DuPage County Genealogical Society
DuPage County Genealogical Society
Annual Conference
Saturday March 10, 2018
NIU Conference Center 
1120 E. Diehl Rd. Naperville, IL
Conference Registration is CLOSED
We are SOLD OUT and can NOT accommodate walk-ins.
Confirmation emails were sent as you registered. 
You can expect to receive the syllabus
and additional details March 6, 2018.
Conference Details
Returning this year!
Venue and location -  We're at the Northern Illinois University Conference Center, located at 1120 East Diehl Rd, Naperville, IL.  There's plenty of free parking, with easy access from I-88 and I-355.  This high-tech facility offers a large auditorium, tiered classrooms, comfortable ergonomic seating, tables/desks with power for your electronic devices, and high-speed wireless internet access.
Going green -  Our conference syllabus will be e-mailed to you the week of the conference.  You can download it to your mobile device for reference at the conference using NIU's free Wi-Fi.  You may print only the pages related to the sessions you're attending and not have to carry the full copy.  A hardcopy syllabus will NOT be available at the conference.  Flash drives loaded with the syllabus will be for sale at the conference for $5 each.
Hot buffet lunch -  Your registration fee includes a hot buffet lunch; vegetarian entree must be chosen during registration.  
4 tracks -  The program sessions are offered in 4 tracks, each with 4 sessions, choose from 16 topics!  There are topics for everyone... those just getting started, or focus on European research, with DNA, organizing and methodology.
And of course, great speakers -  Maybe you've heard of them, follow them on-line and have used their tools.  Now meet them in person, learn tips and techniques and ask questions! 
  • Blaine Bettinger    
  • John Philip Colletta   
  • Steve Szabados   
  • Katherine R. Willson   
Bring your friends and family and get them hooked.  Improve your own research when you collaborate with someone.  
Register early - Get the best pricing before February 10, 2018. 
The conference fee, $55 for DCGS members, $65 for non-members, includes 16 sessions to choose from, a hot buffet lunch and a chance to win door prizes, great raffle items and the genealogists' favorite exhibitors.
You will receive a confirmation within 10 days of registration; please keep it for your records; if you do not receive a confirmation, please contact us ASAP.
Let us know if you are meeting friends so we can assign you to the same dining room, we anticipate using two rooms to accommodate everyone comfortably. 
Our conference syllabus will be e-mailed to you the week of the conference.
The fee increases to $70, no mail-in registrations accepted and no refunds allowed after February 10, 2018. Online registration closes on March 1, 2018 or when we reach capacity, whichever comes first.
Registration is required, we cannot accommodate walk-ins.


Great RAFFLE items (Check back for updates)
2 tickets for $5 or 5 tickets for $10

Conference Program
Print the flyer.
Browsing the Exhibitors
Java & Juice available for purchase at the Arbor Vitae cafe
Naturalization Records, Colonial Times
to Mid-20th Century
John Philip Colletta
The lecture addresses the legal means by which non-British settlers in colonial America could become naturalized citizens of Great Britain. It then explains U.S. naturalization laws and processes, which began in 1790, and describes the records that resulted from them. It considers the naturalization of both alien classes and individuals, and provides guidance on how to find an ancestor’s records, whether the naturalization occurred in a municipal, state or federal court. Pertinent research tools such as Internet sites, manuals and indexes are all demonstrated.
Introduction to DNA
Blaine Bettinger
In addition to learning about Y-DNA and mtDNA, we’ll learn about the newest tool available to genealogists, autosomal DNA. Genealogists can use these tools together with traditional research to explore their ancient ancestry, find genetic relatives, and break through brick walls. 
Your Next Step: Write
Your Family History
Steve Szabados
Were your ancestors royalty or members of the working class? Were they rich or barely surviving? Whoever they were, we need to preserve their memory. The program will discuss a process and format that makes the transformation of your research efforts to writing a family history easier. Your information will “come alive.” If we do not preserve the memories and stories of our ancestors for future generations, who will?
Finding Photos of Your Ancestors
Online & Offline
Katherine R. Willson
If you haven’t inherited photos of your ancestors, learn about the 50+ potential sources that you may have overlooked, including printed media, organizations, digital/online sources, and even distant relatives that you may not know about (with tips on initiating contact that ensures a response). 
