Monthly Archives: January 2017

Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society (NWSGS) Next Program Scheduled For Saturday Morning, February 4, 2017 At 10:00 AM; “DNA: A Power Tool In The Genealogist’s Toolbox” Presented By Karen Stanbary, CG

Hi Everyone,

Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society logo.newjpg (New 2014-25)-150I just received a program notice from the Northwest Suburban  Genealogy Society indicating that their next genealogy program is scheduled for Saturday morning, February 4, 2017 at 10:00 AM.

The society will be meeting on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 10:00 AM at the Arlington Heights Senior Center, 1801 W. Central Road in Arlington Heights, IL.

There is no prior registration needed.  There is no fee to attend.  Visitors are always welcome.

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 Karen Stanbary, CG.    The speaker will present a program titled “DNA: A Power Tool in the Genealogist’s Toolbox.

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

Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society (NWSGS) February 4, 2017 Program Notice

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

You can always visit the website of the Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society to see what they are all about at:

Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Visit The Google Calendar Of Events That Is Part Of This Blog; Calendar Is Now Updated Showing Many New Genealogy Programs In Our Area For 2017; Link To Calendar Included

Hi Everyone!

Schaumburg Township District Library

Schaumburg Township District Library

January of every year brings the proverbial “resolutions” you made to change parts of your life in the New Year.  I hope your resolutions are progressing satisfactorily, if in fact you made some.

January for me brings my own version of a “resolution”.  My “resolution” at this time of the year is always to work on my Google Calendar that is part of this blog and add as many new upcoming 2017 genealogy programs that I can discover from a variety of libraries, societies, groups and the like.

I am happy to let you know that I have been working on this calendar and in fact have added significant numbers of known 2017 upcoming programs to the calendar.

Now is the time to visit or re-visit this calendar and plan your 2017 genealogyCalendar Clip Art programs of interest to attend.  I did a rough count and came up with about 134 programs that are currently entered into the calendar for 2017 events.

But I am not done yet!

I have a few more libraries and societies I am working on to add even more programs to the calendar.

So maybe one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2017 was to attend a few more genealogy programs in our local Chicagoland metropolitan area.  Well, you can’t say that I held you up from accomplishing that goal because my calendar was looking lean with events!  No sir, you will have plenty to pick from all around our area.

You can certainly start completing your resolution by attending our library’s programs first and foremost!  But I do want you to have many more choices over many different days and times outside of our own programs!

You can find my Calendar of Local Genealogy Events via the “page” at the top of my blog home page.

Or you can get to it directly from here (scroll down a little when the link page opens to see the calendar):

Calendar of Local Genealogy Events in Tony’s Genealogy Blog At the Schaumburg Township District Library

The monthly view of the calendar is a nice way to look at it but also consider looking at it via the “Agenda” view link within the calendar.  I find this to be a nice way to scroll down chronologically to see event after event.

Check it out.

Lots of programs to pick from to help you accomplish your “resolution” to attend more genealogy programs.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“The Online Release Of Irish Civil Registration Records” By Joe Grandinetti In The December 2016/January 2017 “Internet Genealogy” Magazine

Hi Everyone!

Schaumburg Township District Library

Schaumburg Township District Library

I have just been perusing through our library’s recently received December 2016/January 2017 issue of Internet Genealogy .  In this issue is a very good article titled  “The Online Release of Irish Civil Registration Records”.  The author of the article is Joe Grandinetti.  Joe’s article highlights another major release of Irish genealogy records, in this case the Civil Registration records for births, marriages and deaths from Ireland.  About a year ago Roman Catholic Church records were also released making it that much easier for Irish researchers to dig into their past.

I have actually created a summary of the article that I am planning to include in our February 2017 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter.  However, I think this kind of data being released by Ireland affects so many researchers interested in Irish genealogy, that I thought I would also share my summary in this blog post before it will appear in the February Genealogy Newsletter of the Library.

My summary starts below after the separator line in Italics:

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 irishgenealogy-logoI thought that another very good article in this December 2016/January 2017 issue of Internet Genealogy is one titled “The Online Release of Irish Civil Registration Records”.  The author of the article is Joe Grandinetti.

