Monthly Archives: June 2017

2017 Marge Rice Memorial Family History Writing Award; $500 Prize And More; Offered Through The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) Quarterly

Hi Everyone!

More on keeping with my recent theme on authoring an article.

Once again, looking through the 2017 Summer issue of the Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) Quarterly, I notice a one-page insert describing a writing award that is being offered through the Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS).

The page describes the upcoming 2017 Marge Rice Memorial Family History Writing Award.  The winner will receive the following awards:

  • A $500 award
  • Honors at the 2018 ISGS Annual Conference
  • Free Registration for the 2018 ISGS Annual Conference
  • One-Year Membership to the Illinois State Genealogical Society

The contest is open to both members of the Illinois State Genealogical Society as well as non-members.

All of the rules and guidelines for how to participate with a submission are included in the following PDF:

2017 Marge Rice Memorial Family History Writing Award Guide

It looks like the article to be written for submission will be based on a photo of one or more of the individuals in your article.  The main individual in your article must have an Illinois-based story.

I am not seeing an end of contest date in the guidelines.  Not sure if this is open-ended or if there is an end date that was not mentioned.

Take a look at the full description of the guidelines in the above PDF.  The guidelines even include some published articles titles that have been published in the ISGS Quarterly that you can use as examples of what the society is looking for.  That is nice and helpful to be able to see articles that are good examples of successful writing for the contest.

Want to win some money?  How about the accolades of your fellow Illinois genealogy researchers?  How about some additional freebies related to attending the 2018 ISGS Annual Conference?

Get that blank Microsoft Word template on your screen.  You gotta have that, I hope?  Rules say you have to submit as a Microsoft  Word document.  So your cursive writing skills you have will not be able to take you over the finish line!

Give it a try.  You can do it!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


Become An Author; Write An Article For The Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly; Guidelines Included As A Link To Guide You Through Writing/Submission Process

Hi Everyone!,

I was just browsing through the recent Summer 2017 issue of the Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) Quarterly when one of the pages struck me as being of interest.

Are you a budding genealogical author?  Have you ever wanted to write an article about an Illinois family that you have been researching and get it published?  How do all of the articles that you read get written, submitted and published?  

Most of the time we read article after article in various journals and might wonder how the process works.  Then you say to yourself that you could do that!

Well, in this Summer 2017 issue of the ISGS Quarterly, the society has included a full-page description of the guidelines for what can be submitted and for how to submit the material to the society for consideration for publication in the ISGS Quarterly.

Here is the one-page guide from the Summer 2017 issue that tells you all about the magical process to go from thoughts to words to publication!

2017 Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly Author Guidelines

You can do it!

You may already have been writing your family history story.  Maybe what is already on paper can be tweaked to fit the guidelines of the ISGS Quarterly for submission.

Who knows where your writing skills can take you!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Follow-Up To Announcement By FamilySearch Microfilm Discontinuation Effective September 1, 2017; Frequently Asked Questions Link Regarding This Change

Hi Everyone!

Initially when I made a post about the announcement regarding microfilm discontinuation by FamilySearch, I was able to provide you with a link to the announcement.

Now, I have actually looked through the Dick Eastman blog post about this announcement and I see that Dick has a link in his post to a “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” associated with this announcement.

I wanted to provide this to you because some of the questions I personally have related to accessing digitized material might have answers for me in this FAQ section.

So, now you have a link to the announcement in my previous post as well as a link to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding this announcement.

Here is the link to the FAQ section:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Related To FamilySearch Microfilm Discontinuation

The FAQ may very well provide you with a more comfortable feeling on what is about to happen starting on September 1, 2017 when you will no longer be able to order microfilms from FamilySearch.

Hope this added piece of information will help you.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


FamilySearch Microfilm Discontinuation Starting September 1, 2017; Major Change Coming Real Soon; Not Unexpected

Hi Everyone!

Just received some major info from one of my colleagues plus now seeing much buzz on the Internet.

FamilySearch will shortly stop distributing microfilms.  Microfilm distribution will cease as of September 1, 2017.

Here is a link to the full announcement from FamilySearch on this rather blockbuster news item:

Family History Microfilm Discontinuation Announcement

We all new this was coming down the road as transitioning to digital imaging was taking over.  I urge you to read the full announcement in the above link.

I have my own questions for which I do not think there are answers or I simply do not understand the transition process.

The announcement suggests 1.5 million microfilms have been digitized.  This is good!  But what I don’t understand is that if they have been digitized would it not imply that I should be able to look at images from the Polish villages of my ancestors online today?  If they are digitized where are the images?  If I look at FamilySearch and click on the map of Europe and then select Poland, I find the equivalent of only 8 databases of Polish information that can both be searched and browsed, 5 that are searchable and 3 that are browseable.

So where is the equivalent of Film #xyz for the Polish village of Wawelno for which I accessed in the past the old-fashioned way using a microfilm reader?  I don’t know.  It is not in the 8 databases for Polish information I can search through at FamilySearch today.

