Monthly Archives: June 2011

DuPage County Genealogical Society (DCGS) Has Created a Genealogy Blog – Visit It for News About the Society!

Hi Everyone!

Yesterday I created a post informing every one of the upcoming series of genealogy programs that the DuPage County Genealogical Society will be offering for 2011-2012.

A comment for that post was left by Jennifer Holik about the fact that the DuPage County Genealogical Society has just started a blog to share news about the society activities as well as to offer genealogical tips for the researcher.

You can visit the blog and subscribe to it if you choose at:

DuPage County Genealogical Society Blog

The blog just recently started so you would be getting in on the ground floor to watch how it grows with information about the DuPage County Genealogical Society over time!

I definitely encourage our readers to check out the blog and subscribe to it so you do not miss out on any updates that are posted there.

Thanks to Jennifer Holik for making me aware of this new development.

Enjoy the new blog from DCGS!  Watch it grow!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

DuPage County Genealogical Society Has Already Posted Their Programs for 2011-2012; Plan Ahead To Attend One of Their Great Programs

Hi Everyone!

I had a pleasant surprise when I just visited the website for the DuPage County Genealogical Society in Wheaton, IL.

Normally at this time of the year, societies such as DuPage County Genealogical Society are “dormant” for the summer months of June, July and August when their programs are on summer “vacation”.

I have previously seen that this society has not posted its programs for the upcoming “genealogy year” until August, just prior to the start of their new programs.

I was pleasantly surprised that the society has in fact completed its scheduling for the programs for 2011 through 2012!  All of these programs for September 2011 through May 2012 are now posted at the society’s website.

During the summer doldrums we may often be at our wit’s end looking for new programs to attend while the societies take the summer months off.  Well at least now you can start salivating in anticipation of seeing what will be coming for programs for the DuPage County Genealogical Society for 2011 to 2012!

Anticipation!!!

Please visit the DuPage County Genealogical Society Meetings portion of their website at:

DuPage County Genealogical Society Meetings/Program Schedule 2011-2012

Do your planning now during the “dog days” of summer to reactivate your genealogy “hunger” by attending some of the programs offered by this great society when they start-up again on September 21, 2011.

Also check out the general website to see what the society is all about and what they have accessible on their site:

DuPage County Genealogy Society

Plan to attend some of their programs!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Use Family History Library/FamilySearch in Salt Lake City To Ask Assistance in Translating Documents

Hi Everyone!

I thought I would share with you my experience in using the special assistance e-mail address at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City to seek assistance in having a German online document translated.

I called up the toll-free Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I explained to them that I would be in need of some German document translation help and would they be able to help.  They indicated I could submit my request to them via e-mail with the document in electronic format (JPEG) attached to my e-mail.

They indicated I should send my request for help to them at support@familysearch.org.

I sent the request with a JPEG attachment of the document.

Within minutes I received back confirmation from them of the e-mail request they received.  They assigned me a case number that I should use in any future correspondence to them about this particular case.

They indicated I might expect a reply back with the translation help within about 5 business days.  I did receive a follow-up e-mail indicating they were referring my request to a Family History Library Research consultant. 

Within a few days I did receive a response back that indicated they were having some problems with the quality of the image provided.  Later that day I did receive back another response with a basic translation of what I had provided to them.

They did not initially provide me with the full answer I was seeking, but they provided me with more translation material than I started with.

I decided to contact FamilySearch again to see if I could still get a better answer on the translation.  This time, rather than sending them a JPEG attachment of the image, I simply decided to provide them with the link to the data from Ancestry.com.  This way they could actually peruse through the 4 pages of images associated with the KIERNA surname I found contained within this database of 1870 Franco-Prussian War casualties.

I am so glad I decided to resubmit my request.  This time I received a wonderful response indicating that the FamilySearch researcher did in fact look through the multiple pages and did determine what the translations were for some of the abbreviations that were present throughout the document.

