Monthly Archives: October 2010

Reminder: Upcoming Lake County Genealogical Society Annual Conference To Take Place on Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hi Everyone!

I previously published a notice via this blog on September 21, 2010 of the upcoming Lake County Genealogical Society Annual Conference that is going to take place on Saturday, November 13, 2010.

I thought I would just re-publish this information again since it is more current to the actual day of the event.

The society puts on a great annual conference with top-notch speakers and topics.  You will not be disappointed.  If you have not attended a local, all-day conference, this is a good one to attend.

What follows in this post after the line of “+” signs was posted on September 21, 2010.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


After visiting and re-visiting the Lake County Genealogical Society website, I do now see that they have current online information regarding their upcoming 18th Annual Genealogical Workshop on Saturday, November 13, 2010.

I had received a paper handout of their upcoming program but I wanted to share the information electronically.  Unfortunately, their web site had not been updated with this program information.  Now it is updated and I can more easily direct you to the information.

This is an all-day conference that is taking place at the Cultural and Civic Center of Round Lake Beach that is located at 2007 Civic Center Way in Round Lake Beach, IL.  A contact phone number for the program is 847-201-9032.

Registration and browsing of materials starts at 8 AM.

Programs run from 9 AM until 3:30 PM.

Guest speakers for the day are D. Joshua Taylor, MLS and Dan Niemiec.

Josh Taylor is presenting 4 programs during the day and Dan Niemiec is presenting 3 programs during the day.

It looks like the costs for the program are:

  • $35.00 if you are a member of the society (program registration prior to October 15, 2010)
  • $40.00 if you are not a member of the society  (program registration prior to October 15, 2010)
  • $45.00  (program registration after October 15, 2010)

It does not mention that they accept “walk-ins” on the day of the program but societies generally will allow such a process but may indicate that you are on your own for lunch.  You would pay the highest fee on that day.

Please use the following link that will get you directly to the PDF file that has all of the information about the day including the registration material, program titles and times, speaker biographies and directions.

Check out all of the details at:

I have been to their programs some time back and I always felt that they had top-notch speakers.  I would definitely recommend attending this annual event.

I know you will enjoy the day.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Illinois Probate Records (Images Only), 1819 to 1970, Now Available at the FamilySearch Record Search Pilot Series of Databases

Hi Everyone,

A recent “revisit” to the LDS Record Search Pilot series of databases accessible through the FamilySearch web site at web site indicated there is now another “new” Illinois oriented database available to view.

This new database is the Illinois Probate Records 1819-1979.  At this time it is only available as an “image browseable” database.  You cannot yet enter in a surname and have the hits provided back to you.  You can look at the material considering it as an “online microfilm”.

Get to this information with the following clicks:

  • Go to
  • Click on “Search or Browse Our Record Collections”
  • Click on map for Canada, USA, Mexico
  • Scroll down USA databases looking for “Illinois, Probate Records, 1819-1970”

You can browse through the images on a county-by-county basis. 

Not all counties are yet in this database.  In fact you will only find the following Illinois counties in this database. 

  • Alexander
  • Coles
  • Effingham
  • Gallatin
  • Hamilton
  • Hancock
  • LaSalle
  • Logan
  • Madison
  • Massac
  • Piatt
  • Pope
  • Rock Island
  • Shelby
  • White
  • Whiteside
  • Williamson

 Even for the counties included, the time span of the data itself varies tremendously.  You may only discover a few years worth of information within one county while more data exists for another county with the overall time span indicated by the title of the county.

Do you notice a “big” omission for us Chicago urban researchers??

Yes, Cook county and the “collar” counties are not yet in this database.

If you have rural Illinois roots, perhaps one of the counties included is one that will be for your research.  If not, just be patient as this database grows with new additions that may be for you.

When you see the database and select it, you will see the list of counties.  You can then select any county and you will then see the time span of records included for the county as well as the types of files for the counties that are included in the data.  You may see indexes or full ledgers. 

Consider this material as an online series of microfilms.  You may see that one of the pieces of the database is an Index.  It is not an electronic index that you can enter a name to search.  It is however, an online image index that you can browse through looking for an ancestor of choice.  The index image information can then lead you to another file for which you can use the page number of the index to find the full amount of information of a probate contained in this other full-fledged file of probate data.

