Monthly Archives: May 2010

Program Summary from Our Recent May 11, 2010 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

As you may be aware, our original program scheduled for May 11, 2010 was to be a topic on “20th Century Military Records” to have been presented by Marian Schuetz.  Due to a personal emergency, Marian was unable to present the program.  I apologize for this unanticipated change.  I will see what scheduling I can do in the future to have a program on military records.

This blog served a great purpose in allowing me to get the changed program information out to all of you.  Many of those who came to the program knew that the original program had been changed and were therefore not surprised.  For some, it was still a surprise!  But hopefully, a pleasant surprise with a different topic.

Knowing that Marian would not be able to present her program, I quickly nominated myself to present a substitute program.  Because of the season we are entering and because I have just done some of this research in the Fall of 2009, I chose to present a somewhat “ad lib” dual program on “Tools to Take for Cemetery Research” and “Contributing Cemetery Information to the FindAGrave Website”.

We had 55 people in attendance for this quickly put together substitute set of topics.  In part one of the presentation I shared with the those in attendance the “things” they should consider bringing with them when embarking on doing on-site cemetery research.  This is my “personal” list.  Each of us may ultimately create our own “list” of items to bring with but I wanted to share what things I not only brought the last time but what additional items I may bring the next time I do on-site cemetery research.  Take it from me, there is no worse feeling than to be in a cemetery doing research only to discover that you never thought of bringing “this” or “that” when you were on-site.  In an urban cemetery setting or one close to home, this may not be such a problem.  But if you are in a truly “rural” cemetery setting, in which you may be a long way from any convenience items, then pre-planning in advance on what you will bring with is even more important.

I would encourage those that read this blog to leave any comments on items they may bring to do cemetery research that may not be on my own list.

Here is my list of  “must have”  items to have at the cemetery:

CLOTHING CONSIDERATIONS

  •  Hat (Baseball or Wide-Brimmed)
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes
  • Waterproof Boots (especially if you are going early in the morning)
  • Long Sleeved Light Shirt (sun protection)
  • Long Pants (sun protection and working on the ground)
  • Rain Poncho or Waterproof Jacket with Hood

 PERSONAL ITEMS

  •  Sunglasses
  • Camera/Video Camera
  • Fresh Batteries for cameras
  • Instruction books for cameras
  • Walkie-Talkies (if two of you are going, or even more)
  • Instruction books for walkie-talkies, especially if you may want to change channels.

 MEDICAL/CHEMICAL

  •  Medications (personal)
  • Small First Aid Kit (Blisters, Cuts, Abrasions, Pain Relief)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellant

 FOOD/WATER

  •  Drinking Water (plenty, with ice)
  • Energy bars
  • Sandwich
  • Cooler with ice

 TOOLS FOR FINDING GRAVESITE

  •  Maps provided by cemetery office with graves marked
  • Large orange safety cone for marking the grave when found so you see it easily when returning back from the car.
  • Tall orange flagged ground stakes, also for marking graves so you see them easier when you return from the car.
  • GPS if you may already have GPS coordinates for gravesite.
  • Cemetery workers – they know their way around.  Don’t be afraid to ask them!
  • Use cemetery provided section marker guides to help you know you are in the right area of a section.  Expect that these will not be readily seen and may be below ground.

 PHYSICAL TOOLS

  •  Waterproof tarp (8 feet by 8 feet) to spread out or fold up and kneel on.
  • Knee Pads
  • Pressurized 2 gallon water container with spraying wand (like you use for pesticides)
  • Long handled floor cleaner with sponge mop head for wiping the headstone after spraying it.  The long handle eliminates your bending down plus gives you scrubbing leverage.
  • Sharpened wooden sticks to use as tools to remove dirt embedded in chiseled letters on headstone.
  • Mirror to reflect off of worn chiseled in headstone inscriptions thus giving you a better chance to determine what is actually inscribed.
  • Sod cutter
  • Hand grass shears
  • Whisk broom

Remember, the above items ar those that I have brought to the cemetery.  It is good to have them in your car, but you may find you will not necessarily bring them all with you to the actual discovered gravesite.

I also use a “laundry cart” that I purchased from Target for about $30 to put any of the above materials into that I will pull behind me to bring to the gravesite.  This is a fairly large, steel wire basket fold-up cart that has 2 large rear wheels and 2 smaller front wheels.  You will need to put some kind of cardboard on the bottom so that long-handled thin items such as a sod cutter will stand up in the cart without falling through the large wire openings of the basket design.

I definitely encourage anyone to leave comments on this posting on things they bring to the cemetery for their own research that may not be on my own list.  I am always open myself for anything new to bring with to make your research experience more pleasant, enjoyable, safe and productive!!

My own experience also taught me to consider the following actions when you are going to the cemetery:

  • On a good day with a lot of luck, give yourself at least 20 to 30 minutes per grave site you want to find, clean up and photograph.
  • Ask at the office before you go out looking for a site whether they have records of a headstone being placed.  They may tell you the site you seek is contained within another family site.  You may still see no identification of the gravesite if the person’s name was not chiseled into any existing monument.  They are there but they are not identified!!
  • Think about going twice if the weather will be extremely hot or will be dangerously unstable with storms!
  • Mid-October and later may not be good because of leaves.  Trust me, there are a lot of leaves on the ground at this time in many cemeteries with mature trees!!
  • Consider uploading your findings and any pictures you have taken to FindAGrave!  They seem to be a great organization.  Many researchers visit this site often looking for names.

