Yes, Even Another FamilySearch Database Containing Easy To Read Cards About Your Ancestors; “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918; Image Samples Included

Hi Everyone,

Once again, for your review and use, is another very nice database within FamilySearch that contains very readable documents of our ancestors.  In this case it is not just geared for Illinois researchers but contains data for World War I draft registrants from across the country.  Front and backside of the registrant draft registration are shown.

The database in FamilySearch is titled “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918”.  There are about 3.2 million records in the collection.  The images are that of the cards filled out by your ancestors.  Front side and backside.  The cards were printed.  Your ancestor wrote their responses in cursive writing (The World War II Draft Registration Cards database in Ancestry are printed by the registrant making them even more readable).

Here is a link to this World War I Draft Registration database in FamilySearch:

United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

Here is the description of the database contained within FamilySearch:

“Name index and images of draft registration cards for World War I. Three registrations occurred between 1917 and 1918. The 1st was held 5 Jun 1917 for men ages 21-31. The 2nd was held 5 Jun 1918 for men who turned 21 since the 1st registration. The 3rd started 12 Sep 1918 for men ages 18-45. The collection includes cards for 24 million men. The cards are arranged by state, by city or county, by local draft board, then alphabetical by surname. The draft registration cards are part of Record Group 163, Records of the Selective Service System (WWI), 1917-1939, and is National Archives Microfilm publication M1509.”

I recommend starting with just a surname and maybe a first name when beginning to search the database.  Use the template of search parameters as needed to pare down your result list.

Remember, too much entry data may be no good because if any one item you enter is not actually in the record, you will not get that record in your results.  Start with large results and then add other search criteria little by little.  At some time just look through the results list.

Here is what you can expect the registrant was to supply on the front side of the card:

  • Name
  • Home Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Native born, naturalized , alien, other
  • Where were you born
  • If not a citizen, from what country
  • Present occupation
  • By whom employed
  • Who is dependent on you
  • Are you married
  • What military service have you had
  • Do you claim any exemptions
  • Registrant signature

Here is what the registrant was to supply on the back side of the card:

  • Tall, medium or short in stature (Not exact height was asked)
  • Slender, medium or stout build (Not exact weight was asked)
  • Color of eyes
  • Color of hair
  • Are you bald
  • Specify if you have lost a body part or how you are disabled

Please note I see that the card content and questions could be different based on which of the 3 draft registrations was in place.  You get the drift that there could be variances in the contents.  My lists above come from one of the KIERNA cards shown.

Date of registration on the back was provided by the registering agency along with who did it.

There is great information contained in these cards.  I guess they were politically correct back then to use the term for body build as “stout”!

I have always been interested especially to see documents with my ancestors signature.  These cards do not disappoint.

It sure is nice to also be able to see what occupation they had and  for whom they worked.

It is also nice that both front and backside are contained in the downloaded image simultaneously.  Sometimes that does not happen in other databases and you are required to download the front side as one download and the backside as another download.  You can easily forget to do this (Trust me I did that for the World War II Draft Cards in Ancestry.  Double check so you don’t have to go back for another download image.).

Enjoy this database and the readability you should encounter.  Having a physical description of an ancestor is always a bonus.  Having a signature is also very touching since so many documents we discover related to an ancestor do not have a signature.

Hope you find lots and lots of ancestors!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

How About Another Easily Read Card Index Database For Chicago Area Researchers?; Take A Look At “Illinois, Northern District Naturalization Index, 1840-1950” At FamilySearch; Sample Images Included

Hi Everyone,

Still checking things out at FamilySearch again that I thought would be fun and easy for you to take a look at if you have Chicago/Cook County ancestors.  Once again the database I am going to suggest will confirm for you in a very easily readable manner if an ancestor of yours became a naturalized citizen somewhere within the northern Illinois area.

My KIERNA ancestors went through this process in the mid-1890s.

Here is a direct link to this very readable database:

Illinois, Northern District Naturalization Index,, 1840-1950

Remember, this data is only an index.  It is not the actual Natualization Document.  The index card does give the certificate information if you would like to pursue obtaining a copy of the original.  Pre-1906 naturalization records are nice to have but contain almost zero genealogical information.  You will basically see that your ancestor revoked any allegiance to the former country from which they came from/born into.  My grandfather renounced allegiance to the King of Prussia.


You can also see signatures of the person naturalized and also of the witness in the original document but not in the index card.  Other than that there is just words related to the event.  You will not see information such as “when did you enter the country”, “what ship did you arrive on”, “what port did you arrive to” etc.  Those kind of questions started being asked in the 1906 time period for naturalizations that took place under the Federal Government.  The pre-1906 naturalizations took place in any court of the land.  You may be very lucky to discover more information on ancestors who became naturalized post-1906.


