Monthly Archives: January 2011

Summary of Our Recent January 11, 2011 Genealogy Pogram with Jeffrey Bassett on the Topic of DNA and Genealogy (Handout PDF Link Included)

Hi Everyone,

Here is a summary of our most recent Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library on Tuesday evening, January 11, 2011.  Our guest speaker for the evening was Jeffrey Bassett.  Jeffrey presented a program titled “DNA and Genealogy: A Revisit”.

Jeffrey had previously provided an overview of using DNA in your genealogy research in January 2007.  So much has advanced in this research technique since Jeffrey was last here that I thought it would be a good topic to revisit and see what is new in this area for genealogy researchers.

I do apologize early on in this post and let the readers know that I had unfortunately forgotten to bring my digital camera to this program.  Consequently, I do not have any pictures of the speaker or of the participants as I often do include in a summary of the program.  Sorry about that.  I will put the camera by my door on the way out for our next speaker oriented program we will have in February 2011!

Once again, old man winter decided to target our program night for a small snowstorm!  It wasn’t a catastrophic storm but I feel like each winter month this program seems to have snowstorm in the mix for the very evening of the program.  Not the day before or the day after but the very evening!!

Nonetheless, we still had a very good turnout for our program which we started at 7:30 PM.  We had 52 people in attendance.  All were hearty souls that would not be stopped from learning some new genealogy research techniques via DNA analysis.  Our speaker was also able to make the program without any difficulties even though he faced more snow closer to the lake from where he was coming.  His driving conditions actually improved as he headed west away from Lake Michigan.

We had 4 new participants in attendance for the evening.  I had them introduce themselves and provided them with a genealogy introduction handout package for them to use as they embark upon their research.

I then spent some time reviewing our “electronic” handout package that I post within the blog on the right sidebar under the category “Program Handouts”.

I like to include handouts of upcoming genealogy programs that our local to our area so researchers can attend these programs for the topics they have.  I also include our own library’s next upcoming program so attendees can mark their calendars to visit us again at our library.

I also like to make note of some interesting topics I was able to discover from Dick Eastman’s Online Newsletter as well as make note of some key articles I may have discovered that were contained in our library’s recently received genealogical journals.

I encourage those that attended to revisit the PDF file of this information and spend some more quality time reviewing the thoughts I put to paper that caught my eye as being more significant than other things I may have seen.  These notes have bookmarks within the document to make for easy navigation as well as having embedded links that you can visit directly from with the Handout.

Our speaker started his presentation at approximately 8:05 PM.  Jeffrey brought a nice PowerPoint presentation of his material from which I was able to make paper copies for those in attendance to follow.

Jeffrey was kind enough to allow me to post his PowerPoint presentation within this blog post for all attendees and readers of my blog to revisit and look at.  You can see this handout material at:

Jeffrey Basset January 11, 2011 DNA and Genealogy Handout

Thank you Jeffrey for allowing me to post this.

Jeffrey also let us know that the DNA Service Provider he has used over his long time working with DNA is Family Tree DNA.  You can visit this company’s website at:

www.familytreedna.com

Some of the key points made by Jeffrey from throughout his presentation were:

  • Many years ago when DNA testing started to be made available to genealogy researchers, the standard was a 12 marker test.  Today, the standard is more like a 37 marker test.
  • A 67 marker test is also available but Jeffrey believes that is not necessary to obtain great results at less cost with the 37 marker test.
  • The price of DNA testing has dropped significantly over the years.  Today, Jeffrey spends about $149 for a 37 marker test.  Four years ago, that same test cost him $179.
  • If you are looking for an even bigger discount on DNA pricing, check with Ancestry.com in the months before the Christmas Holidays.  They often have some great “sale” prices at that time because these DNA tests are frequently given as presents at that time of the year.
  • The Y chromosome test is used when researching male lines.
  • Mitochondrial DNA is used when researching female lines.
  • Jeffrey indicated there is more willingness today for researchers to participate in DNA research compared to 4 years ago.  The uneasiness of 4 years ago has been replaced with lower costs, confidence in the DNA companies and their results and a sense of privacy that is present from a good track record of those companies providing this service.
  • Jeffrey noted that over time all DNA will mutate.  The higher level of a DNA marker test you use will show this over time with your results more so than will a 12 marker or 25 marker test.  Mutations can explain why a DNA result does not have expected exact matches.  These are still people in your family tree but you have to be aware of mutations that affect the outcome of your marker matches.
  • Haplogroup results of your DNA give you some idea of where in the world your original ancestral connections might be from.  African connections go back the furthest in time (120,000 to 150,000 years ago).  Asian connections go back 40,000 to 70,000 years ago.  European connections go back 35,000 to 50,000 years ago.
  • Jeffrey provided his own web site to visit that deals with his efforts to connect the BASSETT family line through his use of DNA testing.  You may visit the site at www.bassettbranches.org.

