Monthly Archives: November 2010

“Who Do You Think You Are” Genealogy Program Returns to NBC on January 21, 2011

Hi Everyone!

On November 15, 2010 Dick Eastman had a post on his blog that indicated the popular genealogy TV series “Who Do You Think You Are” will return to the air for new episodes on NBC on January 21, 2011 at 7 PM (Central time) and at 8 PM (Eastern time).

The show originally premiered in the spring of 2010 during which 7 episodes aired highlighting the genealogical research that was shown for 7 popular entertainment stars.

The show is now coming back for another run and hopefully for even more episodes.

I tried to search the NBC website to see if the network provided any schedule of who will be appearing in 2011 when the show returns.  So far, I could not find any scheduling information for the new series other than NBC posting a one liner for the show home page on NBC that it will be returning on January 21, 2011.

I found the show to be extremely entertaining and even somewhat emotional because we were hearing from Hollywood stars the same emotions expressed that we as everyday researchers also express when we make some discoveries on our ancestors.

If only someone could hand over to us the same research successes that you see on the show!!  Research is hard, tedious and laborious.  I only wish I could walk into an archive or depository and have someone show me all I need to know from original ledgers on my own ancestors!!

The show is still entertaining and informative but the actual research is not as easy as it is shown unless you are obviously a Hollywood superstar and someone else has done the brunt of the work!

I guess it does look good when a Susan Sarandon sits in front of a microfilm reader and cranks the film like you or I would do.  You really wonder how much work they really do in real life or are they just there for that 30 second view of them doing some research?? 

But after all it is TV entertainment first and foremost.

Now is the time to revisit the NBC website for the show at  and become familiar with all that is there.  When you arrive at the NBC site click on the link for “Shows” and then select the show name for “Who Do You Think You Are” to get to all of the details and past episodes of the show itself.  Visit the site and even take some time to review online the 7 past episodes from early 2010.  If you did not see any of the episodes now would be the time to familiarize yourself with what the program has to offer in anticipation of the new upcoming season at the NBC website.

Mark your calendars for January 21, 2011 (Friday) at 7 PM in our time zone for the premier of this year’s episodes of “Who Do You Think You Are”.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Some Fascinating LDS Indexing Statistics and LDS Indexing Needs

Hi Everyone!

I just received a newsletter from the LDS that highlights items of note as they relate to the massive LDS indexing project that is ongoing to convert their 2.5 million reels of microfilm to digitized images and indexes.

The newsletter had some incredibly interesting statistics relating to the ongoing indexing effort.

Here are some statistics of note:

  • Total number of records indexed to date is 418,595,500. (That is correct, 418 million records!)
  • Total number of records indexed just in 2010 is 165,952,000 (That is correct, 165 million records!)
  • Total number of registered indexers that are responsible for creating the above totals is 400,589 (That is correct, over 400 thousand indexers!)

There is now a heavy emphasis being placed on working on the Census Records for 1930 for the United States.  Records for the 1910 and 1920 U.S. Census have been completed.

The LDS also indicated the following needs they have in order to keep progress moving at a steady clip.  Some of these needs for help are:

  • LDS always needs arbitrators who become the decision makers after data has been indexed by two individuals.  It is the arbitrator that resolves any discrepancies between the two indexers on the data that was indexed.  This obviously requires indexers to take the time to look at the data in hand closely and to make the best decision they can when they enter in what they saw in the record.  Handwriting can be a challenge.  Bad handwriting can lead to two indexers interpreting what they saw differently thus contributing to a larger challenge for arbitrators.
  • The LDS is in need of those with Non-English language skills.  There are currently 9 projects needing non-English language skills, with Polish and Hungarian language skills that will be needed as these projects roll out.
  • The LDS is in need of those possessing Latin language skills to especially work on documents from the United Kingdom that are mainly in Latin.

I was amazed when I saw these statistics on what has been accomplished to date.  I am also amazed at seeing that there are currently 400,000 + indexers worldwide that are volunteering their efforts to convert LDS image data to indexed resources that appear for free on the LDS website at under the Pilot Project category.

I have noticed that as I visit this area of the web site that there are more and more records available from throughout the world and not just the USA.

I have been indexing records for about 4 months.  I find it very enjoyable and I feel my efforts are making a wonderful contribution.

I would like to encourage everyone that has even thought about doing this to go ahead and sign up and start indexing!  You do not have to commit to any amount of time or records to complete.  You can do as much as you would like or as little as you feel you can comfortably contribute.  You will love doing this and you will see your results of indexing made available for yourself and other researchers at the LDS website.

