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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. She holds a post graduate certificate in Genealogical, Palaeographic & Heraldic Studies from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.  Ms. Dudek is the Book Review Editor of the Illinois State Genealogical Society, an executive board member of the Illinois State Historical Society, website coordinator for the Chicago Chapter NSDAR, and is the author of the World War I Research Guide: Tracing American Military and Non-Combatant Ancestors.

Finding Your
World War I Ancestors

Need help tracking down your World War I military ancestor?  Watch this free webinar and get started with your research!

Books and Ebooks

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Upcoming Events

  • Adventures with Lost Postcards: Using eBay, Etsy, Craigslist, & CardCow to Break Down Brick Walls (Virtual)
    Adventures with Lost Postcards: Using eBay, Etsy, Craigslist, & CardCow to Break Down Brick Walls (Virtual)
    Mon, Feb 26
    St. Mary's County Genealogical Society
    Feb 26, 2024, 6:00 PM CST
    St. Mary's County Genealogical Society
    Feb 26, 2024, 6:00 PM CST
    St. Mary's County Genealogical Society
    Online auction and resale sites don’t make finding genealogical treasures easy, but with a little persistence, you can discover lost family heirlooms for yourself or share item details with others online.
    Share
  • Maleficarum and Misfortune- Records and Resources for Tracing Accused Witches (In-Person)
    Maleficarum and Misfortune- Records and Resources for Tracing Accused Witches (In-Person)
    Thu, Feb 29
    Indian Trails Public Library District
    Feb 29, 2024, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM CST
    Indian Trails Public Library District, 355 Schoenbeck Rd, Wheeling, IL 60090, USA
    Feb 29, 2024, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM CST
    Indian Trails Public Library District, 355 Schoenbeck Rd, Wheeling, IL 60090, USA
    For over two centuries, individuals accused of witchcraft did not live by the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” – if you made it to trial, the law heavily presumed guilt.
    Share
  • Wide World of Passports (In-Person)
    Wide World of Passports (In-Person)
    Sat, Mar 09
    Northern Illinois University Naperville
    Mar 09, 2024, 9:00 AM
    Northern Illinois University Naperville, 1120 E Diehl Rd, Naperville, IL 60563, USA
    Mar 09, 2024, 9:00 AM
    Northern Illinois University Naperville, 1120 E Diehl Rd, Naperville, IL 60563, USA
    Look beyond passports issued by the United States government! In this lecture, we'll examine an array of passports from different countries and time periods, and how to incorporate this information into your genealogical research.
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  • What's the Buzz About BillionGraves? (In-Person)
    What's the Buzz About BillionGraves? (In-Person)
    Sat, Mar 09
    Northern Illinois University Naperville
    Mar 09, 2024, 10:30 AM
    Northern Illinois University Naperville, 1120 E Diehl Rd, Naperville, IL 60563, USA
    Mar 09, 2024, 10:30 AM
    Northern Illinois University Naperville, 1120 E Diehl Rd, Naperville, IL 60563, USA
    Share
  • The War of 1812 - Researching 'Second Revolution' Ancestors (In-Person)
    The War of 1812 - Researching 'Second Revolution' Ancestors (In-Person)
    Sat, Mar 09
    Northern Illinois University Naperville
    Mar 09, 2024, 1:00 PM
    Northern Illinois University Naperville, 1120 E Diehl Rd, Naperville, IL 60563, USA
    Mar 09, 2024, 1:00 PM
    Northern Illinois University Naperville, 1120 E Diehl Rd, Naperville, IL 60563, USA
    Discover the stories and service of the military men of America's 'Second Revolution'. Reaching beyond federal pension records, this lecture examines a range of resources spanning military registers, navy accounts, and prisoner of war records.
    Share
  •  Discovering your UK/Irish Roots Online (In-Person)
     Discovering your UK/Irish Roots Online (In-Person)
    Sat, Mar 09
    Northern Illinois University Naperville
    Mar 09, 2024, 2:30 PM CST
    Northern Illinois University Naperville, 1120 E Diehl Rd, Naperville, IL 60563, USA
    Mar 09, 2024, 2:30 PM CST
    Northern Illinois University Naperville, 1120 E Diehl Rd, Naperville, IL 60563, USA
    Websites and Resources for English, Welsh, Irish and Scottish Ancestry
    Share
  • Allied with the Allies - Researching British, Canadian, Australian, French and Italian Military Records (VIRTUAL)
    Allied with the Allies - Researching British, Canadian, Australian, French and Italian Military Records (VIRTUAL)
    Mon, Mar 11
    Story County (Iowa) Genealogical Society
    Mar 11, 2024, 6:30 PM CDT
    Story County (Iowa) Genealogical Society
    Mar 11, 2024, 6:30 PM CDT
    Story County (Iowa) Genealogical Society
    Examine the abundant resources, service files, and information for service men and women who served in Canadian, UK, Australian, and French forces during World War I. The lecture will also examine Red Cross records and resources in the US and abroad.
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  •  Discovering your UK/Irish Roots Online (Virtual)
     Discovering your UK/Irish Roots Online (Virtual)
    Tue, Mar 12
    Central Jersey Genealogical Club
    Mar 12, 2024, 6:00 PM CDT
    Central Jersey Genealogical Club
    Mar 12, 2024, 6:00 PM CDT
    Central Jersey Genealogical Club
    Websites and Resources for English, Welsh, Irish and Scottish Ancestry
    Share
  • Discovering Witches: The Real Records and Manuscripts Seen in Movies, Books, and TV Shows (In-Person)
    Discovering Witches: The Real Records and Manuscripts Seen in Movies, Books, and TV Shows (In-Person)
    Thu, Mar 14
    Orland Park Public Library
    Mar 14, 2024, 6:30 PM
    Orland Park Public Library, 14921 S Ravinia Ave, Orland Park, IL 60462, USA
