Category Archives: Polls

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

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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

New Poll On Right Sidebar Of The Blog; Simple Question Being Posed; “Where Does Your Family Tree Exist?”; 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.

“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

All 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 a 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 am just curious if more recent researchers to genealogy have only been creating their family tree online and are not even working with a desktop or laptop based lineage program like Family Tree Maker.  Many newcomers in genealogy seeking help from me seem to be leaning to just putting up all the research in a family tree online and not even working with a lineage program on their desktop or laptop.

Yet, many researchers that have been working on their family tree for quite a while seem to still be working with a lineage product on their desktop or laptop.  I have evidence of this from the feedback I received when Family Tree Maker was going to be discontinued.  Many researchers were upset with this development which gave me evidence that lineage programs on your desktop or laptop are still in vogue.

For many of us who have been researching for quite a while, the ease of uploading family trees online did not exist years ago.  What existed for us then were lineage programs you put on your desktop or laptop and then entered in your research data into such a program like Family Tree Maker, Roots Magic, Legacy Family Tree, Reunion and others.  Things change over time just like vinyl records went to CDs which went to downloading.  No different in the world of genealogy over time with lineage programs morphing into online family trees.

I thought that looking into online trees vs. trees on your desktop or laptop in a lineage program would be a good question to elicit some response.

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

So ……………………. “Where Does Your Family Tree Exist?”

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

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

C) Both Online And In A Lineage Program Like Family Tree Maker Or Similar 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

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 “If You Have Had Your DNA Tested For Genealogy, Which Service Provider Did You Use?”; 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 September 8, 2016.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order!

The poll had asked the question “If You Have Had Your DNA Tested For Genealogy, Which Service Provider Did You Use?”  A) Family Tree DNA, B) 23 and Me, C) Ancestry DNA, D) National Geographic Genographic Project, E) I used more than one provider, F) Other provider not on the list.

The results of the poll showed the following from the 39 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their response to the question.  The numbers show that:

  • 16 (41.03%) noted they had used more than 1 provider
  • 10 (25.64%) noted they used exclusively Family Tree DNA
  • 7 (17.95%) noted they used exclusively Ancestry DNA
  • 5 (12.82%) noted they used exclusively 23 and Me
  • 1 (2.56%) noted they used exclusively the National Geographic Genographic Project
  • 0 (0%) noted they used a provider not on the list.

I was actually thinking that most responses would indicate just choosing one provider and that provider would have been Ancestry DNA.  But as you can see, almost half of the respondents noted they have used multiple DNA providers from the major providers and the one major provider used exclusively was Family Tree DNA (personal note, that is the company that did my DNA analysis).

Using multiple companies may make sense as a check to see if results are similar for the same DNA test being done by each company.  Would one company show me as 98% Eastern European and another show me as 40%?  Maybe I would not want to see such a result because then I wouldn’t know if something was incorrectly processed by the company.  Most results for the same DNA test are going to be similar but not exact.  Each company has its own algorithms and logic to determine its results.  So maybe you might expect one company for an autosomal test to be a couple of percentage points difference in scoring your results.

We test with multiple companies because we want validity between the two and possibly also to see some things one company provides for this kind of test that the other company does not.

Using multiple companies also provides you with more exposure to possible matches.  Say you test with Family Tree DNA.  Maybe an unknown cousin tested using Ancestry DNA.  You would never know that cousin existed by looking at your matched results in Family Tree DNA and vice versa.  Yes, it will cost you more money, but you stand the chance of discovering more matches from unknown cousins that tested with other providers.

When you do test with multiple companies you also can take advantage of future sales for other various DNA products they offer because they do come back to you as a previous customer with special deals.  So the more companies, the more of a chance you will receive better offers for future testing at discounted prices.

It did not surprise me to see only a count of 1 for the National Geographic Genographic Project.  No one has ever really mentioned that project to me as one they submitted for analysis.  Also because the list of choices I provided literally covered all of the major DNA testers, it did not surprise me that no one noted they had been tested outside of the list of major players.

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 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 25 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; “If You Have Had Your DNA Tested For Genealogy, Which Service Provider Did You Use?”; 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.

“If You Have Had Your DNA Tested For Genealogy, Which Service Provider Did You Use?”

A) Family Tree DNA
B) 23andMe
C) Ancestry DNA
D) National Geographic Genographic Project
E) I Used More Than One Provider From The Above List
F) Other Provider Not In The Above List

All 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 a 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.

From my recent blog postings you are aware that I myself finally took the Genealogy DNA plunge in July.  I have been making blog postings sharing my experience of the process and my results as they were occurring.  It was intended to give you some feedback on what to expect and also to encourage you to get off the “fence” if you had been thinking about it but were just not prepared to make it happen.  I chose Family Tree DNA as the provider to test my DNA.

I thought since the topic of DNA is so much the rage everywhere as well as the fact that I finally did it, I thought now is a good time to put a DNA poll question out there trying to discover who has been using what service provider for DNA testing.

The poll question above identifies who I think are the top Genealogy DNA service providers.  If you have only had one or many DNA tests done exclusively through one provider on the list, then select it from the list.  Many of you may have had your DNA tested from multiple providers identified in the list.  Choose that response if it applies to you.  If you have had your DNA tested from a company not identified in the list above, then choose the response for “other”.

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

So ……………………. “If You Have Had Your DNA Tested For Genealogy, Which Service Provider Did You Use?”

A) Family Tree DNA
B) 23andMe
C) Ancestry DNA
D) National Geographic Genographic Project
E) I Used More Than One Provider From The Above List
F) Other Provider Not In The Above List

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