Monthly Archives: January 2012

January 2012 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter Uploaded As A PDF for January 10, 2012 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the January 2012 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 January 2012 Newsletter for your convenience:

January 2012 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, January 10, 2012 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 January 10, 2012

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, January 10, 2012 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:

Caron Primas Brennan

The Genealogy program will be held on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 7:30 PM in the 2nd floor Classroom.  The guest speaker for the evening will be Caron Primas Brennan.  Caron will present a program titled “Social Networking for Genealogy: Family Trees, FaceBook, Blogs and More”.

Social networking is a collaborative process in which information (comments, photos, news, videos, links) are created and shared.  There are many ways to use social networking for genealogy research, whether you want to share your  family tree, swap pictures, find new places to look for information or get “how to” tips.   Ancestry Family Trees, Facebook groups, shared family web sites, and blogs are all part of the new world of social networking.  You do not have to be a computer expert to benefit!  Come find out who is looking for you!

Caron loves history, biography, puzzles and a good mystery, which makes her perfectly suited to genealogy research!  She has been researching her family history since a 6th grade school project got her interested.  She has been using the computer and internet since before it was “cool”.  She uses The Master Genealogist as her primary software and also uses Family Tree Maker and Ancestry to share with others in her family.  Caron’s only vice is genealogy research so she has subscriptions to many resources including Ancestry.com, Genealogybank.com, NEGHS, Footnote, and Godfrey Memorial Library.  She belongs to several local genealogy groups and is the Webmaster and Newsletter Publisher for CAGGNI (www.caggni.org).

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

New “Poll Archives” Page Created At Top Of The Blog

Hi Everyone!

The new “Poll Archives” page is now in place at the top of the blog.  Just click on the link for the page and you will be able to see both the current poll that is open as well as past polls that have been “closed out”. 

Within the archive you can see all of this material all in one place, especially if you have missed any of the past polls I have conducted before you started reading this blog.

As of today, there are only two polls there at this time since I just started my first poll only on November 25, 2011.  But over time this archive will grow!

Enjoy the “Poll Archives”.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

New Poll On Right Sidebar Of This Blog; Have You Ever Attended A Multi-Day, National Genealogical Conference?

Hi Everyone!

Out with the old, in with the new!  Sounds like a New Year’s catch phrase!

Well, I have just closed out my first poll that I had on the right sidebar of this blog.  It had been open since November 25, 2011.

I think I was ready to be creative, maybe, and put a new poll on the right sidebar of this blog at the very top.  You can’t miss it.

I, and hopefully readers of this blog, may be interested to know if you have ever attended a national, multi-day genealogical conference such as one put together by the National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) or a new one that just started last year, called RootsTech?

These are big time conferences often drawing attendance in the are of 3,000 visitors over a series of days.  You can listen to as many as 5 to 7 programs or more each day if you include the luncheon and dinner activities.  So over a few days you can OD on 20+ programs of your choice to beef up your genealogical knowledge and make you both a better researcher and family historian.

I have attended one of these national programs in my life and would recommend that any genealogical researcher attend at least one program in their lives.  It is really a big event!

It does not matter whether you are a rank novice or a genealogical research expert with 10 years of experience.  These conferences are stimulating, motivating, informative and just plain fun-filled with excitement and camaraderie among fellow researchers.  The speakers are also the best of the best from around the world in the field of genealogy.  Plus, you often have to travel to distant places in the U.S. to attend these programs.  So you also get the benefit of travel while learning new skills in genealogy.

Sometimes the programs may be in your own backyard as was the case with the recent FGS program in Springfield, IL this last September.  Well, if you are living in the Chicago area, Springfield is not quite in your “backyard” but it was closer and could cost less for you by saving on air travel and driving to Springfield instead.  A national program was held in Chicago a few years back which did put a national conference truly in your backyard.  They often recycle through the same major cities.   You may very well find yourself with the opportunity to attend one in Chicago when one most likely will reappear in the future.

Please take the poll.  It does not cost you anything and I don’t find out any secrets of those voting from any information being captured by me when you vote.

I, and readers of this blog,  would certainly like to see more than 39 voters taking the plunge with this poll!

