Monthly Archives: July 2012

DeKalb County, Illinois Land Record Images (1838 – 1927) Available From FamilySearch; Not Indexed But You Can Browse Through The Images According To Grantor/Grantee Order Within Date Ranges And Then Find The Land Record In The Image File

Hi Everyone!

As you can see I have been  a busy person creating new blog posts today as I have come across some new and interesting material that can help with your research.

I have now also just discovered that the Grantor/Grantee Indexes and  Land Records (1838 – 1927) for DeKalb County, Illinois are now available for viewing at FamilySearch.  I was happy to discover that this information exists because I do have some research interest in this county back to the 1875 – 1885 time period.

Remember the key part of discovering this.  You need to frequently visit sites and see if any new additions have been incorporated since your last visit.  I simply looked at the Illinois databases available within FamilySearch and saw this new database as of July 29, 2012.

Here is a link to the specific part of FamilySearch that will connect you to this database:

DeKalb County, Illinois Grantor/Grantee Index Land Records (1838 – 1927) Available At FamilySearch

There is also a very nice FamilyHistory Wiki entry that gives a great deal of information about these records, how to use them, related websites, related Wikis etc at:

FamilyHistory Wiki Entry on DeKalb County, Illinois Land Records (1838 – 1927)

You cannot search by surname in an indexed manner but it does appear that the images can be selected in smaller amounts based on whether you are looking for someone who was considered a “Grantor” (seller) or “Grantee” (buyer).  The data is also broken out in manageable year ranges.

You will be in essence looking at the Grantor/Grantee Indexes as Microfilm images.  There are separate Grantor indexes and separate Grantee indexes.  So if you know of an ancestor that may have been an initial buyer of land in DeKalb County in Illinois, then you want to look at the  “Grantee” indexes for the year you believe the event occurred.   If you do not know the year you just have to browse through each book within the surname group that would apply to your ancestor.  The names are not in complete alphabetical order but in order by the first letter of the surname.  So you just have to look within the groupings of the names to look for an ancestor.

Yes, there is some work.  But imaged indexes can still be very, very helpful in limiting the searching you have to do.  True, a digitized computer index of the names would be great but that does not exist for this data.  All is not lost in browsing through the material images as they exist.  It may not take as much time as you may think.

The index information can ultimately steer you to the exact location where the transaction paperwork is noted by using the “Book” and “Page” part of the index.  This is also available as images within the same database.

The index books show the following columns of information that you can extract about the land transaction:

  • Grantee
  • Grantor
  • Instrument
  • Date
  • Consideration
  • Book
  • Page
  • Description of Property
  • Lot
  • Block
  • Section
  • Town
  • Range
  • When Filed

Use the Book/Page information to review the images in the actual land records data that exists within the same database.

I actually made one quick discovery of a land transaction from the Index for a surname of interest and then I went to the book/page number and read the full transaction.  You can print the pages or save the images as JPEGs.

So if you have any research connection to DeKalb county, Illinois you may want to run quickly to the above links I provided and start looking through the data for any possible land transactions your ancestors may have done in this county, whether they were a buyer or seller or ultimately both.

It is easy and quick.  My discovery probably took about 15 minutes.

I plan on spending much more time combing the online images to see if I can see any more transactions during the time periods noted.

Give it a try yourself.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Illinois Indicated As Being 100% Indexed For The 1940 Census But It Is Still Not Searchable!; Be Patient

Hi Everyone!

I just noticed that the FamilySearch website has noted that the Illinois portion of the 1940 Census is now 100% indexed!

But hold your horses.

You can still only browse through the images.

You cannot yet do a name search within the data.

How can this be?

The indexing portion of the data may be done but the arbitration portion of resolving discrepancies may still not be completed.  Indexers complete the data initially.  The same data is indexed by more than one person.  The results of these two indexers are compared and any discrepancies that occur for those census pages is referred to an “arbitrator” who does their best to determine what actual data is released into the searchable index.

