July 2015 Newsletter Titled “Cirkular” From The Swedish American Museum; Genealogy Program Titled “The Meaning Of Home” On Saturday, July 25, 2015, From 10 AM To Noon

Hi Everyone!

I have been receiving some activities updates from the Swedish American Museum in Chicago, IL recently.  Some of the activities may be specifically related to genealogical events or programs.  Other events may have a historical context as it applies to Swedish history and ancestry.  Some events may be cultural.

I thought I would share with you a recent issue of the July 2015 Newsletter called the Cirkular that I received from the Swedish American Museum.

The museum itself is located at 5211 North Clark Street in Chicago, IL.  The phone number for the museum is 773-728-8111.

You can reach the general website for the Swedish American Museum at:

Swedish American Museum in Chicago, IL

There is a genealogy program scheduled for Saturday, July 25, 2015 titled “The Meaning of Home” that will take place between 10 AM and Noon.

What does “home” mean to you – a place, a person, or a feeling? What did “home” mean to your ancestors? View the current Museum exhibit titled Chicago’s Families: Finding Home; then join a member discussion about how your ancestors/relatives and you view home. Did your relatives discuss their Swedish home? What did they miss? How did they make their American home Swedish? What makes your house a Swedish home?

Cost is free for Nordic Family Genealogy Center/Swedish American Genealogical Society members; non-members pay $10.

Reservations appreciated.  You can contact the Nordic Family Genealogy Center through the museum at genealogy@samac.org.

It actually looks like there is plenty to do if you are interested in discovering more about Swedish history, culture and ancestry.

Go to the following link and take a peek at all that you could be doing  during July 2015 at the Swedish American Museum:

Events At The Swedish American Museum In Chicago July 2015

See what interests you.  Make a connection with the society if you are digging deep into your Swedish roots.  Take at look at all of the cultural doings going on at the Museum during the month of July 2015.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Arlington Heights Memorial Library Will Present Genealogy Program On Sunday August 9, 2015 From 1PM To 3:30 PM; “Stepping Stones To Researching Your Family’s Jewish Roots”; Presented By Harriet Rudnit

Hi Everyone!

AHML LogoI received a program notice from the Arlington Heights Memorial Library on an upcoming genealogy program they will offer on Sunday, August 9, 2015 from 1 PM to 3:30 PM.

The program is titled “Stepping Stones to Researching Your Family’s Jewish Roots”.  The presenter will be Harriet Rudnit.

Harriet Rudnit, member of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois, will discuss Jewish research challenges, relevant documents, plus important online sources including Jewishgen.org, and Ancestry.com.

Registration is required through the library website at www.ahml.info.  Or you can call the library directly at 847-392-0100 for help to register.

Here is the text description of the program provided to me by Michael Mulholland, the Genealogy Librarian at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library:

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Hendrickson Room

8/9/2015 – 1:00pm – 3:30pm

“Stepping Stones to Researching Your Family’s Jewish Roots”

Presented by Harriet Rudnit

Harriet Rudnit, member of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois, will discuss Jewish research challenges, relevant documents, plus important online sources including Jewishgen.org, and Ancestry.com.

No Library Card Required

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Check out her upcoming program at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Reminder Re-Post: McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society Will Be Holding All-Day Conference On Saturday, July 11, 2015 At McHenry County College In Crystal Lake, IL

Hi Everyone!

McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society LogoI just wanted to re-post this reminder of the upcoming McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society (MCIGS) Annual Conference that will take place on Saturday, July 11, 2015, at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, IL.

You still have about 2 weeks to think about attending this wonderful annual conference.  Registration at this time for the conference will be $70 (lunch not included for registrations at this time).  “Walk-Ins” are welcome the day of the conference at the full $70 cost with no lunch included.  I am sure that the society members present at the conference can suggest some local restaurants for lunch for any registrants at this time as well as for “walk-ins” the day of the conference.

I also received a couple more “flyers” for this upcoming program that you can see here:

July 11, 2015 McHenry County Genealogical Society Detailed Flyer For Annual Conference

July 11, 2015 McHenry County Genealogical Society One Page Flyer For Annual Conference

The original posting of this event in this blog took place on January 27, 2015 and occurs after the separator line.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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Hi Everyone!

McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society LogoI just received a notice from the McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society (MCIGS) that they will be offering an all-day genealogy conference on Saturday, July 11, 2015, at the McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, IL.

The conference is titled “MCIGS 2015 Summer Conference”.

There will be 4 separate sessions throughout the day three of which will provide a choice of 4 programs to pick from while one other sessions will provide a choice of 3 programs to choose from.

Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL and Thomas MacEntee (from Geneabloggers and High-Definition Genealogy) are two nationally known genealogy experts who will be providing presentations.  There will be 5 other speakers also presenting programs.

Vendors will also be present for you to check out all kinds of genealogical material to purchase to help you in your own research.

Pre-program registration is encouraged.  Discounts are given if you are an existing McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society member.  Discounts are also given if registration is done prior to April 1, 2015.

Here is the fee schedule:

  • MCIGS Members registering before April 1, 2015 – $40
  • Non-members registering before April 1, 2015 – $50
  • All registration between April 2, 2015 through June 15, 2015  – $60
  • Registration after June 15, 2015 and Walk-Ins – $70

Lunch will be included for all registered prior to June 15, 2015.  Lunch cannot be guaranteed for those registering after June 15, 2015 or for walk-ins.

Here is a link to the portion of the MCIGS website that contains all of the information you need for the conference, especially the individual programs being offered as well as the biographical information for the speakers and registration information.  You can reach the society information for this event at:

McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society July 11, 2015 “MCIGS 2015 Summer Conference”

Please also pay a visit to the main website for the society to find out more about the society and the services they offer to members and non-members at:

McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society

Mark your calendars for this upcoming program.  I have already added it to the Google Calendar that is part of this blog.  It sure looks like there are great speakers offering a wide variety of programs that will help novice researchers through expert researchers.  Be sure you go to the conference link noted above for a full detailed listing of the programs available to choose from.

Time flies on our calendars!  The details are all here with this society for this annual conference.  They put on a great program with fantastic speakers plus they are not that far away in Crystal Lake.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Our Recent Genealogy Program Speaker, Jennifer Holik, Has Just Had A World War II Military Research Article Published In Internet Genealogy, June/July 2015, Volume 10, Number 2; Article Title Is “Online Resources For Finding World War II Ancestors”; We Have That Journal In Our Collection

Hi Everyone!

Jennifer Holik

Jennifer Holik

I just want to let you know that Jennifer Holik, our recent May 12, 2015 Genealogy Program presenter,  has just had an article published in the recent issue of Internet Genealogy (June/July 2015, Volume 10, Number 2).  The title of the article is “Online Resources for Finding World War II Ancestors”.

For those in attendance for Jennifer’s program at our library in May, you may have seen that Jennifer has become an incredible World War I and II military researching  resource in our area.  Her program at our library was also on World War I and II military records.

For those doing World War I and II military ancestral research, I strongly recommend taking a look at this journal issue for Jennifer’s article.  It is packed with plenty of information in which she uses an example of her own ancestor for tracking down military records online.  It is a 5 page article that is just full of tips and website addresses to assist you in your own World War II military research.

We have this journal in our collection.  You can access this journal on the 2nd floor of our library on our magazine shelves.  I would strongly recommend making a personal copy of the article for your own current or future use if you do not currently subscribe to this journal yourself.

You can also find some tips on military research and other military research resources from Jennifer’s web site at:

Jennifer Holik Website

Jennifer is someone you will want to keep in mind as a military research resource for all things World War I and II.  Keep connected to her website for so much more you can discover that can help you in your own research.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

New Poll On Right Sidebar Of The Blog; Simple Question Being Posed; “Have You Ever Attended A Family Reunion?”; “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 Ever Attended A Family Reunion?”  Yes or No

A Family Reunion can be a rewarding part of doing Family History research.  Not only have you discovered information about your past ancestors, but you have also discovered many more cousins than you have ever known about.  Tracking down ancestors is one part but you also track down living descendants of those ancestors that are your cousins.  Most of them may not be “closely” related to you.  But they are your kin.

As Family Historian you may decide to take it to the next level of interacting with living relatives.  Perhaps a Family Reunion is the ultimate get-together of family to interact with and even meet for the first time.  Maybe a Family Reunion might be small.  Maybe you are connecting with those discovered cousins that are local to your area.  Maybe a Family Reunion is large in size taking place at a hotel in a distant city.

