Monthly Archives: June 2013

A Very Pleasant Discovery Finding Digital Copies Of Genealogical Society Newsletters Online

Hi Everyone!

Paperwork Swamped Clip ArtI have been doing some file drawer, desktop and shelving unit “clean-up” and “clear-out” work over the last few days in anticipation of my move to the Reference Office from the Extension Services Office.

Like all of our own lives regarding “stuff”, I found plenty of old paper copies of various genealogical society newsletter material.  In fact, much of it was still associated with my predecessor who had been subscribing to these materials on behalf of the library at least 15 years ago.  We are talking paper newsletter material going back to the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Being a genealogist, we develop a very thin skin on disposing of materials we have “archived” forever.  What if someone asks that one-in-a-million question and I realize I pitched that one document that could have helped answer it?  Good genealogists always second guess what should be kept and what should be discarded.  But at some time, you do run out of space and you have to make some tough decisions.

With stacks of these old newsletters staring me in the face, I thought that I should take a look at the website of these existing societies and poke around to see what they had online for historical and archival newsletters.  Digitization projects within these societies often involve the digitization of their own previously printed newsletter material.

It was just wonderful to find one society after another in which you could find their historical archives contain digitized files of their previously published paper copies of their newsletters!  I looked at my paper copy and looked at their digital file and I had match after match.

Knowing that there was an online source easily accessible and some open to text searching just made me feel that much easier about actually making the effort to discard all of the personal copies of these paper newsletters accumulated over the past 20 years.

Kudos to these societies and what they have accomplished in digitizing their material that often went back 40 plus years!  Converting that material and making it searchable allows the researcher to access material that might normally be impossible if you had to revert to actually browsing through and reading paper copies of these

Whether you are a member of an individual genealogical society or not,  be sure to determine whether that society has a digital historical archives on their website.  You should be able to search individual issues or combinations or all of them to see if perhaps articles were previously written that may have some connection to names or places that you are researching.  These are wonderful resources that contain some great information to help you in specifics related to your own searches.  It is now that so much of this is seeing the light of day and is digitally searchable within the online archives of these various societies.

Some societies may make much older versions available readily while not making the most recent few years unavailable.  That should be expected.  You will find that happening frequently.

Some societies may have the material online as just the image of the page and not be searchable, so you can at least browse the Table of Contents to discover articles of interest.  Some have Surname indexes in each issue.  Even if not searchable by text, you can often find these as a page that is easily read to see if their might be surnames of interest to you.  Then you can go to the page where the surname occurred.  Some societies may only provide access to a Table of Contents historical view and not the full article.  Some societies may only allow “members” to access the material.  So you will see a mixture of what is available.

But the bottom line is do not omit looking at a society website to see what they do have from a historical archive context about their newsletter publications that you can access.

You can always determine if a society exists either geographically in an area of interest for your own research (e.g. generally at the county level), or if a society exists based on a broader term that matches your own areas of interest (e.g. Polish Genealogical Society) by using the Federation of Genealogical Societies website.  You can find the society at:

Federation of Genealogical Societies

Here is a link within the society that allows you to search for societies of interest to you or just browse through the listing of member societies:

Federation of Genealogical Societies/Society Hall

So what started out as a concern for me of discarding old print genealogy society newsletters, turned into a rather nice discovery knowing I could at last discard old material that could be retrieved if needed digitally from genealogy society websites.  You may not discover this good fortune for every society as some may still not have converted older newsletters to digital format.  But the ones I had all had a digital presence on the web.

At least for now I won’t have to think I will be appearing on the TV Show “Hoarders”!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library



Indian Trails Public Library District In Wheeling, IL Will Be Offering More Genealogy Programs In The Near Future; Wednesday Evenings, September 11, 2013 And November 7, 2013; 7 To 8:30 PM

Hi Everyone!

Indian Trails Public Library System LogoI just received a notice from Celeste Kuta, an Adult Reference Librarian, that the Indian Trails Public Library District has a couple more genealogy programs on the calendar that they will be offering for genealogy enthusiasts.

