Category Archives: Tips

The April-June 2019 Issue Of NGS Magazine Has A Theme On Lineage Societies; Multiple Articles In The Issue About All Things Lineage Societies; Magazine Is On Our Magazine Shelves On 2nd Floor Of Our Library; Lineage Society Links Included

Hi Everyone!

Recently I have been working on future programs and future speakers.  One of the topics I had in mind was to have a program on lineage societies.  I did find someone and we have such a program scheduled for April 2020.

At the same time this was unfolding, I did notice that a recent issue of the NGS Magazine that we receive as part of membership with the National Genealogical Society did have a themed issue focusing on lineage societies.  Societies such as the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) @ the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) @ the Mayflower Society @  are examples of societies that can be joined if your research proves out a connection to an ancestor that is connected to the specifics of a particular society.

The particular issue where these articles reside is the NGS Magazine, April-June 2019, Volume 45, Number 2.  The magazine is one we have in our magazine collection.  You can find it on the 2nd floor of our library on the Magazine shelves.

Perhaps your research could qualify you to become a member of a lineage society based on the discoveries of your ancestors and their lives.  This recent publication could certainly help you better understand what are the existing lineage societies and what are they all about.

Here are some of the article titles in this issue on the topic of lineage societies:

  • “Lineage Societies: Leaving a Legacy for Future Generations” by Kimberly Ormsby Nagy, MD, PLCGS
  • “A History of Changes in DAR Documentation Requirements” by Sarah Louise Sukol
  • “Making Discoveries in Lineage Society Resources” by Shelley K. Bishop
  • “Evolving Genealogical Evidence: DNA and Lineage Societies” by Jennifer Zinck
  • “The History of American Lineage Societies” by Kathy Petlewski, MSLS

The article titled “Making Discoveries in Lineage Society Resources” includes a nice list of some of the lesser known lineage societies.  Some of these are:

Maybe you qualify for membership in a lineage society but you simply are unaware of the existence of a lineage society that connects to your own ancestors.

This is a great issue containing material on a theme that maybe researchers are simply not aware of.  Now is your chance to learn a lot more about lineage societies.  This issue plus our upcoming April 2020 program at the library might just open the opportunity for you to connect to such a society as a result of the efforts of your own research.

Check out the article in the NGS Magazine mentioned above.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library



Saturday, November 9, 2019 Family History Fair At 1 PM ; “Photography And Genealogy”; Maureen Taylor “The Photo Detective” Will Be Featured Presenter (Via Webinar); Two Additional Programs Offered

Hi Everyone!

Maureen Taylor

I just received notice of an upcoming Family History Fair that will take place on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 1 pm at the Geneva Ward Building of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints church located at 429 Old Kirk Road in Geneva, IL.

The topic for the day is “Photography and Genealogy”

Maureen Taylor,  known as “The Photo Detective”,  will be the featured presenter starting at 1 pm via an online webinar.

After her presentation there will be a short break with free refreshments.

At 2;15 pm there will be two additional presentations onsite that you can pick from:

  • “Photos and Family Search” presented by Ellen Sorenson
  • “History and Photo Restoration” presented by Andrew Sidelman

The program organizers are asking that if you are interested in participating in the Family History Fair that you register your intent with them for planning purposes.  You can register via the website they have created for this event that you can reach at:

November 9, 2019 Family History Fair on “Photography and Genealogy” Featuring Maureen Taylor “The Photo Detective” (Via Webinar)

I also received a flyer for the event that you can look at here:

Flyer For The November 9, 2019 Family History Fair On “Photography and Genealogy” Featuring Maureen Taylor “The Photo Detective”

Every now and then I become aware of a Family History Fair being offered at a local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Have not seen one in a few years so it is refreshing to hear about this.  Also previous fairs have been at one of the local Family History Centers.  This one is out in Geneva, IL.

Check out the website.  Check out the flyer.  It is really a big event when Maureen Taylor is the featured presenter.  She knows her stuff about interpreting photos and how they can help advance your genealogy research!

