Monthly Archives: May 2012

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, Our Presentation Speaker For Our July 10, 2012 Genealogy Program, Made An Appearance On NBC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” With Jason Sudeikis

Hi Everyone!

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom

Talk about timing being everything!

I hope that many of you have viewed the recent episode on NBC’s “Who Do You think You Are?” that featured the ancestral search by Jason Sudeikis of Saturday Night Live fame.

I had to do a double-take as I was watching the show because during the show who did I see make an onscreen appearance as one of the leading genealogy experts guiding Jason Sudeikis in his ancestral quest?

None other than our speaker for our own upcoming genealogy program on July 10, 2012, Jeanne Larzalere Bloom!  How do you like that for a now famous on-screen genealogy star advisor!  Look for Jeanne at about the 5 minute mark of the show meeting with Jason Sudeikis at the Chicago History Museum.  She also has another meeting with Jason Sudeikis later in the program.

Jeanne will be making an appearance at our own library this upcoming July 10, 2012 to present her program titled “Hiring A Professional Genealogist”.

I did mention to Jeanne that I wished I had known of her upcoming appearance on the famous show so that I could have shared it with all of you in advance of the airing.  However, Jeanne did indicate that she was under the strictest of a “confidentiality agreement” with NBC and was precluded  from making it known to anyone that she would be on the show.  And boy did Jeanne hold fast to that agreement by not sharing she would be seen on the show.

If you missed the original airing of the show with Jeanne and Jason Sudeikis, you can always see the show online via the NBC website.  You can get to this show via the following link:

Jason Sudeikis On “Who Do You Think You Are?” With Jeanne Larzalere Bloom

I feel so honored that we will have such a TV personality as Jeanne Larzalere Bloom make a presentation at our library.  Again, timing is everything to have Jeanne at our library just a couple of months after her making such a memorable appearance on “Who Do You Think You Are?

Take a look at the show if you have not already seen it or even if you have revisit it  again prior to seeing Jeanne in person at our own library on Tuesday evening, July 10, 2012.

I look forward to having our own star in person on that day!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library Lutheran Church in America Partner To Digitize One Thousand Reels Of Microfilm Lutheran Records By End Of 2012

Hi Everyone!

While I was browsing the April-June 2012 issue of NGS Magazine I came a cross an announcement that was made between and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America that indicated that a partnership has been formed between the two parties.

As a result of this joint effort, approximately 1,000 reels of microfilm in the possession of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America will be digitized with a target completion time of end-of-year 2012.

Records that will be part of these microfilms contain millions of baptism, confirmation, marriage and funeral records covering Lutheran congregations throughout the United States.  The digitized records will then be available through

(Please note that there is a planned merger between and  It is likely these records will then be available within the collections of when completed.)

Digital indexes will also be created for the original parish ledger books that date from 1793 to 1940.

Nearly all of the records were handwritten in Norwegian, German, Danish, Slovakian and English.

My own personal research has been advanced through the use of Roman Catholic church records in microfilm format.  So I can always understand the value that Church records provide.  So for those of you with Lutheran ancestors the digitization of these records is certainly something to look forward to by the end of 2012.  Looking at this kind of data in digital format can sure beat cranking the microfilm reader!

You can visit the Collections page at to see what they data they have  in their online collection.  You can see this at: Collections

I hope this news will give you something to look forward to for your Lutheran ancestral research in the United States.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

1940 Census Images; Look Closely At Column 7 (Name Of Person); Look For Circled “X”; This Person Provided The Information To Census Taker; See Sample Image

Hi Everyone!

I was just browsing through the recent issue of NGS Magazine (April – June 2012) received by our library.  I happened to catch an article written about the 1940 Census.  The article is titled “The 1940 Federal Census”.  The authors of the article are Constance Potter and Diane Petro.

The authors noted that we should all look closely in Column 7  of the census image (Name of the Person) for an “X” that is circled.  According to the census taker instructions, they were to note who in the family provided the responses to the questions asked in the census by using a circled “X” by the person’s name.

