Category Archives: Tips

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Offers DNA Special Interest Group (SIG) On Saturday July 9, 2016

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, July 9, 2016 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:


CAGGNI genomic genealogy group continues into its second year. This group focuses on learning the methods for analyzing DNA test results. Throughout the year we will study 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:  Al & Michelle Wilson

More information: DNA Special Interest Group

Best regards,


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

Genealogy Roadshow 2016 Season 3 ; Episodes 3-7 Available For Free To Watch

Hi Everyone!

Genealogy Roadshow PBS LogoGenealogy Roadshow has been up and running on PBS this summer.  The successful genealogy TV show is currently in Season 3.

Perhaps you have missed some of the episodes that have been aired.  Normal original airing on the local PBS station of WTTW is Tuesday evenings at 8 PM Chicago time.

If you want to do a mini-binge watch to catch up with the 5 most recently aired episodes of Season 3, you can connect with PBS to see them.  Episodes for 2016 that have so far aired based on origin of city where they took place are:

  • Season 3 Episode 1 2016 Albuquerque (Available Only Through PBS Membership)
  • Season 3 Episode 2 2016 Miami (Available Only Through PBS Membership)
  • Season 3 Episode 3 2016 Houston (View for Free)
  • Season 3 Episode 4 2016 Favorite Stories (View for Free)
  • Season 3 Episode 5 2016 Boston (View for Free)
  • Season 3 Episode 6 2016 Providence (View for Free)
  • Season 3 Episode 7 2016 Los Angeles (View for Free)

You get to view the above noted full hour shows for free at PBS at the following:

2016 Genealogy Roadshow Episodes To View For Free

You can view the 5 most recently aired episodes for the current season for free.  You will see that there are previous season episodes of the show in full-time viewing length at the website.  However, you would need to be member of PBS in order to view these.

So, if you want to catch up with season 3 episodes 3 to 7 you can do so for free.  Previous season episodes can only be viewed  through membership.

Here is a great opportunity to view shows you may have never seen while so much else on TV is in rerun versions.

Have a mini-binge watch!  It will make you feel good!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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

The video is an approximate 25 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 –  Midwest African-American Genealogical Institute, July 12-14, 2016, Fort Wayne, IN; BYU Family History Conference, July 26-29, 2016, Provo, UT;  IAJGS Conference, August 7-12, 2016, Seattle, WA; Federation of Genealogy Societies, August 31-Sept 3, 2016, Springfield, IL
  • Ancestry DNA – New matching algorithm created to improve ancestor discoveries.
  • Ancestry Academy – New videos.  “Science Behind Ancestry DNA Results (Free); “Researching Railroad Workers” (Subscription); “War of 1812 Records” (Subscription)
  • New Databases – Hesse, Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, Burials, 1661-1875This 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 also indexed and searchable with a template to filter your search.  Records are in German.  There are no images associated with the indexed text results.  You will be able to see Name of the individual, birth date, event type, event date, event place and relatives noted in search results.  Will find even more pieces of information if you open up the “View Record” link.
  • New Databases – Frankenberg, Germany, Residence Records, 1809-1928.  This new database contains about 52,000 records.  Records are in German.  Citizens in this town had to register their location and their moves, whether moving within the town or outside of the town.   The database is also indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  It is linked to images of the original records.  Browse on the right side to see what image sets are available (not very well described as to contents, B7a bd 01 etc.!).  Or just search the entirety of the file.  Images of the original handwritten scanned pages are provided.
  • New Databases – New Mexico, Land Records of New Spain, 1692-1846.  This new database contains about 2,230 records.  Records are in Spanish.    Always a good idea to browse the listing of the categories.  Categories for this database are by different kinds of land activities.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  Searchable by keyword and not by surname.  Browse the right side of the database to see from what lists of land related groupings of information exist.  Images of the scanned handwritten pages are available to see as to what is linked to the index.
  • New Databases – U.S. Applications for Seaman’s Protection Certificates, 1916-1940.  This new database contains about 315,000 records.  Application served as a “passport” for the seaman for both ocean travel and great lakes travel in the U.S.  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.    Choose from a variety of U.S. states.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a basic size template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  Browse the right side of the database to select from the list of states.  Index results will give you Name of the person, Birth Place, Birth Date, Application Date, Application Place.  Images of the handwritten scanned pages are linked to the indexed surname.  Images are generally typed documents and may contain picture of the individual making application as well as signature.
  • New Databases – Arizona Territorial Censuses, 1864-1882.  This new database contains about 85,000 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 listing will give you a choice to select a particular Arizona Territorial Census to select to search or you search all of them.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a basic size template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.    Index results give the Name of the Person, Birth Year, Birth Place, and Residence Year related to the census.
  • New Databases – Arizona, County Marriage Records, 1865-1972.  This new database contains about 1.3 million records.    Always a good idea to browse the listing of the records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.    Browse right side of database to see what counties of Arizona are contained 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.   The index results will give you the name of the person, the birth date, affidavit or marriage date, license or marriage county, name of spouse.  Image of marriage record is linked to index item.
  • New Databases – Crista also mentioned that were many databases added for German records.  There was no one big database file added but rather many databases containing smaller numbers of German records.  Looks like about 12 new German databases added.
  • 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