But I will take what I can get.

Also feel free to suggest any other polls/questions that may interest you that pertain to genealogy to which readers could provide some insights via the poll.  Leave a comment on this poll or contact me either directly through the “Contact” page at the top of this blog or even as a comment to this post.

I would like to hear from you what might be some good questions to ask in the form of a poll of the genealogy readers to this blog.

Thanks for your past poll participation.

Now on to the next!!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

My First Genealogy Poll On This Blog; Genealogy Lineage Software Poll Closed; See the Results

Hi Everyone!

I thought that it was about time to close out my very first poll on this blog.  I have had it up on the blog for about 6 weeks.  I am not sure if I will have a set amount of time when the poll is open for readers to provide their “votes”.  I don’t want the poll to get “stale” over time, so I may target a new poll at about every 6 weeks or so.

So far over the approximate 6 weeks this first poll has been active I have received 39 votes so far on what kind of lineage software readers are using to keep track of their genealogy research results.  I don’t really have a feel yet as to whether 39 votes is a good amount, a small amount or maybe a just right amount.  I guess more is better but it is my first poll and I guess I should be happy that 39 readers were willing to share their thoughts.

Here is a summary as to what software packages readers to the blog have indicated they are using:

Family Tree Maker                    17 Votes      (44.74%)
Master Genealogist                     1 Vote         (2.83%)
Roots Magic                                   2 Votes       (5.26%)
Legacy Family Tree                     3 Votes      (7.89%)
Personal Ancestral File              1 Vote        (2.83%)
Reunion (Mac)                               9 Votes      (23.08%)
MacFamily Tree (Mac)               0 Votes      (0%)
Using More Than One                3 Votes       (7.89%)
Not Using Any                               3 Votes       (7.89%)

Total Votes                                    39 Votes (11-23-2011 to 1-4-2012)      100%

As you can see, Family Tree Maker is the overall winner with about 50% of the votes and Reunion (for Mac) came in a distant 2nd.  It was interesting that about 8% of respondents indicated they are using more than one and 8% of respondents indicated they are not using any!

This was not a scientific poll by any means.  Just a fun, informational poll on who is using what software, or not, to track their genealogical research.  So make of the results what you wish.  Maybe the results are no surprise to you at all based on your own anecdotal insights into what software is being used.  Maybe you are completely surprised.  Either way, enjoy the results for what they are.

I plan on also creating a new “page” at the top of this blog that will contain an archive of the polls I will be including on this blog over time.  That way you can always visit the page and see historically what has been out there and how the results may coincide with your own anecdotal insights about aspects of your own genealogy life.

I have a few more polls lined up in my mind that I will start constructing.  I am certainly open to hear from my readers as to what poll questions they think might be good to put out on this blog as the questions would pertain to genealogy.  You can leave me your good ideas as “comments” on the blog posts, by contacting me directly via the “Contact” page at the top of the blog or by leaving a comment at any of the “polls” that will be appearing on the blog.

I would love to hear from you on your ideas about what to ask our readers for feedback via a poll.

I hope you enjoyed this first poll.

I don’t think it was a disaster that would preclude me from offering another one!

Don’t be afraid to take a vote and give me your response to a poll that is of interest to you.  I only see the statistics and do not see any other information regarding you the reader.

Thanks again for your participation in this very first poll.

Keep coming back to see future polls for which I would love to get some feedback from you via the poll.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“Who Do You Think You Are?” Season 3 “Teaser” Information On 3 Stars That Will Participate

Hi Everyone!

We are getting closer and closer to the Season 3 Series Premier of the popular genealogy show on NBC “Who Do You Think You Are?”.

The NBC website for the show is not showing anything of note about who will be in the upcoming episodes for Season 3 starting on the evening of Friday, February 3, 2012 at 7 PM (Chicago Time).

However, the Wiki for the show seems to indicate that Marisa Tomei, Martin Sheen and Blair Underwood are expected to be 3 of the stars the show will focus on as their family history gets discovered.  This is just the rumor and has not been officially noted at the NBC web site for the show which you can get to at:

NBC Official Site for “Who Do You Think You Are?”

