Category Archives: Tips

“Who Do You Think You Are?” New Episode Showcasing Angie Harmon Airs March 22, 2015, On TLC At 9 PM Central Time

Hi Everyone!

Who Do You Think You Are?I wanted to remind you that a  “new” episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” for this year’s series airs on Sunday night, March 22, 2015, on TLC at 9 PM Central time.

Angie Harmon is featured on this episode.

Try to watch the original airing on TLC if possible.

Here is the schedule of the balance of the original airings of the new episodes for this season:

  • March 22: Angie Harmon
  • March 29: Sean Hayes
  • April 5: Tony Goldwyn
  • April 12: America Ferrera
  • April 19: Bill Paxton
  • April 26: Melissa Etheridge

Visit the shows website at TLC at:

“Who Do You Think You Are?” On TLC

You can find so much at the website about the show, video snippets of previous shows, and full online viewing in its entirety of many of the previously broadcast shows.

Enjoy this new episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” Sunday night, MarchThe Learning Channel 22, 2015 at 9 PM Central time featuring Angie Harmon on TLC!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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

The video is an approximate 31 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 – 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.
  • Ancestry Blog Post –  There will be a series of blog posts within the Ancestry blog about identifying old photos from the clothing styles in pictures.  Betty Shubert is in an expert in this specialty will be creating these informative blog posts to help researchers identify photo time periods from the clothing worn by those in the picture.  Search the blog using “Betty Shubert” as your search term to find the 4 blog posts already there.
  • Ancestry Blog Post – There is a “sneak peek” blog post from Ancestry that provides visuals of what the current “beta” web site for Ancestry.com will look like in the future.  The original “sneak peek” was made available at the recently concluded Roots Tech conference.  You can see examples in the Ancestry blog post of how certain parts of the newly designed web site will look.  You can even submit yourself to be a beta tester of the site and provide information back to Ancestry on your likes/dislikes/wishes/problems.  You must be a subscriber to Ancestry.com in order to submit yourself as a beta tester.  You may have to wait until you are selected by Ancestry before you can start testing.  Here is the blog post link for the “sneak peek” http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2015/02/19/sneak-peak-new-ancestry-website-coming/
  • Ancestry Blog Post – The Ancestry Mobile App has been updated for iOS.  It will now allow you to actually search Ancestry.com for records.  However, from the mobile app, you are only limited to searching for birth, marriage, death and census records.  There is also an “inline” search suggestion for your timeline that prompts you to consider searching a database that may have records for your research.  See the blog post here http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2015/02/09/mobile-search/
  • New Databases – Gloucestershire, England resources added consisting of 5 databases with 3 million records.
  • New Databases –  Germany – 16 new databases added containing 1.2 million records.  Mainly church records.  Sometimes just indexed with no images.  Mid to late 1800s to early to mid 1900s.
  • New Databases – Canada – Quaker meeting records. Meticulous and detailed records.  1786 to 1988.
  • New Databases – United Kingdom – Royal Navy Service Records covering 1900 to 1928.
  • New Databases – Michigan Marriage Records 1867 to 1952.  Indexed and generally includes original image.  5 million records.
  • 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

Many More Online Videos (31) Available From The Recently Concluded RootsTech 2015 Program; Here Is Your Chance To Do Some “Binge” Viewing

Hi Everyone!

RootsTech 2014 LogoI recently published a post about the end of the recently held RootsTech 2015 program that concluded in Salt Lake City, UT.  When I last wrote about this conference there were about 7 published videos from the conference at the RootsTech website.

I am happy to report that there are now 31 videos available to view!  I think that is more available to look at than I have ever seen from this organization.

These videos mostly run about 1 hour in length.  Some of the keynotes might be a little over 1 hour.  Some other programs might only be about 45 minutes.

Here is the link to your video “nirvana” opportunity to view any or all of these 31 videos from the recently concluded RootsTech 2015:

2015 RootsTech Program Videos

You may have heard the term in the know lately about “binge” viewing.  That  term applies to the likes of NetFlix and their recently released “House of Cards” series that is exclusive to them.  They release all the episodes at once and fans of the show simply “binge” watch all the episodes in one “binge” setting.

Here is your chance to do some “binge” watching of your own at the RootsTech 2015 site for any or all of the 31 videos they have available to views.

I am happy to admit that I have just completed viewing 3 of the videos so far!

These are great videos to become genealogically smarter, learn about a genealogy subject that is totally foreign to you or just simply view to get inspired!

You know there is more snow coming starting tonight into Sunday.  Kick back a little if you can.  Get yourself to the RootsTech videos at the above link and while away the time viewing some of these great videos while we go through another storm!

I just spent some time doing a little “mini binge” viewing.

Now it’s your turn!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“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