Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Interview with Jay Fonkert, an ISGS Speaker

J. H. “Jay” Fonkert, CG, is one of the featured speakers at the Illinois State Genealogical Society’s 2017 Annual Fall Conference. He lectures at national and regional conferences and has taught at the Salt Lake Institute for Genealogy. He has published more than 50 research and teaching articles and is co-editor of Minnesota Genealogist. His current research focuses on English, Norwegian, and Midwest genealogy. While we are eagerly awaiting the Fall Conference in October, ISGS asked Jay a few questions:

Illinois State Genealogical Society: What are you most looking forward at the ISGS annual fall conference?
Jay Fonkert: I'm delighted to be participating in my first-ever ISGS conference – especially in Moline, just across the river from my home state of Iowa. It is exciting to be on the program with Karen Stanbary, Tony Burroughs, and Rachel Popma, as well as some other fine speakers who are new to me.

I'm excited to learn more about DNA from Karen Stanbary; she is outstanding. My DNA talk will focus on better understanding the statistics behind the relationship predictions the DNA companies give us. Weather predictions aren't always on the mark; neither sometimes are DNA predictions.

ISGS: How did you become interested in genealogy? How long have you been researching?
JF: I was well into my 40s – more than 20 years ago – when I became interested in family history. As you all know, one thing leads to another, and soon I was following ancestral lines I never knew I had. The research bug might have been a natural extension of my work as a policy analyst, but I think the real seed was planted in my graduate study in geography. My fascination with migration and place motivates the talk I am giving on Saturday morning: "Why There? Merging Evidence to Understand Migration." I'm also offering a primer titled "Historical Geography for Midwest Genealogists" – Chicago plays a big role in this one.

ISGS: Your first lecture at the ISGS Fall Conference is about using newspapers to better understand our ancestors. What are some of your favorite newspapers articles you've found about your ancestors?
JF: Historic newspapers may seem a bit old-fashioned next to DNA, but they are one of my favorite sources for family history. They help fill in the gaps in our ancestors' lives and sometimes serve up surprising drama. I have found stories about the arrival of my grandfather's threshing steam engine, a court appearance for a man who was fined for selling "adulterated lard," and column inch upon column inch of ancestral scandal.

ISGS: Of your own family history, which ancestor is your favorite to research?
JF: I have never found an uninteresting ancestor, but for some reason I can't explain, my wife's ancestors are the ones who have really sucked me in.  Especially, the Fawkner family of Kentucky and Indiana, and yes, briefly Illinois. The Fawkner’s, with their confused identities and multiple marriages, pop up at some point in almost all my presentations. And, if you want a fun identity puzzle, there is the Chicago Norwegian immigrant who stole a neighbor's name.

This is going to be fun.  I am looking forward to seeing you all in the Quad Cities in October.

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The ISGS 2017 Annual Fall Conference is on October 27 and 28 in Moline, Illinois. Find more information about Jay Fonkert and the lectures he will be leading by visiting the Illinois State Genealogical Society’s website. 
© 2017, copyright Illinois State Genealogical Society

Friday, August 18, 2017

Introducing the Illinois Society Forum!


We're excited to kick-off our newest event at the Annual Fall Conference: the Illinois Society Forum! The Illinois Society Forum takes places Friday, October 27th at 10 am. Presidents from Illinois genealogical societies are invited to gather for discussion and coffee. Society leaders will have the opportunity to network with one another and talk with the ISGS Directors about their societies needs and interests. Presidents can choose 1 to 2 society representatives to attend the Forum, including themselves. Space at the Illinois Society Forum is limited, so register soon.

For more information visit our website or contact Kim Hanks, Illinois Society Liaison Chair, at isgssocieties@ilgensoc.org.

© 2017, copyright Illinois State Genealogical Society

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Upcoming ISGS Webinars – September 2017


Luxembourgers on the Prairie: Researching your Luxembourg Ancestors


Join us on Tuesday, September 12, at 8:00 PM Central, when Lisa Oberg will present Luxembourgers on the Prairie: Researching your Luxembourg Ancestors. To attend this webinar, register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4916431437334451204.

Last week's webinar, Ten Years is a Long Time: Census Substitutes for the In-between Years, presented by Amy Johnson Crow, CG, is now available to ISGS members in the Members Section of the ISGS website (http://ilgensoc.org/members.php).

Upcoming Webinars



For the complete list of upcoming webinars, visit http://ilgensoc.org/cpage.php?pt=234.

Registration Procedure: There are only 500 available "seats" for each webinar and we have limited the number of registrations for each webinar to 650. Past experience has shown that approximately 30% of those who register don't attend a webinar.

Recommendation: login to the webinar EARLY - access begins at 7:30 pm Central. Once the "room" fills up with 500 attendees, others attempting to join will receive a "room full" message.

Spread the Word: Forward this email onto your friends and colleagues, post the information to social media sites and/or your blog/website, or print out a few copies of our webinar flyer to hand out at your local society meetings. The flyer can be accessed at http://bit.ly/isgs2017webinarbrochure.