Take a look at the link to the Wiki where you can read more details of the show itself over the first two seasons as well as the “teaser” information for the upcoming Season 3 start.  You can read this at:

“Who Do You Think You Are?” Season 3 Wiki Teaser Information

I am certainly looking forward to the new episodes.  Season 2 episodes were considered very good.

Mark your calendars for the new start and plan on setting your VCR or DVR to record the shows.  You can always visit the NBC web site to catch up on episodes for Season 1, 2 and the new Season 3 episodes as they become available.

I can’t wait!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Reminder Re-Post – Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists (NWSCG) Next Program Scheduled for Saturday Morning, January 7, 2012 At 10:00 AM – “Organizing and Writing Your Family History” by Steve Szabados

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to remind everyone that the Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists (NWSCG) will be having a very good program that will take place this upcoming Saturday, January 7, 2012, at 10:00 AM.  I originally made a post on December 5, 2011 letting you know of this program.

I thought it would be a good reminder to re-post the information again because Steve Szabados will be the guest speaker on a topic near and dear to all of us on “Organizing and Writing Your Family History”.  This is a topic that goes great with New Year’s resolutions.

Steve is a great speaker and will certainly motivate you to begin writing your own family history.  It is not too late to consider attending this program.  All you have to do is just show up!

I also think the timing of this program coincides with a blog post I just did yesterday, January 3, 2012, on an article I read from the Newsletter of the Chicago Genealogical Society, that indicated the importance of writing your Family History in a more formal format to assure that it will get passed down to societies, libraries, archives, the Family History Library and the like.  “Raw Data”, as the article by Craig indicated,  is an almost certainty to be ignored by libraries and the like to take the material.  Your “raw data” must be converted to “published” material to give you a better chance that your hard work does not go to waste and will be accepted by organizations we associate with taking on such material.

So the timing of Steve’s program,  the article published by Craig Pfannkuche as well as the season for New Year’s resolutions are sure serendipitous events at this very time.

Check out the details of the upcoming NWSCG program that I previously posted about.  The program information follows after the following line separator.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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

Hi Everyone,

I just received a program notice from the Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists indicating that their next genealogy program is scheduled for Saturday morning, January 7, 2012 at 10:00 AM.

Please remember that the society will be meeting on a new day, at a new time and at a new location starting with programs in August 2011.

The society will be meeting on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 10:00 AM at the Arlington Heights Senior Center at 1801 W. Central Rd. in Arlington Heights, IL.

Please be sure to view the link below that will get you to the program description material supplied to me by the society. 

The speaker for the morning program will be Steve Szabados.  The speaker will present a program titled “Organizing and Writing Your Family History“.

Researchers can arrive as early as 9:30 AM to have informal conversations and share knowledge and seek research advice.

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

Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists (NWSCG) January 7, 2012 Program Notice

You will find more details about the program location, the program contents and some information about Steve Szabados, the speaker for the morning from the above link to the program information.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Check This Blog During the Winter Months In Case Bad Weather Forces Us To Cancel A Genealogy Program; I Would Post That Cancellation Notice Here

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to remind readers of this blog, especially those of you that often attend our monthly Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library (STDL), that I would post a notice here if a Genealogy Program on the 2nd Tuesday evening of the month would have to be cancelled due to bad, wintry weather.

A few cancellations have happened in the recent past and I believe posting the cancellation of that program in this blog proved helpful and beneficial to those who thought of coming out on a bad wintry night.  I believe that our most recent cancellation of our genealogy program was in February 2010 just a few months after I started this blog.

It does not happen often but this blog can easily get the word out that a genealogy program is being cancelled due to inclement weather.

So far the December 2011 program was completed with flying colors weather-speaking.  The 2011-201 winter season has been unbelievably mild so far as of this writing.  Perhaps the January and February programs will occur in routine manner should our winter continue along its mild course.

But I also believe in Karma and realize we have had an exceptionally good November and December for weather and the “weather gods” have their way of “pay back”.  Whatever the “weather gods” do for our program nights, I can get the word out via the blog that we may be a “no go”.