The library is located at 355 S. Schoenbeck Road in Wheeling, IL.   The phone number for the library is 847-459-4100.  You can find the library online at:

Indian Trails Public Library District in Wheeling, IL

Celeste noted that the library has two more programs on tap in the near future for your consideration.  One program will occur on Wednesday evening, September 11, 2013 at 7:00 PM.  The other will occur on Wednesday evening, November 7, 2013 at 7:00 PM.

Here are the details of the scheduled programs:


Indian Trails Public Library District.
September 11, 2013.            
355 Schoenbeck Road. 
Wheeling, IL 60090.2013           
Large Meeting Room.
Registration Required.
Library contact is Celeste Kuta at 847-459-4100
Program Presentation 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM.
Program title is “Jump-Start Your Genealogy Research”.
Guest speaker is Steve Szabados.
Program Description – Before you spend countless hours doing unproductive research, learn about a proven process that will guide your search for your family history. Drawing on his own experience and traditional resources, Steve Szabados details the steps that will result in successful research.
Library website at

Indian Trails Public Library District.
November 7, 2013.            
355 Schoenbeck Road. 
Wheeling, IL 60090.2013           
Large Meeting Room.
Registration Required.
Library contact is Celeste Kuta at 847-459-4100
Program Presentation 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM.
Program title is .“No, the Census Taker Didn’t Miss Them: Finding Online Census Records”.
Guest speaker is Marsha Peterson Maass.
Program Description – If you can’t find your family’s Census information, come to this hope-filled lecture where you’ll receive dozens of tips and advice on how to find those elusive ancestors.  Speaker Marsha Peterson-Maass, Forensic Genealogist and Newberry Library instructor,  will also talk about using Steve Morse’s online Census tools and how to back in to the Census using clues from other record types like City Directories.
Library website at


So for all local geneaholics, there is now one more location close by that  has even more  genealogy program offerings that you can take in!

Mark your calendar for the dates and help the Indian Trails Public Library District keep rolling with the start of their new genealogy program offerings!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Family Tree DNA Video From YouTube; Discover What Family Tree DNA Can Do For You In Your Genealogy Research

Hi Everyone!

Family Tree DNAYou can’t help but hear about having your DNA tested for genealogical purposes.

One little cheek swab inside your mouth is all that is needed.

One recent handout that I had noted that there are at least 38 companies that provide a DNA analysis.  Once your DNA is analyzed by these companies, you will get some insights into how your DNA compares to others that have submitted their DNA to the company.  You will then see if anyone is a “match” to your DNA and can make contact with them to continue possible determination on the relationship.

It sounds like a simple process.  However, your understanding of your results can still be complicated, scientific and just plain difficult to comprehend.

Once again I like to turn to material that exists on YouTube for help in learning about something that you simply do not deal with every day.

Family Tree DNA is one of the companies that exists that can do DNA analysis for you.  They are one of the larger of the 38 companies that provides this service.  And in the world of DNA analysis, you often have to go with the larger companies that have the most participants in their database.  This increases your chances of possibly having some match with an existing participant when your DNA is compared to others.

The website for Family Tree DNA notes that they have about 639,000 records on file from those that have submitted DNA to the company.

I was not having much luck in finding other statistics from other DNA testing companies for comparative purposes.

You can visit Family Tree DNA on the web at:

Family Tree DNA

There is no one universal across the board comparison of DNA results for you among all of the various companies.  Your results will be based on comparing your DNA to others in that same database.  If a potential relation to you also tested DNA but with another company, your DNA will not be compared to their DNA in that other database.

I have recently been going back to YouTube to see what I can find that can help you better understand the DNA Genealogy process.  I did discover that one of the top companies, Family Tree DNA, also known as FTDNA, has a “channel” on YouTube.

In their channel you can find a variety of videos that not only promote them as a company and the work they do, but do give the unfamiliar researcher some insight into what the entire DNA genealogy is and what it can provide.  So though these videos are “teaching” videos they are in the same regard an “infomercial”.

