2017 Family History Conference and Book Fair

 co-sponsored by

The Genealogy Society of Southern Illinois
and John A. Logan College

Saturday, August 12, 2017 
8:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.

Ray Hancock Conference Center
John A. Logan College
Route 13 & Greenbriar Road, Carterville, IL

Featured Speaker:

Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA

Professional Genealogist, Columnist and Teacher

Mark Lowe has been researching families for more than 40 years. He grew up in Tennessee with extensive family roots in Kentucky. He has traveled extensively in both states and enjoys sharing his love of genealogy and the joy of research with others including some historic reenacting. Mark's family history in two states and knowledge of the interaction of citizens along borders helps him resolve difficult issues using often overlooked records. As a national and regional speaker, he has brought these areas of expertise along with his unique humor and southern style to many diverse audiences.

Lowe was President of the of the Association of Professional Genealogists and is former Vice President and Secretary of the Federation of Genealogical Societies.  In the process of teaching others, Mark builds his own skills and insight for research. His experience as a Classroom Teacher, Principal and Professional Researcher provides a different perspective for each research problem.  He has published articles in numerous genealogical journals, including The National Genealogical Society Quarterly, The North Carolina Genealogical Society Quarterly, The Longhunter, and The Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society Quarterly. His book publications include Robertson County Tennessee Marriage Book 2, 1859-1873 and Pioneer Cemetery (Bowling Green, KY.)

Lowe's instructions about "Tracking that Pre-1850 Ancestor" were very well received at the 2011 GSSI Fall Conference.  Don't miss his return to Southern Illinois in 2017 with entirely new topics.

Tennessee, the Road to the West (9:00 am)

Learn about the wonderful records that exist for genealogists researching Tennessee. Record types and examples will be discussed and presented. Case studies will be included for further discussion.

Land Barons or Dirt Farmers: Finding Land Transactions (10:30 am)

Following the land will often identify the Ancestor and family. Learn how to trace an individual through property records and how to trace a specific property.

Finding Your Landless Ancestors (1:15 pm)

Since land is the key in many ancestral discoveries, tracking those individuals who did not own land often becomes a daunting task. Learn to use Trust Deed Chattels and Tax Release Books to help locate those individuals without deeds and estates.

Over the Mountain, Across the Plains… Using Electronic Records to Trace Our Ancestors (2:45 pm)

Your ancestors moved westward, now follow them as they move back east. Knowing where to look for valuable records will reward you with insights and research plans.



Annual Meeting:  The Annual Meeting of the Genealogy Society Of Southern Illinois will be held at 8:30, prior to the above lectures.  All paid-up members of GSSI are invited to attend and participate in the election of officers for 2018.

Lunch: Lunch is included with your paid registration if received prior to August 1st. Lunch includes Brown Sugar pulled Pork w/ Sloder bun, Honey BBq Chicken, Buttered Potatoes, Salad, Apple Cobbler, Tea and Water. Vending machines with soft drinks and snacks are also available.

Vendor Fair: Vendors and societies will have displays and genealogical products to examine and purchase. The Book Fair is open to the public; conference registration is not required to attend.  If you have genealogical materials you no longer need, please consider donating them to the GSSI Country Store. Proceeds will benefit the GSSI organization.

GSSI Library: The GSSI Library that is located on the John A Logan College Campus will be open during the lunch break. GSSI volunteers will be available to answer questions regarding the extensive collection.

Handicap Accessibility: The facility is handicapped accessible with all activities on one floor without steps. If you have special needs, please indicate on the registration form.

Directions: John A Logan College is located on Illinois Rte. 13 at Greenbriar Road in Carterville, between Marion and Carbondale. Turn north off Rte. 13 at the Greenbriar traffic light and proceed past the ball fields to the campus entrance and follow the signs to parking lot "D" which is immediately adjacent to the entrance of the Ray Hancock Conference Center. Overflow parking will be available in lot "A" nearby. Parking is free.

Hotels: Several chain hotels are located on Rte. 13 between Marion and Carbondale, within a few miles of the conference

Conference Questions: Contact Jackie Lyell at