Category Archives: Tips

Our Electronic Reference Product (ERP) Computers Behind The “Ask Us” Desk On The 2nd Floor Now Allow You To Access FamilySearch

Hi Everyone!

STDL ImageWe have made another change to make your genealogy research a little easier, especially if you are not bringing in your own laptop or tablet computer that you would connect to our internal WiFi system.

Our library offers for in-house use only the Ancestry Library Edition product.  You can access this genealogy research database from Ancestry on our Electronic Reference Product (ERP) computers that are in the area behind the “Ask Us” desk on the 2nd floor.  “Ask Us” was formerly known as the Reference Desk in days past!

These computers allow you to access a variety of electronic databases that our library offers.  These computers are not set up for general internet access and will allow the user to access only within the confines of the electronic product.  So if you wanted to search Ancestry Library Edition you could do so at these computers.  If while using Ancestry Library Edition you wanted to switch over and access FamilySearch you would have discovered that you could not because FamilySearch is not a purchasable electronic database and was just considered as trying to access the internet in general.  Our library has an entire different area on the 2nd floor dedicated to those that want general access to the internet.

We have now made this a little easier for your genealogy research to now allow you to access FamilySearch from these ERP computers in addition to allow you to normally access Ancestry Library Edition.  Just enter in the URL for FamilySearch (  within the Browser you are using (either Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox) on the ERP computer.  You will be taken to FamilySearch and can begin your searching of FamilySearch material from the ERP computers.

You will still not be able to use these computers for just general internet access.  We still have a separate area on the 2nd floor to use the internet.

But at least now you can combine your genealogy searching using two key resources all from the same ERP computer.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Public Broadcasting System (PBS) Premiered “Genealogy Roadshow” On Monday, September 23, 2013; More Genealogy TV For You To Enjoy; Link To Video Of First Episode Included

Hi Everyone!

Genealogy Roadshow PBS LogoCan’t get enough of “Who Do You Think You Are?”.  Probably not since the 8 episode schedule for this season has run its course and is over except for viewing re-runs of the 8 episodes.

Well, just in the nick of time to feed your genealogy habit, Public Broadcasting System (PBS) just premiered its own genealogy TV series titled “Genealogy Roadshow”.  It is somewhat liken to the PBS series “Antiques Roadshow” in style.  PBS tours various US locations and interacts with various individuals in that area and gives them answers to their own genealogical questions they may have.  It is like genealogy for the general public and not for a “star” as happens with “Who Do You Think You Are?”.

Here is a description of the program as offered by Public Broadcasting from their website that follows below in Italics:


About the Program
Part detective story, part emotional journey, Genealogy Roadshow will combine history and science to uncover the fascinating stories of diverse Americans. Each individual’s past will link to a larger community history, revealing the rich cultural tapestry of America.

Genealogy Roadshow premiere season will feature participants from four American cities — Nashville, Detroit, San Francisco and Austin — who want to explore unverified genealogical claims, passed down through family history, that may (or may not) connect them to an event or a historical figure. These cities were chosen as American crossroads of culture, diversity, industry and history, with deep pools of potential participants and stories.  After participants are chosen, experts in genealogy, history and DNA will use family heirlooms, letters, pictures, historical documents and other clues to hunt down more information.

These experts will enlist the help of local historians to add color and context to the investigations, ensuring every artifact and every name becomes a clue in solving the mystery. Residents of Nashville, Detroit, San Francisco and Austin are invited and encouraged to submit their personal stories as Genealogy Roadshow will unearth family and community secrets, reveal notable relatives and discover unexpected stories that connect the past to the present. Many answers will be revealed on camera before a local audience, in a historic building relevant to the cities’ – and the participants’ – histories.


The first episode of the series just premiered last night, Monday, September 23, 2013.  It took place in Nashville, TN.

I have not yet watched the first episode and I plan do so by connecting to PBS and watching it online.  Unfortunately, I cannot give you any initial feedback about the show since it just broadcast last night.  I wanted to be able to make you aware of this new show.

