Chicago Genealogical Society

Upcoming events

    • 1 Jul 2024
    • 7:00 PM
    • Virtual Meet-Up
    Register


    Open Mic Meet-Up - CGS Members Only Event

    Join us to share your discovery or watch and listen to others share their successes. You have a research problem? Come and ask the group. Maybe someone will have a suggestion to further your research. A great opportunity to learn!

    This meet-up will have a host to run the Zoom and to give the opportunity for everyone to share as time permits. If you plan to share a discovery or problem, please keep it to 5 minutes or less to allows others to also share. 

    Registration is required via the Chicago Genealogical Society website under Events. Registration will close 1 hour prior to the event. The meet-up will take place virtually via ZOOM. All people registered will receive an email the morning of the event with log-in instructions and a link. This information is not to be shared.

    **This Meet-Up is not recorded"

    Picture from Library of Congress

    • 13 Jul 2024
    • 10:00 AM
    • Mt. Greenwood Cemetery 2900 W 111st St Chicago, IL
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    Mt. Greenwood Cemetery Walk

    Our Chicago Genealogical Society is offering to lead a cemetery walk through the beautiful Mt. Greenwood Cemetery, the entrance at 2900 West 111th on the west side of Chicago's Morgan Park neighborhood. While one might think that this cemetery, consecrated in 1879, catered just to far southwest side residents for the most part, such is not the case. This park-like setting-style cemetery had its own railroad station. The Grand Trunk railroad, which had a downtown terminal, offered rail service to the cemetery for both the mourned and the mourners.

    We will be walking through rolling hills and groves of native oaks. The grounds were formed by glaciers and at one time the west beach of glacial Lake Michigan. Among the sites worth seeing is that of the area where members of the "Benevolent Protective Order of Elks" are buried. Among many other interesting individuals buried there is Robert Haslam, an actual "Pony Express" rider. Many other Interesting original monuments and statues will also be visited and interpreted. Our cemetery walk guide will be Craig Pfannkuche.

    Registration is required via the CGS website and will close Friday, 12 July, at noon CST. Attendees will receive an email after registration closes with a cemetery map detailing information on the meeting spot.

    If you cannot attend, we plan on live-streaming some of the cemetery walk that morning on Facebook so check it out. 

    Member Gravestone Photo Request

    ***CGS Members*** The CGS Cemetery Committee is offering to take gravestone photos for members at the Mt Greenwood Cemetery. One request per member please. Please first check FindAGrave and BillionGraves websites to see if a photo is already available. Depending on the number of requests received, it may not be possible for volunteers to complete every one. Also, volunteers may not be successful in finding the requested graves. If the grave is located, you will be emailed photo(s) of the gravestone, and CGS will also load the images on FindAGrave.

    Provide the name, dates, and location (section, plot) if known. You can contact the cemetery office (773-233-0136) and request information. Photo requests will be taken between May 1 and June 30. Send your request by June 30th to CGS info@chicagogenealogy.org Attn: Mt Greenwood Cemetery Walk Gravestone Photo Request.


    • 5 Aug 2024
    • 7:00 PM
    • Webinar
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    In the past eight years, CGS has offered its members two projects led by Marsha Peterson-Maass that focused on research in today's U.S. military resources --- with the goals of building a detailed bio for specific veterans, and also finding their portrait photos.  Throughout the years, our researchers developed military research strategies (primarily based on finding WWI, WWII and Vietnam records) that Marsha is delighted to share.  Topics will include: veteran's biography + timeline; first things first; working with resources online + on site; resources in genealogy databases; often overlooked resources like military histories + maps; newspapers; checking with veterans' groups; social media and more.  Since National Purple Heart Day will occur two days later (on August 7th), Marsha will discuss general purple heart medal information + how to order a replacement if your family can't find your hero's original.  And Marsha will conclude with a brief case study highlighting the records that built a Chicago WWII veteran's identity and biography.

