Recently Published Works

Articles and Book Reviews

Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly

Spring 2020

After 180 Years: Records of the Laborers Who Built the Illinois & Michigan Canal
Hundreds of documents with names and other information about the laborers who built the Illinois & Michigan Canal have been rediscovered in the vault of the canal commission’s former headquarters, nearly 180 years after work on the waterway began.  The records could prove to be a treasure trove for genealogists and historians.

National Genealogical Society Magazine

April-June 2020

​Immigrant Ancestors in World War I Military Naturalizations

Non-citizens residing in the USA during World War I were drafted in the military, and with their induction into service, and the government responded by streamlining the naturalization process for these 'alien' servicemen.  This article introduces readers to strategies for researching WWI immigrant ancestors and discover more about their military service and personal path to citizenship.

Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly

Winter 2019

Book Review: The Khaki Road of Yesterday

John B. Kane, a World War I veteran of the US Army Graves Registration Service wrote his wartime memoirs for his 10-year-old daughter Sashie in 1940.  His account, which was typed on onion skin paper, sat in his desk drawer for several decades and recently published by his descendents Gus and LaWanda Zimmerman.  Kane's account is both harrowing and tender, and is a must-read for genealogists.

Debra Dudek

Genealogist   Author   Librarian

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About Debra Dudek

Genealogist  Author  Librarian

Debra M. Dudek is Head of Adult and Teen Services at the Fountaindale Public Library District in Bolingbrook, IL.
Ms. Dudek specializes in British genealogy, World War I research, and emerging technology topics. An alumna of Olivet College (Olivet, Michigan) and the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland). Ms. Dudek holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, a Masters in Information and Library Studies, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Genealogical, Palaeographic & Heraldic Studies.


Books and Ebooks


Free Downloadable World War I Research Checklist

Need help tracking down your World War I era ancestor?  Download this free checklist and get started with your research!

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Upcoming Events
Adventures with Lost Postcards: Using eBay, Etsy, Craigslist, and CardCow to Break Down Genealogical Brick Walls
Wed, May 27
Indian Trails Public Library District
May 27, 7:00 PM
Indian Trails Public Library District, 355 Schoenbeck Rd, Wheeling, IL 60090, USA
Civil War Genealogy
Thu, Jul 09
Town & Country Public Library
Jul 09, 7:00 PM
Town & Country Public Library, 320 E North St, Elburn, IL 60119, USA
World War I Genealogy – Where Do I Start?
Sat, Jul 18
Lasalle County Genealogy Guild
Jul 18, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Lasalle County Genealogy Guild, 115 W Glover St, Ottawa, IL 61350, USA
Adventures With Lost Postcards
Fri, Sep 18
Merrillville Branch Lake County Public
Sep 18, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Merrillville Branch Lake County Public, 1919 81st Ave, Merrillville, IN 46410, USA
Allied with the Allies - Researching British, Canadian, Australian, French and Italian Military Records
Sat, Sep 19
British Interest Group of Wis & Ill
Sep 19, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
British Interest Group of Wis & Ill, 5714 Broadway Rd, Richmond, IL 60071, USA
World War I Genealogy – Where Do I Start?
Thu, Oct 08
Peoria Co. Genealogical Society Webinar
Oct 08, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Peoria Co. Genealogical Society Webinar, Peoria Public Library, 3001 West Grand Parkway, Peoria, IL 61615, USA
The War of 1812 - Researching 'Second Revolution' Ancestors
Wed, Oct 21
DuPage County Genealogical Society
Oct 21, 7:00 PM
DuPage County Genealogical Society, 225 N Cross St, Wheaton, IL 60187, USA

Free Webinar

Internet Archive for Genealogy Research

February 14, 2019

Super charge your genealogy research with Internet Archive! If you haven’t been on this site yet, you’re missing a lot of fantastic resources!

Webinar for personal use only.  Please contact speaker for society or group viewing options.

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Get in Touch

Debra Dudek

Bolingbrook, Illinois


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