Key abbreviations I needed help with were seeing a “L. v.” by the KIERNA I was interested in.  The researcher indicated that from looking at earlier pages of the data it appeared that the “L. v.” that appeared for my KIERNA actually translated to something that meant “light injury”.  There was another abbreviation scattered throughout of “S. v.”.  That translated to “serious injury”.

So it appears that my Lorenz KIERNA was a fusiler (sharpshooter) from “Augustenhof Kreis Wirsitz” (in the Prussian province of Posen) who was apparently only “slightly injured”.

This is exciting news to me because the area of Wirsitz in Prussia is actually the Polish town today of Wyrzysk which is right in the same area my KIERNA ancestors are from.  I do not yet have any idea of the relationship of Lorenz KIERNA to me at this time.  I am suspect he may be a brother of my great-grandfather.  I have not yet been able to identify any siblings of my great-grandfather.

Interestingly enough a Lorenz KIERNA winds up in Omaha, Nebraska circa 1890 and can still be found on the 1920 Census for the area.  I am hopeful that this Lorenz is the same one that appeared as being “slightly injured” in the 1870 Franco Prussian Casualty List from Ancestry.com!! 

I am extremely happy with my experience having contacted the FamilySearch/Family History Library by e-mail seeking translation assistance.  The turnaround for me was remarkably quick.  They are organized, responsive and helpful!

I may try this again with them on some paper documents I have that may need scanning.  You should plan on scanning on a fairly high-resolution (600 DPI).  A higher resolution is needed to allow the viewer of the image to be able to magnify it as necessary without losing clarity of the image.  It may be a larger file but it seems needed so they can better view it.

I may also just send them a link from a web site where a foreign language document exists for which I may need translation assistance.  It beats scanning and sizing the image and attaching it to send to them!

You may initially contact the Family History Library directly yourself via toll-free phone call at 1-866-406-1830 to talk to someone about your own unique request for help.

Here is a link to the web address where you can seek help from FamilySearch through their contact information:

FamilySearch Help Via Phone Number, Online Chat and E-Mail

This was an excellent experience that you may consider trying for some of the documents you have in your possession for which you have been “guessing” the meaning if it is in a language you do not understand.

I hope this helps you consider seeking this method of help on your own foreign language documents.

It was a great experience for me getting some very helpful language assistance related to translating a document from such a great organization as FamilySearch.  This was something I wanted to share with everyone so you can give it a try yourself for your own documents needing translation.

I hope you have as good of an experience as I did.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Summary of Our Most Recent Genealogy Program That Was Held on June 14, 2011

Hi Everyone!

We had our most recent Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library on Tuesday evening, June 14, 2011.  It was one of our quarterly “break out” sessions.  We did not have a speaker for the program.  Instead we had our “break out” work groups giving the opportunity for those interested in various ethnic areas of research to sit with fellow researchers and both learn new things about the topic as well as to share items of interest to help make researching the topic more productive.

I do apologize for the lack of pictures included in this post.  Unfortunately, I did forget to bring my camera for this program.  I will remember to bring it for next month’s program just to be able to share some pictographic moments of those in attendance!

We had group tables set for:

  • Irish Researchers
  • German Researchers
  • Polish Researchers
  • Czech Researchers
  • Italian Researchers
  • Scandinavian Researchers
  • British Isles Researchers
  • Colonial American
  • General “Troubleshooting” Group
  • Beginner’s Group

We also had the laptop computer set up and connected to the projector to allow anyone to use during the session.

We had a total of 29 researchers in attendance for the program. 

It did appear that the vast majority of attendees were situated at the Beginner’s Table that was being led by myself.  It appeared that fully half of those in attendance were at the Beginner’s Table!!

We had 8 new people attend the program.  I asked them to introduce themselves.  Each was given a welcoming package of genealogical material to assist them in their research.