    Marsha Peterson-Maass is a genealogy researcher, educator and author.  She has taught at Chicago's Newberry Library for over 20 years, at two local community colleges and has lectured in genealogy topics at many Chicagoland libraries and genealogy groups. Marsha published the Fundamentals of Genealogy® textbook series which she teaches from.  For eight years, she led a research team for Purple Hearts Reunited that has returned hundreds of lost military Purple Heart medals to veterans or their families at no cost.  Marsha is also a Board Member of the Chicago Genealogical Society.


    Registration is required via the Chicago Genealogical Society website under Events. Registration will close 1 hour prior to the event. The meet-up will take place virtually via ZOOM. All people registered will receive an email the morning of the event with log-in instructions and a link. This information is not to be shared.

    Note: This webinar is FREE for everyone!

    • 9 Sep 2024
    • 7:00 PM
    • Webinar
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    Did you know that you can research the history of your house from your very own laptop? Join for a step-by-step guide to internet-based building history research. We'll focus on what historic information you can expect to find digitally, such as Chicago building permits, architects, insurance maps and occupant history, and how to find it. And what to do if you need to go beyond digital resources.

    Our speaker, Emily Wallrath Schmidt, is a Historic Preservation professional with a decade-long track record spanning hands-on restoration, archival research, and advocacy. She is currently a senior architectural historian at 106 Group. Emily is passionate about uncovering vernacular building history, and has never met a bungalow she didn't like.


    The Webinar will be recorded and available on the CGS website in the members only section.

    Registration is required via the Chicago Genealogical Society website under Events. Registration will close 1 hour prior to the event. The meet-up will take place virtually via ZOOM. All people registered will receive an email the morning of the event with log-in instructions and a link. This information is not to be shared.

    Note: This webinar is FREE for CGS members. Non-Members can register for the event for $10. No refunds. 

    • 21 Sep 2024
    • 10:00 AM
    • The Newberry 60 W Walton St, Chicago, IL (Rettinger Hall)
    Register


    Join the Chicago Genealogical Society in-person as we celebrate the 90th anniversary of the "Century of Progress" Chicago's World's Fair held at the shore of Lake Michigan from 12th Street to 37th Street from 1933 until 1934.

    Rick Rann is our speaker and he will take us back to 1928 when the fair was organized (before the crash) until the opening 1933-1934 during the depression and let us know what our ancestors may have experienced while there.

    In addition, he will exhibit some of his collection including oversized photos from the fair. Rick is the owner of The World's Fair Memorabilia Show that (since 1995) commemorates the 1933-34 Chicago Century of Progress World's Fair and the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition and he and his family reside in Oak Park, Illinois.

    Bring your questions especially if you had any relatives that worked the show 90 years ago. There are a number of employee records available for your genealogy research.


    The program is an in-person event at the Newberry, 600 W Walton St, Chicago, IL (Rettinger Hall). No recording will be made. Registration is required via the Chicago Genealogical Society website under Events. Registration will close 2 hours prior to the event. 

    Note: This program is FREE for CGS members. Non-Members can register for the event for $10. No refunds. 

    • 4 Nov 2024
    • 7:00 PM
    • Webinar
    Register


    In this one-hour presentation, we will discuss the general process our immigrant ancestors took to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, the general exceptions granted during the process, the types of records that were generated during specific time periods, and where we might find those records online or offline.

    Katherine R. Willson of Dexter, Michigan is an engaging and dynamic genealogy lecturer at regional and national events; a full-time researcher for clients; and a genealogy educator for 25+ years, including courses for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. She is the founder & past President of the Virtual Genealogical Association, past President of Michigan Genealogical Council, and past board member of the Association of Professional Genealogists. Her website (SocialMediaGenealogy.com) contains valuable resources for genealogists, including links to family interviewing questions, a catalog of almost 17,000+ genealogy/history links on Facebook, a catalog of 190+ genealogy YouTube channels, and a catalog of 76 genealogy podcasts.


