New Poll On Right Sidebar Of The Blog; Simple Question Being Posed; “Have You Done A Video Recording Or Audio Recording Interview Of A Relative Regarding Family History?”; “Yes” Or “No”?

Hi Everyone!

Well, here goes another Poll that is now on the right sidebar of the blog right at the top of the blog homepage.

I am just asking for a simple response to a very basic question.

“Have You Done A Video Recording Or An Audio Recording Interview Of A Relative Regarding Family History?”  Yes or No

We all want to immediately start our search for our ancestors by entering in those surnames into those magical search boxes and click away.  Important to do that?  Yes.  But more important is to take the time and connect with your living relatives and capture the stories they know and the facts they know and the myths they may know about your family history.  And even more important is to be able to capture these stories on video and/or audio for future references.  Hopefully, with their permission, you will be able to capture these stories.

During the recording process it is best that you just let them speak about what they know relative to the question you may have asked.  It is not the time to question or challenge what they say or impugn that they are wrong.  You yourself may not know all the facts.  Very often, further research by you on what is being said may discover that they stated very good facts that might be off slightly, but the core of their words are solid.  Having recorded what they said on video/and or audio will allow you to reference the interview at a future time as your research and results expands over time.

Do not rely just on your own notes or memories of what was said during the interview.  If you receive permission to record it then by all means do so.  Nothing better than to be able to go to the interview at a future date and hear the exact words that were spoken.  You may not even get to the interview for many years.

Do Not Rely On Your Own Memory Regarding These Spoken Words!!

So ……………………. “have you ever recorded a video/audio interview of a relative about family history”??

Simple, direct and to the point!

Take a look at the new Poll.  Consider providing a reply.

Let’s see how active this poll can be.

The more the merrier!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

New Episode Of “Who Do You Think You Are?” On Sunday Evening, August 30, 2015, At 8 PM Central Time On TLC; Tom Bergeron Is The Featured “Star” Of The Research; Mini-Marathon Of Encore Episodes Starts At 1 PM Chicago Time

Hi Everyone!

Who Do You Think You Are?I just want to let you know that a new episode for “Who Do You Think You Are?” will be airing on the cable channel TLC on Sunday evening, August 30, 2015, at 8 PM Central time.

The new episode for this new season will feature actor Tom Bergeron.

You can see an almost immediate “encore” presentation of the Tom Bergeron show at 10 PM if you miss the premier showing at 8 PM.

TLC is also having a “mini-marathon” on this day starting at 1 PM Chicago time and going until the premier episode starring Tom Bergeron.  You can watch the following encore episodes of the show at the Central times being noted:

  • 1 PM Christina Applegate
  • 2 PM Jesse Tyler Ferguson
  • 3 PM Angie Harmon
  • 4 PM America Ferrera
  • 5 PM Alfre Woodard
  • 6 PM Ginnifer Goodwin
  • 7 PM Bryan Cranston

Previously, when the show was on NBC, they dedicated a portion of their website to the show so that you could always get updates on the show.  TLC appears to be doing the same for this show as it unfolds during this season.  You can find the information for the show on TLC at:

“Who Do You Think You Are?” Website At TLC

TLC is actually making available a few of the previously aired shows in their full run time at the TLC site.  So you can actually watch some full episodes without having to go to iTunes to make purchases of previously aired shows.

Make sure you mark down the date and time and plan to watch the “new” episode in its original airing rather than at a later time if you can.  (Ratings are important for continuity of this wonderful show!)  Last year if you did not watch the original airing or did not DVR the show, your alternative was to purchase a copy from iTunes to catch up on shows missed and not recorded by yourself.

Now is the time to get the buzz going and to reconnect with some TV help and entertainment to motivate you in your own genealogical research efforts.

Mark your calendar for Sunday evening, August 30, 2015 at 8 PM Central Time on TLC on cable and see what has been discovered about actor Tom Bergeron.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Illinois State Genealogical Society To Host Annual Fall Conference On Friday, October 23, 2015 And Saturday, October 24, 2015 In Oak Lawn, IL; Conference Brochure Now Available

Hi Everyone,

illinoisgensoc-logoThe program brochure for the upcoming Illinois State Genealogical Society Annual Conference is now available from the Illinois State Genealogical society website.

The conference will take place on Friday, October 23, 2015 and Saturday, October 24, 2015.  Conference will be held at the Hilton Chicago/ Oak Lawn at 9333 S. Cicero Ave. in Oak Lawn, IL.  Phone number of the facility is 708-425-7800.  Rooms can be gotten at the facility for a $119 per night charge.

