Category Archives: Program Summaries

Our New Breakout “Table” On Sharing How You Did Your Family History Book Started Out With A “Bang” At Our September 11, 2012 Breakout Program!

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that at our last genealogy program we had our quarterly “Breakout” groups at which researchers sit together with other researchers interested in the same area of ethnic research e.g. Irish researchers, Polish researchers, German researchers etc.

This was the evening we were going to replace an older breakout table with a new one.  The new table group was intending to have those that have actually created a family history book or report on their research share with others how they went about creating this wonderful book achievement.

I was a little nervous prior to the program because I simply did not know how many people would be interested in participating.  Even more so I was a little concerned if I had everyone at the table wanting to learn how to create your book and have no one actually at the table who may have created a book.

But to my pleasant surprise this new table started out with a “bang”.  There must have been at least 10 people around the table (seating for 6 is what I set up!).  Of the 10, it looked like about 5 of the participants had created an actual family history book of their research!  WOW!  What a great way to start this quarterly table exchange of creative information!

This group was highly active and very animated during the course of the evening, something I really like to see as fellow researchers help out other fellow researchers in areas one researcher may be familiar with while another just wants to know.

I want to say thank you to those that brought their family history books to share with those at the table.  I had hoped that maybe 1 person with a book might be present, but to see 5 present during the inaugural startup of this new table was just wonderfully over the top!

A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU!

We will do this overall program again in December 2012 and again include this new table at that program.  I will still be seeking those that have created a family history book to come out again and share their expertise.

What a great start to a new table at which research ideas are shared!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Our Genealogy Program Conference Call On August 14, 2012 Turned Out Excellent!; Big Thanks To Mike Karsen And Our Library Staff That Made It Possible!

Hi Everyone!

Last Tuesday night was our monthly Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library.

Our guest speaker for the evening was Mike Karsen who was going to present his program titled “Liven Up Your Family History with Images”.

When I arrived in the late afternoon to get things going for the evening presentation, I discovered that Mike had been trying to reach me via e-mail and phone to let me know that he was under the weather and would not be able to be present to do his presentation.  He did offer to try to make his presentation remotely via conference call.

Never having done that before,  I fell into a “state of panic”.  How could we make that happen in as short of time as we had.  Could we make it happen so that our audience would have as good an experience as if the speaker were actually here?

A call to our Information Technology (IT) group and a call to our Audio Visual (AV) group initially made me very confident that we would actually be able to set the room up with a speaker phone in conjunction with a microphone by the speakerphone that would allow us to contact Mike on the phone for him to do his thing remotely!

My biggest concern was the possibility of “bad audio feedback” noise coming through with the microphone so close to the speakerphone.  A little experiment here, a little trial there and I thought that by about 6:45 PM we could actually make this work for the scheduled 7:30 PM program.

To make a long story short the event came off incredibly well!  Our 45 person audience was rooting and cheering that this would work.  And lo and behold it did work!

The speakerphone sound was set up perfectly next to the nice professional microphone our AV person used for this “experiment”.  Our internal audio system picked up the sound perfectly so that everyone in the room could easily hear Mike via the speakerphone.  Our IT person found all the right “port” connections needed to allow us to use the phone in the large meeting room.

I was Mike’s right-hand person being the one flipping through his PDF provided file of the 82 images he used during his presentation.  I asked Mike to note what slide number he was on as he moved through them so that I was in synch with his images he was using at home.  Only a couple of times did I get out of synch but was able to recover quickly without really missing a beat.

We asked our audience to hold the questions until the end.  I mentioned to the attendees that if they had a question and could easily make it up to the front to ask, then they could do that by the speakerphone.  If someone was too far away or had to crawl over others in the row of seating, then I asked them to state the question and I would repeat it to Mike over the speakerphone.

Questions were asked and answered and everyone was able to hear the conversations from both within the room and via the phone.

WOW!  Was I relieved that this worked out well for both the off-site speaker and for our audience.

Many attendees indicated they thought the program was executed incredibly well even if Mike was not actually present in the room.  Our audience was happy and felt they really received great genealogy information in a completely unplanned and unexpected manner!  Smiles were present throughout the room!

