Category Archives: Tips

Reminder Re-Post: Check This Blog During the Winter Months In Case Bad Weather Forces Us To Cancel A Genealogy Program; I Would Post That Cancellation Notice Here

Hi Everyone!

Winter Weather Clip ArtI just wanted to remind readers of this blog, especially those of you that often attend our monthly Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library (STDL), that I would post a notice here if a Genealogy Program on the 2nd Tuesday evening of the month would have to be cancelled due to bad, wintry weather.

A few cancellations have happened in the past and I believe posting the cancellation of that program in this blog proved helpful and beneficial to those who thought of coming out on a bad wintry night.  I believe that our most recent cancellation of our genealogy program was in February 2010 just a few months after I started this blog.  We have had a pretty long run of no cancellations!!

A cancellation does not happen often,  but this blog can easily get the word out that a genealogy program is being cancelled due to inclement weather.

It could be that we need to cancel our program but our library could still be open on these dicey nights.  It is not uncommon that many of our speakers come from a distance and bad weather could make it impossible for them to drive to our library to make the presentation while our library would still remain open.

As I write this in late November 2016, we have been experiencing some incredibly warm, comfortable weather throughout October and November so far.  Good enough that you probably do not even think of those nasty, blowing, snowing nights that you know we will get this winter.  I just hope they don’t occur on the 2nd Tuesday evening of the month, the day of our program.

Cross your fingers that good weather karma will be with us on our program nights for December 2016 and  January, February and March of 2017.

So keep checking back here especially on the 2nd Tuesday evening of the month if you may be planning on attending our genealogy program during the months of December, January, February and March.  If the weather is dicey and we cancel the program, you will hear it here!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Genealogy T-Shirt With Interesting Wording; Company Website Provided

Hi Everyone!

Schaumburg Township District Library

Schaumburg Township District Library

One of our very regular participants at our genealogy program attended our most recent program on November 8, 2016.  When he walked in the door, he showed off his brand new genealogy T-shirt that visually provided a very nice message.  But, the reader had to look even closer at the wording on the shirt because there were words of a smaller size under lines of words with a larger size.  Your eyes initially saw one message but further looking made you see an even different message from the one eyes initially saw.

This is one of those cases that you just have to see the image of the shirt with the words on it.  Putting down the text of the phrase in this blog will just not do it justice.  You have to visually see it to get the full effect.

The message on his particular shirt is intended for a shirt to be worn by a male.  Our genealogy participant did tell me that the company can also make a T-shirt for a female that has a similar message.

Here is a link to the shirt image and the company behind it:

Unique Genealogy T-Shirt

Here is a link to the same company that will get you to a larger variety of other T-shirts having a variety of other genealogy type humorous wording appearing on T-shirts:

Online Site For Etsy Company and Other Genealogy T-Shirts

If you want to tell everyone of your like for genealogy, as well as your love for your husband or wife, then check out not only the “special” genealogy T-shirt I noted above but also the many more varieties that are being offered by the company Etsy.

Put a little fun in your genealogy life and let everyone know how much you enjoy this great hobby.

A big “Thank You” to our participant for not only wearing that shirt for all of us to see but also for giving me the web information about this T-shirt and the company that makes them.

Enjoy!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

DuPage County Genealogical Society (DCGS) Annual Conference On March 11, 2017 Will NOT Allow Any Un-Registered Walk-Ins

Hi Everyone!

DCGS LogoOn November 21, 2016 I made a blog post about the upcoming DuPage County Genealogical Society Annual Conference that will take place on March 11, 2017.

In that post I mistakenly noted that “Walk-Ins” on the day of the event would be able to participate assuming there were still openings for the maximum attendance amount of 280 for this program.

I did receive a comment via that blog post from Rose who is the Chairperson for the society’s Annual Conference in which she noted that the society for this year’s program will NOT be accepting un-registered “Walk-Ins” on the day of the event.  Walk-Ins had been allowed at previous years programs.  I should know that, because that is how I attended this annual conference once I realized they were not at capacity.  This year is different.  You will need to register before you arrive no matter what.  Keep in mind that they have a maximum attendance planned of 280.  Once that figure is reached, registration will end.

So if you want to go to the program, connect to my previous post in this blog on the subject at

2017 DuPage County Genealogical Society Annual Conference Information

and go through the online registration process before they reach capacity limit of 280.

I have also gone back to my original posting of this information and have updated it by removing any included references to “Walk-Ins”.

Also, while at the previous post location, visit the comments part of the post and see the actual comment left by Rose.

Thanks to Rose for the clarification.

So, don’t do like I did in years past and just come strutting in on the day of the event.  Get yourself registered in advance if capacity has not been reached even if it is right near the date of the actual conference.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

New Database Added To FamilySearch.org; “Illinois, Archdiocese Of Chicago, Cemetery Records, 1864-1989”; Great Resource If You Have Chicago Area Catholics In Your Ancestral Lines; Link To Database Included

Hi Everyone!

FamilySearch.org LogoCeleste, my friend and librarian colleague from Indian Trails Public Library, and a regular participant at our own monthly genealogy program, has made me aware of a newly added database to FamilySearch.

