Category Archives: Tips

Irish Genealogy Webinar From Fountaindale Public Library March 16, 2016 Program In Bolingbrook; Videos Only Available Until April 15, 2016; About 5 Hours Of Video Material Available; Links To Programs And Handouts Included

Hi Everyone!

Fountaindale LogoDebra Dudek, our guest speaker for our own upcoming April 12, 2016 genealogy program and librarian at the Fountaindale Public Library, has made me aware that there was a wonderful Irish Genealogy Webinar that was put together by the Fountaindale Public Library of Bolingbrook and the  Ulster Historical Foundation.

Ulster Historical Foundation LogoThe program occurred on March 16, 2016.  There was a series of 4 Irish Genealogy Programs presented by members of the Ulster Historical Foundation at the Fountaindale Library.  The 4 programs were recorded and were initially live streamed on the day of the presentation.  The 4 recorded programs are available for viewing BUT ONLY UNTIL APRIL 15, 2016.

Just as important is the fact that a full set of downloadable handouts from these 4 programs is also available for you to access up until April 15, 2016.  You can access these handouts here:

Researching Irish Ancestors – An Introduction (2016)
National Library of Ireland Guide to Family History
National Archives of Ireland General Guide
National Archives of Ireland Help Notes
Ulster Historical Foundation – Historical_Timeline
Timeline for the Plantation of Ulster
PRONI Guides to Family History
PRONI Guides to Local History
PRONI Guides to Emigration

Here are the titles of these four programs:

  • Introduction to Irish and Scots-Irish Family History Research Parts 1 and 2
  • Using Land Records: Griffith’s Valuation, Tithe and Estate Records
  • Census Substitutes and Other Important Sources for the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries and Records Related to the Different Churches in Ireland (2 Programs in this Session)
  • Sources for Finding Seventeenth Century Families in Ireland

You can connect to all these programs via the Fountaindale Public Library  Genealogy Blog at:

March 16, 2016 Irish Genealogy Webinar Videos from the Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook, IL

I started watching one of the videos and it had a long introduction of music playing.  Video loaded fine and video started fine.

If you have Irish ancestors here is a chance within a short timeframe to view these presentations from members of the Ulster Historical Foundation.  Remember, they are only available for viewing until April 15, 2016.

Enjoy the videos while they last!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


New Season Of “Who Do You Think You Are?” Starts On Sunday Evening, April 3, 2016, At 8 PM Central Time On TLC; Check TLC Website For Show Information

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, April 3, 2016, 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

Six of the “stars” have been identified for this season.  Here are the six”stars” identified so far from a Dick Eastman Online Newsletter blog post that will appear on the show during the  run for the season on TLC.  The order is alphabetical and does not represent the order of the shows as they appear to the best of my knowledge:

  • Scott Foley
  • Lea Michele
  • Chris Noth
  • Molly Ringwald
  • Katy Sagal
  • Aisha Tyler

According to the TLC website for the show, the premiere episode for this new season will feature Aisha Tyler.

When a new season starts, TLC often shows the previous season’s shows as a refresher prior to the start of the new season episodes.  According to the TLC website under their schedule link for April 3, 2016 programs, it notes there is a mini-marathon of five previously aired “Who Do You Think You Are Episodes?” that will be presented on TLC from 2 PM to 7 PM Central Time.

Make sure you mark down the date and time and plan to watch this season’s new shows in their 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.  Your cable provider may make these shows available as “ON-Demand” for viewing when you want to.

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, April 3, 2016 at 8 PM Central Time on TLC on cable for the premiere episode of this season’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” featuring Aisha Tyler.  Watch the “mini-marathon” of previously presented programs from 2 PM to 7 PM Chicago time.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“What’s New At March 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 March 2016 video posted from that is titled “What’s New At March 2016”.

