Monthly Archives: August 2017

A Must Listen To Podcast!; Lisa Louise Cooke Interview With Diane Loosle Of FamilySearch Regarding the Discontinuance Of Microfilm Provisioning By FamilySearch; Important To Understand What Is Happening And What Are Your Workarounds

Hi Everyone!

Lisa Louise Cooke

As you all should be aware of by now, FamilySearch will be discontinuing the provisioning of microfilms to Family History Centers (FHC) as well as to Family History Center Affiliates like Public Libraries that participated in the program to receive microfilms for viewing at their location.

This program ends on August 31, 2017.

After August 31, 2017 you will no longer be able to order microfilms for viewing through FamilySearch.

Microfilms have been a mainstay of doing family history research since I started 20 years ago.  As with so many technology advancements we have experienced in the last 20 years, it now appears to be the turn for microfilms to say goodbye.  This termination can be accomplished because FamilySearch has made such incredible progress over the last 8 years since 2009 when FamilySearch announced they would be starting on a digitization project to convert their 1.5 million microfilms to digital images.

One of our regular participants made me aware of a very nice Podcast recorded by Lisa Louise Cooke who is a prominent figure in the world of genealogy.  I have not yet fully listened to the entire podcast but it does sound very informative about the discontinuance.  In fact Lisa has a very good interview with a key figure of FamilySearch who has much information to share to listeners about the discontinuance, its effects and alternatives to provide the material on microfilm that will no longer be accessible until it is converted to digital media for viewing.

The podcast is a “Special Episode” recorded by Lisa Louise Cooke titled “The End of FamilySearch Microfilm Lending Program”.  It is an approximate 27 minute podcast.

Here is the link to the special program:

Lisa Louise Cooke Podcast Titled “The End of FamilySearch Microfilm Lending Program”

Take a listen to the podcast.  I will be doing that very soon.

Hopefully, anything you may have needed on their microfilms exists in digital format for you to access online from home or online through a Family History Center.  It is the residual films that are not yet digitized that may be the problem for you for accessibility.  FamilySearch has a target to complete the digitization of films still needing conversion over the next 3 years to 2020.  It is my understanding that the order of conversion will be determined by the frequency of which these films have been requested over the past.  Maybe your film falls into that category and you may be able to access this material in 2018 rather than in 2020.

It does make sense to me to prioritize conversions based on frequency of use. Just hope that a film you might be interested is not one that has had no demand for use.  If so, you may not see that digitized until 2020.

Check out the above link to the podcast.  I can’t wait to fully listen to it.

A big “Thank You” to Don G. for sharing the link with me.

Enjoy the podcast.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Polish Genealogical Resources At The Newberry Library In Chicago; Handout From Recent Polish Genealogical Society Of America Genealogy Program At Our Library

Hi Everyone!

Grace DuMelle, a Reference Librarian at the Newberry Library, gave a genealogy presentation at our library on August 20, 2017 for the Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA).  The program title for the afternoon was “Polish GEMS at the Newberry Library”.  As part of the presentation, Grace did bring in some handouts.

One of her handouts was a nice compilation of a variety of Polish Resources that are at the Newberry Library that can help you in your Polish genealogical research.  It provides resources according to the following categories:

  • Guides and Bibliographies
  • Maps and Gazetteers
  • Biographical Resources
  • Surnames
  • Nobility and Heraldry
  • Jewish Resources
  • Roman Catholic Resources
  • Immigration
  • Chicago Resources
  • Periodicals
  • Dictionaries and Translation Resources
  • Resources Elsewhere in Chicago

I did notice that the paper handout she provided can also be found at the Newberry Library website under Polish Resources.

Here is a link to see the list of Polish resources that can be found at the Newberry Library:

Polish Genealogy Resources at the Newberry Library

If you access the material through the link above, you will also be able to access the additional links contained in the list from the website of the Newberry Library.

If you are doing Polish genealogy research it is probably a good idea to at least view this list of resource materials.  Perhaps you have become familiar with some of them but you may also discover new ones you were not aware of.

The list of resources is a very long list of Polish research resources to check out.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

New And Improved “Chicago Ancestors” Website From The Newberry Library

Hi Everyone!

Grace DuMelle, a reference librarian at the Newberry Library, was a recent speaker at our library in a co-hosted program with the Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA).  One of her handouts for her program was a “postcard” type advertisement for the Chicago Ancestors site created by the Newberry Library.

I was able to obtain one of these advertisements for the site and I wanted to share that with you.  Here is a link to view the handout “postcard” advertisement for “Chicago Ancestors”:

Chicago Ancestors “Postcard” Handout Advertisement

The site is fantastic if you have Chicago ancestors, as I do, in your genealogical research.  The website features much about the various local communities in Chicago and is a map interactive process.  The site is very helpful if you know the location where your ancestors lived in Chicago.  You can enter in a street address or street intersections and see what the website can provide to you about those locations and things around that location.

