Monthly Archives: April 2010

Summary of Our Most Recent Genealogy Program on April 13, 2010 with Teresa Steinkamp McMillin As Our Guest Speaker

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to provide you with an overview of our most recent Genealogy Program that was held at the Schaumburg Township District Library on Tuesday evening, April 13, 2010.

We had a “full house” gathering of 73 highly motivated genealogy researchers who were just ready to learn some new resources and techniques to help them in their own research efforts.  this has been one of our highest levels of genealogy program attendance!

Our guest speaker for the evening was Teresa Steinkamp McMillin.

Teresa presented a program titled “So You’ve Found Your German Town of Origin … Now What?”

Our April 13, 2010 Program Starting To Fill Up With Participants

Our program was attended by about 10 new participants.  I invited each new participant to introduce themselves to the group and to give us an idea of how new to genealogy they are and to provide us with a few surnames they are researching.  Each new participant was provided an introductory folder of “beginning” material to help them start their “genealogy research engines”.  The number of new participants was also one of the highest we have had attending our program.

I followed the introductions of new participants with a quick review of the “handouts” of genealogical materials that I thought were important to note and to share.  These “handouts” are the new electronic ones that are in the form of a PDF file available from our library’s genealogy blog.  I made note to the audience of some of the upcoming genealogy programs offered by other societies and groups that are local to the area.  Attending programs such as our library program and these other programs can advance the research knowledge of any genealogical researcher.  Anyone can look at or download this material from our blog.  You do not have to be a Schaumburg Township District Library registered member in order to view the material.  I like to expand my own thoughts in these handout write-ups to give you an idea as to why I think a particular one may be of value to the researcher.

Some Of Our 73 Attendees Interact With Each Other Prior To Our Program Start

After I reviewed the handouts, I turned my attention to briefly review items in the Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter.  I will generally provide information in the Newsletter about recent periodicals that we received that focus on genealogy.  I will also provide some summary material on any new genealogical books we may have added to our collection.

The periodical reviews include a listing of the articles in the issue, the author of the article, a small description of the article content if provided by the magazine.  I generally provide an overview of at least two articles that caught my interest that I believe would be of interest to our participants.

The Newsletter is also available to anyone to look at or download from our library’s genealogy blog.

Teresa started her presentation at around 8:10 PM.

It is ironic, sad and not uncommon that many genealogical researchers may actually not discover the town of origin of their ancestors.  So if you happen to discover this piece of history in your research consider yourself lucky!  Cherish this piece of information knowing that it can help you connect the bridge from the United States to whatever point of origin you discover.

Teresa had an outstanding PowerPoint presentation to share with us to show us what you can do if you have discovered your ancestor’s German town of origin.

Teresa Steinkamp McMillin Sharing Some German Genealogy Research Tips

  1. 1.  Find the town on a map or a gazetteer.  One good German oriented resource is the Meyer’s Orts and Verkehrs Lexicon des Deutschen Reichs.   This resource is commonly referred to as Meyer’s.  Also consider using an online resource such as Shtetlseeker at or Kartenmeister at
  2. 2.  What if you can’t find the town on any map?  The reasons for not finding it might be that the transcription of the original document was faulty, the town name may have been written in German script, it may have been documented by an English-speaking person not familiar with the details of the German language, or it might have been translated from another language such as Polish.  In any case, if you are having problems at this stage, go back to look at the original document for a review.
  3. If you are successful finding the town on a map then try to get the records you seek.  Knowing the history of the country and the town as for political divisions is important to know.  Civil records are generally kept by the governmental jurisdictions.  Knowing these jurisdictions is important, but knowing the jurisdictions in the historical time period of your ancestors is even more important.  Consider using the Family History Catalog to see if microfilms exist for the village of your ancestors.  It is important to look in the /Family History Library catalog for the town associated with level of jurisdiction for the village that you research.  So for example, with a village called Kreyenborg, you would want to look at Kreyenborg, as well as Meppen, Bokeloh, Lingen and Osnabruck which are other levels of jurisdiction that pertain to Kreyenborg.  There may be many categories of film types that you can order.  There may be church records or civil records or any other type of category in the possession of the Family History Library.  Become familiar with German word terms by accessing the Resource Aids of the Family History Library online for German researchers.  These can be Word Guides to help you understand key German words you may encounter on the films you review.  You may be lucky to find indexes on the films.  You may be unlucky and find you have to look image by image through an entire film for a town.  Be prepared for ANYTHING!  Some of the data on the film may be easy to read in columnar format.  Some of the data may be written as long paragraphs.  Use the aid to help you interpret what is on the film and how best to interpret what may certainly be a foreign language or foreign format.
  4. Look on the internet for your German town.  It is amazing how many towns themselves have an internet presence.  Just try using a generic URL web address of www.<townname>.de.  Look for any online German telephone books in which you might be able to look for a surname, one that is hopefully not too common.  Try accessing to find German phone numbers.  If you find some names, consider writing a letter.
  5. Good luck and enjoy your search for and in German records!  Your research skills will improve as you search more.  You will begin to know what you are looking for with the help of the Family History Library online aids. 

