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Zion Genealogical  Society of Lake County (Illinois, USA)

Researching Around the World

Including the Neighboring Lake County Communities of:

Beach Park, Gurnee, North Chicago, Park City, Wadsworth, Waukegan, Wildwood, and Winthrop Harbor

   Date and Time:
  Meetings are held the third Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m.

  Beach Park Village Hall
  11270 Wadsworth Rd - Lower Level, Beach Park, IL 60099
  Zion-Benton Public Library
  2400 Gabriel Avenue, Zion, IL 60099

  Experienced genealogists are available at the Zion Benton Public Library
  2400 Gabriel Avenue, Zion on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

2016 Program Schedule and Activities

Jan 18, 2016 - Monday
Beach Park Village Hall
Transcription, Abstraction and Extraction

One of the tools that genealogists have in their toolbox, and possibly one of the least used, is the simple act of transcribing, abstracting or extracting documents that may already be in their possession. These processes will be explained, their benefits will be listed, and their uses and misuse will be discussed. Be ready to take some notes because we all need to learn more about these critical research techniques!

Don Classey

Feb 15, 2016 - Monday
Beach Park Village Hall
Society Annual White Elephant Sale
Society members donate to the society genealogical items they no longer need to use and the society sells them at very reasonable prices at our annual white elephant sale.

Waukegan's African American History

Highlighted are some of the museum’s archival collections connected to individuals – both slave and free – in our local history. Topics include the Underground Railroad, the Anti-Slavery Movement, Frederick Douglas, Sojourner Truth, Abraham Lincoln’s early speeches about the problem of slavery, former slaves in the Union army, and notable black Waukegan citizens, including the first black Waukegan policeman and fireman.

Ty Rohrer

Mar 21, 2016- Monday
Zion-Benton Public Library Room A
WRITING FAMILY HISTORY: Using Narrative in Genealogy

Dan will discuss not just the “how-to” but the “why-do.” What’s the best way to really improve your research? It might just be putting it to use. Want you’re relatives and descendants to understand your research? Write your ancestors’ stories and see how far it takes you.

Dan Hubbard

Apr 18, 2016 - Monday
Beach Park Village Hall

Learn how during the Civil War both North and South instituted the Draft (Conscription) for the first time in U.S. history. The movie "Gangs of New York" touches on one aspect of the draft--the 1863 Draft Riots in New York. But the Draft resulted in much more, arguably changing America like no other measure before or since.

Bruce Allardice

A professor of history at South Suburban College, Bruce S. Allardice is past president of the Northern Illinois Civil War Round Table, and past president of the Civil War Round Table of Chicago. Prof. Allardice has authored or coauthored six books, and numerous articles, on the Civil War.

A former Board Member of the Illinois State Historical Society, Prof. Allardice has presented numerous lectures and presentations on the Civil War and genealogy for Civil War Round Tables, museums, and civic organizations. He is the recipient of the CWRT of Chicago's prestigious Nevins-Freeman Award for distinguished service in Civil War Scholarship and the CWRT movement.

Prof. Allardice is a graduate of the University of Illinois and a lifelong resident of the Chicago area.

May 16, 2016 - Monday
Beach Park Village Hall

FamilySearch®, a free website sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, provides many resources to help you discover your family history, but it also provides a way for you to preserve your family history.  FamilySearch® Family Tree is designed as a collaborative record of your family, including photos, documents and audio memories.  Learn the advantages of using FamilySearch® Family Tree  and how by using both the website and mobile apps, Family Tree provides a system to record your family events, preserve precious photos & documents and provide a record of your family today and for future generations.

Using her own family data and photos, Maureen Brady will provide an overview of Family Tree, and its mobile apps, including making additions and corrections to Family Tree and using the mobile apps to record today’s memories.

Maureen Brady

June 20, 2016 - Monday
Beach Park Village Hall
"FROM LAND RECORDS TO GOOGLE EARTH: Mapping Your Family’s Place"

There are numerous sources that give our ancestor's legal land description; where are they and what do they mean? Learn where to look and how to convert section and range into Google Earth to see how that property looks today.

Jane Haldeman

July 18, 2016 - Monday
Beach Park Village Hall
"Members Getting Acquainted" (Optional - Donations for A Safe Place)

In July is when we celebrate the spirit of Christmas; a time of good cheer, fellowship, feasting, and giving. There is a potluck dinner, provided by the members, music, and fun. Also in keeping with the spirit of Christmas, our members open their hearts instead of presents by bring donations for A-Safe-Place as our early "Christmas Gift" to that organization.

Aug 15, 2016 - Monday
Beach Park Village Hall


Learn what new primary and secondary sources have become available and how to access them. Keep up to date on the constantly changing face of British Isles research by learning about recently released original records, new indexes, book, CD-ROM and web sites.

Paul Milner

Sept 19, 2016 - Monday
Beach Park Village Hall
Intermediate-Level Land Research"


Debbie Miezala

Oct 17, 2016 - Monday
Beach Park Village Hall

"THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COURTHOUSE: Criminal and Civil Court Records"

This trip beyond the Prothonotary’s records to the criminal cases uses examples of courthouse documents that reveal information about the lives of our forebears. It examines civil court records as well as criminal cases; jail registers, justice of the peace records and the like.

Dave McDonald

Nov 21, 2016 - Monday
Zion-Benton Public Library Rooms A & B

We’re happy to welcome Nancy Shepherdson, the author of Ancestor Hunt: Finding Your Family Online, to present this program which will cover the fascinating process of tracking down the exact places your ancestors lived and visiting those places, either in reality or virtually. She will cover searching land records, cemetery records, and local resources, as well as how the library’s access to can help. Nothing beats the understanding you get from knowing where you came from and what makes you tick like walking where your forebears actually walked.

Nancy Shepherdson


Updated February 3, 2016