He Was My Ancestor: Avoiding the Six Biggest Genealogy Mistakes // Problem Solving, Research

Case studies are presented to show how to avoid the biggest mistakes, including trusting family myths; believing that the posted family trees are accurate; connecting the wrong “same name” people; and believing that all original family records are accurate.

4D        Jacquie Schattner – Top 10 Genealogical Tricks and Tips  //  Technology

A review of top genealogical websites and how to use them most efficiently. Tricks and tips on websites such as, and even Google. Many people use these websites but do not know how to get the most out of them.


Northern Illinois University (NIU) Conference Center

5555 Trillium Boulevard, Hoffman Estates, IL 60173

(just south of Higgins Road & east of Beverly Road)


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