For those of you doing Irish research, it is important to really check out the site for this newly released material.  Previously, Roman Catholic Church records from Ireland had been released about a year ago.  This site also has a link for you to get to these records.  When you get to the site, you will see a series of tabs at the top of the page.  It is here that you will be able to see a tab for the Civil Records as well as the tab for the Church records.

You can get to this site at www.irishgenealogy.ie.  The data actually started becoming available back in September 2016.   The article in this journal can give researchers a very good overall view of what the data is all about.  Here in a nutshell is the high level view of what the data consists of:

  • Newly released Civil Registration records contain 2.5 million browseable images.
  • Newly released Civil Registration records contain 12.5 individual searchable records.
  • Records are freely accessible.
  • Birth records cover 1864-1915 (only births 100 years or older allowed).
  • Marriage records cover 1882-1940 (only marriages 75 years or older allowed).
  • Death records cover 1891-1965 (only deaths 50 years or older allowed).
  • There are submission guidelines at the site to have data redacted for those who are alive today and are over 100 years old or for anyone alive today who’s marriage record is over 75 years old. They can submit the request to make the data unavailable for viewing for their records.
  • You can request copies of the records that are outside the years of what is provided at welfare.ie/en/Pages/Apply-for-Certificates.aspx.

The author suggests the following methods to best find the information you seek at the site for your Irish ancestors in the Civil Registration records:

  • Navigation and Jurisdiction
    • Access the tab at the top of the page for the Civil Records and just work your way through the clicks to get to the records.
    • It would be very helpful to know the Registration Districts of your ancestors because registration districts can cut across county lines.
    • Civil Registration District is the smallest district level to search.
    • Both parents names are required to enter into the search.
    • You do not need to always search the records if your initial results are not productive. You can browse the records by Registration District. 
    • Take advantage of wildcard searching using asterisks (*) and question marks (?) in place of letters. Asterisks for more than one letter, question marks for one letter.  The author noted that his searches were often formed this way for the surname “McGill” e.g. “m*gill”, would allow him to find “McGill”, “Mc Gill” and “Magill”.
    • If you know the Townland of your ancestor’s birth, there are some good resources to determine the Registration District. Use resources at John Grenham’s website at johngrenham.com/places/plu_index.php.  Also check out another resource at www.swilson.info/explorerb.php to find Registration Districts.
  • Dates in the Records – Take Them with a Grain of Salt
    • Estimated that 10-15% of people did not bother to register vital events for the first couple of decades after the requirement.
    • Compliance improved by the 1880s.
    • Dates in the records for events may actually not be accurate because there are fines associated for late filings. Hence, registrations often showed dates that were within the guidelines but did not reflect actual date of the event.  You can often determine this by looking at the Church records for the same events showing different (actual) dates of the event versus the date for the event in the civil records that would not include a date causing a fine.
  • The Separation of Church and State
    • A child’s birthdate in the equivalent baptism record for Catholics often is more accurate than the date registered in the civil records. The accuracy would reflect the religious belief of having a child baptized very soon after birth and thus recorded accurately so in case of death of the child, the child would be able to enter Heaven having been baptized.
    • The author did a study of his own ancestor’s birth/baptism record dates and noted that there are variances of anywhere from 24 days to 159 days between what baptism records showed for the “birthdate” versus what the civil registration records showed for the birth date. Be aware of these variances and don’t always put 100% accuracy in your own ancestors’ dates.
  • Other Information in the Civil Records
    • Births
      • Place of Birth
      • Maiden name of mother
      • Occupation of father
      • Informant’s Name and Residence
    • Marriages
      • Place of Marriage
      • Ages and Residences of couple
      • Names of the Couple’s fathers
      • Witnesses
    • Deaths
      • Place of Death
      • Age
      • Occupation
      • Cause of Death
      • Informant’s Residence
      • Informant’s relationship to deceased
    • Summary
      • Visit irishgenealogy.ie to start accessing the newly release Civil Registration data.
      • Consult the Civil Registration indexes as needed.
      • Access the tools at John Grenham’s website or at swilson.info/explorerb.php to locate the Civil Registration District.
      • Compare your Civil Registration finds to church baptisms/christening, marriage and death records using resources such as http://registers.nli.ie and rootsireland.ie.
      • Review all of the information in the civil registration data, not just the event dates.

