Category Archives: Tips

PowerPoint Presentation Available From Our July 12, 2016 Genealogy Program Presented By Caron Primas Brennan On “Using Ancestry.com Family Trees”; You Can Also View PowerPoint Presentations For 4 Additional Programs Presented By Caron

Hi Everyone,

Schaumburg Township District Library

Schaumburg Township District Library

Great news!  Our speaker last night, Caron Primas Brennan,  let us all know that her PowerPoint presentation of the program she presented at our library on the evening of July 12, 2016 is available for viewing by everyone!

Thank you so much Caron for sharing that information with all of us last night.

This blog post has the link that will connect you with the presentation material.

So if you missed last night’s program, you can get yourself a front row seat to review the PowerPoint presentation material.  If you attended last night, this gives you the chance to review material that perhaps that did not sink in immediately last night.

Here is the link to Caron’s 67 slide PowerPoint presentation on “Using Ancestry.com Family Trees” from our genealogy program at the Schaumburg Township District Library that took place on July 12, 2016:

July 12, 2016 PowerPoint Presentation From Caron Primas Brennan On “Using Ancestry.com Family Trees

Thank you so much to Caron for sharing this great information for the benefit of those unable to attend our program last night as well as for those that did attend that would like to review the material.

Additionally, Caron has 4 other PowerPoint presentation programs available at her blog that you can also look at.  Here are the programs for which a PowerPoint presentation exists:

  • “FamilySearch Primer”
  • “Ancestry.com Primer”
  • “What’s New On the Internet for Genealogists”
  • “Where Did I Put Great-Grandpa?: Organizing for Genealogists”

Go to the following link to Caron’s blog and just scroll down the list of programs she has presented and will be presenting.  The above 4 are from her most recent presentation at the Newberry Library on July 9, 2016.  Look for the hyperlink that is noted as “Slides”.

Caron Primas Brennan Speaking Engagements; Look for Available PowerPoint Presentations from Recent Speaking Engagements

Thank you again Caron for making available the PowerPoint presentation from last night’s genealogy program at our library, as well as making available the additional programs you recently presented at the Newberry Library on July 9, 2016.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“What’s New At Ancestry.com July 2016” YouTube Video; You Can View The Video In This Blog Post

Hi Everyone!

ancestry-logoI just did a quick look at YouTube and saw that there is now a July 2016 video posted from Ancestry.com that is titled “What’s New At Ancestry.com July 2016”.

The video is an approximate 18 minute production hosted by Crista Cowan of Ancestry.com who provides the viewers with updates on what new things users of Ancestry.com should be aware of.

Crista also mentions that in addition to the monthly YouTube video she creates describing “new” things at Ancestry.com for a particular month the reader should always check the blog from Ancestry.com that you can access at:

Ancestry.com Blog

Topics covered in this video by Crista are:

