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NOTE: Until further notice, our meetings will be held online at 7:00 PM.

The Fox Valley Genealogical Society (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.

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

WEBINAR-DNA: What Do I Do With It Now That I Have It? Working With DNA Test Results by Laura Street Chaplin, October 14, 2021 7:00 PM (Central)

Once you get your DNA test results back, how can you best understand and utilize them?  This presentation covers lots of tips on transferring raw DNA results to other companies, creating a skeleton digital family tree to link to your test results, working with family members’ tests & more.

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. She was elected to the Board of Directors of the Illinois State Genealogical Society. At the Town & Country Public Library in Elburn she was the History & Genealogy Manager and help them to open their Lawrence J. Martin Heritage Center.


WEBINAR-Navigating the Records From The War of 1812 by Brian Rhinehart, September, 9, 2021 7:00 PM (Central)

Brian RhinehartFrom bounty land to pensions, there is no shortage of genealogical records for soldiers from The War of 1812.  Learn how and why these records were created, how to make sense of them, and what those records can contain for your ancestors.

Brian Rhinehart is a professional genealogical researcher and speaker, who specializes in Civil War and War of 1812 research at the National Archives in Washington DC.  Discovering five direct ancestors’ involvement in the Civil War sparked an interest in their military history and led to countless hours researching in the National Archives with their records, as well as hundreds of other soldiers’ records in the process. He is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists. His professional development includes Professional Genealogy Study Group 8, and ProGen 38, coursework at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, Boston University’s- Genealogical Research Certificate Program, The Genealogical Institute on Federal Records, and the National Genealogical Society’s Continuing Education Course: The War of 1812.

WEBINAR-The Genealogical Proof Standard: Put the Power of GPS to Work! – Alice Hoyt Veen, CG, June 10, 2021 7:00 PM (Central)

Producing a high-quality, reliable genealogy for your family requires thoughtfulness and thoroughness during the research process. Testing our work against recognized standards helps achieve our goals. This introduction to the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) looks at the development of modern standards, their importance for all genealogists, and how anyone, at any level of experience, can effectively apply these common-sense standards and techniques to their family project.

Alice Hoyt Veen is the owner of Prairie Roots Research, which aims to foster a deeper understanding of the past by researching and reconstructing forgotten lives; to rediscover and share ancestral wisdom and experiences with today’s generation and generations to come. She is a Board-certified genealogist, professional researcher, and genealogical educator who shares her knowledge and expertise through educational writing and speaking. Alice serves as a trustee for the BCG Education Fund, a charitable trust advancing the educational aims of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (R). She has spoken at national, regional, and state conferences, and for numerous Iowa organizations.

WEBINAR-Brick Wall Breakthroughs by Thomas MacEntee, May 13, 2021 7:00 PM (Central)

Want to see first-hand how to break through that persistent “brick wall” in genealogy? Using actual research problems submitted by FVGS Member webinar attendees, professional genealogist Thomas MacEntee will walk participants through a step-by-step research methodology process to find clues and possible solutions. Participants will have access to research logs, digital images and more during and after the webinar. Also included is a “habit recipe” to implement the same techniques used in the webinar on your own genealogy research.


  • Brick Walls in Genealogy – Why Do We Have Them?
  • Case Study Review
  • Step-By-Step Methodology Review
  • Habit Recipe
  • Resource List

Thomas MacEntee is a genealogy professional specializing in using technology and social media to improve genealogy research and to connect with the family history community. He is the owner of High Definition Genealogy, and shares many of his articles and videos for free at!

WEBINAR-Family Historian in 3 Basic Steps by Suz Bates, April 8, 2021 7:00 PM (Central)

This event is co-sponsored by the Naperville Public Library.

Learn three basic steps of being a family historian: finding information, attaching it to your ancestors and storing it so you can find it again. Get organized and get connected as you research your family history.

Suz Bates has a B.A. in Modern Foreign Language, a minor in History, and an M.S. in education. She has taught in a variety of settings. In recent years, she has brought her expertise in genealogy to the public, spreading her enthusiasm for family history research through workshops, presentations, and consultations. She has been a family history researcher for over 45 years and a private consultant for 25 years. Suz is a member of various genealogy and history associations, as well as the Genealogical Speakers Guild.

WEBINAR-National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) by Jane Haldeman, March 11, 2021 7:00 PM (Central)

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation’s record keeper.” The National Archives in Chicago hold Federal records from agencies in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin dating from the 1800’s including Territorial Papers, Farming and Agriculture, Naturalization, Military, Taxes, Postal Service, Court Cases and many more records. These that can be invaluable when researching your family history. Learn what’s available and how to access these rich resources.

Jane G. Haldeman is a Chicago-area based professional genealogist and owner of It’s Relative, with more than 25 years of research experience. She lectures on a wide range of topics both locally and nationally.  She was the National Co-Chair for the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2019 Conference in Washington, DC. She is a former president of the Illinois State Genealogical Society and is the author of A Genealogist’s Guide to Springfield, Illinois.

WEBINAR-Think Outside the Box by Dan Jungclas, February 11, 2021 7:00 PM (Central)

Consider a different perspective.  Give your research a boost.  Maximize your research results with a change from traditional research methods while maintaining high standards. Tools like eBay, social media, the Internet, and other resources can prove to be very beneficial!

Dan Jungclas, has over 30 years of research experience and is known as both The Ancestry Guy and The German Genealogy Guy.  In addition to Germanic genealogy, Dan specializes in the US Civil War, WWI, WWII and in research locations including Cincinnati, Ohio; Northern Kentucky, and other areas of the Midwest. Dan is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Genealogical Speakers Guild, and is a member of numerous regional and German genealogy societies.

WEBINAR-Best Practices for Organizing Photos by Adam Pratt, January 14, 2021 7:00 PM (CST)

Gathering and scanning family photos is an important step in building a Family Photo Archive, but what’s next? Learn best practices from a professional photo organizer for organizing your photos, following industry standards, to ensure your photos are safe and searchable for generations to come. This talk will also include the use of metadata for organizing photos.
Adam Pratt loves people, photography, and a good story! He has experience as a photographer, book author, software trainer, and photo organizer. He’s also the founder of Chaos to Memories where he helps people enjoy their photos again by turning their photo chaos into precious memories they can enjoy and share.

WEBINAR-Pathways to Spicy Stories: An Overview of Court Records with Laura E. Chaplin, November 12, 2020 7:00 PM (CT)

Court records, in their infinite variety, are a treasure trove for genealogists because they are not just legal documents. They are pathways into the stories of our ancestors’ lives, often leading to clues we might otherwise miss. While vital statistics like birth, marriage, and death dates and places are important, it is the stories we uncover that add something extra. Attend this humorous attempt to give an overview of the various documents found in the American courthouse!

Owner of Willowtree Research Genealogy Services, and currently living in Sugar Grove, Illinois, Laura was raised in southeastern Iowa and has lived all around the Midwest. She and her husband, Mark, were inspired by the “Roots” miniseries in college, which began a lifelong love of research and genealogy learning, raising their three daughters tramping through graveyards – now with 6 grandkids in training!

In addition to her genealogy business, Laura is currently the History & Genealogy Manager at the Lawrence J. Martin Heritage Center in Elburn, IL. She has been active as a genealogical presenter for several years in Kane, and surrounding counties. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Genealogical Speakers Guild, several societies, and on the Kane County Genealogical Society Board, and the Illinois State Genealogical Society. She holds the Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University.

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