Category Archives: Polls

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

Poll On The Right Sidebar Has Been Closed For “Have You Done A Video Recording Or An Audio Recording Of An Interview Of A Relative Regarding Family History?”; 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 August 26, 2015.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order!

The poll had asked the question “Have You Done A Video Recording Or An Audio Recording Interview Of A Relative Regarding Family History?”?

The results of the poll showed the following from the 38 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their “Yes” or “No” response to the question.  The numbers show that 12 responses (31.58%) noted they have video recorded or audio recorded an interview for family history  while 26 responses (68.42%) indicated they have not video recorded or audio recorded an interview for family history .

I am actually surprised at the numbers showing that 31% have captured a video recording or audio recording interview for family history.  I actually thought there would have been more indicating they have done some kind of recording.  Not my scientific opinion,  just a gut feeling.  Researchers, please get that recording media going and get those relatives on tape or digital file for future reference!!  They will not be around forever.  Plus, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard a new researcher seek help from me and note that everyone they could ask for family history information has passed away!

Often times family members have great stories to tell, stories for which your early research may not yet even have a clue about what it is all about.  But by recording it in some fashion you will always have a fall-back to review the story told by the individual himself at a future time when they are no longer alive and your research have moved further along.

Most smartphones today have camera and video recording functionally.  Sometimes these devices are not the best in my opinion.  Regular camcorders with digital files can allow you to record lengthy conversations and then be able to convert the digital file to DVD to share with other family members.  The phone related videos can take up a significant amount of space plus it makes it hard to share with other family members because of the size of the file.  So I say still consider a regular camcorder to do your recording.

Always get in the habit early on in your research to capture your relatives stories in some recorded fashion.  You will not regret it later if you need to review what was spoken and compare that to what you have discovered in your research over time.  Plus, death is inevitable for all of us.  At least focus on those in your family tree that are the oldest in age to capture their stories.

Let’s try to get the number up to 100% for recording an interview of a relative for family history rather than the 32% respondents noted in this poll!!

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 20 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 Done A Video Recording Or Audio Recording Interview Of A Relative Regarding Family History?”; “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 Done A Video Recording Or An Audio Recording Interview Of A Relative Regarding Family History?”  Yes or No

We all want to immediately start our search for our ancestors by entering in those surnames into those magical search boxes and click away.  Important to do that?  Yes.  But more important is to take the time and connect with your living relatives and capture the stories they know and the facts they know and the myths they may know about your family history.  And even more important is to be able to capture these stories on video and/or audio for future references.  Hopefully, with their permission, you will be able to capture these stories.

During the recording process it is best that you just let them speak about what they know relative to the question you may have asked.  It is not the time to question or challenge what they say or impugn that they are wrong.  You yourself may not know all the facts.  Very often, further research by you on what is being said may discover that they stated very good facts that might be off slightly, but the core of their words are solid.  Having recorded what they said on video/and or audio will allow you to reference the interview at a future time as your research and results expands over time.

Do not rely just on your own notes or memories of what was said during the interview.  If you receive permission to record it then by all means do so.  Nothing better than to be able to go to the interview at a future date and hear the exact words that were spoken.  You may not even get to the interview for many years.

Do Not Rely On Your Own Memory Regarding These Spoken Words!!

So ……………………. “have you ever recorded a video/audio interview of a relative about family history”??

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 Attended A Family Reunion?”; 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 June 17, 2015.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order!

The poll had asked the question “Have You Ever Attended A Family Reunion”?

The results of the poll showed the following from the 42 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their “Yes” or “No” response to the question.  The numbers show that 23 responses (54.76%) noted they have attended a Family Reunion  while 19 responses (45.24%) indicated they have not attended a Family Reunion.

I am actually surprised at the numbers showing that 54% have attended a Family Reunion.  I actually thought there would have been more indicating they have not attended a Family Reunion.  Not my scientific opinion,  just a gut feeling.  I have never attended a Family Reunion as of now.  Maybe I should have asked the question that if you attended one maybe you were the one that actually organized it!!  I hope that those that attended a Family Reunion felt that it was a wonderful experience to meet new cousins face-to-face.  Hope you were able to “share” family knowledge as well as to “receive” vast quantities of new information.

Think of ways to have a “family reunion” without having a formal “family reunion”.  I just attended a wedding celebration on one side of my family research.  Though not a “family reunion” it sure felt like one to me.  Lots of time to see plenty of cousins.  Plus, I was actually being sought out by one of my younger cousins who indicated she too has been doing some family research on our family line.  I was happy to have a lengthy conversation with her and know that we will be in touch in the future exchanging information!

On the less happy side of the ledger, wakes and funerals also often serve as those shorter-term “family reunions”.  Not as much fun as weddings, but it can still afford you the chance to connect with cousins and set up future contacts with many that you have not connected to.

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 Attended A Family Reunion?”; “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 Attended A Family Reunion?”  Yes or No

A Family Reunion can be a rewarding part of doing Family History research.  Not only have you discovered information about your past ancestors, but you have also discovered many more cousins than you have ever known about.  Tracking down ancestors is one part but you also track down living descendants of those ancestors that are your cousins.  Most of them may not be “closely” related to you.  But they are your kin.

As Family Historian you may decide to take it to the next level of interacting with living relatives.  Perhaps a Family Reunion is the ultimate get-together of family to interact with and even meet for the first time.  Maybe a Family Reunion might be small.  Maybe you are connecting with those discovered cousins that are local to your area.  Maybe a Family Reunion is large in size taking place at a hotel in a distant city.

You may have a special day set aside for such a gathering.  Maybe at someone’s house?  Maybe at your house?  Maybe in the summer time at a large park for a picnic?  Maybe at a restaurant?  Maybe a banquet hall?  Maybe with a mixed bag of elderly, middle age and children that are your newly discovered cousins, all sharing a connecting back in time to a common ancestor.  Maybe someone else is doing all the work and you are just going to be attending?  Maybe you did all the work?  Maybe you collaborated with your newly discovered cousins?

So ……………………. have you ever been to a “Family Reunion”??

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