Our Next Genealogy Program Is Coming Up On Tuesday Evening April 14, 2015 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, April 14, 2015:

Sandra Trapp Feb 24 2014The Genealogy program will be held on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 7:30 PM in the 2nd floor Classroom. The guest speaker for the evening will be Sandra Trapp. Sandra will present a program titled “Using FamilySearch.org”.

FamilySearch.org is the largest, free genealogy resource on the internet. This program will cover why you want to have an account; tips for searching the records; creating and editing your Family Tree; adding photos, stories and documents, accessing FamilySearch’s digitized books, how to get help, searching the catalog and ordering film and a few other features of interest.

Sandra Trapp has provided genealogy programs for various local genealogy organizations and libraries. She volunteers at the Naperville Family History Center as its Resource Chairman and is a former Director of the Genealogical Forum of Elmhurst and CAGGNI program chair. Sandra has been researching her ancestors, her husband’s son-in-law’s and friends’ families for 16 years.

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

New Poll On Right Sidebar Of The Blog; Simple Question Being Posed; “Have You Watched Any Genealogy Teaching Videos On The Ancestry.com YouTube Channel?”; “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 Watched Any Genealogy Teaching Videos On The Ancestry.com YouTube Channel?”  Yes or No

There are great opportunities to improve your genealogy research skills that are available right at your fingertips.  One of these resources is the large amount of informative videos that exist on the Ancestry.com “channel” on YouTube.  If you connect to YouTube at www.youtube.com all you have to do is enter the search term of AncestryCom as the channel name (note the channel name spelling) in the search box.  That term will get you to their channel where you will notice that there are approximately 675 videos of all varieties and lengths.  You can select the “Playlists” link in the channel that will identify the various “subjects” for the variety of videos.  It can still be overwhelming with what you will see here.  Sometimes try searching for a more specific topic of interest to you directly.  That will narrow down your results.

Here is a direct link to the Ancestry.com YouTube Channel

Ancestry.com YouTube Channel

You can find videos in their channel that can help you use Ancestry.com better.  There are general videos in their channel to help you in your research efforts outside of Ancestry.com.  There has certainly got to be something here from the large amount that can help you rev up your genealogy skills.

So ……………………. have you tapped into the great learning resource of the Ancestry.com channel on YouTube??

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 Taken A Formal Online Genealogy Course For Which You Paid To Participate?”; Results Indicated

Hi Everyone!

It is amazing that about  2 1/2 months has passed on the life of the poll I had on the right sidebar of the blog since January 26, 2015.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order!

The poll had asked the question “Have You Ever Taken A Formal Online Genealogy Course For Which You Paid To Participate”?

The results of the poll showed the following from the 52 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their “Yes” or “No” response to the question.  The numbers show that 9 responses (17.31%) noted they have taken online courses for which they paid  while 43 responses (82.69%) indicated they have not taken any online courses for which they paid.

I am actually surprised at the rather high number of “Yes” responses indicating individuals that have actually taken more formal online genealogy courses for which they paid money to participate.  I was actually thinking there might be  fewer individuals that might have actually taken more formal genealogy online programs.  Congratulations to all of those that have actually taken the step to more formalize a genealogy educational program!  You stuck to the program of participation, assignments and tests to prove your genealogy mettle.

Our own library now offers a series of formal online educational programs from within a database titled “Gale Courses”.  You do need to be a library cardholder with the Schaumburg Township District Library in order to avail yourself of this resource.  The “Gale Courses” database is available to access from home for Schaumburg Township District Library cardholders as well as being present on our Reference Computers on the 2nd floor behind the “Ask Us” desk.

Check with your own library that issued you your library card to see if they also offer “Gale Courses” if you do not have a library card from our library.

There is actually one formal class in their for genealogy.  See a recent post I made about this wonderful database of programs that is far more than just genealogy.  Pick a topic or subject, and I am sure you have a good chance of seeing a course present in Gale Courses.  See my post on this subject here:

Schaumburg Township District Library Offers Gale Courses To Its Library Cardholders; Check Out The Genealogy Class

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.  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 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 20 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

April 2015 Newsletter Titled “Cirkular” From The Swedish American Museum; April 25, 2015 Genealogy Program; “Complete Photo Restoration In Four Easy Steps”

Hi Everyone!