For those of you doing Chicago area research that have Roman Catholics in your ancestral lines, this new database could be the proverbial “goldmine” of information for you.

Here is a link to this exciting new database in FamilySearch:

Illinois, Archdiocese of Chicago, Cemetery Records, 1864-1989

The name of the database is Illinois, Archdiocese of Chicago, Cemetery Records, 1864-1989.  The database is searchable and the search results will be able to link you to images of the record.  Please note that you must be registered with FamilySearch and logged in to be able to see the actual image of the burial card.  You can search and see the transcribed data without being logged in.  The image record is basically a burial card.  Here is what you can expect to find on it:

  • Name of the deceased.
  • Place of death.  This could be a home address or I saw a few in my own ancestral line that indicated place of death was a named hospital.  It could even be an out-of-state location of death that can give you clues for further research there.  However, it does appear that if the person died or lived in the City of Chicago, the naming of Chicago was omitted on the card.  I did find cards for those that died who did not live or die in the City of Chicago, that the town or suburb name was included.
  • Burial Lot/Grave site Information
  • Age of person at death.
  • Date of Interment

One major piece of information is NOT on the burial card.  The cemetery nameCemetery Headstones2 Clip Art is NOT present.  You can see the cemetery name by opening up the link from the surname itself or the icon for the “details” data not the icon for the “image”.  It will appear there as one of the fields at the end of the record of text information.  If you open up either the Surname link  itself or the “Details” data link, you will then be able to see an image of the record that you could also open up.  Many times you just want to look at the image first and only.  If you do, then go back to the “Details” link to see that information that contains the cemetery name.

Also, you will not be able to find information on the most recent 25 years of burials.  The data presented only goes through 1989, which for the most part, is still incredibly helpful to go deeper into time.  Just remember that when you are looking at your results and you are not seeing the name of someone you know that should have been in this database it could be because they died in the most recent 25 years.

I have only sampled this database for a short time and I do notice it can provide many more leads to your already existing research if you have identified the person and information previously.  As an example, I found a Great Aunt in this file for whom I had a good amount of information, including burial location.  This person from an obituary was noted as having lived in Algonquin, IL.  One could assume the person died in Algonquin.  In this case, the burial record noted Place of Death as Elgin, IL.  More to pursue.  Did she die at an Elgin hospital that was not stated on the burial card??  Did she live in Algonquin but perhaps die at the home of a child in Elgin??  Did they move from Algonquin prior to death??

You may very well discover great pieces of additional information from these burial cards that really contain very little information.

Another random piece of information I noticed written on one of the cards of one of my ancestors just simply said “St. Hedwig”.  I know that where the person lived is near that parish name.  I was familiar with it.  So you might discover a parish that the deceased may have had church ceremonies at.  I only saw one of these among 40 that I looked at.

If you have Chicago Roman Catholic ancestral connections, I would suggest you “run” for this file and check it out.  Do not walk!!  Even as I write this post I can’t stop searching this file for different names I know of in my own research!!

Thank you Celeste for the heads up on this database not only for me personally but also for me being able to share this news with so many others via this blog post.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

 

Take Advantage Of Holiday Family Gatherings As The Family Historian (Originally Posted In November 2009 And Still Applicable!)

Hi Everyone!

Roast Turkey and StuffingNow that the holidays are upon us again, I wanted to re-post a blog entry I made in November 2009 (actually one of my first posts to the new blog at that time) because the holiday times and family gatherings provide the perfect opportunity to the family historian to share previously researched information and also to gather new information to compile into the family history.

What follows in Bold and Italics is the post I published back in 2009.  The message to family historians is as important today as it was then.  Take a look at the message and take advantage of your time with family during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays of this year .

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The Holiday Season is one of the best times of the year to moveChistmas Holiday Clip Art your genealogy research forward!  You are circled by family members who may be very interested to know of your research.  Not only can you share what you have discovered but you may have willing family members that can’t help but share more with you during this season of sharing!

Now is the time that family members will really see how serious you take your family research.  They may not open up to you as a willing participant at this time.  But you may have planted the seed in their mind that will come to grow at a future date when their assistance will become invaluable.

Bring some copies of research documents you may have uncovered to date as well as copies of pictures to share with the family members present at the gathering.  Keep the originals at home for safety and security!  If you have digitized your discoveries as .JPG images then bring your laptop with the data or your smartphone or your tablet computer if you have one that contains the images.  Even having the images on a flash drive will help because you can plug that into a computer that may exist in the house.  Even new HDTV sets often have a USB connection to the HDTV that you can plug into.  You can then look at the images on the TV screen!

What a great time to share family information as well as to gather more if you can.  Bring a digital recorder or a camcorder with to document the new information family members will be willing to share.  If you have a smartphone you probably have an App that can function as a digital recorder.  Don’t leave all of the stories to your memories.  Get the stories in the voice of the original provider for further analysis down the road.  Ask their permission to audio or videotape what they have to say.  Respect their wishes if they choose not to be recorded.  Then take notes.

