I Took The Genealogy DNA Plunge!; Submitted To Family Tree DNA; Will Share Future DNA Experiences As They Occur

Hi Everyone!

Family Tree DNAThought I would let all of you know that I have personally made the leap into the world of genealogy DNA.  I chose to submit my DNA to Family Tree DNA also known as FTDNA.  You can find them online at www.familytreedna.com.

One of our active participants in our genealogy program made me aware that FTDNA was having a short-term sale on their entry-level product called Family Finder.  Normally, it is offered at $99.  I was able to purchase the kit online for $79.  It is a good idea to check the Family Tree DNA website frequently, especially around Holidays, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  It is not uncommon to see sales of their line of products during such times.  Oftentimes you might expect a 20% discount.  I purchased the kit of choice for me at such a discount.  It was only being offered for a very short time.

Thank you Barb P. for our many DNA conversations pertinent to Family Tree DNA.  Thank you for making me aware of the sale of this “entry” level kit.  Thank you for the encouragement to get me “off the fence”!

Now that I have taken the plunge (better late than never!) I also thought that perhaps this would afford me the opportunity to write about the process and my experiences.  Perhaps you are on the fence yourself thinking whether you should or should not submit.  My DNA curiosity finally got to me plus the fact that I think it is important for me to have a real-life experience with such a hot topic as genealogy DNA so that I can be more informed to share with other genealogy researchers.  Maybe my own personal experience with Family Tree DNA will give you the confidence to take the plunge yourself.  Plus, I will relate the process itself to give you a level of comfort.

My initial purchase of the “kit” was done online.  You can contact them viaDNA Clip Art phone number if you are inclined to do so to order a kit.  If you are familiar at all with online shopping you will find this a piece of cake.  Go to Family Tree DNA, select the kit called Family Finder, add it to your cart, provide mailing, email and billing information and click to make your purchase a reality.

Once submitted to FTDNA for purchase, you will receive a confirmation/thank you email from FTDNA very quickly.  It will mention the kit number they have assigned to you as well as a temporary password for you to use at the FTDNA website to watch the tracking of your kit as well as to use the site when results are back to you.  You can change the Password information at any time at the site and make them different from the ones they initially provide.

Expect to also receive some follow-up marketing emails as I did making me aware of the other kits and sales they have with FTDNA, other than the Family Finder one I ordered.  I received one around the time of Mother’s Day when they were offering their mitochondrial (mtDNA) test kit (for tracing or confirming direct line maternal ancestry) .  I did receive a marketing email related to Father’s Day that has come and gone since there is a test related to the paternal line of DNA (Y-DNA).  So yes I have seen a couple of marketing emails!    I do not feel abused with email offerings from FTDNA (thank you FTDNA!).

The kit with a unique kit number designated for me arrived in my mail box within about a week.  It is a small plastic white sleeve that contains a welcome letter, an instructional page, 2 swabs, 2 containers having what must be a preservative liquid, a submission signature sheet giving FTDNA permission to share your e-mail address with other participants at FTDNA that are a match to your results in different degrees, and a return postage-paid envelope.

There are simple directions on what to do with the kit to collect your DNA, plus Barb P. was able to provide me with her own experience related to the scraping of your inner cheeks.  In this case I needed to scrape my inner left cheek with one scraper for at least one minute and then push-button release it from the swabber into one of the vials with the preservative liquid.  Repeat the process with the other cheek.  Each cheek should be swabbed at a suggested time in the morning before you start having some coffee or eating or brushing your teeth.  In other words,  don’t submit scrambled eggs and coffee for DNA analysis!!   The instructions did note that it is possible you might even see a little blood on the scraper when you remove it from your mouth.  Mine were clear with no blood appearing at all.  WOW!  I did not even think that might be possible but at least they warn you.  Other DNA testing companies may require you provide saliva rather than a cheek scraping.

FTDNA does make sure you check the kit number that appears on the return envelope along with the kit number on the vials that everything matches and is the same.  In other words check and double-check wherever you see a kit number to be sure it is all the same number as the original one assigned to you.  Mine was fine.

