Category Archives: Tips

“What’s New At Ancestry.com February 2015″ 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 February 2015 video posted from Ancestry.com that is titled “What’s New At Ancestry.com February 2015″.

The video is an approximate 28 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 – Roots Tech 2015 and Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) (Combined Conferences), February 12 to 14, 2015, Salt Lake City, UT (Just Ended); National Genealogical Society (NGS) Annual Conference, May 13-16, 2015 at St. Charles, Missouri; Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, June 4-7, 2015, Burbank, CA, www.genealogyjamboree.com.
  • Updated Product – Ancestry DNA now has over 700,000 submissions; also, Ancestry DNA is now available in the United Kingdom and Ireland to allow potential cousins of yours to submit their DNA for matching.
  • Updated Service – The Barefoot Genealogist (Crista Cowan)  program that is part of Ancestry.com will only be airing once per week instead of twice per week.  Program will be “live” on Tuesdays and once completed will be available at the Ancestry.com YouTube Channel for viewing.  A live viewing can be seen of Crista at 1 PM (eastern) on Tuesday via LiveStream at http://livestream.com.
  • New Databases – many German databases recently added of various record content numbers.
  • New Databases – Some individual state passenger list databases added for Alabama, Indiana and Colorado.
  • 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 spent a good time on this video noting 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

Videos From Recent RootsTech 2015 Conference Are Now Available Online; Link Included In This Post For 2015 RootsTech Videos

Hi Everyone!

RootsTech 2014 LogoYou know I am a big believer in online training sessions to further educate yourself as a genealogy researcher.

I am happy to announce that online video sessions from the recently held 2015 RootsTech conference that was held in Salt Lake City, Utah are now available from the RootsTech web site.  There are currently 7 videos available in total for you to view.

It is possible that there may be even more videos from the conference posted in the next few weeks.  You will want to check back to see if more than the 7 I saw have been added.

If you cannot attend these large-scale conferences, then it is a great pleasure to be able to see online a smattering of the programs that were held.  By no means is what is made available online representative of the total amount of overall programs presented over three days, but it is sure great to see a good amount of the material.

You will find the following topics and the named presenter from the online videos from the recently held 2015 conference from RootsTech below:

  • “Opening Keynote Speech” by Dennis Brimhall, Mike Malin and Tan Le
  • “Thirty Pieces of Tech I Can’t Live Without” by D. Joshua Taylor
  • “You’ve Mastered the Census and Basic Research, Now What?” by Karen Auman
  • “What’s New At FamilySearch” by Devin Ashby
  • “Getting Started in Genetic Genealogy” by Diahan Southard
  • “Building A Genealogy Research Toolbox” by Thomas MacEntee
  • “Bring Your Ancestor Back To The Future” by Anne Leishman

You can see  the programs themselves directly at the RootsTech website at:

2015 RootsTech Annual Conference Online Videos

Spend some time and really enjoy these and come away even more motivated.  Most videos are generally at least 1 hour in length.  Some Keynote videos are from about 70 minutes to 90 minutes.  Some of the presenter programs are about 40 minutes.

Sometimes it is good to take a step back and take a look at the “big picture” in the world of genealogy.  The above programs seem to do that very thing, especially when you view the “keynote” speeches.  It is important to know what is ahead for us down our genealogical research paths.  What are the “new” things that will make our research faster, easier, intuitive, collaborative, more accurate, and with fewer errors.

I always get a good feeling about the RootsTech Annual Conference.  I have not attended any of the previously held conferences, but I still feel very connected through their site and these fabulous videos that are educational and inspirational!

I am very happy to say the new set of videos are at your fingertips via the RootsTech website indicated at the above link.

So if you want to have an approximate 7 hour “marathon” weekend viewing RootsTech videos, you can easily do so through the above link.  Sounds like a good thing to do on these still cold and snowy February days!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“Who Do You Think You Are?” New Episodes To Return Sunday March 8, 2015 At 9:00 PM Central Time On Cable Station TLC; All 8 Episodes Have Been Identified As To Who Is The Celebrity Star

Hi Everyone!

Who Do You Think You Are?I just saw in a recent Dick Eastman blog post that the “new” 8 episodes of “Who Do You Think You Are” will be airing starting on Sunday evening, March 8, 2015 at 9 PM Central time on cable station TLC.