So if you are familiar with indexing you may want to consider offering your services as an arbitrator with FamilySearch.  They can always use more help.  Or you can simply put on  a different “hat” if you have been indexing.

Check out the status for yourself of the 1940 Census Indexing Project at FamilySearch.  It won’t be long until everything is full 100% completed and available for searching across all of the state records.  You can see the status of the project at FamilySearch at:

FamilySearch 1940 Census Index Project Status

We are almost there.  Your wait will soon be over.  It may seem like forever but remember, the data was just released in April 2012 and it appears that 132 million records will soon be at your fingertips.  That alone is record time for getting that much data online in such a relatively short window of time.

If you are an indexer, a big thank you to you.  The same if you are an arbitrator.

If you have not been indexing but know of someone who has been doing that or arbitrating, take the time to give them a big thank you also.

Without these volunteers you would still be waiting for an unknown period of time to view the results of the 1940 census.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Poll On The Right Sidebar Of This Blog; Do You Have An Account With FaceBook?; Interesting Results To Date

Hi Everyone!

I hope you have not only noticed the current Poll I am running on the right sidebar of this blog but that you also took the time to share your vote.

This Poll has generated a lot more votes than did my previous Poll.

This Poll asks the questions “Do You Have A Facebook Account?”.

I think the statistics are interesting.

So far 66% of respondents have indicated they have a Facebook account while 34% of the respondents indicated they do not have a Facebook account.

Having a Facebook account is one way to make more connections with relatives in your quest for genealogical research.  So it does appear that many of you are taking advantage of Facebook as a Social Media tool to possibly further your genealogical connections.

But I also take away that with the hype for Facebook, it is certainly true that everyone does not have a Facebook account!  We are often led to believe that literally everyone is on Facebook.  The anecdotal results of this non-scientific poll certainly do not show that.

I am still going to keep the Poll up and active for a little while longer.

If you have not expressed yourself via vote on this poll, please feel free to do so.

The more votes the merrier!

Thanks to those that have participated on this fun poll.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

New Page Will Be Added To The Blog Showcasing The Research Aids From The National Archives Great Lakes Region Provided By Kathryn Barrett As Her Handouts From Her May 8, 2012 Genealogy Program At Our Library

Hi Everyone!

You may remember that back on May 8, 2012 Kathryn Barrett was our featured speaker for our genealogy program for that month.  She provided the audience with a large amount of handouts on that evening.  These handouts were from the Great Lakes Regional office of the National Archives Records Administration (NARA) that she was familiar with at that location as part of her volunteer work she does there.

I have finally been able to process all of these documents into PDF format with the intent of making them available on this blog under a new Page that I will be creating titled “National Archives Research Aids”.

By no means is this the totality of material that is available from NARA, but it does represent a good amount of the handout material that you can find at the local Great Lakes Regional office in Chicago, IL.

You will find 22 documents that Kathryn provided to me under this new page at the top of the blog.  It did take me some time to get these into PDF and into the draft new page I have been working on.  I am almost ready to create the final version of this new page.

So you will soon have another part of the blog to refer to when it will come to some interesting Aids/Guides from NARA that are worth taking a look at to make you more aware of material that is in the possession of the Great Lakes Regional Archives.

I will let you know via a new post that the new page exists and is ready for you to access.

Right now, I guess you would call this a “teaser” that indicates it is coming!

I am so thankful that Kathryn provided me with this massive amount of paper that I was able to convert to PDF format, especially since I really did not see these same documents already in existence at the NARA or Great Lakes Regional websites.

I will let you know when you can jump in with both feet and look at them under the new blog page name.

Thank you Kathryn for thinking of me and providing me with all of the paper copies.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

I Want to Try Something New At Our Next “Breakout” Genealogy Program On September 11, 2012; Eliminate “Troubleshooting Table”; Replace It With “Sharing Your Printed/Online Family History”

Hi Everyone!

