Friday, July 12, 2013

Society Spotlight: Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois

CAGGNI-LogoMontageThe Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) is a not-for-profit organization incorporated in the State of Illinois. The objectives of the Group are as follows:

  • Assisting its members in their genealogical research and using computers in this endeavor.
  • Keeping its members informed on new technologies and techniques to support their research.
  • Providing genealogical and computer mentoring for its membership.
  • Undertaking projects which support the genealogical community in the region.

CAGGNI was originally the Northern Illinois PAF Users Group (NIPAFUG), formed through the local Schaumburg LDS Family History Center and consisted of users of the LDS Personal Ancestral File genealogy program. Over time, as the interests of its members diversified, the membership decided to expand its focus to all uses of computers for researching genealogy, and any and all software programs. In 1998, the current name and new goals were adopted.

CAGGNI currently has over 200 members, and is a very active group putting on over 20 full programs annually, publishing a monthly newsletter and maintaining a web site that services the local genealogical community, including non-members.

The current cost of membership is a mere $20 for the calendar year (beginning 1 Jan). In addition to the benefits of attending the monthly meetings and/or SIGs, each member receives the colorful and informative monthly Newsletter, which is an excellent source of tips, genealogy news, and articles of interest for the modern genealogy researcher. Members also receive access to the Members-Only section of the CAGGNI website. This section contains a complete archive of past newsletters, a member forum, a member directory, and much more. Members can edit their profiles and search for others in the group with similar interests. CAGGNI's Surname service puts members in touch with anyone, anywhere, who’s searching for persons researching the same surname.

Regular monthly meetings are held on the third Saturday of every month (except December) at the Schaumburg District Township Library (SDTL) from 10:30 AM to roughly 12:30 PM, and are open to the public. We also sponsor a variety of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) for various software packages (Reunion, Family Tree Maker, Ancestral Quest, and the Master Genealogist), which meet on the second Saturdays, at the SDTL. In addition, they offer several one-day workshops. A full schedule of events can be found on their website.

Within the past few years, CAGGNI has organized an annual field trip to a research center. Past trips have been to the Allen County Public Library. This year a trip to the Newberry Library is being planned for October. They are currently planning their first one-day conference in the spring of 2014.

While the Group does not have a library, they maintain an archival collection of the records, communications, manuscripts, photographs, and memorabilia related to the origin and development of the organization. The collection is both paper and digital with access available to CAGGNI members.

For additional information about the CAGGNI, visit their website or contact them by email at webmaster@caggni.org. And be sure to follow them on Facebook.

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