If you are interested, don’t forget to register yourself with the group so they can plan better for the turnout.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“Try-It! Illinois 2019” Free Database Access Available From October 1, 2019 Through November 30, 2019; Request Log-In ID/Password From Illinois Secretary Of State; Approximately 50 Genealogy And Family History Databases Available To Try

Hi Everyone!

Try It Illinois LogoThe Illinois Secretary of State makes available on an annual basis access to a variety of electronic databases that are available for libraries to add to their collection for a fee.  Trying the databases can give the user feedback as to whether the database is good and useful to that user.

The Illinois Secretary of State calls the trial “Try-It! Illinois 2019”.

The Illinois Secretary of State will provide you with a Log In ID and Password that will allow you to visit the databases and give them a test run to see if there is material of interest to you.  If you find a database of interest that your local library is currently not subscribing to you can then provide your input to that library to see if the database access can be obtained by that library for ongoing use.

You can go to the site where Try-It Illinois 2019 information can be found.  At this site you can also submit a request to obtain a Log-In ID and Password that will allow you access to the databases available during the trial.  Here is the site to begin your trial access to a multitude of databases:

Try-It! Illinois 2019

This trial is open to users from October 1, 2019 through November 30, 2019.

Here is a little write-up at the Try-It Illinois 2019 website describing more about this Try-It Illinois 2019 access:

About Try-It!

Welcome to Try-It! Illinois 2019, the nineteenth annual statewide database trial, sponsored by Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White and the Illinois State Library. Try-It! Illinois offers the staffs and library users of the more than 5,000 ILLINET member libraries the opportunity to survey and evaluate a wide variety of electronic resources. Thanks to the partnerships between the Illinois State Library and the participating electronic resource vendors, there is no charge for accessing these databases during Try-It! Illinois.

Note: We ask that you not post the Try-It! Illinois login and password on the Internet, on Web sites or in publicly archived e-newsletters.

Once I logged in to the trial, I was able to select the “subject” category and it presented me with a list of subjects one of them being “Genealogy and Family History”.  I think selecting the “subject” category will be your best manner of looking for databases rather than the other categories.  Within that category I saw there was a list of 50 databases that had been categorized with this grouping.  You can select a database of interest that will get you to the provider of the database.  With a few more clicks you will ultimately get yourself to the database to actually try it out.

Some of the databases within this list are databases our library currently subscribes to such as America’s Obituaries and Death Notices, Fold3, Historical Chicago Tribune, Historical New York Times.  Many of the databases on the surface are named in a manner that would make you wonder how it got categorized as a genealogy type database!  e.g. “Films on Demand”.  But, nonetheless, it is in the list of 50 databases.  Many seem to be more “pure” history databases and not so much genealogy databases as we are more familiar with.  But at least the “subject” category narrows down your choices over and above the hundreds of databases made available overall.

I did notice that there are trial databases for the Digital Sanborn Maps and for, databases we do not subscribe to.

You also have access to the hundreds of other databases available during the trial, not just the genealogy databases.  The list of databases will be presented to you in alphabetical order by name (Product).  You can also look at the list by “Company” or “Library Type” or by “Subject” as I did to find the Local History and Genealogy Databases. ( I recommend using the “Subject” method to find databases of interest within a subject category.)

So just head on out to the Try-It! Illinois link I provided above and submit your request to obtain a Log In ID and Password from the Illinois Secretary of State to begin accessing this multitude of databases, 50 of which are identified as being Genealogy and Family History oriented.

We should give a big “thank you” to Jessie White, the Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian for making this access available for trial on a recurring basis each year for a rather lengthy period.  This trial is open from October 1, 2019 to November 30, 2019.

Check out the databases, especially ones that you have not previously accessed or even knew about.  There are literally hundreds and hundreds of databases to sample across a myriad of subjects.  You have access to all of these not just the 50 databases categorized as being for Genealogy and Family History.