You can still learn a whole lot about something you never previously understood from such a program!

On their FTDNA Channel, the company has many videos.  Some are shorter in length, under 3 minutes, some are longer in length, about 23 minutes.  The shorter ones may be extracts of some of the larger ones for convenience.  I have not compared each short one to see if it is contained in a larger one.

I thought that sharing a larger one produced by this company would give you a fuller picture of what the company offers as a service and what it can do for you in your genealogical research efforts.

If you want to try to clear some of the “cobwebs” and “confusion” about DNA and genealogy then give the following 23 minute video from Family Tree DNA a chance.  I think it will give you the insights you are looking for and not overwhelm you with scientific analysis that can only make things more difficult to digest.

Here is the video I was referring to.  You can view it right in this blog post:

You can also visit YouTube directly and use the search term “ftdna channel” to discover many more videos on the subject.

Be informed on the subject.  DNA and Genealogy is only going to be getting larger, more powerful and less expensive over time.  The more people in the DNA pool, the better your chance of making connections to relatives, many that you are aware of, and some that are going to be the “surprises” and “discoveries” of the day.

I hope you enjoyed the “promo” from Family Tree DNA!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Using Google Powerfully For Your Genealogy Research; Some Very Informative YouTube “Teaching” Videos On How to Get The Most Out Of Google For Genealogy Research

Hi Everyone!

Google LogoGoogle is one of the most powerful tools that exists for genealogists and their research.  We feel great when we do some simple searches and get some great results.  But we may be leaving so much more on the table and settling for basics!

You can always use the “Search Help” function at the bottom of a Google page containing search results to learn more about Google.

But do we really ever?  Probably not.  So we become satisfied with the results we get even though with a little learning and experimenting we can make our searches on Google even more powerful and productive.

I did come across some very nice “teaching” videos on YouTube that are geared exactly for using Google for your genealogical research.  There are a series of these “teaching” videos for you to go through and pick up some Google search tips geared towards genealogical research.

You can do a search within YouTube using the term “google genealogist” to find these great “teaching” tool videos.

Here is the first one that I found in the series at YouTube.  I found at least a 5-part series of these videos to learn more about how to use Google for your genealogy research.  Each video runs anywhere from about 7 to 10 minutes.

The first one also presents the viewer with some good introductory information on what Google is and what it can offer as services.  This is good to know, especially if you do not have a Google Account and may not be aware that Google is far more than just a search engine!

Take a look at it and see what you think.

Our Google searches can always be better but you need to know how to best construct your searches.

Enjoy the above video.  I hope to be making future posts about these great videos to help you in your research efforts.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Will Be Having A “Road Trip” To The Newberry Library In Chicago On Friday, October 11, 2013

Hi Everyone!

CAGGNI logoI just received notice of an upcoming “road trip” that is being sponsored by the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI).

They will be going to the famous Newberry Library in downtown Chicago on Friday, October 11, 2013.  Events for the day at the library will be starting at 9 AM.

Registration is required.  Registration has already opened as of June 15, 2013.  I did take a look at their website and they note that 15 individuals have already registered and that there are 12 more registration slots available.  You can visit the CAGGNI website directly at and head over to their “CAGGNI Meetings” link on the left side.  Scroll down to the October 11, 2013 entry for this program where you can actually register yourself if interested to participate.

The cost to participate will be $10 for members of the group and $15 for non-members of the group.

Here after the separator line is the text of their message that I received from them describing events of the day in Italics:


Upcoming event information:
SPECIAL EVENT: 2013 Road Trip – Newberry Library Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois
Date: 11 Oct 2013 9:00 AM

Back by popular demand, CAGGNI returns to the Newberry Library on Friday, October 11, 2013