Break (10:00 AM - 10:30 AM)
Using Original and Derivative Sources: How to Evaluate Evidence
John Philip Colletta
Finding the sources to reconstruct the lives of our ancestors is only half the challenge; the other half is understanding what those sources say. This lecture defines and discusses original and derivative sources, and explores their importance, challenges and relative reliability. One case study drawn from Only a Few Bones, a True Account of the Rolling Fork Tragedy and Its Aftermath, together with two other examples, demonstrate how to derive the full informational content from a source; the importance of knowing the origin and purpose of the source; how to analyze and correlate information in order to resolve conflicts; the difference between information and evidence; and how to test hypotheses to learn the true facts for each ancestor. It culminates in an understanding of the “Genealogical Proof Standard.” 
Using Autosomal DNA to
Explore Your Ancestry
Blaine Bettinger
For years, genealogists have focused on Y-DNA and mtDNA, unable to access the wealth of information in the remainder of their DNA. At long last, new autosomal DNA tests reveal this hidden information. Genealogists can use autosomal DNA for ethnicity estimates, finding long-lost cousins, and examining specific genealogical problems. 
Beyond the Basics: Hints to
Solve Your Brick Walls
Steve Szabados
The program reviews various search tips that have proven successful for finding those difficult documents. Learn techniques to solve your brick walls and overcome problems with the spelling of names.
Filling Out Your Family Tree
Without Breaking the Bank
Katherine R. Willson
There are so many paid subscription sites for genealogy on the internet, but there are twice as many sites providing the same information at little or no cost! Learn how to trace your family tree without "breaking the bank" by using free online sites, local resources, inter-library loans and more.
Luncheon served on the Main floor
Serving a Hot Buffet lunch with something for everyone.  We have two dining rooms,
please sit anywhere in your designated dining room (check your name tag.)
Door prizes and raffle winners announced!
After lunch please visit and support our exhibitors.  
Our National Archives: The Astounding Institution and How to Use It 
John Philip Colletta
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) encompasses many buildings across the country. It holds millions of records that document American families from 1776 through the 20th century. This lecture takes the fear and mystery out of using such an enormous repository. It explains how NARA is organized and how archival research differs from library research. It describes the finding aids that help researchers access what they need in NARA’s universe of historical materials. Three research cases demonstrate how military, legislative and judicial records are accessed at Archives I in Washington, D.C., and NARA’s regional archives.
Using Autosomal DNA for
18th and 19th Century Mysteries
Blaine Bettinger
Even though our 18th and 19th century ancestors have been dead for decades, their DNA still survives in their descendants. Learn how to use autosomal DNA to attack and potentially solve genealogical mysteries and brick walls for ancestors who were born or lived in the 1800’s, 1700’s, and beyond. Together we’ll also examine some of the ways that leaders in the field have attacked or solved their 18th and 19th century mysteries using autosomal DNA. 
Polish Immigration to America -
When, Where, Why and How
Steve Szabados
When did your Polish ancestors immigrate, where did they leave, why did they leave, how did they get here? These are questions we all hope to find the answers. This presentation studies the history of Poland and gives some insights to possible answers to the questions about your ancestors' immigration. All three Polish partitions are covered, and the material will hopefully clear up your confusion why your Polish ancestors listed that they were born in other countries on early U.S. documents. 
What Stories are You Missing from the State & Federal Census Info?
Katherine R. Willson
Most genealogists use completed State and Federal Census forms when beginning their family tree research, but are you overlooking those "untold stories" that are often revealed to us in the sometimes-overlooked or ignored portions of these census forms? Learn how to put together the stories that make up the "dash" of your ancestors' lives by digging deeper into census research. Handouts provided.
Break (2:00 PM - 2:30 PM)
State Archives: What They Are and
How to Use Them
John Philip Colletta
State archives hold vast collections of materials that document the lives and activities of the state’s residents. Each state’s archive is tied organizationally to the state library, and sometimes to historic sites and museums. These repositories hold population censuses, vital records, land transactions, public school, hospital and other institutional records, newspapers, manuscript and cartographic collections, cemetery information, military service and pension records, naturalization and other court records, and more. This lecture examines the websites of select state archives from the north, west, east and south, displaying the wealth of genealogical and biographical resources they contain. It also explores the electronic and paper finding aids that help family historians access the treasures in state archives.
Advanced Third-Party Tools
Blaine Bettinger
We will examine tools like Phasing, Matching Segment Search, Lazarus, and Triangulation tools offered by GEDmatch, DNAGedcom, and others. These tools are almost always excluded from typical third-party tool lectures. 
Polish Genealogy - Four Steps to Successful Research
Steve Szabados
Where do you start your research of your Polish Ancestors? This presentation starts at the beginning with a brief summary of the border changes in Polish history. Then Steve will discuss the records that are available in both the US and Poland and where to find them. The last part of the presentation will cover how to interpret the documents.