Also, all of the “celebrity” stars and their genealogical stories have been identified for these new episodes.  The dates of the programs as well as which celebrity that is the “star” have been noted.

Here are the air dates and the stars that will be appearing in the new episodes starting on Sunday evening, March 8, 2015 at 9 PM central time:

  • March 8 Julie Chen
  • March 15 Josh Groban
  • March 22 Angie Harmon
  • March 29 Sean Hayes
  • April 5 Tony Goldwyn
  • April 12 America Ferrera
  • April 19 Bill Paxton
  • April 26 Melissa Etheridge

You can visit the TLC cable channel for “Who Do You Think You Are?” at:

TLC; Who Do You Think You Are?

You can even watch some of the full episodes of the show at the TLC website above from the original creation of the shows when they were on NBC.

If you miss seeing the original airing and you don’t DVR it, you will probably be able to view those episodes only by purchasing them from iTunes.

Get ready for a new set of genealogy TV shows!  Watch the show as it is occurring when it is originally shown to help with good ratings.  If you can’t watch it live, then plan to DVR the show for a future viewing.

Get ready for March 8, 2015 and the return with new episodes of “Who Do You Think You Are?”

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Using the Ancestry.com Card Catalog (Also In The Library Edition Of Ancestry.com); Nice YouTube Video To Help You Learn More About This Powerful Resource; You Can View The Video Right In This Blog Post

Hi Everyone!

ancestry-logoYou may remember that at our most recent genealogy program at our library on the evening of February 10, 2015, our guest speaker spent some time making us aware of the “card catalog” feature that exists both in a personal subscription to Ancestry.com as well as in the Library edition of that product.

At the Ancestry.com home page, click on the “search” box on the right which will take you to the search page.  Do not start searching immediately!  Hover your cursor over the “Search”Tab at the top of the page.  You will see a drop down menu.  The “card catalog” is the last item in the list.

The card catalog does what it implies.  It is a database that contains all of the Ancestry.com genealogy databases.  It can be searched by your keywords so you can discover what databases might exist for your own research needs.  If you were interested in what databases might exist that could help your Polish research, you could do a search of the card catalog maybe using search terms such as “Poland” or “Polish” to see what exists at a high level for the country.

I also like finding a database of interest and then selecting it individually to do your searching.  This can allow you to get “hits” in numbers that are not overwhelming because the hits are limited to just that database.  Sometimes this may seem meaningless to search in this manner but your hits are only in a specific database of interest.

You can also view the components of the card catalog by using other filters.  You can view the contents of the card catalog by:

  • Popularity (default)
  • By Title of the Database
  • By Date Updated
  • By Date Added
  • By Record Count

You can easily determine which databases have recently been added by viewing them by “Date Added”; you can see which databases have been recently updated by viewing them by “Date Updated”; you can the databases presented in alphabetical order by “Title of the Database”; you can see the databases in order of number of records contained within the databases from highest count to lowest by “Record Count”.

Knowing what has been added and what has been updated is a good way to make your research searches more meaningful rather than just using the basic search template over and over and expecting different results.  Know that a database has been added that connects to your  own research is important.  Know that a database you have previously used has been updated is important to know because there may be more records in it that now apply to your research.  Knowing that a database contains only 500 records when using the “By Record Count” filter can help you understand that your chances of discovering something on your ancestors might be limited simply because the base number is so small.

I also noticed that there is a nice YouTube video on the Ancestry.com YouTube channel that speaks to the very issue of the card catalog.  I feel knowing about the Ancestry card catalog is important because it can make your searching more productive.  I think you will like this 31 minute video.

You can view this video right here:

I am so glad that our recent speaker made note of this Ancestry.com feature at our program via her PowerPoint slide.  I too believe it is important for genealogy researchers to know that this feature not only exists in Ancestry.com but to know how to use it to their research advantage.

Enjoy the above nice Ancestry.com teaching video on their Card Catalog.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, CG Will Be Bringing In Copies Of Her Recently Published Book For Sale At Our February 10, 2015 Genealogy Program; She Will Be Offering A Special Discount To Those In Attendance

Hi Everyone!

