Category Archives: Polls

Curiosity Question About Recent Poll Question In This Blog That I Created; Have 8 Of 18 Respondents Actually Visited Their Ancestral Town/Village Outside Of The United States?; That Is An Amazing High Number Already!

Hi Everyone!

I am really surprised already about the results showing up in the recent poll question I placed in the right sidebar of this blog.

The question being asked is “Have You Gone To Visit Your Ancestral Town/Village Of Origin Outside Of The United States?   “Yes” or “No”

I actually thought that I would get very few respondents who would have indicated that they have visited their ancestral town/village outside of the United States.  Instead, I see that 8 of the 18 responses received so far have noted that they have visited their ancestral town/village outside of the United States.  WOW! I never would have thought that many researchers have actually visited their ancestral town/village outside of the United States from just a total of 18 responses.

This is where I can go wrong on my anticipation on what results I could expect to see!  I should not guess the results before they actually happen!!  The poll has only been open for a short time so I wonder if the numbers will actually continue to grow from future responses.

I would sure be curious to hear what some of the ancestral towns are outside of the United States that have been visited.  For those that responded to the poll with a positive answer, could you leave a comment on this blog post and let me and other readers know where you have visited and connected with your ancestors area of life.

Thanks again to all that have already responded on the poll.  I hope you enjoy that part of this blog allowing me to ask a lot of different aspects of genealogy that you and me are curious about.

Let’s hear about where you visited.  Leave a comment.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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New Poll On Right Sidebar Of The Blog; Simple Question Being Posed; “Have You Gone To Visit Your Ancestral Town/Village Of Origin Outside Of The United States?”; “Yes” or “No”

Hi Everyone!

Well, here goes another Poll that is now on the right sidebar of the blog right at the top of the blog homepage.

I am just asking for a simple response to a very basic question.

“Have You Gone To Visit Your Ancestral Town/Village Of Origin Outside Of The United States?”

A) Yes

B) No

For many of us our research discoveries often identify where in the world our ancestors came from.  Sometimes your research only gets you back a little bit of time in the United States for a location.  Sometimes we are lucky enough to keep going back farther and farther in time and identify our most distant known ancestor may have come from England, or Italy or Poland or …. you get the idea, somewhere outside of the United States.

Identifying a location outside of the United States is one thing.  Many researchers often take it to the next level.  They actually want to go to the area of their origin to that discovered town/village outside of the United States.  Genealogy trips are becoming a new development for researchers.  Professional guides and tour groups are actually now running formal tours for researchers to get them to that magical area of origin.

As a member of the Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) I have read many stories published in the journal of the organization of individuals sharing their stories of trips to Poland and meeting distantly related cousins.  These stories are always touching, fulfilling and emotionally rewarding.

We often feel a connection even more so to our ancestors when we can walk the ground they walked on hundreds of years ago.

So …….. I am interested to see if any of the readers of this blog perhaps may have taken that very next connecting step and set foot on the same ground as that of their ancestors from perhaps hundreds of years ago outside of the United States!

I think this is a simple and direct question.

So where do you fit into the responses ?  Yes or No

Let the poll speak for itself

Lets see how the responses go to the question at hand with just a simple “Yes” or “No” to pick from.

So …………………….“Have You Gone To Visit Your Ancestral Town/Village Of Origin Outside Of The United States?”

A) Yes

B) No

Simple, direct and to the point!

Take a look at the new Poll.  Consider providing a reply.

Let’s see how active this poll can be.

The more the merrier!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Poll On The Right Sidebar Has Been Closed For “When Was The Last Time You Visited A Local Family History Center (FHC) Of The Mormon Church?”; Results Indicated

Hi Everyone!

It is amazing that about  3 1/2 months has passed on the life of the poll I had on the right sidebar of the blog since August 7, 2017.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order!

The poll had asked the following question:

“When Was The Last Time You Visited A Family History Center (FHC) Of The Mormon Church?”

