Monthly Archives: January 2013

Use Form SF 180 To Order Military Records From National Archives (World War I And Later); PDF Form SF 180 In This Post

Hi Everyone!

National Archives LogoI thought I would make available via this blog post a PDF copy of the SF 180 Request Pertaining To Military Records Form that is needed to submit to the National Archives when seeking military records of ancestors from World I going forward.  The form provides information on how to go about asking for military record information for pre-World War I ancestors.

I had been helping a researcher recently in this area and thought why not share this form easily through this blog.  It is not difficult to find via the National Archives website, but I thought I could put it right here for readers of this blog that might need it.

Military records can provide vast amounts of information on an ancestor.  I Military Clip Arthave a few indirect ancestors for whom I plan on submitting these forms some day from my “bucket list”.

The form is a 3 page PDF for which a link follows below:

SF 180 Form , Request Pertaining To Military Records

There is a 1 page instruction form and a 1 page submission form and a 1 page Location of Military Records Information part and an address list of military records inquiries.

You will need to print the form out and fill in the printed forms the old-fashioned way and then submit them via mail.  You cannot fill the form out online.

If you have never submitted such a request you may want to print and save the form itself for future use.  There is a lot of good information contained in the form to help you properly fill it out whether you are a general genealogist seeking some ancestral information on a veteran who exited the military greater than 62 years ago or if you are a direct next of kin of a military veteran.

So if you thought about tracking down some military records of ancestors back to no further than World War I but did not have the proper form at your fingertips, then delay no longer.  Here is the form you need to start your military records submission request to the National Archives.

Look no more, your SF 180 form has arrived as a PDF above!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Re-Post Reminder – DuPage County Genealogical Society Annual Conference To Take Place on Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hi Everyone!

Feature Presentation Clip ArtIt is never too early to be aware of upcoming genealogy programs!

I want to remind every one of the upcoming 38th Annual Conference that is held by the Du Page County Genealogical Society.  You can visit the main web site of the society to find out more about them and what is available at their site at:

DuPage County Genealogical Society (DCGS) Web Site

Their conference will take place on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at the Hilton Garden Inn in St. Charles, IL from 8 AM until about 4 PM.  At 8 AM, you can register as a walk-in if you have not previously registered, have some morning refreshments that you can buy and take a look at the materials available for purchase from the vendors that are also participating at the conference.  The actual genealogy presentations will start at 9:00 AM.  The last series of genealogical presentations will start at 3 PM.

The Annual Conference Theme is “Discovering America’s Early Roots”.

I have previously mentioned this upcoming annual conference at our own programs and have provided those in attendance with a paper handout of the conference details.

I encourage everyone to visit the Du Page County Genealogical Society Annual DCGS LogoConference Information directly at the following link:

At their site in the above link you will find out all the details about the upcoming program such as:

  • Information about the Hilton Garden Inn and driving directions to the facility.
  • Registration Fees (Walk-Ins are welcome.  Supplied lunch cannot be guaranteed but there are plenty of places in the local vicinity to have a lunch on your own.)
  • Program Titles, Times and Speakers.
  • Speaker Biographies
  • Vendor Information
  • Other Societies Information
  • Information on Previous Annual Conferences

I am a big proponent for attending these one day, all day local conferences.  You will be exposed to multiple genealogy presentations that you can choose to attend throughout the day.

There are 4 segments of programs that occur.  One is at 9:00 AM, one at 10:30 AM, one at 1:30 PM and one at 3 PM.  Within all the time segments you will be able to pick from 3 programs that will be occurring.   You will be attending one of the segments that is of interest to you.  So you will actually be able to hear four unique programs among the 12 that will be offered.

The speakers that will be offering their unique presentations are:

  • Jeanne Larzalere Bloom
  • Lloyd deWitt Bockstruck
  • Billy Stone Fogarty
  • Jennifer Holik

These speakers are some of the best of the best that you can encounter as you expand your genealogical knowledge.

