Category Archives: Tips

Updates On New Season Of “Who Do You Think You Are?” And TLC Network; New Episode Featuring Cynthia Nixon Airs Tonight On TLC At 8 PM Central Time

Hi Everyone!

The Learning ChannelI was pleasantly surprised today to have received an e-mail from the Publicity Group of TLC, the cable and television network where the genealogy TV series “Who Do You Think You Are?” airs.

TLC was thankful about how I have made my readers aware of the popular genealogy TV series that starts out tonight with another new episode for this season on TLC at 8 PM Central Time.

The Publicity Group also wanted me to let my readers know of two corrections regarding the network and the show.  The first is that TLC is now only known as TLC.  I have always referred to it as TLC, also known as “The Learning Channel”.  That is no longer applicable.  TLC is now just known as TLC without using the added description of “The Learning Channel”.

In addition the Publicity Group of TLC wanted to let me know that there has been a slight change in one of the upcoming episodes that will air.  Originally, Lauren Graham, a Hollywood actress was going to be featured in one of the new episodes that will air this season.  That is no longer going to happen.  Instead of Lauren Graham appearing in an episode this season, there will be an episode that will feature Minnie Driver.

So there you go.  You now have the latest scoop direct from TLC on their name as just TLC as well as seeing Minnie Driver featured in an upcoming episode instead of Lauren Graham.

Thanks to Danielle of TLC for the update.

Don’t forget that tonight is the season premier of “Who Do You Think You Are?” featuring Cynthia Nixon.  The show will air on the cable network TLC at 8 PM Central time.

You can always visit TLC directly and see what is all going on with “Who Do You Think You Are?” at:

TLC/Who Do You Think You Are?

Tonight is the night to set yourself in front of your TV after what always feels like a long wait!  Set your DVR if you are not going to be able to see the show while it airs.

It’s BACK!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


Mini-Marathon Of “Who Do You Think You Are?” On The Learning Channel (TLC) July 20, 2014 And Also On July 23, 2014; Last Season’s Episodes Will All Be Re-Broadcast One After The Other

Hi Everyone!

The Learning ChannelAre you getting yourself geared up for the new season of “Who Do You Think You Are?” on the Learning Channel (TLC)?  The new season starts on July 23, 2014 when Cynthia Nixon will be showcased as the celebrity having her ancestors rolled out before her.

What better way than to get your excitement level up than by watching the entire previous season’s episodes all in one day during consecutive hours before the new episodes are unveiled on July 23, 2014!

A mini-marathon it is!

There appear to be 7 one-hour episodes from last year that will be rebroadcast both on July 20, 2014 as well as on July 23, 2014, the start of the new season.

Dick Eastman had a post about this topic that included more details about the rebroadcast material and when it will be rebroadcast.  You can see the details of this mini-marathon in Dick Eastman’s post at:

July 13, 2014 Dick Eastman Post About the “Who Do You Think You Are?” Marathon on The Learning Channel (TLC)

Based on Dick Eastman’s post it does appear that you will have to pay $1.99 to view old episodes online from the previous season in their entirety.  I did look at the TLC website where normally you would have been able to view a previously broadcast episode in its entirety for free.  Today, you can only view a 5 minute highlight of the episode for free.  WOW!  That is a change and a big change to boot.  We will need to see as the new season episodes unfold if the $1.99 charge will apply to watch full episodes online for this new season.

You can visit the part of The Learning Channel (TLC) website that pertains to “Who Do You Think You Are?” at:

The Learning Channel (TLC) – Home of “Who Do You Think You Are?”

So rev up your excitement level for the new season while catching up with last year’s material.  These marathon’s can be fun while you can catch up on all of last year in one 7 hour stretch.  If you can’t catch the rebroadcast of all the material on July 20, 2014 you have another chance on July 23, 2014 before the new season starts.

Mark your calendar.  Set your DVR.

The new season.

It’s almost back!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

FamilySearch Indexers “Start Your Engines!”; Worldwide Indexing Event To Take Place On July 20 and July 21, 2014; FamilySearch Needs 50,000 Indexers To Submit 1 Batch During This Period; New Indexers Also Being Sought

Hi Everyone,


Dick Eastman

Dick Eastman

I just saw an item from a Dick Eastman blog post that indicated that there is an up and coming Worldwide Indexing Event that will occur on July 20 and July 21, 2014 (right around the corner!).