They Didn't All Come Through
Ellis Island!
Finding and Analyzing Passenger Lists
Katherine R. Willson
If as many ancestors came through Ellis Island as families are led to believe, the island would have sunk! Learn about the multiple points of departure from Europe, ports of entry into the U.S., how to find passenger records online, and how to analyze these lists as a means of filling in your ancestors' life stories.
Conference Speakers
Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D., is an intellectual property attorney by day and a DNA specialist by night. In 2007 he started The Genetic Genealogist (www.thegeneticgenealogist.com), one of the earliest blogs on the topic. Dr. Bettinger has been interviewed and quoted on personal genomics topics in Newsweek, New Scientist, Wired, and others. He is the author of The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy, and co-author with Debbie Parker Wayne of the award-winning Genetic Genealogy in Practice, the world’s first genetic genealogy workbook.
John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., is a nationally known speaker with a well-deserved reputation for warmth, wit and a great sense of humor. A faculty member of the Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research (University of Georgia, Athens) and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy since 1995, he has also lectured for Boston University’s family history program. Besides addressing groups across the country, Dr. Colletta lectures regularly at national NGS and FGS conferences, where he has delivered banquet talks and keynote addresses. He has authored many articles, two manuals, They Came in Ships, a Guide to Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor's Arrival Record and Finding Italian Roots, the Complete Guide for Americans, and a narrative family history with instruction, Only a Few Bones. In 2014, The Teaching Company released Dr. Colletta’s 15-lesson course, “Discovering Your Roots,” as one of their “Great Courses” on DVD, CD and streaming.
Steve Szabados has given numerous presentations to groups in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and wants to share his passion for Family History.  He is a member of the Illinois State Genealogical Society, Polish Genealogical Society of America, and also a genealogy volunteer at the Arlington Heights Library. He is a columnist for the Polish American Journal and has written several books on genealogy which include: Polish Genealogy, Polish Immigration to America and Write Your Family History.
Katherine R. Willson of Ann Arbor, MI is a highly acclaimed and professionally trained national public speaker. Her passion for genealogy combined with practical and creative strategies keeps her audience fully engaged and actively participating in these energetic, entertaining presentations.
Conference Exhibitors
Note:  list will be updated as Exhibitors register.
Door Prizes
(Check back for updates)
Provided by DCGS:  Genealogy Classes (4 draws) Provided by DCGS:  3-Gen Name Tags (5-draws)
Provided by Carole Magnuson: Genealogy Goodies (notebook, file organizer, writing tips) Provided by Carole Magnuson: The Portable Genealogist Quick Sheets
Provided by Carole Magnuson: DNA Quick Sheets (Genetic Basics, Organize &Gedmatch) Provided by Carole Magnuson: DNA Quick Sheets (Get Started, Organize &Gedmatch)
Provided by Rose Lehne: Legacy Family Tree Software & User Guide Provided by Midwest Genealogy Center of Mid-Continent Public Library: Travel mugs
Provided by ArkivDigital:  3-month subscription to image database of Swedish church records and other historical records
Provided by McHenry Co IL Genealogical Society: Free registration to the MCIGS 2018 Summer Conference
Provided by Tapestree: Handcrafted copper family tree with 19 photo frame charms Provided by Fox Valley Genealogical Society: one year society membership
Provided by CAGGNI: Tote bag with 8-gig datastick + 1-yr of CAGGNI newsletters + genealogy-related book and magazine Provided by AncestorStuff.com: one Genealogy At A Glance “Immigration Research” by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, CG, MFA; One 15 generation pedigree chart
Provided by Fun Stuff for Genealogists: Goodie Bag Provided by DAR – Perrin-Wheaton Chapter: Book – My Father Was A Soldier:  Real Daughters of the American Revolution
Buffet Luncheon
A hot lunch buffet that accommodates most diets, prepared gluten free with a vegetarian choice* selected with registration.
The Menu
House salad
Grilled chicken breast with fresh mango salsa
Traditional rice pilaf
Sugar snap peas
Seasonal fresh fruit 
Sugar cookie
 Hot & cold beverages
*Grilled Mediterranean vegetable kabobs
Seating is limited. We CANNOT accommodate walk-ins.
Registration is REQUIRED.
Parking is FREE; no permits are needed.
The NIU Conference Center - Naperville is located on the south side of Diehl Road
just west of Freedom Drive across from the Hampton Inn - Naperville.  
From I-88 (East-West Tollway): Exit at the Naperville Road/Freedom Drive exit. Then head south (right, about .3 mi.) to Diehl Road, turn right (west) onto Diehl Road. Campus is almost immediately on the left, across from the Hampton Inn.
