Category Archives: Tips

“The Online Release Of Irish Civil Registration Records” By Joe Grandinetti In The December 2016/January 2017 “Internet Genealogy” Magazine

Hi Everyone!

Schaumburg Township District Library

Schaumburg Township District Library

I have just been perusing through our library’s recently received December 2016/January 2017 issue of Internet Genealogy .  In this issue is a very good article titled  “The Online Release of Irish Civil Registration Records”.  The author of the article is Joe Grandinetti.  Joe’s article highlights another major release of Irish genealogy records, in this case the Civil Registration records for births, marriages and deaths from Ireland.  About a year ago Roman Catholic Church records were also released making it that much easier for Irish researchers to dig into their past.

I have actually created a summary of the article that I am planning to include in our February 2017 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter.  However, I think this kind of data being released by Ireland affects so many researchers interested in Irish genealogy, that I thought I would also share my summary in this blog post before it will appear in the February Genealogy Newsletter of the Library.

My summary starts below after the separator line in Italics:

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 irishgenealogy-logoI thought that another very good article in this December 2016/January 2017 issue of Internet Genealogy is one titled “The Online Release of Irish Civil Registration Records”.  The author of the article is Joe Grandinetti.

For those of you doing Irish research, it is important to really check out the site for this newly released material.  Previously, Roman Catholic Church records from Ireland had been released about a year ago.  This site also has a link for you to get to these records.  When you get to the site, you will see a series of tabs at the top of the page.  It is here that you will be able to see a tab for the Civil Records as well as the tab for the Church records.

You can get to this site at www.irishgenealogy.ie.  The data actually started becoming available back in September 2016.   The article in this journal can give researchers a very good overall view of what the data is all about.  Here in a nutshell is the high level view of what the data consists of:

  • Newly released Civil Registration records contain 2.5 million browseable images.
  • Newly released Civil Registration records contain 12.5 individual searchable records.
  • Records are freely accessible.
  • Birth records cover 1864-1915 (only births 100 years or older allowed).
  • Marriage records cover 1882-1940 (only marriages 75 years or older allowed).
  • Death records cover 1891-1965 (only deaths 50 years or older allowed).
  • There are submission guidelines at the site to have data redacted for those who are alive today and are over 100 years old or for anyone alive today who’s marriage record is over 75 years old. They can submit the request to make the data unavailable for viewing for their records.
  • You can request copies of the records that are outside the years of what is provided at welfare.ie/en/Pages/Apply-for-Certificates.aspx.

The author suggests the following methods to best find the information you seek at the site for your Irish ancestors in the Civil Registration records:

  • Navigation and Jurisdiction
    • Access the tab at the top of the page for the Civil Records and just work your way through the clicks to get to the records.
    • It would be very helpful to know the Registration Districts of your ancestors because registration districts can cut across county lines.
    • Civil Registration District is the smallest district level to search.
    • Both parents names are required to enter into the search.
    • You do not need to always search the records if your initial results are not productive. You can browse the records by Registration District. 
    • Take advantage of wildcard searching using asterisks (*) and question marks (?) in place of letters. Asterisks for more than one letter, question marks for one letter.  The author noted that his searches were often formed this way for the surname “McGill” e.g. “m*gill”, would allow him to find “McGill”, “Mc Gill” and “Magill”.
    • If you know the Townland of your ancestor’s birth, there are some good resources to determine the Registration District. Use resources at John Grenham’s website at johngrenham.com/places/plu_index.php.  Also check out another resource at www.swilson.info/explorerb.php to find Registration Districts.
  • Dates in the Records – Take Them with a Grain of Salt
    • Estimated that 10-15% of people did not bother to register vital events for the first couple of decades after the requirement.
    • Compliance improved by the 1880s.
    • Dates in the records for events may actually not be accurate because there are fines associated for late filings. Hence, registrations often showed dates that were within the guidelines but did not reflect actual date of the event.  You can often determine this by looking at the Church records for the same events showing different (actual) dates of the event versus the date for the event in the civil records that would not include a date causing a fine.
  • The Separation of Church and State
    • A child’s birthdate in the equivalent baptism record for Catholics often is more accurate than the date registered in the civil records. The accuracy would reflect the religious belief of having a child baptized very soon after birth and thus recorded accurately so in case of death of the child, the child would be able to enter Heaven having been baptized.
    • The author did a study of his own ancestor’s birth/baptism record dates and noted that there are variances of anywhere from 24 days to 159 days between what baptism records showed for the “birthdate” versus what the civil registration records showed for the birth date. Be aware of these variances and don’t always put 100% accuracy in your own ancestors’ dates.
  • Other Information in the Civil Records
    • Births
      • Place of Birth
      • Maiden name of mother
      • Occupation of father
      • Informant’s Name and Residence
    • Marriages
      • Place of Marriage
      • Ages and Residences of couple
      • Names of the Couple’s fathers
      • Witnesses
    • Deaths
      • Place of Death
      • Age
      • Occupation
      • Cause of Death
      • Informant’s Residence
      • Informant’s relationship to deceased
    • Summary
      • Visit irishgenealogy.ie to start accessing the newly release Civil Registration data.
      • Consult the Civil Registration indexes as needed.
      • Access the tools at John Grenham’s website or at swilson.info/explorerb.php to locate the Civil Registration District.
      • Compare your Civil Registration finds to church baptisms/christening, marriage and death records using resources such as http://registers.nli.ie and rootsireland.ie.
      • Review all of the information in the civil registration data, not just the event dates.

