Skip to content

View the FVGS 2024 program schedule HERE!

Download the 2024 FVGS Program Schedule

The Fox Valley Genealogical Society (FVGS) holds nine (9) monthly general meetings (some in person, some online) on the 2nd Thursday of the month, September through June (except December), at 7:00 PM (Central). Monthly meetings are free for members and guests, but you must register in advance to receive the link to attend online meetings. Access to meeting recordings is a member benefit. Visit the Webinars/Recordings page to access the recordings (member login required).

In-person meetings are held in the Naperville Municipal Center (NMC), 400 South Eagle St, Naperville, Illinois (unless otherwise noted). Park in the upper-level parking area and enter the building through the main entrance (public access is no longer available through the lower-level parking garage entrance). Enter the upper-level parking area from either Eagle Street or Webster Street. Take the elevator or stairs to the meeting room located on the lower level. Here’s a map of the Naperville Municipal Center (Naperville City Hall).

Online meetings are hosted on the Zoom platform. Registration links are available in the program listings.

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

Members can access the recordings and handouts from past meetings HERE

IN PERSON-Part 2-Exploring the Greatest Generation: Adding Context to the Veteran’s Story by Jennifer Holik, June 13, 2024 7:00 PM (Central)

Contextual records are everywhere, not just in the National Archives!

Once you have established what units your service member was in and where they served, it is time to explore unit-level records.

In this program, you’ll explore:

  • The second part of the research strategy to piece together your veteran’s story.
  • How to add to your timeline of service and expand the narrative.
  • Explore various histories, journals, photos, and maps for all the military branches.
  • You will learn about the most valuable foundational records to put your service member into context and write a richer story everyone will want to read.

These records help you write the narrative to your stories. They will also help you understand why your veteran was who they were after service and probably bring up more questions for you to consider.

Jennifer Holik is a genealogist, and military researcher, spiritual coach, and intuitive healer specializing in inherited & war trauma, & ancestral healing. She has more than 25 years of genealogy & military research & writing experience. Jennifer helps people identify & release the beliefs, behaviors, & patterns in their lives & the lives of their ancestors that keep them stuck. Using a variety of tools, including writing, energy healing, research, & more, she helps you release the past & create the life you desire.

MEETING LOCATION:

Naperville Municipal Center – Room B (Lower Level)
400 S Eagle St, Naperville, IL 60540
*(Note we are back to our regular meeting location for this event)

IN PERSON-Part 1-Research a Veteran: Exploring the Basics of Military Research by Jennifer Holik, May 9, 2024 7:00 PM (Central)

All the records DID NOT burn. Have you ever wondered what dad or grandpa did in the war? What happened to your uncle, who died? What was training and combat like? How did Grandpa get wounded? What happened to the family during and after the war? Answers can be found. In this session, you will learn:

  • Where to begin your research at home.
  • What questions to ask.
  • The first part of the research strategy to learn any veteran’s story from any 20th-century war and military branch.
  • What records you need to establish the foundation, and where to locate them.
  • How to create a timeline of service.
  • How to begin writing the story.

I use storytelling along with the records to help you understand the deeper impacts of service. You might want a tissue for the story at the end of this session.

Jennifer Holik is a genealogist, and military researcher, spiritual coach, and intuitive healer specializing in inherited & war trauma, & ancestral healing. She has more than 25 years of genealogy & military research & writing experience. Jennifer helps people identify & release the beliefs, behaviors, & patterns in their lives & the lives of their ancestors that keep them stuck. Using a variety of tools, including writing, energy healing, research, & more, she helps you release the past & create the life you desire.

MEETING LOCATION:*

Nichols Library – Community Room (Lower Level)
200 W Jefferson Ave, Naperville, IL 60540
*(Note special meeting location for this event)

IN PERSON-Back to School: Making the Most of School Records by Tina Beaird, April 11, 2024 7:00 PM (Central)

Learn about the many ways you can access cool details about your ancestors by using school records like yearbooks, school schedules, teacher’s registers, school newspapers, alumni directories and much more. This is one class you won’t want to ditch.

Tina Beaird is the owner of Tamarack Genealogy and is the Genealogy/Local History Librarian at the Plainfield Public Library. She lectures extensively on military research, Scottish records, and archival preservation. She is First Vice President of the Illinois State Genealogical Society and board director for the Oswegoland Heritage Association. Tina volunteers her time with several local historical and genealogical societies scanning and indexing historic records. Occasionally, Tina finds time to research her own family tree, which she has been pursuing for over 25 years. As many of you know, Tina is a rabid baseball fan; she and her family have visited 25 out of 30 Major League Ballparks and can’t wait to get back on the road to visit the last five!

MEETING LOCATION:

Naperville Municipal Center – Room B (Lower Level)
400 S Eagle St, Naperville, IL 60540

ONLINE-Using Timelines for Analysis and Correlations by Jill Morelli, CG, CGL, March 14, 2024 7:00 PM (Central)

I love timelines and tables! They correlate the evidence revealing gaps and overlaps. A timeline of the life of an ancestor can tell us about their movements, their relationships, and their life choices. If we look at the changes in a family, the progression of events becomes understandable. It is the only way one can analyze the pre-1850 censuses, the “tick mark censuses,” where only the head of the household is named. Explore the different ways you can learn more about your family by using timelines and tables.

Jill Morelli, CG, CGL, is a writer, lecturer, and co-founder of the online Applied Genealogy Institute, providing practicum-based educational opportunities for genealogists.  She specializes in Scandinavian research and is constantly honing her methodological skills. She lectures nationally and has written articles for National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Swedish American Genealogist, and many others. Jill is past president of the Seattle Genealogical Society, program director for the Puget Sound-APG chapter, and is writing a book about 45 orphans from New York City who came to Iowa in 1890.

