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Pre-Conference Activities – Thursday, July 30, 2020:

You’ll want to consider the appealing pre-conference activities planned for Thursday, July 30:

  • The Newberry Library Tour
  • Basic-level DNA Workshops
  • The "Welcome!" Dessert Reception

Click here for more information!  

Note: All pre-conference “extras” require payment of separate fees and can be purchased independent from regular conference registration. Please register early for the tour and the workshops - space is limited.

Conference Information

Registration for this – our 4th – Conference “Journey Home” is now open.   The two-day conference features a variety of International and U.S. genealogy experts providing valuable guidance related to Irish, Scots-Irish, Scottish and Welsh ancestry.

The Conference is being held at the Westin Chicago North Shore Hotel (601 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling, Illinois) on July 31-August 1, 2020.   We arranged for an excellent room rate of $129/night (before taxes).  Please see the Lodging page for details, and plan to add an extra night or two at the Westin to enjoy Pre-Conference activities.

Featured speakers include four acclaimed international as well as several North American presenters.  See the Presenters page for details.

The list of international speakers includes John Grenham, author of the standard guide to Irish genealogy, Tracing Your Irish Ancestors (5th edition, 2019); Fiona Fitzsimons, founder of Eneclann and the Irish Family History Centre at EPIC-The Irish Immigration Museum in Dublin, Ireland; Chris Paton, a professional genealogist in Scotland and Beryl Evans, Research Services Manager at the National Library of Wales.

North American speakers include Grace Dumelle, author of the award winning book Finding Your Chicago Ancestors; Melanie McComb, genealogist for American Ancestors; Paul Milner, English and Scottish genealogist; Pamela Guy Holland, professional genealogist specializing in Irish and genetic genealogy and David E. Rencher, director of the Family History Library and Chief Genealogical Officer for Family Search.

This well-rounded roster is completed with Tina Beaird of Tamarack Genealogy, Illinois; Master Genealogist Angie Bush of AncestryProGenealogists® in Salt Lake City; Minnesota genealogist and DNA researcher/lecturer Lois Abromitis Mackin, Ph.D.; genealogist and author Donna Moughty, who authored the Quick Reference Guides for Irish Research; and Karen Stanbary, CG,® a nationally-known lecturer on the use of DNA test results in genealogical problem-solving.

Friday night’s banquet features Patti Vasquez, a well-known Chicago comedienne of Irish-Mexican ancestry.

Save by registering early and using your membership benefits!   Registration Discounts will be offered for early registration, and members of the Irish Genealogical Society International, The Irish Ancestral Research Association, and our Cairde organizations (friends) will be offered a member discount.   If you are a member of one or more of those genealogical societies, you will receive an announcement from your society when registration opens.

Sponsor a lecture – please consider sponsoring a lecture by contributing $250 toward the cost.   You, your organization, your family or a family member will be acknowledged in the Syllabus and on signage.  See the Sponsorship page for details.

Questions? Contact a specific area via the Contact Us page, or just send a note to

We look forward to seeing you in Wheeling, Illinois in July!

The Irish Genealogical Society International, Inc. is a non profit organization headquartered in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. Its mission is to provide genealogical education and assistance to its members and to assist the community at large to discover Irish history, culture and heritage. The Irish Ancestral Research Association, headquartered in Sudbury, Massachusetts, is a non-profit organization promoting the growth, study and exchange of ideas among people and organizations interested in Irish genealogy, historical research and education.