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Irish Genealogical Society International

Celtic Connections Conference 2020 News

CCC Planning Committee
An acclaimed group of Irish, Scottish, Welsh and U.S. genealogists has been confirmed for the July 31 - August 1, 2020 conference. A great conference venue (Westin Chicago North Shore Hotel) combined with two full days of Irish genealogy, history, and culture ensure a stimulating experience for family historians.
This will be the fourth biennial genealogy conference co-sponsored by the Irish Genealogical Society International (IGSI) and The Irish Ancestral Research Association. (TIARA). Successful conferences in Boston (2014 and 2018) and Minneapolis (2016) have steadily grown the event. Plan to be part of the next conference.
Beautiful conference venue
The conference venue is the Westin Chicago North Shore, a luxury 4-star hotel in Wheeling, IL, with easy access to O’Hare Airport and seven major interstate highways.
A special conference rate of $129 per night is available for Wednesday, July 29, through Sunday, August 2. Reservations must be made through the Celtic Connections Conference website – or specify “Celtic Connections Conference” if you reserve by phone.
Pre-conference activities
We plan to offer pre-conference activities for Thursday, July 30. Consider scheduling an additional day to take advantage of these conference “extras”:
  • Two basic-level DNA classes
  • A round-trip bus trip to the Newberry Library for those who might like to research or, tour other popular Chicago sites
  • An evening reception
The Celtic Connections Conference 2020 is less than ten months away! Registration for the conference will open early in 2020. More information can be found at
Conference Presenters
An impressive group of international and U.S. presenters bring expertise on a wide range of genealogy-related topics:
Tina Beaird, a director for the Illinois State Genealogical Society and the Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board, lectures nationally on Scottish records, and archival preservation.
Angie Bush works as a Master Genealogist with AncestryProGenealogists® in Salt Lake City, where she specializes in combining genetic and genealogical evidence to answer questions of kinship and identity.
Grace Dumelle greatly enjoys guiding people to discoveries about their families at the Newberry Library and through her business, Heartland Historical Research Service She is the author of Finding Your Chicago Ancestors.
Beryl Evans is the Research Services Manager at the National Library of Wales where she has gained expertise in Welsh family history over the past 35 years. She is the author of Tracing Your Welsh Ancestors and has contributed many articles and presentations to a global audience.
Fiona Fitzsimons is a founder of Eneclann and the Irish Family History Centre at EPIC. She teaches a two-year course in Irish Family & Social History in Trinity College Dublin. She writes for History Ireland magazine and Irish Lives Remembered as well as other Irish/British newspapers and radio.
John Grenham is author of the standard guide to Irish genealogy, Tracing your Irish Ancestors (5th edition, 2019). He wrote the "Irish Roots" column in The Irish Times 2009-2016 and ran its Irish Ancestors website.  He now manages the Irish Ancestors website,, independently.
Pamela Guye Holland  is a professional genealogist specializing in Irish and genetic genealogy. She serves on the TIARA board, works for research services at NEHGS.
Lois Abromitis Mackin, Ph.D., is a professional genealogist focusing on American and English research. She was a founding member of the Minnesota Genealogical Society DNA interest group and has completed two weeklong DNA institutes.
Melanie McComb is a staff genealogist for American Ancestors (New England Historic Genealogical Society).  She is also a blogger known as "The Shamrock Genealogist". 
Paul Milner, FUGA, MDiv., a native of northern England, is a professional genealogist and international lecturer. He is the author of six how-to books for English and Scottish researchers.
Donna Moughty is a professional genealogist who has been conducting family research for over 25 years. She lectures on a variety of subjects including Internet, Irish research, methodology, and computer topics.
Chris Paton works as a professional genealogist in Scotland. He is an author, tutor and lecturer specializing in Irish and Scottish research.
David E. Rencher, AG®, CG®, FUGA, FIGRS, is  the Director, Family History Library and Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch. A professional genealogist since 1977, he is one of the rare few who have earned both credentials: Accredited Genealogist® with ICAPGen in Ireland research and Certified Genealogist® with the Board for Certification of Genealogists.
Karen Stanbary, CG®, holds the Certified Genealogist credential. She lectures nationally on the use of DNA test results in genealogical problem-solving, always within the framework of the Genealogical Proof Standard.

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