I recently received a request from Jacquie S., a frequent participant at our monthly genealogy program.

Jacquie was asking if there was a way that I could make it easier for participants at our program to actually see the variety of family history books, reports etc. that have actually been created by participants at our programs.  Seeing these actual family histories can be a big help for those that have not yet done that so they may be able to see a finished product.  This would provide tangible ideas to others on how to go about putting something together.

I thought Jacquie had a wonderful idea!

As you may be aware our monthly genealogy programs are very structured, especially when we have speakers.  It would appear to be very difficult to be able to take time away from a speaker’s program in order to add on a sort of “show and tell” on family histories that other participants have actually created.

I did some thinking and I may have come up with a workable arrangement on how we could accomplish a very good idea.

At our Quarterly “Breakout” programs we do not have guest speakers.  Instead the room is set up with tables based on ethnic areas of genealogy research e.g. Irish Table, German Table, Polish Table, Italian Table etc. in which like-minded researchers sit together and share with and help each other out on the nuances of researching a particular ethnic line of research.  These exchanges can be very helpful allowing more skilled and seasoned researchers to share great pieces of research strategy to those that are not as seasoned yet as researchers in that particular area of ethnic interest.

During these quarterly “breakout” sessions, I also have a Beginner’s Table and I was having a “Troubleshooting” table that was intended as a “catchall” table if someone wanted to sit together there rather than at a specific area of interest or a Beginner’s Table.  Over time that table has just not had a good record of being very meaningful.

However, now may be the time to reorganize the quarterly breakout programs by eliminating the “Troubleshooting” table and replace it with a new table that could be used by those that have created a family history book, report etc. to share with others at the table that have not created such a family history book.  Details could be shared on how the family history book, report was created, compiled.  This would allow for a “hands-on” experience of actually being able  to see the document and discuss with the creator how the creation was done.

Obviously, the most important part of this new idea hinges on those that have published, created such a family history document, report  AND would be willing to attend these quarterly programs and share what they have created with those interested in knowing how to go about this creation process.

I am certainly willing to try out this new “table” and see how it goes over time, making sure I keep making our participants aware that there will be a new table dedicated to sharing and viewing created family histories.

I know that many individuals that have participated at our monthly programs have personally shown me some wonderful family history books and reports that they created.  I was always impressed with the documents and their efforts that went into the creation.

Here is a request to those of you in our area that have actually created a family history book, report, web site or some other media format to share your family history.  How about planning on bringing your life’s work to show others that are interested in doing for themselves what you have already done for yourself.  Sit with others and show them your work in a more relaxed interactive setting.

I would encourage you to come to our September 11, 2012 Genealogy Program during which time we will have our Breakout Groups.  More importantly, this would be the first session that this new Family History Book/Report Sharing Table would be operational.

Inspire others with your work!

Mentor someone who wants to put to paper what you have already successfully accomplished.  Show them and tell them how you did it!

Let’s give it a try.

A big thank you to Jacquie S. for sharing her thoughts on what is a great idea.

Let’s give this a try on Tuesday evening, September 11, 2012 at 7:30 PM and see what happens.  I do need the help from those of you that have created family histories on paper to come on in and be willing to share your ideas and methods on how you went about the process.

Let’s make this new “table” a great success!

Thanks in advance.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

The May 8, 2012 Genealogy Program On “Military Records” Presented By Kathryn Barrett Is Now Available As A DVD To Check Out From Our Library

Hi Everyone!

Did you miss our genealogy program that we had back on May 8, 2012?  Kathryn Barrett, our guest speaker, presented her program on “Military Records”?

Did you attend the program but now you sure wish you could review some key points that Kathryn made?

Well in either case you can now see the program for the first time or review it because it is now on DVD available for you to check out from our library’s DVD collection that is located on our 1st floor in the AV Room.

The call number for this DVD is DVD 929.3 MIL.

