Monthly Archives: January 2014

Elgin Genealogical Society (EGS) Announces 2014 Beginners’ Workshop Series; Workshops Will Be Held At The Gail Borden Public Library In Elgin, IL; 3rd Thursday Evening At 7 PM

Hi Everyone,

EGS LogoI recently received a notice from the Elgin Genealogical Society (EGS) in Elgin, IL announcing their 2014 Beginners’ Workshop Series.

The Workshops for January 2014 to November 2014 occur on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 7 PM.  There is no workshop for the month of December 2014.

The Workshops take place in the 1st floor Community Room of the Gail Borden Public Library located in Elgin, IL.   All workshops start at 7 PM and are open to the public.  The library is located at 270 N. Grove Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120.

The Elgin Genealogical Society notes that while the Workshop title implies it is for Beginners, all levels of genealogical researchers are welcome to attend.

Here is a link to the PDF file sent to me by the society that you can use for planning purposes.  There is more information on the flyer for you to use regarding the society.

2014 Elgin Genealogical Society Beginners’ Workshop Series

Speaker/tutor/mentor names will be provided to me by EGS when they become available.  The topic names are provided.

The Elgin Genealogical Society also sent me a Press Release about the same subject.  It is really the same information as the link above, but I also wanted to include it in this post.

2014 Elgin Genealogical Society Beginners Workshop Series Press Release

Take a look at the above information and consider attending some of these workshops whether you are an absolute beginner in genealogical research or you are a seasoned researcher!  All are welcome!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“How To Order Microfilms Through FamilySearch” Training Video; Films Are Ordered Online; You Will Need To Be Registered With FamilySearch To Order Microfilms

Hi Everyone,

FamilySearch.org LogoWe all love finding our ancestral information with just a quick set of keyboard entries at a variety of sites.  That is great and great progress can be made in your research.  But do not just consider the online databases as your only resources.

Check out the FamilySearch online catalog and do some searching on it.  Consider doing a “place” search for the area of your ancestral interest.  Perhaps you will discover film material that looks interesting to you to uncover more about your ancestors.  The film number of the material will become your key to order and use the film to advance your research.

You can reach their online catalog at:

FamilySearch Online Catalog

Microfilms from the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints (LDS) are still a main source of research information.  These films can be rented easily via an online request through the FamilySearch website.  You will need to be registered with FamilySearch in order to have the capability to order your films online.

Sometimes in discussing accessing microfilm material with an individual through FamilySearch, I may make far too many assumptions of the level of their knowledge of the process.  Microfilms are still a very valuable resource tool and the researcher needs to understand how ordering of these films is done through FamilySearch.

With that goal in mind, I went to the site and found that FamilySearch offers some nice online informative videos about the film ordering process.  Here is a link to the part of the Film Ordering site that allows you to view some training videos:

FamilySearch Microfilm Ordering Help

In addition to the 6 training aids at this part of the site, I want to make sure you are aware specifically of the one that describes the film ordering process.  You can see this video at:

How To Online Film Order Through FamilySearch

If you know a film exists that could help you but you have never ordered a microfilm from FamilySearch because you were uncertain, then now is the time to remove that uncertainty.  You are just hindering your research if you do not order films simply because you do not know how.

The Help section in the above links will also provide you with understanding more about what are the kinds of loans they have and for how long can you use the film.  You will also see the different prices to rent the films as well as selecting a Family History Center (FHC) of your choice where the film will be delivered for your use.

I hope this post will help take some of the mystery out of the FamilySearch film ordering process, especially for those researchers that may have never rented a film through FamilySearch.

I can’t emphasize enough how important these films are.  Most of my own Polish ancestral material is on these films not yet having seen the light of day as an indexed database online!  Do not shortchange your research.

Learn the FamilySearch film ordering process.  Get those films that can really advance your research.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Elgin Genealogical Society (EGS) Announces 2014 Tuesday Morning Programs; Programs Will Take Place At The Gail Borden Public Library In Elgin, IL; First Tuesday Morning Of The Month

Hi Everyone!

EGS LogoI recently received a 2014 Program List from the Elgin Genealogical Society (EGS) that highlights the morning programs they will be offering during the year.

These programs are held at the Gail Borden Public Library,   270 N. Grove Ave., Elgin, IL. on the first Tuesday of each month between 9:30 AM and 11:30 AM.  It is always best to check the society website or call the Gail Borden Public Library at 847-742-2411 to check if schedule changes have occurred.

