Monthly Archives: March 2012

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Will Participate In 1940 Census Indexing Project; They Are Seeking Participants; Membership In CAGGNI Is Not Required To Participate

Hi Everyone!

The local Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) has announced that they will be participating as a group in the soon to start 1940 Census Index Project.

If you want to participate in the project with them, they would very much seek your help to do so.  You do not even have to be a member of CAGGNI to participate in the project with them!

Why go it alone!  Instead, work within the structure of a group whose members are all committed to working on one major project that will help all of us in our genealogy research.

I just received an e-mail from the organization that provides further details on the planned group project.

Please take a look at their message that I am including in this post after the separator line in Italics.


We are excited to announce that our society has joined the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project to help index the 1940 U.S. Federal Census!  Indexing records from our state, we will be an essential part of this monumental grass-roots effort that will put one of the richest genealogical data sets in the world online, complete and free of charge forever.  

If you are not already committed to indexing with another group, we would be happy to have you join  us!  Go to and register to participate with our society.  Simply select CAGGNI Computer-Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois on the profile screen when creating your account. Every new person indexing with our society gets us closer to milestones that qualify us for incentives provided by the sponsors of the project, so sign up today!

Thank you in advance for your participation. We look forward to the impact this resource will have for researchers of our area and so many others.

Warm regards,


Caron Brennan, Vice President / Administrator for the Indexing Project

 About the 1940 Census Community Project

On April 2, 2012, images of the 1940 U.S. Federal Census will be released for the first time. Unlike previous census years, images of this census will be made available as free digital images.

Upon its release, the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project, a joint initiative between, FamilySearch,, and other leading genealogy societies and organizations, will coordinate efforts to provide quick access to these digital images and immediately start indexing these records to make them searchable online with free and open access.

Interest in the 1940 U.S. Census is both significant and sentimental because it documents what is often referred to as “The Greatest Generation” of U.S. citizens. As a group, these are individuals who: 

  • Survived the Great Depression
  • Fought in the Second World War
  • Innovated technology (TV, Microwave)

 There are many people still alive today who will be able to find themselves in the 1940 U.S. Federal Census. Others will be able to readily connect with relatives they knew personally or through family stories. Imagine the great resource this will be to current and future society members!


So if you are not committed to indexing with anyone else,  consider doing the indexing through CAGGNI.  Remember, you do not have to be a member of CAGGNI to do the indexing.  Just follow the process outlined in the above note from CAGGNI and you will soon be on your way to help index the 1940 Census.  Don’t go it alone.  Do it with CAGGNI!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Jennifer Holik-Urban, A Local Professional Genealogist, Publishes 6 New Genealogy Textbooks Aimed At Children; Press Release Included

Hi Everyone!,

One of the gaps in the wonderful hobby of genealogy relates to our children and grandchildren.  They are often just entries into our lineage records from our research.  Our children and grandchildren do not seem to develop any interest in our own wonderful hobby until they may become like us — older when their own curiosities of their ancestors becomes a burning desire to discover, just like us when we got older.

Why wait to involve our next generation of budding genealogists until they are far advanced into adulthood?  Sometimes, it is as simple of an answer as we simply don’t know how teach them.

Jennifer Holik-Urban also realized this omission in getting the next generations interested in genealogy and actually did something about it.  Jennifer has just published 6 textbooks to help the young genealogist from as early as 1st Grade all the way through the end of High School!

Jennifer Holik Urban

Jennifer Holik-Urban is a professional genealogist local in our area.  She has just issued a Press Release letting the world know that she has now made available the tools that parents and grandparents can now use to help educate the next generations in the exciting hobby of Family History.

If you were not sure how to help your own next generations become genealogy savvy, then your wait is over.  You will very shortly have the tools at your disposal to work with your children and grandchildren and become the “mentor” you always wanted to become and guide them down the paths of learning Family History in partnership with yourself.

Please take a look at the full text of this wonderful Press Release.  Click on all of the embedded links in the Press Release to uncover more details about the books themselves and about Jennifer herself through her very nifty looking “Generations” website.  You will discover all you need to know to plan on taking the next step to get these new children’s genealogy learning tools into your own hands.

