Saturday, January 14, 2006

CGC Member Spotlight: BIGWILL

The British Interest Group of Wisconsin & Illinois (BIGWILL) is one of the eight member societies that make up the Chicagoland Genealogical Consortium.
Read More About BIGWILL


BIGWILL’s focus is on the British Isles: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. Their membership is approximately 150-175 from all over the United States. The majority of members are from Wisconsin and Illinois.

BIGWILL President Peggy Rockwell Gleich says, “If you need help locating your ancestors in the British Isles, the British Interest Group of Wisconsin and Illinois may be just the group for you. We have several very experienced members from the British Isles or with a great deal of knowledge who can help with your research.”

The BIGWILL home base is Richmond, Illinois, a small “antique” village in northern Illinois, just south of the Wisconsin border. Meetings are held at Grace Lutheran Church, surrounded by a beautiful cemetery and woods filled with pheasants, deer and other wild animals.

BIGWILL meets the third Saturday of every other month (January, March, May, July, September, and November). Meetings begin at 10:00 a.m. and refreshments are always served.

The society publishes the BIGWILL News, a bi-monthly newsletter. Articles by authors with an array of experience in either British Isles research and/or genealogy will tempt your reading appetite. Books reviews, lists of surnames, a library report and other items are staples. Queries are free to members.

The BIGWILL library is located at Richmond’s Nippersink Library. This collection grows with additions by members and the society. A Research Help Desk is maintained on meeting afternoons at the Nippersink Library from 1-3 pm. The materials are available during regular library hours.

BIGWILL offers a growing database, support groups, members' mailing list, and a great group of people to research with anytime.

The society had a successful 2005 conference with Maggie Loughran & Paul Blake from England. The society has an active role in NGS Chicago 2006.

For more information see the BIGWILL Website at http://www.rootsweb.com/~wiilbig. Something new is always being added. The webmaster has as online calendar to rival anyone around the country! Check it out!

Gleich says, “Whether you are new or an ‘old hat’ to genealogy, a conference is a great way to find out what is going on in genealogy today. A conference also lets you become involved as much as you want to be involved, either individually or with a group. And, oh do you ever learn! And the people you meet are just amazing. The networking possibilities are worth the cost alone. Your whole experience will be wonderful. Enjoy yourselves!”

BIGWILL Members with special roles in the CGC include Susan Sincere, BIGWILL Librarian and Hospitality Assistant; Jackie Torrance, Treasurer, Assistant Registration; Peggy Rockwell Gleich, BIGWILL President, Volunteer Coordinator; Kathy Brady-Blake, society representative and Publicity Chair.

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