Sunday, February 05, 2006

Speaker Spotlight: Grace DuMelle

Of her connection to Chicago, Grace DuMelle says “I grew up in the port-of-entry neighborhood of Pilsen, described so well by writer Stuart Dybek. I now live just south of there in Bridgeport, the Brooklyn of Chicago, populated with no-nonsense immigrants new and old.”
Keep Reading About Grace DuMelle

In the introduction to Grace’s book, Finding Your Chicago Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide to Family History in the City and Cook County, she writes that “…most Americans have some kind of link to the City of Big Shoulders.” Your ancestors could have come from New York State, the Deep South, Mexico, or Europe.

Grace will present two lectures at NGS Chicago. Chicago Genealogy 101 talks about basics for researching, such as the street renumbering that took place in 1909. “If you don't know that and you're trying to drive by grandma's house, you could be miles away,” Grace says. “I want to save people from being frustrated when they begin their research.”

Tips & Tricks for Cook County Vital Records gives attendees the benefit of over a decade that DuMelle spent ferreting out facts for clients. For instance, graduation lists published by the Chicago Board of Education give birth dates from c. 1916 to c. 1958. “Don't let the bureaucrats get you down, find out other ways to skin a cat,” Grace advises.

Grace adds “I feel privileged to live in one of the most vibrant cities on the planet. I call Chicago the Capitol of Real: real people doing things that really matter.”

We look forward to having Grace give us real advice that will make a difference in our very real research!


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