The video is an approximate 32 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 –  National Genealogical Society Annual Conference, May 2016, at Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Southern California Jamboree, June, 2016, Burbank, CA; IAJGS Conference, August 2016, Seattle, WA; Federation of Genealogy Societies, August 2016, Springfield, IL
  • Ancestry Site – “continuing searching” feature returns; Life Story and Facts tutorials now available.
  • Ancestry DNA – Ancestry DNA testing is now available in 29 more countries.  Full listing of the countries is available in the Ancestry Blog.  Test results from someone taking the test in a foreign country are compared to all of the entries in the total Ancestry DNA database.
  • Ancestry Academy – new tutorials on Italians, Females, School Records, Timelines and African-Americans.
  • Desktop Software – Family Tree Maker acquired by MacIev software, original developers of the product.  Future updates and new releases will continue through them; RootsMagic lineage software will be integrated with Family Tree Maker functions.
  • New Databases – United States, Definitive List of Slaves and Property, 1827-1828.  This new database contains about 5 thousand 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 of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  When searching you can select the actual image of data to look at.  The most important part of this database regarding slave information is that the name of the slave is actually included in this database.  Slave names were rarely noted on records.
  • New Databases – Alberta, Canada, Homestead Records, 1870-1930.  This new database contains about 206,000 records.      The database is also indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  When searching you can select the actual image of data to look at.  You can find the name, age, place of birth, date of application, place of residence at application, homestead location and marital status of applicant.
  • New Databases – California Mortuary Records of Chinese Dissidents, 1870-1933.  This new database contains about 26,000 records.  Always a good idea to browse the listing of the date intervals of these records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  When searching you can select the actual image of data when it is available.  I saw both handwritten records and typed records.
  • New Databases – Sydney, Australia, Cemetery Headstone Transcriptions, 1867-2002.  This new database contains about 285,000 records.  Always a good idea to browse the listing of the of records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.    The database is also indexed and searchable with a basic size template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  No actual images of headstones to see.  Only transcribed data is shown.  You can often see the religious denomination of the deceased.
  • New Databases – Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915This new database contains about 26  million records.  Always a good idea to browse the listing of the counties and the towns/cities (very long list) and date intervals of parish records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a large size template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  When searching you can select the actual image of data to look at.   It would be helpful for you to know a more exact geographic location to search if you know it and select it from the large list of towns/cities.
  • New Databases – Indiana, United Methodist Church Records, 1837-1970 (434,000 records; searchable with images); New Jersey, United Methodist Church Records, 1800-1970 (721,000 records; searchable with images); U.S., Selected States Dutch Reformed Church Membership Records, 1707-1995 (400,000 records; searchable with images)
  • 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

Check Out The Video Library Of The Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illininois (CAGGNI); Fun Times Had By All Through A Variety Of Programs Photographed Or Recorded

Hi Everyone,

CAGGNI logoWhile browsing through the website of the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI), I just happened to stumble across a part of the website that I did not know even existed.

It is the CAGGNI Videos part of the website.

Here is a link to the CAGGNI Videos from their website:

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Videos

This very active genealogy group has a good time among their programs and the special programs they offer.  Many of the members take photos of the events or even videorecord parts of the event.  These images are now flowing through the CAGGNI Videos part of the website.  These videos reside on YouTube.  You do not have to be a member of CAGGNI in order to access them.

Currently, there are 17 videos/photo videos/slide show videos for you to enjoy for events that occurred within the organization from as recent as the November 2015 Holiday Program and Speaker to the 2010 CAGGNI Planning and Holiday party and all kind of programs in between!

This is a great opportunity to see what the group is all about through looking at these videos, slide shows, photos and the like.  They are an incredibly active genealogy group that certainly exhibits great camaraderie among its members.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Videos From Recent RootsTech 2016 Conference Are Now Available Online; Link Included In This Post For 2016 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 2016 RootsTech conference that was held in Salt Lake City, Utah are now available from the RootsTech web site.  There are currently an incredible 30 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 30 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.