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For those doing Irish research, this is another goldmine of information to tap into.  Always consider browsing records in a geographic area you believe equates to that of an ancestor when you are not finding the information by searching.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“What’s New At Ancestry.com January 2017” 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 2017 video posted from Ancestry.com that is titled “What’s New At Ancestry.com January 2017”.

The video is an approximate 16 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 –  Large conference dates for 2017 have been set.  These are:  February 8-11, 2017, RootsTech in Salt Lake City; May 10-13, 2017, National Genealogical Society in Raleigh, NC; June 9-11, 2017, Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank, CA; July 23-28, 2017, International Association of Jewish Genealogical Associations, Orlando, FL; August 30-September 2, 2017, Federation of Genealogical Societies, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • New Databases – Ancestry.com has released about 86 million new records that are identified as marriage records for a variety of states.  The states identified and the date span of these records are as follows:Colorado, 1862-2006
    Oregon 1851-1975
    Maine 1670-1921
    District of Columbia 1810-1953
    New Jersey 1670-1965
    Connecticut 1620-1926
    Kentucky 1783-1965
    Michigan 1822-1940
    Pennsylvania 1845-1963
    Kansas 1811-1911
    Alabama 1805-1967
    Ohio 1774-1993
    Illinois 1800-1940
    Texas 1817-1965
    New York 1847-1849, 1907-1936
    North Dakota 1877-1929
    Indiana 1810-2001
    Florida 1823-1982(Sorry, they are not in alphabetical order on the YouTube Video)

    These records have been provided to Ancestry.com from FamilySearch.  The data consist of a searchable index to names but there are no links to images of the original records from within Ancestry.com.

    You can expect to  find the name of the person, age at marriage, marriage date, spouse name, marriage place, name of parents (these can vary).

    Your best bet is to search the individual databases rather than the entirety of the Ancestry.com collection.  Search the Ancestry.com card catalog using the search term of “marriage” or “marriages” to find these newly added state databases of marriages when you also look at the “Sort by Date Added” selection.

    Crista did emphasize to scroll down to the end of the card catalog database description and look to see the link to FamilySearch that will take you to the FamilySearch Wikipedia entry for the database for a full description of what is all contained and what is not included.  The Ancestry.com database description is basic highlighting what is contained in the database.  See the FamilySearch description for a complete description.

  • 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 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

Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) Offers Death Certificate Lookup Service; Much Lower Cost In Comparison to Other Services; For Members And Non-Members

Hi Everyone!

ISGS LogoWhile looking through the recent Winter 2016 issue of the Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly Journal (Vol. 48, No. 4), I happened to see a full-page ad in the issue placed by the ISGS.

The ad highlighted a wonderful “lookup” service offered by the society to both members and non-members for non-certified copies of death certificates that are contained in the Illinois State Archives Death Certificate Index, 1916-1950 database that exists at the Illinois Secretary of State’s website.

