Chicago Genealogical Society

Upcoming events

    • 1 Feb 2020
    • 1:30 PM
    • Newberry Library

    Newspapers hold an astounding amount of genealogical and local history information other than obituaries. Learn how to find the hidden gems in newspapers like adoption notices, cards of thanks, society news, tax notices and more. Learn how to locate digital copies of original newspapers as well as what online indexes and abstracts exist.

    Tina Beaird will be our speaker. She is the owner of Tamarack Genealogy and is the Genealogy/Local History Librarian at the Plainfield Illinois Public Library. She lectures extensively on military research, Scottish records, and archival preservation. She is a governing board director of the Illinois State Genealogical Society, the Northern Illinois Historical League and the Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board. Tina volunteers her time with several local historical and genealogical societies scanning and indexing historic records. Occasionally, Tina finds time to research her own family tree, which she has been pursuing for over 20 years.

    • 7 Mar 2020
    • 1:30 PM
    • Newberry Library

    This entertaining lecture is a case study integrating traditional documentary research and analysis of atDNA and X-DNA test results to identify the biological father of Karen's paternal great-grandmother. Skill demonstration includes:

    • creation of a targeted DNA testing plan
    • reasonably exhaustive research in both documentary and genetic sources
    • correlation of shared DNA among members of a focal study group of genetic matches
    • elimination of competing hypotheses using inferential reasoning
    • X-DNA analysis
    • evaluation of match pedigrees

    Karen Stanbary, MA, LCSW, CG, is an author and lecturer focusing on topics related to using
    genetic evidence correlated with documentary evidence to solve genealogical brick walls. She holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Chicago and has completed
    advanced graduate study in Social Anthropology at the Colegio de Michoacan, Mexico. Her
    genealogical practice specializes in Midwestern U.S., Chicago, and Mexican research as well as
    complex problem-solving, unknown parentage, and DNA analysis. She is a coordinator and faculty
    member at GRIP, IGHR, and SLIG. She received the NGSQ Award for Excellence for her complex
    evidence case study incorporating traditional documentary research and autosomal DNA analysis in the June 2016 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. Most recently, she published “Drowning in DNA? The Genealogical Proof Standard Tosses a Lifeline” in Debbie Parker Wayne’s book Advanced Genetic Genealogy: Techniques and Case Studies. She holds the credential Certified Genealogist from the Board for Certification of Genealogists where she serves as a Trustee and is chair of the standing DNA Committee.


    • 4 Apr 2020
    • 1:30 PM
    • Newberry Library

    Craig Pfannkuche, the developer of the CGS’s family photographs database on the CGS website will be our speaker. This database is a listing of over 1,000 “carte de visite” and “cabinet card” photographs of individuals taken (mostly) in Chicago between 1855 and 1915. Only those with the names of individuals written on them have been collected.   

    Craig will be making a powerpoint illustrated presentation about “Finding Hidden Clues in Old Family Photos.”  In the presentation, Craig will show how to date when a family photo was taken discussing, for example, the type of photo taken, the type of cardstock on which the photo is pasted, line types and revenue stamps on the card, the types of clothing seen on those pictured as well, even, hairstyles. Also, the material written on the backs of the photos, most often cartes de visite and cabinet cards, can be especially useful in dating photos. He will also show, through the use of actual albums, how the positioning of the photos in albums can disclose family relationships. A number of actual named Chicago photos will also be passed around for inspection. At the conclusion of his remarks, an additional speaker will relate their online photo search success and provide information about finding old family photos online.

    Craig is an independent research professional and President of Memory Trail Research, Inc. He volunteers for the CGS Board as the Ancestor Certificate Committee Chair and is our awesome bus tour guide for our annual genealogical tours. He is also the archivist for the Chicago & North Western Historical Society.

    • 2 May 2020
    • 10:15 AM
    • Pritzker Military Museum & Library

    The Pritzker Military Museum & Library is a center where citizens and service members come together to learn about military history and affairs. The Museum & Library features an extensive collection of books, programs, artifacts, and rotating exhibits which cover many eras and branches of the military. The tour will focus on military history and research. More information about the Museum & Library at

    CGS will be given a special in-depth 90-minute tour of the museum and library. Online registration on the CGS website will be required. Registration will open in January 2020. Free for CGS members and $11.00 for non-members. Registration closes 4/27/20 and no refunds after 4/27/20. Group size is limited.

    We will meet at the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, 104 S Michigan Avenue, 2nd Floor, Chicago, at 10:15am.

Chicago Genealogical Society is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.  Address: PO Box 1160, Chicago, IL  60690-1160

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