I now can see that we can accomplish this kind of program using our internal setups.  Because I have now successfully seen this work I now have to really keep an open mind to take a further step to possibly have an actual Webinar Genealogy Program that would utilize similar technology that would also include the ability to have a video feed to see our speaker.

See what a crisis handled successfully turns me into!

Webinars in the future!! Maybe.

Lions, and tigers and bears!  Oh My!

I want to again say a big “Thank You” to our speaker, Mike Karsen, and to our internal library staff in Information Technology and Audio Visual for making this short-notice challenge come off very successfully.

Had this not worked our poor audience would have had to endure the evening with me giving some kind of “song and dance” genealogy routine!  Oh well, at least for this most recent occasion I was able to put the top hat, cane and dancing shoes on the back-burner.

But they are on the shelf waiting for me to use again if needed!

Lions and tigers and bears!  Oh My!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Handout Material From Caron Brennan’s Program On Social Media And Genealogy on January 10, 2012 Now Accesible In This Post As PDF Files; You Can Access All Of The Links She Reviewed

Hi Everyone!

I inadvertently pressed the “publish” button in WordPress and published an empty post that just had the title of the proposed post.  Sorry about that.  Ignore that one and use this post as the intended post.  The title of the post is the same as the empty one.

I want to make available immediately the handout material that Caron Primas Brennan included as part of her presentation last night at our library’s genealogy program on “Social Media and Genealogy”.

I won’t take the time right now to provide a summary of the program but rather just provide you with the PDF handout material so that you can easily get connected directly to the links Caron included in the documents.  You won’t have to retype the site addresses.  Just use the links directly in the following documents when you open them.

Caron had 3 handouts.

The 3 documents you can access directly from these links are:

January 10, 2012 Genealogy Program Social Networking Handout

January 10, 2012 Genealogy Program Family 2.0 Sites

January 10, 2012 Genealogy Program Selected Blogs List

I want to thank Caron for allowing me to be able to include the handouts in this post.  They are so much more easier to use and get to all the sites she mentioned when it is available as an electronic file as the above are.

Enjoy the handouts.

Click your way through the large amount of sites Caron was showing us in the various categories she identified.

Give some of them a try if you are not familiar with them.

Jump into Genealogy Social Media.  Upload some family tree material!  Upload some pictures!  Start a blog!  Get yourself out there through these conduits and you and your genealogy research may more readily be discovered by the cousins you so long to connect to.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Summary of Our Most Recent Genealogy Program That Was Held on September 13, 2011

Hi Everyone!

We had our most recent Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library on Tuesday evening, September 13, 2011.  It was one of our quarterly “break out” sessions.  We did not have a speaker for the program.  Instead we had our “break out” work groups giving the opportunity for those interested in various ethnic areas of research to sit with fellow researchers and both learn new things about the topic as well as to share items of interest to help make researching the topic more productive.

We had group tables set for:

    • Irish Researchers
    • German Researchers
    • Polish Researchers
    • Czech Researchers
    • Italian Researchers
    • Scandinavian Researchers
    • British Isles Researchers
    • Colonial American
    • General “Troubleshooting” Group
    • Beginner’s Group

Researchers At The German Table Exchanging Ideas Before We Started

    We also had the laptop computer set up and connected to the projector to allow anyone to use during the session.

We had a total of 21 researchers in attendance for the program.

We had 4 new people attend the program.  I asked them to introduce themselves.  Each was given a welcoming package of genealogical material to assist them in their research.

I then minimally reviewed the “handouts” package electronically from what was posted on this blog for this program, focusing just on the upcoming programs for a variety of genealogical societies in the area.  Just look at the right sidebar of this blog for an “archive” of past “Newsletters” and “Handouts”.  I want to use the handouts to keep those in attendance informed of upcoming genealogy programs, news of note in genealogy as well as some summaries of interesting magazine/journal articles that seemed to really hit home with some new research information on a particular genealogical topic.

I am leaning more to just verbally making note in the Handouts Review of just

Two Of Our Researchers Hoping For Fellow Lithuanian Researchers To Be Present

those upcoming programs local to our area.  Because there is a great deal of detail in the handouts and they are available online for easy access, searching, saving and linking to links within the package, I wanted to forego repeating much of that and leave it to the researcher to review the material in more detail at their leisure.  This would afford me the chance to start the breakout groups closer to 7:45 PM rather than 8:00 PM.

