Monthly Archives: October 2018

AncestryDNA And Unauthorized Re-Sellers On Amazon; Buyer Beware; AncestryDNA De-Activating These Kits

Hi Everyone!

Just saw the following come across our librarians genealogy group.

Apparently, there are unauthorized re-sellers selling AncestryDNA kits on Amazon.

If you are in the market to buy an AncestryDNA kit on Amazon, please look to see if it has a re-seller name of  “Always Sandy” or “BLUERAYPLANETONLYINE.”.

AncestryDNA will apparently be de-activating these kits so money you spend on them may just go down the drain.

It does not appear that if you purchased a kit directly from AncestryDNA in the past that there is any problem.

But new purchases from this re-seller situation …. I think you better take a step back.

Here is a link to the full article:

AncestryDNA Deactivates DNA Test Kits Sold on Amazon by Unauthorized Resellers

Definitely well worth reading the entirety of the article, especially if you are in the process currently of purchasing these kits from Amazon.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


Poll On The Right Sidebar Has Been Closed For “Have You Created A Family History Book Of Your Research That You Have Published In Print Or E-Book Format?”; Results Indicated; Tips Included To Help You Start The Writing Process

Hi Everyone!

It is amazing that about 4 months has passed on the life of the poll I had on the right sidebar of the blog since June 26, 2018.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order!

The poll had asked the following question:

“Have You Created A Family History Book Of Your Research That You Have Published In Print Or E-Book Format? ”

A) Yes

B) No

The results of the poll showed the following from the 44 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their response to the question.  The numbers show that:

  • 8 respondents (18.18%) have created a family history book of their research
  • 36 respondents (81.82%) have NOT created a family history book of their research

I was not surprised that the results show such a high amount for those that have not created a family history book of their research.  It can be a daunting challenge, but a well-worth endeavor nonetheless.

Yet 18% or respondents have in fact been able to create a print version of their family history research.  That to me is a surprisingly large percent.  Congratulations to all of you that have in fact created a family history in print.

Do you have great intentions but just do not know how to start?

Our January 8, 2019 Genealogy Program may be one that you want to put into your calendar.  The topic for this program blends in quite nicely with writing your Family History.  Regina Yuill will be our guest speaker for the program.  She will present a program titled “Preparing to Publish Your Book: Tips and Tricks for the Writer”.

Additionally, there is a very nice Wiki entry at FamilySearch on the topic of writing your Family History.  I think it is well-worth reviewing it because it is short and sweet and can be the impetus to give you confidence to embark on such a project.

You can find this Wiki entry from FamilySearch at:

“Create A Family History” Wiki Entry At FamilySearch

Hope you had fun in participating in this poll or just seeing the online results as they were occurring.

I am always looking for a larger response than even that which I just saw!  So come on down ——  affix your opinion as a “Yes” or “No” when so asked to the varied polls on different topics in the world of genealogy and family history research or select from a list of choices to answer the question.  Your answers count.

I plan on putting up a new poll rapidly.  Come back for that one to see the new question being asked.

A big thank you to all of those (44) that took the time to respond to this just recently closed poll.  Take a look at the results of that poll to satisfy your own curiosity.

Don’t forget to visit my Poll Archives as part of this blog.  Look for the link at the top of the homepage of the blog where it simply says “Poll Archives”.  In here you will find the statistical results of the 31 previously active polls in addition to the poll that is generally “active”.  If you were not aware of this Archive, you may want to visit to see what all the previous polls were about.

Here is a direct link to the Poll Archives at my blog:

Poll Archives At Tony’s Genealogy Blog At The Schaumburg Township District Library (STDL)

Get ready for another poll ……………………..SOON!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Today Is Halloween!; Links To Some Fun Halloween Genealogy Items

Hi Everyone!

Yes, today is Halloween!

Are you going to go “trick or treating” today?  What’s that, you think you are too old!