In fact, you can get to the premier episode at the PBS website at the following link:

“Genealogy Roadshow” Premier Episode September 23, 2013 From Nashville, TN

The show runs for an hour.

Here is the link to the show information in general and access to this video and the future ones when they occur:

Genealogy Roadshow on PBS

There you go!  More genealogy TV.  As you can see from the above, there are only going to be a total of 4 shows originating this season from the above noted cities.

If anyone has seen this new show, feel free to leave your comments on this post.  Give me your insights into what you thought about this new show.  I will hopefully have some posts about the show once I see the Nashville episode.


Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Our Library Home Page Has Changed Slightly; Note Where You Can Get To My Blog And Genealogy Databases

Hi Everyone!

STDL ImageIf you have been using our library’s genealogy databases from home as well as accessing my blog, you need to be aware of a slight change in our website in order to get to the above resources.  This change has just occurred in the last few days.  Our library’s website can be found at or at

Our genealogy databases and my blog could previously be accessed through a link at the top of our home page that used to say “Local History and Genealogy”.  That link is now gone.

Instead of that link you will now see at the top of our home page that the “Research” category to access databases has been changed to now say “Research and Genealogy”.  You can now click on that link to get to the next page.

On the next page just look for the link category titled “History and Genealogy”.  Click on that link.

On the next page you can select the link that says “Genealogy” that will now get you to the genealogy databases that our library has for you to help with your research.  Nothing has changed on what databases we have for genealogy or which ones you can access from home or only from in the library.

From our redesigned home page you can get to my blog in either of 2 ways.  On our home page at or, just look on the right side of the home page, scroll down a little bit and look for the identifier that says “Library News”.  In this category you will see a link to “Library Blogs”.  Click on that link and you will find a listing of links to 5 library blogs.  One of the links is mine and it is titled “Genealogy With Tony”.

Another way to get to my blog via our library’s website is to select the “Research and Genealogy” link at our home page.  Then select “History & Genealogy”.  On the next page just look on the right side and you will see the pictorial icon you could click on that says “Tony’s Genealogy Blog”.

Independent of our library’s website,  you can always get to my blog directly via the WordPress URL at

I know change can be hard when the familiarity of accessing resources is altered.

Our changes to get you to the genealogy databases are not all that massive and are somewhat intuitive from the wording used to change the “Research” link for database access to “Research & Genealogy”.  But, nonetheless, the pathways you were familiar with are now slightly different.

This post will also give you that added insight into moving about our site to find your familiar genealogy databases as well as my blog.

New pathways, same great resources!

I know you will be able to adapt quickly to the new pathways to get to these resources.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Our DVD Collection Of Our Recorded Speaker Genealogy Programs Is Growing; We Now Have 12 DVDs You Can Check Out If You Missed The Program

Hi Everyone!

DVD Clip ArtThis is just a reminder to make you aware of a growing resource we are adding to our DVD collection on the 1st floor of our library.

If you have attended any of our library’s monthly genealogy programs when we have a speaker,  you often see me in the back of the room videotaping the speaker’s program.  We just started doing this in February 2012.

A big thank you to all of the speakers we have had in 2012 and 2013 that have allowed me to videotape the program in order to create a DVD and add that into our DVD collection.  The speaker does not have to allow me to videotape the program.  So far, ALL of the speakers we have had since February 2012 have given me permission to videotape the program!!  This means that you can check out the DVD from our collection to view at home if you missed the program or if the topic is one that interests you.

If our library is not your local library, you can register yourself with us and then be able to check these DVDs out.  These DVDs are also available via inter-library loan.  Just work with your own local library and request the DVD through them if that is more convenient.

You can find these DVDs in our collection by searching our library catalog using the search words “genealogy program”.  You will find these videotaped programs in the list of hits returned from the search.  If you click on the title of the returned hit and then click on the link for “catalog record”, you will see more details for the program such as the date the program was recorded, the length in time of the recorded program,  and my name “Anthony H. Kierna” should be shown as the one that videotaped the program.