    Mar 14, 2024, 6:30 PM
    Orland Park Public Library, 14921 S Ravinia Ave, Orland Park, IL 60462, USA
    We'll uncover the real records and printed resources seen in your favorite shows, what the writers used as inspiration, and how to access historical resources for free from home.
    Share
  • Unusual Places to Find Births and Naturalizations (Virtual)
    Unusual Places to Find Births and Naturalizations (Virtual)
    Sat, Mar 16
    NCGS 20204 Virtual Conference
    Mar 16, 2024, 9:00 AM CDT
    NCGS 20204 Virtual Conference
    Mar 16, 2024, 9:00 AM CDT
    NCGS 20204 Virtual Conference
    Widen your search for birth dates and locations as well as naturalizations from a variety of underutilized resources such as military rosters, consulate applications, voter registrations, cancelled passports, frakturs and much more.
    Share
  • Researching your Irish Ancestors Online (In-Person)
    Researching your Irish Ancestors Online (In-Person)
    Thu, Mar 21
    Arlington Heights Memorial Library
    Mar 21, 2024, 7:00 PM CDT
    Arlington Heights Memorial Library, 500 N Dunton Ave, Arlington Heights, IL 60004, USA
    Mar 21, 2024, 7:00 PM CDT
    Arlington Heights Memorial Library, 500 N Dunton Ave, Arlington Heights, IL 60004, USA
    Learn online tools and resources to unpuzzle your Irish heritage. This lecture will introduce you to a variety of online sites, new search strategies, and what steps to take to further your research objectives online and abroad.
    Share
  • A Beginners Guide to Fold3 Library Edition (Virtual)
    A Beginners Guide to Fold3 Library Edition (Virtual)
    Wed, Mar 27
    Cranberry Genealogy Club
    Mar 27, 2024, 5:30 PM CDT
    Cranberry Genealogy Club
    Mar 27, 2024, 5:30 PM CDT
    Cranberry Genealogy Club
    Learn how to navigate the site, browse resources effectively, and find the hidden gems on this fantastic database.
    Share
  • Unusual Places to Find Births and Naturalizations (Virtual)
    Unusual Places to Find Births and Naturalizations (Virtual)
    Sat, Apr 20
    Ventura County Genealogical Society
    Apr 20, 2024, 3:00 PM CDT
    Ventura County Genealogical Society
    Apr 20, 2024, 3:00 PM CDT
    Ventura County Genealogical Society
    Widen your search for birth dates and locations as well as naturalizations from a variety of underutilized resources such as military rosters, consulate applications, voter registrations, cancelled passports, frakturs and much more.
    Share
  • Mixers and Shakers - Tracing your Saloon, Tavern, and Bar Keeping Ancestors Before Prohibition (In-Person)
    Mixers and Shakers - Tracing your Saloon, Tavern, and Bar Keeping Ancestors Before Prohibition (In-Person)
    Tue, Apr 30
    Schaumburg Township District Library
    Apr 30, 2024, 7:00 PM CDT
    Schaumburg Township District Library, 130 S Roselle Rd, Schaumburg, IL 60193, USA
    Apr 30, 2024, 7:00 PM CDT
    Schaumburg Township District Library, 130 S Roselle Rd, Schaumburg, IL 60193, USA
    Our ancestor's need for a good drink can provide new details and narratives for your genealogy research.
    Share
  • A Beginners Guide to Fold3 Library Edition (Virtual)
    A Beginners Guide to Fold3 Library Edition (Virtual)
    Sat, May 04
    Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society
    May 04, 2024, 10:00 AM CDT
    Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society
    May 04, 2024, 10:00 AM CDT
    Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society
    Learn how to navigate the site, browse resources effectively, and find the hidden gems on this fantastic database.
    Share
  • Mixers and Shakers - Tracing Your Bootlegging, Shimmy-Shaking, & Repeal-Seeking Ancestors During Prohibition (In-Person)
    Mixers and Shakers - Tracing Your Bootlegging, Shimmy-Shaking, & Repeal-Seeking Ancestors During Prohibition (In-Person)
    Tue, May 07
    Schaumburg Township District Library
    May 07, 2024, 7:00 PM CDT
    Schaumburg Township District Library, 130 S Roselle Rd, Schaumburg, IL 60193, USA
    May 07, 2024, 7:00 PM CDT
    Schaumburg Township District Library, 130 S Roselle Rd, Schaumburg, IL 60193, USA
    Our ancestor's need for a good drink can provide new details and narratives for your genealogy research.
    Share
  • Adventures with Lost Postcards: Using eBay, Etsy, Craigslist, & CardCow to Break Down Brick Walls (In-Person)
    Adventures with Lost Postcards: Using eBay, Etsy, Craigslist, & CardCow to Break Down Brick Walls (In-Person)
    Sat, May 11
    Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library
    May 11, 2024, 10:00 AM CDT
    Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library, 209 Lincolnway E, Mishawaka, IN 46544, USA
    May 11, 2024, 10:00 AM CDT
    Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library, 209 Lincolnway E, Mishawaka, IN 46544, USA
    Online auction and resale sites don’t make finding genealogical treasures easy, but with a little persistence, you can discover lost family heirlooms for yourself or share item details with others online.
    Share
  • Maleficarum and Misfortune- Records and Resources for Tracing Accused Witches (In-Person)
    Maleficarum and Misfortune- Records and Resources for Tracing Accused Witches (In-Person)
    Sat, May 11
    Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library
    May 11, 2024, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM CDT
    Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library, 209 Lincolnway E, Mishawaka, IN 46544, USA
    May 11, 2024, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM CDT
    Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library, 209 Lincolnway E, Mishawaka, IN 46544, USA
    For over two centuries, individuals accused of witchcraft did not live by the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” – if you made it to trial, the law heavily presumed guilt.
    Share