All in all DNA and Genealogy is here to say.  We are well past the infancy of this process from just 5 or more years ago.  Jeffrey is by far the most knowledgeable person I have met on the subject of DNA and genealogy.  His presentation really showcases his deep knowledge of the subject and how he has used it to explore and confirm many of his genealogical connections.

We thank Jeffrey Basset for his return visit to our library to share information on this expanding topic of genealogical research.

Jeffrey’s contact information is contained within his handout as well as from the website I mentioned above.

DNA and Genealogy.  Investigate it.  Consider it.  Get “swabbing”!!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) Is Having a Local Program on Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hi Everyone!

I just received a notice that the Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) is having a program on Sunday, February 13, 2011 at 2 PM.  The program will take place at the Social Hall of the Polish Museum at 984 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago, IL.

It is an open program in which participants will share genealogical knowledge among and between those who are in attendance.

There is no speaker or unique topic for this program.

Please click on the link that follows to see the program notice provided by the PGSA and all of the details about the program.

PGSA February 13, 2011 Program Notice

This is a great opportunity to meet and work with fellow Polish genealogical researchers in the building that has an incredible historical connection to those Poles that came to Chicago starting in the 1870s.

You can also vist the home page for the PGSA at their web site to get a better understanding of the society itself.  Take a look at Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) Website.

Check it out!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists (NWSCG) Next Program Scheduled for Tuesday Evening, February 15, 2011 At 7:30 PM

Hi Everyone,

I just received a program notice from the Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists indicating that their next genealogy program is scheduled for Tuesday evening, February 15, 2011 at 7:30 PM.

The speaker for the evening will be Ginger Frere.  The speaker will present a program titled “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Searching for Marriage Records”.

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

Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists (NWSCG) February 15, 2011 Program Notice

You will find more details about the program location, the program contents and some information about Ginger Frere, the speaker for the evening from the above link to the program information.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers Online from the Library of Congress for Free

Hi Everyone!

I was browsing through the Newsletter from the Chicago Genealogical Society and noticed they made mention of what could be a very nice online digitized newspaper resource.

The Library of Congress (LOC)  has a resource within a section of the LOC that is called Chronicling America.  Within this resource you can search newspaper pages from 1860 to 1922 as well as find information on American newspapers published from 1690 to the present.

For the newspapers that are online, you can access material for the following states:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington

You can visit the site directly via the following link:

http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov

You can also look through the long list of specific newspaper titles and select that paper to search or you can just search among all newspapers among all of the states or just select one of the states from the list.

I did try it and once again encountered discrepancies between what the OCR process picked up from the newspaper print and what actually was in the search index of the scanning process.  This is common whenever you are looking at material that was created from an Optical Character Reader (OCR) process.  You get excited when you see results of your surname search only to discover that the result of the search does not really match what was actually in print in the newspaper.

I used the surname FICHT to try within this newspaper database.  I got a good number of hits.  However, as I looked at the actual newspaper image that is provided, I then determined that the OCR process during scanning took the word FIGHT and indexed it as the surname FICHT

I also had results that looked to be close to the surname I entered but were not exact.  I entered in the surname FICHT and was also given results for FICHTE.

Close but no cigar!

