New Poll On Right Sidebar Of The Blog; Simple Question Being Posed; “Are You A Paid Member Of A Genealogy Society/Group?”; “Yes” Or “No”?

Hi Everyone!

Well, here goes another Poll that is now on the right sidebar of the blog right at the top of the blog homepage.

I am just asking for a simple response to a very basic question.

“Are You A Paid Member Of A Genealogy Society/Group?”  Yes or No

Simple, direct and to the point!

Take a look at the new Poll.  Consider providing a reply.

Let’s see how active this poll can be.

The more the merrier!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Poll On The Right Sidebar Has Been Closed For “Have You Ever Been Contacted By An “Unknown” Relative That Discovered You In Their Genealogy?”; Results Indicated

Hi Everyone!

It is amazing that about  2 months has passed on the life of the poll I had on the right sidebar of the blog since February 24, 2014.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order!

The poll had asked the question “Have You Ever Been Contacted By An “Unknown” Relative That Discovered You In Their Genealogy?”

The results of the poll showed the following from the 60 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their “Yes” or “No” response to the question.  The numbers show that 34 responses (56.67%) noted they had been contacted by an unknown relative while 26 responses (43.33%) indicated they have not been contacted by an unknown relative.

I actually think that those are some good results and may be indicative of the easier ability to be discovered and connect to unknown relatives.  We have so many social media outlets that allow searches to be made for participants.  You often just search through member lists looking for surnames of interest to you.  There are also so many outlets online for uploading family trees through which ancestral connections and discoveries can be made.  These trees allow the ability to contact those that have uploaded the information.  So discoveries should appear to me to be easier now as long as you have some visibility on the internet.

I am always looking for a larger response than even that which I just saw!  So come on down ——  affix your opinion as a “Yes” or “No” when so asked to the varied polls on different topics in the world of genealogy and family history research.  Your answers count.

I plan on putting up a new poll rapidly.  Come back for that one to see the new question being asked.

A big thank you to all of those that took the time to respond to this just recently closed poll.  Take a look at the results of that poll to satisfy your own curiosity.

Don’t forget to visit my Poll Archives as part of this blog.  Look for the link at the top of the homepage of the blog where it simply says “Poll Archives”.  In here you will find the statistical results of the 14 previously active polls in addition to the poll that is generally “active”.  If you were not aware of this Archive, you may want to visit to see what all the previous polls were about.

Here is a direct link to the Poll Archives at my blog:

Poll Archives At Tony’s Genealogy Blog At The Schaumburg Township District Library (STDL)

Get ready for another poll ……………………..SOON!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Swedish American Museum Genealogy Program On Saturday April 26, 2014; “The Viking Discovery Of America” Presented By Dr. James Borg; Free For Members, $10 Cost For Non-Members

Hi Everyone!

Swedish American Museum LogoI received a reminder announcement for an upcoming Genealogy Program that is being  hosted by the Swedish American Museum through the Nordic Family Genealogy Center.

The Swedish American Museum is located at 5211 N. Clark St. in Chicago, IL.

On Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 10 AM to 12 Noon, Dr. James Borg will present a program titled “The Viking Discovery of America”.

Here is a link to the Swedish American Museum description of the program along with all of the details associated with the program:

April 26, 2014 Swedish American Museum Genealogy Program; “The Viking Discovery of America” by Dr. James Borg

It sounds like a very interesting program.

Take a look at the website for the Swedish American Museum for all that they offer to help you with learning more about Swedish culture and Swedish genealogy.  You will also be able to discover more about the Nordic Family Genealogy Center.  You can visit the museum at:

Swedish American Museum

Consider attending the program to learn more about the Vikings connection to the eastern shore of the United States.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Northwest Suburban Council Of Genealogists (NWSCG) Next Program Scheduled For Saturday Morning, May 3, 2014 At 10:00 AM; “Have You Ever Thought About Joining A Lineage Society?” By Joan E. Murray

Hi Everyone,

NWSCG LogoI just received a program notice from the Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists indicating that their next genealogy program is scheduled for Saturday morning, May 3, 2014 at 10:00 AM.

The society will be meeting on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 10:00 AM at the Arlington Heights Senior Center at 1801 W. Central Rd. in Arlington Heights, IL.

There is no prior registration needed.  There is no fee to attend.

The society offers an early informal gathering at 9:00 AM that would allow you to exchange information and ask questions with others present at the time before the formal program starts.

Please be sure to view the link below that will get you to the program description material supplied to me by the society. 

Feature Presentation Clip ArtThe speaker for the morning program will be Joan E. Murray.    The speaker will present a program titled “Have You Ever Thought About Joining A Lineage Society?.

Please take a look at the full PDF announcement of the program by going to:

Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists (NWSCG) May 3, 2014 Program Notice

You will find more details about the program location, the program contents and some information about Joan E. Murray, the speaker for the morning from the above link to the program information.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Steve Szabados Has Authored Another Genealogy Help Book; The Title Is “Write Your Family History: Easy Steps to Organize, Save and Share”; Available At Amazon.com

Hi Everyone!

Steve Szabados

Steve Szabados

Steve Szabados, a recurring genealogy program presenter at our library, has informed me that he has another new genealogy help book that has been published.

The book tries to explain the process he uses to go from his research to pages that he shares with family members. These pages turn into a family history that can be enjoyed by everyone.

The title of the book is Write Your Family History: Easy Steps to Organize, Save and Share.

I plan on adding this book to our library’s circulating collection so it can be checked out.

Steve is an avid Polish genealogy researcher and wants to share his publication successes with all other researchers regardless of what they are researching.

