Category Archives: Polls

New Poll On Right Sidebar Of The Blog; Simple Question Being Posed; “Have You Accessed And Used The New And Improved Wiki At FamilySearch?”; “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 Accessed And Used The New And Improved Wiki At FamilySearch?”  Yes or No

One of the best resources to use to help you with your genealogy questions is the Wiki at FamilySearch that you can find at FamilySearch.org Wiki.  This online encyclopedia is searchable with keywords to help you find a topic of interest or to give you some insights into a new research process you will shortly embark on.  Are you going to be researching Indiana records for the first time because an ancestor you discovered was born in Indiana?  See what exists in the Wiki on Indiana resources so you will know what you can tap into to add information to that Hoosier ancestor.

Are you going to embark on Polish research?.  Do the same as above in the FamilySearch Wiki to learn more about the geographic area of ancestors and what resources exist to add for that Polish ancestor.

Just like with the FamilySearch “Search” area for data, just look at the world map the Wiki presents first rather than entering in a search topic or keyword in the search box.  Use the maps for continents, countries, states, counties etc. to drill down to see what exists for Indiana or Poland or whatever geographic area of interest there is for you.  You do not even have to use the search box to get you to your area of interest.

The topic of interest for you will also be full of links to get you to other areas for your new topic.  Topics as “How to Find Birth Records”, or “How To Find Marriage Records” may be present whether you are looking for them within Indiana or Poland.  Just click and learn your way to make your research efforts productive and fulfilling.

The FamilySearch Wiki is a resource I share with new researchers if they are just beginning their research.  It is as valuable a tool for seasoned researchers also if you have not visited it lately in its new and improved format and process.  It is always a good idea to use the resources for a particular state or country and compare it to your own research you may have already done.  It would not surprise me that you would find information that you maybe never previously pursued.

So ……………………. “Have You Accessed And Used The New And Improved Wiki At FamilySearch?”  Yes or 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 “Have You Ever Viewed Any Of The Program Videos From The Annual RootsTech Conference Available At www.RootsTech.Org?”; 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 March 9, 2016.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order!

The poll had asked the question “Have You Ever Viewed Any Of The Program Videos From The Annual RootsTech Conference Available At www.rootstech.org?”

The results of the poll showed the following from the 52 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their “Yes” or “No” response to the question.  The numbers show that 13 responses (25%) noted they have viewed videos from RootsTech  while 39 responses (75%) indicated they have not viewed any of the RootsTech videos .

I actually thought that there would be a higher percentage of readers that had actually tried looking at the RootsTech videos.  I personally have found these videos to be motivational for me while I learn a lot more about a genealogical topic.  Plus, I am simply a big believer in learning more about genealogy via these resources at your fingertips.  These RootsTech videos are professionally put together so they just look stunning to me.  The speakers are top-notch world-renowned genealogy speakers.  The videos generally run for about 1 hour.

I always come away with a good feeling after having viewed one of these videos.

Sometimes, in genealogy, I don’t want to learn something very specific about a resource or how to do something.  Many times I just want to be motivated or know what the future of genealogy will be just around the next corner.  The keynote speeches at RootsTech provide me with that kind of dose of motivation and curiosity to view one of these videos and get even more excited about what new things the world of genealogy will have to offer not that far down the road.

For the 25% of you that responded with a positive that you have viewed some of the videos from RootsTech, I salute you.  I hope your experience with these videos has been as positive as my own.  For those of you that have not viewed any, I would encourage you to give one or a few a try.  I do not think you will be disappointed.  I would especially encourage you to view a Keynote speech that will be motivational and may very well jump-start your genealogy engine if it had not been running well lately.

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.  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 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 24 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; “Have You Ever Viewed Any Of The Program Videos From The Annual RootsTech Conference Available At www.rootstech.org?”; “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 Ever Viewed Any Of The Program Videos From The Annual RootsTech Conference Available At www.rootstech.org?”  Yes or No

The most recent annual RootsTech Conference just concluded in February 2016.  Statistics related to this annual conference are not yet currently available.  Statistics for 2015 were impressive:

  • 23,000 registered attendees
  • 150,000+ live-streaming viewers
  • Over 200 exhibitors in the Expo Hall
  • 93% of attendees would recommend attending this conference to a friend

Some incredible statistics related to this conference.  Can’t wait to see the 2016 statistics when they become available.