Season 3 Of Genealogy Roadshow Back On Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) On Tuesday Evenings At 7 PM Chicago Time On Local WTTW; 3 Episodes Of Season 3 Already Aired; Do Some Binge Watching!

Hi Everyone,

Genealogy Roadshow PBS LogoJust a reminder to all of you that Season 3 of the  Genealogy Roadshow is now back on PBS with new episodes.  You can find information about the show at the following PBS website:

Genealogy Roadshow Website At PBS

The nice thing about this series of genealogy shows is that you can view any missed  entire episodes of Season 3 for free at the above PBS website.  So if you have missed an episode you can always view it from within the above website.

You can also go back and view in entirety all of the Season 1 and Season 2 episodes right here with a caveat.  WTTW makes Season 1 and Season 2 available for viewing only to WTTW Passport Members.

PBS Genealogy Roadshow  , Season 1, Season 2 and Season 3 Episodes

The list of full video episodes appears in most recently aired order of original episodes for Season 3, Season 2 and Season 1.  You will see a total of 14 episodes to select from.  Great link to find all of the shows that have aired all in one place!  However, only WTTW Passport Members are allowed to view the Season 1 and 2 episodes.  These will be marked with “+” sign by that episode.

You can sort of do a workaround and go to and do a search using “Genealogy Roadshow”.  It looks many of the previously aired Season 1 and 2 episodes can be found here for viewing.  Just look for the episodes that are about 50+ minutes in length and not the preview videos which are only a few minutes in length.  You can visit the Genealogy Roadshow channel on YouTube at:

Genealogy Roadshow on YouTube

The audio quality of some of these videos is not the best.

Let these wonderful episodes motivate you in your own genealogical research.

Don’t miss this show!!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

We Have Added The 6 Volume Set Of The “Bohemian National Cemetery” Indexes Covering 1877-1902 To Our Library’s Reference Collection; Helpful For Czech Chicago Ancestral Research

Hi Everyone!

STDL Central Summer LgJust want to let you know that our library has added the 6 volume set of “Bohemian National Cemetery” Indexes to our Reference Collection.  The material can be found on the 2nd floor of our library on the Reference shelves behind the “Ask Us” desk. For those of you coming to our library to use this set you will find it is cataloged with the Call Number of R 929.3 BOHEMIAN.

The cemetery itself is located in the northwest part of the City of Chicago at the intersection of Foster Ave (5200 North) and Pulaski (4000 West).   You can obtain further information about the Bohemian National Cemetery at the following website:

Bohemian National Cemetery

The volumes cover the following year spans:

  • Volume I: Burials 1877-1887
  • Volume II: Burials 1888-1892
  • Volume III: Burials 1893-1895
  • Volume IV: Burials 1896-1899
  • Volume V: Burials 1900-1902
  • Volume VI: 1877-1902, Indexes

Volumes I through V would generally be used if you have the surname of a person of interest for research and the year they died.  If you do not know a year of death use Volume VI because it has all the names included for the total years covered by the set.  Find the name here and it will point you to which of the first five volumes where it can found.

Each of the first five volumes has about 11 pages of introductory information on some good insights into the history of the cemetery as well as some translation aids to help with Czech words.  There is also a map of the cemetery as well as a map of the City of Chicago that shows the location of the cemetery within the city in relation to the entire city.  Well worth looking at this if you want some good background information on the cemetery and the history surrounding it.

All of these indexes and all of the information contained within were created by the Chicago Genealogical society.

If you have a name of interest and you find it in one of the indexes, you will be able to obtain the following information for that name from within Volumes I to Volume V:

  • Burial number
  • Year of Burial
  • Month of Burial
  • Day of Burial
  • Name of the person, surname first followed by given name
  • Grave Location consisting of Row, Number, Lot, Block, Section
  • Age of the deceased showing Year, Month and Day if applicable
  • Birth Place of the Deceased basically at a high level such as Moravia, Chicago, Bohemia but not at a Town or Village level.
  • Place of Death noted as a street address
  • Death date consisting of Year, Month, Day
  • Undertaker name
  • Remarks that might include moving of the body from one section to another or any other remarks of note or interest.