Some files may appear to be alphabetically oriented, such as A-H, I-R, S-Z.  You may just have to browse through as best as possible based on the surname of the ancestor you seek.  You can enter in page numbers once the images are there so you can get to your location quicker than just going image by image.

Make sure you click on the link in the upper right hand corner of the main page of this full Illinois Probate database that says “About This Collection”.  You will see a very detailed description of what is all included in this database.  This is very helpful to know so you become familiar with the concept of probate records.  Actually, visiting this “About” section should be considered a must so you can pick up tips here as to how to best use the database.

There is much that can be discovered in this database even if it is not an electronic index search at this time.  Check out some of the material.  Click open some of the files.  Meander around.  If one of the counties included and the timeframe matches that of an ancestor, you will be more motivated to really learn the material and how to best use it to find what you seek.

Revisiting this LDS data site is critical.  New files appear frequently.  You need to be aware of what is there that can help your research.

Give this new database a try even if you were hoping to see Cook county data that is obviously not there yet!

Be patient viewing the material.  It can be hard and tedious.  But just think, you do not need to order this material as a microfilm plus you have 24 hours a day to experiment and use the material rather than traveling to a FHC to view a microfilm with a time limit.

Take a visit to this new piece of information and get yourself in the habit of revisiting this material frequently to see what new things have been added for a state of your ancestral research.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Take A Look at the Chicago Genealogist Publication from the Chicago Genealogical Society for the Illinois Staats Zeitung Newspaper Translations

Hi Everyone!

The Chicago Genealogical Society publishes the Chicago Genealogist for members.

Our library is a member of the society and therefore obtains copies of the Chicago Genealogist so that anyone can look at this publication in our library.

I thought I would mention that there has been a great series of articles that have been appearing in this journal over the last many issues that would be of great interest to anyone doing German ancestral research in the city of Chicago during the late 1860s and early 1870s.

Gail Santroch of the society has been submitting for publication with this journal translations of the German-language newspaper that is titled Illinois Staats Zeitung that were translated by Virginia Dick.  This newspaper was in existence from 1848 to 1922.

I have noticed these translated articles of this newspaper and find that the newspaper articles are incredibly interesting to look at, even if you do not have any German ancestral research in Chicago. 

You can certainly tell that the writers of this newspaper at this time in history did not have any sense of “political correctness” the way they created the articles.  The wording can be humorous and blunt at the same time!

What makes these articles even better is that the Chicago Genealogical Society has been including all of the names that are mentioned in the various articles within the index at the end of the issue of the Chicago Genealogist in which the article was published!!

This means you can easily discover if any of your German ancestors’ names that might have actually been in the newspaper story by looking through the index of the Chicago Genealogist in which a particular time period of the German newspaper was translated.

All of the stories in the German newspaper are not completely focused only on German citizens of Chicago.  There are many, many non-German names mentioned in the articles and contained in the index of the society journal.

You will see translated newspaper stories on robberies of the day, murders of the day, horse cart accidents, marriage license announcements, visitors from outside of Chicago visiting their Chicago relatives, death announcements, accidents and injuries!

You just have to read some of these to really get the feel for how news items were reported in Chicago in the early 1870s in Chicago!

So far as of October 2010 there have been 7 Parts of translations of this German newspaper that have appeared in the Chicago Genealogist.  The journal is published quarterly so it appears these translations have been occurring in the journal over the last two years.

Our library has current and past copies of the Chicago Genealogist for you to look through to see these fascinating series of translation articles of the Illinois Staats Zeitung German-language newspaper.

I think Gail Santroch and Virginia Dick should be congratulated for all of the translation work and publication work to make these great newstories available to all of us with a Chicago ancestral background, especially if it is a German background.

If you are in our library, please take a look at these publications.  You can find the current issue of the journal on our magazine shelves on the 2nd floor of our library.  Past issues of the journal can be looked at by going to the Information Desk on the 2nd floor of our library and asking for the back issues.

You may also want to visit the web site of the Chicago Genealogical Society to browse around all that they have related to their publications and other items of interest of the society.  Unfortunately, online viewing of the journal does not appear to exist from the website.  You can see a “highlight” list of some of the key articles published int heir journal over the years at the website.  You can purchase individual copies of the journal directly from the society if perhaps a highlighted article is of interest to you.