Here is a link to a PDF file that identifies these programs as well as what speaker is presenting it:

2014 Elgin Genealogical Society First Tuesday Morning Programs

Take a look at the schedule to see if there are programs of interest to you.  Consider attending.  Even better, considering becoming a member of the society, especially if any of your ancestral research has any connection to the Elgin area.

Don’t forget to visit the Elgin Genealogical Society website to learn more about the society and what they offer to visitors at their site as well as to registered members of the society.  You can find them at:

Elgin Genealogical Society

Please note that the EGS programs have also been included in the Google Calendar that is part of this blog.  Just look for the “page” at the top of this home page that says “Calendar of Local Genealogy Events”.

I want to make our readers well aware of not only our own library genealogy programs but also those that are occurring in the nearby area.

Check out the society at the above link and see what programs are of interest to you to attend.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

National Genealogical Society 2014 Annual Conference Brochure And Program Information Available; May 7-10, 2014 In Richmond, Virginia; “Virginia: The First Frontier”

Hi Everyone!

The National Genealogical Society has an annual multi-day conference each year.

This year’s program is scheduled for May 7, 2014 through May 10, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  The title of the 2014 conference is “Virginia: The First Frontier”.

You certainly have plenty of time to peruse the material and make plans to attend this annual major genealogical event.

You can view the full-color 16 page registration brochure at their website by clicking on the following link at:

Especially take a look at the registration material in the above program guide.  You can get discounts for early bird registration as well as even further discounts if you are a member of the National Genealogical Society.  You can sign up for a 1-day series of programs only.  Registration by March 23, 2014 will get you an early bird discount.  Check out all of the registration costs as well as all of the costs if you will choose to participate in any of the special programs being offered by the society that generally occur in the evening.

Also just visit the main NGS website to take a look at much more information and material that they have at the site.  There is much more information about this conference available through their main website.  Browse their site and see what other great resources they may have available online that can help you in your own research efforts.

You can visit their main website at www.ngsgenealogy.org.

Look for the part of their main website at the top that says “Conferences and Events”.

Attending a national conference such as this is an eye-opening genealogical experience that I would recommend at least once in a lifetime for researchers.  There are literally 180 informative hour-long programs that are scheduled during this program between 8 AM through 4 PM.  There are even  programs going on through the early evening if you can’t get enough information on genealogy from 8 AM until 4 PM!

NGS Logo Clip ArtThis brochure is one that in the past I would have made a copy for distribution to our genealogy program  participants.  However, now that I am writing this blog, it is more appropriate to direct you to the National Genealogical Society website directly for you to take a look at their full 16 page color brochure they have put together.

The above link will take you directly to this 16 page incredible brochure.

Even if you do not go to this program or another one down the road, I always recommend that you should take a look at the variety of programs being offered.  You may very well find a program with a great speaker that fits right in with your own research aspirations.  You will then possibly have a contact to make with the speaker to see if they can help answer a question you may have on the genealogical topic of interest.

Also take a look at the long list of world-renowned genealogical speakers that are in the brochure.

These are the best of the best!

Your paths may cross with them through material they may have already published.  Some may even be local to our own area.  Some may very well be speakers we have had at our library offering some great genealogical programs for you to learn from!

Take a look through the brochure to gain a sense of magnitude of what a national genealogical conference looks like.  It is amazing.  These conference are often attended by anywhere from 1,200 to 1,500 fellow researchers.  Vendors are also present selling their wares.

This conference can be nothing short of genealogy nirvana!

Check out the brochure.  Check out the NGS Program.  Try to attend one once in your life.  You won’t be disappointed.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Will Be Having Their First All Day Genealogy Conference; Program Is Titled “GeneaQuest 2014; The Future Is Now”; Program Will Take Place On Saturday May 17, 2014 At Elgin Community College (ECC)

Hi Everyone,

CAGGNI logoI am happy to announce that the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) will be holding their first ever all-day genealogy conference.

The conference is titled “GeneaQuest 2014: The Future Is Now”.

The conference will take place on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at the Elgin Community College (ECC).

Here is a brief description of the day’s event as provided by CAGGNI:

“GeneaQuest” All-Day Conference with Multiple Speakers, presented by Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) with keynote speaker Thomas MacEntee. Saturday, May 17, 2014. Elgin Community College Building E, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL 60123 Visit the GeneaQuest Conference site at http://caggni.shuttlepod.org/GeneaQuest2014

The society was kind enough to provide me with the following flyers that contain detail information on the all-day conference as well as conference registration information.

