Our Next Genealogy Program Is Coming Up On Tuesday Evening April 8, 2014 At 7:30 PM

Hi Everyone!

I thought I would post this reminder of our next upcoming Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library.

There is no pre-registration required in order to attend the program.  There is no fee charged to attend.  Anyone can attend this program.  You do not have to be a library card holder with the Schaumburg Township District Library in order to attend.

Here are the details of our upcoming program for Tuesday evening, April 8, 2014:

Dr. Dan Hubbard PhotoThe Genealogy program will be held on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 7:30 PM in the 2nd floor Classroom. The guest speaker for the evening will be Dr. Daniel Hubbard. Dr. Hubbard will present a program titled “Researching At Appomattox Court House: Genealogy through the Lens of the Civil War”.

This talk reviews how Civil War era records aren’t just about soldiers and sailors. Before, during and after the war, a wealth of different types of unusual records were produced that speak of that time and tell the story of a whole generation.

Daniel Hubbard is a full-time professional researcher who has been researching almost as long as he can remember. Inspired by family stories and a pair of genealogist aunts, he began to seriously conduct family history research at about eleven years of age. He spent eight years at CERN outside Geneva, Switzerland learning to handle very large research projects while performing research in particle physics (Ph.D. University of Michigan, Post-doc Harvard).

After living in Sweden for eleven years during which he was a software designer, strategic product manager and editor of technical documentation, he returned to the U.S. to fulfill his passion for family history. Daniel now combines his skills in technology, genealogy, complex research, the organizing of large amounts of information, writing, editing and book design to assist clients with their family history projects. He works with a variety of clients on projects including untangling problems in Swedish immigration and ancestry, analysis of 19th century letters and photographs, and extensive research into colonial families.

His goal as a speaker is always to inform in a memorable and entertaining way. He likes to come at his topics from slightly unusual angles making speaking more fun and he hopes this technique encourages people to take a fresh look at each subject.

The doors to the room will open at approximately 7 PM so participants can pick up any handouts, review books and journals and interact with other participants. Tony Kierna, the STDL genealogist, will start the program at 7:30. Introductions of new participants will occur as well as a brief review of handouts and genealogical matters. It is expected that the guest speaker’s presentation will start at around 7:45-8:00 PM. We will end the session by 9:30 PM.

For further information contact Tony Kierna at 847-923-3390.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Hit A Brick Wall In Your Research? Maybe You Are Researching The Wrong Material; Learn Your Lineage Through Your Feet!

Hi Everyone!

Smiley FaceOne of my colleagues here at the library shared an interesting tip on genealogy research that is certainly different from the usual resources genealogists “tap” into.

Perhaps you just need to look at your own feet and all of your genealogical mysteries will be solved!

That’s right.  You can learn a lot about your ancestral connections by looking at your own feet!

A June 17, 2013 blog post by Sarah Heiner provides insights about this interesting way to make determinations of ancestral connections by simply looking at the shape of your feet and how your toes align themselves in comparison to each other!

There are some other links in her blog post that will lead you to other insights about how to read your feet and toes!

Here is a link to the post:

June 17, 2013 Blog Post by Sarah Heiner Noting How Your Feet Can Give You Ancestral Insights

Do I know this is scientific?  Nope

Do I know this looks like a little bit of fun?  Yep

Take it for what it is worth.  Read through the 26 comments.

When things are not going so good in our research, a little bit of humor can sure change our attitude!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Special Upcoming Program By The Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists Will Be Held On June 7, 2014; This Is A Make-Up Program For The February 1, 2014 Genealogy Program That Was Cancelled Due To Bad Snowy, Wintry Weather

Hi Everyone,

NWSCG LogoI just received a Special Program announcement from the Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists (NWSCG).  They will be offering a “make-up” program that will be held on June 7, 2014.  On this day the guest speaker Jane Haldeman will be presenting a program titled “From Land Records to Google Earth: Mapping Your Family’s Place”

More details will be coming as they become available.

Here is a PDF copy of the flyer I received from the society.

June 7, 2014 Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists (NWSCG) Special Program Notice

The society does not normally offer programs during the months of June, July and August.  That is why this program is considered a “special” program that will be held during one of the normal non-event months.

I will provide you with more details of the programs as I hear back from the society as we get closer to this date.

Mark your calendars for this “make-up” program.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

I Created A Screencast Teaching Video On How To Use “America’s Obituaries and Death Notices” Database Available At The Schaumburg Township District Library; Video Is Available On Our Library’s YouTube Channel; View The Video Screencast Right In This Blog Post

Hi Everyone!