Here is a listing of some of the topics and the named presenter from the online videos from the recently held 2016 conference from RootsTech below:

  • “Closing Death Records: Silver Bullet or Dead End?” by Fred Moss
  • “What’s New in Family Tree for 2016” by Ron Tanner
  • “7 Unique Technologies for Genealogy Discoveries” by Mike Mansfield
  • “Using the Genealogical Proof Standard for Success” by James Ison
  • “Best Websites and Apps for Finding Local History” by Amy Crow
  • “Virtual Family Reunions” by Joseph Richardson
  • “Scottish Genealogy – Finding People” by Dr. Bruce Durie
  • “5 Steps to Identify a Family Photo” by Maureen Taylor
  • “Proven Methodology for Using Google for Genealogy” by Lisa Louise Cooke
  • “Homespun and Calico: Finding Our Foremothers” by Peggy Lauritzen
  • “A Digital Treasure: PERSI and Your Family History” by D. Joshua Taylor
  • “Finding Elusive Records on” by Robert Kehrer
  • “My Ancestors Are From Britain – What Do I Do Next?” by Myko Clelland
  • “Family History in a Digital Future” by Sharleen Reyes
  • “Become a Master Searcher on Ancestry” by Anne Mitchell
  • “Photos – Emerging Technologies in Photography” by Jens Nielsen
  • “Cemetery Crowdsourcing” by Michael Cassara

You will also see at the RootsTech Video site below that there are also Keynote videos, General Session Videos and Innovator Showdown videos.  The ones I noted in the list above are specific to a topic to learn.

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

2016 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.

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 24 hour “marathon” weekend viewing of RootsTech videos, you can easily do so through the above link.  Sounds like a good thing to do on these still cold and snowy March days!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“FREE” Access To Irish Records, Including The Newly Indexed Irish Catholic Parish Registers, From FindMyPast From March 1, 2016 To March 8, 2016

Hi Everyone!

FindMyPast LogoOne of our avid participants at our monthly genealogy programs made me aware that FindMyPast is offering “FREE” access to Irish records (110 million), including the newly released Irish Catholic Parish Registers (10 million registers that include 40 million names that are indexed and searchable), from March 1, 2016 to March 8, 2016 (Note the small window!).

You can get to FindMyPast directly here at FindMyPast or read much more about this free one week offering through a posting by the Gleeson Clan Gathering 2016 site at:

FREE Access To Irish Records From FindMyPast From March 1, 2016 To March 8, 2016 Including The Recently Released Indexed Irish Catholic Parish Registers

Initially, the Irish Catholic Parish Registers data was made available as un-indexed data that you could browse through the images to do research.  Now, the data has been indexed and is searchable.

Spanning over 200 years of Ireland’s history from 1671-1900, the Irish Catholic Parish Registers contain over 40 million names from over 1,000 parishes and cover 97% of the entire island of Ireland, both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

For anyone doing Irish research, this is a great opportunity to access the Irish Catholic Parish Registers in addition to the other Irish data within FindMyPast that would normally not be free.

It is a short window of time to access this material for free.  Consider taking advantage of this access through FindMyPast.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Massive Polish Research Outline Available From FamilySearch From Within Their Wiki; Link Included To 115 Page Guide; Great All-In-One Reference Guide; Link Included To Research Outlines For Many Other Countries And U.S. States

Hi Everyone, LogoOne of my colleagues at work shared a wonderful genealogy resource with me that can be a great resource for those genealogy researchers that are researching their Polish roots.

The resource is available from within the FamilySearch Wiki.  If you search the Wiki using “Research Outlines” you will not only come across the one specific to Poland, but you will also find research outlines for many other countries that you may be researching ancestral lines.

Thank you Tom for sharing this link with me allowing me to dig a little deeper into the myriad of all the other Research Outlines that are available.

Here is the link that will get you specifically to the Research Outline for Poland ancestry research:

Poland Research Outline From FamilySearch

For those of you doing genealogy research applying to other countries, here is a link to the general Research Outline material in which you will see a listing of countries from which you can select the Research Outline:

FamilySearch Research Outlines

The United States is included in the Research Outlines in the above link.  Each state within the US has a Research Outline.  Think of this resource as both a help for international country research that your research is moving into as well as for any state within the US that your research is engaged in.

The FamilySearch Wiki is a wonderful resource.  These Research Outlines can attest to one component of all that you can find within the Wiki.

Polish genealogy researchers, check out the link to the Research Outline applicable to your interests.

Anyone else, check out the other link above to gain access to the totality of all of the Research Outlines available to you on a country basis as well as on a state by state basis for the United States.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library