Everyone from novice genealogists to hobbyists to people interested in becoming professional researchers will find something of value at the Illinois State Genealogical Society’s (ISGS) 2012 Fall Conference scheduled for Oct. 19 and 20 at the Best Western Clock Tower Resort & Conference Center in Rockford.
“There’s something for everyone,” says Stephanie Carbonetti, ISGS Fall Conference Co-Chair. “We want to provide a conference for all levels of interest, whether it’s someone who hasn’t started researching their ancestors yet and doesn’t know where to begin, to people just wanting to hone up on their research skills. There’s so much to choose from!”
This year’s conference, entitled “Family History in Profile,” is being co-hosted by the Winnebago & Boone Counties Genealogical Society and will feature nine nationally and regionally known genealogy research experts who will lead more than 15 workshops on such topics as “Breaking Through Brick Walls,” “Facebook for Genealogists,” “Our National Archives,” and “Discovering the Real Story of Your Immigrant Ancestors.”
Carbonetti says this year’s conference also will include a day-long workshop on Friday for young people interested in genealogy. First through fourth-graders will meet from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and fifth through twelfth-graders from 1 to 4 p.m.
“If we can spark an interest in a young person, then they will carry it all through their life,” she adds. “When young people do family research, they have the benefit of being able to talk with older members of their family who are still alive and who can provide them with valuable information.”
Scheduled presenters include John Philip Colletta, PhD, a Washington, D.C.-based genealogy lecturer who has worked at the Library of Congress, taught workshops at the National Archives, and is a faculty member of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University; Thomas MacEntee, Chicago, organizer of the 2,000+ member GeneaBloggers, lecturer and teacher of online webinars; Dr. Daniel Hubbard, a former particle physicist who owns Personal Past, which focuses on American, Canadian and Swedish records; Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, trustee and treasurer of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, and a full-time professional researcher specializing in Chicago and Cook County records.
Other presenters are Dr. Gary K. Hargis, past president of the ISGS, president of the Fox Valley Genealogical Society in Naperville, and director of the Genealogical Institute of Mid-America; Oriene Springstroh, founder and first president of the Fox Valley Genealogical Society, and past editor of the ISGS “Quarterly” magazine; Larry Pepper, owner of PepperPhotograph.com and an expert on restoration of old photos; Dave McDonald, director of the National Genealogical Society and president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists whose research focuses on the Midwest and Plains states, New England, the UK and Germanic Europe; and Kathy Carey, a district director and past Illinois state registrar and organizing secretary for the Daughters of the American Revolution, and a volunteer genealogist.
Carbonetti says the ISGS holds these conferences annually at different locations around the state in part to provide information and generate an interest in the people who helped establish and develop Illinois, and to encourage people to seek, preserve and make Illinois family history data available.
Enrollment for the Youth Workshops is limited. Special early registration pricing for the conference is available. To register for the conference or the Youth Workshops, to download registration forms, or to get more information, visit the ISGS website at www.ilgensoc.org