Make a Contribution: Support the ISGS Webinar program by making a financial contribution, which will help ISGS expand its educational offerings in a virtual manner. To learn why we need your help, or to make a contribution, please visit http://ilgensoc.org/cpage.php?pt=345.

Please direct any questions to the ISGS Webinar Committee at
isgswebinar@ilgensoc.org.

The 2017  ISGS Webinar Series is Sponsored by FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org).


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Interview with Ginger Frere, an ISGS Conference Speaker

Ginger Frere is a professional researcher, speaker and instructor who provides a variety of research services to authors, historians, and genealogists. Her primary research interests include Chicago and mid-western research. The Illinois State Genealogical Society is delighted to announce that Ginger Frere will be leading two lectures at the Annual Fall Conference. We caught up with Ginger this summer and asked her a few questions about her background, her passion for genealogy and research, and the ISGS Conference.

Illinois State Genealogical Society: Tell us a little about the lectures you'll be presenting at the ISGS conference.
Ginger Frere: I’ll be presenting two of my favorite lectures at ISGS! In “Looking for Love in the Midwest” I’ll discuss some of the reasons marriage records just may not be where you think they should. I’ll offer some strategies and suggestions for finding those elusive “I Do” records.
Social histories are the stories of ordinary people and their ordinary activities and institutions. “Adding Context: Social History for Genealogists” will provide some great ideas for resources created by social historians that can be used by genealogists to aid in understanding our ancestors’ lives and times. These histories can be important additions to our research toolboxes.
ISGS: How did you become interested in genealogy? How long have you been researching?
GF: As with many other genealogists, my interest in genealogy started with one of those “family tree” projects in grammar school. My grandmother loved to tell stories about her family and I was always a willing audience. I later discovered that the stories she shared about my grandfather’s family were not quite so accurate, however!
ISGS: What has been a defining moment in your career as a genealogist?
GF: A turning point in my genealogical career occurred when I found out that my great-great-grandfather was not really the little old, illiterate shoemaker I thought he was. Rather he was a fairly well-travelled, early union organizer. This discovery really made me realize that each of our ancestors has a unique story, that we must be careful about making assumptions about their lives – and that it is their story, not just their names and dates, that is truly important.
ISGS: What are you most looking forward at the ISGS annual fall conference?
GF: Seeing old friends, making new friends and learning about new resources and research techniques!
ISGS: In what ways are you expanding your knowledge in the field of genealogy?
GF: There’s always so much to learn! Conferences such as the ISGS conference are wonderful. Webinars are always available. Genealogical society meetings are great opportunities to learn and socialize. Organizations such as the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) provide plenty of opportunities to compare notes with other professionals. And of course, there’s learning by doing! With every new project there is a need to search all relevant resources – and there always seems to some I haven’t used before.
ISGS: Why do you research your ancestors?
GF: When I first started doing genealogy as an adult, I read “Voices in Your Blood,” by G.G. Vandagriff. The title just resonated with me! These people are in my DNA. Their experiences and attitudes determined the family I was born into, influenced the place I live, the occupations I’ve chosen, the talents I have.
ISGS: A major accomplishment of yours is the creation of ChicagoAncestors.org. Tell us about that resource.
GF: ChicagoAncestors.org is a unique Newberry website (first conceived by Jack Simpson) developed to help genealogists and local historians discover and share historical information about Chicago.  When researching a large city like Chicago, it can be very difficult to answer questions such as “what school or church did my family attend?” ChicagoAncestors lets you search a wide variety of information about Chicago by entering an address, intersection, or keyword.
The site also provides links to other sites critical to doing Chicago research, as well as articles with important Chicago research notes.

Researchers and genealogists are encouraged to contribute their own family information, historical research, queries and photographs.  If you haven’t used it, check it out!
ISGS: What was the most memorable experience for you on “Who Do You Think You Are”? What was it like preparing for that show?
GF: Working with the production crew and meeting Jessica was great fun. The crew was very encouraging and was very invested in making sure that not only was the episode good television, but that all the research was accurate and reasonably exhaustive. Jessica was truly excited to hear what we had learned.
ISGS: You have a Master of Library and Information Science degree. What is your favorite library? Why?
GF: After working at the Newberry Library for 12 years, what else could I say! The Newberry is an incredible institution with great people and a superior collection. If I had to pick another library it would be the Library of Congress. Sitting in the Main Reading Room surrounded by magnificent art and architecture is an inspiring experience.

--

Catch Ginger Frere’s lectures “Looking for Love in the Midwest” and “Adding Context: Social History for Genealogists” at the Illinois State Genealogical Society’s 2017 Annual Fall Conference on October 27 and 28 in Moline, Illinois. For more details about the conference and to register, visit the Illinois State Genealogical Society’s website.
© 2017, copyright Illinois State Genealogical Society

Monday, August 7, 2017

Illinois State Genealogical Society 2017 Annual Fall Conference



The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) is bringing the 2017 Annual Fall Conference to beautiful Moline, Illinois. The Society will hold its conference on Friday, October 27 and Saturday, October 28 at the iWireless Center. This year’s conference is co-hosted by local society Rock Island County Illinois Genealogical Society. Registration for the conference is open to the public.