The index records simultaneously show both the front and the back of the card.  This is nice because when I was making you aware of another nice database on World War II Draft Cards, I forgot to click on the link to get me to the next page of the draft card which was the backside.  At least in this database you can’t forget.  In the images I have shown for my KIERNA ancestors there is nothing on the backside of their cards.  Maybe yours will have something.

The code you see on the front side of the card in the upper left corner for both images is the Soundex Code for the last name KIERNA.  The original material of these cards was filed in Soundex order.

It is also nice to see the name of the witness noted on the card.  Sometimes it can help you to discover other related ancestors.  In the case of my grandfather with the surname witness of KUKOWINSKI, that name is in my database as a marriage name within the KIERNA family.

In the case of my great-uncle Max KIERNA, the witness name does not look familiar to me at this time.  Some further research to do on this one.

For any new researchers, this kind of printed/typed data just makes your initial attempts at researching a little easier.  Trust me when I say your future research efforts will undoubtedly encounter plenty of illegible handwritten documents that may pertain your ancestors.  You will then realize that not all ancestral documents are as easy as the ones I am highlighting within these kind of databases.

I am going to look through a few more databases containing nicely typed/printed documents.

Enjoy this database.  Download images of your discoveries for inclusion in your family trees.  Consider using the certificate number on the index cards to pursue requesting a copy of the original document from the court jurisdiction identified on the card.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


How About Another Nice Genealogy Database To Search Having Printed Cards?; If You Have Chicago Catholics Try The “Illinois, Archdiocese Of Chicago, Cemetery Records, 1864-1989” Database At FamilySearch; Sample Images Included

Hi Everyone!

I like using databases sometimes when the results are nice and readable and can also shed that one additional piece of information to help your research.  Who doesn’t like some easy researching every once and a while??

While home I have also been experimenting with a variety of databases either on Ancestry or in FamilySearch.

For my suggestion here your research must have Chicago Catholic ancestors who died in the area and were buried in the various Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic cemeteries.  If your research is in other areas of the country, look to see what cemetery databases exist within FamilySearch  for any state of interest to you.

Many of you in our own library area may have research connected to Chicago that can use the suggested database noted below.

The database that is indexed and searchable and will provide access to the images of the records is titled “Illinois, Archdiocese of Chicago, Cemetery Records, 1864-1989”.  It is rich with typed and easily readable index cards providing cemetery information on our ancestors.  The database contains 1.9 million records in which the images are available for you to look at with no restrictions as to being in a Family History Center or an Affiliate.  Yes, you can get the images at home.

There are some nice things you can discover in some of these records.

First off, head to FamilySearch and be sure you are logged in with your account.

Next, at the top of the home page for FamilySearch, select “Search” then “Records”.  Do not enter in immediately a surname to search.  I want you to get to the database itself so you are just searching within it.

At the map of the world select the United States, then from the drop down menu select “Illinois”.

Again, do not enter in a surname to search in the box but rather scroll down a little and select the link that says “Show All 112” which will give a full list of the all the databases listed under “Illinois”.

Scroll down through this list and look for the title of the database “Illinois, Archdiocese of Chicago, Cemetery Records, 1864-1989” containing the 1.9 million records.

Here is a link to the database itself to make it easier for you:

Illinois, Archdiocese of Chicago, Cemetery Records, 1864-1989 in FamilySearch

Now enter your ancestor surname of interest.

In your results list look to the right side for the “camera” icon which will connect you to the image.  You can also click on the icon for the text transcription of the record.

Looking at the record image (at least for the KIERNA ones I received)  you will notice that there is no identification on the card for what cemetery the record is for.  Instead, just look at the “Image Index” text field below the image after you opened the image in FamilySearch and to the far right you will see the cemetery is identified.  The “Information Tab” will give other pertinent information related to the record and will also give you the “citation” description and the ability to copy the citation.

Some of the added pieces of information I saw for some of my own ancestors were things like:

  • Death occurred in a hospital and names the hospital.
  • Street address if death occurred at home.
  • Date of burial.
  • Lot/Block/Section of grave location.
  • Book and Page number of the original recording.
  • Age given sometimes in years,, months and days
  • Sometimes parish associated with the deceased or where a service was conducted before burial

There may be other notes of interest you can discover than I mentioned above from viewing some of my KIERNA cemetery records.

