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March 9, 2024 - DCGS 46th Annual Conference

Our conference on March 9, 2024, will have a full day of program sessions onsite at the NIU Conference Center, Naperville, IL. We will offer the program sessions in three tracks, each with four sessions. You choose from 12 topics. There are topics for everyone, beginners to advanced.

The Attendee conference fee includes lunch, chances to win door prizes, and purchased raffle tickets.

Early Bird deadline is February 10, 2024

The Attendee conference fee, $60 for DCGS members, $70 for non-members, includes 12 sessions to choose from, a hot buffet lunch, and chances to win door prizes. There will be great raffle items and genealogists' favorite exhibitors.

You will receive a confirmation when payment is received. Please keep it for your records; if you do not receive a confirmation within 14 days of remitting payment, please contact us ASAP at conference@dcgs.org.

No refunds allowed after February 10, 2024.

Online registration closes on February 24, 2024 or when we reach capacity, whichever comes first.

Advanced online registration is required, we cannot accommodate walk-ins. When you register online, you'll have the option to pay by credit card or print an invoice to remit by mail with your check. Confirmation emails are sent when payment is received. You can expect to receive the syllabus and additional details the week of March 4, 2024.

Only registered conference attendees are invited to visit our exhibitors.

Public Health Policy   

Revised 8 January 2023

The DuPage County Genealogical Society has followed and will continue to follow, the requirements of the State of Illinois and the DuPage County Health Department. 

Mask-wearing in our events is encouraged but will be optional in the public areas and the lunchroom. Some speakers may require that their attendees wear a mask, or they will not be able to attend their session. Please see the conference day schedule for details.

As we’ve learned, this very well may change in the future. We will continue to follow the state and local guidance and adapt our procedures accordingly. If you have any questions, please contact us at webcoordinator@dcgs.org.

Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are very important and help the Conference run smoothly. We are looking for volunteers in several areas:

  • Planning - Join the Conference Planning Committee to help with planning and coordinating the upcoming conference.
  • Facilitators - Introduce a speaker of their choice or of a lecture they intend to attend. Assist the speaker, if necessary, and let the speaker know when their time is almost up to help keep the speaker on schedule.
  • Guides - Welcome attendees during morning check-in and guide attendees to meeting rooms, lunch, and the exhibitor’s tables
  • Logistics - Help set up on Friday and take down on Saturday.

If you are interested in helping, please indicate your interest when you register or contact Rhea Hunter at webcoordinator@dcgs.org and indicate your preferences.


 Time  Title/Speaker  Description
 7:30 a.m.

Registration Check-In

Browse the Exhibitors

 Java & Juice available for purchase at the Arbor Vitae cafe

 9 a.m.


The First Frontiersmen: The Scots-Irish

Maureen Brady

Some refer to them as Ulster Scots, others as Scots-Irish. Whatever their name, they are the U. S. descendants of those who were “planted” in the Ulster province of Ireland in the 17th century and subsequently immigrated to the American frontier. Their famous sons include Daniel Boone and Andrew Jackson, and we see their cultural influence in square dancing and country music. This presentation will review the history of the Scots-Irish and suggest resources for researching their family histories.

9 a.m.


Wide World of Passports

Deb Dudek

Look beyond passports issued by the United States government! In this lecture, we'll examine an array of passports from different countries and time periods, and how to incorporate this information into your genealogical research. Be prepared to dig through online and traditional archives to break through your toughest brick walls! 

9 a.m.


You Are Not Alone: Next Steps for Beginning Genealogists

Laura Kovarik

Have you put your family name into Ancestry or Google? Maybe you took a DNA test, got the results, and now don't know what to do. This program will show the beginner how to take those next steps to get their research organized and moving forward using free resources.
 10 a.m.  Break Browse the Exhibitors, mingle with fellow genealogists

10:30 a.m.


The Family History Research “Circle”: The Internet, FamilySearch Centers, Social Networks, Libraries, and On-Site Research

Maureen Brady

Today’s family history researcher has access to a wide variety of resources, including the Internet, libraries, and local repositories – the Family History Research “Circle”. Using actual research examples, Maureen Brady will demonstrate how a successful research strategy can be developed by building on the strengths of each part of the “circle”.

10:30 a.m.


What’s the Buzz About BillionGraves?

Deb Dudek

BillionGraves is contending to be the top cemetery search site on the web. Toting a hot new app and an easy interface, BillionGraves is making cemetery transcription projects and research information more accessible to tech-friendly users. Get a look at this site as a researcher, transcriber, and in-the-field data gatherer.

