Monthly Archives: March 2010

New “Genealogy Program Flyer” Page Added To the Top of Our Blog

Hi Everyone!

I just want to let you know that there is a new “page” on our blog.  At the top of the blog you will now see a “page” that is titled Genealogy Program Flyer

Our Graphics Department put together a very nice 1 page “flyer” that provides information on our monthly genealogy program.  The flyer is a JPEG file.

This flyer will be posted by our reception desk of the main library on the first floor.  Handouts of the flyer are available at the reception desk.  The image of the flyer will also be show “electronically” on various TV monitors scattered throughout our library.  Other library information is also shown on these monitors.  So now, genealogy has been added as an additional piece of information that we include in this series of information messages we broadcast on our TV monitors in our building.

Take a look at the flyer.  I think it is very well put together and is a very nice visual flyer highlighting general information of our monthly genealogy program.  Contact information to myself as well as our blog is included in the flyer.

Please share this piece of information with whomever you think would benefit from knowing of our monthly genealogy program.

Enjoy the flyer!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

September 25, 2010 Fox Valley Genealogical Society Annual Conference Date

Hi Everyone!

Please mark Saturday, September 25, 2010 date on your calendars.  This is the date for the Fox Valley Genealogical Society Annual Conference.

The guest speaker for the day will be D. Joshua Taylor.  He will present four 1 hour genealogical programs.  Topics in the program that will be presented are:

  • Finding the Roots of Your Family Legends
  • On and Off the Net: Locality Searching
  • Successful Searching Online: Clustering for Genealogists
  • Vanity Sketches: Sources and Truths Behind Mugbook Entries

Please visit the website of the Fox Valley Genealogical Society directly.  You can reach them at:

Fox Valley Genealogical Society of Naperville, Illinois

Look for the “Annual Conference” link on the left side of the web page.  Click on the link and it will get you to a PDF of material that is associated with the annual conference.  Browse around in the material for the conference that will tell you more of location, time, cost etc.  All of the information is here.

There is plenty of time to plan for this all day program with a great speaker providing some great topics on genealogical research.

Support another local genealogical society that is in our area!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Visit “Find A Grave” and Consider Submitting Your Data and Photos

Hi Everyone!

I wanted to let everyone know that I finally made the plunge and have become an online contributor to the Find A Grave website.  It is at this site that contributors can upload information on the birth, death and cemetery information for those they are researching.  You can also contribute photos of the ancestors and pictures of their gravestones and memorials in the cemeteries where they are laid to rest.

All genealogy researchers should be aware of this great death/cemetery research site at:

The process is incredibly easy to register yourself thus allowing you to upload information from your research.

You do not have to register yourself with them if all you want to do is search the site.  There are 43 million records at this site from all over the United States and the world!!

To register, all you have to do is click on their sign-up link.  You will be asked to provide your e-mail address, first and last name and a “public” name that will appear associated with the material that you will upload.  You do not have to give your real name for it to appear publicly.  There are cryptic names of contributors and you can even have your data show as having been provided by “anonymous”.

I indicated my “public name” as my real name hoping that anyone that makes a hit on names I have uploaded will have a clue early on of my name.  At any time after you register, you can edit your profile and change these things to return to anonymity if you so choose.  Once you submit the basic information to register an e-mail will be sent back to the e-mail address you provided for verification and also to provide you with a final 9 digit number to enter into your application to finalize the registration process.

At this point you can begin entering in your data and photos if you choose.

The site allows you to begin entering in your data with clicking on one link to begin the process.  You will be given a template online to enter in your data.  First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name, Maiden Name for Married Women, Suffix are the core pieces of information for an individual.  You can also enter in birthdate, Place of birth that can be Country, State, County and City.  The same applies for the death information.  Date of Death, Location of death at the Country, State, County, and City location.  You would also then provide the location of burial at the Country, State and County location.  You finally enter in the Cemetery Name from a pre-selected long list of cemetery names provided by Find A Grave.  The same long lists are also available for Country, State, County within the State and the City within the County.

Once all of the information is loaded in the template all you do hit the upload link and within a few seconds your entry is uploaded and is shown with all of the contributor information you chose to allow or with as little as you chose to allow.  It is that simple and fast.

Find A Grave even has the capability to provide you with some Excel templates that helps you upload a lot of material quickly.  If you have t least 25 entries to add to one particular cemetery then you can do this by putting all of your person information in this 25 person template and then uploading all of it with one upload click, provided it is all for one cemetery.

