Category Archives: Polls

New Poll On Right Sidebar Of The Blog; Simple Question Being Posed; “Have You Created A Family History Book Of Your Research That You Have Published In Print Or E-Book Format?”; “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 Created A Family History Book Of Your Research That You Have Published In Print Or E-Book Format?”

A) Yes

B) No

Yes, that is a pretty big step to take with your research.  We all might have overwhelming amounts of research materials we have captured over many years.  We might have copies of documents, original material, letters, photos and the list goes on and on of what we have.  But the amount of material we have does not necessarily make it easy for anyone interested in your research to make heads or tails out of it.  Much of it may well be considered published if you have uploaded it to your favorite “family tree” websites, either those that are free or those that you subscribe to.  But an uploaded family tree is not the same as a fully published book.

Maybe taking the next “big” step and distilling the material into a published family history book in print or E-Book format will bring clarity and conciseness to all of the hard work you put into your research.  Just think of the notoriety to be gained as your book sits on the shelf of some prestigious library or archive!  Of course, it could also be in electronic E-book formatting sitting on someone’s phone or tablet!

I personally have not published my family history in print.  So I am not telling you to do something that I have not done myself.

Over time I have come across some researchers that have in fact created a family history book in print as well as in E-Book format, being published with an actual publishing company.  Maybe the poll question has piqued your curiosity?  Here is something I found online that can give you some insights into the process of writing and publishing a family history book as well as resources that are out there for you to tap into:

Writing and Publishing Your Family History by Penny Stratton

On-Demand Printing and Self-Publishing Resources from CyndisList

But I want to know if you have taken the true authoring plunge and have not only created a book of your research but have actually had it published in print with a real life publishing company.  Or maybe you have put together your material in actual book form following E-book formats and self-published it, that counts too.

If so, you have really reached the pinnacle of authorship!

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

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

Hi Everyone!

It is amazing that about 6 months has passed on the life of the poll I had on the right sidebar of the blog since November 21, 2017.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order!

The poll had asked the following question:

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

A) Yes

B) No

The results of the poll showed the following from the 94 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their response to the question.  The numbers show that:

  • 53 respondents (56.38%) have not visited their ancestral home town outside of the United States
  • 41 respondents (43.62%) have visited their ancestral home town outside of the United States

I apologize for the long delay between polls.  My own goal is to have a new poll about every three months.  This interval was way too long at six months.  I knew I have been very busy over the last few months working on Veterans History Project matters as well as working on our library becoming a FamilySearch Affiliate Library.  Good goals so I hope you understand.

I was surprised that the results show such a high amount for those that have in fact visited their ancestral town of origin outside of the United States.  Not a majority, but to me 43% is pretty high to have done that.

Genealogy trips to ancestral homes is a growing activity.  There are many travel companies that are offering such trips with fluent guides to help you through the language barriers when they exist.  My research is Polish.  I am a member of the Polish Genealogical Society of America.  As such, from the journal I receive through them I am aware that there is much talk about a variety of Polish genealogical tours to the homeland and in particular to villages associated with your own ancestry.

Congratulations to all of those that responded they had returned to their town of origin.  I bet it was a great feeling to walk the same land as your ancestors.  Perhaps, you were even able to discover grave sites of your ancestors and pay them homage while standing right above them!  And even more, perhaps you actually were able to see the actual homes they grew up and left from!

For the rest of us that have not made the trip, perhaps that desire will develop down the road.  Keep an open mind.

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 (94) 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 30 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

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

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