skip to Main Content

ONLINE-January 13, 2022 Meeting: A Review of Ethnicity Results from Nine DNA Testing Companies by Robert Sliwinski

Photo of Robert SliwinskiMany “Direct to Consumer” DNA testing companies include ethnicity estimates as part of your DNA results. Results can vary between companies; contain surprises or even disappointment. This presentation reviews the results from nine DNA testing companies, population datasets, and which tests have higher resolution for specific geographic regions.

Robert Sliwinski is a Biologist/Genetic Genealogist with a B.A. in Biology and Art from Knox College, Galesburg IL and M.S. in Zoology from Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, DNA Explorers is currently based in Russiaville, Indiana. DNA Explorers was founded by Robert in 2009 and provides professional services to those who have Paternal (Y-DNA), Maternal (MtDNA) and Autosomal (Family Finder/Relative Finder) DNA results for ancestry and need assistance with interpretation.


ONLINE-February 10, 2022 Meeting: Making Sense of the Shambles: Organizational Tools for Genealogy by Alice Hoyt Veen

Alice Hoyt Veen headshotAs family historians, we tend to be “Keepers of Everything,” from treasured original family documents and photographs to printed copies found online and at repositories. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and disorganized. When you reach the point that it’s easier to print new copies of records than to find your old copies, you know you’ve arrived at critical mass, and it’s time to take action! Content includes software tools for organization, computer filing techniques, “hard copy” options, and archival storage solutions.

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.


TBD-March 10, 2022 Meeting

Watch for updates regarding our March meeting plans.

ONLINE-April 14, 2022 Meeting: Valid and Unsound Assumptions: What Was She Thinking? by Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom headshotIt is not uncommon for us to neglect to question our assumptions. Failure to search for evidence to support our assumptions and to critically test evidence can lead to inaccurate conclusions. The search for the deceased husband of Elizabeth Larzelere enumerated in 1820 with four young children leads to unexpected results and to new questions.

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom is a full-time professional researcher specializing in Chicago and Cook County research, forensic genealogy, problem solving, and multi-generational family histories. On behalf of the Department of the Army, Jeanne searches for and identifies family members of unaccounted for servicemen from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Jeanne researched the Chicago ancestry for many episodes of the television series, Who Do You Think You Are? and appeared in the Jason Sudeikis and Julie Bowen episodes. Jeanne lectures frequently at conferences, workshops, and institutes and writes articles for scholarly journals and society publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts [History] from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a second-year certificate from the University of Chicago’s publishing program. She is a former president and former treasurer of the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

Meeting Link Available Soon

IN PERSON-May 12, 2022 Meeting: Issuing Citations That Help “Prove” Your Genealogical Research by Laura Street Chaplin

Laura Street Chaplin headshotUsing Dr. Thomas W. Jones’ book: Mastering Genealogical Proof, as a template and resource, this presentation explores, in a hands-on format, how to build essential citations documenting our sources used. Learn why citations are so essential, the 5 W’s of citations, how to craft 2-part citations, and details on the various types of citations. Review basic genealogical underpinnings to understand and implement excellent citations. These include: characteristics of good research questions & the 3×3 Evidence Analysis Process (by Elizabeth Shown Mills). Bring your own thoughts and be prepared to talk to your neighbors during this fun approach to issuing your own citations!

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.

Meeting Link Available Soon

TBD-June 9, 2022 Meeting

Watch for updates regarding our June meeting plans.

IN PERSON-September 8, 2022 Meeting: Old MacDonald Had a Farm by Tina Beaird

Farm records can be an insightful tool for understanding your ancestor’s place in the world. Were they wealthy, prosperous farmers or scratch farming to survive? Agricultural census, land records and mortgage books, court records, farm directories, newspapers, and personal ledgers and diaries can each provide an additional layer of insight into your family tree.

Tina Beaird is the owner of Tamarack Genealogy and is also a Genealogy/Local History Librarian at the Plainfield Public Library. Tina lectures extensively on topics including genealogical methodology, military research and archival preservation. She is a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild and the Association of Professional Genealogists as well as First V.P. of the Illinois State Genealogical Society, Board Director for the Northern Illinois Historic League, and the Oswego Heritage Association. She volunteers her time with several historical and genealogical societies across Illinois. Tina has provided research assistance for nearly twenty years and has been researching her family’s history, as time permits, for over thirty years. She is a rabid baseball fan and her and her family have visited 24 out of 30 Major League Ballparks across the U.S.

Meeting Link Available Soon

ONLINE-October 13, 2022 Meeting: The Case of the Murderous D. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer by Dean Jobb

Dean Jobb headshotDean Jobb will speak about his book The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer, which recreates Scotland Yard’s pursuit of serial killer Dr. Thomas Neill Cream, a ruthless poisoner who murdered as many as ten people in Chicago, Canada and London’s Lambeth neighborhood between 1877 and 1892.

“Jobb’s excellent storytelling makes the book a pleasure to read” – New York Times Book Review

“Vividly written … a splendidly atmospheric journey through the halls of Victorian vice, virtue and, above all, hypocrisy” – The Times UK / Book of the Week

“[An] enthralling real-life thriller … a true-crime masterpiece that will easily sit alongside The Devil in the White City” – ★ Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Dean Jobb is an award-winning author and journalist and a professor at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he teaches in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction program. He specializes in true crime and his monthly column, “Stranger Than Fiction,” appears in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. His articles and book reviews appear in CrimeReads, Inside History magazine, the Chicago Review of Books and the Washington Independent Review of Books. During his 35-year career as a newspaper staff writer and freelance journalist he has written features and commentaries on an array of subjects – history, current events, law, business, politics, media ethics, science, travel, and the craft of nonfiction.

Meeting Link Available Soon

TBD-November 10, 2022 Meeting

Watch for updates regarding our November meeting plans.

Back To Top Fox Valley Genealogical Society