The census taker was also supposed to note in the left hand margin if information for a family was provided by someone who was not a member of that family.  So you might see notes in the left-hand margin that might say “Information from John Brown, neighbor” by a particular family unit.

So researchers now can now identify specific individuals and fully blame them for the misinformation they may have provided!  Our intense research of that family may actually have discovered the real facts but back in 1940 you can now see clearly the “X” with the circle around it and blame Uncle Joe for not knowing something we should have expected him to know!!

Take a look at my own grandfather’s 1940 census image of the 3 families that lived in his 3 flat in Chicago.  The families are all related to my grandfather.  It looks like Edwin Gurski (Line 61) clearly had the circled “X” for his family unit.  Edward Sanocki (Line 64) clearly had the circled “X” for his family.  What is interesting is that I do not see a circled “X” for my grandfather’s family noted for Teofil Kierna (Line 55) and I do not see any note in the margin indicating their information was provided by someone else.  So there goes that great system for consistency!!

Here is an image from the 1940 Census showing these markings as they pertain to my grandfather and other family units on the image:

1940 Census Image Showing Circled “X” By The Person Providing Information

Perhaps you were aware of this notation.  Perhaps not.  But now you hopefully have the culprit identified as the one that provided information that does not correlate with your own hard-work research in discovering the facts as you know them.

I just wanted to share this tip because I think it is important to be aware of as to who provided the information.  This had not been done before.  Previously, we were all left with creating our own stories as to wondering who actually provided the information on our ancestors in previous censuses, especially when we knew something was not right.  Was it the neighbor?  Was it made up by the census taker?  Was it a family member who simply wanted to get the census taker out of the house so they gave them made-up information?

Mysteries that will last forever from pre-1940 Censuses!

With the 1940 Census you will now have a better insight and a specific person (maybe) to lay the blame on or to give high praise for providing very accurate information!

You may want to look at the entirety of the article because the authors also provide some deeper insights into many more of the fields of information gathered for the 1940 Census.  These insights can really help you better understand what information appears and how to interpret it for accuracy as it applies to your own ancestral research.

I will have this journal for further review over the next week.  It should be on our magazine shelves by next Tuesday, May 29, 2012.  Look for it and the article at that time.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Trial “Surnames Being Searched” Page Added To this Blog; You Need To Give Me An OK to Include Your Data In This List

Hi Everyone!

I have just activated the “trial” Surnames Being Searched page at the top of the blog homepage.

To get your names in this PDF listing of an Excel spreadsheet, you must explicitly give me your OK for me to include the surnames of interest to you.  I ask for this explicit direction because I am including your e-mail contact address in the listing to facilitate a contact point between you and a fellow researcher that may be researching the same surname.

The following information will be included in the “Surnames Being Searched” Page of this blog:

  • Your own First Name
  • Your own Surname
  • The Surname of your research interest
  • Your own e-mail address
  • The geographic areas of interest you have e.g. Illinois, Cook County, Chicago, Poland etc.

I must limit this listing of surnames to those that have been participating at our library genealogy program.   I can’t accept surnames from researchers who may have just discovered this functionality but do not participate in our library’s genealogy program.

I need to see how this process will work out for me as well as for those who have contributed their names and e-mail addresses for more visibility in their research effort.

If it does not work out, then I will just pull the page and leave it at that.

I am happy to say that 8 participants have initially given me their OK to post this information to share.

Take a look at the “new” page and see how the material is being presented as a spreadsheet in PDF format for those that have given me the OK to include their data.

If anyone else local to our library area who has attended our programs and provided me with a filled-out questionnaire about their research wants to have their surnames being researched more visible, you need to contact me through this blog.  Use the “Contact” page at the top of this blog to do so.  That is the most efficient manner.

Let’s give this a try to see how it works out.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

October 19-20, 2012 Illinois State Genealogical Society Fall Conference; “Family History In Profile”;Rockford, IL

Hi Everyone!

The program notices have been running “hot and heavy” over the last few days as I place these notices in the blog for your planning purposes.