I attended this conference in February 2012 as a walk-in.  The 2012 program was one of the largest in attendance for the society.  I was actually nervous that I would not get in as a walk-in!  (I made it,  otherwise I would not be telling you about my attendance!)  It is one of the best conferences that you can attend in the local area.  If you have never attended such an all-inclusive one day conference, then this is the one to experience.  The location is close, the facility is great, the organization is superb, the programs are outstanding, the speakers are top-rated, the vendors have great material and other societies are represented!

You will have a great genealogical learning experience in one day that will expand your genealogical knowledge and assist you further in your own research efforts.

Take a closer look at the Du Page County Genealogical Society Annual Conference Information by clicking on the link I provided above.  All of the information about the conference can be found here.

Our library provides one program per month.  Here is your chance to hear four presentations by top-rated speakers in one day.

I don’t think you will be disappointed.

This may seem like it is a long time away.  But we all know how time flys.  Mark your calendar now for this date so it does not slip by.  You will not be sorry!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Upcoming Programs For The POINT Chicago Chapter Uno Italian Genealogy Research Group

Hi Everyone!

I just received an e-mail notice of some future upcoming POINT Chicago Chapter Uno Italian Genealogy Group meetings.

If you are doing Italian genealogical research and were not aware where to connect, then this is a great opportunity to attend and interact with the POINT group that is geared to Italian genealogical research.

The group lately has not provided me with long-term program announcements.  This announcement does carry them forward to June 2013 with programs rather than just being made aware of one at a time.

They appear to have bimonthly programs (once every two months).

Please note that they are indicating that their February 2, 2013 meeting/program will take place at our library on Saturday morning, February 2, 2013 at 10:30 AM.  The phone number listed is for our library and not for anyone associated with the  POINT group.

Please note that there is a contact person phone number for POINT listed below in the meetings announcement.

What follows after the separator line is the text from the e-mail I received making note of 3 upcoming meetings the group will be having as well as the time and the locations.


POINT Chicago Chapter Uno

2013 Meetings Schedule


 Saturday, February 2, 2013, 10:30 a.m.

Schaumburg Public Library, 130 South Roselle Road, Schaumburg, IL


Saturday, April 6, 2013, 10:00 a.m.

Oak Brook Heritage Center at the Old Butler School, 1112 Oak Brook Road, Oak Brook, IL


June 2013, Saturday date TBA

Italian Cultural Center, 1621 39th Avenue, Stone Park, IL


Further Meetings to be announced at a later date


For further information about POINT in Chicago, please contact:  Sharon Reif 630/617-5085


Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Prepare Your Own Obituary In Advance; Get Your Life Story Correct As You Want It; Example Of Lengthy Obituary As A Linked PDF To Check Out

Hi Everyone!

Cemetery Headstones Clip ArtI was doing some office paperwork cleaning when I came across something I must have clipped from a newspaper 4 years ago with good intentions to share with all of you.  Well, you know where good intentions go sometimes.  Nowhere!

I thought what I clipped was important to share with all of you.  Even if it is 4 years later, I think the lesson and message to share are as important now as they were then.

Over the last few years I have seen a tendency to read obituaries that are rather long in length compared to the ones we often discover in our research quests about our own ancestors.  Those obituaries from the 1950s and earlier tended to be short, sweet and to the point.  Just give me the facts, ma’m , as they relate to the wake, the church and the burial!

That poor soul that was laid to rest did not seem to give any meaningful information to be presented in the obituary about themselves or their own life.  Maybe they did and family members knew about the person’s life but the process of presenting that information in an obituary just wasn’t the place to do it back in those days.  Consequently, in our own research of these ancestors,  we are not really discovering much information that gives us insights into their life.  Who were they?  Where did they go to school?  What did they do for a living?  What organizations did they belong to?  What were their hobbies?  As a researcher, wouldn’t you like to know more than just the location of the wake, the time for visitation and the cemetery for burial?

