Monthly Archives: November 2015

Chicago Genealogical Society Will Present 2016 Genealogy Seminar At Arlington Heights Memorial Library On Saturday, April 2, 2016, From 9:30 AM To 4 PM; Michael D. Lacopo, D.V.M., Is The Featured Speaker

Hi Everyone!

Chicago Genealogical Society LogoI saw a notice from the Chicago Genealogical Society about an upcoming all-day genealogical seminar they will be having.  The society will present their 2016 Spring Genealogy Seminar on Saturday, April 2, 2016, at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library from 9:30 AM to 4 PM.  The library is located at 500 N. Dunton Ave. in Arlington Heights, IL.

The key speaker for the all-day program is Michael D. Lacopo, D.V.M..

Michael will present 4 programs through the day.  The program titles are:

  • “More Than the Census: Our Families Did Exist Within Those Ten-Year Intervals!”
  • “Incorporating Social History Into Your Research”
  • “Methods for Identifying the German Origins of American Immigrants”
  • “Medical Genealogy: A Primer of Diseases That Killed Our Ancestors and the Epidemics They Lived Through”

Here is a link to the complete 1 Page PDF flyer I created from the CGS program flyer.  In it, you will find all of the details for this all-day event at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, including the programs Michael will be presenting and the registration form with the different fees that will apply.  Different fees are based on whether you are a member of the society or not, your post-marked registration date and whether you want to purchase the lunch that will be offered.

2016 Chicago Genealogical Society Spring Genealogy Seminar with Michael D. Lacopo, D.V.M.

I have also entered this program event into the “Calendar of Local Genealogy Events” page of this block at the top of the homepage.

Here is a link to get you to the Chicago Genealogical Society to check out what they are all about and what resources they have available to you to help you in your Chicago ancestral quest.  You can reach them:

Chicago Genealogical Society Website

Once again you have the opportunity to hear a top-notch genealogical speaker in our area.

Mark the date down.  Review the PDF flyer containing the program  information and the registration information.  Connect with the Chicago Genealogical Society.

This looks to be a great program on aspects of genealogy that we really may not be as aware of as we should be.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Our Library Has A 1944 And 1953 Chicago Telephone Directory And A 1958-1959 Chicagoland Suburban Telephone Directory; May Help You With Your More Recent Chicago Ancestral Research

Hi Everyone!

STDL Central Summer LgSometimes I surprise myself on discovering research resources we have that I did not even know our library had.

I was asked to help someone on a research request that was related to searching through telephone directories.  Yes, that is right, printed, large-size, heavy paper phone directories from days past.  You remember those, don’t you?  Printed by RR Donnelly with updated directories dropped off at your doorstep year after year after year!

In going through our material in our collection to help answer a genealogy research question, I actually discovered that our library has on our Reference shelves 3 helpful “old” print telephone directories that can be of help to the genealogical researcher digging into ancestors that may have been in Chicago or the Suburbs of Chicago within the last 50 to 75 years.

Here is a description of the 3 items in our 2nd floor Reference Collection I want you to be aware of:

  • 1944 Chicago Telephone Directory (Commonly referred to as “White Pages”)  (R 384.6025 CHICAGO 1944)
  • 1953 Chicago Telephone Directory (Commonly referred to as “White Pages”)  (R 384.6025 CHICAGO 1953)
  • 1958-59 Chicago Suburban Telephone Directory (Commonly referred to as “White Pages”)  (ILLINOIS COLL R 384.6025 CHICAGO)

These can be very helpful to do look-ups in if you have Chicago ancestors that lived in Chicago proper during the time periods covered by these resources.

The 1944 directory is helpful to track any ancestor migration since the 1940Phone Book Stock Photo Census that is currently available (in the 1940 Census in Chicago, not present in the 1944 Chicago Telephone Directory); the 1953 directory is helpful because the 1950 Census has not been made public at this time.

I actually looked at the 1944 directory for my name and found no one listed under KIERNA.  I guess my more recent ancestors did not have any money to have telephone service??  But by 1953 the name KIERNA does appear in that directory.

Your ancestor might not appear in these directories if they chose to have their information “Non-Published”.  They paid for the privilege of not having their name published in the print directory.  They may also not be in the directory if they did not have telephone service.

Just know that these resources are available in our library for you to use as a research tool.  These books in print are on the 2nd floor Reference Shelves.  Use the Call Number of the books noted above to find them.   If you can’t come in to our library to take a look at these directories, you can always call our library at 847-985-4000 and ask for the “Ask Us” desk on the 2nd floor.  They would be able to do a look-up for you in the directory.