  • Upcoming Conferences –  Midwest African-American Genealogical Institute, July 12-14, 2016, Fort Wayne, IN; BYU Family History Conference, July 26-29, 2016, Provo, UT;  IAJGS Conference, August 7-12, 2016, Seattle, WA; Federation of Genealogy Societies, August 31-Sept 3, 2016, Springfield, IL
  • Ancestry DNA – Global Database now includes results from about 2 million contributors.  Those who submitted from a foreign country are now included in this one universal database.  Your chances of having a match have increased because all data is contained in this one database.
  • Ancestry Academy – New videos.  Short Courses for Illinois, Vermont, Massachusetts and Michigan.  “Find Your Revolutionary War Ancestor (Subscription); “City Directories: Your Guide to the Past” (Subscription); “Hidden Treasures on Ancestry.com” (Free To All)
  • New Databases – Indiana Birth Certificates, 1907-1940This new database contains about 7.1 million records.  Always a good idea to browse the database description of records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a template to filter your search.  There are images associated with the indexed text results.  You will be able to see Name of the individual, birth date, birth place and parents.
  • New Databases – Indiana Death Certificates, 1899-2011This new database contains about 16.6 million records.  Always a good idea to browse the database description of records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a template to filter your search.  There are images associated with the indexed text results.  You will be able to see Name of the individual, birth date, death place and death place.
  • New Databases – Arizona Birth Records, 1881-1948This new database contains about 68,000 records.  Always a good idea to browse the database description of records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a template to filter your search.  There are images associated with the indexed text results.  You will be able to see Name of the individual, birth date, birth place and relatives.  Many of the record images are handwritten especially the farther back the records are dated.
  • New Databases – Arizona, County Coroner and Death Records, 1881-1971This new database contains about 67,000 records.  Always a good idea to browse the database description of records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a template to filter your search.  There are images associated with the indexed text results.  You will be able to see Name of the individual, birth date, death year and death place.Many records are handwritten, especially older in time.
  • New Databases – Gloucestershire, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1974.  This new database contains about 11.6 million records.   You can select by Parliamentary division if you know that associated with an ancestor or you can search entire database.   The database is also indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  It is linked to images of the original records.   Images of the original handwritten scanned pages are provided.  Even many of the older ones are in print and easily readable.  You can discover the name of the individual, place of abode, nature of qualification to vote, location where property is and indication if there is a tenant on the premises or not.
  • New Databases – Gloucestershire, England, Prison Records, 1728-1914.  This new database contains about 235,000 records.   The database is also indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  It is linked to images of the original records.   You can find birth year, conviction or committal date, prison place, discharge date.  Images of the original handwritten scanned pages are provided.  Even many of the older ones are in print.
  • New Databases – Gloucestershire, England, Land Tax Records, 1713-1833.  This new database contains about 1 million records.   The database is also indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  It is linked to images of the original records.   You can find residence year, parish, owner.  Images of the original handwritten scanned pages are provided. 
  • New Databases – Naturalization records have been added for about 20 states .  These individual new databases per state totally contain about 7.2  million records.    Search Ancestry.com Card Catalog using the term in the title field of “naturalization”.  Data added for New Mexico, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, south Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Utah, Maryland, Illinois, Michigan, Montana and Missouri. Always a good idea to browse the listing of the records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.    The database is also indexed and searchable with a basic size template of information you can supply to narrow down your search. 
  • Tip From Crista – A particular database may have no connection to your research but you may still benefit from knowing about it.  As an example, there may be an Australian Outbound Passenger List database.  You may not have an Australian connection, but discovering that Outbound passenger records exists may allow you to consider to see if such records exist for the country associated with your ancestor.
  • Research Reminders #1 – Read the complete database descriptions for the newly added material to know what is contained and what is NOT contained.  Don’t just search!
  • Research Reminder #2 – Understand the records you are looking at when you are searching a newly added database.  Knowing what is there will help you create better search terms for better results.  Just create a “test” input search to see the results.
  • Crista has noted on past videos that it is important to consider “browsing” records rather than always searching indexed databases.  Browsing databases are those that have not yet been indexed.  You cannot search these but the data as images is available for you to look through.  The data is generally subdivided into manageable viewing components.  Think of it as viewing a microfilm online.  Look at an individual database via the “Card Catalog” and look to see if it has a “Browse Box” that allows you to look at the data but not be able yet to search it.  The “browse box” implies the data is not yet indexed for direct searching.

You can view this video directly here:

Crista does an excellent job of sharing what is new at Ancestry.com that can make your use of the product even more effective and beneficial with your family history research.  She shows you via her computer screen what to look for at the Ancestry.com site.

I also did a search on YouTube looking for similarly titled videos and did discover that there are many “What’s New At Ancestry.com” videos on YouTube going back at least until April of 2012.  These series of videos are a great tool to use to review going back in time so you keep current with all that is being offered and added to Ancestry.com.

Here is a simple link to my search in YouTube that will give you this nice list of these videos posted to YouTube that you can do some catching up on to know about all of the new things at Ancestry.com:

“What’s New At Ancestry.com” YouTube Videos

The host does a very good job verbally describing the new additions as well as showing you the new things at Ancestry via screencasting.  That allows you to see her computer screen as she points out the various “new” things you may see at Ancestry.com and where they are located.

Because so many of us use Ancestry.com, either via a personal subscription or by using the Ancestry product at our local libraries, these YouTube videos are quite informative to keep users up to date with new features that take root on Ancestry.com.  The host provides even more depth to the importance of the change and even why it was done.

I think you will enjoy the most recent video above as well as looking at the link above for even more of these videos.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Offers A Family Tree Maker Special Interest Group (SIG); Group Is Meeting At The Schaumburg Township District Library On Saturday July 16, 2016 From 12:45 PM To 2:30 PM

Hi Everyone!

CAGGNI logoAncestry.com announced in December 2015 that it will be “retiring” their lineage software program Family Tree Maker.  If you are a user of the product you may be uncertain how that decision does or does not affect you as a user of Family Tree Maker.

