Our Next Genealogy Program Is Coming Up On Tuesday Evening July 10, 2018 At 7:30 PM

Hi Everyone!

I thought I would post this reminder of our next upcoming Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library.

There is no pre-registration required in order to attend the program.  There is no fee charged to attend.  Anyone can attend this program.  You do not have to be a library card holder with the Schaumburg Township District Library in order to attend.

Here are the details of our upcoming program for Tuesday evening, July 10, 2018:

Marsha Peterson-Maass

Come early to review genealogical materials. At 7:45 p.m. guest presenter Marsha Peterson-Maass shares 10 solutions to common genealogical brick walls that most genealogists encounter, including search strategies, helpful record types, networking tips and more.

Marsha got her start in genealogy in high school when she entered a family history project in the State of Illinois History competition and tied for state champion. Her first formal training in genealogy was at The Newberry Library, Chicago, in a beginner’s class that she now teaches. She is the author of the Fundamentals of Genealogy® textbook series, and today, along with teaching and lecturing on a wide range of topics.

Fundamentals of Genealogy®: The Most Helpful Tools You’ve Never Used and Fundamentals of Genealogy®: Basics for Everyone will be available for purchase for $20 each (a 20% discount).

The doors to the room will open at approximately 7 PM so participants can pick up any handouts, review books and journals and interact with other participants. Tony Kierna, the STDL genealogist, will start the program at 7:30. Introductions of new participants will occur as well as a brief review of handouts and genealogical matters. It is expected that the guest speaker’s presentation will start at around 7:45-8:00 PM. We will end the session by 9:30 PM.

For further information contact Tony Kierna at 847-923-3390.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

July 2018 Newsletter Titled “Cirkular” From The Swedish American Museum; No Genealogy Program Is Scheduled During July 2018

Hi Everyone!

I have been receiving some activities updates from the Swedish American Museum in Chicago, IL recently.  Some of the activities maybe specifically related to genealogical events or programs.  Other events may have a historical context as it applies to Swedish history and ancestry.  Some events may be cultural.

I thought I would share with you a recent issue of the July 2018 Newsletter called the Cirkular that I received from the Swedish American Museum.

The museum itself is located at 5211 North Clark Street in Chicago, IL.  The phone number for the museum is 773-728-8111.

You can reach the general website for the Swedish American Museum at:

Swedish American Museum in Chicago, IL

The Swedish American Genealogical Society normally has a genealogy program on the 4th Saturday of each month from January to November at the Museum.  However, the Calendar of the Museum is showing there is NO Genealogy Program scheduled during the month of July 2018.  The Cirkular Newsletter does highlight that there are “sign-up” times to come to the Museum and arrange to sit down with someone that can offer research help. Check out that part in the Newsletter if that is of interest to you.

You can look at the Calendar of Events for the Swedish American Museum here at:

Swedish American Museum Calendar of Events

You can contact the Nordic Family Genealogy Center through the museum at genealogy@samac.org.

It actually looks like there is plenty to do if you are interested in discovering more about Swedish history, culture and ancestry.

Go to the following link and take a peek at all that you could be doing  during July 2018 at the Swedish American Museum:

Events At The Swedish American Museum In Chicago July 2018

See what interests you.  Make a connection with the society if you are digging deep into your Swedish roots.  Take a look at all of the cultural doings going on at the Museum during the month of July 2018.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“Chicago And Cook County Cemeteries” Website; Placename Listings; Also Within Townships; Many Blog Posts

Hi Everyone!

Once again, Tom, my wonderful colleague at the library has made me aware of a great website that I was not aware of.  This website goes under the name of “Chicago and Cook County Cemeteries”.

A quick review by me shows this is a “keeper” site for you to bookmark on your browsers.

You can get to this site here:

Chicago and Cook County Cemeteries

Check out the alphabetical listings sections of the cemeteries.

Check out the geographic section by township identification and see what cemeteries are within each township to help you correlate ancestral family locations by township.

Also, browse through the various blog posts.  I looked at the one in the most recent list titled “Chicago Area Undertakers” and saw that it was loaded with all kinds of old-time advertisements related to Chicago undertakers (Skeeles Bros. $25 casket, $65, casket and funeral!).  “Undertaker” was the title used back in the day in comparison to today’s title of “Funeral Director”.

I think if you have any Chicago ancestral connection you really must browse through the variety of blog posts under the category of “cemeteries”.  They are historically fascinating to read as well as look at all of the sundry included documents and maps and images.

This is really a fun site to spend some time exploring.  The pictures, maps and advertisements will just keep pulling you in deeper and deeper.

