Monthly Archives: November 2011

“I Seek Dead People” Genealogy T-Shirt – Get People’s Attention Regarding Your Hobby!

Hi Everyone!

A fellow researcher that attends our monthly genealogy program came into the office one day to see me. 

I immediately noticed a great-looking T-shirt she was wearing that had a very powerful phrase emboldened across the top of the T-shirt.  A phrase that a fellow genealogist could certainly appreciate.  For someone not into genealogy, one might certainly expect the question to be asked by that person would be “What is the meaning of that phrase that is on your T-shirt?”.

How would you react if you saw a black T-shirt with the phrase “I Seek Dead People” as the message on the T-shirt? 

With an opening like that you could certainly provide some insights into the addictive habit you have developed to research your “dead” ancestors!

The T-shirt looked like a quality shirt that certainly makes a bold statement to whoever sees it or it will at least elicit a strange look at you that you should be prepared to receive. 

Small phrases make powerful statements.  This phrase certainly sums up all of your genealogical endeavors into a few powerful words emboldened on your chest for the world to see!

My fellow researcher provided me with the website where the T-shirt was obtained.  I thought I would share that site with all of you should you also want to go out into the world and make a statement on your fantastic hobby.

I have no connections to this company nor am I endorsing the company or the shirt.  I am just passing down some information for all of you to check out.

The company that provides the shirt is called Gene Tree.

You can find them at:

GeneTree/I Seek Dead People

The company also has a lot of material at its site about DNA testing for genealogy.  They are more than just a T-shirt company!

Check out the shirt and check out all of the products and services this company offers, especially all of the information on DNA and genealogy.  I think the shirt only comes in one color – black with the white lettering of the phrase.  Basic shirt price is $12.99 with an additional $2 charge if you start ordering the X-X-X larger size shirts.

Do you want to make a genealogy statement to others?  There is no better way than to tell everyone what interests you than for them to see you with your new T-shirt on.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Good Online Resource for Irish Genealogy from the Irish Times; Shows Distribution of Surnames for Griffith’s Valuation Among the Various Irish Counties

Hi Everyone!

A researcher that attends our monthly genealogy program has shared with me a very nice Irish Genealogy Online Resource from the Irish Times.  The website allows you to enter in the Irish surname of your choice and then proceeds to provide you with a listing of the distribution of that surname among the various counties.  The original source of the surname distribution comes from Griffith’s Valuation Property Survey of 1847 – 1864.

Seeing the distribution of a surname throughout a country can often give you some geographical insights to search if any one county shows a significant amount of that surname.  I have seen that for Poland and the distribution of the surname KIERNA that I research showing me that the vast majority of the surname KIERNA is still located in the area where my own ancestors originated from.  If you are unaware of a county of origin, at least seeing a high distribution in one area may allow you to begin searching that county for your ancestral connection.

The database provides you with how many occurrences there are for the name,  but you will have to subscribe to access the data in the database.  You purchase search units in Euros or Dollars.  In Euros, 50 Euros purchases 30 search units.  The website provides background on the costs you can expect to pay when accessing various components of the database material.

The researcher that shared this with me has made great strides in their research by using this online material.  The costs are very reasonable.  You only purchase “search units” as needed.

Here is a link to the main website that provides the researcher with good information on all that is available at the site:

Irish Times Surname Distribution in Irish Counties Based on Griffith’s Valuation Property Survey of 1847 -1864

For those of you focusing on Irish genealogical research, this may be a site for you to at least take a look at if you are not aware of it.  The researcher that shared this with me swears by the value of this site and how it helped in their research.

Taking a look costs you nothing.  You may still find some good Irish research tips from this site from all of the material they have over and above the database search capability.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

BlogTalkRadio and Geneabloggers – On Demand Learning Genealogy Episodes At Your Fingertips

Hi Everyone!

I was reading the newsletter from the Chicago Genealogy Society in which mention was made of a recent BlogTalkRadio episode in which one of our frequent speakers, Ginger Frere of the Newberry Library, was involved in an online “radio” panel show.

Ginger is a wonderful genealogy speaker that really knows her stuff about all things genealogy.  She was involved in a panel discussion titled “The Way We Worked – Genealogy and Labor”.  This was held and broadcast on September 2, 2011.  It was an 88 minute broadcast that discussed the occupations that were held by our ancestors.