Come on into the ranks of the 400,000 indexers that exist today.  You won’t be sorry!  Give it a try!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

December 5, 2010 Genealogical Forum of Elmhurst, IL Presenting a Program About the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library

Hi Everyone!

I received some information from Ann M. about an upcoming program that will be hosted by the Genealogical Forum of Elmhurst, IL on Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 3:00 PM.

The group will be presenting a topic about the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library and Other Washington, D.C. Resources Onsite and Online.

This looks like a very good topic especially for those that have any Colonial American roots associated with ancestors having served in the Revolutionary War.  The DAR is a wonderful organization that has some great resources to assist your genealogical research.

The following text that is in Bold and Italics is from the Genealogical Forum of Elmhurst, IL and was contained in the e-mail I received from Ann M. about this upcoming program.  Please take a look at all of the details for this upcoming program. 

Especially note that there is a charge for non-members of the organization to attend.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library
& Other Washington, D.C. Resources:  Onsite & Online

On Sunday, December 5, 2010 the Genealogical Forum of Elmhurst will host a presentation by Susan Maltese. 

The meeting will be held at 3:00 p.m. in the Community Bank of Elmhurst, 300 W Butterfield Rd, Elmhurst (intersection of Spring Road. 

There is a traffic light and a Shell station on the NE corner). 
Guests are welcome. 

To defray speaker fees:  Non-members $6, Couples $9. 

For information, call 708/531-0449.

The program will review information about the
DAR Library and other resources in Washington, D.C.

The Genealogical Forum of Elmhurst is a family history club
serving people in the western suburbs of Chicago. The club seeks to educate and stimulate, to share and help, and to promote genealogy in a non-critical way.  General meetings of the organization are held on five Sunday afternoons each year.

Please join us for this informative lecture. 

Sharon Zarembka, Secretary
The Genealogical Forum of Elmhurst

Take Advantage of Holiday Family Gatherings as the Family Historian (Originally Posted in November 2009)

Hi Everyone!

Now that the holidays are upon us again, I wanted to re-post a blog entry I made in November 2009 (actually one of my first posts to the new blog at that time) because the holiday times and family gatherings provide the perfect opportunity to the family historian to share previously researched information and also to gather new information to compile into the family history.

What follows in Bold and Italics is the post I published one year ago.  The message to family historians is as important today as it was then.  Take a look at the message and take advantage of your time with family during the holidays of 2010.

The Holiday Season is one of the best times of the year to move your genealogy research forward!  You are circled by family members who may be very interested to know of your research.  Not only can you share what you have discovered but you may have willing family members that can’t help but share more with you during this season of sharing!

Now is the time that family members will really see how serious you take your family research.  They may not open up to you as a willing participant at this time.  But you may have planted the seed in their mind that will come to grow at a future date when their assistance will become invaluable.

Bring some copies of research documents you may have uncovered to date as well as copies of pictures to share with the family members present at the gathering.  Keep the originals at home for safety and security!  If you have digitized your discoveries as .JPG images then bring your laptop with the data or your netbook if you have one that contains the images.  Even having the images on a flash drive will help because you can plug that into a computer that may exist in the house.  Even new HDTV sets often have a USB connection to the HDTV that you can plug into.  You can then look at the images on the TV screen!

What a great time to share family information as well as to gather more if you can.  Bring a digital recorder or a camcorder with to document the new information family members will be willing to share.  Don’t leave all of the stories to your memories.  Get the stories in the voice of the orignal provider for further analysis down the road.  Ask their permission to audio or videotape what they have to say.  Respect their wishes if they choose not to be recorded.  Then take notes.

Always remember to be a good guest if you are visiting.  It is the Holiday Season after all and not necessarily a genealogical convention!  Don’t make yourself a genealogical nuisance at this time but see if you can arrange a time in the future to revisit with key family members to obtain further information in a non-holiday pressured setting.

Share your family history stories and research.

Keep an ear open for other family history stories.

Plant those seeds among family members for future help.

But most importantly, enjoy your family during this Holiday Season!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Our Library Is Developing a New Policy To Allow the Checking Out of Magazines – Think Of Our Genealogy Journals and Magazines

Hi Everyone!

I have just been informed that the Schaumburg Township District Library (STDL) is in the process of creating a new policy for our magazine section of the library on the 2nd floor of our library.  This new developing change will allow STDL patrons the ability to check out magazines from our library to read at home.  Our current policy does not allow this to happen today.

As of now this change is still in the works.  I do not have a target date to share with you at this point.

