Chicago Genealogical Society

Upcoming events

    • 4 Mar 2024
    • 7:00 PM
    • Webinar
    Join waitlist


    Additional Session Added

    **Special Tech Members Only Webinar**

    Genealogists are great consumers of maps to help them locate places, trip plan, and even assist in analysis of genealogical data.  At some point, you may want to create your own maps to use in the field, in publications, presentations, or simply to show off to your family.  This session describes how to use two free applications:  Google Earth Pro and Google Maps to create your own map masterpieces.

    Melinda Kashuba, PhD is a professional genealogist and owner of Kashuba Research Services, a genealogical and historical research company. Her popular book, Walking with Your Ancestors: A Genealogist’s Guide to Using Maps and Geography, joins a long list of articles in numerous genealogical magazines and other publications. She is a Course Coordinator and faculty member at Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research and faculty member at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.

    Her genealogical specialties include 19th century and contemporary genealogical records in California including maps and land records.  She holds a PhD in geography from the University of California, Los Angeles and has taught geography for fifteen years at Shasta College. 

    Melinda is a member of the National Genealogical Society, Association of Professional Genealogists, Shasta Historical Society, and Shasta County Genealogical Society. She served as a Registrar for two local chapters of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

    When not working on genealogy, she is raising money to rebuild a children’s outdoor education school in Shasta County damaged in the disastrous Carr Fire in 2018. 


    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 ONLY. Limit to 35 spots and then a waitlist. The video and handout will be available on the CGS website in the members only section for 30 days after the webinar.  

    • 12 Mar 2024
    • 7:00 PM
    • Webinar
    Register


    Tech Tuesday Webinar

    We each have our own organizational methods: notes written on paper, color-coding, binders, and online. Some are hesitant to use virtual organization due to subscription renewal costs, having multiple websites to keep track of, or it is too complicated to figure out. But what if there was a free, one-stop place online where you can access your genealogy research from anywhere, make the templates to your liking, AND share it with family members? That’s where Google Workspace comes in. Eleanor Brinsko, MLIS, of Carlon Genealogical Services, LLC, will demonstrate the different programs on Google Workspace to help make your research a little easier and help you find the holes that you need to fill in to break down the brick walls!

    Eleanor Brinsko is a genealogist who specializes in Scandinavian-American genealogy by looking at genealogical and social trends on both sides of the Atlantic.


    This presentation will be recorded and available in the members section on the CGS website.

    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 Apr 2024
    • 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
    • OPRF Museum, 129 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL
    Register


    Oak Park River Forest Museum and Research Center Tour

    Many Chicagoans moved out to Oak Park and River Forest from the city. Come learn about the history and legacy of these two towns. This is a private 90-minute tour for the Chicago Genealogical Society to explore the museum and learn about the Jeanette and Ellis Fields Research Center Collection.

    Opening in 2017, the OPRF Museum is an 1898 firehouse transformed into an eco-friendly facility. The designated Oak Park Landmark features a restored interior, research center and exhibits that tell the stories of the unique villages of Oak Park and River Forest.

    Registered attendees will meet at the Oak Park River Forest Museum, 129 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL, at the main entrance @ 1:00pm. Parking and transportation options can be found on the Museum website oprfmuseum.org/plan-your-visit.

    Both CGS members and non-members are welcome.

    Cost:   Free CGS members           $7.00 non-members

    Registration closes on April 3, 2024, at 1:00pm. No refund after April 3, 2024, at 1:00pm. The online payment service fee of $1.50 will be deducted from refunds.

    Photo: Lake Street, Oak Park, 1933 - with permission from the Oak Park River Forest Museum.


    • 8 Apr 2024
    • 7:00 PM
    • Virtual Meet-Up
    Register


    Virtual Meet-Up - CGS Members Only

    Who doesn’t love a good genealogy book? The book could be a “how to,” sources, guides, record types, historical, problem solving, surname studies, or writing books just to name a few.

    Join us to share your favorite book or latest book discovery with fellow CGS members. Don’t have a favorite genealogy book or recent discovery? No problem, come and learn what books members are excited about. A great opportunity to learn about books that may help your own research.

    How it works: read whatever genealogy book you want, then attend the discussion to share your thoughts about it. Why is it your favorite book? How has it helped you? Why should others consider reading it? If it’s a recent find, would you recommend it? Be prepared to provide the title, author, year of publication and edition.

    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, please keep it to 5 minutes or less to allows others to also share. **CGS Members only and will not be recorded.**

    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.

    Picture from Library of Congress, 1938

    • 6 May 2024
    • 7:00 PM
    • Webinar
    Register


    You may be missing out on 30% of genealogy discoveries if you’re not digging into history and genealogy newsletters, journals and magazines. Biographical profiles, stories about ancestral churches or schools, how-to tips for researching a locale, indexes and transcripts of local records are all among those treasures. Learn to find and access this content using PERSI, the Periodical Source Index, and other resources. See how to navigate PERSI on the new Allen County Public Library website portal, and success stories that can inspire your own foray into periodical research.

    Sunny Jane Morton is a Contributing Editor at Family Tree Magazine, Content Director at YourDNAGuide.com, past Editor of Ohio Genealogy News and a blogger for FamilySearch.org. Book credits include the NGS award-winning How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records (co-author with Harold Henderson, CG) and Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy. She runs the Book Club at the Virtual Genealogical Association. Find her at www.sunnymorton.com.


    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. 

    • 3 Jun 2024
    • 7:00 PM
    • Webinar
    Register


    At some point in life, we genealogists recognize that we will sooner or later pass from “this mortal coil.”  What happens to our life’s work of genealogy software, photos, documents, and miscellaneous related materials?  Two options: do nothing and throw fate to the wind, or, plan for its preservation.  Many extant articles provide detailed instructions on how to designate the future of your genealogy materials after you pass away.  Usually, they require a great input of your time and mental acumen.  In my talk, I provide a precise and simple solution, namely, fill out a one-page form and you are done.  Overcome inertia!!!  It takes only one hour.  I will outline the issue and walk attendees through the short process.  It is doable!  I hope everyone will recognize that genealogy estate planning can be simple!

    Dr. Thomas F. Willer is currently a long-time member of the Lake County Illinois Genealogy Society.  He discovered genealogy as a natural progression from his college degrees in history.  Family lore and history seemed a natural orientation.  Like many genealogists, he interviewed family members.  His father-in-law lived to be one hundred years old and had an utterly unbelievable memory.  He was born in 1917 and recalled that his mother inherited some money in 1926.  She and her husband decided to build a kitchen onto their small frame house in Kewanee, Illinois.  I asked him if he knew the name of the carpenter who did the work.  Although only nine years old, he recalled the name of the handyman.  His amazing recollection energized Dr. Willer into serious genealogy investigation.


    Gathering statistics is the heart and soul of a genealogist.  We all want to share our thrilling detective work with family and friends.  Creating software documentation is the first step.  Next, many genealogists write articles on aspects of their research.  Dr. Willer has published several genealogy-related articles, including “In Search of Lemuel Holsclaw,” Lake County Illinois Genealogy Society Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 3, Pg 85-91.  He has given a few genealogy programs, including one where he dressed up as Abraham Lincoln and delivered a talk entitled: “How My Family Saved Abraham Lincoln’s Life.”  This lifelong adventure led him to contemplate how to preserve a lifetime of research.  To help fellow genealogists, this perception led to the creation of his latest program: “Genealogy Estate Planning Made Simple.”

    **Note this is our Annual Members Meeting** 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. 

    • 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
    Register

    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.


Past events

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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