I bring this to your attention specifically for the chance for you to hear Ginger as a knowledgeable panel member on a topic we have not had at our library from Ginger previously.

You can get to this episode at the following link:

September 2, 2011 BlogTalkRadio/Geneabloggers Program “The Way We Worked – Genealogy and Labor”

You will be required to watch, or ignore, a 30 second “commercial” before the program will start.  That is not too high a price to pay to be able to listen to some very informative genealogical information.  It appears that all of the genealogy programs available to listen to from BlogTalkRadio present you with this commercial message before you can actually begin listening to the program itself.  The shows themselves appear to be any from 90 to 120 minutes in length.  That is sure a lot of valuable information presented!!

Podcasts and BlogTalkRadio online lectures are wonderful ways to keep up with topics of interest to you in genealogy.  You can access the material on demand, generally do not need to register to access the material and can listen to the information on your schedule.  I am a big fan of this method of enhancing your genealogical skills by listening to the “experts” in the field.

Ginger Frere is one of those experts!

Take a look around all that is present at BlogTalkRadio for Geneabloggers.  It appears there is a wealth of programs to pick from on many varied topics.

The general site to look at can be found at:

BlogTalkRadio With Geneabloggers

There are about 45 “on-demand” genealogy radio shows you can listen to on a variety of interesting topics.  If you are a fan of “Who Do You think You Are?”, you will even find some discussion shows on many of the various episodes from Season 2.

Enjoy the Ginger “radio show” as well as see if any other topics under the general category are of interest to you.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

November 2011 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts Uploaded As A PDF for November 8, 2011 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the November 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 November 2011 Handouts for your convenience:

November 2011 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy 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, November 8, 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 Hyperlinks and Bookmarks from within the Table of Contents at the beginning of the document to allow you to move to the handouts of interest to you quickly without having to scroll through the entire document. 

Use the Hyperlink function from within the Table of Contents of the file or use the Bookmark function within the PDF file and select the handout of interest for quick access in that manner.

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

November 2011 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter Uploaded As A PDF for November 8, 2011 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the November 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 November 2011 Newsletter for your convenience:

November 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, November 8, 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

Reminder: Our Next Genealogy Program at STDL Is Tomorrow November 8, 2011

Hi Everyone!

It is that time once again when we will be having another Genealogy Program at the central location of the Schaumburg Township District Library on Tuesday evening, November 8, 2011 at 7:30 PM.  We are located at 130 S. Roselle Road in Schaumburg, IL.

There is no pre-registration required in order to attend the program.  There is no fee charged to attend.  Anyone can attend this program.  You do not have to be a library card holder with the Schaumburg Township District Library in order to attend.

Here is a summary of the information about the program:

The Genealogy program will be held on Tuesday, November 8,2011 at 7:30 PM in the 2nd floor Classroom. The guest speaker for the evening will be Jeffrey Bockman. Jeffrey will present a program titled “Didn’t Find It in the Index”.

Are you using all of the online genealogical databases and not having that much luck finding the person you think should be there? We all encounter the same challenges. Jeffrey will provide us with some insights into how you can better search the material and produce successful results in your online searching of these databases.

Jeffrey Bockman is a Genealogy Lecturer & Writer. He was a contributing editor for the former Everton’s Genealogical Helper and a feature writer for the former Heritage Quest Magazine. His articles have also appeared in various other publications. He was the President of the DuPage County Genealogical Society for 5 terms. He is the author of “Give Your Family A Gift That Money Can’t Buy”, a book that encourages people to record and preserve their family’s history.

The doors to the room will open at approximately 7 PM so participants can pick up any handouts, review books and journals and interact with other participants. Tony Kierna, the STDL genealogist, will start the program at 7:30. Introductions of new participants will occur as well as a brief review of handouts and genealogical matters. It is expected that the guest speaker’s presentation will start at around 7:45-8:00 PM. We will end the session by 9:30 PM.

For further information contact Tony Kierna at 847-923-3390.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

More on Illinois Adoptees Having Easier Access To Birth Certificate Information Starting on November 15, 2011 – Applications for Information Received Prior To November 15, 2011 Will Not Be Processed

Hi Everyone!