If you do not have at least 25 entries to upload to one cemetery, then just add the data the basic way, one at a time.

Once your entry is in their data base, you can then upload any pictures you may have for this individual.  At this point I have chosen to upload the headstone pictures I took at St. Adalbert’s Cemetery in Niles, IL.  I did some picture-taking at this cemetery in September and October of 2009 of many of my more immediate ancestors.  These were the pictures I have just uploaded.

One requirement from Find A Grave is that the picture be in JPEG format and also be less than 350 KB in size.  This means you have to take the picture with your digital camera so the size of the picture is small and fits within this range or you can take the picture from the camera in the best setting and then you have to run it through a photo application to reduce the size and allow it to post on the web.  I ran my high scale pictures through Photoshop Elements 4.0 for my iMac and used the process of saving the picture for the web.  This allowed me to reduce the file size of the picture to meet the requirements of Find A Grave while keeping the quality still very good.  So just be aware of these kind of requirements at this great site.

When I was ready to upload photos, I “logged”myself into Find A Grave and just searched the Find A Grave site for the entry I just uploaded.  Once you get the person you uploaded, you just click on the spot on the entry that says “Add Photo”.  Find A Grave comes back to you with a pre-set list of what it is that you will upload.  Grave is the default.  Then click on the box that allows yu to select your picture to upload from wherever you have it.  Select it and choose to upload.  Then upload the picture and once again within a matter of seconds you will see it as part of the person data you entered.  You can also choose to delete the picture at any time if needed or add a caption to it for further explanation.

While all this is happening, Find A Grave is keeping track of what you have entered both in terms of the names and any pictures you upload.

Remember, you do not have to upload any pictures.  You can just upload information you have from your own personal lineage databases on those you have in your research.  If you have ancestors with birthdate information, death date information and burial information, in particular the cemetery, you too can be a contributor.

Believe it or not, there are many, many people who have contributed information on burials that are in the hundreds of thousands!!  Many people contribute names and information on those not even related.  One gentleman in this “Biggest Contributor” list he has taken it upon himself to upload death information on military veterans that he sees in his daily paper so they will not be forgotten.

So far I have added about 31 “Memorials” to the site with the accompanying gravestone picture.

There is still much more for me to learn of the capabilities of the site as well as other things to use at the site.

The site has a very large and very useful “Frquently Asked Questions” (FAQ).  I found that this section was able to address just about any question I was coming up with from initial registration through the “How To Upload” pictures questions that I had for myself.

Just think, there are already 43 million records at this site.  Visit it, use it, and consider becoming a contributor to this site with data that is already in your possession.  Share the information and also open up the possibility that you will have someone visit the site and find your data and ask you via either a e-mail message to you or via the “public message” capability of the site whether the two of you may have some ancestral connections.

Just visit the web site at:

If you want to see what I have entered in, just enter in my surname of KIERNA, and you will see some of my recent uploads of data and photos.  Click on my “public name” where the data is shown.  You will see that you can contact me via my e-mail address or you can leave a public message.  Take a look at my “great” picture I left of myself in the biographical information section.  What do you think??  Cute!!

Seeing is believing.  Maybe seeing what I have done may make you realize that you can do the same.

Visit the site.  Give it a try.  Consider contributing.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

April 20, 2010 Genealogy Program for the Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists

Hi Everyone!

I wanted to make you aware of an upcoming genealogy program that will be presented by the Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists that  is local to our area.

Kathryn Barrett will be presenting a program titled “Naturalization: It’s History and Records”.

Check out all of the program information details at the following link:

April 20, 2010 Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists Program Notice

Take advantage of this upcoming genealogy program that is local to our area.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Don’t Forget to Make Copies of Your Filled In 2010 Census Forms Before Returning It

Hi Everyone!

I just received my 2010 US Federal Census Form in the mail.  You should have already received your copy also or will soon receive it.

It certainly looks rather simple to fill out.  There does not appear to be a lot of information that is being gathered.  That is not necessarily good for future genealogists and your own descendants.  Is what you fill out today going to provide that “WOW” factor of an answer 72 years down the road in 2082 when your descendants want to find out the dirt about you.  It sure does not look like any information of note for researchers.  Pretty basic stuff.

You won’t find any information from this census to discover when someone arrived into the United States or did they become a Naturalized Citizen.  Or how long a couple has been married.  Or how many children did the woman have and how many are still alive.  Or how much their property is worth.  Or was the person a military veteran serving in what war.

For those of us that are genealogy researchers, I guess we will have to admit that what we have been able to discover from the 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 Census material is far superior to what looks like will be available for future researchers from the 2010 Census in the year 2082.

