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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.

2017 Program Schedule and Activities

Jan 16, 2017 - Monday
Zion-Benton Public Library
An Overview of Courthouse Research

Learn different ways to do research using the three different areas of the courthouse to look for records you need.

Joanne Layne

Feb 20, 2017 - Monday
Beach Park Village Hall
"I" IS FOR IDENTITY CRISIS: Reconstructing the Identities of Our Ancestors

We think of identity as something fixed and simple, but as we try to reconstruct the identities of long gone people we need to realize that identity is a much slipperier concept. The things we use to define a person’s identity can change during that person’s life time. There are also questions of how a person self-identifies and what motivations they can have for changing how they self identify and how that affects records.

Dan Hubbard

Mar 20, 2017- Monday
Beach Park Village Hall
MINING FOR GOLD: Online Historical Newspapers

Newspaper research should always be considered by the genealogical researcher. Today’s world of expanding digital newspapers that allows us to more easily search is an even more important resource to consider to use to discover the stories of our ancestors. Robin will give us some tips on where to find these resources and how to best use these online newspapers.

Robin is a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild. Robin currently serves as executive vice president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois and president of Lake County Area Computer Enthusiasts. She has been studying her family history since 1997.

Robin earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago and completed most of her Ph.D. requirements at the University of Illinois. This former college French teacher has used her linguistic skills to translate family records from Polish and Old Cyrillic.

Robin specializes in using historical newspapers to research family history.

Robin Seidenberg

While researching a family scandal involving her great aunt, referred to as the "Kissing Blonde", Robin B. Seidenberg realized that historical newspapers were a fantastic resource. She discovered that another great aunt - described as "the most universally famous girl in America" and "the girl with that schoolgirl complexion" - had a career on Broadway and in Hollywood..

A member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, Robin Seidenberg currently serves as executive vice president of The Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois and president of Lake County Area Computer Enthusiasts.

As a former college French teacher, she has used her linguistic skills to translate family records from Polish and Old Cyrillic.

Apr 17, 2017 - Monday
Beach Park Village Hall

"FROM PILES TO FILES: Getting Organized "

Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, C.G., will present suggestions that will help both seasoned and beginning genealogists organize their research in a way that makes it more accessible. Her presentation will help those researching German and non-German ancestors. We all need help organizing years of research and documents.

Teresa Steinkamp McMillin

Teresa has over thirteen years of genealogical research experience focused primarily on German immigrants in Illinois and the Midwest. She specializes in translating German church records written in the old German script and Illinois research.

 Residing in the Chicagoland area, she has easy access to many significant research facilities: Cook County Recorder of Deeds; Cook County Circuit Clerk Archives; National Archives-Great Lakes Branch; Newberry Library; Chicago History Museum, just to name a few.

Teresa has invested in a quality education. She is a multi-year attendee of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR). She regularly attends genealogical conferences, both locally and nationally. To assist with her focus on German research, she has completed two years of college-level German and continues to study the language.

All research services include a full written report of the searches performed, analysis of the documents found and suggestions for further research.


May 20, 2017 - Saturday
Zion-Benton Public Library

Mary will cover:

Introduuction to Using DNA for Genealogy Research

Using Autosomal DNA for Genealogy

Using Y-DNA Mitochondrial DNA, and X-DNA for Genealogy

And there will be a hands-on exercise that will go through interpreting one person's DNA results from Ancesstry.

Mary Eberle

Mary Eberle is an experienced genetic genealogist and a DNA expert.  She’s a former patent attorney with extensive DNA experience.

Mary began her work in the field of DNA research 30 years ago.  She developed DNA tests to match transplant donors and recipients.  She wrote and published many scientific papers on this work and presented at scientific conferences.

She honed her writing and communication skills during her subsequent work as a biotech patent attorney.  She has 13 years of writing complex patent applications and corresponding with clients.

After leaving the practice of law, Mary participated in many genealogy workshops, including:

  • CeCe Moore’s Advanced Genetic Genealogy for Unknown Parentage at the Forensic Genealogy Institute (2015 and 2016)
  • Angie Bush’s Advanced DNA Analysis Techniques for Genealogical Research at SLIG (2016)

Mary has presented many DNA workshops and talks around the country.

Mary has a BA in Biology and JD in Patents. Continuing her education she attended the Forensic Genealogy Institute Advanced Genetiac Genealogy and Unknown Parentage. Her research specialty is Adoption: DNA Specialist.