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For those doing Irish research, this is another goldmine of information to tap into.  Always consider browsing records in a geographic area you believe equates to that of an ancestor when you are not finding the information by searching.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“What’s New At Ancestry.com January 2017” 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 January 2017 video posted from Ancestry.com that is titled “What’s New At Ancestry.com January 2017”.

The video is an approximate 16 minute production hosted by Crista Cowan of Ancestry.com who provides the viewers with updates on what new things users of Ancestry.com should be aware of.

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

Ancestry.com Blog

Topics covered in this video by Crista are:

  • Upcoming Conferences –  Large conference dates for 2017 have been set.  These are:  February 8-11, 2017, RootsTech in Salt Lake City; May 10-13, 2017, National Genealogical Society in Raleigh, NC; June 9-11, 2017, Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank, CA; July 23-28, 2017, International Association of Jewish Genealogical Associations, Orlando, FL; August 30-September 2, 2017, Federation of Genealogical Societies, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • New Databases – Ancestry.com has released about 86 million new records that are identified as marriage records for a variety of states.  The states identified and the date span of these records are as follows:Colorado, 1862-2006
    Oregon 1851-1975
    Maine 1670-1921
    District of Columbia 1810-1953
    New Jersey 1670-1965
    Connecticut 1620-1926
    Kentucky 1783-1965
    Michigan 1822-1940
    Pennsylvania 1845-1963
    Kansas 1811-1911
    Alabama 1805-1967
    Ohio 1774-1993
    Illinois 1800-1940
    Texas 1817-1965
    New York 1847-1849, 1907-1936
    North Dakota 1877-1929
    Indiana 1810-2001
    Florida 1823-1982(Sorry, they are not in alphabetical order on the YouTube Video)

    These records have been provided to Ancestry.com from FamilySearch.  The data consist of a searchable index to names but there are no links to images of the original records from within Ancestry.com.

    You can expect to  find the name of the person, age at marriage, marriage date, spouse name, marriage place, name of parents (these can vary).

    Your best bet is to search the individual databases rather than the entirety of the Ancestry.com collection.  Search the Ancestry.com card catalog using the search term of “marriage” or “marriages” to find these newly added state databases of marriages when you also look at the “Sort by Date Added” selection.

    Crista did emphasize to scroll down to the end of the card catalog database description and look to see the link to FamilySearch that will take you to the FamilySearch Wikipedia entry for the database for a full description of what is all contained and what is not included.  The Ancestry.com database description is basic highlighting what is contained in the database.  See the FamilySearch description for a complete description.

  • Tip From Crista – A particular database may have no connection to your research but you may still benefit from knowing about it.  As an example, there may be an Australian Outbound Passenger List database.  You may not have an Australian connection, but discovering that Outbound passenger records exists may allow you to consider to see if such records exist for the country associated with your ancestor.
  • 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 has noted on past videos 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 Ancestry.com 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 Ancestry.com site.

I also did a search on YouTube looking for similarly titled videos and did discover that there are many “What’s New At Ancestry.com” 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 Ancestry.com.

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 Ancestry.com:

“What’s New At Ancestry.com” 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 Ancestry.com and where they are located.

Because so many of us use Ancestry.com, 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 Ancestry.com.  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

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Offers A Combined Family Tree Maker, Roots Magic and The Master Genealogist Special Interest Group (SIG); Group Is Meeting At The Schaumburg Township District Library On Saturday January 21, 2017 From 12:45 PM To 2:30 PM

Hi Everyone!

CAGGNI logoAncestry.com announced in December 2015 that it will be “retiring” their lineage software program Family Tree Maker.  If you are a user of the product you may be uncertain how that decision does or does not affect you as a user of Family Tree Maker.

Perhaps you are a user of the lineage product from Roots Magic.  Perhaps you are a user of The Master Genealogist lineage program that is no longer being updated or maintained.