Nonetheless, it behooves you to make a copy of what you will fill out for the 2010 Census before you return it to the Federal Government.  Keep the copy as a paper copy with your genealogical records and material that you will pass on to your children and grandchildren for them to keep the Family History Research moving forward, and backward, far after we ourselves are gone. 

With the technology available now, scan the saved paper copy and digitize it for your genealogical records as we do for so much other material we have.

We are actually luckier than our ancestors in being able to make a copy of what we provided as census data.  Our ancestors were visited by a census taker in person and did not have the benefit of getting a copy of what they verbally shared with the census taker.  So at least we can do our little bit for future generations by keeping a copy of what we actually filled out and submitted to our  federal government.

If my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren look at the public data from the 2010 census in the year 2082 and sees what I filled out today, I am sure I would hear disappointment in the voices of these future researchers when they would say “Is that all there is about my ggggg-grandfather!!?”

So dutifully make a copy of the filled-out form before you return it.  Keep it with your other genealogical records.  And then sit down and appreciate it even more what you have been able to discover on your ancestors from the census data from 1790 to 1930.

Visit  the official census web site for this 2010 census at:

You are fulfilling your obligation to reply just as our ancestors did.

You are now part of history to be discovered after 2082 when the 2010 census will become available to researchers of the future!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Pictures Added to Previous Post That Summarized Our Program Presented on March 9, 2010

Hi Everyone!

You may want to take a look at my previous post in which I summarized events of our March 9, 2010 Genealogy Program.

I just learned a new blogging capability.  I was able to upload JPEG pictures and included them in a post.  It just made more sense for me to edit the previous post and put the pictures in the blog post associated with the program summary.

You may have already visited my post that summarized the March 9, 2010 Genealogy Program.  That was before I added the pictures.  Take another look and see what you think.  I think the pictures look pretty good and the captions for the pictures speak for themselves.

Enjoy the images!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

We Had An Active “Breakout” Genealogy Program on March 9, 2010

Hi Everyone!

Guess what??


This has been another tough winter but it sure felt good not to have another major snow storm or ice storm on the night of our genealogy program.  It felt good to get back together after February’s program cancellation due to a snowstorm.

Our Program Room Before Participants Arrive

Many of you must have felt the same because we had 35 people attend our “breakout” program last night.  That is a very high number of attendees for a program when we don’t have a speaker.

For the 12 years that I have been doing this at our library, our Beginner’s Table was the largest I have ever seen.  Normally we put 3 tables together for those to sit around.  We actually combined about 7 or 8 tables and had about 20 people sit around the Beginner’s Table!  In addition to there being many people around the table, everyone seemed active and ready to learn much of what I discussed.

Our Irish Research Table Beginning to Fill Up

I actually think this time our Beginner’s table exceeded in numbers all those remaining that were at all of the other research tables combined!

I mentioned to those at the Beginner’s table that many other local public libraries exist in our area that have a larger focus on genealogy than our own library.  Our library is more known as a library having a specialty for “business”.  The public libraries in our area that have a large genealogical collection on site are:

  • Arlington Heights Memorial Library
  • Wheaton Public Library
  • Gale Borden Public Library in Elgin
  • Mt. Prospect Public Library

Please take a look in the “Favorite Links” section of this blog to link to the web address of each of the libraries.

Beginner's Table Starting to Fill Up

I spent time indicating the importance of “interviewing” your living relatives now in order to begin establishing your ancestral trail.  Those that are elderly may not be around in the future for you to delay your interview.  Be kind.  Be courteous.  Be respectful.  Do not overburden those that you interview.  They may not have as much stamina as you might in your quest to discover your ancestors.  Make sure you ask permission to audiotape/videotape your interview.  Don’t question what you may hear from your interviewee.  It is uncanny how so many of their stories will actually lead you to correct connections after your research progresses.  At first you may be in disbelief.  Trust me.  Your inital reactions of disbelief may soon turn to amazement as your ancestral connections come to light.

I spent some time making sure all were familiar with the major genealogical sites that we all visit frequently.

Sites mentioned were:

I tried to emphasize that researchers should spend as much time learning of the resources available at these sites and not just spend time searching for surnames.

Polish Researchers Gather Round Their Table

I showed those at the Beginner’s table a good amount of what you can do at the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints site, commonly referred to as the Mormon site.  I emphasized that resources abound here both for finding reference materials for countries and states as well as finding Family History Centers (FHC) and using the catalog to discover material that can help you with films for geographical areas of interest.