10:30 a.m.


They Lived Where? Tips for Researching Locations

Laura Kovarik

Once you have identified the location for a family event, you have an opening to create a rich, detailed life portrait for your ancestor. Location research allows genealogists to learn the details surrounding their family, helping to give context and understanding to their lives. We will look at location research across time, learning what to do when you recognize the place and especially when you don’t!

 11:30 a.m.


Luncheon served on the Main floor

Lunch will be a hot buffet: Caesar salad, stuffed shells, and Italian marinated grilled chicken.

Tables are not assigned or reserved. Door prizes and raffle winners announced after lunch.

Please visit and support our exhibitors.  

1 p.m.


Optimizing Your Searches on the Internet – It’s More Than Ancestry and FamilySearch®

Maureen Brady

Learn how your online research can be “jump started”, or significantly expanded, by utilizing Cyndi’s List, Chronicling America, Find My Past, Fold3, and other “broad coverage” websites.

1 p.m.


War of 1812 – Researching ‘Second Revolution’ Ancestors

Deb Dudek

Discover the stories and service of the military men of America's 'Second Revolution'. Reaching beyond federal pension records, this lecture examines a range of resources spanning military registers, navy accounts, and prisoner of war records.

1 p.m.


It’s Hard to Be Humble: The Joys of Norwegian Research

Laura Kovarik

Learn to love those patronymic names! Using case studies, review ways to trace your Norwegian ancestors beginning in America and then back to Norway. Online resources will be highlighted.
 2 p.m.  Break Browse the Exhibitors, mingle with fellow genealogists

2:30 p.m.


 Researching Canadian Records

Maureen Brady

Our neighbor to the north was often the “gateway” for U. S. bound immigrants. Some families may have lived in Canada for a generation or two before continuing on to the U. S. This presentation will include a brief overview of Canadian history and immigration, and a review of the major record sources for Canada and the best websites to locate those records.

2:30 p.m.


Discovering your UK/Irish Roots Online: Websites and Resources for English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish Ancestry

Deb Dudek

There is no such thing as "one stop genealogy shopping"! This program will lead you through the resources and search techniques for the three big UK and Irish databases: FindMyPast, ScotlandsPeople and RootsIreland. Learn what's new on these databases, how you can apply them to your research and how privacy and information rights impact your quest for records.

2:30 p.m.


The Old College Try: Using College Archives in Genealogical Research

Laura Kovarik

College archives contain a number of record sets that can be useful for any genealogist. Learn about the types of records and how to identify collections. A case study of one student will demonstrate the trove of details discovered.


Maureen Brady

 Maureen Brady, a former school librarian and computer educator, has almost forty years experience with family history research. She has traced her Scottish roots back to the end of the 17th century and beyond, and has also pursued Chicago and the Midwest, the trans-Allegheny U.S., Quebec, Irish and Swedish research. Maureen has made numerous presentations to genealogical societies, libraries, conferences and workshops throughout the U. S., as well as presenting for the Brigham Young University Library family history webinar series. She is a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, as well as a life member of the Aberdeen and Northeast Scotland Family History Society, the Chicago Genealogical Society, the Ohio Genealogy Society and the McHenry County (Illinois) Genealogical Society. She is also active in the British Interest Group of Wisconsin & Illinois (BIGWILL), the Chicago Scots Genealogical Group, the Lake County (Illinois) Genealogical Society, the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society and the Kentucky Genealogical Society.

Deb Dudek

Debra M. Dudek is Head of Adult and Teen Services at the Fountaindale Public Library District in Bolingbrook, IL. She holds a post graduate certificate in Genealogical, Palaeographic & Heraldic Studies from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. Ms. Dudek is the Book Review Editor of the Illinois State Genealogical Society, a board member of the Illinois State Historical Society, and the author of the World War I Research Guide: Tracing American Military and Non-Combatant Ancestors.

Laura Kovarik

Laura Kovarik has been involved in genealogy for more than thirty years, including leadership, educational, and committee positions at the national, state, and local levels. Laura has enhanced her genealogical education through conferences, institutes, and study groups. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society, the Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS), the Norwegian American Genealogical Center, and other local genealogical and historical societies. Her writing has appeared in Fox Tales and The Quarterly.

