Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Setting Out on Your GeneaQuest

Very often, attending genealogy lectures at a one-day workshop or a genealogy conference can be overwhelming. Yes our heads are filled with ideas and we are inspired to go back and put the knowledge to use; yet how many of us will actually take what we’ve learned and apply it to our genealogy research?
So what can you do not only to turn learning into action, but also take up the goal of accessing more genealogy education – both online and in-person – in the future?

  • Ready to learn: Do you spend time putting yourself in “learn” and “absorb” mode before you attend a genealogy event or do you just show up? We’ll cover how you can make sure you’re ready for your best day of genealogy school ever!
  • Take note: You remember taking notes from high school or college, but are you aware of some of the latest technologies available for note taking?
  • Make a plan: We’ll cover two types of genealogy education plans: one which helps you plan out attendance at future conferences, workshops, institutes and even online webinars. The other will help you track concepts you’ve learned and set goals to put the learning into action.
  • Keep on learning: How can you stay on top of the upcoming options for genealogy education? Have you factored in webinars, podcasts, radio shows and even Google Hangouts? We’ll show you where to get the latest information and how to get notified via email of new offerings.
By attending GeneaQuest, at a basic level you are interested in expanding your genealogy experience and improving your research. So why not take up a lifelong quest to become more educated when it comes to genealogy and family history? Thomas MacEntee will show you how easy it is to always be on the receiving end of the best information that the genealogy community has to offer.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

FamilySearch Labs

Sandra Trapp has presented numerous programs for various local genealogy organizations and libraries. She volunteers at the Naperville Family History Center as its Resource Chairman and serves as a director of the Genealogical Forum of Elmhurst. 

Sandra will present two hands-on labs covering all aspects of FamilySearch. Learn how to make the most of this exceptional free genealogy resource from an expert. Each lab is limited to 24 attendees.

Beginner's Lab: Searching Family - Sandra Trapp - Morning session
FamilySearch is the largest free, on-line resource for your family history research.  This hands-on class will help you make the most of the benefits of having a FamilySearch account, as well as offer tips on effective searches and learning resources, how to search the catalog and order films and fiche, where to get help and more. Students are advised to bring information about their family to use for research during class time.

Intermediate Lab: FamilySearch’s Family Tree – Sandra Trapp - Afternoon session
FamilySearch's Family Tree is FamilySearch's vision of the One World Tree. Information will be given on how to add and edit the Family Tree portion of the FamilySearch web site as well as add photos and stories, use the Watch List, create charts and sources. Students are advised to bring information about their family to use for research during class time. Photos, stories and documents brought to class should be on removable media.

Join us at GeneaQuest on May 17, at Elgin Community College. For registration information visit the CAGGNI website.

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!