Category Archives: Tips

Smallest Cemetery In Chicago!; Do You Know Where It Is? It Even Connects Back To Napoleon!

Hi Everyone,

Cemetery Headstones Clip ArtOnce again one of my wonderful colleagues shared with me some insights into cemeteries that exist in the city of Chicago.  We often think of historical cemeteries that still exist within the current boundaries of Chicago as containing hundreds and thousands of burials across many acres of land.  Yet his sharing with me was related to the “smallest” cemetery in Chicago.  That caught my attention because it sounded like a great game question that would be asked on some kind of TV show.

My colleague also has a connection to all things “Napoleon”.  His knowledge of Napoleon is deep and wide.  He shared this “smallest” cemetery information with me because for him it has a “Napoleon” connection but for genealogists it has a connection because it is related to being a “cemetery”.

And we all know how genealogists like cemeteries!!

I am not going to give you the details in this blog post directly that would spoil your own discovery of the information.  I will give you the link that came from “Chicago History Today” on the internet that was shared with me by my colleague.  I found this fascinating to read!

Check out the story about Chicago’s “smallest” cemetery here:

Chicago’s Smallest Cemetery

It was just a fun thing to hear about and read about.  I think you will also enjoy adding on another bit of trivial genealogical knowledge to your repertoire of all of your other genealogy knowledge!

So now you are prepared to provide an answer if that question ever comes up in genealogical conversation in the Chicago area.

Let me see …. I wonder what the “largest” cemetery is in the city of Chicago??

And on and on and on!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

United States National Archives YouTube Channel; Many Genealogy Videos Within The National Archives Channel

Hi Everyone!

National Archives LogoOne of my colleagues shared a link with me to the National Archives on one subject that led me to look around for some other resources that can be helpful to genealogists.  But then again, just about anything at the National Archives that relates to the history of the country can be beneficial to genealogy researchers.

I also did notice that there is a United States National Archives channel on YouTube.

You can view all that is within the United States National Archives YouTube Channel at:

United States National Archives YouTube Channel

When you first peruse all that is there you will find lots and lots of materials.  I did a little more of a refined search and started searching for items of genealogical interest within the entire National Archives channel on YouTube using the search term “genealogy” within the search box to search the channel.

The results of this search also provided me with many wonderful items that areYouTube Logo genealogically related that are contained in the channel.

Here is a link to the “Genealogy” items within the United States National Archives YouTube Channel:

Genealogy Items Within The United States National Archives YouTube Channel

Items come up with and without having the word “genealogy” in the title.  The National Archives must be “tagging” or giving the items a note of being also under the umbrella of “genealogy” that you cannot determine from just looking at the item in the results list.  That is how my search using the term “genealogy” discovered them.

You will find many items of interest within the total National Archives channel.  I just find it interesting to see the varied topics that exist, many of which have rather lengthy videos to view.

I just wanted to make you aware of what is another great genealogical resource on YouTube specifically contained within the National Archives channel.

It is just fun to look through all the varied topics.  Something will jump out at you for you to click on and view.  I started clicking away at many of the small videos on preservation activities related to the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

National Archives Researcher News Newsletter; Subscribe To It Or Just Access It At Included Website; It Provides Information On How To Research At The National Archives

Hi Everyone!

National Archives LogoJust wanted to let you know that if you are considering using the National Archives of the United States as a research resource, you may want to connect with them via their website at:

National Archives of the United States

Or even better, you may want to take a look at a series of newsletters they have been creating at irregular intervals that is geared for the National Archives researcher.  The most recent newsletter publication date is May 2015.  A couple of the prior ones were published in July 2014.  Hence the term “irregularly” published.  You can submit your email to them and subscribe to receive the issues when they are published.

The inaugural newsletter started in 2006.

They seem to be published less frequently in the most recent years than they were when first started.  There is one for 2015, one for 2014,  and before 2014 there often were 3 to 4 per year.

The size of the newsletter also varies in size.  Some are in the 12 page range.  Some have been as much as 24 pages.

So publication intervals varies as does size of the newsletter itself.

I think it is worth making you aware of this resource so that you simply become more knowledgeable about using the National Archives materials in a more effective manner to advance your own research.  Their newsletter is a very good vehicle for you to become aware of key National Archives developments.