You can visit the Chicago Genealogical Society directly at

I really think you will get a kick out of this great newspaper material!!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Pointers In Person (PIP) Italian Genealogy Research Group to Meet at Italian Cultural Center in Stone Park, IL on November 6, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Hi Everyone!

I just received a notice of an upcoming Pointers In Person (PIP) Italian Genealogy Group meeting that will take place at the Italian Cultural Center in Stone Park, IL on  November 6, 2010 at 10:00 AM.

Also note within the following the reference to the Lake County Genealogy Society having their Annual Conference on November 13, 2010.  I have a blog posting on September 21, 2010 that also highlights this upcoming conference and includes a link to the Lake County Genealogical Society website for many more details on the program.

Details of the upcoming PIP program follow in Bold and Italics:

POINTers-in-Person Chicago North will meet for Italian GenealogySaturday, Nov 6

 Italian Cultural Center, 1621 N. 39th Ave., Stone Park, IL

 November 6, 2010 – POINTers in Person meeting at the Italian Cultural Center in Stone Park – our big year-end meeting 10am-1pm followed by lunch ($10 cost) and we will be featuring speaker Debbie Mieszala, a certified genealogist.  Debbie is extremely knowledgeable and a well known speaker at local and national conferences.

 Visit our site for additional Italian Genealogy information.

 Also, mark your calendar for:

 November 13, 2010 – Lake County Genealogy Workshop – Round Lake Beach Cultural and Civic Center 2007 Civic Center Way, Round Lake Beach.  Registration at 8am, conference 9am-3:30pm.  Cost is $40 per person.  Speakers are D. Joshua Taylor, talking about Beginning Midwest Research, Using The Law in Genealogy, Bridging The Gap 1780-1830, and a case study.  The other speaker is our own Dan Niemiec, speaking about Chicago Records, Italian Research in Chicago, and Latin Church Records (Chicago or elsewhere)  Lunch is included.

 Thank you

Terry Jackson

Please mark this upcoming date on your calendars to attend the program if you are doing any Italian genealogy research.  This group frequently meets at our library, but as you can see this program will be occurring in Stone Park at the Italian Cultural Center.  There is no cost to attend this program that is open to everyone!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Summary of Our Recent October 12, 2010 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

We had another great turnout at our recent Genealogy Program held at the Schaumburg Township District Library on Tuesday evening, October 12, 2010.  Our program for the evening was titled “Social Security Death Index (SSDI) – New Things to Know”.  The guest speaker for the evening was Larry Olson.

We had 65 people in attendance for our program.  The room was hopping with a lot of enthusiastic researchers all wanting to know more about tapping into the SSDI.  Larry was there to encourage us to not only use the SSDI but also to consider using multiple SSDI databases available to researchers, most of which are free, some of which are subscription based and costing some money.

Participants Started Arriving Early for the Evening's Program. There Were Many Engaged Pre-Program Conversations

We had about 7 new participants attend this program.  I had each one introduce themselves to us and give us each an idea as to how new they were to genealogy as well as to share some key surnames they are researching.  I shared with each new participant a complimentary library genealogy handout package to help them become familiar with researching and what materials are in our library.

After the introductions of new participants, I spent about 15 minutes reviewing the “electronic” handout material that I post as a PDF to our library’s genealogy blog.  Anyone visiting this blog can find this material for the recent program as well as going back about one year.  These can be found in the right sidebar of the blog under the title of “Handouts”.

Some of Our Avid Researchers Awaiting the Start of This Informative Program.

Our monthly library genealogy newsletter can also be found on the right sidebar of the blog under the title of “Newsletters”

I encourage anyone visiting to take a look at this material.

Larry started his presentation at around 8:05 PM using a nicely put together PowerPoint presentation of his material that was in paper handout material for those in attendance to take home and refer to.  I hope to receive a “lite” version of the handout material from Larry so I can post it to this blog.