This is the time of the year in our area for you to do your cemetery research on site and not just by tapping your fingers on a keyboard.  Of course, I don’t think I would head out to a cemetery on one of our recent 97 degree summer days.  But our “cemetery” season is relatively short to visit the final resting places of our ancestors.  You can really get some good info at this site to use to prepare for any on-site cemetery research you plan on doing over the next 3-4 months in our area.

Enjoy this site!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Journal Article Comparing 5 Different DNA Tests For Genealogy; Pros And Cons Noted; Includes A Nice Comparison Table; Worth Reading To See The Differences

Hi Everyone!,

My colleague Tom at our library made me aware of a journal article he saw in ScienceNews that provided a comparison of a user’s experience in having genealogical DNA tests done across 5 different service providers.

It looked like a good article that I want to share with you.

The five companies mentioned in the article that were used for testing by the author were:

  • National Geographic Geno 2.0
  • Living DNA (I had not been aware of this company)
  • Family Tree DNA
  • 23AndMe
  • Ancestry DNA

The author provides insights into her experience with each of the above companies.  She identifies test names she had done and also provides some “Pros” and “Cons” on her experience as well as on the tests she had done.

You can see the article here:

“What I Actually Learned About My Family After Trying 5 DNA Ancestry Tests”

She also includes a nice table for the 5 services showing the costs for the tests done and noting what each company test includes or does not include for various genetic tests.

Well-worth taking a look at the article and especially at the table of comparisons for a nice birds-eye view of costs and services.

Thank you Tom for making me aware of this article!

Enjoy the article.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

New Poll On Right Sidebar Of The Blog; Simple Question Being Posed; “Have You Created A Family History Book Of Your Research That You Have Published In Print Or E-Book Format?”; “Yes” or “No

Hi Everyone!

Well, here goes another Poll that is now on the right sidebar of the blog right at the top of the blog homepage.

I am just asking for a simple response to a very basic question.

“Have You Created A Family History Book Of Your Research That You Have Published In Print Or E-Book Format?”

A) Yes

B) No

Yes, that is a pretty big step to take with your research.  We all might have overwhelming amounts of research materials we have captured over many years.  We might have copies of documents, original material, letters, photos and the list goes on and on of what we have.  But the amount of material we have does not necessarily make it easy for anyone interested in your research to make heads or tails out of it.  Much of it may well be considered published if you have uploaded it to your favorite “family tree” websites, either those that are free or those that you subscribe to.  But an uploaded family tree is not the same as a fully published book.

Maybe taking the next “big” step and distilling the material into a published family history book in print or E-Book format will bring clarity and conciseness to all of the hard work you put into your research.  Just think of the notoriety to be gained as your book sits on the shelf of some prestigious library or archive!  Of course, it could also be in electronic E-book formatting sitting on someone’s phone or tablet!

I personally have not published my family history in print.  So I am not telling you to do something that I have not done myself.

Over time I have come across some researchers that have in fact created a family history book in print as well as in E-Book format, being published with an actual publishing company.  Maybe the poll question has piqued your curiosity?  Here is something I found online that can give you some insights into the process of writing and publishing a family history book as well as resources that are out there for you to tap into:

Writing and Publishing Your Family History by Penny Stratton

On-Demand Printing and Self-Publishing Resources from CyndisList

But I want to know if you have taken the true authoring plunge and have not only created a book of your research but have actually had it published in print with a real life publishing company.  Or maybe you have put together your material in actual book form following E-book formats and self-published it, that counts too.

If so, you have really reached the pinnacle of authorship!

I think this is a simple and direct question.

So where do you fit into the responses ?  Yes or No

Let the poll speak for itself

Lets see how the responses go to the question at hand with just a simple “Yes” or “No” to pick from.

So …………………….“Have You Created A Family History Book Of Your Research That You Have Published In Print Or E-Book Format?”

A) Yes

B) No

Simple, direct and to the point!

Take a look at the new Poll.  Consider providing a reply.

Let’s see how active this poll can be.

The more the merrier!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Poll On The Right Sidebar Has Been Closed For “Have You Gone To Visit Your Ancestral Town/Village Of Origin Outside Of The United States?”; Results Indicated

Hi Everyone!

It is amazing that about 6 months has passed on the life of the poll I had on the right sidebar of the blog since November 21, 2017.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order!

The poll had asked the following question:

“Have You Gone To Visit Your Ancestral Town/Village Of Origin Outside Of The United States?”

