Monthly Archives: August 2010

Chicago Genealogical Society to Offer Lecture and Walking Tour on Saturday, October 2, 2010; Program Titled “Hidden Truths: The Chicago City Cemetery and Lincoln Park”

Hi Everyone,

I just noticed that the Chicago Genealogical Society is offering a wonderful 3 part program that will take place on Saturday, October 2, 2010.  Each Fall they offer a wonderful insight into some unique historical and genealogical aspect of some part of Chicago.  The program for this day will focus on the historical aspects of Lincoln Park as we know it today having been used originally as a cemetery in the early history of Chicago.  The presenter for the program is Pamela Bannos, who will serve as the lecturer and guide.

I have captured the text of their program description from their own web site at

The description of this unique and intersting program follows in bold and italics:

Lecture and Walking Tour – Hidden Truths: The Chicago City Cemetery and Lincoln Park. Did you know that Lincoln Park was known as Chicago Cemetery, subsequently City Cemetery and then the Old Cemetery before it became Lincoln Park? What happened to the remains of our ancestors that were buried on the 60 acres? When was the “cemetery” closed and why did it become a park? How can I find out if my ancestors were among the 35,000 buried there? Who holds the records associated with the cemetery? Learn the answers to these questions and many more. Pamela Bannos, our guide and speaker is an expert on this subject which became her project, “Hidden Truths”.

10:00 – 11:00 am Newberry Library Lecture at 60 West Walton

11:30 am – 12:30 pm Lincoln Park/City Cemetery Walking Tour which starts at 1850 North Clark and ends at 1601 North Clark

12:30 – 2:00 pm Chicago History Museum (Optional Lunch) at the North and Clark Café, 1601 North Clark.

Take a look at the full paper “flyer” describing the program that was included in the recent Chicago Genealogical Society newsletter that was just recently received at our library.  I scanned the paper flyer and converted it to a PDF.  There appears to be more information in the flyer about this program than I could find from the CGS website.

Take a look at the full CGS flyer for this October tour at this link: 

This sounds like a fascinating multi-part excursion into the history of Chicago’s earliest cemetery.

Visit the society’s web site via the link above to find out more about the society in general and the various programs and online accessible data that they offer.  Consider becoming a member.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists (NWSCG) Next Program Scheduled for Tuesday Evening, September 21, 2010 At 7:30 PM

Hi Everyone,

I just received a program notice from the Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists indicating that their next genealogy program is scheduled for Tuesday evening, September 21, 2010 at 7:30 PM.

The speaker for the evening will be Maureen Brady.  Maureen will present a program titled “Family History Research in Illinois & Wisconsin”.

Please take a look at the full PDF announcement of the program by going to:

You will find more details about the program location, the program contents and some information about the Maureen Brady, the speaker for the evening.

Genealogy “season” starts up once again in September when many of the societies restart their programs.

Maureen is a great speaker.  If you have not seen her, you will be in for a treat.  For those of you doing Illinois and Wisconsin research, this looks to be a very good program to better understand the kinds of records that exist for these state to help in your research.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

PGSA Annual Conference Brochure Link in Post Has Been Corrected; Brochure Now Available as PDF

Hi Everyone!

I have now fixed the link in the post I made earlier today notifying everyone of the upcoming Annual Conference of the Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA).  The link for the actual PDF image of the conference brochure did not work as I thought it would.

The problem has been resolved and the new corrected link will gain you access to the PDF version of the PGSA brochure for their Annual Conference that will take place on October 1-2, 2010 in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

Go take a look at the original post I made today on August 23, 2010 for all the complete details of the program via the corrected link.

Sorry for any inconvenience if you were previously unable to accept the PDF PGSA Conference brochure.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

PGSA Annual Conference Brochure PDF Not Linking Correctly; I Am Working to Correct It

Hi Everyone,

I just noticed that the link I provided in my post for the PGSA Annual Conference is not working correctly.  This was in a post I just made on August 23, 2010.

You will currently not link to the brochure from the link I submitted and will not yet be able to see the PDF document.

I am working to correct the error and will let you know when it is fixed.


Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) Will Have Their Annual Conference on October 1-2, 2010 in Oak Lawn, Illinois

Hi Everyone,

Here is a heads up on another Fall genealogical conference coming local to our area.  The Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) will be having their annual conference on Friday and Saturday, October 1 and 2, 2010 at the Hilton Hotel in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

There are 4 one-hour programs, starting at 3 PM on Friday, October 1, 2010, and lasting until 9:30 PM (with a 2 hour dinner break in the middle of the programs).

There are 8 more programs to pick from on Saturday, October 2, 2010, starting at 9 AM and continuing through 5 PM, with a 2 hour lunch in the middle of the programs starting at noon and lasting until 2 PM.