    The Webinar will be recorded and available on the CGS website in the members only section for 90 days.

    Registration is required via the Chicago Genealogical Society website under Events. Registration will close 1 hour prior to the event. The meet-up will take place virtually via ZOOM. All people registered will receive an email the morning of the event with log-in instructions and a link. This information is not to be shared.

    Note: This webinar is FREE for CGS members. Non-Members can register for the event for $10. No refunds. 

    • 2 Dec 2024
    • 7:00 PM
    • Webinar
    Register


    After the Great Depression and the attack on Pearl Harbor, it was impossible to escape the impact of World War II. Residents of Chicago and the Suburbs sustained the effort to win the war enduring food and gas rationing while buying war bonds and planting Victory gardens. They produced much needed war equipment, fed military personnel, and even participated in secret war-related projects. Join Dennis Doyle, professor of history at Joliet Junior College for an examination of the efforts of the people of Chicago and the suburbs and the impact of the war on them.

    Our speaker, Dennis Doyle, is a History Professor at Joliet Jr. College in Joliet, Illinois. He teaches History of World War II and History of Civil War courses. He has a BA History from Colorado State University, MA Sociology from DePaul University and MA Military History, American University. Currently, he is President of Chicago Civil War Round Table June, 2024-June, 2025. He has completed numerous public speaking assignments in the Chicago area and nationally.


    The Webinar will be recorded and available on the CGS website in the members only section.

    Registration is required via the Chicago Genealogical Society website under Events. Registration will close 1 hour prior to the event. The meet-up will take place virtually via ZOOM. All people registered will receive an email the morning of the event with log-in instructions and a link. This information is not to be shared.

    Note: This webinar is FREE for CGS members. Non-Members can register for the event for $10. No refunds. 

    • 6 Jan 2025
    • 7:00 PM
    • Webinar
    Register


    The year was 1950. Harry Truman was President of the US. The average annual income in the US was just a little over $3,000 and the average cost of a new home was $8,450. The US Census that had been taken every 10 years starting in 1790 was conducted for the 17th time.

    The 1950 Census is particularly important in helping provide context to families’ narratives because it was a time of many transitional events:

    • It was the first US census following World War II.

    • The growth in automobile use and the road system helped create modern suburbs and allowed more movement for employment.

    • It was the initial stages of the baby boom.

    Focusing on a large sample of Illinois 1950 census data, we will paint a picture of what life was like in the state during this transitional time. We will also look at how Chicago life differed from the mostly rural remainder of the state.

    Scott Norrick’s passion is connecting people to their past. While providing a list of names, dates and places for ancestors is a start, Scott enjoys helping others discover the stories of triumphs and tribulations that defined our ancestors’ lives. He does this by assisting clients with breaking down their genealogical brick walls and by helping them document the rich stories of their family history.

    His areas of expertise include research in the American Midwest along with the immigration to the Midwest from Britain, Ireland, and Germanic countries. He also does significant research into Civil War records.

    He has an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and a graduate degree from Northwestern University. With over 30 years of family history research experience, he is familiar with all the latest and time-tested genealogical tools. Through his company Ancestral Past, he welcomes the opportunity to assist others on their genealogy journey. He has presented to dozens of genealogical societies, history centers, and libraries. He is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists.


    The Webinar will be recorded and available on the CGS website in the members only section for 90 days.

    Registration is required via the Chicago Genealogical Society website under Events. Registration will close 1 hour prior to the event. The meet-up will take place virtually via ZOOM. All people registered will receive an email the morning of the event with log-in instructions and a link. This information is not to be shared.

    Note: This webinar is FREE for CGS members. Non-Members can register for the event for $10. No refunds. 

