Monthly Archives: December 2011

Illinois Veterans’ History Project At the Illinois Secretary of State Website

Hi Everyone!

I came across the following wonderful piece of information in the December 2011 copy of the Newsletter of the Chicago Genealogical Society.

To all Illinois veterans please be aware the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State has established an Illinois Veterans’ History Project.  Living Illinois veterans as well as deceased Illinois veterans can be honored and their military service history can become a permanent history within the Illinois Secretary of State Office. 

Genealogy researchers can honor deceased ancestors who had military service and lived in Illinois.  This is a very nice feature, tribute and honor we can bestow on our deceased veteran ancestors.   The following quote was obtained from the Illinois Secretary of State website for this project:

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Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White initiated the Illinois Veterans’ History Project to create a permanent record of the names and stories of Illinois war veterans and civilians who served our state and country during war, so that their contributions will not be forgotten.

To participate in the Illinois Veterans’ History Project, Veterans or their family members can complete the Illinois Patriots Information Form and also share their remembrances on the back or on a separate sheet of paper. Those who participate will receive an Official Certificate of Appreciation for their participation in this project. The Illinois Patriots Information Form is also available at Driver Services facilites statewide.

The Illinois State Archives, a division of the Secretary of State’s office, will collect the information and place it in a permanent repository. White’s initiative follows a law passed by the federal government authorizing the Library of Congress to collect and preserve the histories of American veterans and civilians who served in wars from World War I to the present.

If you would like to participate in the National Veterans’ History Project through the Library of Congress, please visit their website at www.loc.gov/vets/.

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You can access the main database website from the Illinois Secretary of State Office at:

Illinois Veterans’ History Project Data Base

What a great way to preserve the military history of living Illinois veterans as well as to honor and preserve the military history of deceased Illinois veterans.  All it takes is a small amount of time to fill out the questionnaire especially if your research has already uncovered the military information of that Illinois veteran.  All questionnaire material is available directly from the above links.

You can see samples of filled-out and returned material at the Illinois Digital Archives at:

Illinois Digital Archives/Illinois Veterans’ History Project

Take a look at the material and consider honoring a living Illinois veteran as well as a deceased Illinois veteran.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Update on Release of 1940 US Census Data in April 2012

Hi Everyone!

Steve Szabados, a frequent participant at our monthly genealogy programs, as well as being a fantastic genealogy speaker, shared with me an update on what is happening with the release of the 1940 US Census data in April 2012.

Dick Eastman had a recent blog post about the subject of the release of the 1940 Census data and what appears to be the “plan” to create indexes of the data from the images that will be released in April 2012.  The data images will be available, but no index will immediately be available on the day of release.

The Dick Eastman blog post sheds light on the “indexing” efforts that will begin occurring upon release of the data images.

Three “powerhouses” in the genealogical community will join forces to make available a “free” accessible index of the data.  The players mentioned are:

  • Archives.com
  • FamilySearch International
  • findmypast.com

Of note in this effort is that an International company called brightsolid (yes, that is how the company is known, no caps, all lower-case letters) is a major participant in this effort.

For those of us doing genealogy, we are about have access to another great resource that we wait so anxiously for every ten years.  That moment is literally almost here!  As we age, let’s be honest, 10 year intervals don’t really seem like 10 years anymore, does it?  It does seem like the 1930 Census data was released only about 5 years ago.  Oh the humanity of aging when time seems to fly more than ever!!

Take a look at the link below to the full Dick Eastman blog post on the 1940 Census data update:

1940 Census Update From December 16, 2011 Dick Eastman Post

Don’t forget to look at the “comments” at the end of the Dick Eastman post.  Sometimes, these comments can be even more insightful that the original post.  Read through the entirety of the post and the comments.

Thanks to Steve Szabados for sharing the news on the recent Dick Eastman post.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

February 11, 2012 Family History Workshop at Great Lakes National Archives in Chicago

Hi Everyone!

Ann M., one of our frequent participants at our monthly genealogy program, made me aware of an upcoming genealogy program that will occur on Saturday morning, February 11, 2012, from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM,  at the Great Lakes Regional Branch of the National Archives in Chicago, IL.

Loretta “Lou” Szucs, a very well-known genealogical speaker and author will be giving the program.

It is “free” but you do need to register.

What follows after the line separator in Italics is the description of this program that I received from the e-mail of Ann M. 

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2012 Family History Workshop at National Archives Chicago

Hidden Treasures at Ancestry.com
Saturday, February 11: 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM

Join well-known Family Historian and Genealogist Loretta “Lou” Szucs 
for an informative look at one of the most popular online collections of
genealogical-related data in the world. Lou will illustrate how to use
 Ancestry.com to dig up those hidden treasures that make us say “Wow!”

The workshop is free and will be held at our Chicago facility near Ford
City Mall and Midway Airport at 7358 South Pulaski Road in Chicago. 
For further information about this workshop, or to register, please
 contact Kris Maldre at 773-948-9010 or via e-mail at kristina.maldre@nara.gov.
 Space is limited, so RSVP today!