Barb P. and FTDNA made me aware of a Wednesday batch processing cycle at FTDNA when kits received by Wednesday are processed.  So if your kit arrives back at FTDNA on a Thursday it may sit there for a few more days before they process yours and all the kits they received in the previous cycle.  I don’t think this a big thing but if you are really wanting to get your results quicker get your kit to the Post Office in the return envelope by at least the Monday before the batch cycle Wednesday processing.

So now my level of anticipation is up.  So far, so good!

I ordered the kit, received confirmation of the order and have received the kit at home.  Swabbing was done and mailed back, albeit on a Thursday by me.  So don’t be like me.  If you have the kit in hand on a Monday, swab them cheeks and get the completed kit into the mail that very day so you have a chance to get into the Wednesday batch processing cycle by FTDNA.

So now I await to see that they received my kit and move on to the processing and results from FTDNA.

Will let you know when that happens.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Chicago Genealogical Society (CGS) Offering A Genealogical Bus Tour That Focuses On “Notable Chicago Disasters That Affected Your Ancestor’s Lives”; Craig Pfannkuche Will Be The Guide; Saturday, October 1, 2016 From 9:30 AM to 4 PM; Also Open To Non-Members Of The Society

Hi Everyone!

Chicago Genealogical Society LogoThe Chicago Genealogical Society (CGS) will be offering a genealogical bus tour on Saturday, October 1, 2016 between 9:30 AM and 4 PM.

The theme of the tour will be “Notable Chicago Disasters That Affected Your Ancestor’s Lives”.

The tour will be led by Craig Pfannkuche of the Chicago Genealogical Society who specializes in Chicago family history research.

The tour bus will be ready for boarding at 9:30 AM and will depart from and return to the northwest corner of the Ogilvie Transportation Center (Madison and Clinton Streets) in Chicago.

You do not have to be a member of the Chicago Genealogical Society in order to participate.  However, your cost will be slightly higher than for members ($50 non-members; $40 members).

You can choose to purchase a box lunch for an added fee of $15  if you so choose or you can even brown bag your own lunch for the day.

Take a look at the link to a PDF full-page description of the event that contains even more background and details about the events of the day.

Here is a link to the details with all of the details:

October 1, 2016 Chicago Genealogical Society Genealogy Bus Tour – “Notable Chicago Disasters That Affected Your Ancestor’s Lives”

You may also want to visit the home page of the society to check on the status of this bus tour if you are interested in participating.  These bus tours often fill up quickly and are then closed when capacity has been reached.  I see that you can register online for this event through the society.  Here is a link to the part of the society website where the program is contained.  You will see a link with the program description that allows you to register online:

October 1, 2016 Chicago Genealogical Society Bus Tour Online Registration Information

I have had Craig as a speaker at our genealogy programs.  He is fantastic in that setting.  I can’t even imagine how good he will be at being a guide for an all-day event.

Sounds like another great bus tour put together by the Chicago Genealogical Society on a topic that always connects to genealogical research!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

PowerPoint Presentation Available From Our July 12, 2016 Genealogy Program Presented By Caron Primas Brennan On “Using Ancestry.com Family Trees”; You Can Also View PowerPoint Presentations For 4 Additional Programs Presented By Caron

Hi Everyone,

Schaumburg Township District Library

Schaumburg Township District Library

Great news!  Our speaker last night, Caron Primas Brennan,  let us all know that her PowerPoint presentation of the program she presented at our library on the evening of July 12, 2016 is available for viewing by everyone!

Thank you so much Caron for sharing that information with all of us last night.

This blog post has the link that will connect you with the presentation material.

So if you missed last night’s program, you can get yourself a front row seat to review the PowerPoint presentation material.  If you attended last night, this gives you the chance to review material that perhaps that did not sink in immediately last night.

Here is the link to Caron’s 67 slide PowerPoint presentation on “Using Ancestry.com Family Trees” from our genealogy program at the Schaumburg Township District Library that took place on July 12, 2016:

July 12, 2016 PowerPoint Presentation From Caron Primas Brennan On “Using Ancestry.com Family Trees

Thank you so much to Caron for sharing this great information for the benefit of those unable to attend our program last night as well as for those that did attend that would like to review the material.