Laura has been providing educational opportunities for genealogists for almost twenty years. She began assisting her local genealogical society with the annual conference including co-chairing the event. Laura’s educational efforts as the ISGS education chair saw her craft programming for the state society, such as their webinar series and new small-group opportunities covering an array of topics. Laura has continued to focus on small group education at the local level, creating content and moderating a Family Tree Special Interest group for Fox Valley Genealogical Society.

As a professional genealogist, Laura’s work includes offering in-person and virtual presentations and workshops, and one-to-one coaching. Assisting with organizing and digitizing family archives is also a major focus of her work. Laura’s genealogical areas of concentration include, the 1950 US Census, Norwegian research, newspapers, and incorporating ephemera into genealogical research. Her current project is using ephemera to document the social life and labor union ties of an ancestor in the late 1880s Chicago.


A hot buffet lunch is included in most tickets, and includes:

  • Caesar Salad with Black Peppercorns, Pecorino Romano & Garlic Croutons with Creamy Caesar Dressing
  • Jumbo Stuffed Shells with Basil Marinara
  • Italian Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast Grilled Vegetable Mélange
  • Baby Brioche Rolls & Butter 
  • Assorted cookies

If you have dietary restrictions that aren't met by this menu, please note them in your registration.

Conference Exhibitors  Note:  The list will be updated as Exhibitors register. 

    The following Exhibitors are unable to join us in person, but have offered coupon codes or free trials to attendees, which will be sent in an email after the conference.

    • MyHeritage
    • GenealogyBank
    • Progeny Genealogy

    Only registered conference attendees are invited to visit our Exhibitors.

    If you wish to register as an exhibitor, select one of the Exhibitor ticket options when you register.

    If you have questions, email webdcgs60187@gmail.com.

    Raffle Prizes  check back for updates

    • Find My Past 1-year Subscription

    • Genealogy Bank 1-year Subscription
    • My Heritage 1-year Complete Plan
    • Legacy Family Tree Webinars 1-year Membership
    • Legacy Family Tree Deluxe Software (download edition)

    Door Prizes  The final list will be available at the door prize tables.

    • ArkiDigital - 3-month subscription
    • Arphax - 3-month subscription to History-Geo
    • CAGGNI - 1-year Subscription
    • Carole Magnuson - DNA 3 Cheat Sheets
    • Carole Magnuson - Only a Few Bones by John Coletta
    • Carole Magnuson - Publishing a Biography by Dina C. Carson + Compiling a Bibliography & Additional Abbreviations & Acronyms
    • DuPage County Genealogical Society - 3-Gen Name Tags (5)
    • DuPage County Genealogical Society - Naturalization Books (2)
    • Fountaindale Public Library - Book, Graceland Cemetery by Adam Selzer
    • Fun Stuff for Genealogists. - Genealogy “Goodie Bag”
    • Heartland Historic Research - Route 66- The Mother Road
    • McHenry County Gen Soc - 1-Year Membership
    • Michiana History Publications - $5.00 off any purchase
    • Norwegian American Genealogical Center - Book “Olive Jensen Nordby: A Retrospective of her Art”
    • Norwegian American Genealogical Center - Book “Research Guide for Norwegian Genealogy"
    • Perrin-Wheaton Chapter NSDAR - Book, "A Girl Named Samson" by Amy Harmon
    • Progeny Genealogy - Charting Companion software (available in Windows or Mac)
    • Rita Schneider - 1872 Atlas of McHenry County Reproduction Copy - Oversize
    • Rita Schneider - A Graveyard Preservation Primer by Lynette Strangstod
    • Rita Schneider - Book, Illinois in the Civil War” by Victor Hicken
    • Tinley Moraine Genealogists - 1-year membership

      Exclusive Deals 

      • GenealogyBank - Coupon code for 44% discount for annual subscriptions
      • MyHeritage - 5-page digital download
      • Progeny Genealogy - Coupon code for 30% discount on Charting Companion, Genelines 3, Map My Family Tree, and 3D Family Tree

      See Bonus Content Section of Syllabus


        Northern Illinois University, NIU-Naperville is located at 1120 E. Diehl Road, Naperville, IL 60563


        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 and 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 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.

        The DuPage County Genealogical Society is an incorporated, 501(C)(3) not-for-profit organization. Our focus is on providing education for genealogists and assisting in preserving and making available local records of genealogical interest. Our mailing address is P. O. Box 3, Wheaton, IL, 60187.  

        Copyright 2023 DuPage County Genealogical Society

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