  • A 45-minute orientation followed by a short tour of the library will be provided by the Curator of Genealogy and Local History at Newberry.  Information on the history of the library, research procedures and genealogy resources will be included.  Orientation and tour are limited to 25 attendees.  Participants not attending the orientation can begin their research at 9:00 a.m. 
  • Reader’s Card issuance. The card is required and can be obtained at the library on the day of the event. This card will allow you to use all the facilities of the library for a period of one year. 
  • Assistance from the Curator and a reference librarian will be available to all members to assist in getting started with your individual research. 
  • Lunch on your own – A list of local restaurants is available at the Security desk.  If you wish to bring your lunch, Room 101, just off the vending machines area, has been reserved for us from Noon to 2:00 p.m.  Snack and drink vending machines are also available.
  • Access to the new Civil War Exhibit, co-sponsored with the Terra Museum, in the first floor exhibition hall.
  • Optional dinner at Frankie’s Scaloppine – 900 N Michigan Building, Chicago, two blocks from the library.

Registration will open on June 15. 

$10.00 for members, $15.00 for non-members.

Additional Information:

   Tips for Visiting the Newberry Library

  Newberry Library Road Trip Policies 2013


I believe the CAGGNI group had a successful “road trip” to the Newberry Library previously that warranted this “encore” trip back to the Newberry Library.

Mark your calendars for this upcoming event on October 11, 2013.  If you have never been to the Newberry Library, perhaps this is your opportunity to visit whether you are a member of CAGGNI or not.  Be with a group of fellow researchers rather than going it solo.

It is never too early to make plans for what sounds like a great trip this Fall!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


June 2013 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts Uploaded As A PDF for June 11, 2013 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the June 2013 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts as a PDF file into the PROGRAM HANDOUTS Category on the right sidebar of the blog.

Here is a direct link to the June 2013 Handouts for your convenience:

June 2013 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts

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, June 11, 2013 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.

You will also note that I have started “highlighting” in this uploaded PDF key points within the handout  by using  the “yellow highlighting” function within Microsoft Word.  This will allow your eyes to visually see key points within the handouts that I want to emphasize.  I hope you will enjoy being able to more easily see these key points within the set of handouts through this highlighting technique.  I plan on highlighting within the Handout file on a going forward basis.

Please note that the Handouts PDF file has embedded Bookmarks to allow you to move to the handouts of interest to you quickly without having to scroll through the entire document.  Just open the Bookmark window in the PDF file and select the handout of interest for quick access.

You can also get to the handouts of interest to you quickly via the Table of Contents at the beginning of the document.  You will find hyperlinks that will get you directly to the handout of interest to you from the Table of 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

June 2013 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter Uploaded As A PDF for June 11, 2013 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the June 2013 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter as a PDF file into the NEWSLETTER Category on the right sidebar of the blog.

Here is a direct link to the June 2013 Newsletter for your convenience:

June 2013 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter

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, June 11, 2013 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

Reminder: Our Next Genealogy Program at STDL Is Tomorrow June 11, 2013

Hi Everyone!

It is that time once again when we will be having another Genealogy Program at the central location of the Schaumburg Township District Library on Tuesday evening, June 11, 2013 at 7:30 PM.  We are located at 130 S. Roselle Road in Schaumburg, IL.

There is no pre-registration required in order to attend the program.  There is no fee charged to attend.  Anyone can attend this program.  You do not have to be a library card holder with the Schaumburg Township District Library in order to attend.

Here is a summary of the information about the program:

The Genealogy program will be held on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 7:30 PM in the 2nd floor Classroom. There is no formal presentation for this gathering. Instead, we will have our breakout group discussions so participants can work within a small group of people having specific interests in a common genealogical topic. The object is to share information and experience on this topic among those in the breakout group.

We are planning on having the same breakout groups we had in our previous breakout groups based on various nationalities. These will be Polish, Czech, German, Irish, British, Italian, Scandinavian, as well as Colonial American. There will also be a Beginners Group as well as a “Share Your Family History Book/Report” table that will allow those that have created a Family History Book to share with others at the table how they created it.

A laptop computer connected to our projector will also be available in the room to use by those in attendance. Participants are also encouraged to bring in their own lap top or net book to connect wirelessly to the library’s WiFi Network. This will allow the user to share information with other participants in areas of genealogical research.