Additionally, Caron has 4 other PowerPoint presentation programs available at her blog that you can also look at.  Here are the programs for which a PowerPoint presentation exists:

  • “FamilySearch Primer”
  • “Ancestry.com Primer”
  • “What’s New On the Internet for Genealogists”
  • “Where Did I Put Great-Grandpa?: Organizing for Genealogists”

Go to the following link to Caron’s blog and just scroll down the list of programs she has presented and will be presenting.  The above 4 are from her most recent presentation at the Newberry Library on July 9, 2016.  Look for the hyperlink that is noted as “Slides”.

Caron Primas Brennan Speaking Engagements; Look for Available PowerPoint Presentations from Recent Speaking Engagements

Thank you again Caron for making available the PowerPoint presentation from last night’s genealogy program at our library, as well as making available the additional programs you recently presented at the Newberry Library on July 9, 2016.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“What’s New At Ancestry.com July 2016” 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 July 2016 video posted from Ancestry.com that is titled “What’s New At Ancestry.com July 2016”.

The video is an approximate 18 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 –  Midwest African-American Genealogical Institute, July 12-14, 2016, Fort Wayne, IN; BYU Family History Conference, July 26-29, 2016, Provo, UT;  IAJGS Conference, August 7-12, 2016, Seattle, WA; Federation of Genealogy Societies, August 31-Sept 3, 2016, Springfield, IL
  • Ancestry DNA – Global Database now includes results from about 2 million contributors.  Those who submitted from a foreign country are now included in this one universal database.  Your chances of having a match have increased because all data is contained in this one database.
  • Ancestry Academy – New videos.  Short Courses for Illinois, Vermont, Massachusetts and Michigan.  “Find Your Revolutionary War Ancestor (Subscription); “City Directories: Your Guide to the Past” (Subscription); “Hidden Treasures on Ancestry.com” (Free To All)
  • New Databases – Indiana Birth Certificates, 1907-1940This new database contains about 7.1 million records.  Always a good idea to browse the database description of records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a template to filter your search.  There are images associated with the indexed text results.  You will be able to see Name of the individual, birth date, birth place and parents.
  • New Databases – Indiana Death Certificates, 1899-2011This new database contains about 16.6 million records.  Always a good idea to browse the database description of records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a template to filter your search.  There are images associated with the indexed text results.  You will be able to see Name of the individual, birth date, death place and death place.
  • New Databases – Arizona Birth Records, 1881-1948This new database contains about 68,000 records.  Always a good idea to browse the database description of records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a template to filter your search.  There are images associated with the indexed text results.  You will be able to see Name of the individual, birth date, birth place and relatives.  Many of the record images are handwritten especially the farther back the records are dated.
  • New Databases – Arizona, County Coroner and Death Records, 1881-1971This new database contains about 67,000 records.  Always a good idea to browse the database description of records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a template to filter your search.  There are images associated with the indexed text results.  You will be able to see Name of the individual, birth date, death year and death place.Many records are handwritten, especially older in time.
  • New Databases – Gloucestershire, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1974.  This new database contains about 11.6 million records.   You can select by Parliamentary division if you know that associated with an ancestor or you can search entire database.   The database is also indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  It is linked to images of the original records.   Images of the original handwritten scanned pages are provided.  Even many of the older ones are in print and easily readable.  You can discover the name of the individual, place of abode, nature of qualification to vote, location where property is and indication if there is a tenant on the premises or not.
  • New Databases – Gloucestershire, England, Prison Records, 1728-1914.  This new database contains about 235,000 records.   The database is also indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  It is linked to images of the original records.   You can find birth year, conviction or committal date, prison place, discharge date.  Images of the original handwritten scanned pages are provided.  Even many of the older ones are in print.
  • New Databases – Gloucestershire, England, Land Tax Records, 1713-1833.  This new database contains about 1 million records.   The database is also indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  It is linked to images of the original records.   You can find residence year, parish, owner.  Images of the original handwritten scanned pages are provided. 
  • New Databases – Naturalization records have been added for about 20 states .  These individual new databases per state totally contain about 7.2  million records.    Search Ancestry.com Card Catalog using the term in the title field of “naturalization”.  Data added for New Mexico, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, south Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Utah, Maryland, Illinois, Michigan, Montana and Missouri. Always a good idea to browse the listing of the records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.    The database is also indexed and searchable with a basic size template of information you can supply to narrow down your search. 
  • Tip From Crista – A particular database may have no connection to your research but you may still benefit from knowing about it.  As an example, there may be an Australian Outbound Passenger List database.  You may not have an Australian connection, but discovering that Outbound passenger records exists may allow you to consider to see if such records exist for the country associated with your ancestor.
  • 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 has noted on past videos 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

