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Join the fun! Information on ISGS events including conferences, webinars, and ISGS member societies can be found on our calendar of events.

All ISGS webinars are free and available to the public when presented live. After the live broadcast, ISGS members can access the archived webinar from the Members Only section and enjoy a replay of it as many times as they'd like! View previous webinar topics and consider joining ISGS to enjoy this great member benefit.

Save the date - ISGS 2018 Fall Conference

2018 Fall Conference | October 26 & 27, 2018
President Abraham Lincoln Springfield – a Doubletree Hotel by Hilton
Featuring Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG®, CGLSM, FASG, FNGS, FUGA

Call for Proposals will open January 9, 2018. 
Submission deadline for proposals is February 23, 2018.
Vendor/Exhibitor information and registration will be available February 9, 2018.
Registration and Hotel Reservations will open March 30, 2018.

Upcoming Webinars 

February 2018
Illinois Digital Resources
  • Presenter:  Tina Beaird
  • Date:  February 13, 2018
  • Time:  8:00 PM Central
  • Description:  There are several Illinois websites for finding your Land of Lincoln ancestors. From CARLI to IDA, Tina will show you how to find maps, newspapers, phonebooks, company magazines, yearbooks and more. Illinois has it all! Learn how to dig into these online resources and get to know your Illinois ancestors. It will be a good topic for the bicentennial because not enough people utilize Illinois based digital resources like CARLI, Chicago Collections Consortium, Cyberdriveillinois or IDAIllinois.
  • Registration:

March 2018
Finding Clues for Your Immigrant Ancestors in Ethnic Newspapers and Publications
  • Presenter:  Lisa Alzo
  • Date:  March 13, 2018
  • Time:  8:00 PM Central
  • Description:  Ethnic newspapers and publications can often provide biographical and genealogical clues about immigrant ancestors. This webinar will show you where to find these rich resources, how to access them, and what details they contain to help with your research.
  • Registration:

April 2018
Friedrich Eiler in Illinois: Fragments Fuse to Identify One Individual
  • Presenter:  Jill Morelli
  • Date:  April 10, 2018
  • Time:  8:00 PM Central
  • Description:  Do you have an individual with no past and no future in your database? These are the individuals who appear from nowhere, interact with your ancestor and then disappear. These individuals leave few clues to their identity to work with. The ability to weigh the evidence and combine the correct fragments of multiple personalities to form a single individual is an important skill for any genealogist. Friedrich Eiler/Euler (1824-1895?) proved to be a formidable case study. Born in Germany and immigrating to Illinois, Friedrich married the widow Bert in 1861 of Stephenson County; shortly after that marriage he disappeared leaving few clues. We can trace Friedrich from Germany to Stephenson County, until his probable death in Cook County. Friedrich's story may not be the heroic story we would like of our ancestors, but it offers insight into the life of an immigrant to Illinois in the late 19th century and illustrates how to maximize the use of scant clues to identify your ancestor.
  • Registration:

May 2018
Want to Honor Your Revolutionary Roots?: Resources for Applying to a Revolutionary War Lineage Society
  • Presenter:  Bryna O'Sullivan
  • Date:  May 8, 2018
  • Time:  8:00 PM Central
  • Description:  With the 1776-79 Illinois Campaign running straight through its borders, and immigrants later arriving from other American colonies, many Illinois families have ties to Revolutionary War soldiers that they wish to honor by joining the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), and the other Revolutionary War lineage societies – but don't know where to start. This presentation will introduce the attendee to the basic requirements of joining a Revolutionary War lineage society and the sources that can be used to meet them. It will touch upon common sources, such as the census and vital records, as well as less common sources such as pension files, loyalty oaths, and more. An attendee should finish ready to begin putting together their application.
  • Registration:

June 2018
Ohio and the Early Gathering of the LDS Church
  • Presenter:  Peggy Clemens Lauritzen
  • Date:  June 12, 2018
  • Time:  8:00 PM Central
  • Description:  Ohio was the first gathering place of the LDS Church. Eventually those who joined with its membership found themselves displaced into Missouri and Illinois before their trek to Utah. (Note: this is not geared toward LDS members.) The story of the LDS Church is a story of persecution. This lecture will focus on the members from both the United Kingdom and New England who were disowned from their families, and finished their live in the western United States.
  • Registration:

