Category Archives: Tips

National Library of Ireland Adds Catholic Parish Registers Online For Free That Can Go Back As Far As The 1740s; Use The Maps At The Site To Find Parishes Within Ireland When You Do Not Know The Parish Name

Hi Everyone!

National Library of Ireland LogoIf you are doing Irish research on Catholic ancestors in Ireland, you may want to definitely take a look at some recently released free online database of Catholic Parishes in Ireland.  Data contained in this database can go back as far as the 1740s and continues through around the 1880’s.  The data is free through the National Library of Ireland.  You don’t need to register to access it.

Here is a link to the site that you can access the online data:

National Library of Ireland Online Catholic Parish Registers

Here is a quote from Dick Eastman’s blog post about the topic back on July 8, 2015:

The National Library of Ireland in Dublin today (Wednesday) has placed the entire collection of Catholic parish register microfilms held by the National Library of Ireland (NLI) online. Involved are over 370,000 digital images of the microfilm reels on which the parish registers are recorded and which will be accessible free of charge.

These parish register records are considered the single most important source of information on Irish family history prior to the 1901 Census. Dating from the 1740s to the 1880s, they cover 1,086 parishes throughout the island of Ireland, and consist primarily of baptismal and marriage records. The NLI has been working to digitise the microfilms for over three years under what is had described as its most ambitious digitisation programme to date.

The parish registers provide evidence of direct links between one generation and the next (via baptismal registers) and one family and another (via marriage registers). The NLI holds copies of the registers for most Roman Catholic parishes in Ireland (including the counties of Northern Ireland) up to 1880. These registers consist primarily of baptism and marriage records.

WOW! If you are doing Irish research on Roman Catholic ancestors it sure looks like you have struck a gold mine to access these Catholic Parish records images online and for free. Use the above link to get access to the site at the National Library of Ireland and the images.

Please note. The data is just the images of generally Births and Marriages, some going back to the 1740s. This means that you will not be able to do an indexed search of the names of your ancestors within the data. To make this data more meaningful to you it would help greatly that you have localized a location in Ireland of your ancestors and then determine the Parish associated with the area. You can simply input the parish name into the search box if you know the name.

There are 1,142 Parishes in the data. You can click your way through some maps at the site if you know that general location of your ancestors in Ireland based on the map and then click down even further to see the Parishes included. If you think you are in the right geographic area you can then click on the Parish you may want to explore. This is the best way to find an approximate parish of an ancestor if you know a general geographic area in which they lived. The general clickable maps are a great resource and really make it easy for you to get to the Parish of possibility without having to know the name of the Parish.

When you click on a Parish name from within the map you will be taken to a part of the site that gives you some microfilm information about the records e.g. Parish Name within the County Name, Microfilm Number, Number of images, Dates of the records included, other suggested resources to look at. If you click on the image of the film you will gain access to the images to view. You can magnify, download, print, increase brightness, decrease brightness, increase contrast and many other tools to help you navigate and improve the readability of the image.

Like any other microfilm, you will be at the mercy of the handwriting itself from the original document. But at least you will not be dealing with a foreign language of document images if English is your language! I clicked through some and yes some may be easier to read than others. But that is research! Sometimes your ancestors are just jumping off the page at you with very readable writing. Sometimes, they are saying “not so easy buddy, work a little harder!”.

Remember that you are not using the resource with a searchbox for a name search. You are using the resource as an online microfilm reader with the ability to select the specific parish of interest and its records. This is valuable “free” data that can be of great importance to you in your research even if you have to look at the data as just images. I guarantee if you make that magic discovery of an ancestor you will be doing a “happy dance” plus you will have really sharpened your own research skills when accessing non-indexed data.

Check out this valuable resource for your Irish Catholic research. You won’t be sorry.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

 

New Episode Of “Who Do You Think You Are?” On Sunday Evening, August 2, 2015, At 8 PM Central Time On TLC; J. K. Rowling Is The Featured “Star” Of The Research

Hi Everyone!

Who Do You Think You Are?I just want to let you know that a new episode for “Who Do You Think You Are?” will be airing on the cable channel TLC on Sunday evening, August 2, 2015, at 8 PM Central time.

The new episode for this new season will feature author J. K. Rowling.

You can see an “encore” presentation at 7 PM of the episode featuring Ginnifer Goodwin that previously aired on July 26, 2015.

Previously, when the show was on NBC, they dedicated a portion of their website to the show so that you could always get updates on the show.  TLC appears to be doing the same for this show as it unfolds during this season.  You can find the information for the show on TLC at:

“Who Do You Think You Are?” Website At TLC

TLC is actually making available a few of the previously aired shows in their full run time at the TLC site.  So you can actually watch some full episodes without having to go to iTunes to make purchases of previously aired shows.