I did spend some time informing those in attendance that the LDS has just begun adding to its website digital records of the Catholic Churches of Chicago from the Archdiocese of Chicago.  For those of you having Chicago Roman Catholic ancestors, this may be your goldmine of newly accessible online information.  Currently, only UNINDEXED data is available in the form of IMAGES ONLY at this time.  So you cannot search for your ancestor by surname but you can now look through the images of the records online as if you would be looking at them on a microfilm at a Family History Center.  You will want to establish an account with the LDS at the Family Search website at www.familysearch.org.  Initially, when I tried accessing the data, I did not sign myself and I did notice that I was receiving a message that said “IMAGE UNAVAILABLE.  TRY AGAIN LATER”.  It also said “SIGN IN”.  Once I understood that, I signed in and was able to access the images with no problem.

Our Polish Researchers Preparing To Exchange Helpful Information

So establish an account with the LDS at the FamilySearch site and sign yourself in when you will be accessing any or all of their databases online.

We had about 8 people sitting at the Beginner’s Table listening to me give advice and direction on what to focus on and how to progress with research.

I especially want to say a big “Thank You” to those that were still there at 9:30 PM and helped rearrange the room back to its original arrangement of the tables and chairs.  I could not do it without your help!!  Thank you, all of you!!

Another big “Thank You” to Beverly G. who frequently takes the time to bake up some nice goodies in the form of cookies to share with those in attendance.  Beverly, the cookies sure beat the store-bought cookies hands down!!  Thanks again for bringing in your great treats!

I also want to thank those of you that took many of the newcomers under your wings to help them with individual one on one time while I was busy assisting others.  You are so sharing!  You know who you are!  Thank you so much again for offering such personal assistance.

Two Of Our Researchers Interested in Italian Research

Based on an observation, I would certainly encourage future participants at these quarterly sessions to consider bringing in a laptop or a notebook to have to use at the table you choose to participate at.  Because of our wonderful Wi-Fi setup, you can easily tap into our Internet setup directly from your laptop or notebook and not have to worry about using our own laptop/projector set up to show someone some piece of information.  It looked like at least one person at each of the major tables had a laptop.  It looked like it worked out quite well.  Please bring your laptop or notebook to these special sessions in the future because it looks like the work at the tables can be even more productive using the laptop or notebook to tap into the Internet via our own Wi Fi setup.

Please remember that we have these special “break out” sessions in the months of March, June, September and December on the 2nd Tuesday evening of the month.

Our Always Active Irish Researchers Sharing Ideas

We certainly had a good turnout of very highly motivated researchers who were craving to learn new things and to share the things they know with others.  My hats off to all of you for such enthusiasm you brought to the program.

Thank you again to all of you that came out to participate.

We hope to see you again at our upcoming programs.

Our German Researchers Intermingling Prior To Our Start

Keep coming back to this blog to stay in touch with what is going on about our

genealogy programs as well as other genealogy programs in our general area.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Summary of Our Recent August 9, 2011 Genealogy Program with Ginger Frere on the Topic of Searching Electronic Databases (Speaker’s PDF Handout Included)

Hi Everyone!

Here is a summary of our most recent Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library on Tuesday evening, August 9, 2011.  Our guest speaker for the evening was Ginger Frere.  Ginger presented a program titled “Searching Electronic Databases”.

Ginger was kind enough to allow me to post her handout she provided at the program onto this blog post.  You can access this handout here:

August 9, 2011 “Searching Electronic Databases” Presentation Handout from Ginger Frere

We had a great turnout for this late-Summer program.  We had 72 participants in attendance!  Whenever Ginger makes a speaking appearance at our library, attendance really jumps up.  Ginger, I hope you realize how popular you are and how good your programs are!!

Our Speaker For The Evening Was Ginger Frere

I started the program at 7:30 PM with the introduction of new participants.  We had an incredible 13 new participants who shared with all of us their name, their description of the their newness to genealogy and some of the surnames they were researching.  Each new participant received a Welcome package from me with some good tips on how to move forward on their research journey using a variety of resources both within and outside our library.

