Monthly Archives: April 2011

Summary of Our Recent April 12, 2011 Genealogy Program with Robin B. Seidenberg on the Topic of Online Digital Newspapers

Hi Everyone!

Here is a summary of our most recent Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library on Tuesday evening, April 12, 2011.  Our guest speaker for the evening was Robin B. Seidenberg.  Robin presented a program titled “Mining for Gold: Online Digital Newspapers”.

We had a great turnout for this early Spring program.  Finally, there was no snow problem for our program evening!!!  We had a great turnout of 73 participants!

Our Speaker for the Evening, Robin B. Seidenberg and her husband, Lou, Prior to the Beginning of the Program..

This was the first time that Robin had presented a program at our library to our group.  I can already say that this will not be the last time she makes a genealogy presentation at our library!!

I started the program at 7:30 PM with the introduction of new participants.  We had about 7 new participants who shared with all of us their name, their description of the their newness to genealogy and some of the surnames they were researching.  Each new participant received a Welcome package from me with some good tips on how to move forward on their research journey using a variety of resources both within and outside our library.

I indicated to the group that I would like to forego reviewing some of the handout material so that we could get to our speaker by 7:45 PM rather than 8:00 PM and allow more un-rushed time after the speaker should anyone want to talk to me or the speaker.  Because the material is all available online everyone can take a deeper look at it on their own.  I just briefly reviewed some upcoming program dates and topics for a variety of groups in the area.

Many of Our Early Program Participants Intermingling While Awaiting the Presentation from Robin B. Seidenberg.

You can easily find all of our monthly library genealogy “Newsletters” in this blog along the right sidebar.  You can also find all of our monthly library genealogy “Handouts” in this blog along the right sidebar.  Take some time to look at the current issues as well as the past ones.  These are PDF files so you can look at them from the within the blog or download them to your own computer.  All are filled with electronic bookmarks, hyperlinks, internet URL links for you to quickly find material and to link to topics of interest on the internet.  That is the beauty of these electronic files!

Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have on the material contained in the Newsletter or the Handout material.

Robin then started her presentation at around 7:45 PM.

Robin did ask that any questions that may come up during the presentation be held until the end of the program.

Our Room Was Filling Up Early for the Presentation on Online Digital Newspapers.

Robin shared with us a story of an ancestor of hers that was involved in a murder.  To say the least that was an attention grabber just as Robin also explained that newspapers are first and foremost in the business of selling newspapers.  And how do they sell newspapers?  With attention grabbing choice of words as headline items and column titles of course!!

Robin spent a good amount of time sharing with the audience all of the tools and techniques she used to dig deeper and deeper into this fascinating story about her ancestor.  She showed us search techniques she used to discover newspaper article stories about this ancestor not just from local papers but from papers around the country and world that carried the story.

And why is it good to dig deeper among a variety of newspapers and not just end with a story published by one local newspaper?  Because each story may contain just that one additional nugget of information that wasn’t seen in any other story you may have discovered about your ancestor that you can now use for further research.

One of the Slides Offered by Robin B. Seidenberg on Her Topic of Online Digital Newspapers.

Robin also showed many examples of pictures that are included in these newspaper stories.  Imagine discovering a picture of an ancestor through a newspaper story when you have not discovered any other picture of that ancestor anywhere else.  The pictures do not have to originate from a murder story or any other type of “major” story!  Any story could potentially have a picture e.g. a Boy Scout troop pictures that includes your ancestor, a wedding announcement, an obituary.

Robin also made a great point on uncovering more material.  If you are having some good luck in discovering online digital newspaper material from a variety of sources then you should consider this bit of information especially for large metropolitan areas as Chicago, New York etc.  Perhaps these cities had multiple newspapers.  Perhaps you have found an online newspaper from the city.  Consider this.  The other newspapers of that city may not be online but they may very well be available as microfilms.  You know the date of material from the online newspaper.  Consider getting microfilms of the other newspapers in the same city and look around the same date in these films for stories that could also have been printed about your ancestor.  You may discover new material in these stories that were never online in digital format and were only available via microfilm!

Part of Our Large Turnout of 73 Attendees in the Far Back of the Room for Robin B. Seidenbergs Presentation.

Our library makes available for library cardholders of Schaumburg Township District Library a variety of online accessible newspapers.  You access these by entering n your library card number.  For those of you that did not have your library card issued to you by us, then simply check with your home library for access to the same digital online newspaper material.  Most of the databases are common among all public libraries.  You will see such material as:

  • NewsBank
  • ProQuest
  • Newspaper Archives
  • America’s Obituaries
  • FootNote.com

It is within these databases you will find newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune or the New York Times.  Access these through your local public library.

Robin also mentioned some other online resources to consider to access:

Digital online newspapers.  What a great source.  Take advantage of what our library has available to further your own research.  Take a look at other online digital newspaper that you can find on the Internet.  Some are subscribable.  Some are free.

Also remember that the scanning process involved in converting newsprint to digital images is not perfect.  You may find what appears to be many good leads on surnames you may enter only to discover that the “find” is not accurate.  As an example, I often search the surname “KIERNA” in online material.  I receive what may be great hits on new information only to discover that the print of the material actually shows the surname “KIERNAN”.  The scanning process was unable to pick up the last “N” and so the data was entered into the index as “KIERNA”.