I then minimally reviewed the “handouts” package electronically from what was posted on this blog for this program, focusing just on the upcoming programs for a variety of genealogical societies in the area.  Just look at the right sidebar of this blog for an “archive” of past “Newsletters” and “Handouts”.  I want to use the handouts to keep those in attendance informed of upcoming genealogy programs, news of note in genealogy as well as some summaries of interesting magazine/journal articles that seemed to really hit home with some new research information on a particular genealogical topic.

I am leaning more to just verbally making note in the Handouts Review of just those upcoming programs local to our area.  Because there is a great deal of detail in the handouts and they are available online for easy access, searching, saving and linking to links within the package, I wanted to forego repeating much of that and leave it to the researcher to review the material in more detail at their leisure.  This would afford me the chance to start the breakout groups closer to 7:45 PM rather than 8:00 PM.

We had a table full at the Beginner’s table having about 16 people sitting there listening to me give advice and direction on what to focus on and how to progress with research.

I especially want to say a big “thank you” to those that were still there at 9:30 PM and helped rearrange the room back to its original arrangement of the tables and chairs.  I could not do it without your help!!  Thank you, all of you!!

I also want to thank those of you that took many of the newcomers under your wings to help them with individual one on one time while I was busy assisting others.  You are so sharing!  You know who you are!  Thank you so much again for offering such personal assistance.

Based on an observation, I would certainly encourage future participants at these quarterly sessions to consider bringing in a laptop or a notebook to have to use at the table you choose to participate at.  Because of our wonderful Wi-Fi setup, you can easily tap into our Internet setup directly from your laptop or notebook and not have to worry about using our own laptop/projector set up to show someone some piece of information.  It looked like at least one person at each of the major tables had a laptop.  It looked like it worked out quite well.  Please bring your laptop or notebook to these special sessions in the future because it looks like the work at the tables can be even more productive using the laptop or notebook to tap into the Internet via our own Wi Fi setup.

Please remember that we have these special “break out” sessions in the months of March, June, September and December on the 2nd Tuesday evening of the month.

We certainly had a good turnout of very highly motivated researchers who were craving to learn new things and to share the things they know with others.  My hats off to all of you for such enthusiasm you brought to the program.

Thank you again to all of you that came out to participate.

We hope to see you again at our upcoming programs.

Keep coming back to this blog to stay in touch with what is going on about our genealogy programs as well as other genealogy programs in our general area.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) Will Be Having Their August 14, 2011 Meeting/Program at 2 PM at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library (Update)

Hi Everyone!

I received the following publicity statement from the Arlington Heights Memorial Library about the upcoming Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) meeting that will take place at the library on Sunday, August 14, 2011.

The PGSA is inviting anyone interested in Polish genealogy to attend the program and get to meet other members of the society.

Michael Mulholland, the genealogy librarian of the library, will also provide a tour of the library and showcase material they have in their collection that can assist not only the general genealogical researcher but also material in the collection that can help the Polish researcher.

What follows after the line separator in Bold and Italics is what I received from the Arlington Heights Memorial Library about this upcoming program.

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Sunday afternoon with Polish genealogists

Sunday, August 14, 2011  2pm-4pm

Do you do Polish genealogy? Come meet members of the Polish Genealogical Society of America at the Library. Local History/Genealogy Librarian Michael Mulholland will discuss how to do research in libraries and give a tour of the genealogy collection. Bring your questions about Polish genealogy and discuss them with PGSA members.

Translators and genealogy volunteers will be available before and after the meeting to help with your documents and research questions.

Please register at www.ahml.info or call 847-392-0100

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Please note that there will be some assistance with document translation.

Please note that you also need to register with the library if you plan on attending.

