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CAGGNI Speakers

The following CAGGNI members have recently lectured on these topics.  If you are interested in arranging one of our speakers for your society, contact us at speakers @ caggni.org and let us know the speaker and topic in which you are interested. Speakers may not be able to accommodate all requests, and fees vary by speaker.


Marty Acks


An Introduction to WikiTree, the Free Global Family Tree 


Suz Bates


DNA – Genetic Genealogy
 Genealogy Research Essentials
 Optimize Online Genealogy Research

Organizing Your Genealogy

  The Library Series

Caron Primas Brennan


Genealogy Basics for Beginners


Research Your Family History Using the Internet

 How I use DNA In My Genealogy Research
 Family Search.org Primer
 Looking For European Roots  *NEW*
 Newspapers as Genealogical Resource   *NEW*
 Fold3.com

Uff Da! Researching My Norwegian Roots

  Ancestry.com Primer 
 What's New on the Internet for Genealogists?

Where Did I Put Great Grandpa?  Organizing  Your Genealogy Files

 Travels with My Sister: Genealogical Journeys

David Fleer


Finding Your German Ancestors on Archion.de


Janis Minor Forté, B.A., M.A.


Getting Started: Approaching the Past

Getting Around Burned Counties: Methods and Strategies

 Un-Puzzling Birthing History

Using Non-Traditional Sources to Identify the Slave Holder and Reconnect Slave Era Families
 Seven Proven Strategies for Identifying Slave Ownership and Reconstructing Slave Era Families
 Creating and Sustaining Your Family Newsletter
 Loose Women, Policy Queens and Black Ewes

Colored Confederate Pension Applications
 Using the Records of the Freedmen’s Bureau in the Reconstruction and Enhancement of African American Family History

Heritage Book: Telling Your Story

 Researching the Digital Library on American Slavery
 Even Gangsters had to Register
 Putting Some Clothes on Charles
 USCT Pension Files
 Slave Tags


Going Beyond the Population Count

Mike Karsen


You Can Pick Your Relatives


The Musical CHICAGO and All That Genealogical Jazz

 Liven Up Your Family History with Images

Larry Olson


Riding the (Genealogical) Rails in Chicago

 Social Security Death Indexes

Ed Rosenthal


What’s New in Technology


Jacquie Schattner


European and U.S. Newspapers and Directories – Good News **New**

 Organizing Genealogy – Less Piles, Better Files **New**
 A Guide to Overseas Genealogy
 Central Europe is Easy – Merci Napoleon!
 Emigration & Immigration – The Story of Your Immigrant Ancestors
 

Explore U.S. Church Records: Find Family

 Genealogy – Where do you look? 
 Top 10 Genea-Tricks and Tips 

Gerald Schmidt 


Genetic Genealogy: What it is and Why it Matters to Local Law Enforcement 


John Stryker


Handheld Apps for Family Research


Nancy R. Thomas


Breaking Down a Brick Wall – A Case Study in Unlocking My Irish Ancestry


Sandra Trapp


The Allen County Public Library – What to Know Before You Go


Resources at the Naperville Family History Center


Using The Newberry Library for Family History Research


Local Resources


Internet Resources for English Research

 18th and 19th Century English Parish Records
 Beginner's Genealogy
 Italian Genealogy 101

Regina Yuill


Preparing to Publish Your Book: Tips and Tricks for the Writer 


Dan Wertz


Family Tree Maker


Alan Wilson


Census Records


Michelle Bray Wilson


Genes for the Genealogist

  I Did a DNA Test, Now What?
 **New**
 Bio-Parents for Peg and Donna: An Autosomal DNA Case Study

Beyond the Paper Trail:  Deep Ancestry


Searching for French-Canadians


PRDH :  The Gold Standard for French-Canadian Research

 Effective Use of Ancestry.com
 Creating a Coffee-Table Style Family History Book
  Lineage Societies
 Genetic Genealogy: What it is and Why it Matters to Local Law Enforcement 

 

Detailed descriptions of selected programs

Marty Acks 


Marty Acks has been researching his family history since 1999 after having caught the bug from his mom and dad. He volunteers at WikiTree where he contributes to the global family tree. Leads a Porterfield surname study (maternal grandmother), assists other members and monitors activity as a WikiTree Ranger. 

An Introduction to WikiTree, the Free Global Family Tree

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.  

_______________________________________________________________________

Suz Bates 
genealogistsuzbates.weebly.com


Suz Bates has been a family history researcher for over 40 years and a private consultant for 20 years. Starting her study of genealogy in the early 1970s, before computers, Suz spent many hours at the Newberry Library, learning traditional research methods. Since then she has built on those skills, attending numerous classes, workshops and conferences.