You may have a special day set aside for such a gathering.  Maybe at someone’s house?  Maybe at your house?  Maybe in the summer time at a large park for a picnic?  Maybe at a restaurant?  Maybe a banquet hall?  Maybe with a mixed bag of elderly, middle age and children that are your newly discovered cousins, all sharing a connecting back in time to a common ancestor.  Maybe someone else is doing all the work and you are just going to be attending?  Maybe you did all the work?  Maybe you collaborated with your newly discovered cousins?

So ……………………. have you ever been to a “Family Reunion”??

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

“What’s New At Ancestry.com June 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 a June 2015 video posted from Ancestry.com that is titled “What’s New At Ancestry.com June 2015″.

The video is an approximate 26 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 – IAJGS (International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies) July 6-10, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel, www.iajgs2015.org; Ancestry Days, November 7, 2015, Raleigh, NC; Ancestry Days, November 14, 2015, Indianapolis, IN.
  • Ancestry Blog Post – Ancestry.com beta site has visually changed.  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 the new “Life Story” view and the new “Facts View”.  Also, the sources and citations of your research are now more prominent and visible in the new site.
  • Ancestry Blog Post – Ancestry Academy is a new tutorial resource part of Ancestry.  Many free online hour-long tutorials on various aspects of genealogy research.  Many new tutorials requiring a subscription to the resource have been added.  If you have a World Deluxe Subscription to Ancestry, you should have access to Ancestry Academy at no further cost.  If you do not have such an encompassing subscription, you can subscribe to the Academy itself for an added cost.  Get all the information about this new service at Ancestry from the blog post here Introducing Ancestry Academy.
  • New Databases – Virginia Vital Records has been added.  It contains 24 million records.  Births from 1864-2014.  Marriages from 1936 to 2014.  Divorces from 1918 to 2014.  Deaths from 1912 to 2014.  Database is searchable and contains actual images of records from 1864 to 1913.  Record images not present after 1913.  You would need to contact Virginia Vital Records to obtain these directly from them.  This is due to privacy restrictions.  Much birth data back to 1864 due to high amount of delayed births that were filed over time.  Virginia did not require Civil birth filings until the 1900s.
  • New Databases –  Lancashire Quarter Session Records and Petitions.  Records from England.  1.2 million records.  Court records  Covers 1648 to 1908.
  • New Databases – Oregon Motor Vehicle Registration data.  Covers 1911 to 1946.  Contains about 3.5 million records.  You can find tickets that were issued as well as determine the type of car owned by an ancestor.
  • New Databases – South Africa Deaths covering 1895 to 1972.  Contains 2.2 million records.  Not searchable.  Browseable images by year and by location of towns in Cape Province South Africa.  Civil death records.
  • 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

Poll On The Right Sidebar Has Been Closed For “Have You Watched Any Genealogy Teaching Videos On The Ancestry.com YouTube Channel?”; 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 April 6, 2015.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order!

The poll had asked the question “Have You Watched Any Genealogy Teaching Videos On The Ancestry.com YouTube Channel”?

The results of the poll showed the following from the 44 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their “Yes” or “No” response to the question.  The numbers show that 21 responses (47.73%) noted they have viewed teaching videos at the Ancestry.com YouTube channel  while 23 responses (52.77%) indicated they have not viewed any teaching videos on the Ancestry.com YouTube channel.

I am actually surprised at the almost equal numbers of responses indicating  “Yes” and “No” viewing of material at the Ancestry.com YouTube channel.  I actually thought there would have been more indicating viewing of the channel.  The fact there were more “No” responses might simply have meant that readers were not aware the channel for Ancestry.com existed on YouTube.  Perhaps this question has now made readers aware of this wonderful resource to be used to learn even more about the various aspects of genealogical research.

Yet the number of “yes” responses certainly indicates knowledge of this resource.  Online genealogy teaching videos are a great resource for the researcher to add even more skills and knowledge to their research abilities.

Check out this great resource.  Just go to YouTube and enter in the search term AncestryCom (note that there is no “.” between “Ancestry” and “com” like a normal URL name) to get connected to this nice channel.  Or the direct link to the Ancestry.com YouTube channel is:

Ancestry.com YouTube Channel

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 20 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