Monthly Archives: February 2014

New Poll On Right Sidebar Of The Blog; Simple Question Being Posed; “Have You Ever Been Contacted By An “Unknown” Relative That Discovered You In Their Genealogy?”; “Yes” Or “No”?

Hi Everyone!

Well, here goes another Poll that is now on the right sidebar of the blog right at the top of the blog homepage.

I am just asking for a simple response to a very basic question.

“Have You Ever Been Contacted By An “Unknown” Relative That Discovered You In Their Genealogy”?  Yes or No

Simple, direct and to the point!

Take a look at the new Poll.  Consider providing a reply.

Let’s see how active this poll can be.

The more the merrier!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Poll On The Right Sidebar Has Been Closed For “Have You Ever Listened To A Genealogy Podcast?”; Results Indicated

Hi Everyone!

It is amazing that well over 2 months has passed on the life of the poll I had on the right sidebar of the blog since November 25, 2013.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order!

The poll had asked the question “Have You Ever Listened To A Genealogy Podcast?”

The results of the poll showed the following from the 53 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their “Yes” or “No” response to the question.  The numbers show that 30 responses (56.6%) noted they had NOT listened to a genealogy podcast while 23 responses (43.4%) indicated they have listened to a genealogy podcast.

I was actually a little surprised at the results of this now closed poll.  My gut feeling would have led me to think that far more have listened to a genealogy podcast, when in fact the results indicate that more have not listened to a genealogy podcast.  I simply thought that a podcast is a nice learning tool on a variety of genealogy topics, especially because it can be listened to on our portable media devices.  Oh well!  I am glad I did not put down a money bet on this one.  This is not a scientific poll.  It does not have a large submission rate.  So take the results with a grain of salt!

I am always looking for a larger response than even that which I just saw!  So come on down ——  affix your opinion as a “Yes” or “No” when so asked to the varied polls on different topics in the world of genealogy and family history research.  Your answers count.

I plan on putting up a new poll rapidly.  Come back for that one to see the new question being asked.

A big thank you to all of those that took the time to respond to this just recently closed poll.  Take a look at the results of that poll to satisfy your own curiosity.

Don’t forget to visit my Poll Archives as part of this blog.  Look for the link at the top of the homepage of the blog where it simply says “Poll Archives”.  In here you will find the statistical results of the 14 previously active polls in addition to the poll that is generally “active”.  If you were not aware of this Archive, you may want to visit to see what all the previous polls were about.

Here is a direct link to the Poll Archives at my blog:

Poll Archives At Tony’s Genealogy Blog At The Schaumburg Township District Library (STDL)

Get ready for another poll ……………………..SOON!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Videos From Recent RootsTech 2014 Conference Are Now Available Online; Link Included In This Post For Both 2013 and 2014 RootsTech Videos

Hi Everyone!

RootsTech 2014 LogoYou know I am a big believer in online training sessions to further educate yourself as a genealogy researcher.

I am happy to announce that online video sessions from the recently held 2014 RootsTech conference that was held in Salt Lake City, Utah are now available from the RootsTech web site.  There are 18 videos available in total for you to view.

If you cannot attend these large-scale conferences, then it is a great pleasure to be able to see online a smattering of the programs that were held.  By no means is what is made available online representative of the total amount of overall programs presented over three days, but it is sure great to see a good amount of the material.

You will find the following topics and the named presenter from the online videos from the recently held 2014 conference from RootsTech below:

  • “Opening Keynote Speech” by Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman
  • “Top 10 Things I Learned About My Family From My Couch” by Tammy Hepps
  • “Do It Yourself Photo Restoration” by Ancestry Insider
  • “FamilySearch Family Tree; What’s New and What’s Next” by Ron Tanner
  • “Intro To DNA for Genealogists” by James Rader
  • “Genealogy in the Cloud” by Randy Hoffman
  • “Sharing Your Family History with Multimedia” by Michael LeClerc
  • “Friday Keynote Speech” by Dr. Spencer Wells and Judy Russell
  • “Storytelling Super Powers: How To Come Off As Your Family’s Genealogy Hero” by David Adelman
  • “Tweets, Links, Pins and Posts: Breakdown Genealogical Brick Walls with Social Media” by Lisa Alzo
  • “5 Ways To Do Genealogy in Your Sleep” by Deborah Gamble
  • “Finding Family and Ancestors Outside the USA with New Technologies” by Daniel Horowitz
  • “Getting the Most Out of Ancestry” by Crista Cowan
  • “How To Interview Yourself for a Personal History” by Tom Taylor
  • Saturday Keynote Speech” by Stephanie Nielson and Todd Hanson
  • “Become An iPad Power User” by Lisa Louise Cook
  • “Information Overload: Managing Online Searches and Their Results” by Josh Taylor
  • “A Beginner’s Guide To Going Paperless” by Randy Whited