See what you think.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

RootsTech 2020; February 26-29, 2020 In Salt Lake City; View At Least 266 Video Presentations From 2015-2019 RootsTech Conferences

Hi Everyone!

RootsTech 2020 is still a ways off in February 2020.  RootsTech is all about Family History and the aspects of technology with genealogy.  It is probably the largest genealogical conference that occurs annually in the genealogy world.  The RootsTech Wikipedia entry notes that attendance for the 2018 conference was estimated to be 28,000.  That includes actual attendance through the entire conference onsite as well as those that participated via streaming of more and more programs the conference is offering to those that are not able to make it to the actual conference.

That is an astounding number!

You can see what is all on the drawing board for RootsTech 2020 at:

RootsTech 2020

I have always been a big fan of this annual conference.  I have never attended it onsite.  Nor have I participated via any of the streaming programs you can access from offsite.

For me, I believe the recorded programs that are offered after the conference is done have been the attraction.  There could be hundreds of programs offered, but only a relative few (20?) may have been made available to view online.  And the programs online were only available for a short period of time before being removed for access.  If you missed out viewing something of interest, you usually had to wait until the buzz started for the next conference when RootsTech would start making some of the recorded programs available again.

The quality of the videos in addition to the skill of the speakers and the topics have been outstanding.  Most programs are at least 45 to 60 minutes in length.

I just happened to be visiting the RootsTech 2020 website and happened to notice something I had not previously seen.  There are about 266 videos covering the RootsTech programs from 2015-2019 are now available for viewing.

The videos are categorized as:

  • Keynote Speakers
  • Sessions
  • Innovators
  • Sessions for Latter-day Saints/(Mormon Focused)

Videos run the gamut from Keynote addresses from “star” people to top of the line programs on various genealogy topics!  I have never seen RootsTech have so many videos available at one time so far in advance of the next conference in February 2020!

Here is a link to those 266 Videos from RootsTech:

Videos From RootsTech 2015-2019

The 2019 available videos are at the top of the list on the first web page.  Scroll down to see videos from 2018. 2017, 2016 and 2015.

I don’t know if they will only be up and available for a short time.  Probably worth checking them out soon in case they disappear until 2020.  I sure hope they stay because I think being able to see them year round keeps people tuned into what RootsTech is all about all year long.

I do not think you will be disappointed viewing these high quality and informative videos!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


“NEW” Entertaining And Informative Teaching Genealogy Video From GenealogyMagazine.Com; Think Of Monty Python; Thank You James Pylant!; Links Included For Previously Produced Genealogy Videos By James Pylant

Hi Everyone!

Back in October 2017 and in May 2018 I made a blog post about some very informative and hilarious “mini videos” that were created by James Pylant.  For those of you that go back to the 1960s and 1970s think “Monty Python” to grasp the style of humor and entertainment.

Here is a link to another original video from James Pylant:

August 2019 Blog Posting Of James Pylant Monty Python-like Genealogy Video On “The Private Family Tree”

The video is really, really, informative and funny at the same time, a difficult accomplishment to say the least.  It runs about 3 minutes and 32 seconds.

Looking at this video really made my day.  I am still smiling about what I saw and still remembering the major “lesson” to be learned from within the subject covered in this video.

I am sure you can all relate to getting a “match” to your DNA testing and only discovering non-exisiting family history information for you to use as a tool to determine how you are related.  Well, James feels the same and the video shares the frustrations we have with our matches!

Here are the links to some of the genealogical videos previously created by James Pylant:

#1), Episode 1, “Courthouse Research”

#2), Episode 2, “Family Bible Records”

#3), Episode 3, “Diaries and Journals”

#4) Episode 4: Longevity Lies (4 mins)

#5) Episode 5: Graphology for Genealogists (4;30)

#6) Episode 6: Celebrity Research Pitfalls (5:24)

#7) Episode 7: Interlibrary Loan (4:57)

#8) “Titanic Widow: The Mystery of Addie Bracken” by James Pylant

“Sometimes our research efforts create more stress than we can imagine.  These videos will help alleviate that tension and also give you some insights to improve your genealogy research skills.”

