Monthly Archives: August 2011

Take A Look At Comment I Received To My Original Post About Using “Flour” on Gravestones To Increase Readability of the Gravestone – Very Insightful Comment Left

Hi Everyone!

On August 15, 2011 I made a post to this blog that noted that the use of “flour” to enhance readability of gravestones was a controversial topic.

If you do not subscribe to the Posts or Comments of this blog, you may not be aware of a very nice comment that was left on that post indicating that “flour” should definitely NOT be used.

The comment was left by Mike Trinkley, Ph.D., Director, Chicora Foundation, Inc. of Columbia, SC.

To save you some time of going back to the original post, I thought I would include the comment here following in Bold and Italic:

Tony, the jury really isn’t out. It is a bad practice and here’s why. First, flour promotes the growth of lichen. Lichen damage stone by holding moisture to the stone, creating acids that attack the stone, and obscuring the stone. Second, flour does not readily wash off; instead it cakes on the stone, disfiguring it. Third, stones are not ours to treat in a cavalier manner — they belong to the families that erected them and to future generations. And fourth, there are other, equally convenient and simple, methods that do no harm. For example, using a flashlight to create a raking light across the inscription, maximizing shadows. Or using a pocket size reflector and the sun to do the same thing.
Mike Trinkley, Ph.D.
Chicora Foundation, Inc.
Columbia, SC

The comment stands well on its own.

You may want to visit the orignal blog post and see how the comment fits into the context of the entire blog post but I do think the comment from Mike is completely useful as is.

Consider using other alternative methods of enhancing the readability of gravestones as mentioned by Mike. 

Leave the flour at home and bake some cookies when you return from the cemetery!

Thanks for the comment Mike.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Take A Look At Comments I Received on My Original Post Regarding the “FREE” Access to 1940 Census Data from – Insightful Comment!

Hi Everyone!

If you do not subscribe to my Posts or Comments via RSS or e-mail as part of this blog, you may perhaps not be aware of a very insightful comment left to my most recent post on August 29, 2011 about the “FREE” access to the 1940 Census data by when the data becomes available from the National Archives in April 2012.

To save you some time looking for the post, I thought I would just include the text of the comment from Dr. Joel Weintraub right here.  The comment follows in Bold and Italics:

All the images for the population schedules will be released on April 2nd, 2012. If not on Ancestry, then by (or for) the National Archives. The images are indexed to location right now, down to the ED number, but not by name. It is likely that Ancestry will “roll out” name indexes as they are completed, and it probably will take at least 6 months before all the states and territories are done. In the meantime, locational tools can be used to find families on this census. For a look at all the strategies, if you have the location of your 1940 family, use our tutorial at:

Dr. Weintraub also emphasizes that the researcher should definitely plan on visiting the Steve Morse website at to become familiar with the learning tools being made available for the 1940 Census data.

You may still want to re-visit the original post to see how the comment relates to the context of the original post. 

I did think the comment was helpful enough as is to stand alone as a helpful piece of information which is why I included it above.

Use the comment to remove any of the uncertainty as to what will be happening in April 2012 and take advantage of all of the Steve Morse 1940 Census Aids to allow you to get off to a roaring start on your research in April 2012.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

1940 US Census Will Be Made Available by For FREE When It Will Be Released!

Hi Everyone!

I came across this good piece of news that all of you researchers should make note of regarding the release of the 1940 US Census data in April 2012. has noted that it will be making that data available both as images and indexed names FOR FREE once it is released and being made free to all to the end of 2013.

It appears that once the 1940 Census data is released in April 2012, there will be a ramp-up on a piecemeal basis for both the indexed names and the images associated with the names.  It is a little unclear that all of the images and indexes would be available instantly when the census data is released.  It just seems logical that the data will be made available in parts as aspects of indexing and image matching are completed.

It also appears that the “free” aspects of accessing the data via will be available will last through the end of 2013 at which time it would appear that only subscribers or libraries purchasing Ancestry Library Edition will have the data available in the data bases included with subscription.