A) Within the last 12 months

B) Within the last 3 Years

C) Within the last 5 Years

D) Over 5 years ago

E) I have never visited a Family History Center (FHC) of the Mormon Church

The results of the poll showed the following from the 49 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their response to the question.  The numbers show that:

  • 23 respondents (46.94%) have never visited a local Family History Center (FHC) of the Mormon Church
  • 10 respondents (20.41%) have visited a local Family History Center (FHC) of the Mormon Church in the last 12 months
  • 7 respondents (14.29%) have visited a local Family History Center (FHC) of the  Mormon Church in the last 3 years 
  • 7 respondents (14.29%) have visited a local Family History Center (FHC) of the Mormon Church over 5 years ago
  • 2 respondents (4.07%) have visited a local Family History Center (FHC) within the last 5 years

Very interesting results that reflects the change over the years in the manner of doing research.  I was a little surprised at the overwhelming result that almost half of the respondents have NEVER visited a local Family History Center (FHC) of the Mormon church.  For those that have been researching a long period of time when data was not so easily available online, a visit to a Family History Center was very routine for you to view the microfilms you had ordered.  As more and more data has become available online, the need for ordering microfilms has dropped more and more over time.  In fact, FamilySearch has just discontinued supplying microfilms to Family History Centers (FHC) as of September 1, 2017.  Much of their material is available online as DIGITAL reels of microfilm as well as being incorporated into the indexed searching available through FamilySearch.

I also thought that it was surprising that the 2nd highest response was that 10 respondents noted they had been to a local Family History Center (FHC) within the previous 12 months.  There was still great value during the previous 12 months to visit a FHC for those that were still ordering microfilms.  And YES, MICROFILMS ARE STILL A VALUABLE RESOURCE TO ADVANCE YOUR RESEARCH.  EVERYTHING HELPFUL TO YOUR RESEARCH IS NOT ALL ONLINE.

The other responses do show that while visits were taking place to a FHC, those visits had been more in the past within the 5 year window rather than more currently in the 5 year window except for those that had visited a FHC in the most recent 12 months.

While reasons to visit a local FHC have been diminished with the discontinuance of being able to order any more microfilms, the FHC still has value for the computer database they provide for research.  Their database subscriptions are in fact different and varied that what public libraries like ourselves provide.  It is worth visiting them just to access these different genealogical databases.

Also, your local FHC does in fact retain the collection of permanent microfilms that were used in their facility.  So, while FamilySearch transitions to complete digitizing microfilms by 2020, it is possible that some FHCs might have a microfilm in their permanent collection that you could use for free at their facility that can no longer be ordered.  Worth checking with your local FHC to see if they might have a film number of interest to you.

Additionally, under the new discontinuance of microfilms being sent to a FHC, it is important to note that because of various “restrictions” placed on digital film material that can be viewed online, some of that material, while digitized,  cannot be viewed at home by the average researcher due to the restrictions.  FamilySearch has designated that these restricted digital films can in fact be viewed at either a local FHC or a FamilySearch Affiliate Library like some public libraries that are designated as such.

Our library has made a formal application to become a FamilySearch Affiliate Library that would allow our researchers to gain access to the many restricted digital reels of microfilm.  Our library is open many hours during the day and night as well as being open each day of the week.  So you will have a greater opportunity to view this material at because of our many hours we are open once we become a FamilySearch Affiliate Library.  Most FHCs have very limited days and hours of operation which can make visiting a FHC a lot more challenging to coincide with your schedule.

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 (49) 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 28 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

New Poll On Right Sidebar Of The Blog; Simple Question Being Posed; “When Was The Last Time You Visited A Local Family History Center (FHC) Of The Mormon Church?” (Not Including A Family History “Affiliate” Like A Public Library To View Microfilms.); Select Answer From List Provided

Hi Everyone!

Well, here goes another Poll that is now on the right sidebar of the blog right at the top of the blog homepage.

I am just asking for a simple response to a very basic question.

“When Was The Last Time You Visited A Local Family History Center (FHC) Of The Mormon Church?” (Not Including A Family History “Affiliate” Like A Public Library To View Microfilms.)

A) Within The Last  12 Months

B) Within The Last 3 Years

C) Within The Last 5 Years

D) Over 5 Years Ago

E) Have Never Visited A Local Family History Center At A Mormon Church

Many of my recent poll questions were based on looking for a simple “Yes” or “No’ response to choose.  This poll is a lot different because I am asking you to pick one of the answers from the list offered.  Sometimes these can be too complicated and the responder may not know how to respond or there may not be a response from the provided list that applies.  I still wanted to take another chance with this poll format this time to see what happens.  So read through the question and all the provided choices before selecting your answer.

I think this is a simple and direct question even with the choice of responses.

I am looking to gather information on visits to an “original” Family History Center (FHC) that are usually located in a local Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints church building.  In our area there are these facilities in Schaumburg, Buffalo Grove, Wilmette, Naperville and Crystal Lake (All in Illinois).