May 17, 2014 GeneaQuest 2014 CAGGNI Program Information

May 17, 2014 GeneaQuest 2014 CAGGNI Program Flyer

So mark your calendar for this auspicious event being held by a great local genealogical society.

Thomas MacEntee, the keynote speaker for the conference, is truly a great speaker.  He will both start the conference and end the conference as a speaker.  In addition, he will also be giving a presentation during the scheduled lunch.  Many of the other conference speakers appear to be members of CAGGNI.

During the all-day conference,  CAGGNI is even having an informal  “GeneaUs” Bar during which you can have conversations with expert researchers on various niche topics in genealogy and technology.

Congratulations to the CAGGNI group!

This organization is really clicking on all cylinders!

Best wishes for a truly great all-day local genealogy conference!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township district Library

Re-Post Reminder – DuPage County Genealogical Society Annual Conference To Take Place on Saturday, February 15, 2014 At Hilton Garden Inn In St. Charles, IL

Hi Everyone!

Feature Presentation Clip ArtFebruary 15, 2014 is almost here.  I wanted to supply a reminder about the upcoming DuPage County Genealogical Society (DCGS) Annual Conference that will soon take place at the Hilton Garden Inn in St. Charles, IL.

I originally posted information about the conference back in September 2013.

I am re-posting the information now as the conference date soon approaches right after the separator line that follows.

I always recommend to genealogical researchers that they should take the opportunity to participate in any local all-day genealogy conferences.  The annual conference put on by this society is one that certainly fits the bill to spend the day at.

Read through the entire original post and its accompanying PDF files about the conference details.  This conference is loaded with A+ speakers and topics.  When I last attended in 2012, I was happily stunned to be sitting among about 350 other excited researchers!!

You will not be disappointed if you give this conference a try!

Enjoy.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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Hi Everyone!

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

I want to remind everyone of the upcoming 39th Annual Conference that will be 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 15, 2014 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 “Find It…Prove It…Share It”.

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 links 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
  • 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 4 programs that will be occurring (except the last segment at 3 PM has 3 programs to pick from).   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 15 that will be offered.

The speakers that will be offering their unique presentations are:

  • Debbie Mieszala, CG
  • Paul Milner
  • Marsha Peterson-Maass
  • Steve Szabados

These speakers are some of the best of the best that you can encounter as you expand your genealogical knowledge.  To date at our own library we have had 2 of the speakers present individual programs at our own monthly genealogy program and one speaker who will shortly present.  Paul, Steve and Marsha (will present on November 12, 2013) have presented here or soon will.

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 flies.  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

“What’s New At Ancestry.com January 2014″ YouTube Video

Hi Everyone!

ancestry-logoI just did a quick look at YouTube and saw that there is now a January 2014 video posted from Ancestry.com that is titled “What’s New At Ancestry.com January 2014″.

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:

  • Upcoming genealogy conferences for RootsTech and NGS and Ancestry Day in Philadelphia, PA on March 15, 2014
  • Watch for upcoming Indiana and Virginia Resource Guides in PDF format from Ancestry.com.
  • Share Your DNA Ethnicity from Ancestry via e-mail.
  • Family Tree Maker Mac 3 now available as a download or as a CD
  • “Record Hover” new feature.  Hover cursor over the database record to see what data is included in the database.  This allows you to make an educated guess as to whether the information will be helpful to you to open the record.  Today you would have to open the database itself and if the information is not helpful to you would have to close it and go back to the next record.  This is a time-saving feature incorporated by Ancestry.com to minimize your clicks.
  • Site Alert Banner is in upper right of the screen near the Help button.  Check it out to see if there is any database maintenance occurring on interested databases that may be unavailable.  Ancestry is a 24 hour operation that occasionally needs to shut down databases for maintenance.
  • New Content! – Lists of Men Ordered to Report to Local Draft Board for Military Duty, 1917-1918 for Select States.  The data is incomplete and mainly from Southern states.  605,000 records included.
  • New Content! – England Electoral Registers, 1840-1962 for West Yorkshire (22.5 million records)  and Surrey (10.5 million records)
  • New Content! – Georgia Marriage Records, 1828-1978.  does not cover all counties.  Check list of available counties to see if county of interest is included. (2.3 million records)
  • Web Content – 4.9 million web records added in databases that exist outside of Ancestry.com.  The word “Web” prefaces the database title.

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