Here is the ad in the Winter 2016 issue of the Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly Journal:

Finding the Dead: Illinois Death Certificates Lookup Service at ISGS

The ISGS is offering the service to members for a cost of $6.  For non-members of the society the cost is $10 per non-certified death certificate.  Each of these costs is significantly lower than the $15 + cost (think Cook County!) you might expect to pay to request a copy of a non-certified death certificate within Illinois.  Obviously, being a member of the ISGS really gives you the best cost possible.  If you have many, many death certificates you would like to order, consider becoming a member of the society just for this benefit.  However, you will see many more resources of the society available to members over and above death certificate look-ups.

The ISGS accepts credit card payments for the service as well as PayPal.

Here is a link to the part of the ISGS website that describes the service of its Death Certificate lookup service:

Illinois State Genealogical Society Death Certificate Lookup Service 

Just remember, you search the Illinois Secretary of State database mentioned above.  If you find a result in that searchable index, then you can provide the details of that to ISGS for them to provide you with the copy of the non-certified death certificate.  That is what they have access to.

Check out all the above links.  Consider trying the service even if you have just one non-certified death certificate you are in need of that is contained in the database noted above.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Offers DNA Special Interest Group (SIG) On Saturday January 14, 2017

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, January 14, 2017 starting at 10:30 AM at the Schaumburg Township District Library.

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

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DNA Special Interest Group

Special Presentation:

A Genealogist Physician’s View of DNA

by David A. Stumpf, MD, PhD

DNA Clip ArtPhysicians and scientists have a unique view to genetic genealogy. Neurologists recognized peculiarities that disrupted Mendelian genetic concepts and lead to new insights relevant in medicine and genealogy. We will review genetic data resources, selected lessons from clinical genetics, recent scientific research, and ways these might influence your genealogy research.

About the Presenter

Dr Stumpf is Professor Emeritus at Northwestern University. His research involved genetics. He is board certified in neurology, pediatrics and clinical informatics; his portfolio for certification by the Board Certification for Genealogists is in review. He is a lifelong genealogist with roots in the Netherlands (paternal) and across the American frontiers (maternal). He codes his own software and tests new methodologies.

About the DNA SIG

CAGGNI’s genomic genealogy group continues into its third 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.

SIG LeadsAl & Michelle Wilson

Janaury DNA SIG Presenter: David A. Stumpf, MD, PhD

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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

“What’s New At Ancestry.com December 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 December 2016 video posted from Ancestry.com that is titled “What’s New At Ancestry.com December 2016”.

The video is an approximate 16 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 –  Large conference dates for 2017 have been set.  These are:  February 8-11, 2017, RootsTech in Salt Lake City; May 10-13, 2017, National Genealogical Society in Raleigh, NC; June 9-11, 2017, Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank, CA; July 23-28, 2017, International Association of Jewish Genealogical Associations, Orlando, FL; August 30-September 2, 2017, Federation of Genealogical Societies, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • New Databases – Callao, Peru, Civil Registrations, 1874-1996 (In Spanish)The new database contains about 360,000 records of civil birth, marriages and deaths.  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 indexed and searchable.  Records are in Spanish.  Browse the list of kinds of records to narrow down your search.  Province of Callao with many municipalities of Callao available.  There are images associated with the data that can be browsed by individual municipality name to select.  Kind of event is noted.
  • New Databases – U.S. Presbyterian Records, 1743-1970This  new databases contains about 760,000 records for births, marriages and deaths.  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 databases are also indexed and searchable with a template to filter your search.  You can filter and search records by state, church, record types and years.  There are images associated with the indexed text results.  You will be able to see Name of the individual, event date and place, and relatives mentioned.
  • New Databases – Japan, Clan Genealogies, 850-2012 database (in Japanese)This new databases contains about 87,000 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 not searchable, browseable only of the images.  Records are in Japanese.  You can select records to browse by family name, prefecture, county or city, town and village.  Yes, some of the records date back to 850.
  • New Databases – Korea, Collection of Genealogies, 1500-2009 (in Korean)This new database contains about 2.5 million 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 not indexed and images are browseable.   Records can be filtered for browsing by Family name, country, province, city or county, town and village.
  • New Databases – Oklahoma, County Marriages,1890-1995.  This new database contains about 2.6 million records.   The database is  indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.   You can discover the name of the individual, birth year, marriage date, marriage location and spouse name.  The indexed item will lead you to an image of the actual record.
  • New Databases – New Jersey, Birth Index, 1901-1903, New Jersey, Marriage Index, 1901-1914, New Jersey, Death Index, 1901-1903.  The birth index database contains about 360,000 records; the marriage index contains about 758,000 records; the death index contains about 92,000 records.    Each database is  indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.   Image linked to indexed name.  You can discover the name of the individual, and other information specific to the kind of vital record.  You can view the original image.
  • 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 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