You can reach the newsletter page of the National Archives at:

National Archives Researcher News Newsletter

Check out the newsletters that are currently online.  Learn a lot more about the National Archives.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Revisit For Updated Illinois Databases; 5 Illinois Databases Have Been Updated In The Last 4 Months

Hi Everyone! LogoI was browsing around today.  I happened to notice that 5 of the total of 25 Illinois databases in the collection are noted as having been updated in the last 4 months.  Updated dates are being shown as for February and April 2015.

One thing I emphasize is that you must make return visits to your database resources because these are added to over time with new information, some of that information may be for your ancestors!

Illinois databases I noted that have been recently updated are:

  • Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1934 updated on April 24, 2015.  It contains 1,026,354 searchable records at this time.  Here is a direct link to the database Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1934.

If you are doing Illinois, Cook County, Chicago research and have not visited these databases of late, then now would be a good time to say hello again to these wonderful databases that are geared directly to your own research.  4 of the 5 updated databases are searchable.  One of them is only browseable by looking through the images.  This is still very useful to your search.  Don’t just use databases that are only indexed and searchable.  You can still make great headway in your research in the browseable only databases.  These are not that impossible to look through as you might think.

Generally, your research may be across many more states and counties.  So if I am able to report 5 of the Illinois databases have recently been updated, it is a good idea to check the other geographic areas of searching interest for any updating activities.

And also don’t forget to check on the international databases for the various countries you are researching.  They too are often updated.

Keep tuned in to your resources.  They may not change for a while and then all of a sudden new data appears!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Oral Interviews Are Critical To Your Genealogy Research; Watch/Listen To A 1 Hour Previously Recorded Webinar Presented By Barry Ewell Titled “Conducting Oral Interviews: The Most Important Research You’ll Ever Do”

Hi Everyone!

STDL Central Summer LgI receive an e-mail update on the blog activities of Barry Ewell who has a blog called “Genealogy with Barry”.  He forwards to me a blog newsletter titled “Genealogy By Barry Newsletter”.

I would highly recommend connecting to his online blog just to explore.  He has an incredible amount of content on the blog as well as an incredible amount of content in his newsletter.

You can visit his blog at:

Genealogy By Barry

In the December 1, 2014 newsletter, I noticed he had a “Webinar” subject category in the newsletter that contained a link to a webinar he created on a very important topic in genealogy research that I feel we often tend to overlook too much.  His webinar topic is called “Conducting Oral Interviews: The Most Important Research You’ll Ever Do”.

Interviews are so important early on in your genealogy research because the person you want to interview may not be available years after your  interest has started.  These relatives are generally elderly when you start your interest in genealogy.  You may think that you have time down the road to conduct an interview.  However, we all have our own personal stories of our relatives passing away due to an illness that may have taken their lives quickly.  These relatives may hold incredible family history stories for your research that can be gone in the blink of an eye as they age.

The availability of online data has made us turn away far too easily from conducting these important interviews.  We seem way too inclined to start tapping away at the keyboard rather than spending some serious time with a relative capturing their stories.  Sometimes we search online because we think what we know is enough to pursue genealogy.  Yet golden opportunities are wasted to get even more information from our elderly relatives because so much is at our fingertips.

Don’t pass up these wonderful opportunities to capture these stories before they are lost forever.

Barry Ewell has created a 1 hour and 8 minute online webinar of how to go about conducting these very important oral histories.  You want to make the most out of your time with an elderly relative to capture these moments.  Barry provides a nice webinar that will give you the roadmap you want to successfully conduct your own oral history interviews.

You can view Barry’s webinar at his web site at:

“Conducting Oral Interviews” Webinar by Barry Ewell

It may be one of the best hours you can spend to establish a good foundation for your family history research efforts.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Recipes And Food Connect Us To Our Past; Over 2,600 Recipe Links At “Genealogy By Barry” Blog To Check

Hi Everyone!

recipes - word in vintage letterpress wood type inside rustic wooden dough bowl, isolated on white

I routinely receive a newsletter update from a blog titled Genealogy By Barry. He does put together a wonderful resource for all genealogists.  If you are not familiar with his blog, just click on the above link to take a look at all that is there.  I think you will like what you see.

