Claire Gene Esker, MSc, Qualified Genealogist, PLCGS American Records

ProGen Member Overview

My interest in genealogy began at age 21, when I began documenting my grandfather's Polish pedigree. Since, that time, I have completed a Master of Science with merit in Genealogic, Palaeographic, and Heraldic Studies from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland and been admitted to the Register of Qualified Genealogists. Additionally, I am a member of the Polish Genealogical Society of America, where I serve as a volunteer researcher, as well as the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois, the National Episcopal Historians and Archivists, the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church, and the Episcopal Women's History Project.

I am a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and am currently furthering my education through the National Institute for Genealogical Studies in Toronto, Canada. I have completed a course of study in American Records and methodology and am now working toward certification in Eastern European Records.


I received a BA in political science with a comparative politics focus from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in 2010. I went on to receive my master's degree in 2020 from the University of Strathclyde, composing my thesis on Polish women in turn of the 19th century Chicago.


I love a good challenge and have worked on diverse projects that included geographic regions including Germany, Poland, Armenia, the American South, and Ireland. I am especially passionate about Chicago and Illinois genealogy.

Publications & BLOGs

I have been published in "Morasha," the newsletter of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois, writing on the transmission of women's family history knowledge through the use of ethical wills and locating Jewish ancestors in early partition-era Christian records, and in "Rodzinny," the journal of the Polish Genealogical Society of America, writing on the Polish Women's Alliance of America insurance records held at the Newberry Library in Chicago. My thesis on these records is currently held at the Newberry with its underlying research, as well as at the Polish Museum of America in Chicago, Illinois.