Thanks to Jennifer for seeing the omission that existed to teach our next generation the love for the hobby we have all enjoyed ourselves.

The Press Release follows after the separator line in Italics:


Generations Publishes Kids’ Genealogy Textbooks

Chicago, Illinois – March 23, 2012: Professional Genealogist, Jennifer Holik, of Generations publishes six new genealogy textbooks for kids. Parents, teachers, and genealogical societies looking for a how-to genealogy textbook for elementary through high school-aged students need to look no further. In Branching Out, a new series available from Generations, author and professional genealogist Jennifer Holik provides parents and educators with the tools they need to teach genealogical research skills to children and teens.

Through thirty fun and educational lessons, students will learn the foundations of genealogy and how to begin research on a level that they can understand and enjoy. Each lesson contains a clearly defined goal, all necessary vocabulary, additional reading assignments, and lesson and homework assignments to extend understanding of the concept.

The Branching Out series of books begins with six paperback textbooks which are also available as a PDF or PowerPoint download. The PowerPoint files, which were created with the visual and hands-on learner in mind, contain the same information as the textbooks with a few fun and interactive extras.

The Branching Out: Genealogy Lessons for Adults will be released in April with additional books for families, genealogical societies, and educators to be published later in 2012.

 The books are available on CreateSpace in paperback form at the links provided. The PDF and PowerPoint files are available at the Generations Store at:

 Branching Out: Genealogy for 1st – 3rd Grade Students Lessons 1-15Book $24.95
PDF $17.95
Branching Out: Genealogy for 1st – 3rd Grade Students Lessons 16-30Book $29.95
PDF $20.95
PowerPoint $20.95
Branching Out: Genealogy for 4th – 8th Grade Students Lessons 1-15Book $26.95
PDF $18.95
PowerPoint $18.95
Branching Out: Genealogy for 4th – 8th Grade Students Lessons 16-30Book $32.95
PDF $23.95
PowerPoint $23.95
Branching Out: Genealogy for High School Students Lessons 1-15 Book $29.95
PDF $20.95
PowerPoint $20.95
Branching Out: Genealogy for High School Students Lessons 16-30Book $34.95
PDF $24.95
PowerPoint $24.95

If you live in the Chicagoland area, you can meet Jennifer and purchase books at the Fountaindale Public Library’s Author Fair on Saturday, April 14, 2012. For more information visit theGenerations Blog.


Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Webinars From The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS); “Live” Webinars Open To All; Archived Webinars Available To ISGS Members

Hi Everyone!

I just noticed that the Illinois State Genealogical Society has jumped in with both feet to offer online genealogy “webinars”.  These online training sessions are wonderful ways to learn more about genealogy and to advance your skills.

It appears that anyone can register to participate in one of these “live” online webinars.  They do appear to be scheduled on the 2nd Tuesday of the evening of each month (that is our program night!).

The sessions are free.

The sessions are being recorded.  These will then be placed in the society archives and be made available only to members for viewing.  So you can see that membership in various genealogical societies has its benefits!

Here are titles of the next two upcoming programs:

April 10, 2012 – 8 PM – “Going Digital: Organizing Your Research Files Electronically” – Presented by D. Joshua Taylor

May 8, 2012 – 8 PM – “Some Great, Seldom-Used Resources: A Genealogical Potpourri” – Presented by Timothy Pinnick

Registration is required in order to participate in the “live” event.  ISGS members are entitled to view the previously recorded webinars in the ISGS Archives.

You can take a closer look at all of the planned upcoming webinars for the balance of 2012 at the ISGS portion of their website at:

2012 Upcoming Webinars From The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS)

Webinars are the way to participate in the learning experience to advance your genealogical skills.

Here is also a link to an ISGS supplied PDF file that provides a summary for 2012 for the entire schedule of upcoming programs and information on how to participate.  You can see this handy 1 page aid at:

2012 Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) Webinar Series Brochure

Unfortunately, live participation conflicts with our monthly programs that occur on the same day at about the same time.  Membership in the society will get you access to the archive of previously provided webinars.