Steve informs me the book is available through Amazon.com.  Here is a link to Amazon.com providing information about Steve’s new book:

Steve Szabados Newly Published Genealogy Help Book; “Write Your Family History: Easy Steps to Organize, Save and Share” At Amazon.com

Steve also offers personal help to those doing Polish genealogical research through his volunteer efforts at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.  Steve is there on each Friday morning from 9 AM to 12 Noon.

Steve knows his stuff about all things “genealogy”.  He also knows his stuff about “Polish genealogy”.

Consider picking up a copy of this new book through Amazon.com.  Let Steve’s words and guidance allow you to take your genealogical research material from what you have to a more polished, publication-ready document that can easily wind up in the hands of all of your extended family members giving them the chance to get a better picture of where everyone came from!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“What’s New At Ancestry.com April 2014″ YouTube Video

Hi Everyone!

ancestry-logoI just did a quick look at YouTube and saw that there is now an April 2014 video posted from Ancestry.com that is titled “What’s New At Ancestry.com April 2014″.

The video is an approximate 14 minute production hosted by Crista Cowan of Ancestry.com who provides the viewers with updates on what new things users of Ancestry.com should be aware of.  This is a short presentation because Crista has created this presentation while she was having some down time being on vacation.   Normally her presentations are in the 25 minute range.

Topics covered in this video by Crista are:

  • Upcoming Conferences – National Genealogical Society in Richmond, VA (May 7-10, 2014), Southern California Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank, CA (Jun 6-8, 2014), International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) in Salt Lake City, UT  (July 27 – August 1, 2014)
  • New Content! – 13 Million new records added for 13 countries in the Ancestry databases.
  • Research Reminders #1 – Read the complete database descriptions for the newly added material to know what is contained and what is NOT contained.  Don’t just search!
  • Research Reminder #2 – Understand the records you are looking at when you are searching a newly added database.  Knowing what is there will help you create better search terms for better results.  Just create a “test” input search to see the results.
  • Research Reminder #3 – Look at the “related” data collections noted on the right side of the view of the newly created database.  This will provide you with other suggested databases to consider searching that may have a connection to the database you are looking at.

You can view this video directly here:

Crista does an excellent job of sharing what is new at Ancestry.com that can make your use of the product even more effective and beneficial with your family history research.  She shows you via her computer screen what to look for at the Ancestry.com site.

I also did a search on YouTube looking for similarly titled videos and did discover that there are many “What’s New At Ancestry.com” videos on YouTube going back at least until April of 2012.  These series of videos are a great tool to use to review going back in time so you keep current with all that is being offered and added to Ancestry.com.

Here is a simple link to my search in YouTube that will give you this nice list of these videos posted to YouTube that you can do some catching up on to know about all of the new things at Ancestry.com:

“What’s New At Ancestry.com” YouTube Videos

The host does a very good job verbally describing the new additions as well as showing you the new things at Ancestry via screencasting.  That allows you to see her computer screen as she points out the various “new” things you may see at Ancestry.com and where they are located.

Because so many of us use Ancestry.com, either via a personal subscription or by using the Ancestry product at our local libraries, these YouTube videos are quite informative to keep users up to date with new features that take root on Ancestry.com.  The host provides even more depth to the importance of the change and even why it was done.

I think you will enjoy the most recent video above as well as looking at the link above for even more of these videos.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Our Library Has A 1 Month “Trial” Subscription To Origins.net That Runs From April 1, 2014 To April 30, 2014; Origins.net Has 130 Million British And Irish Records

Hi Everyone!

STDL Central Summer LgI am happy to announce  that the Schaumburg Township District Library (STDL) has obtained a one-month “trial” subscription to the Origins.net set of genealogical research databases.  These databases focus on British and  Irish records used to help you on your ancestral quest.

The database offering from Origins.net contains 130 million records that Origins.net Logocan be accessed online through this “trial” subscription.

The Origins.net database can ONLY be accessed from within our library.  The limited access is due to licensing restrictions from the provider.  Access to the database is only available on the 2nd floor of our library on the “Ask Us” computer stations Number 2 to Number 8.

During this trial period you will not see it in our list of databases offered by the library.  So you will only be able to access it from the desktop of the “Ask Us” computers.

All you have to do is look at the “desktop” screen of the computer and look for the Internet Explorer “icon” that says “Origins.net”.  Click on it and you will be connected to the website of the provider and all of the data.

I have done some searches.  All seems good.  If you get results you can click on the link for image.  Just note that there will be a JAVA pop-up that will ask you to continue to run an app to get the image.  I accepted and the image popped up right away.  Our IT staff will be working on a future permanent fix to make this disappear if we permanently add this resource to our database collection after the trial.  But for now it does appear and it is not a dealbreaker!

You can also save any “images” of records you discover onto your own flashdrive that you can connect to the computer you are on.  Images are saved as TIFF images.  I saved an image to my flashdrive and I looked at it later.

You can see that the one, and important drawback of the product, is that it is only available for use in our physical library building.  It is not available to STDL library cardholders from home!  Even if we continue to subscribe after the trial, database access can only occur from within our building.

This is no different from access to Ancestry Library Edition which also only allows access to data from within our library building and not via home connection.

The clock is running.  If you have British or Irish ancestry and have not ever used this database, now is your time to give it a try.  If you are coming to our library building for other purposes, just stop on by the computers behind the “Ask Us” desk on the 2nd floor and take a look at the database.

Don’t forget to take a good look at all of the “teaching” aids that are part of access to this database.  There are lots of links that can give you tips on how to use the database as well as some nice descriptions of each of the individual database that comprise the whole of the product.  There is much to be learned about all that is there even if it turns out your searches are not successful.

Enjoy the database.  We have access to it until April 30, 2014.  Let me know what you think of it.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library