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The FVGS holds 9 monthly general meetings on the 2nd Thursday, September through June (except December) at 7:30 PM in the Naperville Municipal Center (NMC), 400 South Eagle, Naperville, Illinois. Be sure to park in the lower level parking area for easy building access. Here’s a map to locate the Naperville Municipal Center (i.e. Naperville City Hall). Enter the lower level parking from either Eagle Street or Webster Street.


The FVGS extends a cordial welcome to newcomers to come visit our meetings and consider joining our Society.  New exciting contacts maybe made and new important information obtained during the informal socializing after the general meetings. Come meet new friends!


January 9 – Show & Tell by FVGS Members, NMC Room B

All are welcome to share family history artifacts and/or stories with other genealogy enthusiasts at our ‘Show & Tell’ event. This is a great time to learn about the stories and discoveries of fellow family historians.

February 13 – Read All About It! Newspapers as Genealogical Resource by Caron Primas Brennan, NMC Room B

Learn how to find and use newspapers to find information about your ancestors as well as the times they lived in. Some of the items to be found in newspapers include obituaries, marriage and engagement announcements, birth announcements, legal cases, and ship passage information. We will learn how to find newspapers online and in libraries and archives and cite your sources.

Caron Primas Brennan has been speaking at libraries and genealogical societies for over ten years. A 6th grade school project got her interested in researching her own family tree. Caron belongs to the Genealogical Speakers Guild and is a Professional Member of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She is currently Society Liaison for the Illinois State Genealogical Society; Facilitator for the Chicago Region of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and Web Master for the Chicago Genealogical Society. She previously held Board positions at the Illinois State Genealogical Society, the Chicago Genealogical Society and CAGGNI (the Computer-Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois). Caron Primas Brennan blogs as Your Cousin Caron.

March 12 – CANCELED – Writers Series 1: Discussion on Writing Memoirs and Family Stories with Author Barbara Brabec, NMC Lower Level Lunchroom

This discussion, facilitated by local author Barbara Brabec, will kick-off our “Writers Series”, which includes programs on April 9th and May 14th. This discussion will also share knowledge acquired at our FVGS writers’ groups.

Barbara Brabec gained recognition as one of North America’s best-known home-business writers and speakers. Two of her eight trade books–Creative Cash and Homemade Money–were decades-long best sellers and classics in their individual fields. She reinvented herself on the Web to move in new directions as a book manuscript editor and author’s consultant. The publication of The Drummer Drives! in 2010 launched her as a memoirist and storyteller, and she has now published her second biography and memoir, Marcella’s Secret Dreams and Stories. She particularly enjoys consulting with first-time authors to help them successfully self-publish a memoir or any other book dear to their heart.

April 9 – CANCELED – Writers Series 2: Creating a Coffee-Table Style Family History Book by Michelle Bray Wilson, NMC Room B

Michelle has created two print-on-demand family history books. The books are in full color, and chock full of photos, documents, newspaper clips, genealogy charts and other family artifacts. Learn how to put together a beautifully formatted book, how to print copies at a very reasonable price, and how to publish and make your book available to others. Michelle Bray Wilson has been active in the genealogy community for over 10 years. She speaks throughout the Midwest. She is a former president of CAGGNI, the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois.

May 14 – Writers Series 3: Your Next Step: Write Your Family History by Stephen Szabados, WEBINAR (Register NOW)

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? Stephen Szabados is a lecturer and author who has given numerous programs to genealogy groups and libraries. He is the author of over ten genealogy books and over fifteen family histories. He is also a contributing editor for the Polish American Journal. He has a passion to share his love of family history and his courses cover the methods that he has found success in his twenty years of research experience.

June 11 – The Latest on Cook County Vital Records Online by Daniel E. Niemiec, Location TBD

The acquiring of Cook County Vital Records has changed quite a bit in the past few years, at both the Cook County web site, and on FamilySearch.org. Dan Niemiec, genealogy columnist, will explain the process of getting your copies of Cook County birth, marriage, and death certificates as quickly and inexpensively as possible.

Dan Niemiec has been the genealogy columnist for Fra Noi Italian American magazine for the past 16 years, and has done well over a hundred presentations to local and national genealogy groups. He specializes in Chicago and Italian research, and has traced his ancestors back to the mid 1600’s in Italy. After nearly three decades of tracing his ancestors, and their descendants, he has over 85,000 known relatives, none of whom will accept his Facebook friend requests…..

September 10 – Why Am I Stuck? 10 Solutions to Common Genealogical Brick Walls by Marsha Peterson-Maass, Location TBD

Marsha Peterson-Maass is author of the Fundamentals of Genealogy® textbook series and a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She has led numerous genealogy seminars at the Newberry Library since 2002.

October 8 – Reconstructing Susan’s Family by Anita Boyd, Location TBD

Her husband, Henry O. Wagoner, was a well-known abolitionist but almost nothing was known about Susan’s family. Join us as we traverse the United States and beyond in search of clues.
In 2006, Anita began researching her family history after watching the PBS Television Series, African-American Lives. She quickly became hooked on genealogy when she discovered one of the family secrets: her grandfather’s grandmother’s family were once enslaved by her grandfather’s grandfather’s family. When she’s not researching her Boyd Family, she researches the in-laws, friends’ brick walls, and is currently obsessed with the Abolitionist Movement.

November 12 – Pathways to Spicy Stories: An Overview of Court Records by Laura E. Chaplin, Location TBD

Laura Chaplin began researching her family history when she was inspired by a professor at college. Since then she has spent years researching, attending countless workshops, and traveling across the country on research trips. She is now the owner of Willowtree Research: Family History and Genealogy Services. Laura has a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University, and is a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild.

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