Here is a direct link to the brochure that contains all of the information of the events for the two-day conference in addition to the costs.

2015 Illinois State Genealogical Society Annual Conference Brochure

You can also visit the general website for the Illinois State Genealogical Society at:

Illinois State Genealogical Society

I previously made a post letting readers know of the upcoming dates for this conference.  The details of the program were not available at that time.  The previous posting details follows after the separator line.

It really looks a conference that will have many top-notch speakers from the genealogical community.  Speakers noted are:

  • Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA
  • Geoffrey Baer (Friday evening Dinner Speaker)
  • Tony Burroughs, FUGA
  • Thomas MacEntee
  • Ruth Ann Abels Hager, CG, CGL
  • Carol Chandler
  • Grace DuMelle
  • George Findlen
  • Janis Minor Forte
  • Jane G. Haldeman
  • John C. Heider

Our Fall season in Illinois is not that far away.  Look at the full brochure in the link above.  This year’s conference is really in our own back yard in Oak Lawn.  Some of the previous conferences have taken place in more central and southern locations of Illinois.

I am sure there is some topic or topics of interest for you to consider attending.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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Hi Everyone,

ISGS LogoI just noticed that there are dates noted for the Illinois State Genealogical Society Fall Conference for 2015.  The dates noted are for Friday, October 23, 2015 and Saturday, October 24, 2015.  The conference will be held at the Hilton Chicago/ Oak Lawn in Oak Lawn, IL.

Details for the conference are still being worked out, but the dates are now set as is the location.

The blog of the Illinois State Genealogical society notes that room rates at the hotel are noted as $119 per night.

You can look at the blog posting describing the upcoming event here at:

http://ilgensoc.blogspot.com/2014/11/save-date-2015-fall-conference.html

Mark your calendar for these dates and see what the details will be unfolding for the programs and the speakers when they become available.

Check back with the Illinois State Genealogical Society in the future for details of the 2015 conference as they become available at:

Illinois State Genealogical Society

You now have the dates and the location.  The location is certainly much closer to all of us rather than being outside the Chicago Metropolitan area.  This conference will be right in our own backyard (relatively speaking!).

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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Poll On The Right Sidebar Has Been Closed For “Have You Ever Attended A Family Reunion?”; Results Indicated

Hi Everyone!

It is amazing that about  2 months has passed on the life of the poll I had on the right sidebar of the blog since June 17, 2015.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order!

The poll had asked the question “Have You Ever Attended A Family Reunion”?

The results of the poll showed the following from the 42 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their “Yes” or “No” response to the question.  The numbers show that 23 responses (54.76%) noted they have attended a Family Reunion  while 19 responses (45.24%) indicated they have not attended a Family Reunion.

I am actually surprised at the numbers showing that 54% have attended a Family Reunion.  I actually thought there would have been more indicating they have not attended a Family Reunion.  Not my scientific opinion,  just a gut feeling.  I have never attended a Family Reunion as of now.  Maybe I should have asked the question that if you attended one maybe you were the one that actually organized it!!  I hope that those that attended a Family Reunion felt that it was a wonderful experience to meet new cousins face-to-face.  Hope you were able to “share” family knowledge as well as to “receive” vast quantities of new information.

Think of ways to have a “family reunion” without having a formal “family reunion”.  I just attended a wedding celebration on one side of my family research.  Though not a “family reunion” it sure felt like one to me.  Lots of time to see plenty of cousins.  Plus, I was actually being sought out by one of my younger cousins who indicated she too has been doing some family research on our family line.  I was happy to have a lengthy conversation with her and know that we will be in touch in the future exchanging information!

On the less happy side of the ledger, wakes and funerals also often serve as those shorter-term “family reunions”.  Not as much fun as weddings, but it can still afford you the chance to connect with cousins and set up future contacts with many that you have not connected to.

I am always looking for a larger response than even that which I just saw!  So come on down ——  affix your opinion as a “Yes” or “No” when so asked to the varied polls on different topics in the world of genealogy and family history research.  Your answers count.

I plan on putting up a new poll rapidly.  Come back for that one to see the new question being asked.

A big thank you to all of those that took the time to respond to this just recently closed poll.  Take a look at the results of that poll to satisfy your own curiosity.

Don’t forget to visit my Poll Archives as part of this blog.  Look for the link at the top of the homepage of the blog where it simply says “Poll Archives”.  In here you will find the statistical results of the 21 previously active polls in addition to the poll that is generally “active”.  If you were not aware of this Archive, you may want to visit to see what all the previous polls were about.

