Monthly Archives: December 2014

Genealogy Estate Planning Tutorial Video At; Genealogy Codicil Form PDF Also Included

Hi Everyone, LogoIn my exploration of a variety of genealogy videos at, I happened to come across one that I thought was very good and that applies to all genealogical researchers.

It is also a video on a topic that is one we do not want to acknowledge.  And that topic is our own mortality.

For all of the years that we research our family history, perhaps it is good that we acknowledge our own mortality as it applies to all of our research material.  I have heard far too many stories about a genealogy researcher passing away and family members simply throwing out all of their paper research material out of ignorance or lack of direction.

What would you do if you were an executor faced with doing something with what is meaningless paper for you in trying to clean up someone’s estate?  If you value your research and research efforts, perhaps it is time to recognize your mortality.  While you are living,  provide your family members with clear direction as to how your genealogy research is to be handled after your death.

The 25 minute video is titled “Genealogy Estate Planning”.  It was created by Crista Cowen a frequent creator of wonderful genealogy YouTube videos from  Crista provides some matter of fact directions on how to go about passing on your family history research so that it does not wind up in the garbage dump or recycling bin!

You can see the video directly here:

Think about what genealogy researchers do.  They research the lives of our deceased ancestors!  None of us can escape our final end.  So why not acknowledge our end and provide direction about your materials while you can.

One of the tools I also discovered is a Genealogy Codicil Form.  This is a form that can become part of your existing Will.  It provides your Executor and the Legal Community with written direction as to how to treat your genealogy research material.  I thought this form is something you can use as you think through the process of directing your genealogy research material after your death.

Here is a copy of that form to consider to use with an existing Will or to include in a newly created Will:

Genealogy Codicil Form

View Crista’s “Genealogy Estate Planning” video and take a look at the Genealogy Codicil Form.

Don’t take a chance and have your life’s research work wind up in the dump or a paper recycling facility.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

New Season Of “Who Do You Think You Are?” Starts On Tuesday Evening, February 24, 2015, At 9 PM Central Time On TLC; Check TLC Website For Show Information

Hi Everyone!

Who Do You Think You Are?I just want to let you know that the new season for “Who Do You Think You Are?” will be starting on the cable channel TLC on Tuesday evening, February 24, 2015, at 9 PM Central time.

Previously, when the show was on NBC, they dedicated a portion of their website to the show so that you could always get updates on the show.  TLC appears to be doing the same for this show as it unfolds during this season.  You can find the information for the show on TLC at:

“Who Do You Think You Are?” Website At TLC

You will find a”teaser” video on the four announced upcoming “stars” that will appear on the show for the 2015 season.  In fact most of what is there at the site for the program as of my recent visit still contains mainly material from the 2014 season.

There will be 8 episodes of the show for this new season on TLC.

Four of the eight “stars” have been identified for this season.  The other four stars will be identified at a future time.  Here are the four “stars” identified so far that will appear on the show during the 8 episode run for the season on TLC.  The order is alphabetical and does not represent the order of the shows as they appear to the best of my knowledge:

  • Julie Chen
  • Angie Harmon
  • Sean Hayes
  • Bill Paxton

Make sure you mark down the date and time and plan to watch these shows in their original airing rather than at a later time if you can.  (Ratings are important for continuity of this wonderful show!)  Last year if you did not watch the original airing or did not DVR the show, your alternative was to purchase a copy from iTunes to catch up on shows missed and not recorded by yourself.

Now is the time to get the buzz going and to reconnect with some TV help and entertainment to motivate you in your own genealogical research efforts.

Mark your calendar for Tuesday evening, February 24, 2015 at 9 PM Central Time on TLC on cable.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

I Changed PREVIOUS PROGRAMS 2002 – 2013 Page Title To The Blog To Show Past Programs From 2002 To 2014

Hi Everyone!

I just changed the PAGE on the blog titled PREVIOUS PROGRAMS 2002 – 2013  to PREVIOUS PROGRAMS 2002 – 2014 to reflect our historical view of genealogy programs presented at our library to now include 2014.

You will find “Pages” to this blog on the top of the homepage of the blog.  You will see pages titled “About”,  “2015 Programs”, “Previous Programs 2002 – 2014”, “Favorite Links”, “Genealogy Program Flyer”.

Just look for it at the top of the blog.

Here is a direct link to the newly updated history of our genealogy programs presented at our library covering 2002 to 2014:

2002 – 2014 Genealogy Programs Presented at the Schaumburg Township District Library

Maybe you remember a program or speaker we had at one time.  Use this page to refresh your memory.  The programs are presented in order from 2014 back to 2002.  The programs within each year are in January through December month order.

Enjoy your travel through Memory Lane as it pertains to our past library genealogy programs!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“2015 Programs” Added As A New Page On The Blog At The Top Of The Home Page

Hi Everyone!