RootsTech 2017 Will Take Place February 8- 11, 2017 In Salt Lake City, UT; Some Classes To Be Available For Online Streaming From Upcoming 2017 Conference

Hi Everyone!

RootsTech 2014 LogoJust a reminder that the 2017 version of RootsTech will take place on February 8 to February 11, 2017 in Salt Lake City, UT.

Dick Eastman had a post about the upcoming 2017 conference.  You can see that post with the information here:

September  15, 2016 Dick Eastman Post Reporting On Upcoming 2017 RootsTech

This has proven to be  a wildly successful major genealogical conference that brings together genealogy researchers and genealogy software developers under one roof.  Dick Eastman reported in a March 18, 2015 blog post that 23,918 people attended the 2015 RootsTech conference.  Here is a link to Dick Eastman’s blog post reporting on information from the previous 2015 conference:

March 18, 2015 Dick Eastman Blog Post About RootsTech 2015

You can view the conference website for information about this 2017 RootsTech Conference at:

RootsTech 2017

There is a very large and detailed “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” part of the RootsTech website.  It is well worth browsing through the variety of questions about the conference.  The FAQ can really give you some good insights about the overall conference.  Here is a link to the RootsTech 2017 FAQ:

2017 RootsTech Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

RootsTech generally makes available a multitude of some of its recorded programs from the previous year for online viewing.  Unfortunately, as I write this post, the window for viewing those videos is no longer open.  Wish I could provide a link to these because they really provide an incredible insight into what RootsTech is all about through the programs they provide.  If I see that the window opens up and these are viewable again, even if only for a short time, then I will make another post letting you know they are available.

Consider going to Salt Lake City, UT to connect with the soon to take place 2017 version of RootsTech!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

 

Reminder Re-Post: Check This Blog During the Winter Months In Case Bad Weather Forces Us To Cancel A Genealogy Program; I Would Post That Cancellation Notice Here

Hi Everyone!

Winter Weather Clip ArtI just wanted to remind readers of this blog, especially those of you that often attend our monthly Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library (STDL), that I would post a notice here if a Genealogy Program on the 2nd Tuesday evening of the month would have to be cancelled due to bad, wintry weather.

A few cancellations have happened in the past and I believe posting the cancellation of that program in this blog proved helpful and beneficial to those who thought of coming out on a bad wintry night.  I believe that our most recent cancellation of our genealogy program was in February 2010 just a few months after I started this blog.  We have had a pretty long run of no cancellations!!

A cancellation does not happen often,  but this blog can easily get the word out that a genealogy program is being cancelled due to inclement weather.

It could be that we need to cancel our program but our library could still be open on these dicey nights.  It is not uncommon that many of our speakers come from a distance and bad weather could make it impossible for them to drive to our library to make the presentation while our library would still remain open.

As I write this in late November 2016, we have been experiencing some incredibly warm, comfortable weather throughout October and November so far.  Good enough that you probably do not even think of those nasty, blowing, snowing nights that you know we will get this winter.  I just hope they don’t occur on the 2nd Tuesday evening of the month, the day of our program.

Cross your fingers that good weather karma will be with us on our program nights for December 2016 and  January, February and March of 2017.

So keep checking back here especially on the 2nd Tuesday evening of the month if you may be planning on attending our genealogy program during the months of December, January, February and March.  If the weather is dicey and we cancel the program, you will hear it here!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library