DuPage County Genealogical Society
DuPage County Genealogical Society
Annual Conference
Getting Back to Basics
Saturday March 14, 2020
NIU Conference Center 
1120 E. Diehl Rd. Naperville, IL
Conference Registration is CLOSED
We are SOLD OUT and can NOT accommodate walk-ins.
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, you choose from 16 topics.  There are topics for everyone... those just getting started or restarting, focused on migration, 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! 
  • Debbie Duay, PhD
  • Thomas W. Jones, PhD
  • Thomas MacEntee
  • Dr. David McDonald, CG   
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 14, 2020. 
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 14, 2020. Online registration closes on March 1, 2020 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 - 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
How to Find a Provable Revolutionary War Patriot in 90 Minutes or Less
Debbie Duay, PhD
This is a critical skill for all DAR and SAR prospective members, chapter registrars, lineage research chairmen and members working on supplemental applications.  Debbie presents a systematic, step-by-step process for finding the easiest-to-prove patriot "hidden" in a prospective member's lineage.  Likewise, DAR and SAR members working on supplemental applications learn how to find additional patriots in their family trees.
Finding “unfindable” Ancestors
Thomas W. Jones, PhD
The failure of common research practices to identify ancestors does not mean they are unfindable. This session will describe and demonstrate nine approaches to locating difficult- to-trace ancestors.
Evernote for Genealogists
Thomas MacEntee
Evernote is a popular way to track your research, clip website content and images and better yet: you can synchronize the notebooks across different devices and platforms. See how genealogists are using Evernote to not only organize research but to get more information from their finds on the Internet.
Ten Top Tips: Concluding a research project is hard work!
David McDonald, CG
We often make it harder by our unwillingness to wrap things up in pursuit of the PERFECT last bit of evidence... that never seems to surface! We'll talk about the tell-tale signs that mean it's time to move it along and write up your findings.
Break (10:00 AM - 10:30 AM)
Kings, Queens, Pilgrims and Tavern Keepers: Who is in Your Family Tree?
Debbie Duay, PhD
Have you ever wondered if you descend from royalty?  Perhaps you are a direct descendant of King John and the Magna Charta Barons.  Could you be one of the few that can trace their lineage back to Charlemagne?  Maybe there is a Mayflower Passenger hidden somewhere in your tree. If are you curious about some of the other lineage societies such as The Baronial Order of Magna Charta, Order of the Crown of Charlemagne, The General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Order of the Founders and Patriots of America, and Flagon and Trencher (Descendants of Colonial Tavern Keepers), then you will not want to miss this presentation.  Debbie will discuss how to find an eligible ancestor and what each society requires in terms of documentation and lineage.
Five Ways to Prove Who Your Ancestor Was (Some Reliable and Others Not Reliable)
Thomas W. Jones, PhD
Case studies will illustrate five ways—some reliable and others not—that genealogists “prove” an ancestor's identity: using information provided by others; using a single source; following a chain of evidence; correlating evidence from multiple sources; and weighing conflicting evidence. Attendees will learn how to use the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) to identify their ancestors accurately.
One Touch Genealogy Research:
How to Handle a Record Just Once
Thomas MacEntee
Participants will learn the best way to extract as much information as possible from a genealogy record on the first pass! We’ll cover how to save and name record images, how to transcribe and extract information, how to create a quick source citation and how to make sure you can find the record in the future.
Polly's Family: Coast to Coast 
in a Century
David McDonald, CG
An examination of migration patterns and paths across North America throughout the 19th Century, using the family of Polly Putnam Betts (1793-1886) as our example. This is the story of a New England-born, New York-raised woman, who raised her children in Ohio and after widowhood, following her children to the Great Plains. The Erie Canal, land warrants, a family feud... or three... cemeteries, farmsteads, late 19th century politics... this lecture ranges broadly on the types of materials we seek and utilize on our families.
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.  
Non-Military Sources
of Revolutionary War Service
Debbie Duay, PhD
Tens of thousands of colonial ancestors qualify as DAR and SAR patriots because they paid supply taxes, signed the oath of allegiance, furnished supplies or served as town officials.  This presentation is a state-by-state review of non-military sources of Revolutionary War service.