One of the things that caught my eye was a category he highlighted titled “2,679 Recipes”.  You can find the link to the “2,679 Forgotten Recipes” at Genealogy By Barry here:

Forgotten Recipes At Genealogy By Barry Blog

Food and recipes may have a spot in the heart of every genealogist.  I do notRecipes Photo1 mean from a nutritional point of view but rather from a “memory” creation view.  Let’s be honest.  No matter how old you are doing your genealogy, I will bet you that you can remember the food experiences of yourself as a child growing up.  These may be good experiences like when you overloaded eating some candy bought in the local candy store for 10 cents (bought after returning 5 Coke bottles to the store for a 2 cent per bottle deposit refund) or for that horrible food memory of having to eat a Polish soup dish called Czarnina (duck blood soup!  My personal experience!  Nothing against the Polish as I am one by ancestry!)  Remember, as a kid, you simply did not have all of the appreciation for food flavors then as we perhaps do now!!

Genealogy is about facts on births, marriages and deaths and other record related data.

But it is also memories and stories that should be captured to pass on to the next generations.  That is why this topic at Genealogy By Barry caught my eye.

When you look at some of the recipes contained in Genealogy By Barry, some might look and sound familiar.  Some may even sound gross!  Remember, these are the recipes of our ancestors from 1832 to 1928.

Recipe box with apple. Apple fritter recipe card showing.

But think of the story and memory you can add to your genealogy whether it is a specific recipe you find in Genealogy By Barry or you start remembering your own early life food experiences at home growing up!

See what the recipes at Genealogy By Barry triggers in your mind.  Add those thoughts to your own genealogy research.  It will add a lot to your own life story.

I still think about the Czarnina and even the Kiszka (a Polish sausage dish also known as

graphic hand-drawn illustrations. national Mexican soup and ingredients

“blood” sausage”).  Additionally, if you also let your brain take over in this exercise you will also probably begin remembering the “smells” of all of those food experiences.  I can actually smell the aroma of the raisins that were an ingredient of Czarnina made by my mother that made the soup somewhat palatable to me over and above the duck blood!

Include all of these things in your own genealogy and your story will be rich beyond just your date of birth!

Give yourself a little time as you peruse the 2,679 “Forgotten” recipes!  Enjoy.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

We Have Recently Added 4 New Genealogy Books To Our Circulating Collection

Hi Everyone!

STDL Central Summer LgI thought I would give you an update on some recently added genealogy books to our circulating collection.

In the last month or so we have added the following 4 genealogy books to our circulating collection:

Family Tree Historical Maps Book United StatesThe Family Tree Historical Maps Book: A State-by-State Atlas of U.S. history, 1790-1900 by Allison Dolan.  Call number is  929.1 DOLAN, A.




Family Tree Historical Maps Book EuropeThe Family Tree Historical Maps Book : Europe, a Country-by-Country Atlas of European History, 1700s-1900s by Allison Dolan.  Call number is NEW 929.1 DOLAN, A.




How to Archive Family PhotosHow To Archive Family Photos: A Step-by-Step Guide to Organize and Share Your Photos Digitally by Denise May Levenick.  Call number is NEW 929.1 LEVENICK, D.



Set Yourself Up To Self PublishSet Yourself Up to Self-Publish: A Genealogist’s Guide by Dina C. Carson.  Call number is NEW 929.1 CARSON, D.




The two historical maps books should be on the shelf for you to access.  But do check our online catalog to be sure they are available.  I believe I was even able to show them at our most recent genealogy program on May 12, 2015.

The Archive Family Photos and Self Publish books have just been received by me yesterday and are currently checked out to me for review.  These two books should be available to the public within the next couple weeks following this blog post.  Check our online catalog for availability of these 2 books if you are interested in either of them.

When you see the word “NEW” as part of the call number, it means that this book is being shelved in the special area by the “Ask Us” desk on the 2nd floor where newly added books to our collection are all in one shelf area for you to browse through among all subjects.  After approximately a 6 month interval has passed being categorized as “NEW”, the book is then filed on the normal circulating shelves and the category of “NEW” is then removed from the call number.

You can check our online library catalog for the above materials at:

Schaumburg Township District Library Online Catalog

I was very happy to discover these and add them to our circulating collection.  They do seem topical and current to help you in your research endeavors as they apply to your own genealogies.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library