June 19, 2017 - Monday
Beach Park Village Hall
"Hunting for Your Ancestors' Medical Clues"

Have you ever wondered what illnesses your ancestors may have had? Some of those answers might be right in front of you. Photos, census records, court records, and letters are just a few of the places those clues may be hidden.

Jane Haldeman

Jane Haldeman has 20 plus years of research experience. Her passion for genealogy began in the 8th grade with a school assignment. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in Theater. Combining her passions for genealogy and theater she now lectures on technology as it applies to genealogical research.  Ms. Haldeman developed and owns “It’s Relative” a genealogical service business provides lectures, workshops, research, and consultations. It's Relative is based in the suburbs of Chicago. There is easy access to many of the major repositories in Illinois and the Midwest including the Great Lakes branch of the National Archives,  Illinois Regional Archive Depository (IRAD), Newberry Library, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Wisconsin Historical Society Library-Archives in Madison as well as many others. Go to their site at (   for more details.

 Other positions Jane has held include President, Illinois State Genealogical Society, past president 2010 – 2012 and board member since 2001 of the  Fox Valley Genealogical Society (Naperville, IL), Past Chapter Registrar, Fort Payne Chapter (Naperville, IL) National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, and Past Design and Technical Editor of the Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly journal.

July 17, 2017 - 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 21, 2016 - Monday
Beach Park Village Hall




Sept 16, 2017 - Saturday
Zion-Benton Public Library

"IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL: Finding Ancestors Amid the Rubble Of Disaster and Misfortune" Sat Webinar)


While you may think you’ve hit a brick wall with your research, have you tried using cluster and collateral search strategies to look for an opening? Researching non-direct relations as well as those friends and neighbors in your ancestors’ network can pay off in ways you might not imagine

Thomas MacEntee

Thomas MacEntee is a genealogist specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogical research and as a means of interacting with others in the family history community. Utilizing over 25 years of experience in the information technology field, Thomas writes and lectures on the many ways blogs, Facebook and Twitter can be leveraged to add new dimensions to the genealogy experience. As the creator of he has organized and engaged a community of over 2,800 bloggers to document their own journeys in the search for ancestors.

Oct 16, 2017 - Monday
Beach Park Village Hall


Our ancestors traveled so much, if not more, than we do today. Explore what types of maps and property records exist for pinpointing your ancestor’s whereabouts across the United States, from plat maps to Sanborn Fire Insurance maps to Google maps!

Tina Beaird

Tina Beaird is the owner of Tamarack Genealogy and is a Genealogy & Local History librarian at a mid-sized Chicagoland public library. She holds a Masters of Library and Information Science degree with a specialization in Archives/Preservation from Dominican University. Tina has won multiple research and digitization grants to preserve and digitize historic documents and photographs.

Currently, she is an active member of the Society of American Archivists and the American Library Association. She is a board director for the Northern Illinois Historic League and the Illinois State Historic Records Advisory Board as well as an Oswego Heritage Association governing board member. She finds time to volunteer for other local history and genealogical societies as time permits.

Tina lectures at the national, state and local level on topics including genealogical research, photo preservation and archival preservation. Tina has offered assistance to researchers for over 12 years and occasionally still finds time to conduct her own family research, which she has been pursuing for over twenty years.

Nov 20, 2017 - Monday
Beach Park Village Hall

Learn about the different ways to describe locations in Ireland, understand the creation of maps and the importance of the Irish Ordnance Survey both physically and culturally. Learn about the different types of maps that exist and how to access and read them

Paul Milner

Paul Milner, a native of northern England is a professional genealogist and lecturer.  Paul has specialized in British Isles genealogical research for 30 years.  Raised in England he settled in the United States in 1975.  He holds an advanced degree in Theology and is particularly knowledgeable about the church and its role in record keeping.  As a genealogist, he speaks on a variety of topics relating to research in the British Isles, migration to North America and research methodology.  Paul is the author of Genealogy at a Glance:  England Research (Genealogical Publishing Co. 2011), plus co-author with Linda Jonas of A Genealogists Guide to Discovering Your English Ancestors:  How to find and record your unique heritage (Betterway Books, 2000), and A Genealogists Guide to Discovering Your Scottish Ancestors:  How to find and record your unique heritage (Betterway Books, 2002).


Updated February 3, 2016