Suz earned a B.A. in modern foreign language with a minor in history and an M.S. in education. She taught both adults and children in various educational settings. Suz takes these teaching and lecturing skills, combined with her extensive genealogical research experience, into her genealogy career of speaking, researching and consulting in an easily understood manner with enthusiasm and a wealth of knowledge.

Suz has been a member of various genealogy and history associations including the National Genealogical Society, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the NSDAR, the Du Page County Genealogical Society, the Fox Valley Genealogical Society and CAGGNI. She is listed in the Genealogical Speakers Guild.

DNA – Genetic Genealogy topics

  • Cut to the Chase! Which DNA Kit Do I Buy? 

  • My DNA Results are In! What do they mean?
  • My AncestryDNA Kit is Back! What do I do now?
  • Using Ancestry Trees Securely and Effectively
  • DNA - No Tree! No Response! I need more! DNA Shared Matches One Step Further
  • GEDmatch Beginner’s Tools

  • My Family Tree Family Finder FTDNA Kit is Back! What do I do now? 
  • My Family Tree FTDNA Y-DNA Kit is Back! What do I do now?

Genealogy Research Essentials

  • Going Vital! - Birth, Death and Marriage Records

  • Censuses and City Directories – The Backbone of U.S. Research
  • Using Ancestry Tree Effectively

  • Gleaning Clues by Doing a Double Take

  • It’s Not Online – The other 90% of records

  • Getting a Copy of Social Security and Naturalization Records
  • Genealogy Treasures in Cemetery Records

  • From Old Worlds to New Worlds: Genealogy in Passenger Lists
  • Preparing to Visit Your Ancestor’s Town

Optimize Online Genealogy Research

  • Tweaking The Big Two
  • Way More Than The Big Two 
  • What’s New and How to Find It!

Organizing Your Genealogy

  • Owning and Caring for your Genealogy Research Paper Overload: I know I have it but where did I put it?
  • Creating a Family Archive and Genealogy Library

The Library Series

  • Genealogy Research: What is it? How do I begin?
  • Use Your Public Library’s Genealogy Databases for Online Research
  • Censuses – The Backbone of U.S. Research
  • Genealogy Research: Optimize Your Time and Effort

_______________________________________________________________________

Michelle Bray Wilson 

Michelle Bray Wilson has been active in the genealogy community for more than a dozen years.  She speaks throughout the Midwest, most frequently on DNA, French Canada, ancient ancestry, and creating family history books. Michelle’s lectured for Franco Fete in Minneapolis, for UW’s Early Music Festival in Madison, and at conferences for Chicago Public Library, DuPage and Lake County, and other local societies. She is a former president of CAGGNI, the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois, and is currently Registrar at a local DAR chapter. An engineer by training, Michelle consults for the medical device manufacturing industry, and has recently begun accepting a limited number of clients in the genealogy space.

Michelle's Upcoming Lectures

Bio-Parents for Peg and Donna: An Autosomal DNA Case Study

Saturday, October 19, 2019, Arlington Heights Memorial Library, CAGGNI's DNA Special Interest Group. Click here for full details.

William McConnell's Montelona Farm

The life of William McConnell (1810-1887) of Richmond, McHenry County's most prominent early settler. We'll touch on how we researched and wrote a book detailing his life, homesteads (still extant), and family history. Presented with co-author Rommy Lopat. By invitation, AB Cook Chapter NS DAR. Saturday, Jan 11. 

Creating a Coffee-Table Style Family History Book

Thursday April 9, 2020, 7 pm, Fox Valley Genealogical Society, Naperville Municipal Center. Session details.

DAR and Lineage Societies - Developing a Qualifying Lineage

Tuesday, April 14, 2020, details to be announced

DNA Double Feature - Taking Your DNA to the Next Level (Two Morning Sessions, Register at Naperville Library) 

Saturday, May 16, 9:30 am, Nichols Library, Naperville.

Session one: organization of DNA and how autosomal, X, Y and MT DNA can be applied to genealogical problem solving. Also, how today's tests compare to older tests still in use for paternity and by law enforcement.

Session two: explains how to prove and disprove lineages, identify unknowns, and push back lines another generation. Ged Match, DNAGedCom, DNAPainter and Genetic Affairs, as well as tools available at testing companies will be applied to solving problems. 

I Did a DNA Test, Now What?

Kenosha County Genealogy Society, Monday June 8, 6:30 pm (note date change), Kenosha Gateway Technical College, Kenosha, WI.