July 2018
Museums Have Records, Too! Locating Your Ancestors Behind Closed Doors
  • Presenter:  Melissa Barker
  • Date:  July 10, 2018
  • Time:  8:00 PM Central
  • Description:  Genealogists are always looking for places where records are located. More and more these records are being found in places that are not your typical archives, library, or genealogical society. One of these places is a museum. Many museums have back rooms filled with genealogical and historical records just waiting for the genealogist to discover them!
  • Registration:

August 2018
National Archives Resources at the Chicago Branch
  • Presenter:  Jane Haldeman
  • Date:  August 14, 2018
  • Time:  8:00 PM Central
  • Description:  "The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation's record keeper." The National Archives at Chicago holds Federal records from agencies in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, dating from the 1800s. There are General Land Office, Farming and Agriculture, Naturalization, Military, Taxes, Postal Service, Court Cases, and many more records that can be invaluable when researching your family history. Learn what's available and how to access these rich resources. Some records that will be highlighted are: record books of the General Land Office, Federal criminal records including the Mann Act (also known as the White-Slave Traffic Act), and Farm Ownership Case Files for Illinois.
  • Registration:

September 2018
Researching Pre-Fire Chicago
  • Presenter:  Ginger Frere
  • Date:  Sept. 11, 2018
  • Time:  8:00 PM Central
  • Description: The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 was a turning point in Chicago's history. The rebuilding of the city enhanced Chicago's (and thus Illinois') position on the world stage. For genealogists, the fire presents a challenge as many important records wre lost – including vital records. But it didn't all burn! Maps, diaries, church records, directories, newspapers, and other records survived. This lecture will present some of these alternative sources and discuss where they can be found.
  • Registration:   

October 2018
Chicago Rises from the Ashes:  The Columbian Exposition Gives Perspective to the Family Historian
  • Presenter:  Jean Wilcox Hibben
  • Date:  October 9, 2018
  • Time:  8:00 PM Central
  • Description: The World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 put Chicago on the map. Rising from the ashes of the Chicago Fire of 1871, a swampland was turned into an educational and entertainment region for the White City. Inventions surfaced, methods of dealing with potential epidemics were developed, and people cam from around the world to learn about cultures they would otherwise never experience. Listeners will find out how this event in Illinois' history affected personal and educational lives. If your ancestor lived anywhere in the vicinity, chances are he or she attended this monumental event. Chicago is more than the site of a horrendous fire; it rose from the ashes to become a world-famous city. Visitors today can find remnants of the Columbian Exposition all over the region and into Wisconsin so listeners will also find out how to connect personally to this exciting part of Illinois history. "The hog butcher of the world" literally became the leader of the world for six months at the end of the 19th century.
  • Registration:

November 2018
1918: The Prairie State "Over There"
  • Presenter:  Lisa Oberg
  • Date:  Nov. 13, 2018
  • Time:  8:00 PM Central
  • Description: In addition to Illinois' bicentennial, 2018 also marks the centennial of the end of World War I. Illinois answered Uncle Sam's call and men and women from across the Prairie State served during World War I both in Europe and on the home front. This presentation will highlight some of the ways the Great War changed Illinois and how to research your ancestors who may have served at home and abroad. In particular, utilizing social history resources to help enrich the story of Illinois' war contributions will be discussed.
  • Registration:  Registration Link will be posted as soon as it becomes available.

December 2018
Some Followed the River, Some Took the Train: Finding Ancestors of the Great Migration
  • Presenter:  Angela Walton-Raji
  • Date:  Dec. 11, 2018
  • Time:  8:00 PM Central
  • Description:   Hundreds of thousands of families left the South in the 1900s headed North. Their destinations were Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and beyond. This workshop looks at communities in the urban North and will illustrate how much can be learned about the county of origin in the South by studying the communities where they arrived.
  • Registration:  Registration Link will be posted as soon as it becomes available.

The 2018 ISGS Webinar Series is sponsored by Family Search.