All of these DVDs can be found on the 1st floor of our library in Audio Visual (AV).  Our staff in this department can certainly point you to the location where they reside on the AV shelves.

So far we have 12 programs recorded that are available for you to check out from our library for viewing at home on DVD.

Here is a summary of the genealogy program DVDs in our library to check out in case you missed the program and would like to see it:

  • Using Railroad Records in Your Family History Research” by Craig Pfannkuche.  Recorded on February 14, 2012.  1 Hour 13 Mins.  Call number is DVD 929.1072 USI.
  • Making Sense of the English Census” by Paul Milner.  Recorded on April 10, 2012.  1 Hour 12 Mins.  Call number is DVD 929.3 MIL.
  • Military Records” by Kathryn Barrett.  Recorded on May 8, 2012.  1 Hour 22 Mins.  Call number is DVD 929.3 MIL.
  • Hiring A Professional Genealogist” by Jeanne Larzalere Bloom.  Recorded on July 10, 2012.  1 Hour 44 Mins.  Call number is DVD 929.1072 HIR.
  • Organize and Share Your Family History” by Steve Szabados.  Recorded on October 9, 2012.  1 Hour 20 Mins.  Call number is DVD 929.20973 ORG.
  • The “NEW” FamilySearch Website” by Maureen Brady.  Recorded on November 13, 2012.  1 Hour 34 Mins.  Call number is DVD 929.10285 NEW.
  • Where Did I Put Great-Grandpa? – Organizing for Genealogists” by Caron Primas Brennan.  Recorded on January 8, 2014.  54 Mins.  Call number is DVD 929.1 WHE.
  • “Hidden Treasures At – And How To Find Them!” by Loretto Szucs and Julianna Smith.  Recorded on January 19, 2013.  1 Hour and 44 Mins.  Call number is 929.1 HID.
  • “Engaging the Next Generation: Parents and Grandparents Instilling Children About Genealogy” by Jennifer Holik.  Recorded on February 12, 2013.  1 Hour and 12 Mins.  Call number is
  • “Hunting for Henry: A Case Study in Sibling Research” by Teresa S. McMillin, CG.  Recorded on April 9, 2013.  1 Hour and 1 Mins.  Call number is DVD 929.1072 HUN.
  • “Free Digital Books: More Than Just Google” by Sarah A. V. Kirby.  Recorded on May 14, 2013.  1 Hour 12 Mins.  Call number is DVD 929.1072 MOR.
  • “Skeletons in Our Closets: Researching A Family Scandal” by Robin Seidenberg.  Recorded on July 9, 2013.  1 Hour 6 Mins.  Call number is 929.1072 SKE.

So if you routinely attend our monthly genealogy program but happened to miss one since February 2012, chances are good it is one in the list above.   You can now check it out for an initial viewing or even for an  “encore” presentation in your own home.

Or if the title just sounds like a good one even if you have never attended our program, then by all means it is now available for you to check it out and view at home on DVD.

I am so glad I have been able to make these recordings and then make them available via DVD to check out and view at home.

Take advantage of this additional resource to advance your own research by viewing, or re-viewing, a program presented by one of our genealogy speakers.

Even if you attended the program yourself in person, perhaps you might have missed an important point.  Here is your chance to view it again and hear the major points again.  I sometimes find hearing it a second time is when you clarify something you may not have understood the first time in person.  You can always rewind back to look again!

Enjoy the DVDs!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“What’s New At August 2013″ YouTube Video

Hi Everyone!

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

The video is a 27 minute production hosted by Crista Cowan of who provides the viewers with updates on what new things users of should be aware of.