Systematically Using Autosomal DNA Test Results to Help Break Through Genealogical Brick Walls
Thomas W. Jones, PhD
A case study set in the early 1800s demonstrates methodology for using autosomal DNA test results to help solve longstanding genealogical problems.
Turning Genealogy Clues into Genealogy To Do’s
Thomas MacEntee
Participants will learn how to identify new clues in records, document new information and tuck it away for later research. In addition, we’ll focus on building better and more efficient research habits in order to stay on track and not get distracted by new clues.
English Church Records since 1538
David McDonald, CG
The religious records of the Anglican Church are critical tools for conducting effective research in England from the reign of Elizabeth I through to Victoria. We'll examine the records, the variations in them, and speak of how to thoughtfully pull information to build evidence of family relationships and build your genealogy.
Break (2:00 PM - 2:30 PM)
I Know It's There, but I Just Can't Find It! Debbie's "Secret" Search Strategies
Debbie Duay, PhD
This presentation covers key strategies for effectively searching Google, Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, Rootsweb's World Connect Project and the DAR databases.
Writing About and Citing DNA
Test Results
Thomas W. Jones, PhD
Using published case studies as examples, this session focuses on integrating—graphically and in words—DNA and documentary evidence in articles, family histories and other genealogical writing. It addresses issues of explaining, showing and citing DNA test results, living people’s lineages and DNA-related resources.
You Can Do This: Photo Organizing
and Preservation
Thomas MacEntee
Participants will learn the best ways to organize and preserve family photos including outsourcing as well as the DIY approach. Starting with quick and easy inventory and organizing tips, we’ll move on to creating a strategic plan to finally get this photo project done!
Cemetery Research: NOK, Concrete
and You Can't Go In There!
David McDonald, CG
A major expansion by a local civic authority led to the removal, after years of court litigation, of a historic, 160-plus year-old cemetery. In order to do so, that civic authority was required to bring on a genealogist to determine who suitable next of kin would be. We'll talk about Illinois law, family feuds and eminent domain in this review of work done to allow a multi-billion-dollar public works project to move forward.
Conference Speakers
Debbie Duay received her Ph.D. in Adult Education from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in 2007.  She has over 20 years of experience in genealogy, and she has taught numerous workshops throughout the United States on researching early American ancestry.  Debbie has helped over 500 people join the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), and her websites receive more than 400 visitors each day.  She is the Florida State Society DAR First Vice Regent.  She is also a State Co-Chairman of the Lineage Research Committee and a member of the America 250! Membership Task Force.  From 2014 - 2019, she served as the National Vice Chairman of Lineage Research for the French Task Force.  Debbie has served as the State Second Vice Regent, State Organizing Secretary, State Chairman of the Chapter Development and Revitalization Commission, State Chairman of the Volunteer Genealogists Committee and State Chairman of the Membership Committee.  Her husband, Ted Duay, is a past President of the Florida Society Sons of the American Revolution. Through Debbie's research skills, her husband has proven his descent from 41 Revolutionary War patriots, a Mayflower passenger, a Jamestowne ancestor, King Edward I of England and Charlemagne.  
Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
Tom has been pursuing his ancestry since 1963. For the first 25 years he was clueless about what he was trying to accomplish and how to do it. When he started climbing the genealogy learning curve he repeatedly experienced the challenges, joys and rewards of tracing ancestors reliably and of fully understanding their lives. Tom eventually became an award-winning writer, board-certified genealogist, editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, recipient of honors from genealogical organizations and author of the popular textbooks Mastering Genealogical Documentation and Mastering Genealogical Proof. Using his nearly lifelong teaching career as a springboard, he enjoys teaching at weeklong genealogy institutes, weekend seminars and local, national and international genealogy conferences. 

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get 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. Thomas has over 42 years of experience researching family history
Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. Currently Thomas shares many of his articles and videos for free at Abundant Genealogy and also runs the popular Genealogy Bargains and DNA Bargains websites!
Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.

Dr. David McDonald, a professional genealogist with more than 40 years of research experience, is a member of Ancestry ProGenealogists' research team. After a near-30-year career as a Protestant minister, he joined Ancestry in 2018. He is the vice president/president-presumptive of the Association of Professional Genealogists, past president and trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, former director of the National Genealogical Society and past editor of the Wisconsin State Genealogical Society Newsletter. Dave is on the editorial committee of the Illinois State Genealogical Society's Quarterly.
