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British Interest Group of Wisconsin and Illinois

Where and when we meet:

BIGWILL’s meetings are held at:
The Community Church
5714 Broadway St.
(two blocks west of U.S. Route 12)
Richmond, Illinois

10am until noon on the third Saturday of the months of
January, March, May, July, September and November.
Visitors as well as members are always welcome. Refreshments are available for a donation at each meeting.

Getting to the Church On Time (village map)

“A” on the map above marks the location of the Community Church

Marching toward Richmond (area map)

Surrounding Area

Upcoming meeting dates and topics:

21 May 2016: “Scots-Irish to America” and “English Church Records Since 1538,” two presentations by David McDonald, CGSM.
Photo of David McDonald Lunch will be served between the two talks.


16 July 2016: “Skeletons in Our Closets: Researching a Family Scandal” will be presented by Robin B. Seidenberg.
Photo of Robin Seidenberg Robin B. Seidenberg had heard rumors about an old family scandal involving a great aunt that occurred during the Roaring Twenties in Chicago. The 1920s were a wild time; Chicago was a wild place. Apparently Robin’s great aunts were wilder than most. While Robin expected to find information in Chicago, she was amazed to discover sensational news stories from Aberdeen, South Dakota, to Aberdeen, Scotland, about the notorious murder in which one of her great aunts was involved. Imagine her surprise when she learned that another great aunt, whom she remembered as a very elegant, dignified lady, had had quite a career on Broadway and in Hollywood. Robin will tell the fascinating story of the scandal and explain how she found the information about these beautiful sisters. Discover the identity of the “Kissing Blonde” and learn how Robin researched historical newspapers to unravel this family mystery.

17 September 2016: “Preserving Family Heirlooms” will be presented by Tina Beaird.
Photo of Tina Beaird What are the best ways to preserve priceless family heirlooms from photographs to books to wedding dresses? And even more importantly, what popular storage and display procedures could destroy the very heirlooms their owners wish to preserve? Find out the answers to those questions and more.

19 November 2016: “Scottish Records Sources” will be presented by Maureen Brady.
Photo of Maureen Brady

Handouts from some earlier BIGWILL meetings:
Photo Retouching in Genealogical Research, by Larry L. Pepper (17 March 2012).
Handout (4 pages)
Quaker Family History Research, by Maureen Brady (18 May 2013). Handout (4 pages)
The First Frontiersmen: The Scots-Irish, by Maureen Brady (18 May 2013). Handout (4 pages)
Using National Archives Administrative Records For Genealogy, by Joan Kitchen Murray (16 November 2013). Handout (2 pages)
Being Legal: Citing Sources and Following Copyright Laws, by Ann Wells (15 November 2014). Bibliography (1 page)
Skeletons in our Closets: Researching a Family Scandal / Some Sources for Online Historical Newspapers, by Robin B. Seidenberg (16 July 2016). Bibliography (2 pages) {Note: some hyperlinks don't work yet}

What would you like to hear about? What would you like to talk about?

BIGWILL is always on the lookout for program ideas, and Roger Higgs is our chief scout. Have you taken a trip to England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man? If so, consider giving a presentation to BIGWILL about what you saw and did. Have you heard a good talk at some other society’s meeting which was related to British Isles research? Or do you just know a topic you’d like to learn more about, even if you don’t know who could give a presentation on the topic? If your answer is “Yes” to any of these questions, help put Roger hot on the trail of another BIGWILL meeting topic. You can contact him by e-mail or in person at almost any BIGWILL meeting. You can make a difference!

Want to be reminded of what programs BIGWILL has had in the past?

Click here to view a listing of all programs from its very beginning through mid-2012.

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This site is maintained by Rollie Littlewood
This page was last modified on 22 July 2016