Here is the link for you to try:

New and Improved “Chicago Ancestors” Website Created by the Newberry Library

One of the interesting features you will find in this resource is the “Crime” designation information for the designated area of an address you input.  You can designate the radius of how many miles from your input location that you will see results.  The site will give you information and an exact map location on what major crimes took place within the designated mileage from the address you input and when they occurred e.g “murder/homicide”.  It is eerie information that can connect to the time frame of when your ancestors may have lived nearby and what they would have more than likely been able to read and experience about the event when it occurred.

Another interesting feature included in the results shows you church names that are in the designated radius you select to find material.  This can be very helpful to you to find the churches that your ancestors may have attended.  with a possible church identification that then allows you the option to discover if church records exist for that church that may be connected to the time of your ancestor in the area.

Give the site a try to see what other tidbits of information you can discover that can connect you to the time when your ancestor lived in Chicago at a particular location.

If you don’t know of an address, you can choose from a pre-set list of communities offered within the site e.g. Humboldt Park, West Town, Portage Park etc.

The site also offers an advanced search feature that you can search by “topic”, “community”, “start year”, “end year” and other choices.

It is a fun site to search.  Give it a try.  See what you can discover about events and other things connected to the location your ancestors lived at in the City of Chicago.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

DNA Testing For Genealogy; Look Before You Leap!; Life-Changing Events Can Happen From Your Results; Link To Article Included

Hi Everyone!

I wanted to share with you a link that was sent to me from one of our genealogy program participants.

The link will get you to a lengthy story from the July 27, 2017 Washington Post about how your DNA testing for genealogy can provide you with more mysteries and life-changing possibilities than you ever wanted to discover.

DNA testing for genealogy is the hot thing.  Many of our genealogy programs participants have submitted their DNA for testing, often initially being tested with autosomal DNA analysis.  I have submitted my DNA for such testing and have recently had a wonderful connection to an unknown cousin who is an outstanding genealogical researcher.  Results like this are the really positive side of DNA testing for genealogy.

Check out the link below to get a different perspective on DNA testing for genealogy.  The results are not always what you expect which can be challenging and life changing.  After reading the article I am thankful that my DNA results were completely boring and matched to the assumptions I have carried throughout my whole life.

July 27, 2017 Washington Post Article Titled “She Thought She Was Irish — Until a DNA Test Opened a 100 Year Old Mystery”

I have personally heard the stories of at least 2 individuals whose test results showed that they were not who they thought they were.

You have to be prepared to receive results that will turn your world upside down!

Thank you Francis for sharing the article link with me!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


My Video Interview With The Schaumburg Park District TV Show “Schaumburg Heartbeat” Is Now Available For Viewing; Shared Tips About Beginning Genealogy And Resources Our Library Has For Genealogy

Hi Everyone!

Schaumburg Township District Library

Today, I’d like to inform you about a recent television interview I did on genealogy research using the many resources right here at the Schaumburg Township District Library (STDL). You can view this show in its entirety on the Schaumburg Park District’s cable access station WSPD, if you live in Schaumburg.  The show is also available to EVERYONE on the Internet (Link will be found below).  The show is called “’Schaumburg Heartbeat”- July, 2017, hosted/reported by Burke MacDonald.  On it, I share a lot of tips, insights, and resources to help you with your genealogy efforts including how to begin your search for family history…. or to review the basics for all of you who are seasoned genealogy researchers.

Well, I guess my ship has come in!  No, not the passenger ship of my ancestors, rather just the ship of good fortune to allow me to share with viewers of the video all things about starting your genealogy using resources from the Schaumburg Township District Library.

Normally, “Schaumburg Heartbeat” consists of 3 segments, each maybe running about 10-15 minutes.  The July 2017 edition of the show consists of only one segment, focusing on genealogy for 26 minutes.  It is interesting to note that the show is produced, directed, videoed, and reported by senior citizen volunteers at the Schaumburg Park District. The show is then edited by the Park District’s professional editor.

Just a heads up, in the middle of the video (around 11 minutes and 3 seconds) you will see a quick transition to a 90 second “commercial” of all things related to the Schaumburg Park District.  Our interview then continues to other areas of the library.

Just don’t want you to miss the full video.

Here is the link to this informative genealogy video in which yours truly shares a lot of tips and insights and resources to help you with your genealogy efforts (Click on the blue link or cut and paste into your browser):

Video Interview of Tony Kierna About Genealogy for the Schaumburg Park District July 2017 TV Show “Schaumburg Heartbeat”

Get comfortable.  Have a cup of coffee or tea and see if you want to see me talk for about 25 minutes about genealogy.  (Hope so!)

I would like very much to hear your comments.  Maybe there is another life for me after genealogy.  Either in front of the camera or behind the camera.  This was fun to do and fun to see how it is done!