A lecturer on matters of genealogical research for more than 35 years, Dave's been course coordinator at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh and the International Society for British Genealogy & Family History. He is a frequent presenter at national, state and local genealogical societies' conferences, and has taught in the Advanced Methodology, Government Documents and Intermediate Genealogical Research tracks at the Institute for Genealogical & Historical Research.
Dave lives outside Madison, Wisconsin, with his wife, Dr. Jennet Shepherd. They have three adult children: two daughters in Seattle and a son in Madison.
Conference Exhibitors
Note:  list will be updated as Exhibitors register.
Anan Harmon NSDAR
Only registered conference attendees are invited to visit our Exhibitors.
Door Prizes
Provided by DCGS:  Genealogy Classes (4 draws)
Provided by DCGS:  3-Gen Name Tags (5 draws)
Provided by Rita Schneider: book “Atlas of the State of Ohio” reprint of 1868, large format
Provided by Rita Schneider: book “Chicago Cemetery Records 1847-1863”
Provided by Arphax Publishing Company:  3-mo subscription to HistoryGeo.com(2 draws)
Provided by Fun Stuff for Genealogists: Goodie Bag
Provided by Illinois State Genealogical Society: one-year society membership
Provided by ArkivDigital: 3-month ArkivDigital subscription
Provided by Illinois State Historical Society: book – “Illinois Place Names”
Provided by Illinois State Historical Society: ISHS Journal – Fall 2019
Provided by Illinois State Historical Society: ISHS Journal – Spring 2019
Provided by Findmypast: 1-month Ultimate British & Irish subscription
Provided by Carole Magnuson: set of 2 workbooks “Family Tree Memory Keeper” and “Story of my Life”
Provided by Carole Magnuson: set of 3 quick sheets “Citing Sources”
Provided by Carole Magnuson: Goodie Bag Tote
Provided by Legacy Family Tree: Deluxe Software
Provided by Illinois State Historical Society: two booklets, “The Great Migration – IL 1800-1850” and “Lincoln in Sculpture"
Provided by McHenry Co IL Genealogical Society: registration to the MCIGS 2020 Summer Conference on July 11
Provided by RootsMagic: version 7 Software + ebook + free upgrade to 8
Provided by Carole Magnuson: 10.2” Notebook / Tablet sleeve
Provided by The Newberry:  book “Humanities Mirror” The Newberry 1887-1987
Provided by AncestorStuff.com: quick sheet  “Italian Genealogy and One 15-generation Pedigree Chart
Provided by AncestorStuff.com: book The Pioneers by David McCullough and One 15-generation Pedigree Chart
Provided by Family Tree Tours: travel set  – Passport Wallet & Luggage Tags
Provided by Family Chart Masters: $40 Gift Certificate
Provided by Rita Schneider: book “Illustrated Historical Atlas of Indiana”, large format
Provided by McHenry Co IL Genealogical Society: one-year society membership
Provided by DAR – Perrin-Wheaton Chapter: book – Songs of America
Provided by CAGGNI: one-year society membership and a year of CAGGNI Newsletters
Provided by Naper Settlement: one day Family admission to Naper Settlement
Provided by Yankee Publishing: 1 yr. subscription to Family Tree Magazine
Provided by Genealogical Publishing Co.: 11 Quick Sheets “Irish Genealogical Research”
Provided by Genealogical Publishing Co.: German-English Genealogical Dictionary
Provided by Chicago Genealogical Society: book “Chicago Cemetery Records 1847-1863”
Provided by Maia's Books: $10 on same day purchase from Maia’s Books Provided by Fox Valley Genealogical Society: one-year society membership
Provided by Swedish American Genealogy Society: book – "Swede Hollow", plus family pass to Swedish Museum, plus one-hour of genealogy research Provided by Debra Dudek/Fountaindale Library: WWI Genealogy Research Guide
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
lemon chicken
oven-roasted red potatoes
oven-roasted seasonal vegetables
rolls and butter 
assorted brownies and bar cookies
 hot & cold beverages
*vegetarian mostaccioli marinara
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