What follows in Italics is the full press release from that was posted on that you can reach at for all kind of press release information associated with genealogy:


1940 Census To Be Free on

PROVO, UTAH (August 17, 2011) –, the world’s largest online family history resource, today announced that both the images and indexes to the 1940 U.S. Federal Census will be made free to search, browse, and explore in the United States when this important collection commences streaming onto the website in mid-April 2012.
When complete, more than 3.8 million original document images containing 130 million plus records will be available to search by more than 45 fields, including name, gender, race, street address, county and state, and parents’ places of birth. It will be’s most comprehensively indexed set of historical records to date.
       is committing to make the 1940 Census free from release through to the end of 2013, and by doing so hopes to help more people get started exploring their family history.  As this census will be the most recent to be made publicly available, it represents the best chance for those new to family history to make that all-important first discovery.
“The release of the 1940 U.S. Census will be an exciting event for any American interested in learning more about their family history,” said CEO Tim Sullivan. “By making this hugely important collection free to the public for an extended period, we hope to inspire a whole new generation of Americans to start researching their family history.”
“ is working to make the 1940 Census a truly unique interactive search experience…as well as the starting point to help new users easily get started on the world’s leading online family history resource.  After finding that first family connection in the 1940 Census, we believe new users will be able to make amazing discoveries by searching our 7 billion digitized historical records, exploring the 26 million family trees created on Ancestry, and collaborating with our nearly 1.7 million subscribing members. We think that 2012 is going to be a great year of discovery for all family historians.”
About ( Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) is the world’s largest online family history resource, with nearly 1.7 million paying subscribers. More than 7 billion records have been added to the site in the past 14 years. Ancestry users have created more than 26 million family trees containing over 2.6 billion profiles. has local Web sites directed at nine countries that help people discover, preserve and share their family history, including its flagship Web site at
This is great news!  It is certainly a nice gesture by to make this data available for free and for such an initially long period of time through 2013.
It is also very nice that apparently 45 fields of information from the census data are going to be created, meaning that you will be able to search within the data through a variety of fields of information and probably multiple fields of information allowing you to really hone in on your ancestors.
It looks like we will all be excitedly waiting until April 2012 rolls around so we can really roll up our sleeves and start digging into more data on our ancestors that were in the US at the time of the 1940 US Census.
Thanks to for this wonderful gesture!
Be patient!
You now know where you will be able to get this new and exciting ancestral data when it becomes available.
Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township Dsitrict Library

National Genealogical Society (NGS) Has Preliminary Information Available For the May 9 – 12, 2012 Annual Conference at Their Website

Hi Everyone!

I guess you can never start planning too soon for large-scale genealogical conferences.

The NGS at their website now has some preliminary information on the upcoming May 9 – 12, 2012 Annual Conference they will host in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The theme for this annual program is titled “The Ohio River – Gateway to the Western Frontier”.

You can look at the preliminary package the NGS has posted at its site in the form of a PDF about this annual conference for 2012 at:

NGS Preliminary Information Package for 2012 Annual Conference

You can also find additional background information pertaining to this upcoming conference at the NGS website at:

NGS 2012 Annual Conference Page

Don’t forget to visit the full website for the NGS to see what all they have at the site that can assist you in all aspects of your genealogy research.  You can visit the website for the NGS at:

National Genealogical Society Website

It is never too early to take out your calendar for 2012 to see how this conference would fit into your schedule.

Treat yourself at least once in a lifetime to attend one of these gala, multi-day, “learn till you burn” annual conferences put on by the National Genealogical Society.  You will not regret it!

I will provide further updates about this conference as news is received, especially when the actual programs and speaker information is made available.

Enjoy your planning!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

We Have Noticed That You Cannot Print or PDF from Within GenealogyBank When Using It From Home – We Will Be Working on A Resolution

Hi Everyone!

I recently indicated that our library added another accessible from home online genealogy database to our collection.  That database is GenealogyBank.  It is available to access from home for users that were issued their library card from the Schaumburg Township District Library.

I have been made aware that users can access this database from home with no problem, can search it and see results BUT you are NOT able to print the results or save the image as a PDF!

This is occurring whether you are accessing the database from a Windows machine or a Mac.

You can still use the database and find interesting material on your ancestors but for the time being you will not be able to print or PDF the results for your home use.

Our internal IT staff will be analyzing the problem.  I hope to report a resolution to this problem as soon as we resolve it.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you in the short-term.

Thanks to Bruce C. for making us aware of the problem.

I was able to confirm all of the problems myself last night from home and experienced the same issues as Bruce did.