Perhaps the Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) can be of immense assistance to you.  The CAGGNI group has had a Family Tree Maker SIG for quite some time.  Perhaps you did not take advantage of this resource in the past.  Perhaps now would be the time if you are in a state of confusion on all things related to Family Tree Maker lineage software.

The Family Tree Maker SIG of CAGGNI is having their next meeting on Saturday, July 16, 2016 at our own library, the Schaumburg Township District Library located at 130 S. Roselle Road, Schaumburg,IL.  They will be meeting between 12:45 PM to 2:30 PM.

You can see details of this event in the CAGGNI Calendar of Events at:

July 16, 2016 Family Tree Maker Special Interest Group of CAGGNI Meeting at the Schaumburg Township District Library

The CAGGNI group will be having their regularly scheduled program also on this date at the same location.  Their regular program will start at 10:30 AM and is titled “Who Got the Family Album?: Digitizing and Sharing Family Artifacts”.  The speakers will be Mary Hoyer, Larry Olson and Michelle Wilson, members of the organization.

You can make it a long day if you wanted to attend both the SIG and the regular CAGGNI program.

All guests are welcome to attend either program.  You do not have to be a member of CAGGNI in order to attend.  I am sure if you attended and were not a member you may very well think of becoming a member of this wonderful genealogical organization.

You can also check out the CAGGNI group website itself at:

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI)

Let the Family Tree Maker Special Interest Group of CAGGNI make some sense of the “retirement” of Family Tree Maker for you as a current user of the product.  With Ancestry announcing it will no longer sell FTM after Dec. 31, 2015, and end support on Jan. 1, 2017, the group will be exploring what comes next, including the ongoing development of FTM by Software MacKiev and a future connection between RootsMagic software and Ancestry.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Offers DNA Special Interest Group (SIG) On Saturday July 9, 2016

Hi Everyone!

CAGGNI logoHave you submitted your DNA for genealogical analysis?

Are you trying to make sense of the results you received back?

Feel like talking about it but don’t know where to turn?

Just want to make everyone aware that the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) has a DNA special interest group (SIG).

I just received an email from the group indicating that their next meeting will take place on Saturday, July 9, 2016 starting at 10:30 AM at the Schaumburg Township District Library.

Here is the text describing what will take place at this upcoming DNA SIG:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

CAGGNI genomic genealogy group continues into its second year. This group focuses on learning the methods for analyzing DNA test results. Throughout the year we will study autosomal DNA, mitochondrial DNA, Y-DNA and surname projects, X-DNA and ancestral admixture results. We’ll also investigate third party tools for analyzing your raw data and comparing DNA and gedcom data with test kit results from companies besides the one you tested with.

DNA can break down genealogical brick walls once thought impenetrable – but only if you know how.

The SIG will combine short 15-20 minute lectures with interactive workshop-style activities. 

Get ready to put your DNA results to work for you!

Facilitators:  Al & Michelle Wilson

More information: DNA Special Interest Group

Best regards,
CAGGNI

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Consider connecting with this special interest group local to our area.  You spent good money on your DNA kits.  Why not really learn how to interpret and use your results in a real productive manner.  I am sure your testing company offers automated ways to interpret results through PowerPoint presentations or YouTube videos or maybe even person to person via customer service.  Here is your chance to discuss Genealogy DNA among fellow testers.  Learn about DNA tests that are over and above what you started with and how they can help you even more.

Learn from others, help others.

You can always visit the general website of the CAGGNI group to see what they are all about.  And I can guarantee you they are about many things genealogically speaking, including having this DNA SIG group.  You can visit CAGGNI at:

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois

See how this CAGGNI group can help you with your DNA results.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Genealogy Roadshow 2016 Season 3 ; Episodes 3-7 Available For Free To Watch

Hi Everyone!

Genealogy Roadshow PBS LogoGenealogy Roadshow has been up and running on PBS this summer.  The successful genealogy TV show is currently in Season 3.

Perhaps you have missed some of the episodes that have been aired.  Normal original airing on the local PBS station of WTTW is Tuesday evenings at 8 PM Chicago time.

