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CAGGNI is proud to announce:

CAGGNI‘s 6th biennial conference on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2024, will be at the Wojcik Conference Center at Harper College in Palatine. The conference will be a one-day, in-person event, featuring regional presenters covering a wide range of genealogy topics of interest to all skills and interest levels.


  • One-day conference 
  • Access for one month to all presentations.
  • Members, $75; Non-members, $85.
  • Box lunch included: choice of 3 sandwiches. 
  • Cut off for registration is Saturday, August 24.
  • Syllabus will be sent out Friday, Sept 13.
  • Tickets will not be sold at the door.


We have a wonderful lineup of regional speakers.

For more information about each speaker.


All presentations will be 100 percent live, with speakers in person. At the venue, there will be three rooms, one for each track.


Exploring Genealogy

Technical Genealogy

Digging Deeper

8:45 a.m.




9 a.m.

Exploring Genealogy Part One
Liz Ross

AI & Genealogy: The Evolving Role of Artificial Intelligence in Genealogy
Eric Vavra

Finding Your European Roots
Caron Brennan

10:15 a.m.




10:45 a.m.

Exploring Genealogy Part Two
Liz Ross

Finding my Biological Father: a DNA and Genealogy Case Study
Steve Szabados

Probing for Probate: Researching in the Probate Court
Laura Chaplin 





1:30 p.m.

DNA Simplified
Steve Szabados

Pins and Needles: Adding Social Media to Your Genealogy Repertoire
Tina Beaird

Immigration and Emigration
Jenny Warner

2:45 p.m.




3:15 p.m.

Collateral & Cluster People
Laura Chaplin

We're All Related! Searching for our Most Recent Common Ancestor
Michelle Wilson

Exploring Land Records
Jenny Warner

4:30 p.m.





Exploring Genealogy Part One - Liz RossEvery person carries genealogically useful documents in their wallet. Take a tour through the wild and wonderful world of contemporary genealogy. Understand more about the genealogical mind, see what sparks their neurons, how their brains work, and why they love courthouses and cemeteries. Be aware - Historically, a building block in genealogy is the precise identification of a person as historical facts are joined together: identity, place and date. 

AI & Genealogy: The Evolving Role of Artificial Intelligence in Genealogy - Eric Vavra: AI became a trendy buzzword that caught the attention of many in late 2022, but AI has been used by genealogy companies for years. The important and ongoing rapid change is the rollout of numerous useful AI tools for genealogists to directly use to enhance their research experience and improve results. This presentation will provide an overview of the latest genealogy specific AI offerings, as well as general AI tools that can be leveraged for genealogy. Also discussed will be practical usage considerations and current limitations along with the expected evolution of capabilities in the near future.

Finding Your European Roots - Caron Brennan: If you are ready to "cross the pond" in your research, this presentation will provide ideas of where to find records for European ancestors. Includes the well-known sites like FamilySearch and Find My Past, and also lesser-known sites.

Exploring Genealogy Part Two - Liz Ross: No historical records were produced for Genealogists - US Census, vital records, military, ship & passenger records, newspapers; all were borrowed. This hour will explore how history's scraps fit together, honestly, and form into families & trees. Bonus: How to record where those scraps came from.

Finding my Biological Father: a DNA and Genealogy Case Study - Steve Szabados: My DNA results did not match the paper trail and eventually proved that my mother took a secret to her grave. My biological father was not the father I grew with and no one was alive that could tell me who? I solved the mystery and now have another family tree with its share of new family stories. Join me as I describe how I used DNA and traditional genealogy tools to find my new family. How would you react if you found you had a secret family?

Probing for Probate: Researching in the Probate Court - Laura Chaplin: In this presentation we zero in on the Probate Court for a more in-depth look at the rich detail to be found in: Wills, Administration records, Inventories, and much more. If you haven't yet dug into your ancestral probate files you’re likely missing out!

DNA Simplified - Steve Szabados: DNA testing has become a popular topic among professional genealogists and everyday family researchers. This program will discuss the different DNA tests and the reasons to take each type. It will also compare the major testing companies. DNA can be a powerful genealogical tool. Learn to use your genealogy skills to unravel the mysteries of your DNA results. A scientific degree is not required.

Pins and Needles: Adding Social Media to Your Genealogy Repertoire - Tina BeairdMany of us have used Facebook to find distant cousins and former high school friends. When it comes to Genealogy, lots of social media sites are popping up to help make searching for ancestors fun. Join us for a fun session on using sites like Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram and more to find, identify, and share ancestors.

Immigration and Emigration - Jenny Warner: Attendees will learn what is immigration and emigration. They will also learn about the different kinds of records and how to locate them.

Collateral & Cluster People - Laura Chaplin: What do these two interrelated terms mean? How can learning about this type of search help you unpuzzle your ancestors' stories? Understanding and utilizing this "backdoor" approach can help break down brick walls. Come explore these fascinating and rewarding techniques.

We're All Related! Searching for our Most Recent Common Ancestor - Michelle WilsonAre you descended from Charlemagne? The answer may surprise you! This captivating talk explores research into the relatedness of all humans. We will discuss mitochondrial Eve (including a simulation), Y-Adam, the Most Recent Common Ancestor, and the Identical Ancestors Point. We will examine the groundbreaking modeling by Rohde, Olson and Chang done in 2004, and investigate how the 2013 DNA studies on Europeans by Ralph and Coop lines up with the earlier simulation work, and wrap up with a look into the French-Canadian population, to see how the science shakes out in the real world.

Exploring Land Records - Jenny Warner: Attendees will learn about what land records are, what you can learn from land records and why they are important to your research.


This list will be updated as additional sponsors are added.


Wojcik Conference Center at Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL, is a state-of-the-art facility with enhanced technology for meetings.

For more information

We reserve the right to make changes should unforeseen circumstances arise.

Photographs and/or video will be taken to promote this and future events. By taking part, you grant the event organizers rights to use the resulting images.

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