We now currently have 3 DVDs of previously recorded genealogy programs held at our library that are now available for Schaumburg Township District Library cardholders and those that are not our cardholders of ours but are registered with us.

The 3 DVDs of previously recorded genealogy programs we have to check out are:

February 14, 2012  titled “Using Railroad Records in Your Family History Research” by Craig Pfannkuche (Call number DVD 929.1072 USI)

April 10, 2012 titled “Making Sense of the English Census” by Paul Milner (Call number DVD 929.3 MIL)

May 8, 2012 titled “Military Records” by Kathryn Barrett (Call number DVD 929.3 MIL)

The material is available to check out from the shelves in the Audio Visual Department on the first floor of our library.

I am currently working on getting to DVD the recently held genealogy program we had on July 10, 2012 with Jeanne Larzalere Bloom presenting her program titled “Hiring A Professional Genealogist”.  I hope to get that added to our DVD collection in the next few weeks.

A big thank you to our speakers that have allowed me to record and create a DVD of the program to add to our collection so that the material can be checked out for viewing at home.

Thank you speakers!

Take the time to check out these DVDs if you missed the programs or you need to see an “encore” presentation.

Enjoy the DVDs.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Current Status Of The 1940 Census Indexing Project; How About Illinois?

Hi Everyone!

I thought I would just take a look at the overall status of the 1940 Census Indexing project to see where the project is and also to see about how the indexing of Illinois data is proceeding.

I would encourage readers to visit the FamilySearch 1940 Census Indexing site below to get a first hand view on  a state-by-state basis on where things stand as well as at the status of the overall project from the perspective of the FamilySearch effort:

FamilySearch 1940 Census Indexing Project Status

Overall the project is about 90% complete.

For Illinois, it is being reported as 96% completed as for indexing which should mean that access to indexed data for Illinois should be coming sooner rather than later.

You can still look at the images for the Illinois data even if it is not completely indexed.

You can hover your cursor over any state for the map of the United States at the above site to tell you the status of the state.  If it is ready and able to be surname searched, it will tell you so.  Click on the state and start your surname searching.

I actually experimented with California because my research has an unknown set of KIERNA ancestors that I know wound up in California.  I am still not clear from which KIERNA branch they originated.  When I searched California I discovered three KIERNA names, none of whom I am aware of and all of whom had been noted as being born in New York.  I looked at the image and the name was perfectly readable as KIERNA and was transcribed as that.

So now I will have to put my thinking cap and figure this out.  I am also suspect that the actual name may be KIERNAN even though it was actually written as KIERNA because there was no indication of a Polish connection which is where my ancestors are from.

SO WELCOME TO THE MYSTERY CLUB!

I am sure for you also, lots of new questions are arising from reviewing the 1940 Census.

This has been a major eye-opening event to think that the indexing of 132 million records is 90% completed within only approximately 15 weeks after the massive amount of data was released by the National Archives.

Everyone should take their hats off to the thousands and thousands of volunteers that have worked on such an enormous amount of data over such a short period of time!

Ann M. and Barb P. you two are those wonderful, super-volunteers that come to mind.  Kudos to you and all the other volunteer indexers!

If you have not visited the site lately, take another look because the state you previously visited that was not indexed may now in fact be ready for you to index search.

This is certainly a success story of massive proportions and certainly can bode well for all kinds of continued indexing projects if so many motivated indexers move on to other indexing projects over and above the 1940 Census after the 1940 Census is completed.

Revisit the above site frequently to see where things stand.

Ancestry.com may have its own list of states that are at different levels of completeness.  There are other places to visit outside of FamilySearch for the 1940 Census data.

I certainly hope the data you have been waiting for is now available to you for surname searching.  If not quite yet, be patient.  It will probably be available shortly.  At least keep checking on the status.

Hoping all of your 1940 Census data searches are definitive and don’t give you more questions than answers!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library