Selected Programs by Michelle Bray Wilson


Genes for the Genealogist

Curious about DNA? Happily, DNA for the genealogist is straightforward to understand. We’ll break down the SNPs from the STRs, the haplogroups from the haplotypes, and learn how these DNA patterns are used to prove inheritance and determine deep ancestry. Learn the secrets of DNA and put this powerful complement to paper-trail research in your tool kit. Michelle presented Genes for the Genealogist at North Suburban Genealogical Society in 2015 and an abbreviated version, "Genomic Genealogy," in fall of 2015 at the Ansel Brainerd Cook chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in Libertyville. A longer version of the program, focusing on autosomal DNA, including three lectures and a case study, were presented in 2017 at Lake County Genealogy Society's annual genealogy workshop.

Bio-Parents for Peg and Donna: an Autosomal DNA Case Study

An interactive, real-life autosomal case study to identify the bio-parents of  two related adoptees. Learn how the processes of separating maternal and paternal relatives, marshalling support to gain access to locked trees, gathering necessary genealogical records, working up pedigrees, and narrowing down candidates actually works in practice.

Every unknown parentage case involves two separate searches, one for each parent. While the bio-mother in this case was identified routinely, the bio-father was obscured behind an incorrectly attached (wrong) pedigree, mis-attributed parentage of a grandfather, and descendants resulting from a son and his mother  who (re-)married siblings, resulting in higher than usual autosomal sharing among their descendants.

Search angel work can be quite an adventure, and anyone serious about genetic genealogy is encouraged to become familiar with the methods required. Solid knowledge of the techniques involved provides firm footing for those wishing to use related methods to extend lineages back in time with the help of DNA.

Searching for French-Canadians

The French-Canadian record is extraordinarily complete and well-indexed.  If you have any French-Canadian ancestors, you are in luck ! Learn the tricks that will have you uncovering vast swaths of your pedigree in the space of a single weekend. 

The history of the French-Canadians during the Nouvelle France period ending in 1760 provides additional context to this engaging presentation.  Variations on this program were presented in 2012 at the Madison Early Music Festival, Franco-Fete in Minneapolis, Lake County Genealogical Society, and Winnebago & Boone Counties Genealogical Society.  

Creating a Coffee-Table Style Family History Book

Michelle has created two print-on-demand family history books.  The books are in full color, and chock full of photos, documents, newspaper clips, genealogy charts and other family artifacts.  Learn how to put together a beautifully formatted book, how to print copies at a very reasonable price, and how to publish and make your book available to others. First presented to the A.B. Cook Chapter of the D.A.R in 2018.

_______________________________________________________________________

Caron Primas Brennan 


All programs are 1 to 1 ½ hours long and geared to the beginning and intermediate researcher.  An internet connection (preferably wireless) is required along with a projector.  Caron brings her own laptop or uses yours.  Handouts are available for each program.

Current program offerings:

Genealogy Basics for Beginners

Target audience is folks interested in learning more about genealogy or just getting started.  Covers information needed to get started, basic forms and organization tips, overview of top web sites and other resources used by genealogists.

Research Your Family History Using the Internet

Ready to start your genealogy research on-line but do not know where to go except Ancestry.com? Caron Primas Brennan will show you the basics as well as some other little known, and perhaps unusual genealogy resources and internet sites to help you in your research.

How I Use DNA In My Genealogy Research

In this presentation, I talk about “why” and “how” of DNA testing in genealogy research.  Using case studies and examples, I explain how I have incorporated DNA testing into my research.  Disclaimer:  This is NOT a primer on the science of DNA, although some basic information is included.  The audience does not have be knowledgeable about DNA testing to learn from this presentation.

Family Search.org Primer

This seminar is an overview of the free FamilySearch.org web site to see what is has to offer genealogy researchers.  Will include a review of the research opportunities as well as the newer areas for sharing family trees and pictures.  We will also look at the genealogy programs that have been certified to share/interact with FamilySearch.

Looking For European Roots *NEW*

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

 Newspapers as Genealogical Resource *NEW*

Learn how to find and use newspapers to find information about your ancestors as well as the times they lived in. Some of the items to be found in newspapers includes obituaries, marriage and engagement announcements, birth announcements, legal cases, and ship passage information. We will learn how to find newspapers on line and in libraries and archives and cite your sources.

Fold 3.com

A more in-depth tour focusing on www.Fold3.com. We review of available documents and resources, many military and governmental, digitized from the National Archives, Library of Congress, and other institutions, not previously available on-line. Also includes a tour of the tools available on the site and how to use resources found on the site. 