So keep checking back here especially on the 2nd Tuesday evening of the month if you may be planning on attending our genealogy program.  If the weather is dicey and we cancel the program, you will hear it here!

Let’s hope I have not jinxed anything weather-wise for our upcoming January 10, 2012 by talking about problematic weather in this post!

See you on January 10, 2012 at 7:30 PM at the main library building for our next program.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Our Next Genealogy Program Is Coming Up On Tuesday Evening January 10, 2012 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, January 10, 2012:

Caron Primas Brennan

The Genealogy program will be held on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 7:30 PM in the 2nd floor Classroom.  The guest speaker for the evening will be Caron Primas Brennan.  Caron will present a program titled “Social Networking for Genealogy: Family Trees, FaceBook, Blogs and More”.

Social networking is a collaborative process in which information (comments, photos, news, videos, links) are created and shared.  There are many ways to use social networking for genealogy research, whether you want to share your  family tree, swap pictures, find new places to look for information or get “how to” tips.   Ancestry Family Trees, Facebook groups, shared family web sites, and blogs are all part of the new world of social networking.  You do not have to be a computer expert to benefit!  Come find out who is looking for you!

Caron loves history, biography, puzzles and a good mystery, which makes her perfectly suited to genealogy research!  She has been researching her family history since a 6th grade school project got her interested.  She has been using the computer and internet since before it was “cool”.  She uses The Master Genealogist as her primary software and also uses Family Tree Maker and Ancestry to share with others in her family.  Caron’s only vice is genealogy research so she has subscriptions to many resources including Ancestry.com, Genealogybank.com, NEGHS, Footnote, and Godfrey Memorial Library.  She belongs to several local genealogy groups and is the Webmaster and Newsletter Publisher for CAGGNI (www.caggni.org).

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

Write Your Family History; Do Not Assume That An Archive, Society Or Library Will Take Your “Raw” Data; the Mulvihill Family History of Chicago

Hi Everyone!

While reading the December 2011 issue of the Newsletter of the Chicago Genealogical Society, I noticed a very compelling and eye-opening article that was written by Craig Pfannkuche.  Craig is a major player in the genealogy community within our area and is the Corresponding Secretary with the Chicago Genealogical Society.

Craig authored an article that showcased a real life example of someone trying to pass on their “raw” genealogical research to a society, library, archive so that all that hard work would not be lost.  In our own personal research efforts we may have children to whom we would like to “pass on the torch” of our hard-work research but for whatever reason the children do not have the same level of zeal we have for family history research.  The same lack of zeal may even apply for our siblings or cousins or any of our own living family connections.

Or we may simply be in a situation that there is really no one alive to whom our material can be passed to for care for our years of hard work.

Often times we may think that certainly a library, a genealogical society, an archive, the Family History Library will have an interest in our “raw” data and material accumulated through the years.

I know this may actually shock you, but the above categories of institutions may have NO interest whatsoever in your “raw” genealogical data!!

The article authored by Craig Pfannkuche in the December 2011 Newsletter of the Chicago Genealogical Society made me take note of the importance of the article that I actually contacted the society and asked them for permission to reprint in a blog post the entirety of the article.  I was so taken by the subject of the article and its importance that I did not want to paraphrase the article.

The article points us in the direction of converting our “raw” data to a fully composed family history in published format.  In this format it is much more easily able to be taken in by a society, library, archive connected with including such material into its collection.

Craig did an outstanding job in describing the situation in such a way that it is very important that you read the full article.  I think if you do read it, you will certainly take pause as to how your own personal research situation compares to what Craig wrote about.  I have no doubt that you can easily substitute your “raw” family history data into the article and you may very well face the situation of having no home for your “raw” data after you are no longer here on this earth!!

What follows in Italics after the separator line is the full-text of the article written by Craig Pfannkuche that appeared in the December 2011 Newsletter of the Chicago Genealogical Society.  Permission was granted to me by the Chicago Genealogical Society to include the full-text article in this blog post.  Thank you to the Chicago Genealogical Society for granting me permission.