The most recent one for which I have received information is the annual “Fall Conference” that is being put together by the Illinois State Genealogical Society.  The title of the program is “Family History in Profile”.    The society over the last few years has been moving its program around the state.  For many years it was being held in the Chicagoland area making it very easy for us living in the area to attend.

This year’s program will be in Rockford, IL at the Best Western Clock Tower Resort and Conference Center.

There are many genealogists throughout the rest of the state of Illinois and they also deserve a shot at being able to attend a large-scale genealogy program closer to their own home base.

The Illinois State Genealogical Society has a wonderful description of this upcoming Fall program on their website.  You can look at all of the details of this 2-day program at:

2012 Illinois State Genealogical Society Fall Conference

The program has 9 well-known speakers who will be providing a great deal of genealogical material on a variety of topics over the two days.

There are a variety of different costs depending on whether you are a member of the Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS), whether you will be attending the Friday evening programs or just have dinner and listen to the key speaker during dinner or whether you are a non-member of ISGS and what you will be attending.  So you want to give the website a good going over for the details on the costs you may incur depending on what you will participate in.

You do not have to attend both days of the conference.  You can attend on Friday only or Saturday only.  It is the most economical to attend both days along with the Friday evening dinner.  But you can pick and attend the programs on just one day or the other.

As you can see there is a great deal of conference and program activity going on of late that I am happy to share with you.

This is just one more of the many that I am aware of at this time.  Rockford is not all that far from us if you were thinking to attend.  Take a good look at the information of the conference and the facility from the above link from the Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS).

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Shocking And Disappointing News Item!!; Popular Genealogy TV Show “Who Do You Think You Are?” On NBC Will Be Cancelled And Will Not Have New Episodes For 2013

Hi Everyone!

To say the least, I am shocked over just discovering the news that the popular Genealogy TV show on NBC will no longer be on the air!  It is not being renewed for 2013.

I am shocked!

It seemed to me to that it began hitting its stride.  I thought it was considered successful because it actually delivered more episodes in 2012 than it had previously delivered in it two previous seasons.

What follows in Italics after the separator is the text from Dick Eastman’s May 13, 2012 blog post on the comments provided by upon hearing the news of the cancellation. was a major advertiser on the program. was emphasized throughout the show as the stars began their online search efforts using


The following announcement was written by Inc.:

PROVO, Utah, May 13, 2012 — Inc., the world’s largest online family history resource, today commented on NBC’s decision not to renew the Who Do You Think You Are? television series for a fourth season.

“We want to thank NBC for their support of this terrific series, which over the last three years has inspired many viewers to follow their passion to learn more about who they are and where they come from,” said Tim Sullivan, President and CEO of “We have a great partnership with the show’s producers, Is or Isn’t Entertainment and Shed Media, and we look forward to exploring other avenues of distribution.”

About Inc. is the world’s largest online family history resource, with 1.9 million paying subscribers. More than 10 billion records have been added to the site in the past 15 years. Ancestry users have created more than 34 million family trees containing approximately 4 billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site, offers several localized Web sites designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.


So it is that all good things come to an end.  It just seemed we were getting comfortable with knowing this show was going to be on Friday evenings and we had something to look forward to.  Some shows were outstanding.  Some shows were boring and lacked and insight into genealogical research.  Maybe inconsistency was the death knell for the show.  Overall, I always got something out of each show just knowing that genealogical pursuit received such visibility via an actual TV show!

There is only one more original episode scheduled to appear on Friday evening, May 18, 2012.  Paula Deen will be showcased in the series finale.

It still hard for me to believe that more new episodes of “Who Do You Think You Are?” will be no more.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

June 15-16, 2012 26th Annual Scottish Festival And Highland Games To Take Place In Itasca, IL At Hamilton Lakes; Scottish Genealogy Research Help Offered On Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hi Everyone!

Maureen Brady, an avid Scottish genealogy researcher and one of our upcoming genealogy speakers on November 13, 2012, has made me aware of a very large-scale Scottish Festival and Highland Games event that will occur right in our own Schaumburg-area backyard on Friday and Saturday, June 15-16, 2012 at Hamilton Lakes in Itasca, IL.