You can see  the programs themselves directly at the RootsTech website at:

2014 RootsTech Annual Conference Online Videos

Spend some time and really enjoy these and come away even more motivated.  Most videos are generally at least 1 hour in length.  Some Keynote videos are from about 70 minutes to 90 minutes.  Some of the presenter programs are about 40 minutes.

Sometimes it is good to take a step back and take a look at the “big picture” in the world of genealogy.  The above programs seem to do that very thing, especially when you view the “keynote” speeches.  It is important to know what is ahead for us down our genealogical research paths.  What are the “new” things that will make our research faster, easier, intuitive, collaborative, more accurate, and with fewer errors.

I always get a good feeling about the RootsTech Annual Conference.  I have not attended any of the previously held conferences, but I still feel very connected through their site and these fabulous videos that are educational and inspirational!

I am very happy to say the new set of videos are at your fingertips via the RootsTech website indicated at the above link.

Don’t forget that you can also still go back via the RootsTech website to videos from the 2013 RootsTech Annual Conference.  The message in those videos is still as meaningful today as it was then.

You can get to these videos here:

2013 RootsTech Annual Conference Videos

So if you want to have an approximate 36 hour “marathon” weekend viewing RootsTech videos, you can easily do so through the above links.  Sounds like a good thing to do as winter begins to give up its cold and snowy grip!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“What’s New At February 2014” YouTube Video

Hi Everyone!

ancestry-logoI just did a quick look at YouTube and saw that there is now a February 2014 video posted from that is titled “What’s New At February 2014”.

The video is an approximate 23 minute production hosted by Crista Cowan of who provides the viewers with updates on what new things users of should be aware of.

Topics covered in this video by Crista are:

  • Upcoming genealogy conferences for RootsTech (Completed), “Who Do You Think You Are?” in London, England (Feb 20-22, 2014) , National Genealogical Society in Richmond, VA (May 7-10, 2014), Southern California Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank, CA (Jun 6-8, 2014) and Ancestry Day in Philadelphia, PA on March 15, 2014
  • New Content! – 900 Million new records added for 27 new countries in the Ancestry databases (that is correct… 900 million records!).  For those personally subscribed to, visit their website and look in the upper right side of the home page for a new link that says “New Global Records”.  (My comment – Sometimes I have seen the link clearly for “New Global Records” at the site, sometimes I have not seen it.  I do not know why it is inconsistent in appearance?  I notice it also appears under the drop-down menu for “More” from the home page.  Video noted it may “disappear” and is only there for a short time.)   (I need to see how this works or does not work for the equivalent Ancestry Library Edition product?).  (My comment, not Ancestry’s – Ancestry is looking more like FamilySearch with their World Map view for selecting records.  You will see this when you click on the link for “New Global Records”; in fact, I believe some of the new data here is the same exact data from FamilySearch; this may be evidence of the closer relationship FamilySearch is having with in sharing data between the two.)
  • is also developing new “Landing” pages concept that are “portals” to specific kinds of content e.g. as an example if you type in you will be taken to one of these “landing” places, or or or or  If you already know what kind of search you may want to make based on record type, these “landing” pages can get you there and focus your search on all that is categorized as that type of record. (My comment – the video was not exactly clear if the “landing pages” mentioned in the video are the only ones.   I also do not know where they are “listed” in for them to be discovered.)

You can view this video directly here:

Crista does an excellent job of sharing what is new at that can make your use of the product even more effective and beneficial with your family history research.  She shows you via her computer screen what to look for at the site.

I also did a search on YouTube looking for similarly titled videos and did discover that there are many “What’s New At” videos on YouTube going back at least until April of 2012.  These series of videos are a great tool to use to review going back in time so you keep current with all that is being offered and added to

Here is a simple link to my search in YouTube that will give you this nice list of these videos posted to YouTube that you can do some catching up on to know about all of the new things at

“What’s New At” YouTube Videos

The host does a very good job verbally describing the new additions as well as showing you the new things at Ancestry via screencasting.  That allows you to see her computer screen as she points out the various “new” things you may see at and where they are located.