RootsTech shortly after the conference concludes makes available online videos of some of the programs that were recorded.  Some of them are Keynote presentations.  Many of them are of a variety of topical genealogical programs that can help beginning, intermediate and expert researchers advance their skills and keep them current with a topical issue related to research.

The videos generally run about 30 minutes for a keynote speech to about 1 hour for a tutorial on a genealogical topic.  Speakers are the best of the best.  Quality of the video is also the best of the best.

I like to look at the Keynote speeches and get an insight into where genealogy might be going into the future.  These keynote speeches give you the “big picture” view of genealogy and all things related to it.

I thought this would be a good poll question to find out if you are familiar with these great videos.  If not, you now have an opportunity to check them out from the recently concluded conference at www.rootstech.org.

So ……………………. “Have You Ever Viewed Any Of The Program Videos From The Annual RootsTech Conference Available At www.rootstech.org?”

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 “Are You Currently Using Family Tree Maker Lineage Software For Which Ancestry.com Indicated It Is Retiring The Software?”; Results Indicated

Hi Everyone!

It is amazing that about  2 months has passed on the life of the poll I had on the right sidebar of the blog since December 31, 2015.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order!

The poll had asked the question “Are You Currently Using Family Tree Maker Lineage Software For Which Ancestry.com Indicated It Is Retiring The Software?”

The results of the poll showed the following from the 56 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their “Yes” or “No” response to the question.  The numbers show that 31 responses (55.36%) noted they are users of Family Tree Maker lineage software  while 25 responses (44.64%) indicated they are not users of Family Tree Maker lineage software .

I actually thought that the numbers would show about a 50% user base for Family Tree Maker.  At one time I thought Family Tree Maker was even more dominant as to market share but the poll and anecdotal conversations with researchers does seem to show it has a good market share but not an overwhelming market share.  RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, Mac Family Tree, Reunion and online family trees are competing interests.

The purpose of my poll question was timed during the announcement that Ancestry.com was exiting the software development part of its business with Family Tree Maker.  This announcement occurred in early December 2015.  The poll has only been up 2 months, but during this time the whole topic of Family Tree Maker being discontinued was turned upside down since.

In fact, Ancestry.com has since announced that it sold the business side of Family Tree Maker to the developers that Ancestry.com used to develop the product.  MacKiev is the company that will now own the product.  They will continue to develop new versions, upgrade the product and provide service to users.  So just think, within 2 months the product has gone from being discontinued, to sold and now somewhat to business as usual under a new company!

Talk about fast turnaround!

Additionally, other software developers were involved in wooing Family Tree Maker users to their own version of the software with steep discounts and special ways to accommodate Family Tree Maker data into these other products.  In fact, another development surrounding this escapade has been that Ancestry.com has made arrangements with the producers of RootsMagic to now have RootsMagic develop all of the capabilities that were included in Family Tree Maker to allow RootsMagic users the ability to upload and interact with family trees on Ancestry.com!  So now both Family Tree Maker and RootsMagic users will be able to upload material to family trees on Ancestry.com.

So while my poll was trying to gear how many Family Tree Maker users might be affected by the discontinuance of the product, it appears that is now a moot point!  MacKiev will now be the go to company for a product that will continue on as if nothing really happened!

There were a lot of responses to this poll question during this up for grabs time period, especially for the 31 respondents that noted they were users of Family Tree Maker.

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.  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 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 21 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; “Are You Currently Using Family Tree Maker Lineage Software For Which Ancestry.Com Indicated It Is Retiring The Software?”; “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.

“Are You Currently Using Family Tree Maker Lineage Software For Which Ancestry.Com Indicated It Is Retiring The Software?”  Yes or No

On December 8, 2015 Ancestry.com announced that it will be retiring Family Tree Maker lineage software?  What does that mean.  It means it will no longer be developing the software and will only continue to support it via customer support until December 31, 2016.  After that, you will no longer be able to call in for assistance to help you through problems you might encounter with your working software.

Your existing software will still continue to function but there will be no new or upgraded versions of the software coming for you to purchase.  So over time your product though continuing to work will no longer have the capability to be upgraded to newer features that other software developers may be installing in their lineage software product.