Teresa Steinkamp McMillin Sharing More Germanic Research Tips to a Very Attentive Audience


  • Dr. E. Uetrecht. Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs- Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs [Meyer’s Directory of Places and Commerce in the German Empire].  1912. Reprint, Genealogical Publishing Co., 2000. Gazetteer showing places of the 1871 German Empire and their governmental jurisdictions.  The Family History Library’s [FHL] cataloging of German places is largely based on this gazetteer.  Written in German and gothic print.
  • Gemeindelexikon für das Königreich Preussen [Gazetteer for the Kingdom of Prussia].  Berlin: Verlag des Königlichen statistischen Landesamts. 1907-1909. This gazetteer consists of 14 volumes (one for each pre-1919 Prussian Province).  Among other things, it helps to identify to what Catholic and/or Lutheran parish a town belonged.  Written in German and gothic print.  Available at on microfilm through FHL and on indefinite loan at the Wilmette Family History Center [WFHC], Wilmette, Illinois


  • Ernest Thode. German-English Genealogical Dictionary. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1992.  This book is a must have for reading German records.  Also contains Latin, some French and other languages found in German-speaking lands.
  • Edna M. Bentz. If I Can, You Can Decipher Germanic Records. San Diego, California: Tamara J. Bentz, 2005.  This book has many examples of words written in script, variations of letters in script, lists of occupations and illnesses.


We ended our program at around 9:30 PM.  Teresa stayed for a while answering questions of those that were present.

Her presentation was great!  She really knows her German research methodology!

Thank you Teresa for the great presentation job!

We hope those in attendance left knowing a lot more of what is needed to further their Germanic genealogy research.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library Is Now Available For Home Use for Schaumburg Township District Library Card Holders

Hi Everyone!

Great news for fellow Schaumburg Township District Library genealogy researchers!

One of our electronic genealogy databases that was formally only available to use within our library building IS NOW AVAILABLE TO USE FROM HOME! is now available for home users who have a library card issued to them by our library.

Your library card must have been issued to you by our library in order for you to have home access to this product.  At the point of accessing this database you will be required to enter in you Schaumburg Township District Library card number that is on your picture ID library card.  Unfortunately, those that do not reside in our district will not be able to access this database.

If your library card was issued to you by another library, please check with them as to the availability of this database or other genealogy databases through them.  Each public library generally has available most of the genealogically oriented databases as we do.  You may have registered your non-Schaumburg Township District Library card with us in order to obtain book borrowing privileges, but those borrowing privileges do not apply to accessing our electronic databases from home.

You are always welcome to come into our library to use any of our electronic database material if your library card was issued to you by another library.

You can access this database from our web site at:

I have been able to access the database from home with no problem.  Others have also told me access from home is OK.

What follows in Italics is from the web site that provides some background information on who they are:

Footnote helps you find and share historic documents. We are able to bring you many never-before-seen historic documents through our unique partnerships with The National Archives, the Library of Congress and other institutions.

Our patented digitization process is helping bring other collections to life on the web everyday.

But Footnote is more than just a dusty, digital archive online. We provide you the tools to share your historical passions and connect with others.

Footnote is perfect for

  • History Buffs
  • Genealogists
  • Researchers
  • Family Historians
  • Military Historians
  • Teachers
  • Institutions

Company History

The concept for is rooted in the company’s years of experience in the digitization business as iArchives, Inc. Starting in 1999, iArchives digitized historical newspapers and other archive content for leading universities, libraries and media companies across the United States.

From the beginning, the iArchives team developed a unique understanding of the value of creating an online repository for the world’s original source documents. Leveraging the proprietary systems and patented processes built for the digitization of paper, microfilm and microfiche collections, the management team made a strategic decision: Use the iArchives platform to provide access to these historically significant and valuable collections.

