Category Archives: Tips

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Offers DNA Special Interest Group (SIG) On Saturday January 13, 2018

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 13, 2018 from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM at the Schaumburg Township District Library.

This program is open to all.  You do not have to be a member of the CAGGNI group in order to participate.

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


DNA Special Interest Group

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.

DNA can break down genealogical brick walls once thought impenetrable – but only if you know how.

The SIG will combine short 15-20 minute lectures with interactive workshop-style activities. 

Get ready to put your DNA results to work for you!

Facilitators:  Dr. David Stumpf and Alan Wilson

For more information: DNA Special Interest Group


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

“2018 Programs” Added As A New Page On The Blog At The Top Of The Home Page

Hi Everyone!

I just want to let all of you know that I have created a new “page” on the blog that is at the top of the first page you see when you visit the blog.

The title of the page is “2018 Programs”.  You will find a list of the schedule of our upcoming genealogy programs for 2018 at our Central Library.  These programs always occur on the 2nd Tuesday evening of each month starting at 7:30 PM.  Doors to the room open by 7:00 PM.

Take a look at the variety of topics and speakers we have scheduled for 2018 to see which ones are of special interest to you.  Also note the quarterly “breakout” groups we have when we do not have a speaker scheduled.  Mark your calendars for 2018 for these programs.

You can also get directly to this schedule of our programs for 2018 from right within this post at:

2018 Genealogy Programs at the Schaumburg Township District Library

We look forward to seeing you throughout 2018!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

I Changed PREVIOUS PROGRAMS 2002 – 2016 Page Title To The Blog To Show Past Programs From 2002 To 2017

Hi Everyone!

I just changed the PAGE on the blog titled PREVIOUS PROGRAMS 2002 – 2016  to PREVIOUS PROGRAMS 2002 – 2017 to reflect our historical view of genealogy programs presented at our library to now include 2017.

You will find “Pages” to this blog on the top of the homepage of the blog.  You will see pages titled “About”,  “2018 Programs”, “Previous Programs 2002 – 2017”, “Favorite Links”, “Genealogy Program Flyer”.

Just look for it at the top of the blog.

Here is a direct link to the newly updated history of our genealogy programs presented at our library covering 2002 to 2017:

2002 – 2017 Genealogy Programs Presented at the Schaumburg Township District Library

Maybe you remember a program or speaker we had at one time.  Use this page to refresh your memory.  The programs are presented in order from 2017 back to 2002.  The programs within each year are in January through December month order.

Enjoy your travel through Memory Lane as it pertains to our past library genealogy programs!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“White Like Her: My Family’s Story Of Race And Racial Passing” Book By Gail Lukasik; This Book Has Been Added To Our Circulating Collection; This Book Is Also Part Of Our “Second Floor Reads” Program; It Will Be Group Discussed On Wednesday, February 28, 2018, At 6:30 PM

Hi Everyone!

Schaumburg Township District Library

I hope that for those of you that were able to attend our recent November 14, 2017 Genealogy Program, that you thoroughly enjoyed it as much as I did.  This program had Gail Lukasik as our guest speaker sharing with us her experience on the Genealogy Roadshow as well as providing us her family story that was the highlight of Genealogy Roadshow.  Her recently published book is a result of both her family history story and her experience on the Genealogy Roadshow.

We have just added her newly published book to our circulating collection.  The title of her book is White Like Her: My Family’s Story of Race and Racial Passing.  The call number of the book is 929.1072 LUKASIK, G.  You would currently find this book in the “New Non-Fiction” shelving area of our library on the 2nd floor near the “Ask Us” desk. (As of the publication of this blog post, the book I noticed is currently checked out.  Put a hold on the book for yourself.)

I have now personally read her book.  I could not put it down.  Finished it in about 3 days.  Book is about 282 pages in length plus Acknowledgements and Notes.  She truly did combine her skills as being a mystery writer as well as a genealogy researcher.  She magically had one chapter about the genealogy aspects of her mystery followed by a chapter of her family life then followed back and forth between genealogy and family stories.  It worked for me as the suspense built up chapter to chapter.

Gail Lukasik

Also, our library has a non-fiction book discussion group called “Second Floor Reads” that meets nine months per year. The book selections have already been established for 2018 and lo and behold! Gail’s book White Like Her: My Family’s Story of Race and Racial Passing has been selected as one of their 2018 titles. Specifically, her book will be discussed on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, between 6:30 – 8 pm at our library.

You do not have to participate in every month of the Second Floor Reads non-fiction book discussions. You can choose one or attend any months you choose – it’s up to you. If you would like more information about Second Floor Reads, please contact Susan Gibberman, Readers’ Advisory Specialist Library, by email or phone ( / 847.923.3339). She will be happy to explain how the program works and what you need to do in order to participate.