Oh I see, you are in charge of being home to give all of those treats to those that come knocking on your door or ringing your bell.

So it looks like you are going to be home this day emptying out your candy supplies.

Since you probably will be home today, why not have a little fun with genealogy and Halloween today.

Just went browsing on the web looking for some Halloween themed genealogy sites that can put a smile on your face or maybe even a frightening tingle in your spine.

Check out the following 10 sites that have some connection to Halloween and Genealogy:

Our Creepy Ancestors At Halloween From

From The Daughters Of The American Revolution Celebrate Halloween With Genealogy

From Cemeteries Are Not Just For Halloween Anymore

From The ArmChairGenealogist Halloween History

From FamilyTree Magazine What If Halloween Took A DNA Test

From Irish-Genealogy-Toolkit The Origin Of Halloween

From Halloween Jokes

From The Genealogy Reporter Postmortem Photos

From Creepy Genealogy

From Seven Genealogy Nightmares For Halloween

There you go.  A few links above for you to connect genealogy with Halloween.

While you are going over the links above it is OK to break into that Halloween candy stash for tonight.  After all, who is going to miss a few of those Snickers.  Treat yourself.  No tricks for you!

Happy Halloween!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Polish Genealogical Society Of America (PGSA) Will Be Having Their November 18, 2018 Meeting/Program at 2 PM At The Algonquin Area Public Library; The Program Title Is “CSI: Cemetery Research and Investigation” Presented By Tina Beaird ; Program Will Also Be Presented As A “Live” Webinar” For Those Unable To Attend In Person

Hi Everyone!

PGSA Logo Clip ArtI received the following publicity statement via a Program Flyer from the Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) about their upcoming meeting that will take place at the Algonquin Area Public Library in Algonquin, IL on Sunday, November 18, 2018 starting at 2 PM.

The PGSA is inviting anyone interested in Polish genealogy to attend the program for free at the library and meet other members of the society in attendance.  You do not have to be a PGSA member to attend in person.  You do not have to be a cardholder with the Algonquin Area Public Library.  There is no charge incurred to attend the program in person.  If you do plan to attend in person at the library please contact the library and register for the program.  You can call the library at 847-458-6060 and ask to register for the program.

The formal presentation is titled “CSI: Cemetery Research and Investigation”.  The presenter is Tina Beaird.

The program is also being presented as a “live” webinar for those that cannot attend in person.  The PDF flyer noted below provides information on how to register for the webinar if you would like to participate in that manner.  Again, you do not have to be a member of the PGSA in order to participate via the webinar.  However, there is a $10 fee for non-PGSA members to participate via the Webinar itself.

The society has recently been having its quarterly programs at a variety of locations in Chicago and suburbs over the recent years rather than just at its main location in the city of Chicago, IL.

Here is a PDF flyer I received from the society that describes the program for the gathering as well as has information about the speaker:

Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) Flyer For November 18, 2018 Program

You can also visit the society’s website and discover who they are and what resources are offered to those interested in Polish genealogical research.  You can visit the website at:

Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) Website

Consider attending this program and learn about the PGSA and its membership as well as the topic being presented for this event.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“What’s New At October 2018” 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 October 2018 video posted from that is titled “What’s New At October 2018”.

The video is an approximate 20 minute production hosted by Crista Cowan of who provides the viewers with updates on what new things users of should be aware of.

Crista has also mentioned in the past 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 –  RootsTech, Salt Lake City, UT, February 27, 2019 to March 2, 2019; Registration has opened on September 20, 2018.

>New Functionality – Ancestor Hints in Green; Potential Ancestor Feature; can review the details and see the sources for what Ancestry thinks is a hint that could add a person to your family tree.

> New Functionality – Ancestry DNA Match List; can now click on a map feature that will show where your matches are located.  Seeing a match on the map is only conditional if the person who has submitted their DNA to Ancestry is allowing that to be shared in their account profile.  Also, where there are multiple matches in a given location, you will see a circle with a number in it of those matches.  cCick on the circle to open up a map and keep zooming in to see more details of locations for those in that area.