Volume VI is like and Index of Indexes.  This volume is good to use first if you have a surname of interest because all the years from 1877-1902 are covered for surnames.  Find a name here and it will point you to the specific volume it occurs in where you can obtain all of the above mentioned details.

Volume VI also contains a Grave Location Index.  This information is within Lot, Block order within the alphabetical sections of A through Z.  Nice to use if you know your ancestor and want to see who is buried around.

Volume VI also contains a Numerical Sections index.  It is in Section order first and then within Lot order.

All of the information contained in this set is Bohemian National Cemetery information on grave sites and who is buried at the cemetery.  There is no connecting information on obituaries.

For those of you coming to our library to use this set you will find it is cataloged with the Call Number of R 929.3 BOHEMIAN.  It is located on our Reference shelves on the 2nd floor of our library behind the Ask Us desk.

If you can’t come to our library to view the material, you can always call us at 847-985-4000.  Ask for the “Ask Us”  Desk.  A librarian should be able to do a quick lookup for you using Volume VI where all the surnames covering 1877 to 1902 can be found.

The books are on the shelf now.

Hope the information contained in them can be of help to your Czech/Bohemian genealogical research for those ancestors that may have lived in Chicago and that may be buried there.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


3 “Free” Genealogy Program Videos From Fountaindale Public Library In Bolingbrook Available To View; Programs Were Initially “Live Streamed”; Theme For The 3 Programs Is “Hunting Down Sensational Stories”

Hi Everyone!

Fountaindale LogoThe Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook, IL recently had a Genealogy Day on May 7, 2016.  During that day they presented 3 Genealogy Programs under the theme of “Hunting Down Sensational Stories”.

On-site attendance reached maximum capacity as was expected and the library was going to “live stream” the actual video of the programs to those that would not have been able to attend in person.  Even better, the library recorded these programs that are now available for anyone to watch online through the links to these programs.

Here are the titles of the 3 programs along with the presenter name:

  • Session 1 – 9:30 am to 11 am – “Using HistoryLines to Tell Your Family Story” presented by Adam Allgaier
  • Session 2 – 11:30 am to 1 pm – “Sensational Deaths and Where to Find Them” presented by Tina Beaird
  • Session 3 – 2:15 pm to 4 pm – “Tracking Infamous Ancestors in Court Records” presented by Ray Johnson

These three lengthy programs can now be seen at the following site:

May 7, 2016 Fountaindale Public Library Genealogy Day Video Recorded Programs

As you can see each program is about 75 to 90 minutes in length.  These are all available for you to watch.  No sign-in, no registration, no being a member of the library!  Anyone can view them.

You will see a large video image of the program.  Just click on the arrow to start the program.  I did note that when you start them, there may be a fairly long lead time of a few minutes before the actual program video is seen.  No problem.  They work.

One of the speakers is Tina Beaird who we just had at our genealogy program just passed on May 10, 2016.  She presents a totally different program in one of the videos above.

Additionally, scroll down past the videos themselves and you will see links to access the full handouts for each program in PDF format.

Congratulations and a big “thank you” to the Fountaindale Public Library for this massive undertaking of not only having Genealogy Day, but also for “live streaming” as well as recording the programs and making them available for all to see!

A big round of thanks goes to Debra Dudek of the library who was the person behind making all of this happen.  Debra just recently presented a program on “BillionGraves” at our own library on April 12, 2016.

So glad I can make all of you aware of this wonderful opportunity to view 3 great genealogy programs on different topics, one or all that can help you with your own research.

Enjoy the 3 programs!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

May/June 2016 Illinois State Genealogical Society Online Newsletter Available To All; 30 Pages; Many Different Topics; Archive To Previous Newsletters From 2008-2016

Hi Everyone!

ISGS LogoJust want to let you know that the May/June 2016 Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) Online Newsletter is available for you to read.  You do not need to be a member of the society in order to access this material.

You can find it here:

May/June 2016 Illinois State Genealogical Society Newsletter

Some of the things you could expect to see in this newsletter are:

  • President’s Column
  • Book Reviews
  • New Members List
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Upcoming Conference News
  • Webinars Offered by the Society
  • Governing Board Meeting Schedule
  • Calendar of Genealogy Events
  • Tips
  • Resources

Lots of good material throughout the newsletter to keep you informed on many genealogical topics applicable to the state of Illinois.  Plenty of embedded links for you to access from the PDF file of the newsletter.

You can also access the archive of previously published Illinois State Genealogical Society Newsletters from 2008-2016 at:

2008-2016 Illinois State Genealogical Society Online Newsletters

Check out the current newsletter as well as the archive of newsletters spanning 2008-2016.

You can visit the main website of the society at:

Illinois State Genealogical Society

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library