What is this all about?

What is the goal?

For 50,000 indexers and arbitrators to submit at least one batch in a 24-hour period! Do more if you would like, but one batch is all that is required to be counted in the record!


To break the record previously set on July 2, 2012, when a total of Logo49,025 FamilySearch indexers and arbitrators joined together to set the all-time record for the most indexing participants in a single day!

Are you an indexer?  If so, mark your calendar to do one batch of records and submit them on that day.  One batch might only be 25 records.

Not an indexer?  Now might be the time to help contribute to a record by becoming an indexer, not only to break a record, but also to keep contributing your newly found indexing skills and talent!

Here is a link to Dick Eastman’s post about the topic from his blog:

Dick Eastman June 29, 2014 Post On FamilySearch Worldwide Index Event

Within Dick’s post is a link to the FamilySearch blog that provides even more information about this upcoming effort to break an existing indexing record.  You can read all about this event in the FamilySearch blog at:

Worldwide Indexing Event July 20, 2014 and July 21, 2014 From FamilySearch

Are you up for a challenge?  Would you like to be part of a record-setting effort?  Are you an indexer that has not indexed in a little while?  Have you never become an indexer but like challenges?

Mark your calendars and start your engines!

For those that need to refresh their indexing participation or for those that would simply like to find out about indexing, you can take a look at what is all involved through FamilySearch at:

FamilySearch Indexing Information

Take a look at the various links noted above.

Start your indexing engine or re-start your indexing engine!

Help break a record.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Are You Looking For Obituaries/Death Notices That You Can’t Find Online?; Try Following These Helpful Tips To Find An Obituary Not Online

Hi Everyone,

Obituary ImageOne of the more frequent requests for help I receive relates to finding obituary notices.  As librarians we do tend to go to our online resources for this kind of material.  We often access America’s Obituaries and Death Notices, Chicago Tribune Historical Newspaper and  These are databases that are available to Schaumburg Township District Library cardholders from home.

But good as we think we are with these resources, it is not uncommon for us to come up “empty” in our search for a given individual in a resource we feel where it should exist.

Of course it is possible that maybe the researcher did not have full knowledge on the individual for which an obituary is sought.  Maybe the person did not die in the year the researcher thought.  Maybe not even in the geographic area they thought.  If these things are wrong to start the search results may simply not find that individual.

But that is another whole issue!

A colleague of mine at our library sent me a link to a nice little guideline that you can use to locate obituaries or death notices when in fact you can’t find them online by using creative methods with other “paper” trails or actions rather than just focusing on online access.

Here is a link to the website where you can find this nice little handy list of actions to take to possibly find an obituary the old-fashioned way.  None of the suggestions are guaranteed to produce that elusive obituary.  The suggestions just extend your chances to maybe be successful.

How To find An Obit …That’s Not Online

Thank you Tom for the link!

Take a look at it to see if some of the tips might help you uncover those elusive obits you cannot find online.  You will have to revert back to non-online sleuthing.

It will take some work.  Roll up your sleeves and have at it!  We all want those obituaries to just pop up from our online searching.  But when they don’t you need to creatively try other pre-online database methods.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library



Newberry Library Offers Genealogy And Local History Tours And Orientations On First Saturdays Of The Month In 2014

Hi Everyone,

Newberry Library LogoGinger Frere, a frequent speaker at our own genealogy programs and a librarian at the Newberry Library, has made me aware that the Newberry offers an introductory genealogy orientation and tour of the Newberry on Saturdays.

The orientation program is offered on the first Saturday of the month for the balance of 2014, except for the July program that will be offered on Saturday, July 12, 2014.

Here are the dates for the balance of 2014:

  • July 12, 2014 @ 9:30 AM
  • August 2, 2014 @ 9:30 AM
  • September 6, 2014 @ 9:30 AM
  • October 4, 2014 @ 9:30 AM
  • November 1, 2014 @ 9:30 AM
  • December 6, 2014 @ 9:30 AM

The Newberry is located at 60 West Walton in Chicago, IL.  The phone number for the Newberry is 312-255-3700.

The program/orientation on using the Newberry’s collection starts at 9:30 AM.  The initial orientation takes about 1 hour.  A short tour of the library follows the orientation.

There is no pre-registration.  There is no cost.

The program is aimed at those new to using the Newberry and those new to the genealogical process.