I actually think I am going to participate in this program on the February 28, 2018 date to discuss Gail’s new book.  I wish I would have taken notes on the book while I was reading it knowing now that the book is on our Second Floor Reads list!  Oh well, time for another review of the book in advance of the program.

I am sure that your own family story is as stupendous as that of Gail.  Now is the time to get pen to paper and start writing your own family history story/book even if it never gets to the Genealogy Roadshow.

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 during winter!! (We did have a cancellation in March 2017 because of a water main pipe rupture in our parking lot area that required the entire library to be closed.)

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 mid-December 2017, we have been experiencing some incredibly warm, comfortable weather throughout October and November so far.  Winter is just now starting to make its appearance.  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 2017 and  January, February and March of 2018.

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

Users Are Experiencing Problems With Heritage Quest From Off-Site Connections To The Library Database

Hi Everyone!

Schaumburg Township District Library

I have been made aware that users who are reaching our genealogy database called Heritage Quest from off-site are experiencing problems with using the database.

You can get into the database but you receive an error message when you actually try to perform a “Search”.

The problem has been referred internally to our staff for analysis and resolution.

We hope to provide a resolution to the off-site Heritage Quest search error soon.

I apologize for the inconvenience.

I will let you know via a blog post here when the problem has been resolved.

Thank you for your patience.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Sales For DNA Products For Genealogy Abound During The Holiday Season; Some Savings Can Be Significant; Keep Your Eyes Open For Sale Opportunities Across All Of The DNA Products Offered

Hi Everyone!

I submitted my DNA for testing for genealogy a couple of years ago.  As a full disclosure, I submitted my DNA with Family Tree DNA.  So my experience with all things DNA for genealogy is through Family Tree DNA at the moment.

Once I submitted my DNA, I did find that Family Tree DNA is on top of their marketing efforts.  I would not say that I am overwhelmed with marketing emails from them but I do know they send just the right volume of reminders to me reminding me of other DNA tests that I have not utilized that I could consider to purchase.

During the various holidays throughout the year, I have received notices to consider other tests to purchase.  It is not even so much to consider the other tests, but Family Tree DNA also includes in their marketing emails consideration to actually purchase a test not for you but for someone else.  Presumably for you to give to a cousin or someone you think is related to you.  I think that is a good idea and broadens their marketing appeal.  However, know in advance that a cousin would accept the test kit and would actually take the test and submit it for analysis.  No sense giving a surprise kit to someone who would never use it.  Maybe you could do a little arm-twisting and tell them how important it would be for you to solve an age-old research problem with their results in the database!

From Thanksgiving and through the Christmas and New Year’s season, you will see much more about sales being held for the various tests.  If you have not yet done your DNA test for genealogy, it is probably worth being aware of the various companies and the various sales going on for each of their “entry” level tests.  It is the “autosomal” test that I consider as the entry-level test and usually the most inexpensive test to take from the variety they offer.  That is the test that I started with.  With Family Tree DNA, it is called “Family Finder”.  The product name can be different with other providers but it should be their version of an “autosomal” test.

As a point of comparison, just a few years ago the entry-level tests were in the $199.  I waited until a sale existed within Family Tree DNA that had the product on sale for $79, down from $99.  Now, some of the companies might be offering this test in the range of $59.

You can really get some great bargains for entry-level tests during the holiday season.  Even their higher end products such as for Mitochondrial DNA or Y-DNA are offered with some big sales.  So if you have taken the entry-level test, you could still save significant dollars on the other DNA test available to you that you have not yet taken.  But be aware, you could save big dollars, but the savings are based on significant costs in the hundreds of dollars for these other products.  And don’t just take a higher end DNA test because it is on sale.  Know that it can help you in possibly giving you other clues to help with your research.

Thought I would at least give you some links to the major companies offering DNA testing so you can see what some of the sales are for your consideration.  Take a look at the following as of today, December 4, 2017.  Sales are not open-ended.  They are often for no more than a week, but they often re-occur while the holidays are still coming up.  Check out:

Family Tree DNA

Ancestry DNA



National Geographic Genome Project

I have no regrets having done an autosomal genealogy DNA test.  I have connected with newly discovered cousins as a result of the test.  It can and probably will happen to you also.  The prices are incredible compared to just those that were offered just a few years ago.  The holiday season offers some of the best prices you will find.

Take the plunge if you have not done so already.  The entry-level prices are really low.  Consider taking advantage of the sales of their other products if you wanted to add another new test over and above the basic one you may have already taken.

The sales will not last forever.  The sale prices now do not automatically become the new price in a few weeks after the holidays.  Check out the sites above for all of what they are offering now and through the next 30 days.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library