Here is a direct link to the Poll Archives at my blog:

Poll Archives At Tony’s Genealogy Blog At The Schaumburg Township District Library (STDL)

Get ready for another poll ……………………..SOON!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

New Episode Of “Who Do You Think You Are?” On Sunday Evening, August 23, 2015, At 8 PM Central Time On TLC; Bryan Cranston Is The Featured “Star” Of The Research

Hi Everyone!

Who Do You Think You Are?I just want to let you know that a new episode for “Who Do You Think You Are?” will be airing on the cable channel TLC on Sunday evening, August 23, 2015, at 8 PM Central time.

The new episode for this new season will feature actor Bryan Cranston.

Here is a small description from the TLC website describing the program:

Bryan Cranston’s happy childhood shattered when his father abandoned the family when Bryan was just 11. Seeking answers, Bryan explores his paternal roots, finds a troubling pattern of desertion, a man of honor and an aunt he never even knew existed.

You can see an almost immediate “encore” presentation of the Bryan Cranston show at 10 PM if you miss the premier showing at 8 PM.

Previously, when the show was on NBC, they dedicated a portion of their website to the show so that you could always get updates on the show.  TLC appears to be doing the same for this show as it unfolds during this season.  You can find the information for the show on TLC at:

“Who Do You Think You Are?” Website At TLC

TLC is actually making available a few of the previously aired shows in their full run time at the TLC site.  So you can actually watch some full episodes without having to go to iTunes to make purchases of previously aired shows.

Make sure you mark down the date and time and plan to watch the “new” episode in its original airing rather than at a later time if you can.  (Ratings are important for continuity of this wonderful show!)  Last year if you did not watch the original airing or did not DVR the show, your alternative was to purchase a copy from iTunes to catch up on shows missed and not recorded by yourself.

Now is the time to get the buzz going and to reconnect with some TV help and entertainment to motivate you in your own genealogical research efforts.

Mark your calendar for Sunday evening, August 23, 2015 at 8 PM Central Time on TLC on cable and see what has been discovered about actor Bryan Cranston.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“What’s New At Ancestry.com August 2015” 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 an August 2015 video posted from Ancestry.com that is titled “What’s New At Ancestry.com August 2015”.

The video is an approximate 30 minute production hosted by Crista Cowan of Ancestry.com who provides the viewers with updates on what new things users of Ancestry.com should be aware of.

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

Ancestry.com Blog

Topics covered in this video by Crista are:

  • Upcoming Conferences – Ancestry Days, November 7, 2015, Raleigh, NC; Ancestry Days, November 14, 2015, Indianapolis, IN.; Salt Lake Institute, January 10 to 15, 2016 at Salt Lake City, UT., infouga.org; RootsTech 2016, February 2016 at Salt Lake City, UT; National Genealogical Society Annual Conference, May 2016, at Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Southern California Jamboree, June, 2016, Burbank, CA; Federation of Genealogy Societies, August 2015, Springfield, IL.
  • Ancestry Blog Post – Ancestry.com beta site is still being worked.  Visit the blog post at Announcing the New Ancestry WebsiteScroll down and look for the “Try the new site Click Here” phrase.  Once there you will need to be a subscriber to Ancestry.com  If you  enter in your information you will get connected to the new site for you to experiment with.   Crista mentioned that Ancestry is very appreciative of all of the feedback being provided to Ancestry from Beta users.  Look for a list of “updates” in progress appearing in the “Community Forum” that is located under the HELP menu; look for new FamilySearch icon that will allow you to integrate to that site from within Ancestry; note Responsive Design for screen size accommodations for various devices; there is now a relationship calculator working in Family Tree; general print fixes have been implemented.
  • Ancestry Blog Post – Ancestry DNA has crossed the 1 million mark in submissions in the database.  Ancestry DNA is now available to users in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  The database is expected to grow even more with the addition of more and more countries in which users can submit their DNA.
  • New Databases – Kansas, Census data, 1919-1961; 13.6 million records; City and County Records; Searchable and Browseable images.
  • New Databases –  Canada Yearbooks, 1908-2010; 1.3 million records; by Province and City within Province; Searchable and Browseable.
  • New Databases – UK Apprentices Indentured in Merchant Navy, 1824-1910; 342,000 records; Searchable and Browseable; can select browseable lists of data based on dates.
  • New Databases – Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007; 49.4 million records; you might find much more data about an ancestor in lieu of paying $27 for a copy of the ancestor’s Social Security Application document; could be very helpful for women’s records and the tracking of their name changes due to marriage.
  • 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 Ancestry.com that can make your use of the product even more effective and beneficial with your family history research.  She shows you via her computer screen what to look for at the Ancestry.com site.

