Monthly Archives: April 2012

New Poll Now In The Right Sidebar Of This Blog; “What Is Your Favorite Nationally Known And Still Published Genealogy Journal?”

Hi Everyone!

I have added a new poll in the right sidebar of this blog right at the beginning of the home page.

I thought it would be a good idea to gather some responses and statistics as to what are the favorite nationally known and still published genealogy journals enjoyed by our readers.

I have noted in the poll 5 of what I think are the most known genealogy journals that researchers may subscribe to or even read here at our library.  In this poll, if you have more than one favorite, you can actually vote for more than one.  If I have omitted a favorite journal, you can submit your own favorite genealogy journal that you follow and learn from.

Sad to say, but many genealogy journals over the last 5 years have really fallen on hard times and are no longer published.  Journals such as “Everton’s Genealogical Helper”, “Ancestry”, “Heritage Quest”, “Digital Genealogist” have all bitten the dust and are no longer with us actively although past issues can still be read.

So I have left my readers with a small list of some of the more remaining popular genealogy journals that are still published and are also in our collection.

I am open to suggestions on future polls.  Drop me a line via the “Contact” Page of this blog at the top of the homepage.  Leave a “Comment” for me within this post on your topical ideas for future genealogical polls.  Your input is appreciated to pose polls that are of interest to you in the world of genealogy.

Take a look at this new poll.

Place your “vote” now and see how we stack up over the next 6 to 8 weeks as this poll stays open.

If you ever want to see what the results are of past polls, you can always visit the special Page at the top of this blog that is identified as “Poll Archives”.

Enjoy this new poll.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Poll On Transcribing LDS Records Is Now Closed; Results Included; New Poll Coming Soon

Hi Everyone!

I have just closed the poll that you have seen on my blog since March 5, 2012.  If you have not voted in that poll,  you will have your chance with the new poll when it is made available.

Here are the results of the poll that asked the question:

“Have You Participated With FamilySearch As A Volunteer Transcriber Of Genealogical Records?”

  • 15 Responded “Yes, I Am Actively Transcribing”  (36.59%)
  • 4 Responded “Yes, I have Previously Participated, But I Am Currently Not Active”  (9.76%)
  • 22 Responded “No, I Have Never Volunteered To Transcribe Records  (53.66%)

So in a completely unscientific analysis, but fun nevertheless, it would appear that between those that are currently active and have also previously transcribed versus those that have never transcribed, we almost have a 50/50 result.  That indicates to me that a good portion of the researchers that responded have tried transcribing LDS records.  That is an admirable turnout!

In fact, that percentage may now be on the rise spurred by the recent release of the 1940 Census data, the LDS being one of the organizations working with volunteers to transcribe the 1940 Census data.

So if you were one of those that indicated they had not transcribed in my poll, perhaps now that the 1940 Census data is available you will want to reconsider and begin transcribing for that project so the indexed data comes out sooner than planned.  The more transcribers, the faster the data will be indexed!

I want to thank all of you that participated in my poll for expressing yourself.

I thoroughly enjoy seeing the responses to the questions I pose.  I hope all of my readers are enjoying looking at the results of my polls.  I sure would like to see even more participants provide their responses to my questions.

Maybe next poll will elicit a big turnout!

Thanks for your participation.  Enjoy the results.

I hope to get the new poll up shortly.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Quick Response Code (QR Code) And Tombstones!; Convey Your Family History Long After You Are Gone From Your Gravesite!

Hi Everyone!

I just came across a blog post by Dick Eastman that sure indicates where grave site technology is headed.

Hopefully, you are aware of what is referred to today as a “QR code”.  If you were to look at my handouts or newsletter that are electronically part of this blog in the right sidebar, you will see a cryptic looking image that looks like an ink blot to some degree.

In fact, here is my QR code that when scanned with a smartphone and the appropriate software would take that smartphone to the internet and specifically to my blog address at WordPress. 

Well, Dick Eastman’s article now indicates that tombstones are becoming the next method for utilizing QR codes.  That is correct.  You can now have a QR code inscribed on a tombstone.  If someone at the cemetery sees this on a tombstone they can scan the QR Code with their smartphone and it will take them on the web to a web site you have pre-determined that may very well share your life history and genealogy!

You need to pre-plan and develop a web site in advance of your own demise so researchers can scan your QR Code that would appear on your tombstone and get to your pre-set web site of choice for you to share information about yourself with the person standing over your grave.

You will sure need someone trustworthy and reliable to maintain your web site link over a long, long, long time.  Otherwise, I guess someone scanning your QR Code 150 years from now might just get the proverbial “404 Error; Website Not Found” message.

As we know,  technology changes so fast that who knows what your QR Code in 150 years will mean to the person standing over your grave.  That might be an interesting archaeological moment on interpreting cryptic symbols!

Anyhow, here is the link to Dick Eastman’s QR code on Tombstones blog post:

QR Codes and Tombstones from Dick Eastman’s Blog

Enjoy it!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Nice Tool Using The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) When You Know The Birthday Of Someone

Hi Everyone!

Linda Valentine, a former very active participant at our Schaumburg Township District Library monthly genealogy programs, made me aware of a very nifty little search tool that can be used with the Social Security Death Index.

If you happen to know the exact date of birth of the ancestor you are interested in researching, you can enter that information into the tool template and then you can look to see if that individual is in fact in the SSDI along with the associated information you seek about their death information.

Using this method you avoid trying to find them by name which could give you far too many results.

I tried this tool using my mother’s date of birth that I know.  Once the search terms were entered in, the tool returns a list of all of those that are in the SSDI having that same birth date.  I just scrolled down the large list of names looking for her first name.  The data is provided in first name sorted order.  I looked for her first name of “Harriet” and there she was with the accompanying information.

