Mike  Karsen  
                            Professional Speaker 

Helping People to "Create, Preserve & Share"
their Family Legacy



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Chicago's Murderous (or Murderess) Past

Sex, Murder, and Genealogy?

Dora Feldman McDonald, the daughter of German Jewish immigrants, made the front page of Chicago newspapers in 1907 when she shot her lover. Dora, who was married to one of the most powerful political bosses in Chicago at the time, used murder to end this affair and her lover's blackmail. But what ever happened to her after her dramatic acquittal the following year? Genealogist Mike Karsen uses every trick in his tool bag to set the record straight and follow her trail. 

The Musical "Chicago" and All That Genealogical Jazz

The Broadway musical and Hollywood movie CHICAGO was based on the stories of two real-life women by the name of Belva and Beulah. Just as in the show and movie these women killed their lovers. By collecting standard genealogical documents Mike Karsen piece together their lives as well as put their tales into context relating to Chicago history.

My Cousin, The Gangster

Frank Frost a.k.a. Frank Foster was a real Chicago gangster who first worked for the northside gang under Bugs Moran and moved up to south siders under the infamous, Al Capone. While starting with family lore, the facts need to be verified through outside sources. In this case, the problem was not too little information but too much. How to you sort through the scads of information in newspapers, books, and websites and determine which is the truth and which is "speculation and guesswork"


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