Explore this year’s theme, “Build Your Family Tree: DNA, Research, & Writing” with two days of genealogical education for beginners through expert researchers, nationally-known speakers, door prizes, and opportunities to network with other genealogists and family historians. Attendees at the Friday evening banquet and the Saturday luncheon will be entered to win a free DNA test! Speakers include: Karen Stanbary, CG℠, J. H. Fonkert, CG℠, Tony Burroughs, Ginger Frere, Dr. Daniel Hubbard, Marsha Peterson-Maass, & Rachel M. Popma.

One or two-day conference registrations are available. Additional details may be found on the Illinois State Genealogical Society’s website.

© 2017, copyright Illinois State Genealogical Society

Thursday, August 3, 2017

August 2017 ISGS Webinar - Ten Years is a Long Time: Census Substitutes for the In-between Years

August 2017 ISGS Webinar - Ten Years is a Long Time: Census Substitutes for the In-between Years


Title:  Ten Years is a Long Time: Census Substitutes for the In-between Years

Date: Tuesday, August 8, 2017, 8:00 pm Central

Description: The federal census gives us wonderful clues for our research, but the ten years between each census is a long time. This presentation will discuss records that can be used to fill in the gap and add more points to your ancestor's timeline.

Presenter: Amy Johnson Crow, CG

Amy Johnson Crow is a Certified Genealogist and an active lecturer and author. Her roots run deep in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states. She earned her Masters degree in Library and Information Science at Kent State University. Amy loves to help people discover the joys of learning about their ancestors. She figures that if anyone were to steal her phone, the thief would probably be alarmed at the number of tombstone photos on it. She blogs regularly at AmyJohnsonCrow.com.

Registerhttps://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2394575075177831939

Registration Procedure: There are only 500 available "seats" for each webinar and we have limited the number of registrations for each webinar to 650. Past experience has shown that approximately 30% of those who register don't attend a webinar.

Recommendation: login to the webinar EARLY - access begins at 7:30 pm Central. Once the "room" fills up with 500 attendees, others attempting to join will receive a "room full" message.

Recording and Handout Available to ISGS Members: For ISGS members who cannot attend the live webinar on August 8th, a recording of the webinar, along with the handout, will be made available in the Members Section of the ISGS website at http://ilgensoc.org/members.php. If you're not already a member of ISGS, visit Join ISGS! at http://ilgensoc.org/cpage.php?pt=8 for more information.

Spread the Word: Forward this email onto your friends and colleagues, post the information to social media sites and/or your blog/website, or print out a few copies of our webinar flyer to hand out at your local society meetings. The flyer can be accessed at http://bit.ly/isgs2017webinarbrochure.

Make a Contribution: Support the ISGS Webinar program by making a financial contribution, which will help ISGS expand its educational offerings in a virtual manner. To learn why we need your help, or to make a contribution, please visit http://ilgensoc.org/cpage.php?pt=345.

Please direct any questions to the ISGS Education Committee at isgswebinar@ilgensoc.org.

The 2017 ISGS Webinar Series is Sponsored by FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org).




©2017, copyright Illinois State Genealogical Society

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Upcoming ISGS Webinars – August 2017

Ten Years is a Long Time: Census Substitutes for the In-between Years


Join us on Tuesday, August 8, at 8:00 PM Central, when Amy Johnson Crow, CG will present Ten Years is a Long Time: Census Substitutes for the In-between Years. To attend this webinar, register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2394575075177831939.

Last week's webinar, The Watchfires of a Hundred Circling Camps, presented by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, AG, is now available to ISGS members in the Members Section of the ISGS website (http://ilgensoc.org/members.php).

Upcoming Webinars

For the complete list of upcoming webinars, visit http://ilgensoc.org/cpage.php?pt=234.

Registration Procedure: There are only 500 available "seats" for each webinar and we have limited the number of registrations for each webinar to 650. Past experience has shown that approximately 30% of those who register don't attend a webinar.

Recommendation: login to the webinar EARLY - access begins at 7:30 pm Central. Once the "room" fills up with 500 attendees, others attempting to join will receive a "room full" message.

Spread the Word: Forward this email onto your friends and colleagues, post the information to social media sites and/or your blog/website, or print out a few copies of our webinar flyer to hand out at your local society meetings. The flyer can be accessed at http://bit.ly/isgs2017webinarbrochure.

Make a Contribution: Support the ISGS Webinar program by making a financial contribution, which will help ISGS expand its educational offerings in a virtual manner. To learn why we need your help, or to make a contribution, please visit http://ilgensoc.org/cpage.php?pt=345.

Please direct any questions to the ISGS Webinar Committee at
isgswebinar@ilgensoc.org.

The 2017  ISGS Webinar Series is Sponsored by FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org).