At least this tool narrows down the amount of data you find to a pool of possible hits based on birthday.  Many of us know a person’s exact birthday but may not know anything about their death information.  This tool can at least help narrow down your possibilities to do further research with the hits you get back.

The web site mentions other “tools” you can use with the SSDI master index data.

Check this function out as well as the other SSDI tools at the site to help you find your ancestors.

Social Security Death Index (SSDI) Sorted By Birthdate

Thanks to Linda Valentine for sharing this nifty little tool that may help you find your data that exists in the SSDI when perhaps a name search is not helping you.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


For Those That Attend Our Genealogy Program That Want Their Research Surnames Listed In My New “Surnames” Blog Page On This Blog, I Will Need A Positive “Yes” Provided To Me By You

Hi Everyone!

For those of you that have attended our monthly genealogy programs and have previously provided to me a listing of the surnames you are researching, this post is for your attention.

I am in the process of creating a new “page” on this blog that will be titled “Surnames Being Researched”.  It will appear at the top of the homepage along with the other “pages” that exist there for this blog.   In it will be the surnames you are researching.  It will look similar to the current Excel paper report I create and bring to our programs for you to look at and update.  Your information was included in the listing when you returned a questionnaire that contained the names as well as indicating you were OK in sharing the names.

The “new” page is still not yet visible in this blog at the top of the homepage.  I would term it as being “under construction”.

I am trying to move the “paper” report to an electronic page in this blog.  However, instead of a phone number as your contact point, I will be including an e-mail address from you as the point of contact should anyone see your surname of interest and want to contact you.

In order to get the names into the new “Surnames Being Researched” page I will need you to contact me via the blog’s “Contact” page.

You can get directly to my “Contact” Page at the following link:

In the e-mail, I will need you to state the surnames you want me to include, your e-mail address and the geographic areas of your interest e.g. Illinois, DuPage County in Illinois, Poland, etc.

This way I will have positive confirmation you want your surnames and your e-mail address out there visible for any other researcher to possibly make a connection with you who happens to peruse the new “Surnames Being Searched” Page of this blog.

I am not going to automatically transfer your names from the paper report to the electronic report!

So far I have received the OK from at least 6 of you.  The data from those 6 will be the basis of the first report in the new page when I activate it.

It is necessary that you contact me with a positive OK.

I will still continue to update and bring in to our programs the paper report that you may have initially contributed to when you returned the questionnaire to me.  But that one is only visible to those attending our program and is not visible electronically as this new proposed blog surname page will be.

So if you want electronic exposure of your research names, you will need to positively confirm with me that fact and supply me with the e-mail address I would use in the new online report for anyone contacting you.

Thank you so much for your help to launch this new page with your research information and contact information.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Offers “2nd Saturday Workshops” In Addition to Its Regular Monthly Programs

Hi Everyone!

The Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) has monthly meetings for its membership and often uses our library’s meeting rooms for those events.  They have become so popular of late that the society often offers “2nd Saturday Workshops” over and above its regular general meeting.

I did notice in their March 2012 Newsletter that they are continuing to offer these workshops.

Right now their newsletter indicates the following “2nd Saturday Workshops” that are currently on the calendar of 2012:

  • June 9, 2012 (Saturday) at 10:30 AM at the Schaumburg Township District Library – “Creative Memories Digital Scrapbooks” facilitated by Kate Thommes
  • July 14, 2012 (Saturday) at 10:30 AM at the Schaumburg Township District LIbrary – “Writer’s Workshop” facilitated by Nancy R. Thomas
  • September 8, 2012 (Saturday) at 10:30 AM at the Schaumburg Township District Library – “Getting the Most Out of the Allen County Public Library Road Trip” with presenters Elaine Beaudoin, Caron Brennan, K. L. Kirkland and Susan McConville
  • October 13, 2012 (Saturday) at 10:30 AM at the Schaumburg Township District Library – “Flip-Pal Workshop (Portable Scanner)” facilitated by Mary Hoyer

The group has certainly got a lot going for it as evidence by its high level of program activity.  And they meet at our library for the above programs!

Check out all of the details about the CAGGNI group direct from its website.  More program information can be found for the above “2nd Saturday Workshops” at the society’s web site at:

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI)

Once at their site, click on the front-page link for “CAGGNI Meetings” to find more information on the above programs as well as even more information for their other programs.

They certainly have a lot to offer fellow genealogists in our area who want to get deeper into the “technology” side of genealogy.

Mark your calendars for the above programs at our own library.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Some Great Civil War Pictures; 3 Groupings of Photos; From The Atlantic

Hi Everyone!

I just came across a posting in Dick Eastman’s blog in which he was made aware of what are some incredible pictures from the Civil War.  If you watch enough “History” shows you seem to see the same standard and remembered pictures of the Civil War over and over again.

However, these pictures sure seem like ones that I do not think I have seen before on these history shows.  They are nothing short of spectacular!  Most of the pictures appear to be absolutely pristine.  When viewed online they are incredibly big without having to scroll around to view the entire image.

The photos originated in The Atlantic.  When you get to The Atlantic, just scroll down the first page and look for the 3 Civil War pictures for you to click on to see all that exist under that set.  There are 3 sets.  One is titled The Civil War: The Places; another is titled The Civil War: The People and the third is titled The Civil War: The Stereographs.

The is the 150th Anniversary of the start of the Civil War.  That is a reason why so much memorable Civil War material is coming to the surface.

Take a minute to browse through the photos.  Once I browsed through about 10 pictures under the category of “The Places”, I saw enough to decide to create this post and share the link for all of you to look at the pictures.

You can find these pictures at The Atlantic at:

Civil War Photos From The Atlantic

Enjoy them.

You will say WOW!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library