Browse around the total of the ISGS website to see what else catches your interest.  You can visit their general site at:

Illinois State Genealogical Society

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

April 21, 2012 Program Titled “Dating Photographs Through Costume” Being Offered By The Elk Grove Historical Museum; Registration Required By April 18, 2012

Hi Everyone!

I received notice from the Elk Grove Historical Museum that they will be offering a unique program that has a major connection to genealogical researchers.  They will have a program titled “Dating Photographs Through Costume”.  The speaker for the program will be Ellie Carlson.

The program will occur on Saturday, April 21, 2011 at 2:00 PM.

There is no charge to attend this program.

The location for the program will be at the Al Hattendorf Center located at 225 E. Elk Grove Blvd.

Genealogists often discover or already know of hundreds of pictures in their collections that are of ancestors.  Unfortunately, most of these pictures have no identification associated with them that answers the basic questions of Who, What, When, Where, Why.  So these become orphan pictures with no further information.  Sometimes, we may never discover the “Who” part of the picture.  But we may have a better chance of identifying the “Who” part of the picture by narrowing down the “When” part of the picture.

Clothing clues often abound in these old pictures.  But you must have the “key” to unlock the mysteries in the picture.  Knowing the time frame of the picture may help you analyze and narrow down who may actually be in the picture based on previous research you have completed.

Ellie Carlson will provide attendees with developing the “keys” to unlock the “when” of the many unknown pictures we have in our own personal genealogical collections.

Take a look at the following link to a PDF flyer of information for this program at:

April 21, 2012 “Dating Photographs Through Costume” Program By The Elk Grove Historical Museum Of Illinois

Knowing how to interpret the timeframe of our ancestral pictures by analyzing how our ancestors were dressed goes a long way to helping our genealogical research efforts.

This sounds like a great program.  Put it on your calendar if it fits your schedule.  It is certainly local enough to our own area.

The flyer does indicate that registration is required by April 18, 2012.  So you will want to contact the Elk Grove Historical Museum using the phone number provided in the above flyer or visit their website also provided in the above flyer.  Use the bar code # provided in the flyer to register for the “Dating Photographs Through Costume” program.

It sounds like a great program!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Videos From Recent RootsTech 2012 Conference Are Now Available Online

Hi Everyone!

You know I am a big believer in online training sessions to further educate yourself as a genealogy researcher.

I am happy to announce that online video sessions from the recently held 2012 RootsTech conference that was held in Slat Lake City, Utah are now available from the RootsTech web site.  There are 18 videos available in total for you to play through.

If you cannot attend these large-scale conferences, then it is a great pleasure to be able to see online a smattering of the programs that were held.  By no means is what is made available online representative of the total amount of overall programs presented over three days, but it is sure great to see a good amount of the material.

You will find the following topics and the presenter from the online videos from the recently held conference at RootsTech:

  • “Inventing the Future As A Community” by Jay Verkler
  • “Do I Trust the Cloud?” by D. Joshua Taylor
  • “Effective Database Search Techniques” by Kory Meyerink
  • “Twitter, It’s Not Just What I Had for Breakfast Anymore” by Thomas MacEntee
  • “Eleven Layers of Online Searches” by Barbara Renick
  • “Exabyte Social Clouds and Other Monstrosities” by Josh Coates
  • “Publish Your Genealogy Online” by Laura Prescott
  • “Optimizing Your Site for Search Engines” by Robert Gardener
  • “Genealogists “Go Mobile”” by Sandra Crowley
  • “Google’s Toolbar and Genealogy” by David Barney
  • “Making the Most of Technology to Further the Family History Industry” by Tim Sullivan
  • “Genealogy Podcasts and Blogs 101″ by Lisa Louise Cooke
  • “Privacy in A Collaborative Environment” by Noah Tutak

There are 5 more additional videos for your viewing pleasure that were presented by FamilySearch presenters.

In addition, the website has announced that two more videos will be released at a near-term future date.  That means there is an incredible 20 presentations in all that will be made available at the RootsTech website that were captured from the recently held 2012 RootsTech Conference.