Such an exit from a business can and does put those that are using their service into a tizzy!  Your Family Tree Maker will continue to work but do you want to stay with it until it absolutely no longer functions within future operating system upgrades?  Maybe it is better to start looking into other lineage software to purchase and then transfer your Family Tree Maker data into it via a GEDCOM transfer.

With this new poll I just want to know if you are a Family Tree Maker user that is impacted by Ancestry.com’s decision to exit Family Tree Maker as a product it has developed, sold and supported.

So ……………………. “Are You Currently Using Family Tree Maker Lineage Software For Which Ancestry.Com Indicated It Is Retiring The Software?”

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 “Have You Ever Downloaded A Genealogy E-Book That You Used Rather Than An Available Genealogy Book In Print?”; Results Indicated

Hi Everyone!

It is amazing that about  2 months has passed on the life of the poll I had on the right sidebar of the blog since October 28, 2015.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order to start 2016!

The poll had asked the question “Have You Ever Downloaded A Genealogy E-Book That You Used Rather Than An Available Genealogy Book In Print?”

The results of the poll showed the following from the 34 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their “Yes” or “No” response to the question.  The numbers show that 13 responses (38.24%) noted they have downloaded a genealogy E-Book  while 21 responses (61.76%) indicated they have not downloaded a genealogy E-Book .

I am actually surprised at the numbers showing that 38.24% have downloaded a genealogy E-Book.  I actually thought there would have been less indicating they have downloaded a genealogy E-Book.  Not my scientific opinion,  just a gut feeling.  This is good to see.  When I search for genealogy books to add to our collection, there are many times I actually find what looks like a book but then see that it is a book only available in the Kindle format.  I generally do not order just E-Book genealogy material.  As a selector I also like to see it available in print primarily so I can order a print copy for our shelves.

Many authors today certainly find it easier to write books that find their way to E-Book format rather than in print or in print as well.  When you avoid printing a book onto paper, you can avoid a substantial amount of costs.  So even printing can be done in a more effective manner today.  Books can be printed “on-demand” as needed from electronic original material.

In days past, authors often had to pay up front for a minimum print run of perhaps hundreds if not a thousand books when they did not find a publisher who would take the risk.  An author could be thousands and thousands of dollars in the hole right from the start.  If the book is not a good seller, the author is the one left with a garage or basement full of unsold books he authored.

Self-publishing is the way of today for small-scale authors today.  Yes there are still many well-known authors that have publishers who advance them hundreds of thousands of dollars but for the average “Joe” interested in authoring a book, self-publishing either in E-Book format or E-Book and Print-On-Demand may be the way to go.

But we all know that there still may be more and more material in the future coming online as an E-Book.  If there is no version in print, your choice is to download the book as an E-Book or forget reading it.

For me, even a large iPhone with a 5.5 inch screen is still too small for me to want to sit with and read a novel.  A 9.0 inch iPad screen is much more doable to read from, plus it is simply easier on the eyes.

So what are you going to do next time you are faced with some interesting genealogy material in E-Book format only?  Are you going to download it and read it on your favorite device?  Or are you still going to hope that it one day appears on your library’s shelf?

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.  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 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 21 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; “Have You Ever Downloaded A Genealogy E-Book That You Used Rather Than An Available Genealogy Book In Print?”; “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 Ever Downloaded A Genealogy E-Book That You Used Rather Than An Available Genealogy Book In Print?”  Yes or No

E-Books abound everywhere that you can download to your smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops.  Many people use E-Books for reading fictional material such as mysteries, love stories and the like.  Yet, more and more non-fiction material may find its way to E-Book format such as reference book material, historical material and yes, genealogy books.

In fact, when I research adding new genealogy books to our collection, I am often finding that the only available format for a new genealogy book may be in E-book format only!  As a library, I still want to add hardbound paper books to our collection but it makes it difficult to add an E-Book format only in digital format to our collection.

So what has been your experience?  Have you come across any genealogy books in E-Book format that you were able to download and view on your device electronically??  E-Books can be great when it comes to having so much more readily available at your fingertips as you read such as links to websites or embedded videos.  You won’t find those electronic features available when you flip that real page to the next page in your paper copy of the book!!

I really look forward to hearing your experience on this topic!

So ……………………. “have you ever downloaded a genealogy E-Book that you used rather than an available genealogy book in print”??

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