I indicated to the group that I would like to forego reviewing some of the handout material so that we could get to our speaker by 7:45 PM rather than 8:00 PM and allow more un-rushed time after the speaker should anyone want to talk to me or the speaker.  Because the material is all available online everyone can take a deeper look at it on their own.  I just briefly reviewed some upcoming program dates and topics for a variety of groups in the area.

 You can easily find all of our monthly library genealogy “Newsletters” in this blog along the right sidebar.  You can also find all of our monthly library genealogy “Handouts” in this blog along the right sidebar.  Take some time to look at the current issues as well as the past ones.  These are PDF files so you can look at them from the within the blog or download them to your own computer.  All are filled with electronic bookmarks, hyperlinks, internet URL links for you to quickly find material and to link to topics of interest on the internet.  That is the beauty of these electronic files!

Ginger Offered Many Important Points Not Wanting To Be Missed By Those In Attendance

Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have on the material contained in the Newsletter or the Handout material.

Ginger then started her presentation at around 8:00 PM, a little later than I had hoped, but this was due to the high amount of new participants I had introduce themselves to all of us.  Starting a little later was fine as long as we could all hear from our new participants.

Please take a good look at the handout higher up in this post that Ginger allowed to include in this post.  It is a good guide to help you in your own use of online databases.  Give the suggestions provided by Ginger a try.  It still may not be easy but then again where has genealogy research ever been that easy!!

Ginger indicated that there are generally 4 types of databases to search.  These would be:

    • Bibliographic
    • Full Text
    • Abstract
    • Data

One Of The Slides In Ginger's Presentation On Using Online Databases

    Think of bibliographic like a library online catalog in which you are trying to find some book material.

Think of full text databases as the Chicago Tribune Historical Archive in which you may be researching newspapers that have been digitized and have an all word index because the full text of the paper is in the database.

Think of abstract databases as a short version of full text.  Perhaps only a small summary of a full text item is what has been “abstracted”.  Your searching of these abstracts will only give you results if your search term word is contained in the abstract.  If you get hits as abstracts you will have the hope that the full text of the material may contain further information for you to discover.

The Data Database is what we all like to search to find the details on our ancestors.  Think of the Census data from Ancestry.com.  Think of graves found in FindAGrave.  Each of these databases may have different methods to search them because the data contained in each differs from each.

Our Guest Speaker Ginger Frere During Her Presentation

Ginger provided some great background material on becoming aware of how to best access material in a database.  She also indicated how important it is to know something about the database in general.  Very often this information is contained in a text description from the provider of the database in text format as a general description of the material.  Discover such things as:

  • Who Created the Database?
  • What’s Included?
  • How Often Is It Updated?
  • What Features Does It Provide?

Just knowing some of the basics like the above can often answer why you may not have been having any successful discoveries from the database.  If the database contains birth information up until 1875 and your grandfather was born in 1882 then that would explain why you are not finding information on your grandfather.  If the database is only 7% completed, that may explain why you are not finding anything and will need to return at a future date to try again.  If the database is intended to have a certain kind of information covering all Illinois counties but Cook County is not yet included, that may explain why you are not finding your Cook County ancestors.

Note Taking Was Certainly The Thing To Do During Ginger's Presentation

Know the database you are searching and what is in it and what is not in it when you are searching.

Ginger also gave us some background on tools that are available to use within the database that we often do not take advantage of.  Tools such as Plurals, Truncations and Wildcards.  Again, know the database and the Tools that are available for using or are not available.  A good database provider will indicate all of this at the beginning of the database or under a “help” link that will give all of the details.  Look for this help.

If you can use Plurals, Truncation or Wildcards then learn how to use these.  Know the symbols to use and the manner to use them.  Plurals may allow you to find “apple” or “apples” by inserting a “+” sign in your search term.

Truncation will allow you to retrieve multiple hits without having to enter in multiple search terms.  If you enter in “genealog*” you will get hots for all words that being with the letters “genealog”.  So you will find genealogy, genealogist, and genealogies.  Learn how the database requires you to use this tool.  In one search you can get all of your hits that may apply to your research.