When we activate this new library policy regarding the checking out of magazines, here are the rules you can expect that will apply towards this new policy:

  • The check out period for magazines will be for one week.
  • There will be no renewals allowed on the magazine.
  • There will be no holds allowed to be placed on the magazines.
  • There will be no reserves allowed to be placed on the magazines.
  • There will be a limit of 5 magazines that can be checked out per patron.
  • The ability to check out magazines will be limited only to those patrons who were issued their library card by our library (STDL).  You will not have this borrowing privilege at our library if your library card was issued to you by another library (Check with your library if they have a magazine checkout policy).
  • A 10 cents per day late fee will be charged for magazines not returned in a timely manner.
  • Only magazine issues for the current year will circulate.  The very most current magazine will not be allowed to be checked out so other users in the library can access it.  Any issues after the most current for the current year will be allowed to be checked out.

Please understand that this new policy is a work in progress.  Changes could still be made while this new process is unfolding.

I do not have a specific target date at this point  to share with you when this new service will start.

As I am made aware of a start date then I will certainly share this information with you via a blog post.

For all of you doing genealogy research this certainly means that you will in the near future be able to check out the second most current issue of a variety of genealogical magazines and journals we have in our collection.  You would be able to read them in a more leisurely manner at home after having checked out the magazine rather than just being able to review the journal within our library under today’s policy.

The most current magazine will not be allowed to be checked out so that it will always be available for use in the library.  Older issues for the current year will be able to be checked out.   

I wanted to share this development with you at this time so you can begin to look forward to the day when STDL cardholders will be able to check out our genealogical magazines for a more leisurely read at home.

Keep checking back here at our blog to find out when this new policy will take effect.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Summary of Our Recent November 9, 2010 Genealogy Program with Patricia Reaves on the Topic of Bremen and Hamburg Passenger Lists

Hi Everyone,

Here is a summary of our most recent Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library on Tuesday evening, November 9, 2010.  Our guest speaker for the evening was Patricia Reaves.  She presented a program titled “How to Read and Understand the Hamburg and Bremen Passenger Lists”.

One Of Our Early Arrivals Awaiting Patricia Reaves' Featured Presentation

For this evening’s program we had a total of 60 participants in attendance for the program.  We had 4 new participants in attendance.

I spent the first half hour of the program having the new participants introduce themselves to all of us as well as reviewing the handouts package via the blog upload.  The review included a number of upcoming programs for other societies and some tips I shared on the new FamilySearch Beta, the new genealogy site from the Allen County Public Library at, and a review of a couple of articles from some genealogy journals on understanding passenger lists and how to connect to living kin.

Program Participants Reviewing Patricia Reaves' Handout for the Evening Program Prior to the Start of the Program

All of the details for what I reviewed can be found in the November 2010 Handouts package within this blog in the “Handouts” section of this blog along the right sidebar.  Just click on the link for the handouts package and you will be taken to a PDF file of the Handout package.

Patricia started her presentation at around 8:10 PM by giving all of us an in-depth view of historical aspects of Germany and how all of that ultimately ties into better understanding material you may find on any of the actual Hamburg or Bremen passenger lists you may encounter in your own research.

Patricia’s handout of her program included the following:

  • A couple of historical maps of Germany, one of which identified and showed the German Empire that was in existence between 1871-1918.
  • A small list of some of the key “Passenger List” websites that are available on the internet.
  • A small list of some of the “Cemetery” websites that are available on the internet.
  • A listing of some German to English phrases you may encounter that refer to reference material.
  • A one page “Old German Type and Handwriting Guide” that can assist you when you are researching German Type and German Script handwriting and print within these documents.
  • A list of some common German phrases you may encounter with their equivalent English translation that you may encounter within Birth, Baptism, Marriage and Death records.
  • A one page guide to help you with German names that would show misspellings, variations, translations and the variety of spellings that could occur.

Some of the internet web sites Patricia shared with us via her handout for Passenger Records were:

Some of the Internet Web sites Patricia shared with us via her handouts regarding “Cemeteries Online” were:

Patricia indicated that a good amount of the Bremen records were destroyed during world War II when Bremen was bombed.  There are scatterings of some of the records, but paltry in scope in comparison to the number of emigrants that left Germany via that port.  If an ancestor left through Bremen, it is likely their arrival into the United States was through the port of Baltimore because that is the arrangement that was made for the transatlantic passage.

Large Posterboard of Germanic Passenger Information Brought by Patricia Reaves to Show As A Resource to the Audience

Patricia mentioned that the vast amount of Hamburg passenger records are available from but they are in German.  Arrivals into the United States via a Hamburg departure often arrived into the port of New York.