Make sure you mark down the date and time and plan to watch the “new” episode in its original airing rather than at a later time if you can.  (Ratings are important for continuity of this wonderful show!)  Last year if you did not watch the original airing or did not DVR the show, your alternative was to purchase a copy from iTunes to catch up on shows missed and not recorded by yourself.

Now is the time to get the buzz going and to reconnect with some TV help and entertainment to motivate you in your own genealogical research efforts.

Mark your calendar for Sunday evening, August 2, 2015 at 8 PM Central Time on TLC on cable and see what has been discovered about author J. K. Rowling.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Don’t Forget To Take Advantage Of Accessing “Ancestry Academy” If You Have An “All Access” Subscription To Ancestry.com

Hi Everyone!

ancestry-logoJust a reminder to all of you that are personally subscribed to Ancestry.com’s “All Access” subscription.  This subscription gives you access to all of the data at Ancestry.com in addition to providing you access to Newspapers.com, Fold3.com and Ancestry Academy.

With “All Access” you have access to additional searchable databases such as Newspapers.com and Fold3.com.

Do not forget that you also have access to Ancestry Academy, a wonderful online video learning experience.  These online tutorials are tremendous learning tools on an incredible amount of varied genealogical topics.  Plus, if you have already subscribed as an “All Access” customer, you have in essence already paid for these so why not take advantage of all that is there.

I just today received an email from Ancestry Academy letting me know that there are now 4 more new courses you can view online.

New courses noted as of today are:

  • “Mysteries of Manuscripts” taught by Pamela Boyer Sayre
  • “Tracing French-Canadian Ancestors and Telling Their Stories” taught by David Ouimette
  • “How Do I Know When I Am Right?” taught by Anne Gillespie Mitchell
  • “Seek and Ye Shall Find: Become An Ancestry Search Expert” taught by Anne Gillespie Mitchell

Ancestry Academy currently has 5 featured programs.  In addition, there are 23 other programs among four different subjects for you to choose from.

Ancestry Academy also indicates that there are 9 more courses currently in development.

These are polished programs led by very knowledgeable individuals with great presentation skills.  Each course is broken down by topics within the overall presentation.  You can start viewing at the beginning and the subsequent topics will start automatically after completion of the previous topic.

Each topic within the multi-part program may run 3 to 12 minutes.  The overall time for any program is targeted to be about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.

You can even take a test after completion of what you viewed to judge your understanding and retention of what was shown!

Don’t leave a paid for resource on the table with your “All Access” subscription to Ancestry.com.  These are wonderful learning tools that can help you become a better genealogist in all aspects of your research.  They are insightful, full of great tips and very well presented in a professional studio atmosphere.

There are some completely “free” Ancestry Academy courses available for Ancestry.com subscribers that do not have a “Full Access” subscription.  You must have some kind of subscription with Ancestry to access this material.  These are clearly marked for anyone to access from Ancestry Academy.  With the “Full Access” subscription you gain access to ALL of the courses.

Check out Ancestry Academy at:

Ancestry Academy

Take full advantage of your “Full Access” subscription.  Explore the Academy.  Get comfortable.  Find a topic of interest for you.  Start viewing.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

New Season Of “Who Do You Think You Are?” Starts On Sunday Evening, July 26, 2015, At 8 PM Central Time On TLC; “Mini-Marathon” Of Previously Aired Episodes Precedes Premier Episode For This Season

Hi Everyone!

Who Do You Think You Are?I just want to let you know that the new season for “Who Do You Think You Are?” will be starting on the cable channel TLC on Sunday evening, July  26, 2015, at 8 PM Central time.

Previously, when the show was on NBC, they dedicated a portion of their website to the show so that you could always get updates on the show.  TLC appears to be doing the same for this show as it unfolds during this season.  You can find the information for the show on TLC at:

“Who Do You Think You Are?” Website At TLC

TLC is actually making available a few of the previously aired shows in their full run time at the TLC site.  So you can actually watch some full episodes without having to go to iTunes to make purchases of previously aired shows.

The “premier” episode for this new season will feature actress Ginnifer Goodwin.

Preceding the “premier” episode, you will be able to watch a mini-marathon of previously aired episodes of “Who Do You Think You Are?”.  Here is that list of consecutive shows and the “star” featured in the episode for the afternoon and evening of July 26, 2015:

  • Josh Groban at 4 PM Central Time
  • Julie Chen at 5 PM Central Time
  • Rachel McAdams at 6 PM Central Time
  • Sean Hayes at 7 PM Central Time
  • Ginnifer Goodwin (Premier) at 8 PM Central Time

Make sure you mark down the date and time and plan to watch the “premier” episode in its original airing rather than at a later time if you can.  (Ratings are important for continuity of this wonderful show!)  Last year if you did not watch the original airing or did not DVR the show, your alternative was to purchase a copy from iTunes to catch up on shows missed and not recorded by yourself.