For the records I have discovered I will be downloading them directly for use in my lineage program and family tree.  Be sure to convert the downloaded name of the image to a more meaningful one for yourself right after you downloaded.  Otherwise your “Downloads” folder will be full of cryptically named files you will have to open up anyhow and rename.

With some of the information on these cemetery records you can fill in more of the blanks you may have on a particular deceased ancestor that you might not have had.

So while  you may not be able to access some FamilySearch digital microfilm  data from home (trust me, I miss being within our library right now for this access as an Affiliate Library) because it has restricted access, at least this database is available from home and is certainly readable.

Give this database a try.

Maybe I can find some more that are of interest to me, are available to you from home and that the data is in print or easily readable format?

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Update On “U.S. World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947” Database In Ancestry; Date Registrant Signed Card Is On The Back; Need To Download Front And Back Image

Hi Everyone!

Front Side Image of Card

I want to give you an update on my experience using the “U.S. World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947” database in Ancestry Library Edition as well as in the databases for personal Ancestry subscribers.

In a previous post I mentioned that the date signed was not on the card but it was included in the list of the “hits” for your search is not accurate.  I was not using the “left” and “right” arrows on the image to move to the back side of the card where the date signed and other information also exists.

Thank you Celeste K. for the email and pointing out the correct way to access the full amount of the material!

When you look at the images of these records you will see that there are 2 parts related to the record.  There is a “front” side image and also a “back” side image of what was filled out by your ancestor.

Back Side Image of Card

The date the card was signed is included on the “back” side image as well as more interesting information about the description of your ancestor that includes height, weight, color of eyes, color of hair and any known visible markings such as tattoos and scars.  I saw plenty of records for my KIERNA ancestors in which they said they had tattoos and scars as visible marks on their appearance that were noted on the “back” side of these cards.

Be sure to move through the images using the “left” arrow on the screen or the “right” arrow on the screen.  When you open the image the “front” side will appear first.  Use the “right” arrow on the screen to then see what is on the “back” side of the card.

In order to download the full amount of information you will need to download the “front” side of the card as a separate download, then use the right arrow to bring up the “back” side of the card and do a download of it by itself.

You will have double the amount of downloads in order to capture the full amount of information about your ancestor’s draft card.  But I guarantee it will be worth it!

So sorry for not being completely accurate in my observation of what was contained in this database of records of our ancestors.

I don’t want you to miss out on the back side of the data in these wonderful records.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


Status Of Re-Opening Of Our Library Changed To “Undetermined”; ALL Library Programs Scheduled During The Month Of April 2020 Are Now CANCELLED

Hi Everyone!

Schaumburg Township District Library

I just saw an update sent to all Schaumburg Township District Library (STDL)  employees from our  Library Director.

Initially when our library closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were posting a targeted re-opening date of March 30, 2020 at the time.

Due to changing circumstances and directives that we follow, a targeted re-open date has now been replaced with a designation of “undetermined”.  So we definitely will not re-open on March 30, 2020.

Also included in the update from our library director is a directive that now states that ALL of our library programs for the month of April 2020 have now been CANCELLED regardless of when the library re-opens.

For all of you that participate at our monthly genealogy  program, that means that we will not be having our Genealogy Program that was scheduled to take place on Tuesday evening April 14, 2020 at 7:30 pm.

Continue to stay home and be safe.  I will let you know via a blog post of any other changes related to the re-opening of our library.

In the mean time, check out my recent blog posts on your ability as a Schaumburg Township District Library (STDL) cardholder to now access Ancestry Library Edition from home using your STDL library card and your PIN number with your account.

I have been taking advantage of it.  If you do not have a personal subscription to this is your time to access it via your STDL card.

If your library card was issued to you by another library, please check with them because you should be able to access Ancestry Library Edition they may have using the library card issued to you by them.

I can’t wait to start using the phrase “return to normalcy”.

Wishing you all the best.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Reminder, Schaumburg Township District Library Cardholders You Can Access Ancestry Library Edition From Home Until April 30, 2020; Specifically Check Out “U.S. World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947” At Ancestry Library Edition

Hi Everyone!

Schaumburg Township District Library

I hope that all of you are safe and sound  as we stay in our homes during this Covid-19 Pandemic.

Please note that our supplier of Ancestry Library Edition, the library version of, has opened up access to it FROM HOME.  This was not possible a couple of days ago.  Access to it was previously possible only while you were in one of our library buildings.  You could not access it from home at the time.

Access from home to this material will continue through April 30, 2020.

If you did not have a personal subscription your option was to come into the library.  Now you can access it from home using your Schaumburg Township District Library card and your PIN number.

