Category Archives: Tips

Roots Tech 2017 Has Just Started Today; Consider Participating In The “Live Stream” Programs; Check Out The Archived Videos From 2016 To Get An Idea What It Is All About

Hi Everyone!

RootsTech 2014 LogoThe massive Roots Tech 2017 conference has just started today in Salt Lake City, UT.  Upwards of 20,000 genealogy focused people could be in attendance at this annual conference.  The conference will continue through February 11, 2017.

I have never attended the program in Salt Lake City, but I do try to attend by “proxy” by viewing many of the online videos of the programs that are available to view on many different topics.  Sometimes these videos seem difficult to discover because I think Roots Tech leaves them up for a period of time and then pulls them down.

It does appear that you can actually watch up to 18 of the live streaming programs that are taking place between today and Saturday.  You would not previously have had to register for the conference to do this.  In order to do so, you have to provide your first name, last name, email address and zip code via the link to access the live stream material.  Here is what FamilySearch says about this information:

“Watch all live streamed RootsTech sessions by providing your contact information.

FamilySearch International (“FamilySearch”) is requesting that you provide your personal information to help us evaluate how many people view and access RootsTech videos. FamilySearch will not sell your personal information. FamilySearch will retain the information you provide for as long as it has a useful purpose. FamilySearch uses technical and security measures to protect personal information against loss, misuse, and unauthorized access or disclosure. You understand that FamilySearch will collect, process, and transfer your personal information to the United States and you consent to this transfer, if applicable.”

Take a look at the Roots Tech website to connect with the live stream programs at the conference.  You can find them on the very first page you encounter.  Just click on the video image at:

2017 Roots Tech Conference

I can’t share with you any of the material of the current conference in progress, but I can share with you  a link to access the videos of the 2016 conference so you can get a flavor for what is all out there to learn from.  Roots Tech has about 29 videos that are available at:

2016 Roots Tech Videos Of Various Keynote Speeches, General Session Videos, and Genealogy Teaching Videos

I find these videos to be priceless and inspirational.  They are very high quality.  The topics can help you with your own genealogy research efforts as well as give you a peek at where genealogy is heading with the keynote speeches.

Most videos run about 1 hour.

Give at least one a try.  I don’t think you will be disappointed.  The only thing that will disappoint you is trying to figure out to squeeze in the time to view all of them!!

Consider “live streaming” participation.  Enjoy the videos.  Enjoy the experience.  This is the largest participatory genealogy conference you will ever see.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


January/February 2017 Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) Online Newsletter Available To All; 12 Pages; Many Different Topics; Archive To Previous Newsletters From 2008-2017

Hi Everyone!

ISGS LogoJust want to let you know that the January/February 2017 Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) Online Newsletter is available for you to read.  You do not need to be a member of the society in order to access this material.

You can find it here:

January/February 2017 Illinois State Genealogical Society Newsletter

Some of the things you could expect to see in this newsletter are:

  • President’s Column
  • Book Reviews
  • New Members List
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Upcoming Conference News
  • Webinars Offered by the Society
  • Governing Board Meeting Schedule
  • Calendar of Genealogy Events
  • Tips
  • Resources

Lots of good material throughout the newsletter to keep you informed on many genealogical topics applicable to the state of Illinois.  Plenty of embedded links for you to access from the PDF file of the newsletter.

You can also access the archive of previously published Illinois State Genealogical Society Newsletters from 2008-2017 at:

2008-2017 Illinois State Genealogical Society Online Newsletters

Check out the current newsletter as well as the archive of newsletters spanning 2008-2017.

You can visit the main website of the society at:

Illinois State Genealogical Society

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Newberry Library Offers Genealogy And Local History Tours And Orientations On First Saturdays Of The Month In 2017

Hi Everyone,

Newberry Library LogoMatt Rutherford, curator at the Newberry Library, has made me aware that the Newberry continues to offer an introductory genealogy orientation and tour of the Newberry on the first Saturdays of each month.

He has just provided me with an updated schedule of these events for 2017.

There are times when the library needs to change the date from the 1st Saturday of the month to the 2nd Saturday of the month.  Oftentimes it is as a result of a holiday occurring in the first week time period.  Please be aware that this can happen.  Such changes are always noted by the Newberry.

The Newberry is located at 60 West Walton in Chicago, IL.  The phone number for the Newberry is 312-255-3700.