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

FAMILY HISTORY MATERIALS COLLECTION:

THE MULVIHILL FAMILY OF CHICAGO

Recently, two four inch thick binders of family history data (including original photographs) concerning the Mulvihill family of Chicago were donated to the Chicago Genealogical Society. The donation came about because the person who spent much of her life collecting and organizing the data could not, upon her death, find any family members who were willing to take the material.

     The material prompted your CGS Corresponding Secretary to try to find a place to archive that collection.  Since the Chicago Genealogical Society does not have an archives of its own (We have no permanent home.), it was thought that Chicago’s Newberry Library would be a fine place to deposit that material.  I brought the material to the Newberry for Matt Rutherford to look at and discuss the possibility that the Newberry Library might want to take it.  As much as Matt felt that the collection was very interesting and well researched, he said that the Newberry could not take it in its present format.

    Mr. Rutherford said that the Newberry wants to collect family history material which is “bound, with page numbers, and with an all name index.”  He went on to say that all too often material offered is organized in a manner which makes sense to the compiler but not to anyone else.  His rule of thumb for acquisition is that if staff members can not make sense of the material’s organization fairly quickly, then patrons will probably have the same problem.  This is why Mr. Rutherford decided not to accept the Mulvihill family history binders.

     In essence, Mr. Rutherford believes that family history materials can not be useful to Newberry patrons unless they are presented in a published manner such as that which is often family or privately published.  The “Donations” portion of the Newberry web site states that they collect “published genealogies, indexes, and local histories.”

     Mr. Rutherford additionally pointed out that some of the material in the binders contains family information such as birth certificates and photographs of living descendants.  He pointed out that the Newberry does not want to deal with materials concerning living family members without the permission of those living individuals.  He said that having such material without such permissions can cause legal and privacy problems which the Newberry does not want to deal with.

     Mr. Rutherford also mentioned that the Newberry would rather NOT accept donations of family history material in an electronic format (i.e., Disks and CDs) unless they are accompanied by a PAPER version of the same material.  He cited the example of some family trees which were donated to the Newberry on 5.25” floppies 15 or so years ago and are not usable now!

     Beyond the Newberry Library, I was informed by the Chicago History Museum that they do not accept such material for the same reasons which Mr. Rutherford gave.  They would rather that the Newberry Library be the repository for family genealogies.  Further, the Chicago History Museum is, in fact, not now accepting any new acquisitions at all unless the material is an addition to a collection already at the History Museum’s archives.

     Up to the time of this writing, the Irish-American Heritage Center has not responded to requests for donation information concerning the Mulvihill material.

     Your Corresponding Secretary accepts and respects Mr. Rutherford’s contention that acceptance of “raw” family history material collections also poses an economic problem for the Newberry and the Chicago History Museum.  Archival space is at a premium.  Additionally, there is a monetary cost involved in the maintenance of collections. This cost is a serious problem for many historical and genealogical archives in these difficult economic times.

     Thus, what can we do to protect our life work of family history research?  Your Corresponding Secretary strongly believes that we must sit down and write family histories rather than just keep the raw data on some computer program on or paper.  Home publishing can be done.  Writing is certainly difficult but the loss of one’s research efforts for use by future researchers and interested related family historians would be a greater hardship.

     Keep an eye out for Mulvihill family information in a future issue of our CGS Quarterly.  We certainly solicit your responses to the above.

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

After reading the above, you certainly have to consider your own strategies in thinking you can easily pass down your “raw” data somewhere and to someone after you are no longer here.

Yes you can, but only if you plan on converting your “raw” data to some form of a published family history!

I want to thank the Chicago Genealogical Society and Craig Pfannkuche for giving me permission to present Craig’s article in its full text as it appeared in the December 2011 issue of the Newsletter of the Chicago Genealogical Society.

I am so glad that readers of this blog can take note of the importance of the article.  Take that information and re-strategize your plans for your own family history work.  You do not want all of your hard genealogical work to become an “orphan” amount of “raw data” that has no place to go like the Mulvihill Family History that was presented to the Chicago Genealogical Society.

Take action now!

Convert your “raw” Family History to some version of a published work that can some day reside on the shelf of some organization and help other researchers.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library