Uff Da!  Researching My Norwegian Roots

Caron will share what she has learned through researching her own elusive Norwegian great-grandparents and discovering cousins in Scandinavia.  She will discuss things to know, lessons learned, research locations and guides, and other helpful hints.

Ancestry.com Primer

This presentation will look at the Ancestry.com site, including the Ancestry Trees, and review what is has to offer beginners as well as more advanced genealogy researchers.  It will also discuss what is available through the free site and the paid subscription. Whether you are just starting out and want to host a tree at Ancestry, or have been researching for years but want more information on-line, this is the session for you.

What's New on the Internet for Genealogists?

There are new genealogy sites on the Internet every day.  This fast-paced presentation is a review of popular, new, little known, and perhaps unusual genealogy resources on the internet to help you in your research.

Where did I Put Great-Grandpa?  Organizing for Genealogists

Organizing your genealogy information so that you can find what you want when you want it can be a daunting task.  Get tips on how to keep records in digital and print-based formats.

Travels with My Sister: Genealogical Journeys

Part travelogue, part how-to for traveling to do genealogical research.

_______________________________________________________________________

David Fleer


David Fleer is a retired management consultant in software quality and testing. He has been researching his ancestors, on and off, since 2001. During his last trip to Germany in 2015, he was introduced to the Archion project, to which he has become a regular subscriber.

Finding Your German Ancestors on Archion.de

Archion.de is the product of the Evangelische Kirche Deutschland (EKD) and 11 regional church organizations. Its objective is to preserve the church books of the entire German Evangelical Church. This presentation describes how and when to use Archion and the challenges that it presents the researcher.

_______________________________________________________________________

Janis Minor Forté, B.A., M.A.


Lecturer, Author, Writer, Publisher, Janis is the first place winner of the 2013 ISFHW&E Excellence-in-Writing Competition and other awards and citations. She is a member of several societies, including the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the National Genealogical Society (NGS), the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE), the Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS), the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS), the Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society of Chicago (AAGHSC) and others. Her presentation specialties include methodology, skill building techniques and case studies. She is skilled in both on-site and online research.

Getting Started: Approaching the Past

A workshop for beginning genealogy and family history study.

Getting Around Burned Counties: Methods and Strategies

Like a fireman approaches a burning building. This workshop presents techniques to resolve issues of “the burned county syndrome.”

Un-Puzzling Birthing History

Using 19th century records to verify birthing – a case study.

Using Non-Traditional Sources to Identify the Slave Holder and Reconnect Slave Era Families

Seven Proven Strategies for Identifying Slave Ownership and Reconstructing Slave Era Families

Creating and Sustaining Your Family Newsletter

A lecture designed to address implementation strategies in developing a family newsletter.

Loose Women, Policy Queens and Black Ewes

A lecture to discover the many types and locations of records of women who lived on the “other side of the law.”

Colored Confederate Pension Applications

Valuable economic, social and genealogical primary source information

Using the Records of the Freedmen’s Bureau in the Reconstruction and Enhancement of African American Family History

Heritage Book: Telling Your Story.

Methods and strategies in the development of a heritage book. A project for genealogy societies and family lineage groups.

Researching the Digital Library on American Slavery

Locating pre-emancipation documentation of individuals and community life.

Even Gangsters had to Register

WWI draft registration cards and the companion selective service records produced.

Putting Some Clothes on Charles

Using census supplemental schedules to explore and expand genealogical and social content of family history.

USCT Pension Files

A bounty of pre- and post-emancipation era family information.

Slave Tags

Governmental licensing, labeling and marketing of human souls.

Going Beyond the Population Count

An exploration of supplemental census schedules for their genealogical and social content.

_______________________________________________________________________

Jacquie Schattner


A Guide to Overseas Genealogy

Crossing the pond is easier than you think. We’ll review the history of immigrant travel into the U.S. and how to find genealogical records in most European countries. Includes a list of books and over 70 American and European websites for genealogical research. This presentation covers five areas of overseas genealogy – emigration, voyage details, immigration, naturalization and genealogical websites, both American and European.

Central Europe is Easy – Merci Napoleon! **Updated**

Explores websites both European and American to locate family in the countries where Napoleon ruled (France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Northern Italy, Germany and surrounding areas). Find church, census, military, maps and civil records. Links to over 40 websites, both U.S. and European and how to use them. (Recently updated with many new overseas websites.)

