Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Genealogical Feast - One Month from Today!

Plans for GeneaQuest: The Future is Now conference, May 17, are now complete. The entire day is a genealogical feast! 

MOVIES: Klingons come to dinner(Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)by 

Highlights include: 
  • Three outstanding presentations: keynote, luncheon and wrap-up, with acclaimed genealogy tech guru Thomas MacEntee
  • Extraordinary breakout sessions and demos covering:
    • Genetic Genealogy: Putting DNA to Work for You – Michelle Wilson 
    • Using Google’s Tools to Aid Your Genealogical Search – John Stryker 
    • Enhanced Research and Writing with Flip-Pal and Picasa – Nancy Thomas 
    • Family Tree Maker/ Getting the Family Tree online – Caron Brennan 
  • Two hands-on labs headed by Sandra Trapp:
    • Beginner Lab: Searching
    • Intermediate Lab: FamilySearch’s Family Tree 
  • Informal conversations with six knowledgeable “Genies” at GeneaQuest's exclusive GeneaUs Bar covering 18 different topics
  • Twelve first-rate exhibitors including representatives from commercial vendors, societies and libraries 
  • Amazing raffle opportunities including an iPad Mini, 1-year subscriptions to, fold3, GenealogyBank,, and FindMyPast as well as a mini Living Story Project and many additional door prizes. See the complete list of door prizes and raffles
  • A delicious box lunch of your choice including roast beef, turkey or Asian wrap, together with a fruit cup, homemade potato chips and a cold drink enjoyed in the modern dining room overlooking beautiful Lake Spartan. 

All of this in Elgin Community College’s state-of-the-art conference center with its 200-seat presentation auditorium, break-out rooms with flexible seating and ergonomic chairs, fully functional hands-on computer labs, and a beautiful 2-story cylindrical atrium in which to visit our exhibitors.

View the day's complete schedule.

Mark your calendar for May 17 and, if you haven’t already, register today.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Power of... a Name, an Address, an Occupation

Whether you’re just starting out in genealogy or consider
yourself a seasoned veteran of family history research, how often do you give careful consideration to a data point such as a name, an address or an occupation? Are you getting the most out of each bit of information OR are you just recording it in your research log or genealogy software and moving on to the next search?
You may not realize that there are many online new technologies that not only let you do more with that piece of information, but actually can lead to new data and expand your research. Every name, every address and every occupation has hidden powers waiting to be unlocked.
Here are some examples:
  • Name: For given names, have you checked all name variations and nicknames? Do you know where to find a list of nicknames? For surnames, do you know the origins of the name? Have you created a list of all possible variations? Have you ever considered looking at Soundex (yes, that old thing!) to find similar names?
  • Address: Even after a person or family moves to a new location, have you ever traced an old address using census records or city directories? Could there be a connection between both families? Or have you plotted addresses for a family over time using Google Maps or other programs to look for migration patterns and other information?
  • Occupation: Did your ancestor have the same job over the course of decades? Did he or she have a variety of types of jobs? And what about periods of unemployment due to financial panics, depressions and recessions? With occupational information you could even do further research using company newsletters or trade guilds/associations related to that position.

So where will your data take you? Not only will you have a new perspective and outlook on data, you may find yourself going back and re-evaluating your existing data and using it with these new technologies to advance your genealogy research.
Join us on May 17 to hear Thomas MacEntee's Luncheon Address at the GeneaQuest Conference, Elgin Community College. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Family Tree Maker and

Family Tree Maker is the world’s largest family history resource. They discover new family members with hints, bring your family history to life with photos, historical records and interactive maps, and share your tree with others with new TreeSync.  -- Family Tree Maker

Join Caron Brennan, a popular Chicagoland genealogy presenter and member of the Genealogical Speaker’s Guild and the Association of Professional Genealogists, as she shares with you how to sync Family Tree Maker and 

Family Tree Maker / – Caron Brennan
This interactive workshop session will explore Member Trees at and how they can sync with Family Tree Maker. Whether you are just starting out and want to host a tree at, or have been researching for years but want to put more information on-line, learn the basics of how Family Tree Maker and work together to keep your family trees up-to-date and in sync with each other.

To learn more about the May 14, GeneaQuest Conference at Elgin Community College, visit CAGGNI's webpage.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Flip Pal and Picasa

With two tools, Flip-Pal scanner and Picasa free software, you will be able to enliven your family history. No longer will your relatives have that blank stare when you show them your discoveries. 

CAGGNI's President and retired College of DuPage Professor/Reference Librarian, Nancy Thomas, has been researching ancestors for over 30 years. She likes using Flip-Pal and Picasa to enhance her research and writing efforts and will share her know how and special techniques in this workshop.

Enhance Your Research and Writing with Flip-Pal and Picasa – Nancy R. Thomas 
This demonstration session will show how Flip-Pal works with a variety of items and how the scans can be enhanced using Picasa for use in family history articles or social media sites. You'll have an opportunity to do some hands-on scanning with Flip-Pal and then edit your scans and learn to make an image citation using Picasa's free editing software. Bring a flash drive and a computer with the free Picasa software installed.

Join us at GeneaQuest on May 17, at Elgin Community College. Visit CAGGNI's website for more information and conference registration.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Heads Up GeneaQuest Registered Attendees

GeneaQuest Promotion -  Registered Attendees
This is Your Chance to Win Big!

Heads Up, GeneaQuest Registered Attendees!  

iPad mini
We have big news today.  Anyone referring a new GeneaQuest registrant will automatically receive a free Raffle Ticket – a $2.50 value and even more valuable when you consider the prizes. See Nancy Thomas' President’s Column in this month’s CAGGNI Newsletter or our GeneaQuest Blog for full details on the wonderful prizes we will be offering in the raffle. 

1-year fold3 subscription

So how to get this Raffle Ticket? Simply have a friend name you in the “referred by” field when registering online for GeneaQuest.  The person named as the referrer must be a previously registered GeneaQuest attendee to be eligible.  

The new registrant gets a bonus too!  They will receive an additional Door Prize ticket in their registration packet.

1-year subscription

This Special Promotion is currently scheduled to run only through April so you won’t want to lose a minute signing up your friends NOW.  

We wish you AND your "friends" good luck in our Raffle and Door Prize drawings at GeneaQuest!

GeneaUs Bar

We are proud to announce six of our CAGGNI experts have graciously offered to act as GeneaUs Bar hosts, or "Genies," at the May 17, 2014 GeneaQuest conference. 

Each Genie will host a cocktail table stand-up discussion on one of three carefully chosen subjects at each break. A selection of niche genealogy and technology topics will be covered between the morning and afternoon sessions and for twenty minutes before lunch. 

AM Break  10:05 - 10:25 
Pre-Lunch  11:35 - 11:55
PM Break  2:35 - 2:55

Think about how you want to spend your break time and come with ideas to contribute, questions to ask and experiences to share with our Genies and fellow conference participants.

Visit CAGGNI's website for more information.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Genealogy Apps/Google Tools

A professor of Computer Technologies and Information Systems at Oakton Community College, our speaker, John Stryker, caught the genealogical bug as a young boy from his father. A former software developer, he will share with you his knowledge of how to turn Google into your "best genealogical friend."

Genealogy Apps / Google Tools – John Stryker 
Google is NOT just a search engine. It is much more than a tool for finding websites and most people barely scratch the surface of its possibilities. Learn how the many other services that Google provides including Google Books, Maps, YouTube, Photos and more can be used to help you fill in your family tree. We will also cover several useful mobile applications, many of which are used with Google.

Visit CAGGNI's website for GeneaQuest information and registration details for the May 17 Conference at Elgin Community College.