Because so many of us use, either via a personal subscription or by using the Ancestry product at our local libraries, these YouTube videos are quite informative to keep users up to date with new features that take root on  The host provides even more depth to the importance of the change and even why it was done.

I think you will enjoy the most recent video above as well as looking at the link above for even more of these videos.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Where Are The World War II Military Records You Need To Research Your WW II Military Ancestors?; Jennifer Holik Has Blogged Extensively About How To Successfully Uncover These Important Records Of Your Ancestors

Hi Everyone!

WWII LogoMilitary records research is often a major effort when we are doing our ancestral genealogy research.  Our ancestors often served in the military during the time of their lives.  But we often think in terms of the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican American War, Civil War etc.

But what if you are doing genealogical research on your somewhat more contemporary ancestors that may have served in the military during World War II?  World War II does not seem that far back in time for many of us that are in our 60s but it actually started in 1941 from a United States involvement perspective which means it goes back 74 years ago.

These records are available but maybe the methodology to uncover them is something we have not yet done as we construct our family trees inclusive of World War II vets.

Jennifer Holik is a genealogy program speaker, researcher and author, that we have had at our library, as well as the owner of Generations.  She presented a program that showed us the ways by which we could get our younger children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews etc. interested in picking up the genealogy torch with us.

Jennifer also has a skill in uncovering the connections of our ancestors to their military history.  She has even written some books about the subject as it related to her own genealogical investigations.

Jennifer will be a future speaker at our library again in May 2015 and November 2015.  She will be sharing with us her knowledge about how to go about doing your military research, especially about your World War II vet/ancestor.

I did notice that she has made some recent blog posts providing some very detailed insights into how to go about researching your World War II ancestor’s military records.  Her blog posts were outstanding on providing background and details that genealogy researchers can learn to make their World  War II records research more productive and less frustrating.

GenerationsBiz LogoHere are the links to her recent blog posts that I know you will find full of detailed information to help you uncover those World War II military records you may not even be aware of that can help you paint a more full picture of an ancestor.

January 27, 2014 Jennifer Holik “Where ARE the WW II Military Records?” Blog Post

February 3, 2014 Jennifer Holik “WW II Military Research Is NOT the Same As Genealogy Research” Blog Post

You can connect to the entire blog that Jennifer is authoring at:

Generations Blog Authored By Jennifer Holik

Bloggers often focus on certain themes to create blog posts on certain days of the week.  One of the themes in the blogger world is “Military Monday”.  This is the day that Jennifer has been making her blog posts related to military records research related to genealogy.  She has really been following this theme and has been prolific in her blog posts on World War II military research on “Military Monday”.

If you are focusing part of your current genealogy research on uncovering military records for your ancestors, especially those in connection to World War II, then I highly recommend following Jennifer’s blog posts as she shares information about how to do that kind of research.

You will have to wait a little bit to see Jennifer make her World War II military presentations at our library.  But until she gets here in 2015 you can still add to your research knowledge on World War II records by following Jennifer’s blog posts as they occur on “Military Monday”.

Thanks Jennifer for making these very helpful posts!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Northwest Suburban Council Of Genealogists (NWSCG) Next Program Scheduled For Saturday Morning, March 1, 2014 At 10:00 AM; “French Genealogy Is Easy: Merci, Napoleon!” By Jacquie Schattner

Hi Everyone,

NWSCG LogoI just received a program notice from the Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists indicating that their next genealogy program is scheduled for Saturday morning, March 1, 2014 at 10:00 AM.

The society will be meeting on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 10:00 AM at the Arlington Heights Senior Center at 1801 W. Central Rd. in Arlington Heights, IL.

There is no prior registration needed.  There is no fee to attend.

The society offers an early informal gathering at 9:00 AM that would allow you to exchange information and ask questions with others present at the time before the formal program starts.

Please be sure to view the link below that will get you to the program description material supplied to me by the society. 

Feature Presentation Clip ArtThe speaker for the morning program will be Jacquie Schattner.    The speaker will present a program titled “French Genealogy Is Easy: Merci, Napoleon!.

Please take a look at the full PDF announcement of the program by going to:

Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists (NWSCG) March 1, 2014 Program Notice

You will find more details about the program location, the program contents and some information about Jacquie Schattner, the speaker for the morning from the above link to the program information.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

February 2014 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts Uploaded As A PDF for February 11, 2014 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the February 2014 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 February 2014 Handouts for your convenience:

February 2014 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, February 11, 2014 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  “highlight” 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