Emigration & Immigration – The Story of Your Immigrant Ancestors

Your immigrant ancestors are the foundation of your roots in the U.S.  Why did they come? The voyage itself.  Entering the U.S. ports. How to find emigration and immigration and naturalization records. Learn the interesting details of your ancestors‘ journey to their new life here. List of more than 30 websites and other resources included.

European and U.S. Newspapers and Directories – Good News! **New!**

Newspapers and directories may be the key to finding ancestors. Find stories, BMDs, including children births/deaths between censuses. Directories give occupations, place of birth, deaths and family relationships. They help locate important church records. Emphasis on European records. List of 75 newspaper and directory websites, from both U.S. and Europe.

Explore U.S. Church Records: Find Family

Church records contain surprises, not just baptisms, marriages and deaths. They provide clues to much more, including town of origin and immigration information, how active families were in their church, and their financial situation. Churches predate government and often have information on under-represented people: women, minorities, immigrants and young children. Learn how to identify your ancestor‘s place of worship, access surviving records and solve problems such as maiden names and overseas birthplaces. Find new and exciting information in church records!

Genealogy – Where Do You Look?

Discover your family history and find your ancestors’ stories. Using a list of over 25 free websites, this class will help you start your journey. Tips on using genealogical websites more efficiently and organizing your information will be discussed. Great refresher course too.

Organizing Genealogy – Less Piles, Better Files **New!**

Save time, get organized. Many ideas for organizing paper and computer files including color coding. Multiple file naming ideas. We’ll also cover organizing heirlooms, photos, USB drives and presentation handouts. This presentation will help find the system that works best for you.

Top 10 Genea-Tricks and Tips

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

_______________________________________________________________________

Gerald Schmidt


Gerald Schmidt is a retired San Francisco Police Officer, Crime Scene Investigator and latent fingerprint examiner. He worked in the biometric identification industry with automated fingerprint identification systems, facial recognition and Livescan fingerprinting technologies. As an independent consultant, he coordinated RapidDNA demonstrations on behalf of the Utah State Crime Lab, Chicago Police Department, Cook and DuPage County Sheriffs Departments as well as the Illinois State Police. He now spends his time assisting others as a Search Angel and helping clients resolve their non-traditional family history questions (www.lifesceneinvestigations.com). 

Genetic Genealogy: What it is and Why it Matters to Local Law Enforcement (with co-presenters Gerald Schmidt and Michelle Bray Wilson; description here)

_______________________________________________________________________

Sandra Trapp


The Allen County Public Library – What to Know Before You Go

The 2nd largest genealogical library in the U.S. offers a multitude of research resources.  This presentation will cover how to prepare for a visit to this library so that you can make the most of your research time as well as inform you of some of its materials.

Resources at the Naperville Family History Center

Learn what is available at this Latter-Day Saints facility as well as some other LDS Family History Centers. 

Using The Newberry Library for Family History Research

This library has been offering research resources since 1887 and is recognized as one of the premiere research libraries in the U.S.  Information will be provided to help you prepare for a visit, inform you of the research aids their web site offers, and provide an overview of their materials .

Local Resources

Topics covered will include local libraries, societies, educational facilities, archives, and research centers and what they may offer for your researching.

Internet Resources for English Research

The internet has opened up so many resources for family history researchers.  Find out some of the places on the internet that may offer information about your English ancestors.

18th and 19th Century English Parish Records

Parish chests have been used since mediaeval times.  Baptism, marriages, and burials weren’t the only records that the parish chest held.   Learn of resources that may provide information about your ancestors even if they weren’t the gentry.

Italian Genealogy 101

Just getting started with Italian Genealogy?  Don’t speak Italian?  This program will provide you with resources you can use to research your ancestors in Italian birth, marriage and death records even if you aren’t an Italian native.   Internet and printed resources along with examples of records and how to read them will be included as well as availability of records for Americans. 

Beginners’ Genealogy

This program will cover the first steps a researchers needs to take to get started with their family history research.  Included will be internet and printed resources for finding the four basic records for genealogical research:   vital, census, immigration and naturalization records.

_______________________________________________________________________

Regina Yuill


Regina has experience in researching within state courthouses, libraries and archives. She has traveled to and conducted genealogy research in Ireland and has become an expert in locating real estate records. She has published a 500 page family history book on her mother’s family line and is currently working on a second volume, this one focusing on her father’s lineage.

Preparing to Publish Your Book:  Tips and Tricks for the Writer 

Does publishing your family history book seem like a daunting task?  This talk will help you over come your fears of writing and publishing your family book. Discussion will cover how to generate ideas for your book, finding your target audience, setting up the book, finding publishing companies and how to use Microsoft Word to add special features to your book.


Copyright, Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois

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

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