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The topic sounds like a very interesting topic on discovering all of the “hidden” items that are at Ancestry.com.  I am sure they are not literally “hidden” but just those nuggets of great information that we do not tend to explore and discover for ourselves.

Consider the date, the topic, the speaker and the location for your planning purposes if this is a program of interest to you.

Mark your calendar for this upcoming program by a great genealogical speaker on what appears to be a very good topic!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

December 2011 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts Uploaded As A PDF for December 13, 2011 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

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

December 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, December 13, 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.

You can also get to the handouts of interest to you quickly via the Table of Contents at the beginning of the document.  You will find hyperlinks that will get you directly to the handout of interest to you from the Table of Contents.

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

December 2011 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter Uploaded As A PDF for December 13, 2011 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

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

December 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, December 13, 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 December 13, 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, December 13, 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, December 13, 2011 at 7:30 PM in the 2nd floor Classroom. There is no formal presentation for this gathering. Instead, we will have our breakout group discussions so participants can work within a small group of people having specific interests in a common genealogical topic. The object is to share information and experience on this topic among those in the breakout group.

We are planning on having the same breakout groups we had in our previous breakout groups based on various nationalities. These will be Polish, Czech, German, Irish, British, Italian, Scandinavian, as well as Colonial American. There will also be a Beginners Group as well as a general all-purpose “troubleshooting” group.

A laptop computer connected to our projector will also be available in the room to use by those in attendance.

I would also encourage participants that attend to consider bringing in their own laptop or notebook to connect with our WiFi network. Using these devices during the session at your table is a great way to show someone the work you may have done or key resources that you are using they may not be aware of.

Some of the above mentioned groups may be eliminated if there are not enough participants in any one group to make it beneficial. Some groups that have not been identified may be added.

The doors to the room will open at approximately 7 PM so participants can pick up the 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 breakout groups will form 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

Very Nice Genealogy Article Appeared in the December 1, 2011 Issue of the “Wall Street Journal”

Hi Everyone!

Bruce H. , a frequent participant at our monthly genealogy programs, made me aware of a genealogy article that appeared in the December 1, 2011 issue of the Wall Street Journal.

The article is titled ” Not Your Grandmother’s Genealogy Hobby”.

The article does a lot to identify how the world of digitization in all forms and genealogy are so tied together at the hip.

You can read the full article online via the following link:

December 1, 2011 Wall Street Journal Article Titled “Not Your Grandmother’s Genealogy Hobby”

As researchers we must open our hearts and minds to participating in the evolving world of social media and how that participation can help us immensely with our own genealogical research.

As a sidenote, our Genealogy Program for January 10, 2012 is titled “Social Networking for Genealogy: Family Trees, FaceBook, Blogs and More”.  Our upcoming program and the Wall Street Journal article are trying to raise the level of attention being placed on Social Media and Genealogy.

Take a look at the article from the above link.  I think it will open your eyes to aspects of Social Media and the connection to genealogy if you are not familiar with the growth of Social Media like Wikis, Facebook, Google +.  The article also notes many websites of note for you to consider in your genealogy research.

A big “Thank You” to Bruce H. for making me aware of this nice article.

Enjoy the article.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

 

“What Is A Second Cousin, Once Removed” And All Things As They Pertain To Kinship

Hi Everyone!

I came across a Dick Eastman post at his blog on a topic that, frankly, I personally find to be one of the most confusing aspects of genealogy.  We often hear such phrases bandied about such as “2nd Cousin, Twice Removed” or “5th Cousin, 4 Times Removed”.  This kind of description gives us some concept of how we are related to someone else in our ancestral chain.  This method of description has never been easy for me to try to peel back the layers and really understand exactly what all this genealogy gobbledygook really means as to how I relate to someone.

Sometimes it seems so difficult I tell myself that it is not really important for me to figure out that nth degree of relationship that exists.  Furthermore, for myself, or for anyone else this cryptic methodology has generally been incorporated into all of the various lineage programs you have on your computer.  You simply find the part of the program that allows you to create a “relationship” view of two people in your own lineage database.

In a magic moment when you enter in the two names and push your “enter” key you instantly see that you are a 2nd Cousin, Twice Removed to another person in your database.

I have taken the path of least resistance using my lineage program to identify how I relate to someone rather than trying to do it in a manual manner and doing it incorrectly or with great uncertainty.

Once you let your lineage program do it, you can then manually yourself look at your tree showing the two people and see how the program calculated the relationship.  The concept will be clearer using real life examples of relationships in your own trees as well as looking at the information posted by Dick Eastman on the subject via the link within this post.

The article by Dick Eastman was a fantastic article that sheds much light on this complicated process of kinship identification.

I wanted to provide a direct link to Dick Eastman’s blog post on this topic because it is so well written and informative at the level that kinship relations becomes a lot easier to understand.

You can read Dick’s “Kinship/Second Cousin Once Removed” post at

Dick Eastman Blog Post on “Second Cousin, Once Removed”

I think you will enjoy looking at the entirety of the post from Dick Eastman.  Be sure to also look at all of the Comments left on this blog post in addition to reading the blog post itself.