STDL ImageI just wanted to let you know that I have created my first screencast training video that is available at our library’s YouTube Channel.  Anyone can access this screencast at YouTube.

The screencast video provides an overview on how to use one of the more popular genealogy resource tools.  It is an electronic database titled “America’s Obituaries and Death Notices”.  The database is available within our library as well as available at home to Schaumburg Township District Library cardholders.

For those readers that are not our library’s cardholders, you can always use the database in our library.  You are always welcome at our library!

For non-STDL cardholders, check with your local public library that issued you your library card.  It is very likely they have this electronic database in their collection for you to access at home.  It is readily available through many public libraries.  Just check with them for details on what it takes for you to access it.  It should be as simple as having a current valid library card from them, accessing their website, finding the database online and then entering in your library card number and PIN number.

The screencast runs about 28 minutes.  In it,  I take the researcher through the YouTube Logosteps to help them input search terms among the various fields that can be used to get the best results.  The researcher should also be aware and see how I use wildcard searching and other capabilities of using the database.

I also make them aware of all that the database has to offer, including the very important “Help” section and “Tutorial” section that far too many researchers do not seem to explore.

You can view this tutorial right here:

Please feel free to add any comments to the YouTube video.  Comments are the vehicle by which I will know how “good”, “bad” or “indifferent” my first attempt at screencasting was.  Comments will also help me make better screencasts on genealogical topics that will help you in your research.

Thanks for viewing.

I hope to create more screencasts to help you  in your genealogy research in the future.

Take a try at using “America’s Obituaries and Death Notices” electronic database through our library.  I feel confident you will now know more about the database and how to better use it to produce better results for yourself with your  genealogy searches.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


Always Call Ahead To Facility You Are Going To Visit To Do Onsite Research; Make Sure All Equipment You Will Need Is Functioning

Hi Everyone!

STDL ImageIt is great when you get the opportunity to go out and do some genealogy research at an off-site facility.  Let’s say you wanted to make a visit to look at some microfilms that a facility has.

This facility could be a library, a Family History Center (FHC), an archive

All you have to do is get in your car, make that drive that takes you 45 minutes, do your research, make some discoveries and finally, make copies of your discoveries on the microfilm reader-printer.  Sounds simple.  What could go wrong, especially with microfilm reader-printers?


Why do I even bring this up.  Because internally at our library I just received notice that our only available microfilm reader-printer is out of toner to allow printing.  It was also indicated that we will not be able to get a replacement toner cartridge for about a week!  So our reader-printer can be used but it won’t be able to make print copies of what you are viewing on the film.  The old reader-printer does not have any flashdrive capability so you do not have the ability to make a digital image of the screen.


There is a simple lesson to be learned here, especially when you know you are going to be using a facility’s microfilm reader-printer.  Call before you embark on your journey and ask if the reader-printer you plan on using will be fully useable, especially if you will want to make print copies. 

If they have multiple reader-printers you may still be in luck to use those that are fully functional.  But even that could be frustrating because now the functioning devices will be in greater use even more.  So you will have other researcher competition for the lesser amounts of functioning devices.

You could even consider to bring in your digital camera to take pictures of the microfilm images.  You have to ask if using a camera at the microfilm reader-printer is acceptable within the policies of the facility.  At least that might be a possible workaround when equipment is not working fully.

Save yourself the frustration of arriving only to then be told the microfilm reader is broke either for actually viewing (think burned out bulb that is not readily replaceable) or as in our case, we are out of toner and you will not be able to make paper copies.

Always ask more than is the facility open, what are its hours, what is the location etc.  Be sure the equipment you want to use, ESPECIALLY MICROFILM READER-PRINTERS, are FULLY functional!

Make that call before you get in your car.

Save yourself the frustration that will result when you arrive and make your unhappy discovery about equipment failure that is going to curtail your much planned research outing.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

2 Great LDS Open Indexing Projects For Your Consideration; U.S., Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records, 1833-1910; U.S., Illinois, Cook County, Deaths, 1959-1994

Hi Everyone!

FamilySearch.org LogoBarb P., our recent February 2014 Genealogy Program speaker, made me aware of an ongoing LDS Indexing Project that hits right here at home.  She mentioned to me that indexers can select death records from Cook County, Illinois for indexing.  The death records cover the recent time period from 1959 to 1994.