July 2016 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts Uploaded As A PDF for July 12, 2016 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the July 2016 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts as a PDF file into the PROGRAM HANDOUTS Category on the right sidebar of the blog.

Here is a direct link to the July 2016 Handouts for your convenience:

July 2016 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts

Take a look at it if you choose to browse through it in advance of our Genealogy Program that will take place on Tuesday evening, July 12, 2016 at 7:30 PM at our main library location at 130 S. Roselle Road in Schaumburg, IL.

You can read the handouts online or you can save them as a PDF file to your own computer for reading offline and more detailed searching through all of the contents.

You will also note that I  “highlight” in this uploaded PDF key points within the handout  by using  the “yellow highlighting” function within Microsoft Word.  This will allow your eyes to visually see key points within the handouts that I want to emphasize.  I hope you will enjoy being able to more easily see these key points within the set of handouts through this highlighting technique.  I plan on highlighting within the Handout file on a going forward basis.

Please note that the Handouts PDF file has embedded Bookmarks to allow you to move to the handouts of interest to you quickly without having to scroll through the entire document.  Just open the Bookmark window in the PDF file and select the handout of interest for quick access.

You can also get to the handouts of interest to you quickly via the Table of Contents at the beginning of the document.  You will find hyperlinks that will get you directly to the handout of interest to you from the Table of Contents.

Please note that you can access directly any and all URL Links that you find within the Handouts PDF.  You can get directly to the website being mentioned from within the handout being mentioned.

Enjoy the handouts.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

July 2016 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter Uploaded As A PDF for July 12, 2016 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the July 2016 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter as a PDF file into the NEWSLETTER Category on the right sidebar of the blog.

Here is a direct link to the July 2016 Newsletter for your convenience:

July 2016 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter

Take a look at it if you choose to browse through it in advance of our Genealogy Program that will take place on Tuesday evening, July 12, 2016 at 7:30 PM at our main library location at 130 S. Roselle Road in Schaumburg, IL.

You can read the newsletter online or you can save it as a PDF file to your own computer for reading offline and more detailed searching through all of the contents.

Please note that the Newsletter has Bookmarks and Hyperlinks within the document to make for fast navigation from within the Table of Contents.  You can quickly get to the spots that interest you from the Table of Contents.

Enjoy the newsletter.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Reminder: Our Next Genealogy Program at STDL Is Tomorrow July 12, 2016

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, July 12, 2016:

Caron Primas Brennan

Caron Primas Brennan

Come early to review genealogical materials. At 8 p.m. Association of Professional Genealogists’ Caron Primas Brennan shares her expansive knowledge of genealogy, especially Ancestry.com’s family trees.

Guest presenter CaronPrimas Brennan loves history, biography, puzzles and a good mystery, which makes her perfectly suited to genealogy! Caron has been researching her family history since a 6th grade school project got her interested. She uses Family Tree Maker and Ancestry.com to share with others in her family. Caron is the former Newsletter Editor for CAGGNI and is a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild and the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Doors will open at approximately 7 p.m. so you can pick-up handouts, review books and journals, and network with other participants. Tony Kierna will start the program at 7:30 p.m. with introductions of new participants and a brief review of handouts and genealogical matters.

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

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library