In January of 2007 goes live with over 5 million documents already featured on the site. Today we continue to grow and bring to life history that was once hidden.

If you are not familiar with this source, make a visit to the site now that it is available from home to our card holders.  It is another great resource to tap into for your genealogy research.  It is also very interactive.  See what new information you can find about your ancestors in

Schaumburg Township District Library card holders, enjoy the database from home!!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Illinois State Genealogical Society Now Has PDF Brochure Available for the Upcoming October 23, 2010 Annual Conference

Hi Everyone!

I also received notice from the Illinois State Genealogical Society that the finalized Registration/Brochure for the October 23, 2010 Annual Conference in Peoria, IL is now available for use to register for the program and review the program material.

The material is accessible as a PDF file from the ISGS website.

The brochure can be reached directly at

You can also visit the main web site of the Illinois State Genealogical Society at to review other information about this society.

Mark the date down on your calendar.  For those in the Chicago area, you will have to drive a little farther than you normally would since the society is trying to balance the location of the program to make it more readily available to downstate genealogy researchers.  But a good program is a good program even if you have to expend a little more effort to attend.

Enjoy the updated material.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Italian Genealogy Research Group to Meet at our Library on Saturday May 15, 2010 from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Hi Everyone!

I just received an e-mail notice from the Pointers in Person North (PIP), a local Italian genealogy research group telling me of an upcoming meeting/program they will be having at our library.

Please visit their web site at for further details about their group and their programs.

The contents of their e-mail to me follows in Bolded Italics.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Meeting Notice, PIP North, Saturday, May 15, Schaumburg Library

POINTers In Person Italian Genealogy Group, PIP #27 Chicago North

Saturday, May 15


 Schaumburg District Library, 130 S. Roselle Rd.

2nd Floor Conference Room

Open discussion on Italian Genealogy research.  Bring your questions and share information about your Italian Genealogy research.  Our PIP North Leader, Dan Niemiec,  will lead the discussion.  We like to call it Dan-ealogy. 

PIP North Meetings are free and open to all.  Please join us. 

 Lunch at Dominick’s after the meeting.  Buy your own lunch and share in more discussion with your fellow Italian Genealogists.

 If you plan to attend please respond to this e-mail.

 Thank you

Terry Jackson

April 2010 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts Uploaded As A PDF for April 13, 2010 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the April 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, April 13, 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

April 2010 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter Uploaded As A PDF for April 13, 2010 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the April 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, April 13, 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

Reminder: Our Next Genealogy Program at STDL is Tomorrow April 13, 2010

Hi Everyone!

It is that time once again when we will be having another Genealogy Program at the central location of the Schaumburg Township District Library on Tuesday evening, April 13, 2010 at 7:30 PM.  We are located at 130 S. Roselle Road in Schaumburg, IL.

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 is a summary of the information about the program and the speaker:

The Genealogy program will be held on Tuesday evening, April 13, 2010 at 7:30 PM in the 2nd floor Classroom.  The guest speaker for the evening will be Teresa Steinkamp McMillin.  Teresa will present a program titled “So You’ve found Your Town of German Origin – Now What?”.

Many of us may never uncover our ancestor’s town of origin.  But when we do,  perhaps we should have a party!  That is a big discovery, but one that may still require some hard work to make it pay off for you.

 Teresa will give us some insights on what to do next when you find your ancestor’s German town of origin.  You will hear insights into how you work with German information to find out more but what you hear does provide universal research techniques for whatever ethnicity you are trying to uncover.

Teresa Steinkamp McMillin is a professional genealogist who specializes in German and Midwest American research, as well as reading German script. She has been interested in genealogy since she was a child and has been actively researching her German ancestry for the past nine years, as well as her husband’s Chicago Irish.

She has attended the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research and has taken college-level German courses. She was the 2007 recipient of the National Genealogical Society’s Home Study Course, which she has completed. Teresa is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society, as well as many local genealogical societies. She is the webmaster for the Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists.

 The doors to the room will open at approximately 7 PM so participants can pick up any handouts, review books and journals and interact with other participants.  Tony Kierna, the STDL genealogist, will start the program at 7:30.  Introductions of new participants will occur as well as a brief review of any handouts and genealogical matters.  It is expected that the guest speaker’s presentation will start at around 8-8:15 PM.  We will end the session by 9:30 PM.
For further information contact Tony Kierna at 847-923-3390.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library