If you want to do a mini-binge watch to catch up with the 5 most recently aired episodes of Season 3, you can connect with PBS to see them.  Episodes for 2016 that have so far aired based on origin of city where they took place are:

  • Season 3 Episode 1 2016 Albuquerque (Available Only Through PBS Membership)
  • Season 3 Episode 2 2016 Miami (Available Only Through PBS Membership)
  • Season 3 Episode 3 2016 Houston (View for Free)
  • Season 3 Episode 4 2016 Favorite Stories (View for Free)
  • Season 3 Episode 5 2016 Boston (View for Free)
  • Season 3 Episode 6 2016 Providence (View for Free)
  • Season 3 Episode 7 2016 Los Angeles (View for Free)

You get to view the above noted full hour shows for free at PBS at the following:

2016 Genealogy Roadshow Episodes To View For Free

You can view the 5 most recently aired episodes for the current season for free.  You will see that there are previous season episodes of the show in full-time viewing length at the website.  However, you would need to be member of PBS in order to view these.

So, if you want to catch up with season 3 episodes 3 to 7 you can do so for free.  Previous season episodes can only be viewed  through membership.

Here is a great opportunity to view shows you may have never seen while so much else on TV is in rerun versions.

Have a mini-binge watch!  It will make you feel good!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“What’s New At Ancestry.com June 2016” YouTube Video; You Can View The Video In This Blog Post

Hi Everyone!

ancestry-logoI just did a quick look at YouTube and saw that there is now a June 2016 video posted from Ancestry.com that is titled “What’s New At Ancestry.com June 2016”.

The video is an approximate 25 minute production hosted by Crista Cowan of Ancestry.com who provides the viewers with updates on what new things users of Ancestry.com should be aware of.

Crista also mentions that in addition to the monthly YouTube video she creates describing “new” things at Ancestry.com for a particular month the reader should always check the blog from Ancestry.com that you can access at:

Ancestry.com Blog

Topics covered in this video by Crista are:

  • Upcoming Conferences –  Midwest African-American Genealogical Institute, July 12-14, 2016, Fort Wayne, IN; BYU Family History Conference, July 26-29, 2016, Provo, UT;  IAJGS Conference, August 7-12, 2016, Seattle, WA; Federation of Genealogy Societies, August 31-Sept 3, 2016, Springfield, IL
  • Ancestry DNA – New matching algorithm created to improve ancestor discoveries.
  • Ancestry Academy – New videos.  “Science Behind Ancestry DNA Results (Free); “Researching Railroad Workers” (Subscription); “War of 1812 Records” (Subscription)
  • New Databases – Hesse, Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, Burials, 1661-1875This new database contains about 2.5 million records.  Always a good idea to browse the database description of records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a template to filter your search.  Records are in German.  There are no images associated with the indexed text results.  You will be able to see Name of the individual, birth date, event type, event date, event place and relatives noted in search results.  Will find even more pieces of information if you open up the “View Record” link.
  • New Databases – Frankenberg, Germany, Residence Records, 1809-1928.  This new database contains about 52,000 records.  Records are in German.  Citizens in this town had to register their location and their moves, whether moving within the town or outside of the town.   The database is also indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  It is linked to images of the original records.  Browse on the right side to see what image sets are available (not very well described as to contents, B7a bd 01 etc.!).  Or just search the entirety of the file.  Images of the original handwritten scanned pages are provided.
  • New Databases – New Mexico, Land Records of New Spain, 1692-1846.  This new database contains about 2,230 records.  Records are in Spanish.    Always a good idea to browse the listing of the categories.  Categories for this database are by different kinds of land activities.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  Searchable by keyword and not by surname.  Browse the right side of the database to see from what lists of land related groupings of information exist.  Images of the scanned handwritten pages are available to see as to what is linked to the index.
  • New Databases – U.S. Applications for Seaman’s Protection Certificates, 1916-1940.  This new database contains about 315,000 records.  Application served as a “passport” for the seaman for both ocean travel and great lakes travel in the U.S.  Always a good idea to browse the listing of the of records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.    Choose from a variety of U.S. states.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a basic size template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  Browse the right side of the database to select from the list of states.  Index results will give you Name of the person, Birth Place, Birth Date, Application Date, Application Place.  Images of the handwritten scanned pages are linked to the indexed surname.  Images are generally typed documents and may contain picture of the individual making application as well as signature.
  • New Databases – Arizona Territorial Censuses, 1864-1882.  This new database contains about 85,000 records.   Always a good idea to browse the listing of the of records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.    The listing will give you a choice to select a particular Arizona Territorial Census to select to search or you search all of them.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a basic size template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.    Index results give the Name of the Person, Birth Year, Birth Place, and Residence Year related to the census.
  • New Databases – Arizona, County Marriage Records, 1865-1972.  This new database contains about 1.3 million records.    Always a good idea to browse the listing of the records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.    Browse right side of database to see what counties of Arizona are contained in the database.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a basic size template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.   The index results will give you the name of the person, the birth date, affidavit or marriage date, license or marriage county, name of spouse.  Image of marriage record is linked to index item.
  • New Databases – Crista also mentioned that were many databases added for German records.  There was no one big database file added but rather many databases containing smaller numbers of German records.  Looks like about 12 new German databases added.
  • Tip From Crista – A particular database may have no connection to your research but you may still benefit from knowing about it.  As an example, there may be an Australian Outbound Passenger List database.  You may not have an Australian connection, but discovering that Outbound passenger records exists may allow you to consider to see if such records exist for the country associated with your ancestor.
  • Research Reminders #1 – Read the complete database descriptions for the newly added material to know what is contained and what is NOT contained.  Don’t just search!
  • Research Reminder #2 – Understand the records you are looking at when you are searching a newly added database.  Knowing what is there will help you create better search terms for better results.  Just create a “test” input search to see the results.
  • Crista has noted on past videos that it is important to consider “browsing” records rather than always searching indexed databases.  Browsing databases are those that have not yet been indexed.  You cannot search these but the data as images is available for you to look through.  The data is generally subdivided into manageable viewing components.  Think of it as viewing a microfilm online.  Look at an individual database via the “Card Catalog” and look to see if it has a “Browse Box” that allows you to look at the data but not be able yet to search it.  The “browse box” implies the data is not yet indexed for direct searching.