Past events

3 Jun 2024 Genealogy Estate Planning Made Simple
6 May 2024 PERSI 2.0: The New PERSI for Everyone
8 Apr 2024 Genealogy Book Discussion: Share Your Favorite Genealogy Book or Latest Genealogy Book Discovery
6 Apr 2024 Oak Park River Forest Museum and Research Center Tour
12 Mar 2024 Google Workspace for Genealogical Research
4 Mar 2024 *Added Session* Using Maps in Genealogical Research: Digital Mapping with Google Earth and Google Maps
5 Feb 2024 Open Mic Meet-Up: Share Your Latest Genealogy Discoveries or Problem
3 Feb 2024 AI and Genealogy: Trouble Ahead?
16 Jan 2024 Using Maps in Genealogical Research: Digital Mapping with Google Earth and Google Maps
8 Jan 2024 Tracing a Chicago Family‘s Roots: A Case Study
4 Dec 2023 You Light Up My Census! Researching Beyond Population Schedules
6 Nov 2023 Family Gatherings: Dragging Genealogy Information Out of Your Family
2 Nov 2023 Kickstarting Your Family History Story
7 Oct 2023 Glessner House Tour and Prairie Avenue Walk
2 Oct 2023 Open Mic Meet-Up: Share Your Latest Genealogy Discoveries or Problem
11 Sep 2023 Finding Dirk: Insanity in the 19th Century
10 Jul 2023 Open Mic Meet-Up: Share Your Latest Genealogy Discoveries or Problem
8 Jul 2023 Mt Carmel Cemetery Walk
5 Jun 2023 How to Write Ancestral Stories Your Relatives Will Want to Read
13 May 2023 Special DNA Afternoon - Two Webinars
1 May 2023 Was My William Smith in the Civil War?
3 Apr 2023 Open Mic Meet-Up: Share Your Latest Genealogy Discoveries or Problem
14 Mar 2023 How to Use eBay, Etsy, and Other Shopping Sites for Family History
6 Mar 2023 Polish Beneficial Records in Genealogy
6 Feb 2023 Open Mic Meet-Up: Share Your Latest Genealogy Discoveries or Problem
4 Feb 2023 Researching Chicago Ancestors from Afar
2 Jan 2023 Search vs. Research
15 Nov 2022 Digital Organization for Your Family History
7 Nov 2022 How to Maximize Your Search Using Fold3
11 Oct 2022 Get Grammin’: How to Instagram Your Family History
3 Oct 2022 Open Mic Meet-Up: Share Your Latest Genealogy Discoveries or Problem
1 Oct 2022 A Visit to Pullman, Illinois: Pullman Museum and CGS Walking Tour
12 Sep 2022 Immigration Ports of Entry
13 Aug 2022 Historic Old Joliet Prison Tour
1 Aug 2022 Hopping Down the Paper Trail
11 Jul 2022 Open Mic Meet-Up: Share Your Latest Genealogy Discoveries or Problem
9 Jul 2022 Montrose Cemetery Walk
6 Jun 2022 Sign of the Times: Timelines in Genealogy
9 May 2022 Focused Research: Using Research Plans
4 Apr 2022 Open Mic Meet-Up: Share Your Latest Genealogy Discoveries or Problem
2 Apr 2022 Beyond Ancestry: Essential Portals for Genealogy Research
7 Mar 2022 Chicago Neighborhoods: The Communities of Garfield Ridge and Clearing
7 Feb 2022 Open Mic Meet-Up: Share Your Latest Genealogy Discoveries or Problem
5 Feb 2022 Getting Ready for the 1950 Census: Searching with and without a Name Index
3 Jan 2022 How to Build a Personal Genealogical Reference Library
6 Dec 2021 Open Mic Meet-Up: Share Your Latest Genealogy Discoveries
4 Dec 2021 Special Military Afternoon - Roll Call of Resources: Researching Revolutionary War and U.S. Civil War Ancestors
8 Nov 2021 The Everleigh Sisters: A Case Study in Conflict Resolution
2 Oct 2021 CGS Genealogical Bus Tour: The Great Chicago Fire
17 Sep 2021 Chicago & North Western Historical Society Archives Afternoon Tour