Luckily, it seems like the opportunity is there more today than it has ever been to put together a “mini” biography to publish in a death notice.  Sometimes, the more famous get a small biography printed in the local paper when someone of note passes away.  Well, if you are not famous by newspaper standards, it looks more promising than ever that you can share a “mini” biography of yourself via your own death notice that you have put together in advance of your death.  Who better to tell the story about you than you!

The key to this “mini” biography is that you have to acknowledge that death is inevitable for all of us.  Many of us tend to think that somehow it is always the other person that will die and that somehow we are invincible.  I hate to break the news to you about this inevitability.

Accept our fate in life as being death.  That opens up a wonderful opportunity for us to construct the story of each of us by creating our own death notice now before the effort falls onto a husband, wife, child, sibling or someone who just simply does not anything about you.

I think our lives are worth more than just a published time for a wake, a published time for a religious service and a notice of the cemetery you will now reside in going forward!  (Or you may reside in that proverbial urn on a fireplace mantel!)

But you have to make that story happen now by putting your words on paper of who you have been for the time you have spent on this earth.  Get those words over to a trusted representative of yourself that can get that pre-written death notice into the timely publication process to let the world know just exactly who you were for the years that you spent on this planet when that time comes to publish.

The piece of paper I wanted to share with you was a death notice from the Chicago Sun-Times from 2008.  It was for a person I did not know.  However, this massive death notice certainly made me feel that I knew this person for my entire life after I had read the notice.  It is lengthy but you might consider using something like this as a template to construct your own death notice.

Take a look at the death notice at the following link.  It was so long on newsprint that I had to reduce it in size in order to get the full copy onto one piece of paper.  In the PDF document you can increase the per cent size of the document to make it more easily readable.  You can find it at:

Sample Lengthy Death Notice To Use As A Template For Your Own

As a researcher today, wouldn’t you like to uncover a death notice like this today about your own ancestors you are researching?  I think the answer is a definite “yes”.  You have the chance today to leave something similar to the one above for your own descendants to discover about you in 100 years.

Take the time now to put your “mini” biography together today.

Make a researcher of the future happy that he has discovered you and more importantly he has discovered your life!


Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Upcoming Programs, Workshops And Special Interest Groups Activities On The Calendar For The Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) For February 9, 2013 To May 18, 2013

Hi Everyone!

CAGGNI logoAt our recent co-hosted Genealogy Program with the CAGGNI group at our library on Saturday, January 19, 2013,  CAGGNI shared with me a “snapshot” schedule of some of the upcoming activities they will be having over the next 3 months.  These events include Programs, Workshops and Special Interest Groups.

They were kind enough to provide me with a copy listing all of these upcoming activities.  I thought that it would be good to share with all of you.  Perhaps there is a program of interest for you to attend.  CAGGNI is an incredibly active group that has many varied programs over and above the normally scheduled monthly meeting program.

Take a look at the following PDF link that lists all of these upcoming activities just below

February 9 To May 18, 2013 CAGGNI Programs, Workshops And Special Interest Groups Activities

As you can see there are 11 activities noted in this three-month window for 2013!!

The CAGGNI group often meets at our library on the 3rd Saturday of each month for their “core” meeting/program at 10:30 AM.  Check them out.  Attend one of their programs.  You will be extremely happy and excited at the active level of membership of the group.

Check out their website at:

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Norther Illinois (CAGGNI)

Enjoy the upcoming schedule of events.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Handout From Our January 8, 2013 Genealogy Program Has Been OK’d To Post On the Blog; “Where Did I Put Great-Grandpa? – Organizing For Genealogists”

Hi Everyone!

Presentation Clip ArtOur speaker for our January 8, 2013 Genealogy Program at our library has given me the OK to make available via the blog a copy of the handout that was used for the program.

I want to thank Caron Primas Brennan, our speaker, for allowing me to post the handout.  Posting the handout as a PDF will allow those that access it to have the ability to reach all of the links embedded in the handout with one click.