Patricia also mentioned that if you believe you have discovered the village or town of your ancestor, that you should simply type in the town name as an Internet address to see if the town has a presence on the Internet.  This can be more productive if you append the basic address with the country code that is also part of an Internet when it applies to outside the United States.  As an example, if it were an ancestral town in Germany, you would use  You fill in the “townname” part of the address with your townname of interest.  If it were a town in Poland, end with PL.

You can find a list of “Country Codes” to use at:

You may actually find an ancestral town via this method.  You may also discover an incredible amount of historical information that someone may have uploaded to the site that can help you with your own research.  You never know what you may find, or not find, unless you give this method of searching a try!!  You could also run into the site and material being presented in the native language and not available easily in English.

Our Audience Is Focused on Material Being Presented by Patricia Reaves

One other major web site Patricia shared with us can be found at  It will load up as “German” language but you can easily find the British or USA flag icon on the screen and click it to get an English version of the site.  This site has been created by the Family History and Genealogical Society of Bremerhaven.  It has an incredible amount of data grouped in the following categories that applies to passengers from Bremen:

  • Family Names
  • Shipnames
  • Days of Departures
  • Destination Harbors
  • Home Towns
  • Group Photos
  • Original Soruces
  • Data Recording
  • Ship Pictures

Spend some time visiting the site if you have any possible connection to an ancestor that may have left Europe through the port of Bremen.  Unfortunately, remember, the vast majority of Bremen records were destroyed so you may only find spotty information at this site.  But it is worth a try to look and learn from this site about Bremen as a port of departure even if you do not find the names you might be looking for.

Patricia was still presenting to the last moments when we had to stop.  She stayed around for Q&A and to listen to and hear individual questions from those that stayed to the very end.

Patricia Reaves Emphasizing A Point from Her Presentation

Patricia is a wealth of knowledge on Germanic research.  Her excitement and love for this research was evident throughout this evening’s presentation.

I did make some additional copies of Patricia’s handout package.  Extra copies can be gotten in our library on the 2nd floor of our library at the Information Desk.  They are contained in a file drawer under the category of “Genealogy Handouts” that our staff can access and provide an extra copy to you in the library.

Spend some time looking at the links Patricia provided via the handouts and within her program that I noted above.

I want to thank Patricia for the excitement she brought to her presentation and for the depth of information she shared with us on this topic and on Germanic research in general.

We hope to have Patricia back at our library in the future with another wonderful presentation.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

We Are in the Daily Herald “Neighbor” Section for November 15, 2010!! (Links To Articles Included)

Hi Everyone!

Way back in August 2010 I made mention to those that had attended the August Genealogy Program at our library that I had been interviewed by the Daily Herald for an upcoming genealogy article that they were working on for publication in the Fall of 2010.  I also indicated that the participants at that evening’s program would see a Daily Herald photographer taking pictures of the event throughout the evening.

I found out yesterday with a bang that the article had in fact been published in the November 15, 2010 edition of the Daily Herald in the Neighbor section of the paper.  I did not receive a “head’s up” from the reporter that it was to appear on this date.  I found out about the publication from other staff members in the library that had seen the article.

They congratulated me and were impressed with the size of the article and its contents!

The article that was published also contains information from Albert Whiteside, the Director of the Latter Day Saints Family History Center in Schaumburg.

I also want to note that there was a “parallel” article in this section that focused on the “personal” side of genealogy researching as experienced by Barb Peterson who attends our monthly genealogy programs.  Congratulations to Barb for the nice story she conveyed to the reporter on her own adventures into the world of genealogical research!

So finally after 3 months of waiting we can now bask in the glory of our 15 minutes of fame!!

I am including links in this blog post to the two articles for your reading pleasure so you can enjoy both articles and the accompanying pictures taken by the Daily Herald Photographer both at our August 2010 genealogy program and at our library the day after the August 2010 genealogy program.

The reporter did a great job in putting all of the information I provided to her from the lengthy interview she conducted with me in August 2010!  The article also contains a “boxed” section within the article highlighting this genealogy blog, our monthly genealogy programs at our library and the local Schaumburg Latter Day Saints Family History Center (FHC).

Here are the links to these two great articles from the Daily Herald website:

November 15, 2010 Daily Herald Genealogy Article About STDL

November 15, 2010 Daily Herald Barb Peterson Personal Research Article

Don’t forget to look at the “Photos” Tab within the article to see not only some of the pictures that were actually published in the print edition, but also some additional pictures that are viewable only from within the online article.

Enjoy the articles!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library