Ginger Frere Giving Our Audience One Of Her Great Points On Searching Online Databases

Wild Card searching can be great for surnames in which you have seen many ways to discover an ancestral name where one letter or multiple letters may have different occurrences.  Ginger used the example of the surname “SMITH”.  Maybe you have seen this as “SMYTH”.  With Wildcard searching you can find all of the occurrences of either spelling by setting up a Wildcard search like “SM?TH”.  The question mark symbol is often used but the database should spell out if some other symbol is used.  For searching Polish females in my own research, their surname often reflects the feminized naming conventions.  A Polish female name often ends in the letter “a”.  If I were looking for “SANTOWSKI” I may want to consider also looking for “SANTOWSKA”.  I could do each search on its own and discover the results but with wildcard searching I can get all of the results for both in one search by setting it up as “SANTOWSK?”.

Ginger also provided us with insight on using Boolean operators within database searches.  We all know this more as using “AND”, “OR” or “NOT” commands within our searches.  Some databases imply an AND command if you enter in multiple words without them being in quotes.  Again, know the database and what it does.

Bob K Stayed After the Presentation To Seek Further Help From Ginger

Ginger also emphasized that it is important that we do not enter in too many terms in our search, especially using AND because if any one is not contained for your ancestor then you will not get a “hit” on your ancestor and think that your ancestor is not in the database.  Always start with the “broadest” and simplest search first using maybe a SURNAME.  If you get thousands of hits then start adding in additional  search terms like YEAR OF BIRTH or IMMIGRATION YEAR or OCCUPATION or COUNTRY BORN.  These search capabilities often give you the ability to specify a range of years for birth or immigration.  Take advantage of using this range because even though you may be sure of when your ancestor was born, how it was recorded on the documents that comprise the database may be an entirely different story.

Ginger ended her presentation at around 9:05 PM and stayed until about 9:30 PM addressing questions from those that spoke to her directly after the program itself was completed.

Our thanks go to Ginger for coming out to give us a great overview of accessing databases in an effective and efficient manner.  The data you seek may be in the database but it does not often give up the material as easily as we would hope.  With Ginger’s insights your successful searching may greatly improve.

Ann M and Bill K Having Some Post-Program Exchanges Of Ideas

Thank you again to Ginger for also allowing me to post your handout of the program in my blog.  You are so gracious to allow us all to benefit from your handout.

Incorporate Ginger’s suggestions into your research.  Learn from the expert!

Good luck with all of your future searching!!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Summary of Our Recent July 12, 2011 Genealogy Program with Dan Niemiec on the Topic of Passenger Lists (Speaker’s PDF Handout Included)

Sharing Genealogy Gems Before Our Program on Passenger Records

Hi Everyone!

Here is a summary of our most recent Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library on Tuesday evening, July 12, 2011.  Our guest speaker for the evening was Dan Niemiec.  Dan presented a program titled “Who Sank Grandpa’s Boat: Effective Techniques to Find Passenger Manifests”.

Dan was kind enough to allow me to post his handout he provided at the program onto this blog post.  You can access this handout here:

July 12, 2011 “Who Sank Grandpa’s Boat” Presentation Handout from Dan Niemiec

Program Attendees Intermingling Prior to Our Genealogy Program

We had a good turnout for this mid-Summer program.  We had 57 participants in attendance!

I started the program at 7:30 PM with the introduction of new participants.  We had about 3 new participants who shared with all of us their name, their description of the their newness to genealogy and some of the surnames they were researching.  Each new participant received a Welcome package from me with some good tips on how to move forward on their research journey using a variety of resources both within and outside our library.

I indicated to the group that I would like to forego reviewing some of the handout material so that we could get to our speaker by 7:45 PM rather than 8:00 PM and allow more un-rushed time after the speaker should anyone want to talk to me or the speaker.  Because the material is all available online everyone can take a deeper look at it on their own.  I just briefly reviewed some upcoming program dates and topics for a variety of groups in the area.

Our Program Topic for the Evening

 You can easily find all of our monthly library genealogy “Newsletters” in this blog along the right sidebar.  You can also find all of our monthly library genealogy “Handouts” in this blog along the right sidebar.  Take some time to look at the current issues as well as the past ones.  These are PDF files so you can look at them from the within the blog or download them to your own computer.  All are filled with electronic bookmarks, hyperlinks, internet URL links for you to quickly find material and to link to topics of interest on the internet.  That is the beauty of these electronic files!

Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have on the material contained in the Newsletter or the Handout material.

Dan then started his presentation at around 7:50 PM.

Dan Niemiec Before Giving His Presentation on "Who Sank Grandpas Boat?"

Dan indicated that Passenger List research can be both easier and harder than researching using microfilms as it was done years ago.  It can be easier simply because the transcribed data now exists in online databases that allows us to simply enter in our search term, a surname, and let it rip.  Sounds easy!!  We are all dependent on the accuracy and the knowledge of the transcriber that created the entry that gets included in the database.  If the surname is mis-entered or misspelled or simply entered in as a wild guess, then no matter how we search we may not find the ancestor unless we become creative with spelling possibilities.

In the “old” days of researching the material on microfilm, at least we had a possibility of seeing an entry that looked like it might be our ancestor.  You do not get the same luxury by entering in search terms into a database.

So once again we have the age-old problem of being creative with our surname entries when accessing databases.

Related to that difficulty, the researcher has also got to be aware of using a search term that reflects the name of the ancestor AT THE TIME THE PASSENGER MANIFEST WAS CREATED!

One Of the Slides from Our Program "Who Sank Grandpa's Boat?"

Just because you know the ancestor by the name that became common 100 years after the event, that will not help you searching for them under the name that was written on the passenger manifest or the spelling that was used.

My great-grandmother’s first name was Eva but in Polish it is spelled as EWA.  Using “Eva” will not find “Ewa”.

My great-uncle’s first name was Andrew but in Polish it is spelled as Andrzy.  You will never find him using “Andrew” as you know it.

Surnames could also have been changed over time.  You may know the surname as it is today and how it is spelled today, but to be successful with your passenger research you need to know and use the name in the format it would have been on the passenger manifest.

Our Speaker, Dan Niemiec, Making One of His Important Points on Successfully Working with Passenger Records

So you might have some homework in researching how the names may have been at the time of the event and not how you know them today.

Dan showed us many examples of the spelling variations he encountered in his own research.  You have to believe in miracles to find your ancestors under these circumstances!

Dan also made mention of using the Steve Morse website to help you in your research.  Steve has created all kinds of templates that allow you to work with passenger databases from Ellis Island or Ancestry.com.  His templates allow you to enter in just about any term you might find on a passenger record.

Again, be cautious when using many of these templates because you do not want to enter in too much data just because you can.  If any one of the fields does not match the data you will not get any results and consequently think your ancestor is not in the database.  When you search, you always want to start with the most minimal search term and only add on one by one if you need to pare down the results.

Please visit the Steve Morse website to access and use all of these templates at:

www.stevemorse.org

Our Audience Intently Listening to Dan's Points on Passenger Lists

Also remember, every one of our ancestors did not arrive through the Port of New York.  About 50% of the immigrant arrivals arrived to New York.  But there are other ports they may have come through like Boston, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Baltimore, Galveston etc.  You may still have to research the old-fashioned way using microfilms of these ports if your arrival does not show up in the online material from Ellis Island or those passenger databases from Ancestry.com.

Also be aware of the dates when you believe your ancestors may have arrived to the United States.  The Port of New York is actually comprised of two categories of data.  Prior to 1892, ancestors arriving into New York would have been processed at Castle Garden.  After 1891, Ellis Island was the processing destination in the Port of New York.  So if an ancestor arrived into New York prior to 1892, you will not find the ancestor in the Ellis Island data.  You will need to work with Castle Garden material.

Our Audience Listening to Dan's Point on Passenger Records While Looking At His Slide

You must be aware of the timelines and the history in order to be in the right series of databases when searching.  And because New York received about 50% of the arrivals, you must be aware that no matter how hard you search New York, they may have arrived in another port.

My ancestors seemed to have arrived either in New York or in Baltimore.

You can visit the Ellis Island search site at:

www.ellisisland.org

You can visit the Castle Garden at:

www.castlegarden.org

Please take a good look at the handout higher up in this post that Dan allowed to include in this post.  It is a good guide to help you in your own passenger research.  Give the suggestions provided by Dan a try.  It still may not be easy but then again where has genealogy research ever been that easy!!