I just want to let all of you know that I have created a new “page” on the blog that is at the top of the first page you see when you visit the blog.

The title of the page is “2015 Programs”.  You will find a list of the schedule of our upcoming genealogy programs for 2015 at our Central Library.  These programs always occur on the 2nd Tuesday evening of each month starting at 7:30 PM.  Doors to the room open by 7:00 PM.

Take a look at the variety of topics and speakers we have scheduled for 2015 to see which ones are of special interest to you.  Also note the quarterly “breakout” groups we have when we do not have a speaker scheduled.  Mark your calendars for 2015 for these programs.

You can also get directly to this schedule of our programs for 2015 from right within this post at:

2015 Genealogy Programs at the Schaumburg Township District Library

We look forward to seeing you throughout 2015!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“What’s New At December 2014” YouTube Video; You Can View The Video In This Blog Post

Hi Everyone!

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

The video is an approximate 32 minute production hosted by Crista Cowan of who provides the viewers with updates on what new things users of should be aware of.

Crista also mentions that in addition to the monthly YouTube video she creates describing “new” things at for a particular month the reader should always check the blog from that you can access at: Blog

Topics covered in this video by Crista are:

  • Upcoming Conferences – Roots Tech 2015 and Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) (Combined Conferences), February 12 to 14, 2015, Salt Lake City, UT; National Genealogical Society (NGS) Annual Conference, May 13-16, 2015 at St. Charles, Missouri; Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, June 4-7, 2015, Burbank, CA,
  • New Product – Historical Insights for iOS (not yet for Android) – A newly created iOS app from explores different events throughout history that you can tie into the time of your ancestor.
  • New Appearance to Search Template – template for searching looks different.  The new appearance is being rolled out gradually so you may not yet be able to see it.  Search Filters start automatically popping up when you start entering in search terms.  Kristin has produced a video to watch about this new appearance that is on the channel at YouTube at
  • New DNA Circles – for public trees, if you have done an DNA test, your matched results are included in your tree.  Kristin also has a video on the channel at YouTube at .
  • New Databases – has added 11 new databases, many of which are  specific to the Oklahoma Indian Record Collection that are very helpful if your ancestral connections lead to the Five Civilized Tribes.  Some of the databases are fully indexed, some are just images that are browseable.  Some of the dates go back to 1850.  Some dates are as current as 1937.  Even if you do not have a connection to the Five Civilized Tribes, some of the data may help you if your ancestors were possibly involved in the Oklahoma Land Rush era between 1889 to 1926.  One of the files in general also covers Indian Treaties from 1722 to 1869.
  • New Database – United Kingdom World War I Service Medal and Awards Rolls, 1914-1920.  Contains 5 million records.
  • New Databases – New South Wales, Australia, Criminal Court Records, 1830-1945
  • New Database – UK Lunacy Records, 1882-1898
  • New Database – UK Criminal Lunatic Asylum Registers, 1820-1843
  • New Database – West Yorkshire (UK) Bastardy Records, 1690-1914
  • Research Reminders #1 – Read the complete database descriptions for the newly added material to know what is contained and what is NOT contained.  Don’t just search!
  • Research Reminder #2 – Understand the records you are looking at when you are searching a newly added database.  Knowing what is there will help you create better search terms for better results.  Just create a “test” input search to see the results.
  • Crista spent a good time on this video noting that it is important to consider “browsing” records rather than always searching indexed databases.  Browsing databases are those that have not yet been indexed.  You cannot search these but the data as images is available for you to look through.  The data is generally subdivided into manageable viewing components.  Think of it as viewing a microfilm online.  Look at an individual database via the “Card Catalog” and look to see if it has a “Browse Box” that allows you to look at the data but not be able yet to search it.  The “browse box” implies the data is not yet indexed for direct searching.

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

Follow-Up Post: (Registration Now Open) Carl Sandburg Institute Of Genealogy In Galesburg, Illinois Will Be Holding 4 Day Genealogy Institute From May 28, 2015 To June 1, 2015; 4 Well-Known Genealogy Experts Will Provide Instructions

Hi Everyone!,

Sandburg CSI Genealogy LogoI just received some follow-up information from the Carl Sandburg Institute of Genealogy that indicated that registration is now open for their 4-day genealogy institute that will take place in Galesburg, IL from May 28, 2015 to June 1, 2015.

Here is the added information from the Institute about the registration process from their blog:

Online Registration

We’re looking forward to having you join us at CSIG this May. Online registration is easy and can be done by following the directions:

To register online, follow these directions:


Click “click here to register for BCE classes”
Choose leisure as your topic code.
Choose your class and hit “submit.”

Go through the registration process.