I am not looking for responses if you have only been to Family History “Affiliates” to view ordered microfilms from FamilySearch.  Facilities in our area for this are generally public libraries like the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, Algonquin Public Library, Palatine Public Library etc.

I am asking this question because as of September 1, 2017 FamilySearch will no longer be providing microfilms to either Family History Centers or Affiliates.  Instead, “digital” microfilms as discovered in the FamilySearch catalog may be identified as viewable only at “Family History Centers” on their computers rather than in microfilm format.

So if you want to take advantage of digital microfilms created by FamilySearch, you will have to visit a local Family History Center to view the digital images at the computers located there.  You will not be able to view these film images at home when you click on the film number discovered in the catalog.  A message will pop up on your home screen noting the film images can “only” be viewed at a local Family History Center.

Contractual obligations are what is limiting access to viewing of some of this data to only Family History Centers.  This limitation may be on a film by film basis.  I know of films I have used in microfilm format that are in fact viewable as digital images from home.  Yet there are other digital films that restrict my viewing of these images only from within a local Family History Center of the Mormon churches.

If you have not recently been to a FHC you may want to consider visiting one now to view the digital films of interest to you when the message pops up on your screen directing you for digital film viewing to a FHC.

So where do you fit into the responses ?

Let the poll speak for itself

Lets see how the responses go to the question at hand with the list of answers to pick from.

So …………………….“When Was The Last Time You Visited A Local Family History Center (FHC) Of The Mormon Church?” (Not Including A Family History “Affiliate” Like A Public Library To View Microfilms.)

A) Within The Last  12 Months

B) Within The Last 3 Years

C) Within The Last 5 Years

D) Over 5 Years Ago

E) Have Never Visited A Local Family History Center At A Mormon Church

Simple, direct and to the point!

Take a look at the new Poll.  Consider providing a reply.

Let’s see how active this poll can be.

The more the merrier!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Poll On The Right Sidebar Has Been Closed For “How Long Have You Been Researching Your Genealogy?”; Results Indicated

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 April 6, 2017.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order!

The poll had asked the following question:

“How Long Have You Been Researching Your Genealogy?”

A) Less Than 1 Year

B) 1 To 5 Years

C) 6 To 10 Years

D) 11 To 15 Years

E) More Than 15 Years

The results of the poll showed the following from the 72 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their response to the question.  The numbers show that:

  • 37 respondents (51.39%) have been researching for over 15 years
  • 13 respondents (18.06%) have been researching for 1-5 years
  • 9 respondents (12.5%) have been researching for 11-15 years
  • 7 respondents (9.72%) have been researching for 6-10 years
  • 6 respondents (8.33%) have been researching less than 1 year

I am ecstatic at the high response rate that I saw.  The 72 respondents that provided feedback was the highest number I have ever had on these polls.  Thank you so much for taking the poll.

I do see the results show that there is a very high “seasoned” rate of genealogists that responded.  Over 50% (51.39%) of the responses were from those that noted they have been doing their genealogy for over 15 years.  That number would also include me.

The next highest group where responses fell was in the 1-5 year range of those having been researching.  That is about 18% (18.06%).

I interpret this as showing there is a nice steady influx of new researchers entering the search for family history information while still having a high amount of “seasoned” researchers with lots of knowledge accumulated over a fairly long period of time.

Could it be that “seasoned” researchers with lots of experience gravitate to reading this blog and are responding in kind with over 15 years of research experience?  Looks like it.

Could it be that fairly new researchers are also following this blog (1-5 years researching)?  Looks like it.

I actually like the mix of seeing such high numbers of  “seasoned” researchers responding as well as seeing a high number of new researchers responding.  To me it signifies there is a constant flow of “new” researchers picking up the hobby.  This high number of “new” researchers will hopefully continue down their research paths and will become the face of “seasoned” researchers into the future.

Even at our programs I often see how “seasoned” researchers are frequently offering help and insights to those with less experience.  It is just the normal flow of life where those with experience help those new to the hobby.  It is so good to see such helpfulness being offered.

Hope you had fun in participating in this poll or just seeing the online results as they were occurring.  Good to see both a high number of seasoned researchers as well as a good number of recently started researchers.

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 (72) 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 27 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

New Poll On Right Sidebar Of The Blog; Simple Question Being Posed; “How Long Have You Been Researching Your Genealogy?”; Select Answer From List Provided

Hi Everyone!