Now is the time to get the buzz going and to reconnect with some TV help and entertainment to motivate you in your own genealogical research efforts.

Mark your calendar for Sunday evening, July 26, 2015 at 8 PM Central Time on TLC on cable and see what has been discovered about actress Ginnifer Goodwin.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“Chicago” Family History Sites Brochure; Brochure Included In This Post As A PDF

Hi Everyone!

FLI_012One of my library colleagues who is also a participant at our monthly genealogy programs gave me a paper copy of a nice handout she obtained that identifies some key “Chicago” Family History Research Sites.

The brochure was put together by the Chicago Genealogical Society that can be reached online at:

Chicago Genealogical Society

I was able to scan the paper brochure and can now make it available for you to take a look at via a link within this blog right here:

Chicago Family History Research Sites

It is a simple little brochure that identifies the following locations in Chicago, IL that genealogy researchers should become aware of as possible resources for their genealogical research.  Locations mentioned are:

  • Harold Washington Library Center (Downtown Chicago)
  • Office of the Cook County Clerk (Downtown Chicago)
  • Office of the Cook County Recorder of Deeds (Downtown Chicago)
  • Archives of the Clerk of the Cook County Court (Downtown Chicago)
  • Newberry Library (Near North Side of Chicago)
  • Chicago History Museum (Near North Side of Chicago)
  • Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD), Cook County (Far North Side of Chicago)

All of the details for each of the locations noted above are contained in the PDF Brochure Link above.

This simple 2 page guide can be a very nice reminder of locations in Chicago that can be of help to you in any Chicago specific ancestral research you may be doing.

Check it out.

Print it off. (If you print it, set your view to “landscape” rather than “portrait”.)

Access their resources.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Nordic Family Genealogy Center Of The Swedish American Museum Changes Its Name; It Will Now Be Known As The Swedish American Genealogical Society

Hi Everyone!

Swedish American Museum LogoI just noticed in one of the publicity newsletters sent to me by the Swedish American Museum, that the Nordic Family Genealogy Center has changed its name to the Swedish American Genealogical Society.

Here is the text from the Swedish American Museum about the news:

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Genealogy Center Changes Name to Swedish American Genealogical Society

The Nordic Family Genealogy Center at the Swedish American Museum is changing its name to better reflect the kind of help they can offer to those seeking to uncover their family’s roots. The group will now be known as the Swedish American Genealogical Society.

The Genealogical Society will continue to offer monthly sessions on a number of topics of interest to those looking into their family history, as well as weekly one-on-one assistance on Wednesdays.

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You can visit the Swedish American Museum website at:

Swedish American Museum

As of the creation of this blog post, I notice that the part of the Museum website dedicated to the Nordic Family Genealogy Center has not yet been updated to reflect the new name of the society.

Be patient.  The name change of the new Swedish American Genealogical Society will be reflected on the museum website at a future date.

Just wanted you to know about the new name as you may start hearing it and seeing it.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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

The video is an approximate 15 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 – Ancestry Days, November 7, 2015, Raleigh, NC; Ancestry Days, November 14, 2015, Indianapolis, IN.; Salt Lake Institute, January 10 to 15, 2016 at Salt Lake City, UT., infouga.org; RootsTech 2016, February 2016 at Salt Lake City, UT; National Genealogical Society Annual Conference, May 2016, at Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
  • Ancestry Blog Post – Ancestry.com beta site is still being worked.  Visit the blog post at Announcing the New Ancestry WebsiteScroll down and look for the “Try the new site Click Here” phrase.  Once there you will need to be a subscriber to Ancestry.com  If you  enter in your information you will get connected to the new site for you to experiment with.   Crista mentioned that Ancestry is very appreciative of all of the feedback being provided to Ancestry from Beta users.  Look for a list of “updates” in progress appearing in the “Community Forum” that is located under the HELP menu.
  • Ancestry Blog Post – Ancestry DNA has about 850,000 submissions in the database.  Ancestry DNA is now available to users in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  The database is expected to grow even more with the addition of more and more countries in which users can submit their DNA.
  • New Databases – Australia Newspaper Vital Notices database.  Includes Births, Marriages and Deaths appearing in 3 Australian newspapers from 1851 to 1997.
  • New Databases –  Many new Romanian databases have been added during this recent period.  Many more International oriented databases added to Ancestry’s databases.
  • New Databases – Nevada Naturalization Petitions, 1956-1991 database recently added.
  • New Databases – Alabama Burial Index, 1835-2014 has been added.  This database is a web-based one outside of Ancestry that was created by the Lawrence County Alabama Genealogical Society.
  • 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