Some of the above mentioned groups may be eliminated if there are not enough participants in any one group to make it beneficial. Some groups that have not been identified may be added.

The doors to the room will open at approximately 7 PM so participants can pick up the handouts, review books and journals and interact with other participants. Tony Kierna, the STDL genealogist, will start the program at 7:30. Introductions of new participants will occur as well as a brief review of handouts and genealogical matters. It is expected that the breakout groups will form at around 7:45-8:00 PM. We will end the session by 9:30 PM.

For further information contact Tony Kierna at 847-923-3390.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

1921 Census Of Canada To Be Released “Shortly”; No Exact Date Established For Release

Hi Everyone!

Library and Archives CanadaFor those of you that are doing Canadian research you may want to take note of some recent developments.  The 1921 Census of Canada will soon be made available for research.  Dick Eastman had a post in his online newsletter making readers aware of the pending release of this valuable information for Canadian ancestral researchers.

Here is a link to the article noted in Dick Eastman’s Online Newsletter:

1921 Canadian Census Data To Be Released Soon News Item From Dick Eastman’s Online Newsletter Dated June 4, 2013

You should also be aware that Canada has its own “privacy” limits on release of data such as this census data.  Under Canadian law, census data is withheld from public viewing for 92 years after the data was gathered.  For comparative purposes, census data in various European countries is often withheld from public access for 100 years.  Yet we here in the United States only have to wait a mere 72 years for U.S. Census data to be released to the public.  We all experienced that put into play last year in 2012 when the 1940 U.S. Census was released.

We in the United States have to be thankful that we still have a 72 year period of privacy before release.  I do worry that someone is going to suggest that the United States needs to withhold data like this for an even longer period of time so that we are more in step with other countries that hold the data for as long as 100 years before releasing it.

I hope we never see that long of an interval to keep things private.  Perhaps the 72 year interval originated when that was the approximate life expectancy.  That is no longer true as life expectancy has increased to approximately 8o years.

Cross our fingers and hope the 72 year rule stays as is!

If you are doing Canadian research,  you may want to stay “tuned-in” over the next few weeks in anticipation of release of the 1921 Canadian Census data.  More detailed information on the release of the data by the Library and Archives Canada will be expected shortly.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Ginger Frere, Our Upcoming Genealogy Speaker On August 13, 2013, And Her Appearance On Chicago Tonight From WTTW In April 2012; She Was Interviewed By Phil Ponce About The Release Of The 1940 Census And Other Genealogy Stories

Hi Everyone!

Ginger Frere PhotoIn advance of Ginger Frere’s guest appearance at our library to make a genealogy presentation on Tuesday evening, August 13, 2013, I wanted to share with you how knowledgeable Ginger is about genealogy.

She made an on-camera guest appearance on WTTW, the local PBS station in Chicago with the host Phil Ponce back on April 12, 2012 at the time of the release of the 1940 U.S. Federal Census data.

The video segment is archived at WTTW.  Because it is not a YouTube video I cannot directly embed it here in the post.  That is a WordPress limitation.  Even without a direct embed of the video in this post, I can simply provide you with the direct link itself so you can easily get to it and view the 9 minute segment of Ginger with Phil Ponce.

The focus of the entire interview is not only about the release of the 1940 census data.  It is broader in context with some interesting stories provided by Ginger about research she has done for her clients as well as including some “house history” research she did on the home that Phil Ponce lives in.  It is just a “feel good” segment about the fun of genealogy and the interesting stories that can be uncovered about our ancestors.

Here is that link:

April 12, 2012 Ginger Frere Interviewed By Phil Ponce On WTTW Chicago Tonight

Ginger is a wonderful speaker.  It is a pleasure when we have her at our library for a genealogy presentation.

The fact that WTTW had her on Chicago Tonight speaks volumes for what they think of her also.

If you have 9 minutes and would like to see and hear Ginger Frere before she returns to our library in August, then just take a look at this wonderful archived segment from Chicago Tonight on WTTW!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library