I ended my discussion of Mormon resources by making those at our table aware of the Mormon digitization project to convert their 2.5 million reels of resource data to digitized images on the web fully indexed and available for free.  The very early beginnings of this data can be found in their “Record Pilot Search” at their web site.

German Researchers Filling Up Their Table

I ended our discussion indicating that a beginning researcher should use the United States Census data that is available electronically through, Family’ and Heritage Quest as their first effort into researching actual data.  Even if you want to jump into your ethnic area of research and connect to the mother country, don’t do it.  Work your ancestral connection back from the 1930 census back as far as it will take you until their arrival into the United States.  Build a solid base from you going backwards through as many censuses as possible.  You will discover much and many of the stories you have heard from family members may have different shades once you see the data in the census.

We ended our program at around 9:30 PM with everyone leaving with much more information than when they arrived!

I thank those that stayed after we ended to help put the room back in order by putting the tables in chairs back in the form of a classroom setting.  Thank you so much for your help.

Thank you also to those that brought in some extra “cookie” and “cake” goodies.  I really appreciate your kindness in treating us to some of your great baking!

Participants Are Filling Up Many of the Research Tables

We will be doing another one of our “breakout” programs in June 2010.

Keep coming back to our blog to find out the details as we get closer to that date.

I hope everyone had as good a time last night as I did!

See you all next month on April 13, 2010 at 7:30 PM at our library for our next program.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

British and Wales Birth, Marriage and Death Certificate Document Fees Are Increasing Significantly on April 6, 2010

Hi Everyone!

I want to make all of you aware of some recent news that has come to my attention from Paul Milner, one of our Genealogy Program speakers. 

This is a very timely notice mainly geared to anyone that is doing British research.

Paul has indicated that fees to order key vital records data will be increasing significantly starting on April 6, 2010.  All of the details are in the text sent to me by Paul.  His text that came from his e-mail is in Italics in this post following my preface.

If you were planning on ordering any material for these British Vital Records, you may want to accelerate your order to take advantage of the still lower costs to do so.  On April 6, 2010 the costs appear to be increasing by about 50%.

Read Paul’s text contained in this post and act now to save yourself some money.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Have you been putting off getting those birth, marriage and death certificates for your English and Welsh ancestors? Here is an incentive to motivate you. The British government announced March 1 that effective 6 April 2010 the cost of obtaining a certificate will increase from 7 pounds ($10.60 ) to 9.25 pounds ($14).

 You can read the full story at

 You can obtain any birth, marriage or death certificate for any event since 1 July 1837 in England and Wales. You don’t even have to prove a relationship to the person.

 So how can you quickly do this? I would suggest the first place to start is FreeBMD at The big benefit here is that this is a computerized index of the entries in the national civil registration indexes. This pulls out all entries for a given name you are seeking, with options to limit the search parameters (time, location, etc). This index covers a lot of entries up into the 1930’s, the later in time period the less complete the coverage is so check the coverage statistics if you can’t find here what you are looking for. When you find what you are looking for confirm that the information given matches what is provided in the original index by viewing the digital scan of the index. If you make a mistake you won’t get the certificate you are seeking.

 If you can’t find what you looking for here you can see digital scans of the pages from the national indexes at Ancestry – and at FindMyPast – Both of these are subscription services provide access to the civil registration indexes. In addition they provide access to indexes and images for the 1841 through 1901 census returns. Additionally, FindMyPast is the only place you have access to the 1911 census. Using the census returns in conjunction with the civil registration records will help you expand the family information you have.

 When you have found the index references you need you can order the certificates online at and pay with your credit card.

 You will get your certificates back in about 10 days. So between now and April 6 you have time to order some certificates and get them back in time to order another batch, for you know each certificate will produce another lead to follow.

 I ordered the first batch of my own certificates last night.

 This message is brought to you as a timely courtesy update.


Paul Milner

March 2010 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Handouts Uploaded as PDF File for March 9, 2010 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the March 2010 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts as a PDF file into the PROGRAM HANDOUTS Category on the right sidebar of the blog.

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, March 9, 2010 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.

Enjoy the handouts.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

March 2010 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter Uploaded as PDF File for March 9, 2010 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the March 2010 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter as a PDF file into the NEWSLETTER Category on the right sidebar of the blog.

Take a look at if you choose to browse through it in advance of our Genealogy Program that will take place on Tuesday evening, March 9, 2010 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.

Enjoy the newsletter.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library