Dan ended his presentation at around 9:15 PM and stayed until about 9:45 PM addressing questions from those that spoke to him directly.

Don’t give up on researching your ancestors’ Passenger Records.  It is hard and can be frustrating when you just can’t find them.  Use Dan’s handout and search the material in a more intelligent manner using the guidelines that Dan has provided in his handout.

Good luck with your searching!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Summary of Our Most Recent Genealogy Program That Was Held on June 14, 2011

Hi Everyone!

We had our most recent Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library on Tuesday evening, June 14, 2011.  It was one of our quarterly “break out” sessions.  We did not have a speaker for the program.  Instead we had our “break out” work groups giving the opportunity for those interested in various ethnic areas of research to sit with fellow researchers and both learn new things about the topic as well as to share items of interest to help make researching the topic more productive.

I do apologize for the lack of pictures included in this post.  Unfortunately, I did forget to bring my camera for this program.  I will remember to bring it for next month’s program just to be able to share some pictographic moments of those in attendance!

We had group tables set for:

  • Irish Researchers
  • German Researchers
  • Polish Researchers
  • Czech Researchers
  • Italian Researchers
  • Scandinavian Researchers
  • British Isles Researchers
  • Colonial American
  • General “Troubleshooting” Group
  • Beginner’s Group

We also had the laptop computer set up and connected to the projector to allow anyone to use during the session.

We had a total of 29 researchers in attendance for the program. 

It did appear that the vast majority of attendees were situated at the Beginner’s Table that was being led by myself.  It appeared that fully half of those in attendance were at the Beginner’s Table!!

We had 8 new people attend the program.  I asked them to introduce themselves.  Each was given a welcoming package of genealogical material to assist them in their research.

I then minimally reviewed the “handouts” package electronically from what was posted on this blog for this program, focusing just on the upcoming programs for a variety of genealogical societies in the area.  Just look at the right sidebar of this blog for an “archive” of past “Newsletters” and “Handouts”.  I want to use the handouts to keep those in attendance informed of upcoming genealogy programs, news of note in genealogy as well as some summaries of interesting magazine/journal articles that seemed to really hit home with some new research information on a particular genealogical topic.

I am leaning more to just verbally making note in the Handouts Review of just those upcoming programs local to our area.  Because there is a great deal of detail in the handouts and they are available online for easy access, searching, saving and linking to links within the package, I wanted to forego repeating much of that and leave it to the researcher to review the material in more detail at their leisure.  This would afford me the chance to start the breakout groups closer to 7:45 PM rather than 8:00 PM.

We had a table full at the Beginner’s table having about 16 people sitting there listening to me give advice and direction on what to focus on and how to progress with research.

I especially want to say a big “thank you” to those that were still there at 9:30 PM and helped rearrange the room back to its original arrangement of the tables and chairs.  I could not do it without your help!!  Thank you, all of you!!

I also want to thank those of you that took many of the newcomers under your wings to help them with individual one on one time while I was busy assisting others.  You are so sharing!  You know who you are!  Thank you so much again for offering such personal assistance.

Based on an observation, I would certainly encourage future participants at these quarterly sessions to consider bringing in a laptop or a notebook to have to use at the table you choose to participate at.  Because of our wonderful Wi-Fi setup, you can easily tap into our Internet setup directly from your laptop or notebook and not have to worry about using our own laptop/projector set up to show someone some piece of information.  It looked like at least one person at each of the major tables had a laptop.  It looked like it worked out quite well.  Please bring your laptop or notebook to these special sessions in the future because it looks like the work at the tables can be even more productive using the laptop or notebook to tap into the Internet via our own Wi Fi setup.

Please remember that we have these special “break out” sessions in the months of March, June, September and December on the 2nd Tuesday evening of the month.

We certainly had a good turnout of very highly motivated researchers who were craving to learn new things and to share the things they know with others.  My hats off to all of you for such enthusiasm you brought to the program.

Thank you again to all of you that came out to participate.

We hope to see you again at our upcoming programs.

Keep coming back to this blog to stay in touch with what is going on about our genealogy programs as well as other genealogy programs in our general area.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library