Category Archives: Tips

Season 2 Of Genealogy Roadshow Back On Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) On Tuesday Evenings At 10 PM Chicago Time On Local WTTW; Plan To Watch The January 20, 2015 Program To See A Participant Connected To The Northwest Suburbs Present Their Story

Hi Everyone,

Genealogy Roadshow PBS LogoJust a reminder to all of you that 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

Please take a look especially at the upcoming January 20, 2015 program.  I have been told that there is a local suburban connection that will be part of the program.  Someone local to our area will be appearing on the show with their story that has to do with the Confederacy, New Orleans and the Civil War.

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

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

Feel even more connected to someone local to our own area and the story they will tell about their own personal genealogical mystery.

Don’t miss this show!!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


What Are All Those Acronyms And Abbreviations You See Associated In Genealogy Related Material??; Included Is A Nice List From The Association Of Professional Genealogists That Will Answer Your Mysterious Acronym Questions

Hi Everyone!

Association of Professional Genealogists LogoHave you ever been reading some genealogy published material and happen to come across those mysterious acronyms?

Surely you have seen some of the following:

  • CG
  • DAR
  • FUGA
  • NGS
  • NGSQ

Even though you are a knowledgeable genealogist, I am sure you find it very frustrating to come across acronyms like the above and not really know what they mean.  And you are even more frustrated when the acronym is not even defined within the article you are reading.  You know how that is.  It goes on your “To Do” list to find out and probably sits there still.

The same happens with me which is why this time I wanted to dig a little deeper and find not only my immediate answer to one acronym, but perhaps uncover an entire list of genealogically related acronyms.

And lo and behold, thanks to the Association of Professional Genealogists, I was able to make a discovery of a very nice genealogical acronym list they have created.

You can access this very nice list at the following link:

Genealogical Acronym List Provided By The Association Of Professional Genealogists

Now if you come across that mysterious genealogy acronym you can quickly refer to the above list and have the answers at your fingertips.

Thank you APG (oooops, I better define that – Association of Professional Genealogists.  Their logo above nicely defines the acronym!) for making this nice handy acronym list available to us.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Will Be Starting A DNA Special Interest Group (SIG); First Meeting Will Take Place On Saturday, January 10, 2015, At The Schaumburg Township District Library At 10:30 AM

Hi Everyone,

CAGGNI logoJust want to let you know of another new development from the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI).  As active as they are, they are  about to embark on hosting another new Special Interest Group (SIG).  The new SIG that they will be starting is the DNA Special Interest Group.

The group will have its first meeting this Saturday at 10:30 AM at our library, the Schaumburg Township District Library which is located at 130 S. Roselle Road in Schaumburg, IL.

The SIG will be led by Alan and Michelle Wilson who are members of the CAGGNI group.

Here is a quoted program description from the group’s recent January 2015 Newsletter:


“CAGGNI is proud to announce Chicagoland’s first genetic genealogy special interest group.  The group will meet periodically throughout the year.  The first meeting will take place on January 10, at 10:30 am at Schaumburg Library. All CAGGNI members are welcome to attend and guests considering joining CAGGNI are welcome to attend as well.

Our DNA group will focus on learning the methods for analyzing DNA test results.  Throughout the year we will study autosomal DNA (“family finder” and “cousin finder” tests), mitochondrial DNA, Y-DNA and surname projects, X-DNA, and ancestral admixture results.  We’ll investigate third-party tools for analyzing your raw data results and for 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.  Bring your laptop or tablet and, if you’ve already tested, have your login credentials handy for accessing your results. 

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


You can connect to the CAGGNI group online at their website at:

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI)

DNA Clip ArtIf you have submitted a DNA sample for genealogy purposes and are having a hard time making meaningful conclusions from your test results, then it sure sounds like this SIG group may be a good group to connect to.

I know this is somewhat short notice, but if you want to know more about how to interpret your DNA results as well as to learn more about many of the other DNA tests that can also be taken, this is the program to consider attending at our library.

Learn about DNA testing.  Learn about CAGGNI.  Learn about all of the other resources CAGGNI offers.  Non-members are welcome.  Consider taking the next step and become a member of CAGGNI.  You won’t regret it.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


Genealogy Estate Planning Tutorial Video At; Genealogy Codicil Form PDF Also Included

Hi Everyone, LogoIn my exploration of a variety of genealogy videos at, I happened to come across one that I thought was very good and that applies to all genealogical researchers.

It is also a video on a topic that is one we do not want to acknowledge.  And that topic is our own mortality.

For all of the years that we research our family history, perhaps it is good that we acknowledge our own mortality as it applies to all of our research material.  I have heard far too many stories about a genealogy researcher passing away and family members simply throwing out all of their paper research material out of ignorance or lack of direction.

What would you do if you were an executor faced with doing something with what is meaningless paper for you in trying to clean up someone’s estate?  If you value your research and research efforts, perhaps it is time to recognize your mortality.  While you are living,  provide your family members with clear direction as to how your genealogy research is to be handled after your death.

The 25 minute video is titled “Genealogy Estate Planning”.  It was created by Crista Cowen a frequent creator of wonderful genealogy YouTube videos from  Crista provides some matter of fact directions on how to go about passing on your family history research so that it does not wind up in the garbage dump or recycling bin!

You can see the video directly here:

Think about what genealogy researchers do.  They research the lives of our deceased ancestors!  None of us can escape our final end.  So why not acknowledge our end and provide direction about your materials while you can.