Hopefully, the surname you seek is not a common one like “SMITH” or “JONES” because the directories cover the City of Chicago where these names are very common in the directory.

Also, since many of our ancestors may have originally settled in Chicago back in the late 1890s and early 1900s, it was not uncommon for them and their children to also “migrate” out of the city into the suburbs as the suburbs started growing in the 1940s and 1950s.  This is where the Chicago Suburban Telephone Directory might be of more help to you to track down these early ancestors that might have moved out to the Chicago suburbs and were listed in the 1958-1959 Suburban Directory we have.

I am glad that my research effort made me aware of these nice resources that I have available right at my fingertips at the Schaumburg Township District Library.  Perhaps it can help you too for your Chicago ancestral research, especially the part that is a little more current in time.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Take Advantage Of Holiday Family Gatherings As The Family Historian (Originally Posted In November 2009 And Still Applicable!)

Hi Everyone!

Roast Turkey and StuffingNow that the holidays are upon us again, I wanted to re-post a blog entry I made in November 2009 (actually one of my first posts to the new blog at that time) because the holiday times and family gatherings provide the perfect opportunity to the family historian to share previously researched information and also to gather new information to compile into the family history.

What follows in Bold and Italics is the post I published back in 2009.  The message to family historians is as important today as it was then.  Take a look at the message and take advantage of your time with family during the holidays of 2015-2016.


The Holiday Season is one of the best times of the year to moveChistmas Holiday Clip Art your genealogy research forward!  You are circled by family members who may be very interested to know of your research.  Not only can you share what you have discovered but you may have willing family members that can’t help but share more with you during this season of sharing!

Now is the time that family members will really see how serious you take your family research.  They may not open up to you as a willing participant at this time.  But you may have planted the seed in their mind that will come to grow at a future date when their assistance will become invaluable.

Bring some copies of research documents you may have uncovered to date as well as copies of pictures to share with the family members present at the gathering.  Keep the originals at home for safety and security!  If you have digitized your discoveries as .JPG images then bring your laptop with the data or your smartphone or your tablet computer if you have one that contains the images.  Even having the images on a flash drive will help because you can plug that into a computer that may exist in the house.  Even new HDTV sets often have a USB connection to the HDTV that you can plug into.  You can then look at the images on the TV screen!

What a great time to share family information as well as to gather more if you can.  Bring a digital recorder or a camcorder with to document the new information family members will be willing to share.  If you have a smartphone you probably have an App that can function as a digital recorder.  Don’t leave all of the stories to your memories.  Get the stories in the voice of the original provider for further analysis down the road.  Ask their permission to audio or videotape what they have to say.  Respect their wishes if they choose not to be recorded.  Then take notes.

Always remember to be a good guest if you are visiting.  It is the Holiday Season after all and not necessarily a genealogical convention!  Don’t make yourself a genealogical nuisance at this time but see if you can arrange a time in the future to revisit with key family members to obtain further information in a non-holiday pressured setting.

Share your family history stories and research.

Keep an ear open for other family history stories.

Plant those seeds among family members for future help.

But most importantly, enjoy your family during this Holiday Season!


Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Reminder Re-Post: Check This Blog During the Winter Months In Case Bad Weather Forces Us To Cancel A Genealogy Program; I Would Post That Cancellation Notice Here

Hi Everyone!

Winter Weather Clip ArtI just wanted to remind readers of this blog, especially those of you that often attend our monthly Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library (STDL), that I would post a notice here if a Genealogy Program on the 2nd Tuesday evening of the month would have to be cancelled due to bad, wintry weather.

A few cancellations have happened in the past and I believe posting the cancellation of that program in this blog proved helpful and beneficial to those who thought of coming out on a bad wintry night.  I believe that our most recent cancellation of our genealogy program was in February 2010 just a few months after I started this blog.

It does not happen often but this blog can easily get the word out that a genealogy program is being cancelled due to inclement weather.

It could be that we need to cancel our program but our library could still be open on these dicey nights.  It is not uncommon that many of our speakers come from a distance and bad weather could make it impossible for them to drive to our library to make the presentation while our library would still remain open.

As I write this in late November 2015, we have just been hammered with an 11 inch heavy wet storm that took place on November 21-22, 2015.  What a way to start our winter!!  However, it looks like the weather is going to turn warm the balance of this week for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday.  We might see temperatures back in the 50’s with rain on Thanksgiving.

Cross your fingers that good weather karma will be with us on our program nights for December 2015 and  January, February and March of 2016.