Free Webinars


 The Hunter of Tallulah - The Truth and Legend of an Indian War Ancestor

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February 2024

Adam P. Vandiver was small of stature but his exploits measured to giant proportions.  Vandiver was an extreme mountain man, veteran of the War of 1812 Indian Wars, and boasted to have over 30 children with three wives, though albeit, not at the same time.  In a story pieced together by historical and genealogical records, you can learn how to sort fact from fiction when researching a larger-than-life ancestor.

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

 

Aliens in the Army
World War I Military Naturalizations

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March 2023

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.  Find out how you can research your WWI ancestor's military service and personal path to citizenship.
 

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

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Recently Published Works

Articles and Book Reviews

Spring 2023

Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly

Book Review - Searching for Charles: The Untold Legacy of an Immigrant by Stephen Watts.  This book is an excellent example of how genealogists can tie together a compelling and rich narrative by using personal papers, archival manuscripts, and in-depth social history research.

June 2022

National Genealogical Society Quarterly 

Book Review: American Merchant Seamen of the Early Nineteenth Century by Anne Morddel

This is an essential book for anyone with ancestors who sailed the seas, regardless of  age, race, income, or religion. The author provides a concise yet robust list of  records and methodologies in accessing North American and European records from the time period.

Spring 2022

Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly

Amazing Discovery: The Only Known Copy of the 1845 Will County Census

What once was thought lost has been found: The only known copy of the 1845 Illinois Census of Will County. The census was found rolled up in an underwear drawer in the home of a local historian.  A note found with the census stated it had been discovered by a workman when Will County was demolishing its historic 1887 courthouse in the 1960s.  The census was compiled at the time Irish immigrants and other laborers in Will County were digging the Illinois & Michigan Canal, which connected Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River. 

Get in Touch

Debra M. Dudek

Lockport, Illinois

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