Is your organization, club or library in search of a captivating program for it’s next meeting? Perhaps one of the following topics will be of interest to your members or patrons. Details on available dates, rates and technical requirements can be obtained by contacting me through my “Contact” page above.

I look forward to chatting with you about how the options below can add to your group’s understanding and enjoyment of  genealogy and personal history.

                           Luck of the Irish Uncovers the Truth:                                           

How a Little Spring Cleaning and a New Database Led to the True Location of my Grandparents Marriage in 1890 Chicago

(Copyright © 2014 Patricia Desmond Biallas)

(Copyright © 2014 Patricia Desmond Biallas)

False leads, surprising turns and a double twist at the end make for an entertaining and informative introduction to Chicago Catholic Church records.

This program takes listeners on a step-by-step journey with a genealogist who discovers the surprising truth of exactly where her grandparents were really wed in 1890 Chicago–a truth that was discovered because she finally got around to organizing her records and examining new sources she’d never examined before.

Genealogists and personal historians alike will benefit from following this circuitous route, which ultimately leads to a very happy ending for all.

The Crash:    How one Chicago Family Navigated Personal and Financial Loss during The Great Depression

(Photo courtesy of National Archives)

(Photo courtesy National Archives)

This true story introduces listeners to the Donar family, beginning with its patriarch Peter, a “baggage man” with a renowned Chicago Hotel. His death–days before Black Tuesday–is just the beginning of a decade of family loss, struggle and survival.

The realities wrought by the Great Depression—the most economically treacherous time in American history—are brought to life through this family’s struggles: struggles familiar to so many Americans who endured  harrowing times in the early part of the last century.

Cemetery Sleuthing Leads to Lessons Learned

(Copyright © 2014 Patricia Desmond Biallas)

(Copyright © 2011 Patricia Desmond Biallas)

Searching for ancestors in local cemeteries is not for the faint of heart, but ghosts and goblins are the least of your concerns.

Missing gravestones, miss-marked markers, and gravestones that were never engraved lead to discoveries that are thrilling, disappointing and mysterious, in turn.

What to expect, what not to expect, and preparing for the unexpected are all covered in this “How To” of cemetery sleuthing.

Etiquette, safety, and working with cemetery office staff, will also be covered,  as will tips on maintaining an attractive grave site for your ancestor.

Whether you’re just getting started in cemetery research or you’ve been doing it for a while, you’re sure to enjoy some fascinating stories and gain valuable tips as Pat shares her experiences in sleuthing out Chicago area cemeteries.

For  details on availability, technology requirements, and fees and please contact me, Pat Biallas, via this link to my “Contact” page.




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