Category Archives: Websites to follow

Follow Friday sites

Here are a few great websites to check out this week. Happy New Year!

Lake Claremont Press reviews a new book being released this month called Oldest Chicago by David Witter. I will definitely be checking this out.

I may have mentioned this blog before but it is worth mentioning again. Chicago Landmarks Tour 2010 outlines the authors travels around our great city of Chicago in an attempt to visit every historical landmark.


Jen’s Adventures in Freelance Writing

My Generations business has blossomed more in the writing area than research and education in the last part of 2010. I decided to make freelance writing a larger part of my business in 2011 to reach some personal goals. To follow my journey, check me out on Jen’s Adventures in Freelance Writing.


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Tuesday’s Tip – Website resource

I am a contributing writer now for Demand Studios and providing quick, to the point, articles for If you go to their website and type in Jennifer Holik-Urban as a search term, my list of articles will appear.

While researching one of these articles I came across a new website that has a lot of great information. It is called ipl2:Information You Can Trust. It is an online library site that has specialized resources available. Give it a look when you have some free time.


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Follow Friday – some great posts

Life has been crazy the last two weeks. I have picked up a few writing jobs and between those and finishing my book the blogs have kind of fallen to the wayside. I did find three great posts to share this week. I hope you enjoy them!

Personal Past Meditations is one of my favorite blogs. Quirks of Fate is a great read.

a3Genealogy had a great post on Medical Genealogy this week.

Free Genealogy Tools has an interesting post about the History of Housekeeping.


Follow Friday – Genea-Musings

I was catching up on my blog reading this week and came across several people who participated in the Genea-Musings, Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.  The topic interested me, so I wrote about it on my blog. Randy Seaver’s blog has a lot of interesting information on it, but definitely check out the SNGF posts each week. You will have a lot of fun responding to the questions posed.



Come read my articles on

A couple of days ago I became a writer on I will be writing stories about local (Chicago and Illinois) people and events related to Genealogy on their Chicago Genealogy page. Check it out when you have some time. I plan to publish at least three times a week. If you have an event you would like featured, please email me at



DuPage County Genealogical Society Meeting

Last week the DuPage County Genealogical Society had their October general meeting. Jovanka Ristic, a librarian at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee spoke on the library’s collection of American Geographical Society Maps. This collection of maps contains old and unique maps, atlases, current maps and more. Jovanka explained how the collection can be used in genealogical research after describing the collection. Some of the collection is online and can be searched via their online catalog accessible at the link above.

Jovanka suggested before emailing, writing, calling, or stopping by the library, to have a good idea about what you are looking for. What is the purpose of the map you wish to find? Are you looking for a town in Bohemia in 1880 where you ancestor lived? Do you want to see a map that covers a small area so you have the detail of the town and surrounding area or do you want a map that shows a larger portion of the country? Having this information helps the librarians locate the maps that will be most useful to you.

It was also suggested if a visit is planned, to call and schedule an appointment, as the library does do programs for faculty, students, and groups. A librarian does spend as much time as needed helping researcher locate what they need.

Take a look at their online collection and keep them in mind if you are looking for old maps. Some of the maps shown in her presentation were so beautifully illustrated. Copies of those would make excellent additions to any family history story. Jovanka said copy fees are reasonable too.



Follow Friday – Genealogy at the Schaumburg Township District Library

If you live in the Chicago area you might want to check out the genealogy group that meets at the Schaumburg Township District Library.  I have not made a meeting there yet but need to add it to my list. Tony summarized the latest meeting on his blog and discussed the break-out sessions they had at the last meeting. They had groups for ethnic researchers, colonial, beginners, and a troubleshooting group. Members brought laptops to utilize the free Wi-Fi available to aid their discussions.

Tony stated the break-out sessions occur quarterly in March, June, September and December on the 2nd Tuesday evening of the month. There is a listing of 2010 programs here.  Check them out if you have time or are in the area.


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Praise for The Connected Genealogist

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a review of The Connected Genealogist’s book by Thomas MacEntee, Approaching the Lectern, on my blogs.  Little did I know just how much I was going to need that book a couple of weeks after the review.

Yesterday I was presented with the opportunity to give a presentation at a local library’s mini-genealogy conference in April 2011. As many of you know I recently made the transition from hobbyist genealogist to professional. What you may not know is that this will be my first conference presentation.  I have given short talks at local genealogy societies, but even that has been a while and did not require PowerPoint slides and major handouts.

After I recovered from the shock of what did I just say yes to, I went back through the notes taken during the phone call and started making an outline to submit by October 1st. During this process I realized I needed help so I went back to The Connected Genealogist’s Lulu storefront and purchased the Genealogy Speaking Templates. Have you seen these? They are amazing!  The templates include: Instructions; Presentation Description; Speaking Agreement Letter; Speaking Agreement; Speaking Spec Sheet; Speaking Travel and Hotel Sheet; and a Syllabus sheet. Thomas provides everything you need in one package to get you started. Within a couple of hours I had a Presentation Description and Syllabus I was 90% happy with and after a little more tweaking, will feel comfortable submitting on October 1st.

By pairing the Genealogy Speaking Templates with his book Approaching the Lectern, the process is less frightening.  Thomas guides you step by step through the process of booking your presentation, creating a presentation from speaking notes to slides and actually giving the presentation.  Thanks to these two invaluable resources I believe my first conference presentation will be fantastic.


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Thrifty Thursday – Join a Genealogy Society

If you are looking for genealogical educational opportunities, networking, and access to records, consider joining a genealogical society.There are so many benefits like monthly meetings where you learn something new or hear a topic you know about and have an AH-HA moment. There is networking whether it is making friends, business contacts, or becoming more involved in the society. Many societies also have members only record access whether it be online or paper format. Some also hold meetings in museums or libraries where you have access to new information.

I recently joined the DuPage County Genealogical Society and attended a wonderful meeting last night about Ellis Island. The meeting was held at the DuPage County Historical Museum. The other 2010-2011 meetings will be held at the Wheaton Public Library.  The museum was open before and during the meeting so attendees could look around.

Marian Richter Schuetz was the speaker. She was lively, engaging, humorous, and informative.  She spoke about the various laws regarding immigration; the immigration stations in New York such as Castle Garden, the Barge Office and finally Ellis Island.  Marian provided a wonderful bibliography handout and calendar of important dates regarding Ellis Island.

If you are looking for something to do over the cold Chicago winter, consider the DuPage County Genealogical Society’s upcoming conference, Connecting the Dots A Genealogical Blockbuster.  The conference will be held Saturday, February 26, 2011 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 4070 E. Main Street, St. Charles. More information and registration options can be found on their website under conferences. I attended last year and it was fantastic. I will be in attendance again this year.


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