You can view this video directly here:

Crista does an excellent job of sharing what is new at Ancestry.com that can make your use of the product even more effective and beneficial with your family history research.  She shows you via her computer screen what to look for at the Ancestry.com site.

I also did a search on YouTube looking for similarly titled videos and did discover that there are many “What’s New At Ancestry.com” videos on YouTube going back at least until April of 2012.  These series of videos are a great tool to use to review going back in time so you keep current with all that is being offered and added to Ancestry.com.

Here is a simple link to my search in YouTube that will give you this nice list of these videos posted to YouTube that you can do some catching up on to know about all of the new things at Ancestry.com:

“What’s New At Ancestry.com” YouTube Videos

The host does a very good job verbally describing the new additions as well as showing you the new things at Ancestry via screencasting.  That allows you to see her computer screen as she points out the various “new” things you may see at Ancestry.com and where they are located.

Because so many of us use Ancestry.com, either via a personal subscription or by using the Ancestry product at our local libraries, these YouTube videos are quite informative to keep users up to date with new features that take root on Ancestry.com.  The host provides even more depth to the importance of the change and even why it was done.

I think you will enjoy the most recent video above as well as looking at the link above for even more of these videos.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Season 3 Of Genealogy Roadshow Back On Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) On Tuesday Evenings At 7 PM Chicago Time On Local WTTW; 3 Episodes Of Season 3 Already Aired; Do Some Binge Watching!

Hi Everyone,

Genealogy Roadshow PBS LogoJust a reminder to all of you that Season 3 of the  Genealogy Roadshow is now back on PBS with new episodes.  You can find information about the show at the following PBS website:

Genealogy Roadshow Website At PBS

The nice thing about this series of genealogy shows is that you can view any missed  entire episodes of Season 3 for free at the above PBS website.  So if you have missed an episode you can always view it from within the above website.

You can also go back and view in entirety all of the Season 1 and Season 2 episodes right here with a caveat.  WTTW makes Season 1 and Season 2 available for viewing only to WTTW Passport Members.

PBS Genealogy Roadshow  , Season 1, Season 2 and Season 3 Episodes

The list of full video episodes appears in most recently aired order of original episodes for Season 3, Season 2 and Season 1.  You will see a total of 14 episodes to select from.  Great link to find all of the shows that have aired all in one place!  However, only WTTW Passport Members are allowed to view the Season 1 and 2 episodes.  These will be marked with “+” sign by that episode.

You can sort of do a workaround and go to YouTube.com and do a search using “Genealogy Roadshow”.  It looks many of the previously aired Season 1 and 2 episodes can be found here for viewing.  Just look for the episodes that are about 50+ minutes in length and not the preview videos which are only a few minutes in length.  You can visit the Genealogy Roadshow channel on YouTube at:

Genealogy Roadshow on YouTube

The audio quality of some of these videos is not the best.

Let these wonderful episodes motivate you in your own genealogical research.

Don’t miss this show!!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library