If you have difficulties or questions, call Linda Hankins at 309.345.3501 or Nancy Randall at 309.341.5260 during normal business hours central time. They are happy to talk to people and help them with their registration. Nancy’s an amateur genealogist herself, but doesn’t answer research questions. ;-)

Phone Registration

Registration for CSI-G is by phone until 31 October 2014 when online registration becomes operational. Registration for all CSI-G classes starts on 13 October at 8:30 AM Central.

If you’d like to register by phone, please have the following course information handy:

  • Refining Internet and Digital Skills for Genealogy (coordinator Cyndi Ingle)–Sandburg Course number:L EIC00600 (54213) -$400
  • Advanced Methodology and Analysis (coordinator Michael John Neill)–Sandburg Course number: LEIC00602 (54215) -$400
  • The Advancing Genealogist: Research Standards, Tools, and Sources (coordinator Debbie Mieszala, CG)–Sandburg Course number: LEIC00601 (54214) -$400
  • Germanic Research Sources and Methods (coordinator Teresa McMillin, CG)–Sandburg Course number LEIC00603 (54231) -$400

The meal plan is optional ($150) and is Sandburg Course number LEIC00604 (54232). The meal plan does not have to be added at your initial registration.

The College needs to reach an enrollment threshold in order to cover institute expenses. We ask that registrants not make any non-refundable travel arrangements until we’ve confirmed to registrants that the enrollment threshold has been met. Since this is the first time we’ve offered CSI-G we don’t have a good estimate of what our enrollment will be.

Registrants will need a debit or credit card to process payment.

To register by phone, call:

  • Linda Hankins, Administrative Assistant, CME / Community Education at 309-345-3501. Linda will respond to voicemails in the order received and can be reached via email at
  • If Linda is unavailable, and you really want to talk to a human, Nancy Randall, Records / Registration Specialist, can be called at 309-341-5260.


Hi Everyone!

Sandburg CSI Genealogy LogoI recently received a notice from the Carl Sandburg Institute of Genealogy in Galesburg, IL that they will be a holding a 4-day genealogy institute from May 28, 2015 to June 1, 2015.

Four nationally known genealogy experts will be providing instructions on various aspects of genealogy to those registered in attendance;

The 4 speakers and the program topic each will present are:

  • Refining Internet and Digital Skills for Genealogy (coordinator Cyndi Ingle of CyndisList)
  • Advanced Methodology and Analysis (coordinator Michael John Neill of Genealogy Tip of the Day)
  • The Advancing Genealogist: Research Standards, Tools, and Records (coordinator Debbie Mieszala, CG)
  • Germanic Research Sources and Methods (coordinator Teresa McMillin, CG)

Here is a link to a PDF that provides information on the program:

May 28, 2015 to June 1, 2015 Carl Sandburg Institute of Genealogy Conference

The registration process is expected to start sometime during September 2014 for this lengthy educational program.

I did not see anything at this time that indicated the costs to attend this 4 day program.  That will probably be made available when registration opens during this month.

Teresa McMillin, CG, has been a speaker at our own genealogy programs.  Her specialty area in genealogy is Germanic research.  She is in fact the leader at this program for the Germanic Genealogy track.

Debbie Mieszala, CG, is also local from our area associated with the Lake County Genealogical Society.  She too will be one of the track coordinators during this program.  I have also seen her make a presentation.

Both of the above researchers are well-skilled and knowledgeable and can certainly provide you with many research insights to make your own genealogical research efforts more successful.

I realize this is quite a way down the road but these Institute programs are limited in size to make the educational experience more productive as well as providing a smaller classroom setting for better interaction.

Use the above link as a starting point to obtain initial information.

More information will be released via the Institute website noted in the above link as it becomes available.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Family Tree DNA And DNA Have Their DNA Kits On Sale For The Holiday Season; Might Be A Good Gift Idea For Yourself Or Your Relatives

Hi Everyone!

Family Tree DNAAs expected during the Holiday season, genealogy DNA testing kits are on sale within Family Tree DNA (FTDNA).

You can visit Family Tree DNA at their website at:

FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA)

The Family Tree DNA website notes that the three main DNA test kits are on sale:

  • The yDNA kit is marked down from $169 to $129.
  • Family Finder kit is marked down from $99 to $89.
  • The mtDNA kit is marked down from $199 to $169

The sale is good until December 31, 2014.  Now is the time to act for the holidays and take advantage of the discounted price across their major DNA kits.

Family Tree DNA also notes that it contains over 700,000 DNA results in its database, being the largest DNA database in the world.  Having your test done with an organization that has such a high number of participants means you stand a good chance to have some matches for your own submitted test. DNA is also having their test on sale.

You can visit them at their website at: DNA

They are noting a sale price on their kit as follows:

  • Regular price of $99 is now on sale for $89

The sale price is in effect only until December 21, 2014.

Think of even giving the test to other relatives as a Holiday gift.

Think of even giving these DNA test kits at a sale price to the most important person in your research  — YOURSELF!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library