Perhaps the Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) can be of immense assistance to you.  The CAGGNI group now is offering a combined Family Tree Maker, Roots Magic and The Master Genealogist SIG .  Perhaps you did not take advantage of this resource in the past.  Perhaps now would be the time if you are in a state of confusion on all things related to any of the three lineage software products being offered in the SIG.

The combined lineage program SIG of CAGGNI is having their next meeting on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at our own library, the Schaumburg Township District Library located at 130 S. Roselle Road, Schaumburg,IL.  They will be meeting between 12:45 PM to 2:30 PM.

You can see details of this event in the CAGGNI Calendar of Events at:

January 21, 2017 Combined Family Tree Maker, Roots Magic and The Master Genealogist Special Interest Group of CAGGNI Meeting at the Schaumburg Township District Library

The CAGGNI group will be having their regularly scheduled program also on this date at the same location.  Their regular program will start at 10:30 AM and is titled “Navigating the Illinois State Archives”.  The speaker will be Tina Beaird.

You can make it a long day if you wanted to attend both the SIG and the regular CAGGNI program.  You do not have to attend both programs if you choose.  Pick the one of interest to you.

All guests are welcome to attend either program.  You do not have to be a member of CAGGNI in order to attend.  I am sure if you attended and were not a member you may very well think of becoming a member of this wonderful genealogical organization.

You can also check out the CAGGNI group website itself at:

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI)

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

January 21, 2017 Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Program At The Schaumburg Township District Library; “Navigating the Illinois State Archives” Presented By Tina Beaird

Hi Everyone!

CAGGNI logoJust wanted to let you know that the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) will be having their next program at our library on Saturday, January 21, 2017 starting at 10:30 AM.

The program is open to any and all interested in learning more about genealogy as well as learning more about this wonderful genealogy group and meeting its members in attendance.

The title of the program is “Navigating the Illinois State Archives “.  Speaker for the program is Tina Beaird.

Program description is:

“The Illinois State Archive holds an astonishing amount of information that can be used for genealogical research. Learn what records are available in the archives and tips for finding them”.

Speaker information is:

 Tina Beaird is the Genealogy/Local History Librarian at a midsize Chicagoland public library and owner of Tamarack Genealogy. She provides lectures on genealogical research, archival preservation, and Illinois history at national, state and local conferences.  She is a governing board member of the Oswego Heritage Association and also volunteers her time with several local historical and genealogical societies.

Find out more about the CAGGNI group and all that they do.  Visit them at their website at:

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI)

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) Offers Death Certificate Lookup Service; Much Lower Cost In Comparison to Other Services; For Members And Non-Members

Hi Everyone!

ISGS LogoWhile looking through the recent Winter 2016 issue of the Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly Journal (Vol. 48, No. 4), I happened to see a full-page ad in the issue placed by the ISGS.

The ad highlighted a wonderful “lookup” service offered by the society to both members and non-members for non-certified copies of death certificates that are contained in the Illinois State Archives Death Certificate Index, 1916-1950 database that exists at the Illinois Secretary of State’s website.

Here is the ad in the Winter 2016 issue of the Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly Journal:

Finding the Dead: Illinois Death Certificates Lookup Service at ISGS

The ISGS is offering the service to members for a cost of $6.  For non-members of the society the cost is $10 per non-certified death certificate.  Each of these costs is significantly lower than the $15 + cost (think Cook County!) you might expect to pay to request a copy of a non-certified death certificate within Illinois.  Obviously, being a member of the ISGS really gives you the best cost possible.  If you have many, many death certificates you would like to order, consider becoming a member of the society just for this benefit.  However, you will see many more resources of the society available to members over and above death certificate look-ups.

The ISGS accepts credit card payments for the service as well as PayPal.

Here is a link to the part of the ISGS website that describes the service of its Death Certificate lookup service:

Illinois State Genealogical Society Death Certificate Lookup Service 

Just remember, you search the Illinois Secretary of State database mentioned above.  If you find a result in that searchable index, then you can provide the details of that to ISGS for them to provide you with the copy of the non-certified death certificate.  That is what they have access to.

Check out all the above links.  Consider trying the service even if you have just one non-certified death certificate you are in need of that is contained in the database noted above.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library