For those of you that are personal subscribers to, you may not have a robust subscription level.  Maybe you only subscribed to U.S. records, maybe you only subscribed to World Records.  Within Ancestry Library Edition you can actually gain access to more data than your own personal subscription might allow.  So please check it out.

Here is your access point to Ancestry Library Edition to our cardholders.  Be prepared to enter in your Schaumburg Township District Library card and then your PIN number for your account:

Direct Link To Log In To Ancestry Library Edition At Schaumburg Township District Library

One of the databases that I have spent a LOT of time DOWNLOADING records while at home is in Ancestry Library Edition (this database is available for personal subscribers as well) is one titled “U.S. World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947”.

It is an amazing database that has just been refreshed with millions more records at the end of February 2020.  It contains a whopping 54 million records!  Yes, 54,000,000 records of our ancestors who needed to register for the draft during World War II.

To find this database in Ancestry Library Edition do the following:

At the main page select “Search” at the top then select “card catalog”.  In the “Title” box to search the catalog, just enter in the word “draft” (without the quotes).  You will see about 9 databases come up in the list.  The one I am referring to is the 2nd one in the list showing the approximate 54,000,000 record count.  Just start searching in this database and use the filters to pare down your search results if you receive too many hots.

One of the best parts is that the image quality is magnificent.  Nice and large and very readable with the print lines as well as your ancestor’s hand written supply of answers to the questions. (Of course, some of them may not have had the best penmanship!)

You can expect to see the following pieces of information on these cards:

  • Serial Number of the card itself
  • Name of the person (First, Middle, Last)
  • Order number (?)
  • Address, Town, County, State
  • Telephone Number
  • Age in years
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Country of citizenship
  • Name of person who will always know your address
  • Your relationship to that person
  • Address of that person, town, county, state
  • Employer’s name
  • Place of employment
  • Registrant’s signature

One quirky thing I noticed is that the card itself does not have a date on it when the registrant filled it out.  However, the list of hits you receive before you open the image does have a “Registration Date” column so you will have to capture that piece of information there rather than on the card image itself.

Here is an example of what you can actually see on these beautiful images:

There is an amazing amount of useful information there, plus one of the nicest and personable pieces is the signature of the person providing the information.

Please check this out from Ancestry, whether it is through your own personal subscription or now through Ancestry Library Edition that is now available from home to our Schaumburg Township District Library cardholders.

If you have a library card issued to you by another library you should also now be able to access that library’s version of Ancestry Library Edition through the website of that library by inputting your library card number and a PIN number.

I am literally just going through my research on a surname basis and looking for cards to match the individuals I have who were male and would have been the right age to have registered for this draft.

Even if you are just new to do researching, use some of the information you may already know about your male ancestors in the 1940-1947 period in the U.S. to see if you can find a card for them.

54 million records of this quality is an amazing amount in any one single database.

Enjoy this one!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

To Our Schaumburg Township District Library Cardholders; You Will Be Able To Access Ancestry Library Edition FROM HOME Until April 30, 2020; Our Provider Is Making Access To Home Users Due To Corona Virus Pandemic

Hi Everyone!

Schaumburg Township District Library

Even during our temporary closing of the library due to the Corona Virus pandemic, I am still keeping in touch with library operations while at home.

Just heard that Ancestry Library Edition will now be available to Schaumburg Township District Library cardholders FROM HOME as are so many of our research databases.

Temporary access for home users is being granted by to ProQuest, our supplier of the service.  Access from home will be allowed through April 30, 2020.

Access to this service is available to our own cardholders who will sign in with their library card and PIN number.  If you are from another library, please take a look at your library website for information on availability through them.  Such availability appears to be happening for all libraries that take advantage of this opportunity to make the service available to users from home.

You can access Ancestry Library Edition from our library here:

Direct Link To Log In To Ancestry Library Edition At Schaumburg Township District Library

If you are a current personal subscriber to then this permitted access to us does not matter since your personal subscription provides you access from anywhere.  However, if you are NOT a personal subscriber to, then this is a wonderful opportunity for you to access this material FROM HOME during the next approximately 6 weeks.  Prior restrictions placed on our library from only allowed access to the Library edition from within any one of our library buildings while you were present in them.  You could not access the material from home due to restrictions placed on us.

Life has changed for all of us in the short-term.  Gaining access to this material from home during our limited ability to leave our homes is a wonderful opportunity for your own research to continue during the time our library is closed.

Enjoy access to Ancestry Library Edition from home with your Schaumburg Township District Library card through April 30, 2020.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library