Tony Kierna (L) Burke MacDonald (R)

A big “thank  you” to Burke MacDonald and what he does as volunteer Segment Producer and Field Reporter for the show.  I think Burke is a fabulous interviewer no matter what the topic is or who he is interviewing.  Also,  big thanks to Jay O’Toole the volunteer videographer for the program who captured all of the on-site video material and interview at our library.     Also want to thank the Schaumburg Park District’s professional editor, Chip Hess, on how he put together the entire finished product and all of the video inserts that appeared during the interview portion of the video …. photos, questions to ask for interviewing relatives, “flyer” of our upcoming programs, crawlers on the bottom noting when our monthly genealogy program takes place etc. and etc.  They all seemed to appear at the best time on the screen.  Video editing is truly an art when it comes to creating a polished product!  I am not even sure what might have been cut out but I am sure there was material that did not make it.   Those editing functions really make the video look great.

I would encourage all of you to take a look at the myriad of “Schaumburg Heartbeat” shows that exists on the Schaumburg Park District Website ( or go to and search on Schaumburg Heartbeat. (Again, click on the blue link or cut and paste into your browser.)

Enjoy the video!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

August 19, 2017 (Saturday) Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Program At The Schaumburg Township District Library; “Bringing Life To Our Ancestors: Manuscript Collections” Presented By Jeanne Larzalere Bloom

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, August 19, 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 “Bringing Life to Our Ancestors: Manuscript Collections”.  Speaker for the program is Jeanne Larzalere Bloom.

Program description is:

If our genealogical research is limited to the Who, When and Where questions we compile a collection of skeletons. To answer the interesting questions the What, the Why and the How we can use manuscript collections. These underutilized collections bring our ancestors to life and put flesh on their bones.

Speaker information is:

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, is a full-time professional researcher specializing in Chicago and Cook County research, forensic genealogy, problem solving, and multi-generational family histories.

On behalf of the Department of the Army, Jeanne searches for and identifies family members of unaccounted for servicemen from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Jeanne writes articles for scholarly journals and society publications. She is a frequent lecturer at conferences, workshops and institutes.

She is trustee and president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. 

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

Correction Update – – – August 2017 Newsletter Titled “Cirkular” From The Swedish American Museum; Genealogy Program Scheduled For August 26, 2017; “What Is New In ArkivDigital” Presented By Kathy Meade; Free For Members Of The Swedish American Genealogical Society; $10 Fee For Non-Members

Hi Everyone!

I need to make a correction to a recent post I made on the upcoming August 26, 2017 genealogy program that will take place at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago.

My original post that is below the separator lines indicated that only members of the Swedish American Genealogical Society were to attend which meant the program was not open to the public.


Members of the society can attend the program for free.

Non-members can attend the program but there is a $10 charge to them.

Please check the original post down below the separator line to access any of the embedded links in the original post.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


Hi Everyone!

I have been receiving some activities updates from the Swedish American Museum in Chicago, IL recently.  Some of the activities may be specifically related to genealogical events or programs.  Other events may have a historical context as it applies to Swedish history and ancestry.  Some events may be cultural.

I thought I would share with you a recent issue of the August 2017 Newsletter called the Cirkular that I received from the Swedish American Museum.

The museum itself is located at 5211 North Clark Street in Chicago, IL.  The phone number for the museum is 773-728-8111.

You can reach the general website for the Swedish American Museum at:

Swedish American Museum in Chicago, IL

The Swedish American Genealogical Society has a genealogy program on the 4th Saturday of each month from January to November at the Museum.  There is a program scheduled for Saturday August 26, 2017 from 10 am to 12 noon.  This program is titled “What Is New in ArkivDigital?” and is presented by Kathy Meade.

Here is the text from the program description contained in the Cirkular:

MEMBERS ONLY GENEALOGY SESSION (Not open to the general public)

ArkivDigital is an online service that provides access to over 68 million newly photographed color images or about 136 million pages of Swedish historical records. About 600,000 new records are added each month. Now, more searchable name registers are being added to the product. Kathy Meade, the North American ArkivDigital representative, will demonstrate the new features that will help and ease your search to discover your rich Swedish heritage.

Cost is free for Swedish American Genealogical Society members. Reservations appreciated and can be made via email or by calling the Museum at 773.728.8111.

You can look at the Calendar of Events for the Swedish American Museum here at:

Swedish American Museum Calendar of Events

You can contact the Nordic Family Genealogy Center through the museum at

It actually looks like there is plenty to do if you are interested in discovering more about Swedish history, culture and ancestry.

Go to the following link and take a peek at all that you could be doing  during August 2017 at the Swedish American Museum:

Events At The Swedish American Museum In Chicago August 2017

See what interests you.  Make a connection with the society if you are digging deep into your Swedish roots.  Take a look at all of the cultural doings going on at the Museum during the month of August 2017.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library