Suffice it to say, that all of the details pertaining to this 2-day program can be obtained by using the following links that will take you to the PGSA web site portion that has current information about the program as well as a Conference Program and Registration PDF.

Fees, program titles, speaker biographies, directions and all things related to the conference can be found at the following links:

Current news about the conference can be found at the PGSA site at:

The Conference brochure can be found at:

The PGSA puts on nothing short of a spectacular annual 2 day conference.  I have attended them in the past and have always come away impressed and full of more Polish genealogical knowledge and inspiration!

This conference is in a different location than it has been over the years.  It has moved from the O’Hare Airport area, to as recently as in our own back yard at the Schaumburg Marriott.  This year the conference is moving more “down south” in the Chicago area to give those Polish researchers that live on the south side the opportunity to have this great conference in their own back yard for a change.

So for us that live in the Northwestern suburbs, we will just have to push ourselves to make the drive for a little longer distance while giving the southsiders a chance to stay a little closer to home.  Either way, the knowledge and the material you will obtain from this conference will be priceless to help you progress with your own Polish genealogical research.

You will not be sorry for making the effort to attend this 2-day program!!

Check out the above links to get all the details for this 2-day conference on October 1st and 2nd  in Oak Lawn, Illinois a the Hilton Hotel.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Language Translation Special Program Being Offered at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library on Saturday, October 16, 2010 from 10 AM to 4 PM

Hi Everyone,

I just received a handout notice from the Genealogy Librarian, Michael Mulholland, at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.  Their library is holding a special program to help those obtain translations on documents of research that researchers may have uncovered for which they cannot currently translate the material.

The languages for which translation assistance will occur are:

  • German
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Swedish
  • Ukrainian

Please look at the actual flyer that was provided to me by Michael by accessing the material at the following link:

Details on date, time, location, what to bring and contact phone number are included in the PDF material you can see at the above link.

Michael Mulholland did indicate to me some great news regarding this event.  THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR THE TRANSLATION SERVICE!

If you have been sitting on untranslated documents for any of the above languages, then here is your opportunity to get them translated and speed you on your course of your ancestral research. 

In addition, if you have never been to the Arlington Heights Memorial Library to just see the massive size of their on site genealogical collection, then here is your opportunity to accomplish two things in one day.  You will not be disappointed to see the genealogical material they hold in their collection.

Mark your calendars for this upcoming great translation service!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Summary and Photos From Our Recent August 10, 2010 Genealogy Program; Speaker Bibliography Included Near End of Post

Hi Everyone! 

All that I can keep saying is that you are one incredible group of genealogy researchers! 

A total of 70 of you came out and attended our most recent genealogy program that we presented on August 10, 2010. Thank you  for taking the time to come out to one of our genealogy programs.  

Ginger Frere was our guest speaker for the evening.  Ginger’s past programs at our library have also turned out some large size crowds.  Ginger presented her program to our audience on August 10, 2010 titled “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places – the Search for Marriage Records”. 

I opened the program at 7:30 PM by having those in attendance that were new to our programs introduce themselves to us.  We had about 8 new participants in our audience.  Each just gave us some brief information as to their name, how new they are to genealogy and what are some of the major surnames they are searching for.  Each participant received a “Welcome Package” of introductory material on genealogy from our library.  The package contained some information on genealogical materials in our library, information on participants that are participating in our program and surnames being searched by participants. 

Ginger Frere Wowing Our Audience with Her PowerPoint Marriage Records Presentation

We are also happy to include in the genealogy welcome package an introductory genealogy book authored by Jeffrey Bockman, one of our frequent genealogy speakers at our program.  The title of his book is “Give Your Family A Gift That Money Can’t Buy: Record And Preserve Your Family’s History”.  It is a very good book that can be especially helpful to the novice and beginning genealogy researcher. 

After introductions of new participants I then proceeded to briefly review the “handouts” I created for this program.  This included some information on some upcoming genealogy programs within our geographic area for September 2010.  I also included some handout material on a few topics I discovered within Dick Eastman’s genealogy blog that were timely and topical to share among those present.  I also included some material on some articles I came across within some of the genealogy journals that our library subscribes to. 

A PDF file of these handouts and an archive of previous handouts is included within this blog on the right sidebar of the blog under the category name of “Handouts”. 

The reader of this blog will also find PDF files of our monthly library’s genealogy newsletter that is extensive in size and is included in this blog also along the right sidebar of this blog under the category name of “Newsletters”. 

Part of Our Large Audience Listening Intently to Ginger's Program

I encourage readers to take a look at this material to allow them to keep up with things that are newsworthy in genealogy.  The newsletter also contains  information on our recently added genealogy journals and information on any newly added genealogy books to our collection.  You do not have to struggle with paper copies anymore.  These files are always here to access.  The Newsletters have been created with Bookmarks and Hyperlinks for easy maneuvering within the document.  Internet web links can be accessed from within the document taking the reader directly to the web page of interest. 