So sit tight until we resolve this print/PDF issue but know you are still able to use the database for online searching as long as you do not try to print or PDF.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


Check Out 1898 – 1912 Chicago Building Permits List At

Hi Everyone!

Bob K., one of our participants at our monthly genealogy programs, made me aware of a nice “tool” available from the website. is a nice database created by the Newberry Library.

If you have any Chicago ancestral connections, you will definitely want to visit and use the ChicagoAncestors website that you can access at the following link:

Bob K. specifically steered me to a database at the site that covers 1898-1912 Building Permits for the City of Chicago that can be found under the “Tools” link of the website.  Look for the “Architecture and Buildings History” link under the Tools.  The database does not provide you with copies of any building permits or images, but does provide you with the ability to search the database by the name of an owner of a building that obtained a building permit during the 1898-1912 time period.

The database basically provides information on:

  • Owner’s Name
  • Street Address
  • Architect’s Name
  • Date of Issue (I think this is the Date of Issue of the Journal, not Date of Issue of the Permit?  This is unclear to me)
  • Page Number Where Found in Journal

The database also allows you to search by the name of an architect involved in the process (like for building a new building) or by street name to see what building had permits issued on a certain date along a certain street.

The data was obtained from a journal geared towards architects and contractors titled American Contractor.

Bob K. actually had an ancestor that was an architect who turned out to be the architect used by my grandfather when he had a 3 flat built in Chicago in 1906!

As they say, “Small World”!

So if you have any Chicago ancestral connection this is a nice database to play with and see if any ancestors living in Chicago at this time may have needed a building permit.

One thing to be aware of when using this database is that the time period covered is right at the time period when Chicago underwent a complete and total street numbering change in 1909.  An address you know now may not be the address known then, but it will turn out to be same building once you account for the 1909 Chicago street number change!  Your ancestor did not move in this case, the street number changed.

My own grandfather’s entry in this database shows a different address than I knew personally the location to be.  That is because the permit was issued in 1906 prior to the street number change, but I know for a fact the building was the one I grew up in  with a different address than the permit shows!

You can look at this neat database at the following location:

1898 – 1912 Chicago Building Permit Index List from the “American Contractor”

You may be pleasantly surprised as to what you might uncover in this database for any of your Chicago ancestors during this time period involved.

Thanks again to Bob K. for making me aware of this database and for making me aware that although we are not blood related (yet!)  that we have through our own grandparents a connection back to 1906!

Check out this database and all that exists under the umbrella of the ChicagoAncestors. org website for researching your Chicago ancestors by accessing the links above.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists (NWSCG) Has Finalized More of Their Programs for 2011 – 2012

Hi Everyone!

I have noticed that the Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists (NWSCG) has finalized many more of their upcoming programs for the 2011 – 2012 “genealogy season” of programs they offer.

I have previously posted information about the society and their Change of Day, Change of Time and Change of Location they have implemented for their programs.

They will no longer be meeting at the Forest View Educational Center on the 3rd Tuesday evening at 7:30 PM during the months of September to May in Arlington Heights.

Instead the society will be meeting at the Arlington Heights Senior Center on the first Saturday of each month during the months of September through May starting at 10:00 AM.  There will be a small interactive session of those seeking help at 9:30 AM prior to the program.  The Senior Center is located at 1801 W. Central Road in Arlington Heights, IL

You can always visit the society website directly to find out news, events and activities of the society and all other good things they have at their website.  You can visit them at:

Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists

The following are now the programs the society has indicated will occur for the 2011 – 2012 “genealogy season”.

  • October 1, 2011 – World War II and Women, Too – Kathryn Barrett 
  • November 5, 2011 – Polished Gems: Property Records, Cook County, Illinois – Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG(sm),
  • January 7, 2012 – Organizing and Writing Your Family History – Steve Szabados
  • February 4, 2012 – Investigating Resources at Sandra Trapp
  • March 3, 2012 – TBD
  • April 7, 2012 – Searching for Great Grandpa – Find Your Union Soldier – Jerry Allen
  • May 5, 2012 – TBD

Mark your calendars to participate in the programs of the society on their new meeting day, meeting time and meeting location!

I will fill you in when the society fills out the two programs indicated as “To Be Determined”.

Plan to attend programs of interest with the society now.  Mark your calendar!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library