The program/orientation on using the Newberry’s collection starts at 9:00 AM.  The initial orientation takes about 1 hour.  A short tour of the library follows the orientation.

There is no pre-registration.  There is no cost.

The program is aimed at those new to using the Newberry and those new to the genealogical process.

Here are the dates for 2017:

  • January 7, 2017  @ 9:00 AM
  • February 4, 2017 @ 9:00 AM
  • March 4, 2017 @ 9:00 AM
  • April 1, 2017 @ 9:00 AM
  • May 6, 2017 @ 9:00 AM
  • June 3, 2017 @ 9:00 AM
  • July 1, 2017  @ 9:00 AM
  • August 5, 2017 @ 9:00 AM
  • September 9, 2017 (2nd Saturday) @ 9:00 AM
  • October 7, 2017 @ 9:00 AM
  • November 4, 2017 @ 9:00 AM
  • December 2, 2017 @ 9:00 AM

Here is a text description from the Newberry website describing these kind of orientations:


9 am
Main lobby

Stop at the first floor information desk for meeting location


The Genealogy and Local History staff will introduce visitors to the Newberry and explain how to use its collections at an informal orientation. Aimed at researchers new to the library and/or new to genealogical research, the session will last approximately and hour followed by a short tour of the library. Afterwards you are welcome to begin your research in the General Reading Room where a reference librarian will be available to provide suggestions and assistance.

In order to maximize research time, please register in advance as a Newberry Reader. Click on and select “First Time Users.” Readers’ cards will be issued during the orientation.

Cost and Registration Information 

Reservations not required. Free.


Here is a link to the upcoming genealogy programs at the Newberry from their website for 2017 as of this posting:

2017 Genealogy Programs at the Newberry Program

If you have never been to the Newberry but are an experienced genealogy researcher, you may want to take advantage of these programs for 2017 to learn about the collections and resources of the Newberry.

If you are a new genealogy researcher, this orientation is also geared for you to learn how to begin your research plus you too will also learn about the Newberry and how it can  help your research.

I have placed these event dates into the Google Calendar that is also part of this blog.

Sounds like a great opportunity to visit the Newberry if you have never previously been there and then be able to get a nice orientation and tour of the facility.

Something to consider!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Will Be Offering A Special Interest Group (SIG) For Apple Mac Users That Use “Reunion” As Their Lineage Program; Saturday, February 11, 2017, From 10:30 AM To 12:30 PM At The Schaumburg Township District Library

Hi Everyone!

I just received an email notice from the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) that the next meeting of the  Reunion (Mac Lineage Software) Special Interest Group (SIG) is coming up soon.

The meeting of this SIG group will take place on Saturday, February 11, 2017, between 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM at our library, the Schaumburg Township District Library located at 130 S. Roselle Road in Schaumburg, IL.  Our library is located in the Town Square complex at the intersection of Roselle Road and Schaumburg Road.

All are welcome to attend.

Bruce Christopher of the CAGGNI group will be acting as facilitator for the group.

Here is a description of the program from the CAGGNI email:

Reunion Special Interest Group

Calling all Apple users!  Reunion is a genealogy software designed specifically for Macintosh and also available as an app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.  Learn the tips and tricks that will have you utilizing this highly regarded program to its fullest.

If you have a laptop, please bring it with you. Learning software is enhanced in a hands-on environment.

Facilitator:  Bruce Christopher

Mac users using Reunion, now is your chance to really learn a lot more about your own program from others that are also using the product.  Maybe you are already a good user of the product.  Consider sharing your skills with others using the Mac system and Reunion.

More and more computer users have been switching over to Apple products over the last few years and this includes the desktop/laptop machines as well as mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Mark your calendars for this great opportunity to really become more skilled at using an incredibly well-rated lineage product on your Macintosh.

Check out more about the CAGGNI organization itself and all that it offers.  Keep in touch with them at their website at:

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois

Enjoy the program.

Enjoy the organization.

Enjoy your software even more than you already do!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Visit The Google Calendar Of Events That Is Part Of This Blog; Calendar Is Now Updated Showing Many New Genealogy Programs In Our Area For 2017; Link To Calendar Included

Hi Everyone!

Schaumburg Township District Library

Schaumburg Township District Library

January of every year brings the proverbial “resolutions” you made to change parts of your life in the New Year.  I hope your resolutions are progressing satisfactorily, if in fact you made some.