You can see  programs themselves directly at the RootsTech website at:

2012 RootsTech Annual Conference Online Videos

Spend some time and really enjoy these and come away even more motivated.  Each video may be at least 1 hour in length.

Sometimes it is good to take a step back and take a look at the “big picture”.  The above programs seem to do that very thing.  It is important to know what is ahead for us down our genealogical research paths.  What are the “new” things that will make our research faster, easier, intuitive, collaborative, more accurate, and with fewer errors.

I always get a good feeling about the RootsTech Annual Conference.  I have not gone to either of the first two they have had.  I still feel very connected through their site and these fabulous videos that are educational and inspirational!

I am very happy to say the new set of videos are at your fingertips via the RootsTech website indicated at the above link.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

March 2012 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts Uploaded As A PDF for March 13, 2012 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the March 2012 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 March 2012 Handouts for your convenience:

March 2012 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, March 13, 2012 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

March 2012 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter Uploaded As A PDF for March 13, 2012 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

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

March 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, March 13, 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 March 13, 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, March 13, 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:

The Genealogy program will be held on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 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.  Participants are also encouraged to bring in their own lap top or net book to connect wirelessly to the library’s WiFi Network. This will allow the user to share information with other participants in areas of genealogical research.
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

Chicago Street Names Guide; History Of The Street Names Included

Hi Everyone!

One of my library colleagues shared a link with me to a very useful resource from the Chicago History Museum.  If you have any Chicago ancestral connection, you will want to save this link.

The Chicago Street Guide resource is a 201 page PDF file compiled in 1948 by William Martin that allows you to discover all of the streets of Chicago as well as to understand some of the history behind how the street was named.

The guide gives you information on where a street is located by using the “hundred” street guide e.g. 1800 West, 1800 North, as well as giving you information on how long the street runs from north to south or east to west etc.

If you have ancestors living on certain streets and addresses that you already know, you may want to look at the guide to gain some further deeper insights on the street itself.

I grew up on “North Paulina Street” in Chicago.  This is a sample description of the street contained in the guide:

Paulina St., 1700W 1 to 7759N 1 to 9200S. Named after Paulina Taylor the wife of the subdivider Ruben Taylor. Ashland Ave., Commercial St., Forest Ave., Houston St., Jones St., Page St., Ridgeville Rd., 2nd St., Stinson St., Van Buren St., Wright St., Eulette Ave., Schiller Ave.


I found this to be a very useful resource to gather even more historical background on the lives of our Chicago ancestors and the streets they lived on in Chicago.

You may also see for a particular street a long list of additional names of streets at the end of the listing for the one particular street.  I contacted the Chicago History Museum to ask what this meant because the guide itself did not have an introductory page that would have explained all the nuances contained in the guide.

They did respond to my query with additional information that indicated that if you see this added list of streets it signifies this is a list of former street names for the street in the list.

You can find this great resource from the Chicago History Museum at:

Chicago Street Guide from the Chicago History Museum

Take a look at it.  Bookmark the address of the site for future use, or download the PDF to your computer or even flashdrive to have with you when you need it.

Enjoy the resource.  Thanks to my colleague Tom for sharing this with me.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

DuPage County Genealogical Society (DCGS) Annual Conference Held On February 25, 2012 Was A Rip-Roaring Success!

Hi Everyone!

I am happy to report that the recently held DuPage County Genealogical Society (DCGS) Annual Conference was an astounding success.  From the society website they are reporting that the conference was attended by 337 excited and motivated researchers.

I actually was a part of this excitement and decided at the last-minute to attend as a “walk-in”.  When I announced my intentions via this blog,  a commenter warned me that the society had already determined that attendance was going to be spectacular and that “walk-ins” were being “discouraged” from just showing up.

I took a chance and drove to the venue being held in St. Charles at the Hilton

Large Group Of Researchers Checking Out The Vendor Booths During The Lunch Hour Break

Garden Inn across from Pheasant Run.  I arrived at about 8 AM.  Yikes!!  Access to the parking lot was already under strict control and panic set in for me that I literally would not be able to find a parking space!. I meandered around and tried another area for parking and to my happy surprise did find a nice parking spot.