Topics covered in this video by Crista are:

  • The return to TV of “Who Do You Think You Are?”
  • New introduction of “Story View” functionality for public trees on
  • Upcoming genealogy conferences
  • Updated content for 98 million records and the addition of 3 million new records to
  • Oregon Adoptions and Name Changes Database
  • Tarrant County, Texas, Probate Index Database
  • New York Naturalization Petitions Database

You can view this video directly here:

Crista does an excellent job of sharing what is new at 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 site.

I also did a search on YouTube looking for similarly titled videos and did discover that there are many “What’s New At” 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

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

“What’s New At” 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 and where they are located.

Because so many of us use, 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  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 Tools For Finding Old Stuff” Handout From Ginger Frere Genealogy Program Presentation On August 13, 2013

Hi Everyone!

Blackboard NotesGinger Frere, our genealogy program speaker at our just recently held August 13, 2013 genealogy program,  indicated it was OK for me to make her handout from the program available for all to see via a blog post.

You can find her 2-page handout titled “New Tools for Finding Old Stuff” right here as a PDF:

August 13, 2013 “New Tools for Old Stuff” Genealogy Program Presentation  Handout at the Schaumburg Township District Library

You can quickly access all of the links embedded throughout the handout without having to re-type them from the paper copy you picked up.  There are plenty of them there for you to make new discoveries.

I want to thank Ginger for allowing me to share the handout to our readers.

If you missed last night’s program, you can at least take a look and use the handout to expand your skills using tools and resources you may have not been aware of.

Enjoy her handout!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) Will Keep “Family Finder” DNA Product At New Reduced Price Of $99; Their Recent Sale Was Successful Resulting In “Family Finder” Product Staying At New Lower Cost Of $99

Hi Everyone!

Family Tree DNAYou may remember that I made a post on July 17, 2013 noting that at that time Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) was having a “big” sale on one of its DNA products geared for genealogists called “Family Finder”.  At that time,  the sale was going to last until July 26, 2013.  The sale price was $99 instead of the usual $199 for the Family Finder product.

Here is a link to that previous post on the Family Tree DNA sale that was going to take place:

July 17, 2013 Post By Tony About Family Tree DNA Sale For Its “Family Finder” DNA Product

Apparently, the sale took place and was considered a great success.  A success to the point that Family Tree DNA plans on keeping the genealogy focused product Family Finder at that new price of $99.

So if you happened to miss the sale date of July 26, 2013, you now have a “reprieve” because the company did not restore the product price to the former price but instead has chosen to keep it at the sale price of $99.

Dick Eastman also had a post in his online newsletter dated July 26, 2013  about the new lower level price for the product.  You can read his news item about this Family Tree DNA price decrease at:

Dick Eastman News Item On Family Tree DNA Price Reduction For “Family Finder” Product

Once again you may be noticing that DNA testing costs seem to be coming down dramatically across the board among all of the providers of the services.  Competition is great isn’t it?  You are now getting much more “testing” for a whole lot less cost!

There are many genealogy researchers that have previously spent hundreds of dollars in getting their DNA tested years ago at what were very high costs to them.  Full-blown comprehensive tests that might have cost $300 to $400 dollars as recent as a few years ago, can now be had for about $100.

Cost barriers preventing you from having a DNA test are shrinking rapidly.  If you have not had your DNA tested as another “research tool” for your genealogy, now may be the time as the prices keep coming down.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Are You A Mayflower Descendant? Consider Becoming A Member Of The Society Of Mayflower Descendants In The State Of Illinois; Society Brochure PDF Included

Hi Everyone!

Illinois Mayflower SocietyI received a small brochure in the mail that I thought I would share with you.

Personally, I know of no Mayflower connection in my own lineage unless some of my undiscovered ancestral Poles of the Bydgoszcz area of Poland migrated to England before 1620!!

For many of us we could only wish our ancestral lines could go back to such a connection.  For many of you, the lineage lines do go back a long way to English connections and possibly to those that traversed the Atlantic on the Mayflower to arrive at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts.

If you are one of the lucky ones that had an ancestor on this famous ship, you may not be aware but there is a society for you to consider to join that will honor that ancestral connection.