I previously created a post in this blog on the upcoming event.  You can take a look at what I previously published by visiting the following link:

http://genealogywithtony.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/polish-genealogical-society-of-america-pgsa-will-be-having-their-august-14-2011-meetingprogram-at-2-pm-at-the-arlington-heights-memorial-library/

Consider attending this program and learn about the PGSA and its membership.  Also take the opportunity to learn about the genealogy material in the collection of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Swedish American Museum in Chicago Is Presenting An All-Day Genealogy Conference on Saturday September 10, 2011 From 9AM To 5 PM

Hi Everyone!

I just received a notice from the Swedish American Museum of Chicago that they will be having an all-day genealogy conference on Saturday, September 10, 2011 at the museum location at 5211 N. Clark St. in Chicago.

The program will take place from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Lunch will be on your own.  There are plenty of restaurants in the area or you can bring a bag lunch to the program.  It does appear that coffee will be provided at the conference.

The program is known as the SwedGen Road tour of 2011.

The program will consist of:

  • Presentations on Swedish genealogical online resources, genealogical CDs, Swedish church books, probate and tax records and historical maps.
  • Demonstrations on how to use the various resources for Swedish genealogical and historical research.
  • Individual assistance provided by the SwedGen team during 30-minute personal research sessions (must be reserved at time of registration on a first-come basis).  Individual assistance sessions will only be given to a limited number of persons.  It appears that the limited number is 32 from what I see from the website material.

If you are a member of the museum, the fee for this all-day program is $20.

If you are not a member of the museum, the fee for this all-day program is $25.

For further details about this event, please visit both the museum website and the links for the program itself and for registration.

You can visit the genealogical component of the museum website at:

Swedish American Museum/Genealogy

You can see the program guide and speaker biographies at:

September 10, 2011 Swedish American Museum Genealogy Program

Registration for the program can be done from the site itself by adding the program to the “shopping cart” from within the site for this program.

So if you are a Swedish researcher in our area this sure sounds like a great opportunity to spend a productive day in Chicago and learn some great tips from what appear to be the “pros” of Swedish genealogical researchers.

Even if this program may not be something you can attend, you will want to visit this website for the Swedish American Museum and become familiar with all that is present on the site, both for genealogical research and for Swedish history and culture in general. 

If Swedish research is your specialty, then this is a great opportunity to attend this all-day conference and expand your research knowledge by learning from the experts.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Arlington Heights Memorial Library Is Offering A 2 Hour “Beginning Polish Genealogy” Program On Wednesday Evening August 10, 2011 From 7 to 9 PM

Hi Everyone!

I just received notice from the Arlington Heights Memorial Library that they will be offering a “Beginning Polish Genealogy” program on Wednesday evening, August 10, 2011 from 7 to 9 PM.

The speaker for the program will be Steve Szabados.

Steve is a fantastic speaker knowledgeable in many aspects of genealogy.  Polish genealogy is one of Steve’s specialties.

Steve has recently been a speaker at our library’s genealogy program, presenting a program in February 2011 on using the Federal Census.  Steve also often participates in our quarterly “breakout” program when participants for the evening sit at an ethnically oriented table such as German or Irish.  Steve sits at our Polish table and really helps those present at that table on Polish research.

From the notice I received, registration for the program is required at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.

I would also say that even if you think you are well-versed in Polish genealogical research, I would believe that listening to Steve will open you up to things you may have never realized as a Polish genealogical researcher!

What follows between the separator lines in Italics is the promotion I received from the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.

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Beginning Polish Genealogy

Wednesday, August 10, 2011  7pm-9pm

Do you have Polish ancestors? Steve Szabados will show you how to start your research. He will discuss genealogical records available in the US and Poland

Please register at www.ahml.info or call 847-392-0100

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See if this program and topic fit your schedule.  You will not be disappointed if you hear Steve speak about this genealogy topic.  He is that good!

Just remember, YOU DO HAVE TO REGISTER AT THE ARLINGTON HEIGHTS MEMORIAL LIBRARY FOR THIS PROGRAM!

Steve Szabados, the program speaker, informed me that the meeting room for the program at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library has seating for up to 100 people!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library