A frequent attendee of our monthly genealogy programs who has done extensive adoptee genealogical research,  has made me aware that on November 15, 2011, Illinois will begin allowing easier access to birth records for adoptees.  Please note, that Illinois will not accept requests for this information if the request is received prior to the activation date of November 15, 2011.

Please refer to my original posting within this blog for background information about this upcoming event and what was made known at that time at:

Illinois Adoptees Will Have Easier Access To Birth Certificate Information Starting on November 15, 2011

I am including the text from an e-mail just provided to me that reiterates that applications received for this information in Illinois will not be processed if received prior to the activation date of November 15, 2011.  The e-mail text provides information on what to do if you have already sent in your request as well as what to if you have not sent the request it at this time.

Please Read The New E-mail Text That Follows After The Separator To Learn What To Do About Accessing Post-1946 Illinois Adoptee Birth Rrecord Information.

The e-mail text I received follows in Italics after the separator:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dear Friends:

 Yes, it’s me again. A little sooner than expected…but with important news for all of the post-1946 adoptees who plan to request their OBC’s on November 15th.

 We learned yesterday from Illinois Vital Statistics that they WILL NOT ACCEPT any OBC Request Forms that arrive in their offices before November 15th. Yes, you read that correctly. They are not going by the postmark, but by the date the Request Form arrives!  And, all Request Forms received in Springfield prior to November 15th are being RETURNED TO SENDER!

 According to Vital Statistics, accepting Request Forms prior to that date “would be like breaking the law.” I am surprised by this interpretation, but time is of the essence here… As I type this, the checks of hundreds among you who planned ahead, and thought you were going to be at the front of the class, are weaving their way back to your mailboxes…and you’ll soon find out that you’ve been sent to the back of the line. 

 What do do???

 If you’ve already sent your Request Form in, don’t panic..just keep reading!

 And, if you haven’t, below you’ll find complete instructions on how to make sure your Request Form is among those that Vital Statistics receives on the morning of November 15th, and not a second before (or after).

 Scenario 1:

 You’ve already mailed in your Request Form.

If you’ve already mailed in your Request Form, trust me, it’s on its way back. They have reportedly returned “hundreds” of forms in the past two weeks. If yours is one of them, don’t wait for it to come back (hoping they made an exception in your case–they didn’t). Unfortunately, returned mail travels very slowly…November 15th could very well come and go before your envelope works its way back to you.

 Void the check you sent with your original Request Form, if you don’t feel comfortable having a $15 check that won’t be cashed floating out there. Otherwise sit tight…and then choose one of the options below for Scenario 2.

 Scenario 2:

 You have not yet mailed in your Request Form (but you sure would like to learn more about being among those who are being sent to the head of the class).

Since learning about this latest glitch in the unrolling of the second phase of the new law, we have come up with five ways to allow you to make sure that your obc will be among the thousands that will be sitting on Vital Statistics’ doorstep on Tuesday, November 15th:

 1. You can mail your completed Request Form, along with the $15 check made out to the Illinois Dept. of Public Health and a photocopy of your state ID to me at our offices, 525 N. Halsted, Suite 203, Chicago, IL 60642. DO NOT USE the PO Box address which appears on the website. I am asking that Request Forms mailed directly to me be sent via Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation (cost is $5.65 in the U.S.) or via any other method of your choice that can be tracked via the internet (eg. Fedex, if you have a Fedex account).  All mailed Request Forms must reach me by Friday, November 11th at the latest to be part of “Operation Pony Express” (see below).

 2. You can bring your completed Request Form, along with the $15 check made out to the Illinois Dept. of Public Health and a photocopy of your state ID to in a SEPARATE envelope and hand-deliver it to me at White Oak’s offices, at 525 N. Halsted, Suite 203, on November 9th, 10th or 11th, or at the informational table we’ll be hosting in the Thompson Center, 100 West Randolph, on November 8th or November 14th.  Drop-off times on the 9th, 10th and 11th will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. all three days. We will be at the Thompson Center between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on 11/8 and 11/14.  All request forms received during the 3-day open house and the two days at the Thompson Center will be included in “Operation Pony Express” (more on that after #3).

 3. You can join me, along with Rep. Feigenholtz, and film-maker Jean Strauss, and many of those who played a pivotal role in the passage of this ground-breaking legislation…at a party being held to celebrate this historic event on the evening of November 14, 2011. I can’t yet tell you where exactly we’ll be celebrating (but it will be somewhere in Chicago), nor the exact time (6 to 10 is my best guess), but I can promise you that we’ll have a lot to celebrate (99.9% of 250,000 original birth certificates unsealed in a single day)!

