British Interest Group of Wisconsin and Illinois

Where and when we meet:

BIGWILL’s meetings are usually 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.

Upcoming meeting dates and topics:

20 March 2021: “Finding Your 17th Century Ancestors in England” will be presented, via Zoom, by Paul Milner.
Our featured speaker will be Paul Milner, a native of northern England, author, professional genealogist, international lecturer, and past president of BIGWILL.

His presentation will illustrate and identify the best genealogical resources, original and published, to use for 17th century research in England, and what is different about using the familiar record groups and their indexes. We will look at records specific to the 17th century, located in national archives, local record offices, and those that have been published, indexed, or are online. We will examine all levels of the social spectrum and look at ways to cross the gap created in the records by the English Civil War.

BIGWILL is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: 17th Century Ancestors
Time: Saturday 20 March 2021 (login opens at 09:30 AM; meeting starts at 10:00) Central Daylight Time
To join the meeting: go to
Meeting ID: 811 4036 0889
Passcode: 661465
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,81140360889#,,,,*661465# US (Washington DC)
+13126266799,,81140360889#,,,,*661465# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location
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Have the meeting ID and passcode available when you log in (enough before 10:00 to allow for any glitches to be taken care of).
Be aware that if you have a personal login name and password for Zoom, it will be different from the meeting ID and password for this BIGWILL Zoom meeting.

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)
Preserving Family Heirlooms, by Tina Beaird (17 September 2016). Photo Preservation booklet (7 pages); Preserving Family Heirlooms (14 PowerPoint “slides”); Preserving Family Heirlooms booklet (5 pages)
Scotland’s Resources: There’s More to Scottish Research than Scotland’s People, by Tina Beaird (20 May 2017). Scotland’s Resources / Searching Beyond Scotland’s People (25 pages, 25 MB!); Scottish Genealogy Bibliography (1 page)
Scottish Chain Migration to Illinois: Three Case Studies, by Tina Beaird (20 May 2017). Scottish Chain Migration to Illinois (5 pages)
Mapping the Past: Navigating Your Family History with Maps, by Daniel Hubbard (16 September 2017). Mapping the Past (2 pages)
Compiling Your Medical Family Tree, by Marsha Peterson-Maass (17 November 2018). Compiling Your Medical Family Tree (1 page)
Pinning Down Your Past: Adding Social Media to Your Genealogical Repertoire (21 September 2019). Pinning Down Your Past (7 pages)

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

BIGWILL is always on the lookout for program ideas, and Sandra Braid 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 Sandra hot on the trail of another BIGWILL meeting topic. You can contact her 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 14 March 2021