“View the videos … enjoy … get tense again …. view the videos again … and again … and again!  Smiles and laughs will soon follow!”

Thank you for the creative and informative work done by James Pylant, editor of  Check out at:

Thank you James Pylant for sharing links with me to all of the incredibly entertaining yet informative videos.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

We Have Added Material For Elgin, IL Area Obituaries To Our Reference Collection; Contains Both Online And Print Index Of Deaths; Can View The Material But Cannot Check It Out

Hi Everyone,

Schaumburg Township District Library

Our Local History Librarian Jane Rozek made our library aware of some newly donated material about Elgin, IL Area Obituaries that has been added to our Reference Collection.

The obituaries cover the time period from the mid- 1970s to 2011 so they are obviously more current than older which can be a good thing.

There is an online index of surnames contained in this Elgin Area Obituary data.  Included in the index are only the names of the DECEASED person and not the names of others that may have been mentioned in the obituary as survivors.

Here is a link to the online index.

Elgin, IL  Area Obituaries Mid 1970s to 2011

Search the online index for the surname of interest.  Find the one you want.  Note the “page number” for the associated obituary in our Reference Volumes.  Call in to our Reference Desk with the surname of interest and more importantly, the “page number”.  A reference librarian can then find the obituary for you in the massive printed set of volumes of the obituary material from the Elgin Courier News newspaper by the associated page number.

Select “Browse Documents” in the online index first web page.
Select “Surname and Obituary Indexes” from the 2nd web page
Select “Elgin Area Obituaries from the 3rd web page.

Elgin Area Obituaries 1970s To 2011 Print Volumes 2nd Floor Reference

If you are in our library and want to use this material head on up to the 2nd floor and go to the “Ask Us” desk and ask for Reference.  The massive binders of both the surname index and the obituaries themselves are available at that desk.

Here is the internal email that Jane Rozek sent to us informing us of this nice resource, especially for those of you that may have had ancestors in the Elgin, IL area whose obituaries may have been listed in the Elgin Courier News that is the source for these obituaries for the time period noted above:


Hello Everyone,

Our library has a new multi-volume addition called Elgin Area Obituaries that was compiled by a local gentleman.

These obituaries stretch from the mid-1970s to 2011. He collected them largely from the Elgin Courier-News and other Elgin newspapers. We do have access to the Courier-News on the Access World News database but only back to 1997. That’s what makes this collection so unique.

He also created his own alphabetical index to all of the obits.

Patrons or librarians can also access the Index on our library’s Local History Digital Archive.

>Browse Documents

>Surname and Obituary Indexes

>Elgin Area Obituaries


Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


A big thank you to Jane Rozek for obtaining this wonderful material on Elgin, IL area obituaries from the mid-1970s to 2011.

Take advantage of this resource if you have Elgin, IL area ancestors during the time period noted.  Use the online index link noted above to make your discoveries.  Give us a call at our main number of 847-985-4000 and ask for the Reference Desk who can help you with finding the obituary from the “page number” you found in the online index.

Or just come on in to our library, head up to the 2nd floor Reference Desk and ask the librarian to use the massive print index for the obituary material to make your discoveries.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Offers DNA Special Interest Group (SIG) On Saturday August 10, 2019 From 10:30 AM To 12:30 PM At NIU Conference Center In Hoffman Estates, IL

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, August 10, 2019 from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM at the NIU Conference Center at 5555 Trillium Blvd. in Hoffman Estates, IL.

This program is open to all.  You do not have to be a member of the CAGGNI group in order to participate.

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


DNA Special Interest Group

CAGGNI’s genomic genealogy group continues into its fourth year. This group focuses on learning the methods for analyzing DNA test results. We study topics such as 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 often combine lectures with interactive workshop-style activities and/or extensive Q&A periods.

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

SIG Leads Dr. David Stumpf and Alan Wilson

For more information: DNA Special Interest Group

Best regards,


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