From O’Hare Airport (Approx. 25 miles from O’Hare): Exit on I-190E. Take the I-294 S exit, exit number 1D, towards Indiana. Merge onto I-294 S (portions toll). Take the I-88 W exit towards Aurora. Merge onto East/West Tollway (portions toll). Exit at the Naperville Road/Freedom Drive exit. Then head south (right, about .3 mi.) to Diehl Road, turn right (west) onto Diehl Road. Campus is almost immediately on the left, across from the Hampton Inn.
From Chicago (East) (Approx. 29 miles from downtown Chicago): From I-290, the Eisenhower Expressway, take the I-294 S/I-88 W exit, exit number 15A, on the left towards Indiana/Aurora. Merge onto East/West Tollway (portions toll). Exit at the Naperville Road/Freedom Drive exit. Then head south (right, about .3 mi.) to Diehl Road, turn right (west) onto Diehl Road. Campus is almost immediately on the left, across from the Hampton Inn.
From I-294 (Tri-State Tollway north/south): Merge onto I-88 west (East/West Tollway) towards Aurora. Exit at the Naperville Road/Freedom Drive exit. Then head south (right, about .3 mi.) to Diehl Road, turn right (west) onto Diehl Road. Campus is almost immediately on the left, across from the Hampton Inn.
From I-355 (Veterans Memorial Tollway north/south): Merge onto I-88 west (East/West Tollway) towards AuroraExit at the Naperville Road/Freedom Drive exit. Then head south (right, about .3 mi.) to Diehl Road, turn right (west) onto Diehl Road. Campus is almost immediately on the left, across from the Hampton Inn.


Naperville/Wheaton/DuPage Area
Research Resources in the Area
If you have time to research while you are in the area, check out our DCGS Research Resources page.  
The following resources are included within the previous link but worth a special mention.  
Check their websites for hours and details.
DuPage Families - Cemetery readings and tombstone photographs by our members
Wheaton Public Library - An extensive collection of genealogy material, print, online, film & fiche
Naperville Family History Center - 7500+ extended film/fiche collection plus online databases
DuPage Circuit Court - Probate records, naturalization records
DuPage County Clerk - Birth certificates (since 1879), marriage records, death certificates
DuPage Recorder of Deeds - Land records, grantor/grantee books
Lodging near NIU Conference Center
There are several hotels within walking distance from the NIU-Naperville facility. 
Please check the hotel websites for current rates, amenities, shuttle service, etc.
Ask for the NIU conference rate; compare with other special offers, like AAA or AARP, for your best rate.
Note:  hotels are suggestions for your convenience, not recommendations.
1087 E. Diehl Road, Naperville, Illinois
Amenities: Complementary in room coffee/tea, breakfast, pool, high-speed internet connection.
Transportation: Directly across the street from NIU-Naperville
1837 Centre Point Circle, Naperville, Illinois
Amenities: Complementary full hot breakfast, shuttle service within 10 miles of hotel, 
Wi-Fi, Fireside lounge, indoor pool, and fitness center.
Transportation: Directly across the street from NIU-Naperville. Shuttle available daily, 7am-10pm.
1155 E. Diehl Rd., Naperville, IL 60563
Amenities: Complementary in room coffee/tea, Wi-Fi, parking, onsite restaurant. 
Transportation: Across the street from NIU-Naperville (about 2.5 blocks for walking, shuttle available by prior arrange­ment at the front desk.)
1820 Abriter Court, Naperville, IL 60563
Amenities: Complementary in room coffee/tea, breakfast, Wi-Fi, parking. 
Transportation: Across the street from NIU-Naperville (about 3 blocks for walking, a shuttle is available by prior arrange­ment at the front desk.)
1801 N. Naper Blvd., Naperville, IL 60563
Amenities: Complimentary coffee, Wi-Fi, parking, indoor pool, Fitness Fa­cility, Handicap Accessible. 
Transportation: Across the street from NIU-Naperville (.7 mi), local shuttle service available
3003 Corporate West Drive, Naperville, IL 60563
Amenities: Restaurant, indoor pools, fitness facility, Lounge, Spa, Handicap Accessible, Modem/Data Port Connection
Transportation: About 1.5 miles, local shuttle service available by prior arrange­ment at the front desk
1400 Corporetum Dr., Lisle, IL 60532
Amenities: Indoor pools, Fitness Facility, Bar, Handicap Accessible, Modem/Data Port Connection
Transportation: About 3.5 miles, local shuttle service available.
Visit Naperville