The announcement suggests much will still be completed between September 1, 2017 and 2020 to get all data online.  Will my Polish village of Wawelno be completely unavailable between September 1, 2017 and 2020 while it is being worked on for online uploading?  Will there be a massive data dump of digitized material sometime shortly after September 1, 2017 when the images of the records of the Wawelno past microfilm might appear online as images shortly after September 1, 2017?

I guess it is just too early to know what we will see online after September 1, 2017.  But I do know there are only the equivalent of 8 Polish database files today that are on FamilySearch today.    The worst scenario is that although the data exists in microfilm format today it could go on a “vacation” for an almost 3 year period while it is being converted to online images that can be viewed by me.  I would not have microfilm access nor would I have online digital image access until possibly as late as the end of 2020.

I don’t even care that the records may not be indexed.  Just looking at the images as if my monitor is a microfilm reader is all that I would want.

You will be able to order FamilySearch microfilms through August 31, 2017.  So, if you have been thinking about it you now have about 2 months left to order.  I get a sense there will be a massive “run” to do just that over the next 2 month period.

Maybe this announcement does not affect you at all if you have become an only “online data” researcher and have never ordered and used actual microfilm.

For me, it is just the unknown of what I am going to be able to access online after September 1, 2017, since that will really be my only choice.  Will I see images of my Wawelno Polish village records images?  Hope so.  Or will I have to be patient with the idea of seeing them sometime after September 1, 2017 and before January 1, 2021??

Read the full announcement and see where you fit into this blockbuster but expected news.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Fountaindale Public Library In Bolingbrook Has Previously Recorded Videos Of Their 2016 And 2017 “Genealogy Day” Programs Online; Approximately 9 Hours Of Recording Among 6 Programs

Hi Everyone!

While perusing among some genealogical information online,  I just happened to cross paths with some material from a genealogy librarian colleague from Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook.

Not only has Debra Dudek of the Fountaindale Public Library offered Irish Genealogy Programs in conjunction with the Ulster Historical Foundation, but she has also been holding an annual “Genealogy Day” Program.  The “Genealogy Day” Program generally consists of three 90 minute programs.  That alone is incredible.  But to top it off, Debra, video records each program and makes them available to view online.  In fact, the original programs were streamed LIVE on the day of the event over the internet!  Pretty impressive! 

Here is the link where you can find these “Genealogy Day” Programs from 2016 and 2017:

2016 and 2017 “Genealogy Day” Recorded Programs from the Fountaindale Public Library

The 2016 programs under the theme of “Hunting Down Sensational Stories” were:

  • “Using History Lines to Tell Your Family Story” presented by Adam Allgaier  (Program actually starts about 90 seconds after you start “play”.)
  • “Sensational Deaths and Where to Find Them” presented by Tina Beaird  (Program starts about 30 seconds after you start “play”.)
  • “Tracking Infamous Ancestors in Court Records” by Raymond Johnson  (Program starts about 30 seconds after you start “play”.)

The 2017 programs under the theme of “Crime, Fame, and Other Genealogical Confessions” were:

  • “Genetic Genealogy” presented by Robert Sliwinski  (The video has a slow introduction and some initial audio problems for about the first 90 seconds but then it is fine).
  • “Are You Related to Someone Famous?” presented by Robert Allen
  • “Where the Murderers Roam” presented by Dr. Daniel Hubbard

For the 2017 programs, you can even access the handouts that were used for the 2017 programs.  They are linked right under the 3rd video when you get to the site.  I did not see any handout links for the 2016 program.

Perhaps the topics may be of interest to your own research efforts?  Maybe they just sound interesting and you want to learn more about an aspect of genealogy you are not familiar with.

Each video is about 90 minutes in length.  Get comfortable.  Get a cup of coffee or tea.  Hit the play button and you will be on your way.

A big “Thank You” to Debra Dudek and the Fountaindale Public Library for making these recorded genealogy program videos available to all when they are able.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Upcoming Genealogy Program Webinar With Thomas MacEntee At The Cary Area Public Library On Sunday, June 25, 2017 At 2 PM

Hi Everyone,

Just received short notice of an upcoming Genealogy Program at the Cary Area Public Library.

The program is scheduled for this Sunday, June 25, 2017 at 2 pm at the Cary Area Public Library located at 1606 Three Oaks Road, Cary, IL 60013.

Everyone is welcome to attend.  Registration is preferred through the Cary Area Public Library via their website at or you can call the library at 847.639.4210  for assistance with registration.

The program will be a live webinar titled “Got Illinois Ancestors? A Guide to Prairie State Genealogy”.  The presenter is Thomas MacEntee via the webinar format.  There will be time after the presentation for questions to be asked of Thomas MacEntee.

So if you have Illinois ancestors check out the webinar and the presenter at the Cary Area Public Library this coming Sunday on June 25, 2017 at 2 pm.  Open to the public.  You do not need to be a library cardholder with the Cary Area Public Library in order to attend.

You can visit the general library website at to see what they are all about.

Our own library will be having Thomas MacEntee as a genealogy presenter in May of 2018.  Different topic, but also via the webinar format.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


June 2017 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts Uploaded As A PDF for June 13, 2017 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the June 2017 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 2017 Handouts for your convenience:

June 2017 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 13, 2017 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