One of the tools I also discovered is a Genealogy Codicil Form.  This is a form that can become part of your existing Will.  It provides your Executor and the Legal Community with written direction as to how to treat your genealogy research material.  I thought this form is something you can use as you think through the process of directing your genealogy research material after your death.

Here is a copy of that form to consider to use with an existing Will or to include in a newly created Will:

Genealogy Codicil Form

View Crista’s “Genealogy Estate Planning” video and take a look at the Genealogy Codicil Form.

Don’t take a chance and have your life’s research work wind up in the dump or a paper recycling facility.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

New Season Of “Who Do You Think You Are?” Starts On Tuesday Evening, February 24, 2015, At 9 PM Central Time On TLC; Check TLC Website For Show Information

Hi Everyone!

Who Do You Think You Are?I just want to let you know that the new season for “Who Do You Think You Are?” will be starting on the cable channel TLC on Tuesday evening, February 24, 2015, at 9 PM Central time.

Previously, when the show was on NBC, they dedicated a portion of their website to the show so that you could always get updates on the show.  TLC appears to be doing the same for this show as it unfolds during this season.  You can find the information for the show on TLC at:

“Who Do You Think You Are?” Website At TLC

You will find a”teaser” video on the four announced upcoming “stars” that will appear on the show for the 2015 season.  In fact most of what is there at the site for the program as of my recent visit still contains mainly material from the 2014 season.

There will be 8 episodes of the show for this new season on TLC.

Four of the eight “stars” have been identified for this season.  The other four stars will be identified at a future time.  Here are the four “stars” identified so far that will appear on the show during the 8 episode run for the season on TLC.  The order is alphabetical and does not represent the order of the shows as they appear to the best of my knowledge:

  • Julie Chen
  • Angie Harmon
  • Sean Hayes
  • Bill Paxton

Make sure you mark down the date and time and plan to watch these shows in their original airing rather than at a later time if you can.  (Ratings are important for continuity of this wonderful show!)  Last year if you did not watch the original airing or did not DVR the show, your alternative was to purchase a copy from iTunes to catch up on shows missed and not recorded by yourself.

Now is the time to get the buzz going and to reconnect with some TV help and entertainment to motivate you in your own genealogical research efforts.

Mark your calendar for Tuesday evening, February 24, 2015 at 9 PM Central Time on TLC on cable.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“What’s New At December 2014″ 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 2014 video posted from that is titled “What’s New At December 2014″.

The video is an approximate 32 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 – Roots Tech 2015 and Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) (Combined Conferences), February 12 to 14, 2015, Salt Lake City, UT; National Genealogical Society (NGS) Annual Conference, May 13-16, 2015 at St. Charles, Missouri; Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, June 4-7, 2015, Burbank, CA,
  • New Product – Historical Insights for iOS (not yet for Android) – A newly created iOS app from explores different events throughout history that you can tie into the time of your ancestor.
  • New Appearance to Search Template – template for searching looks different.  The new appearance is being rolled out gradually so you may not yet be able to see it.  Search Filters start automatically popping up when you start entering in search terms.  Kristin has produced a video to watch about this new appearance that is on the channel at YouTube at
  • New DNA Circles – for public trees, if you have done an DNA test, your matched results are included in your tree.  Kristin also has a video on the channel at YouTube at .
  • New Databases – has added 11 new databases, many of which are  specific to the Oklahoma Indian Record Collection that are very helpful if your ancestral connections lead to the Five Civilized Tribes.  Some of the databases are fully indexed, some are just images that are browseable.  Some of the dates go back to 1850.  Some dates are as current as 1937.  Even if you do not have a connection to the Five Civilized Tribes, some of the data may help you if your ancestors were possibly involved in the Oklahoma Land Rush era between 1889 to 1926.  One of the files in general also covers Indian Treaties from 1722 to 1869.
  • New Database – United Kingdom World War I Service Medal and Awards Rolls, 1914-1920.  Contains 5 million records.
  • New Databases – New South Wales, Australia, Criminal Court Records, 1830-1945
  • New Database – UK Lunacy Records, 1882-1898
  • New Database – UK Criminal Lunatic Asylum Registers, 1820-1843
  • New Database – West Yorkshire (UK) Bastardy Records, 1690-1914
  • 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 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

Family Tree DNA And DNA Have Their DNA Kits On Sale For The Holiday Season; Might Be A Good Gift Idea For Yourself Or Your Relatives

Hi Everyone!

Family Tree DNAAs expected during the Holiday season, genealogy DNA testing kits are on sale within Family Tree DNA (FTDNA).

You can visit Family Tree DNA at their website at:

FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA)

The Family Tree DNA website notes that the three main DNA test kits are on sale:

  • The yDNA kit is marked down from $169 to $129.
  • Family Finder kit is marked down from $99 to $89.
  • The mtDNA kit is marked down from $199 to $169

The sale is good until December 31, 2014.  Now is the time to act for the holidays and take advantage of the discounted price across their major DNA kits.

Family Tree DNA also notes that it contains over 700,000 DNA results in its database, being the largest DNA database in the world.  Having your test done with an organization that has such a high number of participants means you stand a good chance to have some matches for your own submitted test. DNA is also having their test on sale.

You can visit them at their website at: DNA

They are noting a sale price on their kit as follows:

  • Regular price of $99 is now on sale for $89

The sale price is in effect only until December 21, 2014.

Think of even giving the test to other relatives as a Holiday gift.

Think of even giving these DNA test kits at a sale price to the most important person in your research  — YOURSELF!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library