So keep checking back here especially on the 2nd Tuesday evening of the month if you may be planning on attending our genealogy program during the months of December, January, February and March.  If the weather is dicey and we cancel the program, you will hear it here!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) Has Schedule Of Offered Webinars For 2016 At Their Site; Great Way To Learn More About Genealogy

Hi Everyone!

Webinars Clip ArtI just came across the 2016 schedule of Webinar classes being offered by the Illinois State Genealogical Society.

Webinars are a fantastic way to hone your genealogical research skills by hearing about a topic of interest from a well-known genealogist about the topic.

The Webinars are all being offered on the 2nd Tuesday night of the week starting at 8 PM Central Time.  (Just a side note – The 2nd Tuesday evening of the month is our own monthly scheduled genealogy program at the Schaumburg Township District Library!  Make your choice, I know you will choose wisely!)

The topics on the schedule for 2016 look fascinating with some great presenters being offered through the year.

You do need to register in order to participate.  The Webinars are open to theISGS Logopublic.  You do not need to be a member of the ISGS in order to register or participate for the live Webinar.  As a benefit for members of the ISGS, they can then go into the archive vault to take a look at past Webinars.  Non-members of the ISGS can register for the “live” presentation but cannot go in to the archives to look at the past Webinars.

Here is a link to a PDF from the ISGS where you can look at the scheduled Webinars for 2016 as well as see a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” that pertains to the Webinars:

2016 Webinars Being Offered By The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS)

It is really nice being able to view webinars that are in an archives.  But as you can see, you may want to become a member of ISGS just to be able to access these wonderful learning exercises to increase your genealogy research skills.

Check out the topics on the above schedule.  There may be some that are just perfect for you.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“What’s New At November 2015” 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 November 2015 video posted from that is titled “What’s New At November 2015”.

The video is an approximate 30 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 – Salt Lake Institute, January 10 to 15, 2016 at Salt Lake City, UT.,; RootsTech 2016, February 3-5, 2016 at Salt Lake City, UT; National Genealogical Society Annual Conference, May 2016, at Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Southern California Jamboree, June, 2016, Burbank, CA; IAJGS Conference, August 2016, Seattle, WA; Federation of Genealogy Societies, August 2016, Springfield, IL.
  • Ancestry Blog Post – new website available to all subscribers in the United States and is being phased in to other country subscribers such as Canada and Australia.  Visit the blog post at Announcing the New Ancestry WebsiteScroll down and look for the “Try the new site Click Here” phrase.  Once there you will need to be a subscriber to  If you  enter in your information you will get connected to the new site for you to experiment with.   Crista mentioned that Ancestry is very appreciative of all of the feedback being provided to Ancestry from Beta users.  Look for a list of “updates” in progress appearing in the “Community Forum” that is located under the HELP menu.
  • Ancestry Blog Post – Crista noted that in the New Ancestry that you can now print from your profile page under the Tools tab; save media now lists the dates associated with a person so you can more properly select the correct person; click on profile image to add a photo, you can edit it and do other things such as resize; use one picture to upload it and then use it multiple times rather than needing to upload it multiple times for multiple use.
  • New Databases – check out all of the new Mexican Church Records and Civil Records that are identified by the geographic area of Mexico.  There are about 250 million of these records.  They are available to use if you have an Ancestry World Subscription (or we have them as part of our Ancestry Library Edition subscription).  Open up the Ancestry catalog and select the view of the databases under most recently added.  Use “Mexico” as your search term.  You will see about 5 to 6 pages of these Mexican Church Records.
  • Databases in General – Crista also mentioned that you may see databases within the Card Catalog that are prefaced with “Web”.  These are databases that are outside of  If you click on the link, you will be leaving the Ancestry site to access the material.
  • Databases in General – Crista also mentioned to use the right sidebar area of the screen when you have selected a particular database to search.  Here you will see “Related Data Collections” that notes names of other databases that could be helpful to you and may be related in a way to the database you are using.
  • Databases in General – Crista also mentioned that you may see databases that just note the database is an “Index”.  This means the original data has been transcribed from an original source but you will not have access to the original image of the document itself.  She suggested that if you find material in these Indexed databases, you may want to contact the source for the original records used to create the index and try to obtain an image of the original record associated with your indexed result.  There could be more in the original data that was not moved into the indexed file, plus you could also uncover transcription errors between the original record and the created indexed record.
  • 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

November 2015 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts Uploaded As A PDF for November 10, 2015 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the November 2015 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 November 2015 Handouts for your convenience:

November 2015 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, November 10, 2015 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