Our Guest Speaker Larry Olson Preparing to Start His Presentation

Larry provided a good deal of information on the historic aspects of the Social Security Administration (SSA).  He gave us the following information on the SSA from a Timeline perspective:

  • 1935 Social Security Act signed
  • December 1, 1936 was the date the first SS card was issued
  • 1937 Numbers began to be issued
  • 1937 to 1963 Railroad workers had a separate plan and separate numbers
  • 1940 Some payments began to be made
  • 1942 Use of SSN optional on tax returns
  • 1946 Use of SSN made mandatory on tax returns
  • 1951 Other categories of workers began being included in the plan

Larry also provide a nice overview on who actually received a card over time as the system expanded.  He noted the following:

  • 1936 – Workers under age 65 in commerce and industry eligible to receive a card.
  • 1941-1945 – Elderly and women who might never have applied received a card.
  • After 1951 – Employees working abroad, government workers, farmers, self-employed, domestic workers and self-employed professional were now added to the rolls.
  • 1965 – Those over 65 who had still not applied for and received a card were provided one for purpose of Medicare registration.  Employees of non-profits companies that had previously been included were now included.
  • 1988 – All children claimed as dependents for tax purposes were now issued a card.

There Are Many Attentive Researchers Listening Closely to What Larry Offered About Using the SSDI File

Larry indicated that he has used the following well-known and some not so well-known organizations from which he has accessed the SSDI that is offered by them.  Be aware that there are more places where you can find an SSDI, but these are the ones included in his analysis.  Places mentioned were:

  • Ancestry
  • FamilySearch
  • GenealogyBank
  • New England Historical Genealogical Society (NEHGS)
  • State of Washington
  • Rootsweb
  • World Vital Records
  • Stephen Morse One-Step Search
  • Indiana State Digital Archives

Larry Olson Presenting His Program on Using the SSDI

Larry shared what he discovered when he used the various sites above for a particular ancestor of his that he knew would be in the SSDI.  Results were close but not exact among the SSDI sites visited.  Some sites included a name in their site that was not included in another site.  Some sites had the name but other sites may have indicated the person was a “Jr. or Sr.”. Some sites included a middle initial, other sites did not have one.  Some sites may had a full middle name while other sites had no middle name or just an initial.

The conclusion reached by Larry that we should take into account when we use the SSDI is to use multiple SSDI files to access because we may very well see more of the data of a particular ancestor in one of the SSDI files that we do not necessarily see in the one and only SSDI file we are by “habit” just using!! 

Larry also offered the following reasons to consider as to why you may NOT find someone in the SSDI when you believe they should be there:

  • Person never paid into Social Security
  • Person never collected a benefit
  • Person’s death was not reported to the SSA
  • Person died before 1962
  • Person was a participant in the Railroad Retirement Program
  • Person is in the file but may be listed under an initial, a middle name or a nickname rather than their given name as you may know it.
  • Person’s name was shortened in the index inadvertently because the system only allows for twelve (12) letters in the last name field and nine (9) letters in the first name field.  Consequently, additional characters past the limits notes are simply left off!
  • Person is in the file, but the original data was reported or recorded incorrectly.
  • SSDI being used  by you may simply not be up-to-date!

Larry Olson Interacting with Our Audience During His Presentation on Using the SSDI

The SSDI is a valuable resource tool.  Obviously, we now know we need to tap into more of the SSDI files that are available rather than just using one and only one that we may use simply by habit!

Larry ended his presentation by around 9:20 PM and stayed around to take questions by anyone interested in learning more about his program presentation.

This was certainly a great program having a great topic with a great speaker!  Larry definitely knows his material on the SSDI!

Thank you Larry for offering to provide your program to our audience.  We all appreciated it and certainly left with much more information on the SSDI than we ever realized existed.

I also want to thank those of you that attended the program.  I hope we left you with plenty of information to take home and make your family history research even more successful when you will be accessing the SSDI information on the Internet.

I hope to see you come back for another one of genealogy programs that we offer on the 2nd Tuesday evening of each month at 7:30 PM at the Central location of the Schaumburg Township District Library.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

October 2010 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts Uploaded As A PDF for October 12, 2010 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the October 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, October 12, 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.

Please note that you can access directly any and all URL Links that you find within the Handouts PDF.  You can get directly to the website being mentioned from within the handout being mentioned.

Enjoy the handouts.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

October 2010 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter Uploaded As A PDF for October 12, 2010 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the October 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 it if you choose to browse through it in advance of our Genealogy Program that will take place on Tuesday evening, October 12, 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.

Please note that the Newsletter has Bookmarks and Hyperlinks within the document to make for fast navigation from within the Table of Contents.  You can quickly get to the spots that interest you from the Table of Contents.

Enjoy the newsletter.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library