I am going to have to spend some more time at the site to better learn the search process and see what can be done with what I enter to receive better matches.  What I describe above is from my first initial attempts similar to what you yourself might attempt in your initial searches.

The lesson to be learned is to really learn about the rules of the site for setting up your searches to get better results.  I will need to look deeper at what these rules are at the site.

Online newspaper research can get you excited thinking you may have found some new undiscovered results from the results they produce but looking at the actual image of the paper that is provided along with the highlighted search result within the page often proves that the word you use was OCR scanned and indexed under an incorrect term.

It is just part of the search process in genealogy that you will often encounter.  It will take you a lot longer to filter through the index results provided versus the actual newsprint on the paper itself.

I wish it could be better but it is what it is.

The picture images are very good.  The search word is highlighted.  You can zoom in on the page where the word occurred.  You can move the image from side to side and top to bottom.  This all seemed good.

I did notice results from the Illinois search I did that were from something called the Day Book, The Broad Ax and the Chicago Eagle.  So you may discover print sources you may have not previously uncovered.

Take a look at this potentially great resource to uncover more about your ancestors.  But be prepared to find many “erroneous” results caused by the OCR process simply not correctly recognizing a word in print and then creating an index term that is actually incorrect for what is really in print.

Check out the above link.  Give it a try.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Czech and Slovak American Genealogy Society of Illinois (CSAGSI) Has An Upcoming Program on Saturday, January 22, 2011 in LaGrange, Illinois

Hi Everyone!

I just received a notice from the Czech and Slovak American Genealogy Society of Illinois (CSAGSI) of an upcoming program they will be having very soon.  The program will occur on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at the First Presbyterian Church of LaGrange, Illinois.

The topic of the program is “Overview of the Austrian, Bohemian, and Czechoslovakian Glass Industry”.  The speaker for the program will be Debbie Truitt, President of the Czechoslovakian Collectors Association.

Please look at the attached link for all of the details regarding the program:

CSAGSI January 22, 2011 Program Notice

Mark the date and location down on your calendars.  For those doing Czech and Slovak research, you may want to connect with fellow researchers at this program.  The above program notice has other information about the society, the program and the program location.

Check it out.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

January 2011 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts Uploaded As A PDF for January 11, 2011 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the January 2011 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts as a PDF file into the PROGRAM HANDOUTS Category on the right sidebar of the blog.

Take a look at it if you choose to browse through it in advance of our Genealogy Program that will take place on Tuesday evening, January 11, 2011 at 7:30 PM at our main library location at 130 S. Roselle Road in Schaumburg, IL.

You can read the handouts online or you can save them as a PDF file to your own computer for reading offline and more detailed searching through all of the contents.

You will also note that I have started “highlighting” in this uploaded PDF key points within the handout  by using  the “yellow highlighting” function within Microsoft Word.  This will allow your eyes to visually see key points within the handouts that I want to emphasize.  I hope you will enjoy being able to more easily see these key points within the set of handouts through this highlighting technique.  I plan on highlighting within the Handout file on a going forward basis.

Please note that the Handouts PDF file has embedded Bookmarks to allow you to move to the handouts of interest to you quickly without having to scroll through the entire document.  Just open the Bookmark window in the PDF file and select the handout of interest for quick access.

Please note that you can access directly any and all URL Links that you find within the Handouts PDF.  You can get directly to the website being mentioned from within the handout being mentioned.

Enjoy the handouts.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

January 2011 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter Uploaded As A PDF for January 11, 2011 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the January 2011 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter as a PDF file into the NEWSLETTER Category on the right sidebar of the blog.

Take a look at it if you choose to browse through it in advance of our Genealogy Program that will take place on Tuesday evening, January 11, 2011 at 7:30 PM at our main library location at 130 S. Roselle Road in Schaumburg, IL.

You can read the newsletter online or you can save it as a PDF file to your own computer for reading offline and more detailed searching through all of the contents.

Please note that the Newsletter has Bookmarks and Hyperlinks within the document to make for fast navigation from within the Table of Contents.  You can quickly get to the spots that interest you from the Table of Contents.

Enjoy the newsletter.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library