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  • Writer's pictureDebra M. Dudek

Spooky Season and Tons of Fall Webinars!

Hello friends,

I am usually the first person to start decorating for fall. I love breaking out the Halloween decorations and lighting every available candle holder in the house. Autumn is the season of the gathering dark, when skies turn grey, mist clings to the ground, and mystery is just around the corner.

This year, I'm practicing restraint. I want to string out the summer for just a little bit longer and relish this last weekend of summer weather. My running shoes are seeing two to five miles every other day, and the trail next to the Forest Preserve District of Will County is still in peak summer splendor.

I finished a new presentation over the summer entitled "Finding Irish Immigrants in Illinois & Michigan Canal Records" which provides an overview of archival and online resources for researching Irish ancestors living in the canal zone from 1835-1848. I created this new lecture for my friends at the Naperville Public Library and the Naperville Irish Festival, and will be presenting it in-person on Saturday, September 23. I attended a great conference at Lewis University last week "The I&M Canal's 175th Anniversary: Transportation and Transformation" and I am hopeful more historians and genealogists will find their way to this topic.

My fall schedule is absolutely packed with lectures, most of which are free and open to the public by registration. I will be e-mailing folks who RSVP for events a few days in advance of each program with registration reminders and to answer any questions ahead of the program. My "Discovering Witches" program was picked up by more than a few libraries, and I've reworked the presentation to include as much historical and genealogical material as possible, as I am limited to an hour-long program length. The Arlington Heights Public Library booked my hardcore genealogy program "Maleficarum and Misfortune - Records and Resources for Tracing Accused Witches" as an in-person session on Thursday, October 19 at 7 p.m. Central Time. A recording is not currently scheduled, but don't be surprised if you receive a mysterious e-mail notification about a free limited-time recording on YouTube.

I'm making a trip to the World War I Reenactment at Old Falls Village Park in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin on Saturday, October 7 & Sunday, October 8. I will have a small booth highlighting activities of the Women's Committee, National Council of Defense and providing free World War I genealogy assistance. This is shaping up to be a really great event, so if you are in the area, stop by and say hello!

To my friends and neighbors interested in booking a program for next year, I should have a new presentation ready by the end of December. I am also working to expand on my UK/Irish programs with a new lecture as time allows. This should highlight records for poor and destitute ancestors, and may be helpful to more than a few folks.

Hope to see you at an upcoming program!


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