Well, here goes another Poll that is now on the right sidebar of the blog right at the top of the blog homepage.

I am just asking for a simple response to a very basic question.

“How Long Have You Been Researching Your Genealogy?”

A) Less Than 1 Year

B) 1 To 5 Years

C) 6 To 10 Years

D) 11 To 15 Years

E) More Than 15 Years

Many of my recent poll questions were based on looking for a simple “Yes” or “No’ response to choose.  This poll is a lot different because I am asking you to pick one of the answers from the list offered.  Sometimes these can be too complicated and the responder may not know how to respond or there may not be a response from the provided list that applies.  I still wanted to take another chance with this poll format this time to see what happens.  So read through the question and all the provided choices before selecting your answer.

I think this is a simple and direct question even with the choice of responses.

Genealogy has been identified as being the 2nd most popular hobby, only being superseded by Gardening.  I am just curious what the results of this poll will show.  Lots and lots of “beginners” that have just started doing their genealogy in the last year?  Or, maybe lots and lots of “seasoned” researchers that have been researching their genealogy for over 15 years?  Or maybe I will see an equal distribution of responses across all of the responses.  Or maybe this blog attracts more “beginners” rather than “seasoned” researchers?  Or vice versa?

So where do you fit into the responses posed?

Let the poll speak for itself

Lets see how the responses go to the question at hand with the list of answers to pick from.

So ……………………. “How Long Have You Been Researching Your Genealogy?

A) Less Than 1 Year

B) 1 To 5 Years

C) 6 To 10 Years

D) 11 To 15 Years

E) More Than 15 Years

Simple, direct and to the point!

Take a look at the new Poll.  Consider providing a reply.

Let’s see how active this poll can be.

The more the merrier!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Poll On The Right Sidebar Has Been Closed For “Where Does Your Family Tree Exist?”; Results Indicated

Hi Everyone!

It is amazing that about  3 months has passed on the life of the poll I had on the right sidebar of the blog since December 21, 2016.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order!

The poll had asked the question “Where Does Your Family Tree Exist?”

A) Only Online And Not In A Lineage Program Like Family Tree Maker Or Other Lineage Program On My Desktop Or Laptop

B) Only In A Lineage Program Like Family Tree Maker Or Other Lineage Program On My Desktop Or Laptop And Not Online

C) Both Online And In A Lineage Program Like Family Tree Maker Or Other Lineage Program On My Desktop Or Laptop

D) Neither Location. I Have Not Created A Family Tree Either Online Or On My Desktop Or Laptop In A Lineage Program. I Have No Family Tree Anywhere.

E) My Family Tree Only Exists in Paper Format, Not Online and Not in a Lineage Program

The results of the poll showed the following from the 48 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their response to the question.  The numbers show that:

  • 28 (58.33%) both in lineage program and online
  • 7 (14.58%) only in lineage program
  • 5 (10.42%) neither, not created
  • 4 (8.33%) only online
  • 4 (8.33%) neither, only on paper

I was actually thinking that most responses would indicate their family trees existed both in a lineage program as well as online.  Although there was no statistics related to how long someone has been researching, it is my thought that the longer you have been researching, the more likely your data will exist in a lineage program as well as online.  I say this because lineage programs existed solely before the ease of online family trees became so popular.

The numbers also aligned to my beliefs for the statistic that came in 2nd highest.  This was the response that a person’s family tree existed only in a lineage program.  I believe there are still plenty of researchers that due to privacy concerns simply do not upload their material online.  They prefer to share their material to other known researchers.  Unfortunately, with no exposure online, there is no chance to make discoveries of new cousins via online contact methods.

The third highest response of no family tree created in a lineage program or online did surprise me somewhat, although these researchers might have theirs in paper format only.  I hope so rather than they have no tree anywhere in a lineage program, online or on paper.  Where are they keeping their research … in their head only?

I was surprised in a good way that the 4th highest response category was that researchers have their family tree only online.  Those who have more recently started their research may simply be leaning more to this option.  They also do not have the lengthy interval of researching when lineage trees on your desktop were the only choice.

Tied for last was the response that researchers were just keeping their research on paper and not in a formal lineage tree program or a tree online.  I did believe this question and response would hopefully be near or at the bottom.  There are so many desktop lineage choices that can do so much with your data that I often wonder why someone would not try this method for housing their research.  I do hope they have multiple copies of their paper research in their home but more importantly outside of their home with other cousins as a backup protection.

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 (48) 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 26 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