Now the challenge … Walk in and announce to whoever wants to hear me that I am your proverbial “walk-in” that was warned via the DCGS website to think twice about showing up.  The registration table was hopping as “pre-registered” attendees showed up to start their day.

Many Participants Learning About Social Media In One Of The Programs

I probably had a sheepish look on my face when I was already telegraphing a “pleading” look to let me in!  Oh please don’t turn me away!

It worked.  I was told my presence was greatly appreciated but with two caveats as a “walk-in”.  One, I would not get any lunch provided by the facility.  Two, I would not be able to attend one of the final day’s sessions being offered by Maureen Brady on using the “New FamilySearch Website” because the amount of pre-registered participants for that session had reached the meximum.  Missing lunch was expected as a walk-in.  But I was sorely going to miss Maureen’s presentation which I was counting on seeing.

Oh well, such are the “lows” of being a “walk-in”.  But I was here.  I was accepted.  And I was ready for the day.

The conference facility also had an incredibly large room for the vendors that

Paul Milner, One Of The Major Speakers, Listening To A Question

are another part of these large conferences.  If you ever wanted to just “shop til you drop” for genealogical materials, be they books, be they clothes, be they other societies, be they Chachkies (spelling?), then the vendor area was the place to be at least some time during the day.

I did get to spend a good time in this area during my missed lunch time.  I could

have gone out to get some lunch but I was still apprehensive about returning and not finding a parking place for the afternoon session.  So instead of going out for lunch I feasted on a $1.50 Snickers bar complements of this little tiny store right by the main hotel desk.

What a “walk-in” won’t do to participate in such a vibrant conference.

Large Group Of Participants Checking Out The Books At A Vendor Booth

I did run into a few of some of you that attend our library’s monthly program.  It was good to see familiar faces in this massive sea of energized researchers.  I enjoyed talking with you and even sitting in on some of the day’s programs with you.

I even ran into many of the speakers I have had at our own program or will have in the not too distant future.  It was nice to be able to rub shoulders with some of the best speakers in our own local area.

I did sit in on the following program segments:

  • “Advanced Search Tips for” (Juliana Smith)
  • “A Dozen Ways to Jumpstart Your Family History Project” (Lou Szucs and Juliana Smith)
  • “Buried Treasures: What’s in the English Parish Chest?” (Paul Milner)
  • “Branching Out: Connecting with Others Using Social Networking and Online Family Trees” (Jennifer Holik-Urban)

The day went fast.  Excitement was in each program session I attended.  Just

Jennifer Holik-Urban, One Of The Major Speakers, Responding To A Question

think 337 people moving between sessions, the vendor area, the hotel areas, the lunch area.  It sort of reminded me of my days in High School trying to get to point A from point B when the entire school lets out between classes!  But it was fun!

By the time the day ended, I knew I felt all charged-up to take the new tips I learned and start applying them to my own research.  Attending a conference as this is a motivating experience that you want to act on quickly and start thinking about your actions even as you are driving back home.

What a turnout!

What a great set of speakers!

Two Members Of The Polish Genealogical Society Of America (PGSA) Manning Their Booth During The Lunch Hour

What a nice thing for the society to accommodate “walk-ns” even when they know the facility limits are being stretched just to accommodate those that did register.

The DCGS in times past may have had attendance figures in the lower to upper 200 range.  But 337 attendees was astounding and well-deserved because of the program topics and the speakers that were part of the makeup of the annual conference.

My hats off to the society.

Bravo!  You did an outstanding job and deserve to take a bow!

Being a “walk-in” was sort of an “edgy” thing to do.  It worked for me this time.  But I think in the big picture, mark the conference on your calendar and just plain register in advance to take advantage of the discounted prices, the guaranteed lunch and the ability to see all the programs you want to see.

One conference down.

Next year’s conference for the DCGS is already on the calendar.  Mark it down now.

February 23, 2013!

See you then.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library