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Interview with Melissa Johnson, ISGS 2018 Conference Speaker

In celebration of our upcoming 2018 Fall Conference, we asked Melissa Johnson CG®, professional genealogist and ISGS conference speaker, a few questions about genealogy and the topics she’ll be sharing with conference attendees.

Melissa specializes in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania family history research with expertise in using DNA test results and genealogical writing. Her ISGS conference lectures include “Go Paperless! Organizing Your Genealogical Research,” “Solving Problems Using Indirect Evidence,” and “No Response? No Problem! Learning More About Your DNA Matches.” Join us in Springfield where Melissa will share her talents with us!

Illinois State Genealogical Society:How did you become interested in genealogy? How long have you been researching?
Melissa Johnson: I became interested in genealogy in grammar school after my paternal grandfather showed an interest, and after two school "autobiography" projects that involved creating a family history. I started res…
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ISGS is seeking proposals for webinar presentations for its 2019 schedule.

ISGS is seeking proposals for webinar presentations for its 2019 schedule.

Live webinars are presented on the second Tuesday of each month at 8:00 pm Central Time and should be 45-55 minutes in length. Attendees can submit questions during the presentation and a short question and answer session will occur afterwards. Speakers that have not presented a webinar before, but feel they are ready, are encouraged to submit. ISGS will provide some additional assistance for those new to the platform.

Presentations on the following topics are encouraged:
Underground Railroad in Illinois
Hispanic Research
Illinois Waterways and associated records
Native American Research
Early Illinois settlement, including French and English resources
Organizing /Digitizing material
Using Illinois archives or other repositories
Cross-State records
Ethnic or religious population resources
Civil War in Illinois
Illinois indentured and slave registers
Caring for Artifacts Military records, pension land boundaries

What's Your Genetic Genealogy Story? We Want to Know!

Do you have a genetic genealogy story to share? Did you locate your birth parent or a new sibling by using DNA? Were you able to break through a genealogical brick wall with DNA? ISGS Quarterly wants to know!

ISGS Quarterly is looking for personal stories to publish in our official 50th Anniversary issue in Fall 2018. Stories need to have an Illinois connection with a minimum of 300 words and a maximum of 750 words. Narrative format is preferred, no footnotes required. One photo can be included, but it needs to be clear when changed to black and white.

The deadline to submit stories is August 1, 2018.

ISGS Quarterly staff will edit stories. For questions or to submit a story, please contact the Quarterly editor at

© 2018, copyright Illinois State Genealogical Society


The Illinois State Genealogical Society invites societies to submit nominations for ISGS’ 2018 Honors & Awards. Nominees will receive their awards at the ISGS Fall Conference to be held in Springfield, IL 26 & 27 October 2018.

Information on award categories and nomination forms can be found on the ISGS website.

For questions or assistance, email Susie Pope, Honors & Awards Chair:

© 2018, copyright Illinois State Genealogical Society

Celebrating Prairie Pioneers! Post 3

Throughout 2018 we're celebrating the Illinois State Genealogical Society's 50th anniversary and the Illinois Bicentennial! As we honor our Illinois ancestors, we'll be sharing names of people who settled in Illinois in or before 1818 from our popular Prairie Pioneers project each month until December 2018. This is the second post in our Prairie Pioneers series. To view the other names, click the Prairie Pioneers Certificates tag.

Here are some of our earliest Prairie Pioneers:

SURNAME FIRST NAME COUNTY YEAR STEELE John Randolph 1798 CAMP Ichabod, Rev. Dr. Clinton 1799 PULLIAM Robert Randolph

ISGS May/June 2018 Newsletter Now Available!

The May/June 2018 issue of the ISGS Newsletter is now available to both ISGS members and non-members.
Visit the ISGS website at and click ISGS Newsletter to download the current issue (in PDF) and to view past issues going back to January/February 2008.
© 2018, copyright Illinois State Genealogical Society

Announcing the Illinois Bicentennial Family Certificate!

The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) announces the introduction of the Illinois Bicentennial Family Certificate program, an official project of the Illinois Bicentennial celebration.

Available only during the Bicentennial year, the Illinois State Genealogical Society will issue Illinois Bicentennial Family Certificates to honor those who contributed to our state’s rich history to direct descendants of early pioneers who were living in Illinois in the year of Statehood (1818) and whose family has continued to be proud residents of our State for each generation since that time, with the applicant being a current resident of Illinois.

The Illinois Bicentennial Family Certificate program supports part of the Society’s purpose:

To stimulate an interest in the people who contributed to the establishment and development of the State of Illinois.To seek, preserve, and make available all information pertaining to individuals, families, and groups who lived in Illinois, recognizing the…