Take a look at the following link to the handout.  The embedded links within the handout are very good and provide other tips on organizing your genealogical “stuff”.

Make sure you look at page 2 of the handout since there are a series of links to some articles from Dear Myrtle focusing on methods of organization for the genealogist.  Most of the links you can access in the handout are on page 2 of the handout.  So don’t miss these for other ideas on organizing your genealogical materials.

January 8, 2013 Handout For “Where Did I Put Great-Grandpa? – Organizing For Genealogists” By Caron Primas Brennan

Enjoy the handout.  Use the tips and motivate yourself at this “new” time of the year to resolve to get all of your genealogical “stuff” organized and easily accessible.

Organization of your materials just makes your research more efficient and effective because you will have the time to actually do the research instead of using the time to simply find your “stuff” needed in order to continue your research.

Enjoy the handout!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

History/Genealogy Events From The Swedish American Museum During The Week Of January 21, 2013 To January 27, 2013

Hi Everyone!

I have been receiving some activities updates from the Swedish American Museum in Chicago, IL recently.  Some of the activities may be specifically related to genealogical events or programs.  Other events may have a historical context as it applies to Swedish history and ancestry.

I thought I would share with you what I have been receiving as a link to what I received via e-mail.

The museum itself is located at 5211 North Clark Street in Chicago, IL.  The phone number for the museum is 773-728-8111.

It actually looks like there is plenty to do if you are interested in discovering more about Swedish history and ancestry.

There is a genealogy program scheduled for Saturday, January 26, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 12 PM.  The title of the program is “Get Started On Your Family History Book” presented by Tim Malott, business development manager of Book Partners in Indiana.

The cost to participate at this program for Swedish genealogy is $10 for non-members of the organization.  It is recommended you make a reservation if you are interested in attending by contacting the museum at the telephone number noted above.

Go to the following link and take a peek at all that you could be doing during the week of January 21, 2013 at the Swedish American Museum:

Activities And Events At The Swedish American Museum In Chicago During The Week Of January 21, 2013

See what interests you.  Make a connection with the society if you are digging deep into your Swedish roots.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

New Poll On Right Sidebar Of The Blog; Simple Question Being Posed; “Have You Ever Registered For And Participated In A “LIVE” Genealogically Oriented Online Webinar?” “; “Yes” Or “No”?

Hi Everyone!

Well, here goes another Poll that is now on the right sidebar of the blog right at the top of the blog homepage.

This time I am just asking for a simple response to a very basic question.

“Have You Ever Registered For And Participated In A “LIVE” Genealogically Oriented Online Webinar?”  Yes or No

Simple, direct and to the point.

Webinars are becoming a growing part of advancing your genealogy skills.  Many of us have participated indirectly in these programs by looking at Webinars that are in an archives.  We are lucky when we can find these for the topic of interest to us.  There are plenty of places to find these archived Webinars.  Legacy Family Tree has them.  The Illinois State Genealogical Society has them for their members but not for the general public.  Roots Magic has them.

But I know you can find archived Webinars that are still incredibly informative and educational for us to advance our genealogy skills.

What I want to know is if anyone has actually registered for and participated in the original “LIVE” first time offering of such a Webinar.  These require registration and calendar and time management so that you participate on the day and at the time of the actual event.  There is no margin for error!  It really takes scouting, discipline, time management and other good skills for you to hook up for the live event.

Let me know who of you are at the leading edge in participating in these live events!

I think you are a unique breed of researcher.  Many of us do just look for the archived ones and hope we can access them without necessarily being a member of the organization.  Even these organizations often allow a few “free” ones to view without becoming a member.  Seeing a “free” Webinar at a site that creates them may give us an idea of the quality of the programs being offered.  Once we feel good about that, we might just keep coming back.  Hence, membership to gain access to all Webinars may be just what we want.  Membership does in fact have its rewards!