STDL Central Summer LgI just want to let you know that our upcoming guest presenter for our February 10, 2015 Genealogy Program, Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, CG, will be bringing copies of her recently published book for sale to our audience.  Her book is titled Guide to Hanover Military Records, 1514-1866, on Microfilm at the Family History Library.

The book normally retails for $44.95.  However, Teresa has indicated that she will be offering the book at a significant discount to anyone in the audience that would like to purchase it that night from her.

If you would be interested in making a purchase, please bring cash or a check.  Credit cards cannot be processed at this time by the speaker.

For anyone doing German research with a connection to the Hanover area of Germany, this may be a very useful book for your research into ancestors that may have been connected to the military of that area.  The book is a 468 page guide that identifies all of the Family History Library films that can be useful for this kind of research.

The amount of detail provided of the components of each applicable film is overwhelming.  The researcher can use all of this descriptive information to narrow in on an applicable film resource to assist in the research.

This is one of those books that would be an incredibly helpful tool to permanently have by your computer or in your personal library collection if you are doing Hanover, Germany military research.

The book will be available to you at our program for a significant discount from Teresa.  Cash or check only to the speaker.

You can also visit a website created by Teresa that has much more information about the book she will be bringing for sale.  You can find out more regarding excerpts from the book, reviews and some information about the author at:

http://www.hanovermilitary.com/

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“What’s New At Ancestry.com January 2015″ 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 2015 video posted from Ancestry.com that is titled “What’s New At Ancestry.com January 2015″.

The video is an approximate 30 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 – Roots Tech 2015 and Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) (Combined Conferences), February 12 to 14, 2015, Salt Lake City, UT; National Genealogical Society (NGS) Annual Conference, May 13-16, 2015 at St. Charles, Missouri; Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, June 4-7, 2015, Burbank, CA, www.genealogyjamboree.com.
  • New Product – FindAGrave Mobile App for Android.
  • Updated Product – Ancestry.com Mobile App for iOS that now has a simplified merge records function.  You can also now edit records in the merge process.
  • Updated Service – The Barefoot Genealogist (Crista Cowan)  program that is part of Ancestry.com will only be airing once per week instead of twice per week.  Program will be “live” on Tuesdays and once completed will be available at the Ancestry.com YouTube Channel for viewing.  A live viewing can be seen of Crista at 1 PM (eastern) on Tuesday via LiveStream at http://livestream.com.
  • New Database – West Yorkshire, England, Select Tax Records, 1704-1932.  Contains about 3.9 million records.  Indexed and searchable with images.
  • New Database – Oregon Biographical and Other Index Card File, 1700s to 1900s.  Contains about 185,000 records.  This is a collection of indexes to other resources where Oregon biographical may exist on particular individuals.  Searchable via index with images to cards that might contain detailed information as well as a direction to other resource on the individual.
  • New Database – Jamaica Civil Births Registration, 1878-1930.  Contains 4.5 million records.  Indexed and searchable.  Index only record information.  I did not see that actual images of the original records are available.
  • New Database – Iowa State Census, 1905.  Contains 1.4 million records.  Indexed and searchable.  Index only record information.  I did not see that actual images of the original records are available.
  • New Database – Norway Select Census, 1875.  Contains 330,000 records.  Indexed and searchable.  Database was unavailable when I was writing this.  Not sure if original images are available to see or if the text index data is only present.  Data is in Norwegian.
  • New Database – Messina, Civil Registration, Italy.  Contains 920,000 records.  Not indexed.  Records are only browseable.  Can select from a list of Italian towns in the Messina area.  Then you can select the kind of record for that town to browse.  Records are in Italian.
  • 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 spent a good time on this video noting 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 2 Of Genealogy Roadshow Back On Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) On Tuesday Evenings At 10 PM Chicago Time On Local WTTW; Plan To Watch The January 20, 2015 Program To See A Participant Connected To The Northwest Suburbs Present Their Story

Hi Everyone,

Genealogy Roadshow PBS LogoJust a reminder to all of you that 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

Please take a look especially at the upcoming January 20, 2015 program.  I have been told that there is a local suburban connection that will be part of the program.  Someone local to our area will be appearing on the show with their story that has to do with the Confederacy, New Orleans and the Civil War.

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

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

Feel even more connected to someone local to our own area and the story they will tell about their own personal genealogical mystery.

Don’t miss this show!!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library