For me, I will continue to let my own lineage program tell me what the relationship is between Person A and Person B!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Our Next Genealogy Program Is Coming Up On Tuesday Evening December 13, 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, December 13, 2011:

The Genealogy program will be held on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 7:30 PM in the 2nd floor Classroom. There is no formal presentation for this gathering. Instead, we will have our breakout group discussions so participants can work within a small group of people having specific interests in a common genealogical topic. The object is to share information and experience on this topic among those in the breakout group.

We are planning on having the same breakout groups we had in our previous breakout groups based on various nationalities. These will be Polish, Czech, German, Irish, British, Italian, Scandinavian, as well as Colonial American. There will also be a Beginners Group as well as a general all-purpose “troubleshooting” group.

A laptop computer connected to our projector will also be available in the room to use by those in attendance.

I would also encourage participants that attend to consider bringing in their own laptop or notebook to connect with our WiFi network. Using these devices during the session at your table is a great way to show someone the work you may have done or key resources that you are using they may not be aware of.

Some of the above mentioned groups may be eliminated if there are not enough participants in any one group to make it beneficial. Some groups that have not been identified may be added.

The doors to the room will open at approximately 7 PM so participants can pick up the 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 breakout groups will form 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

Our Library Has Added “Tracing Your East End Ancestors” To Our Circulating Collection; Applicable For English Family Research

Hi Everyone!

Our library has just recently added to our circulating collection a book titled “Tracing Your East End Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians“.  The author of the book is Jane Cox.

The book was published in 2011.  It has been added to our collection in November 2011.  The call number of the book in our collection is 929.1 COX, J.  It is available on the 2nd floor of our library on the circulating shelves. 

Here is a Book Description provided by Amazon.com:

‘East Enders are a very special breed and tracing your East End ancestry is going to be tremendous fun. Everyone has got some East End ancestors – and if they haven’t they invent them, rollicking chaps, larky and resourceful, talking a funny language to keep “them” guessing, eating at eel and pie shops, shouting out their wares in clattering, colourful markets. Their wives and masters (” ‘er in doors”) are brazen lassies, smart as paint, tough as their men folk, presiding over an undoubted matriarchal society where Mum rules OK? The good tales are of bright little kids, unshod and street-wise, rising above their origins and making a mint. The bad ones are of indescribable horror – children dying in diseased heaps, infant sex for sale and gangs of armed bandits terrorising the neighbourhood.’

As author Jane Cox writes in the preface, the East End of our great grandparents’ days was another world, and her fascinating and accessible guide to East End ancestry will help you find out about it. She takes readers through the maze of courts and alleys that was the home of their ancestors, bringing to life that vibrant, polyglot society, and describing the many sources researchers can consult – archives, records, books, the internet – in order to discover the lives of individuals who lived in the area or passed through it.

An extensive review of this book can be found at the blog of John D. Reid titled “Anglo-Celtic Connections”.

You can find this extensive review at:

“Tracing Your East End Ancestors” Extensive Book Review

The review includes a short description of the topic of each of the chapters in the book.

For those of you having English ancestral connections, especially to this famous East End area, this is a book to consider to check out from our library.  The Table of Contents consists of the following 9 high-level Chapter titles.  Each chapter is divided into many more smaller descriptive segments of the contents of each chapter far too numerous to detail here:

Chapter 01     –     Our Ancestors in Context: A Summary History of Tower          Hamlets
Chapter 02     –     Research
Chapter 03     –     The Prime Sources
Chapter 04     –     Other Major Sources
Chapter 05     –     Records of Groups
Chapter 06     –     Occupational Groups
Chapter 07     –     The Second World War – the Blitz
Chapter 08     –     The Street/House They Lived In
Chapter 09     –     Maps
Appendix 1     –     The Borough and Administrative Units
Appendix 2     –     Parish Registers
Appendix 3     –     Nonconformist Chapel Registers
Appendix 4     –     Marriage Venues for East Enders
Appendix 5     –     Summary List of Records at Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Appendix 6     –     Medieval Ancestors
Appendix 7     –     Select Bibliography
Appendix 8     –     Organizations

You can get the drift of the book’s resources by looking at the high-level chapter titles.  Each chapter is subdivided into about 10 to 15 more categories of the kinds of records you might expect to find to use in your East End genealogical research.

I find that looking through a book like this can be very helpful to identify categories of records to consider that are not as obvious as Census records, Military records, Estate records etc.  How about thinking of such records as Voter records, Hearth Tax records, Apprenticeship System records, Charities and records, Hospital records, Death Duty records, Orphanage records and many more that are not often considered for research.

The author provides great details on the many and varied records that the researcher should consider when researching their East End ancestor.

The call number of this wonderful, current resource to help you research your London ancestor is 929.1 COX, J.  Take a look at it on the shelves of the 2nd floor of our library in the circulating collection.  Consider checking it out after I complete looking through it.  It should be back on the shelves by about December 5, 2011.

Enjoy the new material.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library