The brochure I received will give you all of that information to connect to the   Society For Mayflower Descendants in the State of Illinois as well as a General society to connect to as a Mayflower descendant in Plymouth, MA.

The brochure nicely provides a surname list of all the original Mayflower passengers.  So the list can help you muddle through your research data to see if there might be a possibility you connect to one of the original passengers on the famous ship.

Here is a link to the paper brochure I received that I converted to a PDF for ease of access in this post:

Mayflower Descendant Society/Illinois Membership/Plymouth, MA Membership Brochure

There are plenty of website links in the brochure for you to research for both the  Illinois society and the general society.  E-mail addresses are also included for you to use to find out more about membership.

Here is a link to the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Illinois website for even more details about the society:

Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Illinois Website

Maybe you had famous ancestors.  Do some checking.  Flaunt your special lineage and join the prestigious society!!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

I Have Added 2 New Links To The “Favorite Links” Page Of This Blog; Both Are About DNA; Link To “Favorite Links” Included

Hi Everyone!

DNA Clip ArtDNA testing for genealogical research is becoming a larger item as a resource in the genealogy research tool bag.  That being the case, I thought it would be appropriate for me to add a new DNA category in my “Favorite Links” page on the blog you will find at the top of the home page.

I added two links within that category.  One link will get you to the Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) website.  This company has been very popular in the growing field of DNA for genealogy.  I have heard much good about the company, the testing and the site.

I also added a link to a website for which the site author is known as the “DNA Adviser”.  His name is Richard Hill.  He has authored a book titled Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA .  I am in the process of adding that book to our circulating collection after I became aware of it via reading a review of it that was in the July/August 2013 issue of Family Chronicle.  I have looked at the website and it looks very good.  It contains great amounts of information on just about anything you might want to know about DNA and how to use it with your genealogical research.

The author is adopted.  He accidentally discovered that information which has led him on his quest to find his biological parents.  DNA was one process he utilized in his quest to uncover his birth father and mother.

If you have been wondering more about the science, the techniques and yes, the confusion, about DNA testing, then “meander” on off to the two new links I added to my “Favorite Links” page of the blog under the new category of “DNA”.  If you don’t want to “meander”, just click on the link that follows in this post that will get you there.

Tony’s Genealogy Blog “Favorite Links”

“To DNA or not to DNA …That is the question?”

You decide, but first check out the  new links!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District LIbrary

“Who Do You Think You Are?” Most Recent Episode Starring Kelly Clarkson Is Available For Viewing Online At The Learning Channel (TLC)

Hi Everyone!

Who Do You Think You Are?In case you missed the recent episode of the newly restored genealogy TV program “Who Do You Think You Are?” featuring singer Kelly Clarkson, you can view it online at The Learning Channel Website (TLC) as I suspected you would be able.

I did take a quick look at the full-length show.  Everything appears similar when it originally appeared on NBC as to access the full show after it was aired.  The show still maintains the embedded “commercials” that you will not be able to fast-forward through or doing anything at all with them until the show resumes after they have completed.

It does appear the show is available online approximately 1 day after the original airing.

Here is the link to view the show directly that aired on The Learning Channel (TLC) on Tuesday evening, July 23, 2013″

“Who Do You Think You Are?” Kelly Clarkson Episode From July 23, 2013 on The Learning Channel (TLC)

Here is a link to the main TLC website associated with the show “Who Do You Think You Are?” where you will be able to find out so much more about the show and the episodes overall:

“Who Do You Think You Are?” Genealogy TV At The Learning Channel (TLC)

It feels so good to see the show on air again.  The style of the show does not appear to have changed from the shows that were originally shown on NBC.  Perhaps as it gets rolling, we will see changes since it is on a new network that may have their own ideas for changes in style.  If you saw it originally on NBC, it looks and sounds just like we were used to seeing.

Welcome back “Who Do You Think You Are?”!!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District LIbrary