Ginger started her program at around 8:00 PM.  She shared with us historical background on the involvement of civil institutions as well as religious institutions in their role on documenting the act of marriage.  The Catholic Church has required the documenting of these major religious events in a person’s live since the mid-1500s.  This would include Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths as well as other religious events.  For a Catholic to become validly married, the paper trail of a valid baptism had to be shown in order for a valid marriage to occur. 

Ginger Frere Providing Audience With Great Marriage Records Tips

Consequently, all of these events in life leave a wonderful trail for the researcher to discover about their ancestor being researched. 

Ginger shared a good deal of information on what we may have heard in the past called “Gretna Greens”.  I would encourage the reader to just do a Google search on the topic for further information.  The concept of this “Gretna Green” is liken to a “marriage center” that draws brides and grooms to leave their own local areas and tie the knot of marriage in these geographic marriage areas.  Enticements were often made by local governments, or businesses, to entice marrying couples to come to their area to get married rather than in their own local area.  Marriage license costs and other fee based marriage requirements were often eliminated or reduced so the prospective couple would be married outside of their area rather than in their own home location.  These married couples might very well stay in the area for some recreation and enjoyment and spend their money in these “Gretna Green” locations as tourists, vacationers and honeymooners, spending their money in these areas rather than back home. 

Ginger’s presentation on these sites explained a puzzle to me in my own personal research.  I had many couples in my ancestral research that indicated they were married in Crown Point, Indiana.  All of these people lived in the Chicago area.  Crown Point was not that far away across the Indiana border and was easily accessible with good transportation.  In essence Crown Point, Indiana was a “Gretna Green” of its time back in the 1900-1930 timeframe in our area. 

Thank you Ginger for helping me better understand why Crown Point, Indiana was so common in marriage records I have researched. 

Ginger Frere Emphasizing To Think "Out of the Box" When Looking for Ancestral Marriage Records That Have Not Yet Been Discovered

I would venture to guess that many researchers will find similar events in the lives of their ancestors about marriages that took place out of the expected geography where they should have occurred.  Dig deeper into discovering the “Gretna Green” locations at the time of the event and you may very well discover your “Gretna Green” marriage mill that attracted so many marriages for reasons other than “love”.  Ginger’s “Gretna Green” locales sure helped demystify my mystery! 

Maybe the reason you also can’t find a marriage record for someone you assumed would have gotten married in their own locale is that they crossed a county boundary or a state line to take advantage of a marriage elsewhere that was less expensive to do because the marriage license fee was waived or some added perks were included to the bride and groom for getting married at location A rather than location B.  Our ancestors were also aware of the economies of getting married.  If they could accomplish their goal and save some money while easily transporting themselves to this locale, then maybe you will discover their marriage records in these locales rather than in their own backyards! 

Ginger also shared with us the dark side of marriages during times when certain ethnic groups were by law forbidden to marry those of other ethnic groups.  This was applicable in certain counties or areas of the country where African-Americans and Native Americans were forbidden by law in their local from marrying into other ethnic groups.  In this case, you may not find evidence of marriage records simply because by law at the time no marriage could have taken place. 

Ginger’s presentation shows why it is important to take a step back from searching databases and to formulate a better understanding of the history surrounding the time of our ancestors.  Don’t always think of the omission of finding someone in a database is due to a database problem or a record omission.  Rather, the ancestral record may not be included because it did not occur the way you thought it was supposed to!  Ginger also made the point that we should know the geographies of areas.  Did someone live close to a different county?  How about close to another state (think Chicago and the closeness to Wisconsin and Indiana)?  How about knowing whether there was a rail line nearby that could take someone easily to another county or state?  How about a river that could do the same? 

Ginger Frere Taking Questions After Presenting Her Program on Marriage Records

Ginger has now opened up our eyes to look a little deeper when we are having a hard time finding a marriage record for someone we are sure got married in the area they lived.  After listening to Ginger, the possibility is that there were many factors that might have drawn our ancestors away from their local area to get married somewhere else.  Especially now, if you have been using databases for a given county marriage records, take a look at a map and see what surrounding counties are nearby or counties of other close by states.  Consider searching these and not just the ones where they lived. 

Ginger was kind enough to allow me to post her bibliography of the evening’s program.  You can look at her bibliographic handout for the program at  As you can see it is a PDF file of the material that I have uploaded to WordPress.  Take a look at it for further references to help you pursue and better understand how to make our quest for marriage records even more productive. 

Ginger, thank you again for an outstanding program. 

We hope to have you back for another program in the near future. 

And to all those that attended Ginger’s program, we thank you for taking the time to come to our library and to see a very good program from Ginger Frere.

We hope to see you again for next month’s program.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library