January for me brings my own version of a “resolution”.  My “resolution” at this time of the year is always to work on my Google Calendar that is part of this blog and add as many new upcoming 2017 genealogy programs that I can discover from a variety of libraries, societies, groups and the like.

I am happy to let you know that I have been working on this calendar and in fact have added significant numbers of known 2017 upcoming programs to the calendar.

Now is the time to visit or re-visit this calendar and plan your 2017 genealogyCalendar Clip Art programs of interest to attend.  I did a rough count and came up with about 134 programs that are currently entered into the calendar for 2017 events.

But I am not done yet!

I have a few more libraries and societies I am working on to add even more programs to the calendar.

So maybe one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2017 was to attend a few more genealogy programs in our local Chicagoland metropolitan area.  Well, you can’t say that I held you up from accomplishing that goal because my calendar was looking lean with events!  No sir, you will have plenty to pick from all around our area.

You can certainly start completing your resolution by attending our library’s programs first and foremost!  But I do want you to have many more choices over many different days and times outside of our own programs!

You can find my Calendar of Local Genealogy Events via the “page” at the top of my blog home page.

Or you can get to it directly from here (scroll down a little when the link page opens to see the calendar):

Calendar of Local Genealogy Events in Tony’s Genealogy Blog At the Schaumburg Township District Library

The monthly view of the calendar is a nice way to look at it but also consider looking at it via the “Agenda” view link within the calendar.  I find this to be a nice way to scroll down chronologically to see event after event.

Check it out.

Lots of programs to pick from to help you accomplish your “resolution” to attend more genealogy programs.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“The Online Release Of Irish Civil Registration Records” By Joe Grandinetti In The December 2016/January 2017 “Internet Genealogy” Magazine

Hi Everyone!

Schaumburg Township District Library

Schaumburg Township District Library

I have just been perusing through our library’s recently received December 2016/January 2017 issue of Internet Genealogy .  In this issue is a very good article titled  “The Online Release of Irish Civil Registration Records”.  The author of the article is Joe Grandinetti.  Joe’s article highlights another major release of Irish genealogy records, in this case the Civil Registration records for births, marriages and deaths from Ireland.  About a year ago Roman Catholic Church records were also released making it that much easier for Irish researchers to dig into their past.

I have actually created a summary of the article that I am planning to include in our February 2017 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter.  However, I think this kind of data being released by Ireland affects so many researchers interested in Irish genealogy, that I thought I would also share my summary in this blog post before it will appear in the February Genealogy Newsletter of the Library.

My summary starts below after the separator line in Italics:


 irishgenealogy-logoI thought that another very good article in this December 2016/January 2017 issue of Internet Genealogy is one titled “The Online Release of Irish Civil Registration Records”.  The author of the article is Joe Grandinetti.

For those of you doing Irish research, it is important to really check out the site for this newly released material.  Previously, Roman Catholic Church records from Ireland had been released about a year ago.  This site also has a link for you to get to these records.  When you get to the site, you will see a series of tabs at the top of the page.  It is here that you will be able to see a tab for the Civil Records as well as the tab for the Church records.

You can get to this site at  The data actually started becoming available back in September 2016.   The article in this journal can give researchers a very good overall view of what the data is all about.  Here in a nutshell is the high level view of what the data consists of:

  • Newly released Civil Registration records contain 2.5 million browseable images.
  • Newly released Civil Registration records contain 12.5 individual searchable records.
  • Records are freely accessible.
  • Birth records cover 1864-1915 (only births 100 years or older allowed).
  • Marriage records cover 1882-1940 (only marriages 75 years or older allowed).
  • Death records cover 1891-1965 (only deaths 50 years or older allowed).
  • There are submission guidelines at the site to have data redacted for those who are alive today and are over 100 years old or for anyone alive today who’s marriage record is over 75 years old. They can submit the request to make the data unavailable for viewing for their records.
  • You can request copies of the records that are outside the years of what is provided at

The author suggests the following methods to best find the information you seek at the site for your Irish ancestors in the Civil Registration records:

