DuPage County Genealogical Society
DuPage County Genealogical Society
Annual Conference
Saturday March 9, 2019
NIU Conference Center 
1120 E. Diehl Rd. Naperville, IL
Confirmation emails are sent within 10 days of registration. 
You can expect to receive the syllabus
and additional details after March 3, 2019.
We reserve the right to change, cancel or modify details without prior notification or consent.
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 focused on European research, with military, 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! 
  • F. Warren Bittner    
  • Daniel Earl   
  • Thomas MacEntee   
  • Michael L. Strauss   
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 9, 2019. 
The conference fee, $60 for DCGS members, $70 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. Contact registrar@dcgs.org.
Our conference syllabus will be e-mailed to you the week of the conference.
The fee increases to $75, no mail-in registrations accepted and no refunds allowed after February 9, 2019. Online registration closes on March 1, 2019 or when we reach capacity, whichever comes first.
Registration is required, we cannot accommodate walk-ins. Only registered conference attendees are invited to visit our exhibitors.


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
Indirect Evidence:
A Big City Case Study
F. Warren Bittner
A case study in America’s biggest city; learn to find a needle in a haystack and maneuver in urban research.
Cemeteries and Ancestors:
Leave No Stone Unturned
Daniel Earl
This lecture is designed for new and intermediate researchers who want to learn more about cemeteries and cemetery research. This course will cover the history of cemeteries (and why that is important to know!) as well as cover information on cemetery records and where and how to find them. The presenter will use real examples of a variety of different types of cemetery records as well as how to extract information from the clues around them in a cemetery. 
Did I Get Everything?
Creating a Research Checklist
Thomas MacEntee
Are you really done with researching that ancestor? Many genealogists think they have a brick wall, when, in fact, they just haven’t done a “reasonably exhaustive search.” Learn how to assemble a genealogy research checklist to take your genealogy to the next level.
Revolutionary War Genealogical Research
Michael L. Strauss
This conflict arose over several years of tension between England and their North American colonies under the leadership of its local government. Tension escalated to violence when in 1775 shots were fired at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts setting off an armed conflict that would by 1783 gain our Independence from England. This lecture will focus on a variety of genealogical and historical materials covering the War for Independence. Some of the genealogical records that will be covered will include; compiled service records, pensions, and bounty land. Additional materials covering local militia lists and rolls, Navy and Marine Corps records, and the Continental Congress papers will be examined. After the Revolutionary War ended officially in 1783, smaller armed conflicts including Shay’s Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion will be studied for their historical impact as a result of the end of the war. Genealogists will find access to these materials both online and onsite at local repositories; this lecture will pay close attention to both research avenues.
Break (10:00 AM - 10:30 AM)
Exhausting Research to Find an Impossible Immigrant
F. Warren Bittner
See how the principle of “Reasonably Exhaustive Research” is used to find a “brick wall” immigrant family despite repeated dead ends and misleading clues.
Every Stone Tells a Story: The Cleaning and Care of Gravestones
Daniel Earl
We've all seen dirty damaged headstones in need of repair. Even more recent headstones can be in need of a good cleaning. This presentation is designed to be a primer to debunk common myths and to help participants to learn proper cleaning techniques that have been approved by the Federal Government for the cleaning and care of veteran's headstones. Additionally, participants will learn the basics of cemetery safety.
Self-Publishing for Genealogists
and Genealogy Societies
Thomas MacEntee
Advances in recent technology have made it possible to no longer be tied to a publishing house or printer for your next genealogy book. Self-publishing puts control over the entire process in the hands of the genealogist and the genealogical society to reach a wider audience at a reasonable price. There are many benefits to self-publishing but you should know the difference between digital and print and what your audience wants.
Free Trade and Sailors Rights: Genealogical Research in
the War of 1812
Michael L. Strauss
The War of 1812 often called “The Forgotten War” was our second domestic conflict with England. This lecture will begin with the causes that brought the United States into military conflict a second time with England. Those records of genealogical importance including Compiled Service Records, Pensions, Bounty Land and other related material will be examined to place your ancestors into the pages of history. Also included are those records that relate to the United States Navy, Marines, and the Privateers that harassed the British shipping. This lecture concludes with a practical exercise meant to critically examine all of the documents and resources discussed in the lecture.
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.  
Introduction to German Church Books
F. Warren Bittner
Learn the basic layout of Catholic and Protestant Records. See examples of baptismal, marriage, death, and confirmation entries. Learn to recognize the essential information.
Funeral Homes and Family History:
They Are Dying to Meet You
Daniel Earl
Most genealogists know to look in a cemetery to find their ancestors, but what about the funeral home? Funeral home records can provide loads of genealogically rich information. This presentation will teach participants what types of records are typically found in funeral homes, how to locate these resources online and "in the field", as well as provide real life examples of how to search for ancillary clues in funeral home records.
They’re Alive: Searching for
Living Persons
Thomas MacEntee
Genealogists have many reasons to locate living relatives – from connecting with long lost cousins to performing collateral searches to break down brick walls.  Learn the most effective ways to find living people using Internet search engines and resources.
Refugees, Claims and Conscriptions: Researching Your Ancestors
during the Reconstruction Era
Michael L. Strauss
With the end of the Civil War in 1865 the United States turned to mend the sectional differences that had separated our country and caused four years of bloody war. This new era known to historians as the Reconstruction Era ran from 1865-1876 with Federal troops withdrawing from the South. Discover many little known and used military and civilian genealogical records and resources that have come from this unique period of history. Records from the Freedman’s Bureau to the Amnesty Papers are only a small portion of what genealogy records exist today. Find branches on your family tree that have been shrouded in mystery.
Break (2:00 PM - 2:30 PM)
Meyer’s Gazetteer: Gateway to Germany
F. Warren Bittner
See the layout and structure of the indispensable Meyer’s Gazetteer. Learn how to interpret its many abbreviations and why understanding levels of jurisdiction is essential.
Monumental Metal: White Bronze
Grave-markers in the Mid-West
Daniel Earl
Anyone who has spent time in a cemetery has seen a metal grave-marker. These markers are not only unique in appearance, but they offer a unique access into the lives of our ancestors. This presentation will look at various examples of white bronze monuments in the Mid-West and the different records that are associated with the Monumental Bronze Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut; a company that held a virtual monopoly during the height of the white bronze craze from the 1880s to the turn of the last century.
What’s Been Done: Using Someone Else’s Genealogy Research
Thomas MacEntee
Whether you are new to genealogy or you’ve been working on your family history for years, incorporating the research of others can always be tricky. Here’s how to develop a proven strategy to benefit from the work of other genealogists.
The Great War: Researching Your
World War I Ancestors
Michael L. Strauss
Called the “Great War” fought between 1914 and 1918. The beginning of this global conflict had the United States having officially declaring her neutrality; while citizens back home got caught up with events on the world stage. Thousands of American’s crossed the border to fight for Canada along with uneasy tensions with Mexico war became inevitable for the United States. On April 6, 1917 President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany and to mobilize the resources of the United States. Many genealogical sources share the feeling, attitudes along with the reactions of our Government by searching for our ancestor’s connection in what was to be called the “War to End all Wars”. 
Conference Speakers
F. Warren Bittner, CG, holds a master’s degree in history and has lectured widely on Germanic research topics. His article, “Without Land, Occupation, Rights, or Marriage Privilege: The Büttner family from Germany to America,” won the National Genealogical Society Award for Excellence in 2012. He is a former German Collection Manager at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. He has taught week-long intensive German research courses at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research in Athens, Georgia, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.
Daniel Earl, got his start in family history at age 10 when his father took him to the grave of his great-grandfather; that event sparked a lifetime of interest in family history. He has spent the last 25 years researching his own family history and helping others make history a part of their story. He is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Genealogical Speakers Guild, the Association of Gravestone Studies, and is a member of numerous other societies. He is married to a remarkably patient woman, has six kids, and is the owner of the world's laziest cat.

Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional based in the United States who is also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. He started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. Thomas’ new site, Genealogy Bargains, launched in March 2017, is now his main focus. Genealogy Bargains posts daily deals and coupons on products such as AncestryDNA, 23andMe, genealogy books and webinars.

Michael L. Strauss, AG, is a professional Accredited Genealogist and a nationally recognized genealogical speaker. A native of Pennsylvania and a resident of Utah, he has been employed as a Forensic Investigator for 25 years. Strauss has a BA in History and is a United States Coast Guard veteran. He is also a qualified expert witness in court in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Michael is featured on Lisa Louise Cooke's Genealogy Gems with his monthly segment of "Military Minutes" and is a faculty member at SLIG, GRIP, and IGHR.
Conference Exhibitors
Note:  list will be updated as Exhibitors register.
Only registered conference attendees are invited to visit our Exhibitors.
Door Prizes
(Check back for updates)
Provided by DCGS:  Genealogy Classes  Provided by DCGS:  3-Gen Name Tags 
Buffet Luncheon
A hot lunch buffet that accommodates most diets, prepared gluten free with
vegetarian choice* selected with registration.
The Menu
salad with mixed greens, oranges and strawberries
chicken piccata
garlic herb roasted potatoes
steamed vegetable melange
rolls and butter 
assorted brownies and bar cookies
 hot & cold beverages
*vegetarian stuffed shells
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