Here is a link to the flyer that you can read from the Newberry that provides a description of the event:

2014 Genealogy and Local History Tours and Orientation Programs of  the Newberry Library

If you have never been to the Newberry but are an experienced genealogy researcher, you may want to take advantage of these programs for the balance of 2014 to learn about the collections and resources of the Newberry.

If you are a new genealogy researcher, this orientation is also geared for you to learn how to begin your research plus you too will also learn about the Newberry and how it can  help your research.

I have placed these event dates into the Google Calendar that is also part of this blog.

Read the full flyer that is linked above.

Sounds like a great opportunity to visit the Newberry if you have never previously been there and then be able to get a nice orientation and tour of the facility.

Something to consider!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“What’s New At June 2014″ YouTube Video; You Can View The Video In This Blog Post

Hi Everyone!

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

The video is an approximate 24 minute production hosted by Crista Cowan of who provides the viewers with updates on what new things users of should be aware of.

Crista also mentions that in addition to the monthly YouTube video she creates describing “new” things at for a particular month the reader should always check the blog from that you can access at: Blog

Topics covered in this video by Crista are:

  • Upcoming Conferences – International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) in Salt Lake City, UT  (July 27 – August 1, 2014); Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas August 27 – August 30, 2014).
  • Website Update – FindAGrave databases have now been combined from 53 individual “state” databases to 1 database for the United States and one for other countries; there is also a new iOS app for FindAGrave that now allows bulk uploading of cemetery data via WiFi instead of only through your cellular plan.  You can now save on your cellular plan.
  • Website Update – you can now link your Ancestry DNA to shared trees among like researchers and not just solely to the “owner” family tree.
  • Website Update – you can now sort your results within the “Category” view by database name; the default today is the results viewed in “category” view are in greatest number of hits to lowest number of hits.
  • More State Research Guides are being added; these are free; it may be more productive to view the guides online because you can access all the links embedded to get to the sites outside of the guide.
  • New Content! – 40  Million new records added for 20 countries in the Ancestry databases.
  • Research Reminders #1 – Read the complete database descriptions for the newly added material to know what is contained and what is NOT contained.  Don’t just search!
  • Research Reminder #2 – Understand the records you are looking at when you are searching a newly added database.  Knowing what is there will help you create better search terms for better results.  Just create a “test” input search to see the results.
  • Crista spent a good time on this video noting that it is important to consider “browsing” records rather than always searching indexed databases.  Browsing databases are those that have not yet been indexed.  You cannot search these but the data as images is available for you to look through.  The data is generally subdivided into manageable viewing components.  Think of it as viewing a microfilm online.  Look at an individual database via the “Card Catalog” and look to see if it has a “Browse Box” that allows you to look at the data but not be able yet to search it.  The “browse box” implies the data is not yet indexed for direct searching.

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

Your Family Tree Explained YouTube Video; Everything You Want To Know About Those Cousins, 3rd Cousins And Those 3 Times Removed; Light-Hearted and Informative; Video Included In This Post

Hi Everyone!

YouTube LogoI was perusing through Dick Eastman material and came upon a fantastic little video Dick had mentioned in one of his recent blog posts.

It hit home with me and perhaps with you.

When you start digging into the nuts and bolts in your pedigree charts about relationships to cousins and the like, do your eyes start glazing over when you start looking at what are described as 1st cousins, 3rd cousins, 2nd cousin once removed and the like terms?

Are you even aware of these terms to describe family relationships?

I know that my eyes glaze over rapidly when I start thinking about these relationships.

In all candor, I also shake and quiver uncontrollably if asked to explain that to a genealogical researcher who asks me that as a simple question!

I am even feeling a little queasy as I compose this blog post on the subject!

Be honest, you probably feel the same when you start peeling back the layers of your own family tree.

Thank goodness for those software developers that have built into their lineage programs the relationship calculators you can use to make these intertwined cousin relationships we all have in our pedigree charts readily identifiable.

Thanks Dick for making us aware of this nice little video.  Here is a link to Dick Eastman’s original posting about this video:

June 10, 2014 Dick Eastman Post About YouTube Video “Your Family Tree Explained”

Here is the 4 minute video that will put a smile on your face while you try to get through the confusion of all these cousin relationships.

Look at the video right here:

Hope you liked it.

Hope it gives you somewhat of a better way to make sense of all of those cousins, past and present.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library