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Interview with Debra Dudek, ISGS 2018 Conference Speaker

Debra Dudek, a genealogist and a librarian, will present her lecture “Aliens in the Army” at our 2018 Fall Conference on Saturday, October 27.

We talked about her new book, World War I Genealogy Research Guide, genealogy, and the upcoming conference. Check out Debra’s interview below!

Illinois State Genealogical Society: How did you become interested in genealogy?
Debra Dudek: My grandmother and her sisters (Aunt Clara, Aunt Loretta, and Aunt Betty) were always very keen on family history.  I loved sitting at the table with them having tea and talking about their family.  They were very proud of their roots, as their mother, my great-grandmother (Grandma Rhodes) was from Scotland while most of their father's family (Grandpa Rhodes) had been America since before the revolution.  They shared so much information in a very interesting way.  Even when I was young, I recognized this was something magical.  I was my grandmother's family research assistant, licking the stamps on the …
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Interview with Mary Milne Jamba, ISGS 2018 Conference Speaker

It’s almost time for our 2018 Fall Conference! Join ISGS and ISGS speaker Mary Milne Jamba in
Springfield, Illinois on October 26 and 27 for two days of genealogical fun! In anticipation of the conference, we asked Mary a few questions.

Illinois State Genealogical Society: How did you become interested in genealogy? How long have you been
Mary Milne Jamba: My maternal grandmother told great stories and I especially loved to hear her talk about her own maternal grandmother. The concept that Grandma had her own Grandma fascinated me as a young child and I always wanted to learn about these family members. I first started doing real research when I was 25, so that's half my life!

ISGS: Who is your favorite person (ancestor or otherwise) to research? Why?
Mary: My 3G grandmother, Rebecca Harris has been fun to research. The family legend told of her living more than 100 years, but neglected to mention three of her five husbands or that she was a bigamist! Researching you…

Interview with Peg Kapustiak, ISGS 2018 Conference Speaker

We’re so excited to have Peg Kapustiak as one of our ISGS Fall Conference speakers! Peg is a seventh generation Illinoisan, genealogist and family historian for over 35 years. She has presented nationally and internationally and known for her enthusiastic and detailed practical “how-to” presentations. As our Fall Conference draws nearer, we asked Peg a few questions...

Illinois State Genealogical Society: How did you become interested in genealogy? How long have you been researching?
Peg Kapustiak: My Dad and I started researching family history in the early 1980s. He really wanted to prove my Mom's Revolutionary War heritage. Plus both my parents had interesting family stories about early Chicago that we wanted to prove were really true.

ISGS: Why do you research your ancestors?
Peg: As a child I remember my aunts and uncles and grandparents telling family stories. It was a long time before I realized that the people they were talking about had died, some even 200 years ago, but my…

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…

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