17 Sep 2021 Chicago & North Western Historical Society Archives Morning Tour
11 Sep 2021 Researching Pre-fire Chicago
2 Aug 2021 The World of Juliette Kinzie: Chicago Before the Fire
24 Jul 2021 Commemoration of the 106th Anniversary of the Eastland Disaster
5 Jul 2021 Open Mic Meet-Up: Share Your Latest Genealogy Discoveries
5 Jun 2021 What the Heck Does That Say? Overcoming the Challenge of Difficult Handwriting
3 May 2021 The South Side in Ten Families Part 2
1 May 2021 Funeral Home Collections: Utilizing Genealogical Societies and Others for Crowd Sourcing
5 Apr 2021 Open Mic Meet-Up: Genealogy Discoveries Made During Lock Down
3 Apr 2021 Researching HER Life: Genealogical Tools and Methods for Researching Your Female Ancestor
8 Mar 2021 Friedrich Eiler: Building an Identity from Scant Clues
8 Feb 2021 Virtual Open Mic Meet-Up: Genealogy Discoveries Made During Lock Down
6 Feb 2021 Everyone Has a Story: Why everyday life stories are worth capturing and how to do it
4 Jan 2021 The South Side in Ten Families Part 1
7 Dec 2020 Chicago Genealogical Society Ancestor Certificates - Honoring Your Chicago Ancestors
7 Nov 2020 Identity Puzzles: How to Make Sure You're Following the Right Character
5 Oct 2020 Cartographic Tales of Chicago History
12 Sep 2020 The Art of Negative-Space Research: Women
25 Jul 2020 Webinar: The Pritzker Military Museum & Library
24 Jul 2020 Commemoration of the 105th Anniversary of the Eastland Disaster
21 Jul 2020 Virtual Meet-Up: "Ask the Expert" About Eastland Disaster Genealogical Records
21 Jul 2020 Virtual Meet-Up: "Ask the Expert" About Eastland Disaster Genealogical Records
25 Jun 2020 Virtual Meet-Up: "Ask the Expert" About Chicago Property Records
6 Jun 2020 Webinar: Travels with My Sister: Genealogical Journeys
9 May 2020 *** Will Be Rescheduled*** Purple Hearts Reunited Chicagoland Returns
2 May 2020 Where Did Grandpa Go? Using Maps to Solve Genealogical Problems - Webinar
2 May 2020 ***Rescheduled to July 25, 2020*** Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library
4 Apr 2020 Finding Hidden Clues in Old Family Photos **Rescheduled to September 12, 2020**
7 Mar 2020 Spit and You Shall Find! atDNA Identifies a Charming Scoundrel
1 Feb 2020 Newspaper Necessities
7 Dec 2019 Mayflower and Other Lineage Societies: What are they? Why would I join one? How do I join?
2 Nov 2019 The Chicago “L” -- Chicago’s Biggest “Mover & Shaker”
5 Oct 2019 Decoding the Sentiment behind Cemetery Symbolism
7 Sep 2019 Tracking Down Your Infamous Ancestors
24 Aug 2019 CGS Genealogical Bus Tour: Chicago’s Greatest Waterway - The I & M Canal
1 Jun 2019 Adoption Searches Past and Present
19 May 2019 Webinar - The Eastland Disaster: An Unparalleled Tragedy
4 May 2019 The Eastland Disaster: An Unparalleled Tragedy
6 Apr 2019 Investigating Chicago Police Ancestors
2 Mar 2019 Purple Hearts Reunited Special
10 Feb 2019 Using Yearbooks for Genealogy
2 Feb 2019 If These Walls Could Talk: Incorporating Stories of Places to Enhance Your Family Narrative
13 Jan 2019 Genealogy Road Trips with Julie Benson
19 Aug 2018 MyHeritage DNA with Daniel Horowitz
2 Jun 2018 CGS Annual Meeting

Chicago Genealogical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  Address: PO Box 1160, Chicago, IL  60690-1160

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