So I actually did really find information on the surname “KIERNA” in this case as well as incorrect indexing of scanned material.  These are not that isolated.  You will find plenty of wrong hits.  Just be patient and keep looking through the material.  But just be aware the scanning process is not always 100% accurate.

Using the indexed online material sure beats just browsing through old paper editions or microfilm, hoping you might just come across something.  Sort of like playing the Lotto!!  At least you get some idea from digital searching that some good material may just be around the corner at your fingertips. 

Robin ended her presentation at around 9:00 PM and took a variety of questions and stayed around until about 9:30 PM.  

I am so glad we had Robin give us this presentation.  I look forward to working with her on inviting her back to give us another great presentation on another aspect of genealogy research.

Thank you Robin for your great presentation!

We all left a lot wiser on digital newspaper research than when we arrived.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library 


How To Locate Someone in a Chicago Cemetery?

Hi Everyone!

One of my fellow librarians shared with me a link to a web site that provides some simple, matter-of-fact guidelines to help discover the burial location of someone who may be buried in Chicago, IL.

The list of questions to ask and resources to pursue is basic but sometimes seeing them may trigger you to realize that there is a step you may not have done in your efforts to discover ancestors buried in Chicago.

So I thought I would just share with you this link to this online article from eHow.com.  You can access the material at:

How To Locate Someone in a Chicago Cemetery 

Review your own efforts to discover information to help you find burial locations in Chicago of your ancestors and compare them with the 8 items listed in this research aid.

Enjoy the article.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Arlington Heights Memorial Library Will Be Offering German Genealogy Fest Program on Saturday, May 14, 2011 from 9:30 AM To 12 PM and German Document Translation Assistance from 1 to 4 PM

Hi Everyone!

I just received this “short notice” of a German Genealogy Fest program that is going to take place at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library on Saturday, May 14, 2011 from 9:30 AM to 12 PM.  REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR THIS MORNING SESSION.

There is also going to be an “open” afternoon session in which translators and genealogy volunteers will help you with your documents and answer research questions.  The afternoon session will occur between 1 to 4 PM.  NO REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR THE AFTERNOON SESSION

The afternoon session is intended to provide help with GERMAN documents and translations in keeping with the theme of the day’s program being for German fest, but assistance can be offered on other languages as well.  Check with Michael Mullholland of the library to be sure assistance can be offered for the non-German language material for which you seek help.

The library is located at:

500 N. Dunton Avenue
Arlington Heights, IL 60004 
www.ahml.info

The program will be held in the Hendrickson Room.

Here is the text description of the program I received via e-mail from the Arlington Heights Memorial Library:

Need help finding your German ancestor? Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, a certified genealogist, will show you how to locate your ancestor’s town of origin, how to locate German records, and how to decipher old German handwriting. Register for the morning only.

It appears there is no charge to attend this program or to obtain any of the translation services.  Please note that you do need to register for the morning session but you do not need to register for the afternoon session.

You can contact Michael Mulholland, the Genealogy Librarian of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, for any further clarification for this upcoming event.

Michael Mulholland can be reached at:

847-870-3643 
 mmulholl@ahml.info

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

NBC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” Is Already Finished for This Season!

Hi Everyone!

It just seems I was letting everyone know that the new season for NBC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” was just getting started.

Well if you blinked to fast you have just come to the unfortunate conclusion that the season’s episodes have all been shown on NBC.

So it is true that all good things must come to an end — at least for this season.  I guess we are left with the typical Chicago Cubs fan saying of “Wait Until Next Season!!!”

That is right.  All of the original 8 episodes for 2011 have been aired.

Do you feel like me?  I was just getting into the rhythm and enjoyment of these genealogical gems when lo and behold the 8 episodes are gone and the season is over!!

Most TV shows are created for a 22 episode showing.  But because this series seems to be targeted for a January or February debut in the season that runs from September to May, you will not see a full 22 episode creation.  Instead we see small episodic creation.

I sure wish we could see more original episodes in any part of the season.  But I guess we will have to make do with what NBC provides because the series is after all popular and successful with the small episodic creation plan we have seen over two seasons.

So now for us genealogy junkies that enjoy the show we just have to be patient and wait another 9 months until we hopefully see Season 3 of “Who Do You Think You Are?”  I guess that is the mark of success as viewed by the networks.  If you put out good material even for only a small time period they will keep coming back!

Hang in there!  Take another look at the shows that are still available from Season 1 and 2 for viewing from the NBC web site at:

NBC 5 “Who Do You Think You Are?”

Savor what you have seen and count the days until next season!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) Is Having a Local Program on Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hi Everyone!

I just received a notice that the Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) is having a program on Sunday, May 15, 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.

The title of the program is:

How Creative Filenames & Excel Pay Big Organizational & Research Dividends

The flyer of this program that follows did not mention any speaker name 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 May 15, 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 visit the home page for the PGSA at their website 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

April 2011 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts Uploaded As A PDF for April 12, 2011 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

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

Here is a direct link to the April 2011 Handouts for your convenience:

April 2011 Program Handouts

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, April 12, 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

April 2011 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter Uploaded As A PDF for April 12, 2011 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

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

Here is a direct link to the April 2011 Newsletter for your convenience:

April 2011 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter

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, April 12, 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