When I looked at the information regarding the project, the statistics seem to indicate that 20% of the data has been indexed and of that amount, 12% has been arbitrated.

There is nothing quite like helping yourself out in your own research when you can roll up your sleeves and start indexing records that may very well be pertinent to your very own research.

Here is a link from the FamilySearch website that will get you to the list of these open indexing projects.

FamilySearch Open Indexing Projects As Of March 18, 2014

The above link will give you a long list of worldwide open projects.  Just Cook County Death Certificate for Indexingscroll down looking for “U.S”.  Within the U.S. projects you will find the one for Cook County, Illinois, Death Certificates 1959-1994.  Or select the letter “U” from the list of projects.  This will at least get you closer to discovering the projects for the “U.S” rather than scrolling through the entirety of the list of projects.

Here you will find all of the details about the project including resources to use to help you know how to index the visual data you will be looking at for the project.

Chicago Catholic Church Record ImageTo my surprise, right before the Cook County Death Certificates Project, you will see an open project for the U.S., Illinois, Chicago – Catholic Church Records, 1833-1910.  WOW!  Personally, that is a source of great information for me.  The images are available to browse through on FamilySearch for these records, but I did not know there was an open indexing project for these records.  In fact, the statistics show that the project is currently 40% Indexed and 40% Arbitrated.

Once again, if you want to help yourself in your own research for Chicago ancestors, these are certainly two great databases that are just calling for you to give a hand to help index!

I guess I am going to have to shake the dust off my indexing program on my laptop that has been dormant for far too long!  In fact, I just downloaded the most recent Indexing program from FamilySearch so that I have the latest.  It took all of about 2 minutes to download and get onto my desktop.

Thanks Barb P. for telling me about the Cook County, Illinois Death Certificates Indexing Project.  And I guess it was just meant to be that by my looking at the details about that project I discovered the Chicago Catholic Church Records project right next to it.

So I guess today is a good day for discovery and sharing with all of you, active indexers and dormant indexers and non-indexers.  If you have been looking to pick a new project then select either of these two.  If you have been dormant, consider coming alive again and start indexing again.  If you have never indexed, the Death Certificates might be a great initial project to get your indexing “feet” wet!

I did see that the Chicago Catholic Church Records Project was rated by the LDS as “Advanced” while the Cook County Death Certificates Project was rated as “Intermediate”.

For non-indexers, if you have never registered with FamilySearch you will need to do that before indexing because you will need to sign in with your username and password to gain access to the data for indexing.  If you have been registered with FamilySearch but never indexed then you are just ready to click on the icon for “indexing”, download the software and enter in your username and password to get you started down the indexing path.

Take the “initial” plunge if you have not indexed; do a “re-plunge” if you have been dormant.  These records are calling for you!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) Has Schedule Of Offered Webinars For 2014 At Their Site; Great Way To Learn More About Genealogy

Hi Everyone!

Webinars Clip ArtI just came across the 2014 schedule of Webinar classes being offered by the Illinois State Genealogical Society.

Webinars are a fantastic way to hone your genealogical research skills by hearing about a topic of interest from a well-known genealogist about the topic.

The Webinars are all being offered on the 2nd Tuesday night of the week starting at 8 PM Central Time.  (Just a side note – The 2nd Tuesday evening of the month is our own monthly scheduled genealogy program at the Schaumburg Township District Library!  Make your choice, I know you will choose wisely!)

The topics on the schedule for 2014 look fascinating with some great presenters being offered through the year.

You do need to register in order to participate.  The Webinars are open to theISGS Logopublic.  You do not need to be a member of the ISGS in order to register or participate for the live Webinar.  As a benefit for members of the ISGS, they can then go into the archive vault to take a look at past Webinars.  Non-members of the ISGS can register for the “live” presentation but cannot go in to the archives to look at the past Webinars.

Here is a link to a PDF from the ISGS where you can look at the scheduled Webinars for 2014 as well as see a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” that pertains to the Webinars.  (The January through March 2014 Webinars have already occurred.):

2014 Webinars Being Offered By The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS)

It is really nice being able to view webinars that are in an archives.  But as you can see, you may want to become a member of ISGS just to be able to access these wonderful learning exercises to increase your genealogy research skills.

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution to become a better genealogist?   What better way to do that genealogically speaking than  to check out and connect with these Webinars offered by the ISGS.

Check out the topics on the above schedule.  There may be some that are just perfect for you.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library