 All of the Request Forms received by mail or in person at our offices prior to November 11th, along with all the Request Forms gathered at the Thompson Center on November 8th and 11th, and all those received at the celebration party on the evening of the 14th, will be hand-delivered to Vital Statistics on November 15th via what I am calling “Operation Pony Express.” 

 On the morning of November 15th, Rep. Feigenholtz, along with Jean Strauss and members of Rep. Feigneholtz’s staff, will be hand-delivering the hundreds of Request Forms we’ve gathered between now and November 14th to Vital Statistics. If we can get press coverage for “Operation Pony Express,” you may even get to see your Request Form, rolling among all those delivered to Vital Statistics that day, on the evening news.

 If you’d like to be part of “Operation Pony Express”…and Illinois adoption history ….and are interested in taking advantage of Options 1, 2 or 3 above, please email me at iltreesurgeon@aol.com  as soon as possible.

 And, if you’d like to get your Request Form in on the 15th, but without being involved in all the hoopla, you can:

 4.  Send your Request Form via Overnight Delivery on November 14th, using FedEx or the U.S. Postal Service’s overnight service.

 5. Walk, drive or fly to Springfield, IL and hand-deliver your Request Form to Vital Statistics on the 15th (you might run into Jean Strauss and her film crew, if you do!). However, be advised that, even if you hand in your Request Form on the 15th, you will have to wait just as long as anyone who chose option 1, 2, 3 or 4 above to receive a non-certified copy of your original birth certificate.

 WEBINARS

 We’ve been overwhelmed by your response to our free webinars this week! The 2 p.m. Thursday webinar is nearly full (two spots left), and there are five spots left for the Friday, 6 pm seminar. We are looking into recording one of the webinars and making it available online throughout the month of November. 

 I will be emailing all those who signed up for either seminar later today with instructions on how to find us on Thursday or Friday, along with a Pdf file that includes the materials we’ll be covering during the webinar.

 Thanks for all the letters of support and solidarity that have been pouring in since Friday night…I’ll try to get back to everyone individually once the 15th has come and gone, but it looks like I am going to be REALLY busy between now and then!

 If you live anywhere in the Chicago area, hope to see you at one of the events above!!!

 Warm regards,

 Melisha Mitchell

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I hope the above detailed information will help any adoptee be able to work through the process of obtaining their post-1946 Illinois Birth Record that they may have already sent in their request.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Our Next Genealogy Program Is Coming Up On Tuesday Evening November 8, 2011 At 7:30 PM

Hi Everyone!

I thought I would post this reminder of our next upcoming Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library.

There is no pre-registration required in order to attend the program.  There is no fee charged to attend.  Anyone can attend this program.  You do not have to be a library card holder with the Schaumburg Township District Library in order to attend.

Here are the details of our upcoming program for Tuesday evening, November 8, 2011:

The Genealogy program will be held on Tuesday, November 8,2011 at 7:30 PM in the 2nd floor Classroom. The guest speaker for the evening will be Jeffrey Bockman. Jeffrey will present a program titled “Didn’t Find It in the Index?”.

Are you using all of the online genealogical databases and not having that much luck finding the person you think should be there? We all encounter the same challenges. Jeffrey will provide us with some insights into how you can better search the material and produce successful results in your online searching of these databases.

Jeffrey Bockman is a Genealogy Lecturer & Writer. He was a contributing editor for the former Everton’s Genealogical Helper and a feature writer for the former Heritage Quest Magazine. His articles have also appeared in various other publications. He was the President of the DuPage County Genealogical Society for 5 terms. He is the author of “Give Your Family A Gift That Money Can’t Buy”, a book that encourages people to record and preserve their family’s history.

The doors to the room will open at approximately 7 PM so participants can pick up any handouts, review books and journals and interact with other participants. Tony Kierna, the STDL genealogist, will start the program at 7:30. Introductions of new participants will occur as well as a brief review of handouts and genealogical matters. It is expected that the guest speaker’s presentation will start at around 7:45-8:00 PM. We will end the session by 9:30 PM.

For further information contact Tony Kierna at 847-923-3390.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library