>  Additions To Existing Database –  New York, Death Index, 1852-1956  –  Approximately 5 million records in the database.  Records for the city of Buffalo have been recently added.  It is a searchable database.  You can find the name of the deceased, birth date (when available), death date and death place.  You will also obtain the death certificate number.  It is an index of names of the deceased.  You will not be able to see the actual death certificate information through this database.

>  Additions To Existing Database –   England and Wales, Death Index, 2007-2017  – Approximately 1.8 million records.  Records have been added to this database for 2016 and 2017.  Transcribed records index.  Did not see actual image of the index.  Will be able to obtain name of deceased, birth date, death date and last residence. for town, county, country.

>Additions To Existing Database –   Scotland and Northern Ireland, Death Index, 1989-2017  –  Approximately  500,000 records in this database.  Records have been added to this database for the years 2016 and 2017.  Searchable database.  No image of actual index.  Transcribed contents.   Will be able to obtain name of deceased, birth date (sometimes year only), death date and last residence. for town, county, country.

> Additions To Existing Database –   Texas, Select County Marriage Records, 1837-2015  –  Approximately  12.5 million records in this database.  Records have been added to this database for the Hidalgo and Travis Counties.  Searchable database.  Some records have link to actual marriage record, some do not.  Transcribed contents.   Will be able to obtain name of groom, name of bride and maiden name, license date, marriage date, marriage place (I saw town name only).

> Additions To Existing Database –   New Jersey Marriage Index, 1901-2016  –  Approximately  750,000 records in this database.   Many more years have been added to this database.  Searchable and browseable database.  Records have link to actual marriage record.  Transcribed contents also.   Will be able to obtain name of groom, name of bride and maiden name, license date, marriage date (I saw year only sometimes in addition to full date), marriage place (I saw town, county, state).

>  Past 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 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

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Offers A Nice Feature At The “Events” Part Of Their Website; History Of Previously Offered Programs That Includes A PDF Of The Handout For Speaker Programs

Hi Everyone!

While exploring the “Events” part of the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) website I just happened to notice a nice feature of that part of the site that I was not aware of.

Here is a link to that part of their site:

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Listing of Events

Yes, you can certainly look here to see the variety of upcoming CAGGNI programs, both speaker programs and Special Interest Group (SIG) programs.  However, I noticed that if you scroll down to the end of all of the upcoming events they post, you will also discover a nice archive/history of their past programs.

The nice thing about this archive is that for the speaker programs they offered, you will be able to click on the “Handout” link for the program description and be able to pull up the PDF handout provided by the speaker!

Perhaps you were unable to attend that program, you do have the capability to access the handout, especially if the topic is near and dear to your own research interests.

That is a wonderful feature offered by the CAGGNI group!

And I just discovered it today and wanted to share this with you.

Head over to the link above to the Events part of the CAGGNI site and scroll all the way down to the archive of their past programs and check out all of the handouts you can review from the speaker programs they offered.

You can’t beat attending the actual program with the speaker, the presentation and the handout, but having access to the handout can be really helpful and insightful to help you in your own research.

Check out all there is of the CAGGNI group at their main website at:

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Website

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society (NWSGS) Next Program Scheduled For Saturday Morning, November 3, 2018 At 10:00 AM; “DNA Doubleheader: The Basics Of DNA And Ethnicity Estimates” Presented By Robert Sliwinski

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, November 3, 2018 at 10:00 AM.

The society will be meeting on Saturday, November 3, 2018 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 Robert Sliwinski.    The speaker will present a program titled “DNA Doubleheader: The Basics of DNA and Ethnicity Estimates.

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

Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society (NWSGS) November 3, 2018 Program Notice

You will find more details about the program location, the program contents and some information about Robert Sliwinski, 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