One of the highlights of this event noted by Maureen is that she and other Scottish knowledgeable genealogy researchers will be available on Saturday, June 16, 2012 in the “genealogy tent” to offer research assistance to anyone trying to work through their Scottish ancestral challenges.

Maureen really knows her stuff and probably knows even more when it is about her own genealogy research topic on Scottish research.  If you have Scottish ancestral research, it may well be worth your time to get some great research assistance at this 2-day festival.

You can also obviously take advantage of all of the Scottish cultural, athletic and musical activities in addition to the genealogical help being offered.

Maureen’s e-mail text does note that this festival is open to the public and there is a $15 adult charge on Saturday when Maureen noted she will be one of many genealogy volunteers manning the “genealogy tent”.  Admission for children on Saturday is $3.75.

Maureen’s e-mail also has a link to further information on the event.

Maureen sent me details of the festival in an e-mail.  What follows in Italics after the line breaks is the extensive description of this two-day festival.


Hi, Tony.

 Since you offered to post events, I thought this might be of interest to some of the group that meets in Schaumburg, especially as it is held in Itasca (just behind the Wyndham Hotel & Gallagher Tower).

 This is an annual event, which features all things Scottish.  One of the “highlights” from the family history perspective is our genealogy tent, which is staffed all day Saturday with a team of “experts” (I am one of them) and a very large selection of reference books, maps, etc.  We encourage attendees to bring their Scottish and Scots-Irish family history “brick walls” and any other research problems to our tent for advice and help.  If possible, it is always nice to have some written trees or family group sheets to help with our answers.

 Admission to the Festival is $15 for adults on Saturday, children are $3.75.  I have included a link

 and a description from the website.

 Experience the best of Scotland without leaving Chicago at the 26th Annual Scottish Festival & Highland Games, June 15-16, 2012 at Hamilton Lakes in Itasca, Illinois. The festival is open to the public on Friday, June 15 from 4:00pm – 10:00pm and Saturday, June 16 from 8:00am – 9:00pm. The CHICAGO SCOTS invite everyone to be Scottish for this weekend-long annual summer celebration. Offering an extensive array of unique Scottish traditions, revelry, and culture for the whole family!

The festival kicks off Friday, June 15 with exhibits and vendors open from 4:00pm – 10:00pm. Friday evening highlights include:

Highland Dance competition, Heavy Athletics, Rugby Exhibition, Friday Night Fling, crowning of the Heather Queen and Court and a Ceilidh (pronounced Kay-Lee), a lively celebration of traditional and contemporary Celtic music, from 7:00-10:00pm on the Celtic rock stage.

The festival continues Saturday, June 16 from 8:00am – 9:00pm and features: 

Champion Supreme Piping and Drumming competition; Heavy Athletics U.S. Open Championship featuring traditional Scottish contests including the Caber Toss (flipping 20-foot, 140-pound tree trunk), the 22-pound Hammer Throw, the Sheaf Toss (flipping a bale of hay over a high bar) and the Clachnert (throwing a 16-pound river stone); Highland Dance competition; Rugby Sevens Highland Challenge; Coerver Cup 3v3 youth soccer tournament; Dogs of Scotland and other animal presentations; Genealogy and cultural exhibits; Parade of Clan Tartans; Children’s activities including mini golf, crafts and carnival attractions; and attendee competitions including the Kilted Mile Fun Run/Walk, British Car Show, Haggis Hurling Contest for women, Knobbly Knees contest for men, Haggis Eating Contest and Shortbread Contest. Attendees will also enjoy musical performances on the Celtic Rock Stage, Whisky tastings and seminars, traditional Scottish or American cuisine and shopping in the Celtic Marketplace.

 Thanks, Tony.



Here is an opportunity to really immerse yourself in all things Scottish.  Plus, it is literally right in our own back yards in the Northwest Suburbs.

Mark your calendar down for this 2-day festival on all things Scottish.

Sounds like a really “hoot” of an event!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library