REGISTER HERE

FVGS meetings are free and open to the public.
Programs are recorded. Access to the recordings is a member benefit.

ONLINE-Are You a Genealogy Spelunker or Caver? Exploring the Deep Recesses of the Family Tree by Jean Wilcox Hibben, PhD, MA, February 8, 2024 7:00 PM (Central)

We talk a great deal about the leaves and roots of our family tree, but how many of us venture into the tree, digging out lesser-known stories and hidden (or hiding) facts? In recent vernacular (ca 1960), “spelunkers” are the folks who venture into caves for casual exploration but are not serious about getting in deeper (figuratively or literally). “Cavers,” on the other hand, are serious explorers who enter the cave well-prepared and are not prone to giving up at the slightest stalactite. Which are you?

Jean Wilcox Hibben, PhD, MA, former Southern California college speech professor (MA – Speech Communication; PhD – Folklore), is a national speaker and author. A member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), she is the former director and current family history consultant for the Corona, CA FamilySearch Center, has worked on background research for two genealogy television programs, and was a host for podcasts on social history. A former Board-Certified genealogist with over 45 years of research experience, she is a former board member of APG and past president of its So. Cal. Chapter; 1st Vice-president of the Corona Genealogical Society, as well as webmaster for that same organization; and participant on a number of other society boards. Jean writes the “Aunty Jeff” column for the Informer, the newsletter of the Jefferson County NY Genealogical Society. Her website: is circlemending.org.

REGISTER HERE

FVGS meetings are free for members and guests to attend.
Programs are recorded. Access to the recordings is a member benefit.

ONLINE-Location, Location, Location: Putting Your Ancestors in Their Place by Diana Elder, AG, AGL, January 11, 2024 7:00 PM (Central)

Locality research is key to making progress in genealogy research. Understanding the history, geography, records, and repositories for the research locality is the foundation for building a solid research plan and finding additional information about your ancestor.

Diana Elder, AG®, AGL™, is a professional genealogist accredited in the Gulf South region of the United States and serves as a Commissioner for The International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen). Diana authored Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist’s Guide and co-authored the companion volume, Research Like a Pro with DNA: A Genealogist’s Guide to Finding and Confirming Ancestors with DNA Evidence. She created the study group and eCourse that teach the Research Like a Pro process through videos and learning modules. Diana and her daughter, Nicole, share research tips on their website, Family Locket (https://familylocket.com/), and host the Research Like a Pro Genealogy Podcast.

Diana regularly teaches at genealogy conferences such as RootsTech and the National Genealogy Society Conference. She also presents webinars and seminars to local genealogy societies across the United States.

REGISTER HERE

FVGS meetings are free for members and guests to attend.
Programs are recorded. Access to the recordings is a member benefit.

ONLINE-January 11, 2024 Meeting Details Coming Soon

Mark your calendar. Our next meeting will be held ONLINE on Thursday, January 11, 2024, at 7:00 PM (Central) via Zoom. Registration and topic details will be posted soon. We are busy planning another year of great programs for you. FVGS members, watch your inbox for news of the 2024 Program Schedule.

We hold nine monthly meetings on the 2nd Thursday of the month from September through June (except December) at 7:00 PM (Central).

HYBRID-Emigration & Immigration – The Story of Your Immigrant Ancestors by Jacquie Schattner, November 9, 2023 7:00 PM (Central)

This meeting is co-sponsored by FVGS and the Naperville Public Library.

Your immigrant ancestors are the foundation of your roots in the U.S. Why did they come? The voyage itself. Entering the U.S. ports. How to find emigration, immigration, and naturalization records. Learn the interesting details of your ancestors’ journey to their new life here. List of more than 30 websites and other resources included.

Jacquie Schattner has been actively researching her family’s ancestors since 1996. She volunteered at the local Family History Center for 15 years and teaches genealogy at local high schools, and libraries and online at genealogy groups all over the U.S. She is active in several genealogy societies and has written several genealogy books. She currently works as a Publications Coordinator and as a freelance editor. Jacquie received her B.S. degree from the University of Illinois. She is a retired school secretary living in Palatine, IL. She is happily married for 40+ years and has 3 grown children, 2 sons-in-law, and 6 adorable grandchildren.

This is a HYBRID Meeting:
Join us in person at the 95th Street Library – Room A
(3015 Cedar Glade Dr, Naperville, IL 60564)
OR
Register HERE to attend ONLINE

FVGS meetings are free for members and guests to attend. Programs are recorded. Access to the recordings is a member benefit.

ONLINE-Funeral Homes and Family History: They’re Dying to Meet You by Daniel Earl, October 12, 2023 7:00 PM (Central)

Most of us know to look in cemetery records but miss a valuable resource: the funeral home. This lecture looks at the history of funeral homes and the records they kept. We will also look at a case study showing the value of these historic and unique records.

I got my start in family history at age 10 when my father took me to the grave of my great-grandfather; that sparked a lifetime of interest in family history. I have spent the last 25 years researching my own family history and helping others make history a part of their story.

I am associated with the following groups and organizations:​

  • Hungarian Genealogical Society of Michigan – President​
  • International Society of Genetic Genealogy
  • Virtual Genealogical Association – Past-President

Daniel has experience doing research in the following regions:

  • Great Lakes Region United States (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin)
  • Mid-Atlantic United States (Maryland, DC, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York)
  • Central Eastern Europe (Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Slovakia, Serbia)​

This meeting is offered ONLINE Only:
Register HERE to receive the link to attend

Back To Top Fox Valley Genealogical Society