Always remember to be a good guest if you are visiting.  It is the Holiday Season after all and not necessarily a genealogical convention!  Don’t make yourself a genealogical nuisance at this time but see if you can arrange a time in the future to revisit with key family members to obtain further information in a non-holiday pressured setting.

Share your family history stories and research.

Keep an ear open for other family history stories.

Plant those seeds among family members for future help.

But most importantly, enjoy your family during this Holiday Season!

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Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Big Sale Going On At Family Tree DNA; Looks Like Majority Of Tests They Offer Are On Sale; Family Finder Autosomal Product On Sale For $59

Hi Everyone!

Family Tree DNAWhile looking over material from Dick Eastman’s site, I notice that one of his articles notes that there is a big sale going on at Family Tree DNA (www.familytreedna.com).  Family Tree DNA is the company that I used to have my DNA tested back in July 2016.  I purchased what I consider to be their entry-level product called Family Finder.  Back then, this product was on sale for $79.  The normal price at the time was $99.

This product is now on sale for $59!  That’s right, on sale now for $59 when just about 1 year ago the normal price was $99.

Here is a link to the Dick Eastman article that provides information on all of the sale price information for what looks like most of their DNA testing products, as well as a link in the article to the part of the Family Tree DNA website where this sale price information is more detailed:

November 2016 Family Tree DNA Product Sales Noted By Dick Eastman

If you have never had your DNA tested, these are incredible prices, especially for what I would call their entry-level product called Family Finder.  $59 is an incredible low price.  Now is the time to take the plunge.  My experience with Family Tree DNA has been wonderful.  I even wrote up a few blog posts documenting my own experience with Family Tree DNA from ordering to receiving my results.

For those of you that have already had your DNA tested with Family Tree DNA, you may want to consider taking advantage of these sale prices across the majority of their product lines and use the products as gifts for various relatives.  You can easily do that.  It would probably help to know that an intended DNA test gift would be accepted by the recipient before just blindly giving them such a gift.  As well-intentioned as that gift would be, many recipients would be reluctant to have their DNA tested and the gift would go to waste.  You would want to feel comfortable knowing that the recipient receiving such a gift would actually use it.

If you have already had your DNA tested with the basic Family Finder product, this is also an opportunity for you take advantage of one of the more advanced tests that are also being offered at significant price reductions.  These can often run into the hundreds of dollars.  You will find discounts among some of the male or female ancestry oriented products up to $40 per test.

The one thing I need to point out is that it is not clear how long the sale will be in effect for.  Traditionally, Family Tree DNA has had these annual sales around the Holidays of Thanksgiving through the end of the year.  I cannot find an end date for the sale.  Can you assume it will go on until the end of 2016??  Don’t know.  Usually, when the sale is coming to an end, Family Tree DNA does post a specific end date and time that may give you maybe a week’s notice.

If you have been thinking about it as a first time test for yourself, the prices are fantastic, especially for Family Finder (autosomal test) at $59.

Think about it, but not for long.  Better act on it for yourself as well as for gifts to your other cousins.

Now is the time to connect to Family Tree DNA.  The prices are right!!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“What’s New At Ancestry.com November 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 November 2016 video posted from Ancestry.com that is titled “What’s New At Ancestry.com November 2016”.

The video is an approximate 23 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 –  All major conferences for 2016 have been completed.  Large conference dates for 2017 have been set.  These are:  February 8-11, 2017, RootsTech in Salt Lake City; May 10-13, 2017, National Genealogical Society in Raleigh, NC; June 9-11, 2017, Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank, CA; July 23-28, 2017, International Association of Jewish Genealogical Associations, Orlando, FL; August 30-September 2, 2017, Federation of Genealogical Societies, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • New Databases – Quebec, Canada, Notarial Records, 1626-1935The new database contains about 16.5 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 indexed and searchable.  Records are in French.  Browse the list of kinds of records to narrow down your search.  There are images associated with the data that can be browsed by individual municipality name to select.  Kind of event is noted.
  • New Databases – A variety of  UK and Ireland Medical Directories Databases, 1615-1980These 6 new databases contain about 1.1 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 databases are 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, residence date and place, and name of the directory in which name is contained.
  • New Databases – Bavaria, Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1556-1973 databaseThis new databases contains about 3.6  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 databases are searchable but there are no images.  Records are in German.  You can discover the name of the person, event type, event date, event city and named relatives.
  • New Databases – South Africa, Select Estates Death Notice Index, 1833-2008This new database contains about 44,000 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 no images associated with the indexed text results.  You will be able to see Name of the individual, birth date, death date, death city and relatives mentioned.
  • New Databases – UK, British Army Lists, 1882-1962.  This new database contains about 2.4 million records.   The database is  indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.   You can discover the name of the individual, military year, regiment, rank in the record.  You can view the original image on Fold3.
  • New Databases – Hawaii, Denization Records, 1846-1849, 1883-1898.  This new database contains about 862 records.   Denization means someone is applying for rights of citizenship without being a citizen.  The database is  indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.   Image linked to indexed name.  You can discover the name of the individual, birth year, residence date in the record.  You can view the original image.
  • 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