Monthly Archives: November 2013

Take Advantage Of Holiday Family Gatherings As The Family Historian (Originally Posted In November 2009 And Still Applicable!)

Hi Everyone!

Roast Turkey and StuffingNow that the holidays are upon us again, I wanted to re-post a blog entry I made in November 2009 (actually one of my first posts to the new blog at that time) because the holiday times and family gatherings provide the perfect opportunity to the family historian to share previously researched information and also to gather new information to compile into the family history.

What follows in Bold and Italics is the post I published back in 2009.  The message to family historians is as important today as it was then.  Take a look at the message and take advantage of your time with family during the holidays of 2013-2014.

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The Holiday Season is one of the best times of the year to moveChistmas Holiday Clip Art your genealogy research forward!  You are circled by family members who may be very interested to know of your research.  Not only can you share what you have discovered but you may have willing family members that can’t help but share more with you during this season of sharing!

Now is the time that family members will really see how serious you take your family research.  They may not open up to you as a willing participant at this time.  But you may have planted the seed in their mind that will come to grow at a future date when their assistance will become invaluable.

Bring some copies of research documents you may have uncovered to date as well as copies of pictures to share with the family members present at the gathering.  Keep the originals at home for safety and security!  If you have digitized your discoveries as .JPG images then bring your laptop with the data or your smartphone or your tablet computer if you have one that contains the images.  Even having the images on a flash drive will help because you can plug that into a computer that may exist in the house.  Even new HDTV sets often have a USB connection to the HDTV that you can plug into.  You can then look at the images on the TV screen!

What a great time to share family information as well as to gather more if you can.  Bring a digital recorder or a camcorder with to document the new information family members will be willing to share.  If you have a smartphone you probably have an App that can function as a digital recorder.  Don’t leave all of the stories to your memories.  Get the stories in the voice of the original provider for further analysis down the road.  Ask their permission to audio or videotape what they have to say.  Respect their wishes if they choose not to be recorded.  Then take notes.

Always remember to be a good guest if you are visiting.  It is the Holiday Season after all and not necessarily a genealogical convention!  Don’t make yourself a genealogical nuisance at this time but see if you can arrange a time in the future to revisit with key family members to obtain further information in a non-holiday pressured setting.

Share your family history stories and research.

Keep an ear open for other family history stories.

Plant those seeds among family members for future help.

But most importantly, enjoy your family during this Holiday Season!

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Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

RootsTech 2014 Will Take Place February 6- 8, 2014 In Salt Lake City, UT; See What It Is All About By Viewing Selected Videos From The 2013 Conference On Various Programs; Video Quality Is Excellent; “Big Picture View” Of Technology/Genealogy

Hi Everyone!

RootsTech 2014 LogoJust a reminder that the 2014 version of RootsTech will take place on February 6 to February 8, 2014 in Salt Lake City, UT.

This has proven to be  a wildly successful major genealogical conference that brings together genealogy researchers and genealogy software developers under one roof.  Estimates indicate that about 9,000 attendees were present for the 2013 conference.  Of the 9,000, 2,000 were teens that attended a special program targeted for youth.  In addition, another 14,000 individuals participated online via programs that were streamed.  This is truly a major event in the world of genealogy!!  The above statistics were gotten from a Dick Eastman blog post from March 25, 2013.  You can read the entirety of Dick’s blog post about RootsTech 2013 here:

March 25, 2013 Dick Eastman Blog Post About RootsTech 2013

You can view their website for information about this 2014 RootsTech Conference at:

RootsTech 2014

If you want to know more about what RootsTech in general is all about, visit the following link to a series of 16 Videos produced by RootsTech from their 2013 program.   These are videos of stunning quality!  I think you may want to look at what the videos showcase about what RootsTech is all about.  They may not all be at a very specific research level, they are often at a “larger view” of what technical developments are occurring that connect to genealogical research.

You can really get the “big picture” by looking at any one of the videos.

Take a look at these videos at:

2013 RootsTech Videos

Enjoy the 2013 videos.

Consider going to Salt Lake City, UT to connect with the soon to take place 2014 version of RootsTech!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Reminder Re-Post: 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!

Winter Weather Clip ArtI 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.

As I write this just before Thanksgiving 2013, it already seems like the depths of winter are upon us.  It is brutally cold today and it seems like much of November has already felt like January!  So far, just a little bit of snow.

I believe November and December 2012 were easy and mild.  January and February 2013 were also uneventful from a weather perspective.  But I do believe in Karma, and it may be paying us back for winter 2013-2014 based on what we have already experienced just during November 2013!!  Hopefully not!

Let’s cross our fingers that our December 10, 2013 program routinely takes place without being impacted by the weather.

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!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Irish-American DNA Connection Insights Provided By Katherine Borges; View Her Presentations At The Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2013 Conference; Other Videos From The Conference At YouTube

Hi Everyone!

DNA Clip ArtBarb P. is a frequent attendee at our monthly genealogy program.

She is also very big on how genealogy researchers can use DNA to further their research and make other connections to living relatives.

Barb made me aware that there was a Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2013 conference during which Katherine Borges made some presentations specific to DNA and the Irish-American genealogy connection.

So if you have been doing any Irish research you may want to visit the link that follows and see the online videos of the presentations made by Katherine Borges on the Irish-American DNA connection.