Take a look at the new Poll.  Consider providing a reply.

Let’s see how active this poll can be.

The more the merrier!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Poll On The Right Sidebar Has Been Closed For “Have You Ever Been To The Great Lakes Location Of The National Archives In Chicago, IL”; Results Indicated

Hi Everyone!

It is amazing that almost 2 months has passed on the life of the poll I had on the right sidebar of the blog since November 26, 2012.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order!

The poll had asked the question whether you have ever been to the Great Lakes Location of the National Archives in Chicago, IL.

The results of the poll showed the following from the 52 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their “Yes” or “No” response to the question.  The numbers show that 31 responses noted they had been to the facility in Chicago, IL to do their Family History Research (60%) while 21 responses indicated they had not been to the facility to do on-site research in Chicago, IL (40%).

I personally have been to the Chicago, IL location of the Great Lakes location of the National Archives to research family history.  It has been a while since I have been there.  My own thought on the question is that I would have expected more who indicated they have never been there than have been there.  But I think that the 60% who responded they have been to the Great Lakes location of the National Archives  to research was more than I would have guessed.

So there you go.  A little bit more information to file away in your dusty archive vaults to compare your own experience to on researching at the Great Lakes Regional Office of the National Archives.

I will say, there were about  the same number of respondents in this just closed poll as there were in the previous poll before this!  Could it be the same interested readers responded to that poll as they did to this just recently closed poll!

I am still looking for a larger response than even that!  So come on down ——  affix your opinion as a “Yes” or “No” when so asked to the varied polls on different topics in the world of genealogy and family history research.  Your answers count.

I plan on putting up a new poll rapidly.  Come back for that one to see the new question being asked.

A big thank you to all of those that took the time to respond to this just recently closed poll.  Take a look at the results of that poll to satisfy your own curiosity.

Don’t forget to visit my Poll Archives as part of this blog.  Look for the link at the top of the homepage of the blog where it simply says “Poll Archives”.  In here you will find the statistical results of the 8 previously active polls in addition to the poll that is generally “active”.  If you were not aware of this Archive, you may want to visit to see what all the previous polls were about.

Get ready for another poll ……………………..SOON!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) Has Schedule Of Offered Webinars For 2013 At Their Site; Great Way to Learn More About Genealogy As A New Year’s Resolution

Hi Everyone!

Webinars Clip ArtI just came across the 2013 schedule of Webinar classes being offered by the Illinois State Genealogical Society for 2013.

Webinars are a fantastic way to hone your genealogical research skills by hearing about a topic of interest from a well-known genealogist about the topic.

The Webinars are all being offered on the 2nd Tuesday night of the evening starting at 8 PM Central Time.  (Just a side note – The 2nd Tuesday evening of the month is our own monthly scheduled genealogy program at the Schaumburg Township District Library!  Make your choice, I know you will choose wisely!)

The topics on the schedule for 2013 look fascinating with some great presenters being offered through the year.

You do need to register in order to participate.  The Webinars are open to theISGS Logopublic.  You do not need to be a member of the ISGS in order to register or participate for the live Webinar.  As a benefit for members of the ISGS, they can then go into the archive vault to take a look at past Webinars.  Non-members of the ISGS can register for the “live” presentation but cannot go in to the archives to look at the past Webinars.

Here is a link to a PDF from the ISGS where you can look at the scheduled Webinars for 2013 as well as see a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” that pertains to the Webinars.  (The January Webinar has already occurred.):

2013 Webinars Being Offered By The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS)

It is really nice being able to view webinars that are in an archives.  But as you can see, you may want to become a member of ISGS just to be able to access these wonderful learning exercises to increase your genealogy research skills.

The beginning of a new year often brings the commitment to make resolutions to better yourself in the upcoming year.  What better way to do that genealogically speaking than  to make yourself a better genealogist.  These Webinars can certainly help you with that goal.

Check out the topics on the above schedule.  There may be some that are just perfect for you.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library