For the second part of my presentation I showed those in attendance all that is FindAGrave.  It is a wonderful site that you can visit and join yourself at www.findagrave.com.

I want to refer all of you to the posting I did on this blog on March 27, 2010 regarding FindAGrave and my choice to actually become a contributing member of the site.  This posting will provide you with what I presented at our program.

I chose to participate in order to upload photos of the headstones or monuments of my ancestors.  But understand, if you know the cemetery location of a deceased ancestor, you too can choose to participate with this site and upload your birth, death information for your deceased ancestors without uploading any pictures.  Your research would then be out there to possibly receive contact information from other researchers making a connection to a mutually shared ancestor.  YOU DO NOT HAVE TO UPLOAD PICTURES!

So for those of us that have a great amount of lineage data in our lineage based programs, you can upload that material to this site.  To make your participation more productive, you should only consider uploading material for which you know of the cemetery burial location.  Just having birth and death date information without knowing the cemetery location of the deceased is somewhat counterintuitive to upload to “FindAGrave”! 

We ended our program by 9:30 PM.  I guess I must have done OK in presenting this material because I am still alive and writing this summary for all of you to enjoy!!

I thank all of you who told me that I had done a good job, maybe good enough to consider that I present more programs in the future!  I do have some ideas in mind for more things I would like to personally share.  So keep looking at our future schedule of programs to see if my name makes it to the list.

It appears all 55 participants had a good time and it sounds like all of you walked away with a little more information as well as maybe being inspired to visit the cemeteries of your ancestors and pay them homage.  There is a touching moment you will experience when you stand above a gravesite that until then was just an entry in a lineage data base.  You may be the first visitor in a hundred years!  It is true that you may say a few words to this ancestor that is below your feet that may have been there for hundreds of years.  If it is a direct ancestor connection, then you can thank them for your being on planet earth!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Reminder: Our Next Genealogy Program at STDL is Tomorrow May 11, 2010 – PLEASE NOTE PROGRAM CHANGE!!

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, May 11, 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:

PLEASE NOTE – OUR ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED PROGRAM ON “20TH CENTURY MILITARY RECORDS” WITH SPEAKER MARIAN SCHUETZ HAS BEEN CHANGED DUE  TO A PERSONAL EMERGENCY FOR THE SPEAKER.  INSTEAD OF THIS PRESENTATION, TONY KIERNA, THE STDL GENEALOGY COORDINATOR, IS GOING TO PRESENT A DUAL PROGRAM ON “TOOLS TO TAKE FOR CEMETERY RESEARCH” AND “CONTRIBUTING CEMETERY INFORMATION TO THE FINDAGRAVE WEBSITE”.

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

The Genealogy program will be held on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 7:30 PM in the 2nd floor Classroom.  The originally scheduled guest speaker for the evening Marian Schuetz, will not be able to present her program topic on “20th Century Military Records” due to a personal emergency.  Instead, Tony Kierna, the STDL Genealogy Coordinator, will present a dual program on “Tools to Take for Cemetery Research” and “Contributing Cemetery Information to the FindAGrave Website”.

Tony Kierna, the STDL Genealogy Coordinator, regrets that the originally scheduled speaker and topic will not take place.  He does look forward to presenting these alternative topics and sharing his personal experiences within the two topics.  
 
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 programat 7:30.  Introductions of new participants will occur as well as a brief review of 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

May 2010 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts Uploaded As A PDF for May 11, 2010 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the May 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, May 11, 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

May 2010 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter Uploaded As A PDF for May 11, 2010 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the May 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, May 11, 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

PLEASE NOTE PROGRAM CHANGE – Next Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library Scheduled for Tuesday Evening on May 11, 2010 at 7:30 PM

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, May 11, 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.

PLEASE NOTE – OUR ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED PROGRAM ON “20TH CENTURY MILITARY RECORDS” WITH SPEAKER MARIAN SCHUETZ HAS BEEN CHANGED DUE  TO A PERSONAL EMERGENCY FOR THE SPEAKER.  INSTEAD OF THIS PRESENTATION, TONY KIERNA, THE STDL GENEALOGY COORDINATOR, IS GOING TO PRESENT A DUAL PROGRAM ON “TOOLS TO TAKE FOR CEMETERY RESEARCH” AND “CONTRIBUTING CEMETERY INFORMATION TO THE FINDAGRAVE WEBSITE”.

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

The Genealogy program will be held on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 7:30 PM in the 2nd floor Classroom.  The originally scheduled guest speaker for the evening Marian Schuetz, will not be able to present her program topic on “20th Century Military Records” due to a personal emergency.  Instead, Tony Kierna, the STDL Genealogy Coordinator, will present a dual program on “Tools to Take for Cemetery Research” and “Contributing Cemetery Information to the FindAGrave Website”.

Tony Kierna, the STDL Genealogy Coordinator, regrets that the originally scheduled speaker and topic will not take place.  He does look forward to presenting these alternative topics and sharing his personal experiences within the two topics.  
 
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 programat 7:30.  Introductions of new participants will occur as well as a brief review of 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

May 18, 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.

Michelle Bray Wilson will be presenting a genealogy program titled “In Search of French-Canadians in America and Canada..

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

May 18, 2010 Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists Program.

This is the last genealogy program they will have for the 2009-2010 “season”.  They will have there next program in September 2010.  Details of that upcoming program will be made available when the program schedule for 2010-2011 has been established.

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

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library