Here is the link to Katherine Borges’ presentations:

Katherine Borges – The Irish-American DNA Connection Presentations from the Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2013 Conference

Scroll down a little on the site and you will see a 54 minute video as well as a 41 minute video of her presentations at the conference.

The lectures were sponsored by FamilyTreeDNA and the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG).

Barb also provided me with a link to the Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2013 Conference YouTube channel that you can also visit for even a larger number of videos you can view connected to the conference.  You can visit this channel at:

Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2013 Conference Videos At YouTube

For all of you Irish genealogy researchers, this may be an opportunity to see how you can utilize DNA to further advance your own Irish genealogy research.

Thanks to Barb P. for sharing this genetic genealogy information.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“What’s New At Ancestry.com November 2013″ YouTube Video

Hi Everyone!

ancestry-logoI just did a quick look at YouTube and saw that there is now a November 2013 video posted from Ancestry.com that is titled “What’s New At Ancestry.com November 2013″.

The video is an approximate 30 minute production hosted by Crista Cowan of Ancestry.com who provides the viewers with updates on what new things users of Ancestry.com should be aware of.

Topics covered in this video by Crista are:

  • October was National Family History Month.  You can catch up on all of the posts by visiting the Ancestry.com Blog.  Go to Ancestry.com.  Scroll down to bottom of the page.  Find the link for Ancestry.com Blog.  Look on the right sidebar of the blog for a category called “Family History Month” (They are not in alphabetical order, so you will have to scroll down!).  Catch up on the multitude of blog posts and the information and links within each.
  • DNA Ethnicity Estimate Updated
  • Look at the listing of “new” and “updated” databases.  Don’t just focus on the “new” ones because some of the “updated” ones may now contain more information since you previously may have used one.  So if these updated databases previously gave you data, check to see if they have more info for your research.
  • 1921 Canadian Census now available.  Contains about 8.8 million records.
  • California Death Index 1905-1939 now available.  It is an index only.  If there is something from the index of value to you, write down all of the columnar information for the ancestor.  You will not see the image of the actual record.  You can obtain the full record of information from California, but be prepared to capture the pertinent information from the information to provide to California in order to obtain the actual record.
  • Connecticut Church Record Abstracts, 1630-1920, now available.
  • Ireland Census 1901 and 1911 now available.  You can search within Ancestry.com, but to see the full image you will be taken to the site of the Irish Archives.  The database is noted with the term “Web” before the title to make you aware the data is contained outside of Ancestry.com
  • Georgia World War I Service Records now available.  Can give insights into not only those that registered for the draft, but those that actually served.  If you find an ancestor in the database, make sure you look at a few records before and after the individual because there may be multiple records for individuals.

You can view this video directly here:

Crista does an excellent job of sharing what is new at Ancestry.com that can make your use of the product even more effective and beneficial with your family history research.  She shows you via her computer screen what to look for at the Ancestry.com site.

I also did a search on YouTube looking for similarly titled videos and did discover that there are many “What’s New At Ancestry.com” videos on YouTube going back at least until April of 2012.  These series of videos are a great tool to use to review going back in time so you keep current with all that is being offered and added to Ancestry.com.

Here is a simple link to my search in YouTube that will give you this nice list of these videos posted to YouTube that you can do some catching up on to know about all of the new things at Ancestry.com:

“What’s New At Ancestry.com” YouTube Videos

The host does a very good job verbally describing the new additions as well as showing you the new things at Ancestry via screencasting.  That allows you to see her computer screen as she points out the various “new” things you may see at Ancestry.com and where they are located.

Because so many of us use Ancestry.com, either via a personal subscription or by using the Ancestry product at our local libraries, these YouTube videos are quite informative to keep users up to date with new features that take root on Ancestry.com.  The host provides even more depth to the importance of the change and even why it was done.

I think you will enjoy the most recent video above as well as looking at the link above for even more of these videos.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

New Poll On Right Sidebar Of The Blog; Simple Question Being Posed; “Have You Ever Listened To A Genealogy Podcast?”; “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.

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

“Have You Ever Listened To A Genealogy Podcast?  Yes or No

Simple, direct and to the point!

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 Submitted Your DNA For Genealogical Testing?”; Results Indicated

Hi Everyone!

It is amazing that over 2 months has passed on the life of the poll I had on the right sidebar of the blog since September 16, 2013.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order!

The poll had asked the question “Have You Submitted Your DNA For Genealogical Testing?”

The results of the poll showed the following from the 49 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their “Yes” or “No” response to the question.  The numbers show that 29 responses (59.18%) noted they had not provided their DNA for genealogical testing while 20 responses (40.82%) indicated they have submitted their DNA for genealogical testing.

Genealogical DNA testing is a hot and growing resource for genealogical research.  However, based on the responses, it is still not a majority resource being used.  Although, a 40.82% “YES” response rate for submitting DNA for genealogical testing is a pretty large minority!  I actually thought the number might have been more around 10% to 20% of a submission rate for DNA genealogical testing.  This is not a scientific poll.  It does not have a large submission rate.  So take the results with a grain of salt!

I am always looking for a larger response than even that which I just saw!  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 13 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.

Here is a direct link to the Poll Archives at my blog:

Poll Archives At Tony’s Genealogy Blog At The Schaumburg Township District Library (STDL)

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

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library