A) Yes

B) No

The results of the poll showed the following from the 94 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their response to the question.  The numbers show that:

  • 53 respondents (56.38%) have not visited their ancestral home town outside of the United States
  • 41 respondents (43.62%) have visited their ancestral home town outside of the United States

I apologize for the long delay between polls.  My own goal is to have a new poll about every three months.  This interval was way too long at six months.  I knew I have been very busy over the last few months working on Veterans History Project matters as well as working on our library becoming a FamilySearch Affiliate Library.  Good goals so I hope you understand.

I was surprised that the results show such a high amount for those that have in fact visited their ancestral town of origin outside of the United States.  Not a majority, but to me 43% is pretty high to have done that.

Genealogy trips to ancestral homes is a growing activity.  There are many travel companies that are offering such trips with fluent guides to help you through the language barriers when they exist.  My research is Polish.  I am a member of the Polish Genealogical Society of America.  As such, from the journal I receive through them I am aware that there is much talk about a variety of Polish genealogical tours to the homeland and in particular to villages associated with your own ancestry.

Congratulations to all of those that responded they had returned to their town of origin.  I bet it was a great feeling to walk the same land as your ancestors.  Perhaps, you were even able to discover grave sites of your ancestors and pay them homage while standing right above them!  And even more, perhaps you actually were able to see the actual homes they grew up and left from!

For the rest of us that have not made the trip, perhaps that desire will develop down the road.  Keep an open mind.

Hope you had fun in participating in this poll or just seeing the online results as they were occurring.

I am always looking for a larger response than even that which I just saw!  So come on down ——  affix your opinion as a “Yes” or “No” when so asked to the varied polls on different topics in the world of genealogy and family history research or select from a list of choices to answer the question.  Your answers count.

I plan on putting up a new poll rapidly.  Come back for that one to see the new question being asked.

A big thank you to all of those (94) that took the time to respond to this just recently closed poll.  Take a look at the results of that poll to satisfy your own curiosity.

Don’t forget to visit my Poll Archives as part of this blog.  Look for the link at the top of the homepage of the blog where it simply says “Poll Archives”.  In here you will find the statistical results of the 30 previously active polls in addition to the poll that is generally “active”.  If you were not aware of this Archive, you may want to visit to see what all the previous polls were about.

Here is a direct link to the Poll Archives at my blog:

Poll Archives At Tony’s Genealogy Blog At The Schaumburg Township District Library (STDL)

Get ready for another poll ……………………..SOON!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Details Of The Upcoming Polish Genealogical Society Of America (PGSA) Annual Conference Scheduled For Friday And Saturday, September 14 And September 15, 2018 Are Now Available

Hi Everyone!

PGSA Logo Clip ArtI have just received a notice from the Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) that the program details of the upcoming 2018 Annual Conference have been finalized for Friday, September 14, 2018 and Saturday, September 15, 2018.

The event that will take place on Friday, September 14, 2018 is a bus tour that  is titled “Chicago’s (All New) North Side Polonia Bus Tour”.  You can choose to participate in the bus tour only if you would like and not participate in the conference itself that takes place on Saturday.  And vice versa, you can participate in the conference only on Saturday and not the bus tour on Friday.  And yes, you can participate in BOTH events on each day.

The conference on Saturday, September 15, 2018 will take place at the European Crystal Banquets and Conference Center located at 519 W. Algonquin Road, Arlington Heights, IL.

Lodging is available at the Double Tree Hilton located at 75 W. Algonquin Road, Arlington Heights, IL for anyone coming from out-of-town.

The bus tour leaves from the hotel on the morning of Friday, September 14, 2018.  Check in and begin seating for the bus tour occurs between 7:15 – 7:45 am with departure at 7:45 am.

The link below will get you to a full (4 pages) PDF of the Conference Flyer that includes all of the details about the bus tour, the conference and the costs for either and both as well as the programs that the speakers will be giving:

September 14-15, 2018 PGSA Annual Conference 4 Page Flyer

Please note, the conference flyer contains information on the early registration discounts available for both members of the PGSA and for non-members.

The PGSA is bringing in the following speakers for the Saturday, September 15, 2018 all day series of programs:

  • Ceil Wendt Jensen
  • Tadeusz Pilat (from Warsaw, Poland)
  • W. Fred Hoffman
  • Ola Heska
  • Marsha Peterson-Maass

The PGSA puts on an impressive Annual Conference each year over a 2 day period.  Kudos to the society for doing a conference over 2 days and giving you so many choices of participating in a bus tour only, the conference only and both the conference and bus tour over the two days.

You may also want to visit the PGSA website itself to find out more about the organization and the resources it offers at the website to help in your Polish ancestral research.

You will also be in touch with news of the upcoming conference as any announcements are made from PGSA.

You can visit their website at:

Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) Website

Mark your calendars for this event especially if you are an avid Polish researcher regardless of where you live!.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library