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July Meeting

July 12, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Photo of Laura Chaplin

Laura Street Chaplin, Professional Genealogist,
presents a live online Zoom seminar:

Pathways to Spicy Stories: An Overview of Court Records

Court records in their infinite variety are a treasure trove for genealogists because they are not just legal documents.  They are pathways into the stories of our ancestors’ lives, often leading to clues we might otherwise miss.  While vital statistics like birth, marriage, and death dates and places are important, it is the stories we uncover that add the extra spice.  Attend this humorous attempt to give an overview of the various documents found in an American court! 

Register to remotely attend using your own PC or other internet connected device,
or, attend the meeting at our library (no registration required)

After registering, you will receive an email from TCGHS with a “Join the Meeting” link required to enter the meeting.
Tip:  Remember where your link email is – possibly adding to your calendar if you use one.
Note:  Registration limited to first 100 attendees.

Can’t make the meeting?
Laura has generously allowed this meeting to be recorded
and available in our Members Only Area through August 12

About Laura:  I am Laura (Street) Chaplin of Sugar Grove, Illinois (a rural, far western Chicago-land suburb).  Although raised in southeastern Iowa I’ve moved all around the Midwest:  Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, now back to Illinois.

My husband and I became interested in family history in college (around 1978) when a professor asserted we all had immigrant ancestors. This novel thought made us wonder who ours might be.  And then came the mini-series Roots.  Like thousands of others we were hooked on genealogy!  Thus began years of research as avid hobbyists, attending countless workshops, traveling all over the country on research trips, taking community college courses, being inundated.  We like to say our three daughters were raised tramping through graveyards!

Through the years we had so much fun and found so many interesting stories that sharing our experiences and expertise with friends and family became second nature.  I became known as the family historian, in several family branches.

In my everyday life I am a wife, mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother of six.  For a number of years I was employed by midwestern Catholic parishes, variously as parish musician, choir director, liturgist, and pastoral associate.  I hold a BA from the University of Northern Iowa and an MPS (Masters of Pastoral Studies) in Theology from Loyola University (New Orleans).

A long-time dream came true with the launch of Willowtree Research: Family History and Genealogy Services in 2013.  In 2014, I completed the Boston University “Certificate in Genealogical Research” program and am now a proud BU Gen certificate-holder (OL 14).  In 2019, I was elected to the Board of Directors of the Illinois State Genealogical Society

Since 2015 I’ve enjoyed becoming a member of the Genealogy Speakers Guild and offering presentations on genealogy topics.  After a few years employed at the Town & Country Public Library in Elburn as History & Genealogy Manager where we opened their Lawrence J. Martin Heritage Center, I retired in 2020 and am excitedly devoting more time to my genealogy business.

It’s so rewarding helping others enjoy the excitement and tremendous fulfillment of learning about their own family heritage.

Business meeting will follow.


July 12, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Ehrlicher Research Center
719 N 11th Street
Pekin, IL 61554 United States
(309) 477-3044


309 477-3044