  • Navigation and Jurisdiction
    • Access the tab at the top of the page for the Civil Records and just work your way through the clicks to get to the records.
    • It would be very helpful to know the Registration Districts of your ancestors because registration districts can cut across county lines.
    • Civil Registration District is the smallest district level to search.
    • Both parents names are required to enter into the search.
    • You do not need to always search the records if your initial results are not productive. You can browse the records by Registration District. 
    • Take advantage of wildcard searching using asterisks (*) and question marks (?) in place of letters. Asterisks for more than one letter, question marks for one letter.  The author noted that his searches were often formed this way for the surname “McGill” e.g. “m*gill”, would allow him to find “McGill”, “Mc Gill” and “Magill”.
    • If you know the Townland of your ancestor’s birth, there are some good resources to determine the Registration District. Use resources at John Grenham’s website at  Also check out another resource at to find Registration Districts.
  • Dates in the Records – Take Them with a Grain of Salt
    • Estimated that 10-15% of people did not bother to register vital events for the first couple of decades after the requirement.
    • Compliance improved by the 1880s.
    • Dates in the records for events may actually not be accurate because there are fines associated for late filings. Hence, registrations often showed dates that were within the guidelines but did not reflect actual date of the event.  You can often determine this by looking at the Church records for the same events showing different (actual) dates of the event versus the date for the event in the civil records that would not include a date causing a fine.
  • The Separation of Church and State
    • A child’s birthdate in the equivalent baptism record for Catholics often is more accurate than the date registered in the civil records. The accuracy would reflect the religious belief of having a child baptized very soon after birth and thus recorded accurately so in case of death of the child, the child would be able to enter Heaven having been baptized.
    • The author did a study of his own ancestor’s birth/baptism record dates and noted that there are variances of anywhere from 24 days to 159 days between what baptism records showed for the “birthdate” versus what the civil registration records showed for the birth date. Be aware of these variances and don’t always put 100% accuracy in your own ancestors’ dates.
  • Other Information in the Civil Records
    • Births
      • Place of Birth
      • Maiden name of mother
      • Occupation of father
      • Informant’s Name and Residence
    • Marriages
      • Place of Marriage
      • Ages and Residences of couple
      • Names of the Couple’s fathers
      • Witnesses
    • Deaths
      • Place of Death
      • Age
      • Occupation
      • Cause of Death
      • Informant’s Residence
      • Informant’s relationship to deceased
    • Summary
      • Visit to start accessing the newly release Civil Registration data.
      • Consult the Civil Registration indexes as needed.
      • Access the tools at John Grenham’s website or at to locate the Civil Registration District.
      • Compare your Civil Registration finds to church baptisms/christening, marriage and death records using resources such as and
      • Review all of the information in the civil registration data, not just the event dates.


For those doing Irish research, this is another goldmine of information to tap into.  Always consider browsing records in a geographic area you believe equates to that of an ancestor when you are not finding the information by searching.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“What’s New At January 2017” 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 January 2017 video posted from that is titled “What’s New At January 2017”.

The video is an approximate 16 minute production hosted by Crista Cowan of who provides the viewers with updates on what new things users of should be aware of.

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

Topics covered in this video by Crista are:

  • Upcoming Conferences –  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 – has released about 86 million new records that are identified as marriage records for a variety of states.  The states identified and the date span of these records are as follows:Colorado, 1862-2006
    Oregon 1851-1975
    Maine 1670-1921
    District of Columbia 1810-1953
    New Jersey 1670-1965
    Connecticut 1620-1926
    Kentucky 1783-1965
    Michigan 1822-1940
    Pennsylvania 1845-1963
    Kansas 1811-1911
    Alabama 1805-1967
    Ohio 1774-1993
    Illinois 1800-1940
    Texas 1817-1965
    New York 1847-1849, 1907-1936
    North Dakota 1877-1929
    Indiana 1810-2001
    Florida 1823-1982(Sorry, they are not in alphabetical order on the YouTube Video)

    These records have been provided to from FamilySearch.  The data consist of a searchable index to names but there are no links to images of the original records from within

    You can expect to  find the name of the person, age at marriage, marriage date, spouse name, marriage place, name of parents (these can vary).

    Your best bet is to search the individual databases rather than the entirety of the collection.  Search the card catalog using the search term of “marriage” or “marriages” to find these newly added state databases of marriages when you also look at the “Sort by Date Added” selection.

    Crista did emphasize to scroll down to the end of the card catalog database description and look to see the link to FamilySearch that will take you to the FamilySearch Wikipedia entry for the database for a full description of what is all contained and what is not included.  The database description is basic highlighting what is contained in the database.  See the FamilySearch description for a complete description.

  • 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 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 site.

I also did a search on YouTube looking for similarly titled videos and did discover that there are many “What’s New At” 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

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

“What’s New At” 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 and where they are located.

Because so many of us use, 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  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