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.
|DNA – Genetic Genealogy|
|Genealogy Research Essentials|
|Optimize Online Genealogy Research|
|The Library Series|
|How I use DNA In My Genealogy Research|
|Family Search.org Primer|
|Looking For European Roots *NEW*|
|Newspapers as Genealogical Resource *NEW*|
|What's New on the Internet for Genealogists?|
|Travels with My Sister: Genealogical Journeys|
| Getting Started: Approaching the Past|
|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|
|Researching the Digital Library on American Slavery|
|Even Gangsters had to Register|
|Putting Some Clothes on Charles|
|USCT Pension Files|
|Going Beyond the Population Count|
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You Can Pick Your Relatives
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The Musical CHICAGO and All That Genealogical Jazz
|Liven Up Your Family History with Images|
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Riding the (Genealogical) Rails in Chicago
|Social Security Death Indexes|
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What’s New in Technology
|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|
|Genealogy – Where do you look?|
|Top 10 Genea-Tricks and Tips|
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Handheld Apps for Family Research
|18th and 19th Century English Parish Records|
|Italian Genealogy 101|
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Family Tree Maker
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|I Did a DNA Test, Now What?|
|Bio-Parents for Peg and Donna: An Autosomal DNA Case Study|
| **New** || |
We're All Related! Searching for our Most Recent Common Ancestor
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PRDH : The Gold Standard for French-Canadian Research
|Effective Use of Ancestry.com|
|Creating a Coffee-Table Style Family History Book|
|Genetic Genealogy: What it is and Why it Matters to Local Law Enforcement|
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.
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 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.
Michelle Bray Wilson has been active in the genealogy community for more than a dozen years. She speaks throughout the Midwest, most frequently on genetic genealogy, French Canada, ancient ancestry, and creating family history books. Michelle’s lectured for Illinois State Genealogy Society, Franco Fete in Minneapolis, for UW’s Early Music Festival in Madison, for MSPCE (Midwest Security and Police Conference) and at numerous area conferences, genealogy groups and libraries, including being a featured speaker for Chicago Public Library, DuPage County and Lake County 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 -
DNA Primer at GeneaQuest 2020. Sept 11-12. See the GeneaQuest page at CAGGNI.
Bio-Parents for Peg and Donna - Illinois State Genealogical Society virtual conference, 24 October, 2020. See program description below. Register.
Powerpoint - Going Beyond Business Application - AB Cook Chapter NS DAR Jan 14, 2021, 7 pm by invitation. Michelle has used PowerPoint to create everything from graphical posters to coffee-table style books. For presentations, animation can bring your deck to life. Learn the tips and tricks that will add to your creativity arsenal.
Creating a Coffee-Table Style Family History Book - Thursday Feb 11, 2021, 7 pm, Fox Valley Genealogical Society, Naperville Municipal Center. Program details.
Bio-Parents for Peg and Donna - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2021, 7 pm, Helen Plum Library in Lombard, IL via Zoom. See program description below.
Structure of DNA and the Commercially Available Kits - NWSGS, May 1, 2021, Arlington Heights Senior Center, 10am
Learn the organization of DNA as applicable to the genealogist, how it
varies from person to person, and what the various types of tests actually
examine and report on. We’ll cover everything from the old-style paternity and
“CODIS” tests, to the Y-DNA STR and SNP tests (and how these differ from
haplogroup reporting), mt-DNA tracing back female lines, and the popular
autosomal tests offered at the “big four” Ancestry.com, 23andMe, MyHeritage and
FamilyTreeDNA. Along the way we’ll discuss Best
Practices (part 1) including what tests which company to choose for which
candidate testees, what to expect when your results arrive, and a couple
third-party tools where you can do even more. Those
attending both NWSGS sessions (see also Aug 28) will have an opportunity to chart their progress.
DNA Inheritance, Our Matchlists and More Best Practices - NWSGS, Aug 28, 2021, Arlington Heights Senior Center, 10am
Inheritance results in only tiny changes to the Y-DNA men get from their fathers and the mt-DNA we all get from our mothers. But the inheritance process makes a scramble of our autosomal DNA. Understanding inheritance is key to making sense of our matchlists, and how our matchlists are the key to both unlocking unknown parentage and to pushing back our ancestral lines. We’ll use actual case studies and explore some third-party tools to apply this knowledge for cases such as unknown parentage and pushing back brick-walled lines to the next generation. In Best Practices (part 2) we’ll explore cases where matches don’t post trees, and show how to get the most out of the hints in Ancestry’s ThruLines and MyHeritage’s Theory of Relativity.
The course will include a couple short exercises. Those attending both NWSGS sessions will have an opportunity to chart their progress.
Building Northern Illinois: William McConnell's Montelona Farm - CAGGNI, Saturday, Oct 16, 2021 10:00 am following CAGGNI business (about 10:30) via Zoom
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.
Selected Programs by Michelle Bray Wilson
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Part travelogue, part how-to for traveling to do genealogical research.
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.
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.
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.
A workshop for beginning genealogy and family history study.
Like a fireman approaches a burning building. This workshop presents techniques to resolve issues of “the burned county syndrome.”
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
A lecture designed to address implementation strategies in developing a family newsletter.
A lecture to discover the many types and locations of records of women who lived on the “other side of the law.”
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
Methods and strategies in the development of a heritage book. A project for genealogy societies and family lineage groups.
Locating pre-emancipation documentation of individuals and community life.
WWI draft registration cards and the companion selective service records produced.
Using census supplemental schedules to explore and expand genealogical and social content of family history.
A bounty of pre- and post-emancipation era family information.
Governmental licensing, labeling and marketing of human souls.
An exploration of supplemental census schedules for their genealogical and social content.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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 (https://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)
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.
Learn what is available at this Latter-Day Saints facility as well as some other LDS Family History Centers.
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 .
Topics covered will include local libraries, societies, educational facilities, archives, and research centers and what they may offer for your researching.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.