I also did a search on YouTube looking for similarly titled videos and did discover that there are many “What’s New At Ancestry.com” videos on YouTube going back at least until April of 2012.  These series of videos are a great tool to use to review going back in time so you keep current with all that is being offered and added to Ancestry.com.

Here is a simple link to my search in YouTube that will give you this nice list of these videos posted to YouTube that you can do some catching up on to know about all of the new things at Ancestry.com:

“What’s New At Ancestry.com” YouTube Videos

The host does a very good job verbally describing the new additions as well as showing you the new things at Ancestry via screencasting.  That allows you to see her computer screen as she points out the various “new” things you may see at Ancestry.com and where they are located.

Because so many of us use Ancestry.com, either via a personal subscription or by using the Ancestry product at our local libraries, these YouTube videos are quite informative to keep users up to date with new features that take root on Ancestry.com.  The host provides even more depth to the importance of the change and even why it was done.

I think you will enjoy the most recent video above as well as looking at the link above for even more of these videos.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“National Folklore Collection of Ireland: Schools’ Collection” From An Article By Joe Grandinetti In Internet Genealogy

Hi Everyone,

National Folklore Collection LogoAs I was reviewing our library’s recent copy (August/September 2015, Volume 10, Number 3) of Internet Genealogy I came across a very wonderful article authored by Joe Grandinetti  titled “National Folklore Collection of Ireland: Schools’ Collection”.

Back in the late 1930s in Ireland, the Irish Folklore Commission gave an assignment to schoolchildren. About 50,000 students among 5,000 primary schools were given the task of collecting and documenting local stories from their parents, grandparents and older community members. This was done in the days before television and computers as we know it today. Families actually sat around together and interacted. Stories were bountiful of current and past family history. Many of the stories went back deep in family history time.

Over an 18 month period these stories were collected from the students. It appears that part of the assignment was a handwriting exercise. Students had to not only capture the stories but write them down in their best handwriting. Topics that might have been captured were:

• Folklore
• My Home District
• Local Happenings
• Customs
• Proverbs
• Poems
• Superstitions
• Cures
• Food
• Place Names
• Landlords
• Graveyards
• Old Houses

The project collected 740,000 pages of information that are currently being digitized and indexed. The data is available free of charge with no registration required at:

www.Duchas.ie (Scroll down a little then click on “The Schools’ Collection”)

At the home page you can select to search by “People”, “Places” and “Surnames”. Take a look at these. The “Places” map is very detailed and shows that most of the data came from the West coast of Ireland in addition to pockets of data from Dublin and Waterford. You can click your cursor over a spot on the map to see what town it is and who the teacher was and what was captured.

You can look at a list of the counties for which data is being processed. It appears you can obtain information from County Dublin, Kildare, Kerry, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Waterford and Sligo. There is a goal to have a “significant” part of the data available online by the end of 2016.  It is a work in progress as more and more data images will be added as well as the text being indexed.  The documents from each school are notes as being what percent completed for images and indexing.  You can select those that are 100% completed or even those that are partially completed.  The documents are also noted as to who the “informant” was that wrote the material.

The material is searchable by “place”, “School”, and “person”. Make sure you click on “More Details” for the area to see the details of the names of individuals that have been identified. Click on the name and it will take you to the location in the writing where the name appears.

There is much to explore at the site both geographically and within the various categories of data you might find. I did find this fascinating to explore. The handwriting for the most part is absolutely beautiful and neat and more importantly, readable!!  And genealogists certainly need to encounter clear and readable handwriting once in a while!  Be aware that you may encounter documents that are not in English but in Irish which might be challenging for you to understand.  When you click on the link at the site for “More Details” about a particular set of writings you will see a Table of Information that distinguishes documents in English versus those in Irish.  You can select to view just those English written documents.

In the big picture of data this data is small in quantity. However, I thought the project as expressed by the author of the article was so interesting you might ask yourself why this hasn’t been done routinely in schools throughout the world and especially here at home in the US??

This was a fascinating article about a very fascinating kind of data! Definitely check out the site even if you are not researching Irish ancestry just to see what could be done as a school assignment that could lead to some fascinating genealogical discoveries if you are lucky.  And if you have Irish ancestry you will want to look at this site and see if data currently on the site connects to your own geographic areas of Irish research.

A big “thank you” to Joe Grandinetti for having written up the article for publication in Internet Genealogy that made us aware of this wonderful project!

We have this journal in our collection.  You can find this genealogy magazine on the 2nd floor of our library on the magazine shelves.  You may want to look at the full article to view the pictures and more importantly examples of some of the handwritten pages included in the article.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library