I have been receiving some activities updates from the Swedish American Museum in Chicago, IL recently.  Some of the activities may be 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 April 2015 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

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 April 2015 at the Swedish American Museum:

Events At The Swedish American Museum In Chicago April 2015

There is a genealogy program scheduled for Saturday, April 25, 2015 between 10 AM to 12 Noon at the Museum.  The program is titled “Complete Photo Restoration in Four Easy Steps”.  The program will be presented by Eric Basir.   The program is free for Nordic Family Genealogy Center members.  Non-members are also welcome but there is a $10 fee to attend this program.  Reservations appreciated via email at genealogy@samac.org or by calling the Museum at 773.728.8111

See what interests you.  Make a connection with the society if you are digging deep into your Swedish roots.  Take at look at all of the cultural doings going on at the Museum during the month of April 2015.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“Who Do You Think You Are?” New Episode Showcasing Tony Goldwyn Airs April 5, 2015, On TLC At 9 PM Central Time; Mini-Marathon Of Other Episodes Starts At 3 PM Chicago Time

Hi Everyone!

Who Do You Think You Are?I wanted to remind you that a  “new” episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” for this year’s series airs on Sunday night, April 5, 2015, on TLC at 9 PM Central time.

Tony Goldwyn is featured on this episode.

Try to watch the original airing on TLC if possible.

Here is the schedule of the balance of the original airings of the new episodes for this season:

  • April 5: Tony Goldwyn
  • April 12: America Ferrera
  • April 19: Bill Paxton
  • April 26: Melissa Etheridge

Visit the shows website at TLC at:

“Who Do You Think You Are?” On TLC

You can find so much at the website about the show, video snippets of previous shows, and full online viewing in its entirety of many of the previously broadcast The Learning Channelshows.

Enjoy this new episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” Sunday night, April 5, 2015 at 9 PM Central time featuring Tony Goldwyn on TLC!

You can also catch a “mini-marathon” of some of the previously aired shows starting at 3 PM Chicago time on Easter Sunday April 5, 2015 on TLC.  Here is that schedule:

  • Sunday April 5, 2015 3 PM – Angie Harmon
  • Sunday April 5, 2015 4 PM – Sean Hayes
  • Sunday April 5, 2015 5 PM – Julie Chen
  • Sunday April 5, 2015 6 PM – Josh Groban

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Take A 6 Week Online Introductory Genealogy Class Or A Write Your LIfe Story Class Through Our Library From A Database Called “Gale Courses”; Many Other Online Courses To Take For Schaumburg Township District Library Cardholders; View Program Description, Syllabus, Requirements, Student Reviews, And Demos

Hi Everyone!

STDL Central Summer LgYou can find genealogy educational material in many locations.

You can find informal genealogy teaching videos via YouTube videos.  You can find video learning resources through FamilySearch and Ancestry.com.

But if you are looking for a more formal online program with real classes and real tests and a real instructor you can turn to an online database we have at our library.  It is called Gale Courses and is available for those who have been issued a library card through the Schaumburg Township District Library.  Only those having a card issued by us can get access to this nice material regardless if you are accessing it from home or from inside our library building.

If you are not part of our library, check with your own local library that issued you your card to see if they have the online database called “Gale Courses”.

Gale Courses is far more than genealogy.  Just try entering in any topic you can think of related to learning something new in a more formal manner and see if they have it.  Think of Accounting, Microsoft Word, Photography, eBay, Teaching or whatever topic comes to your mind.  There is an entire listing of topics of subjects they have that you can browse through when you gain access to Gale Courses.

I noticed there is also a course titled “Write Your Life Story” that can go hand-in-hand with Genealogy.

Here are the steps to follow to get you to the Gale Courses part of our database resources to access the Genealogy Course that is part of the database:

  • Go to our home page at www.schaumburglibrary.org
  • Select the “Research and Genealogy” Tab at the top of the home screen.
  • On the right side of the screen look for the “Alphabetical List of Databases” descriptor and select the letter “G”.
  • “Gale Courses” will be the first database in the “G” listing of databases.  Select it.
  • When you are now in the Gale Courses database just enter “Genealogy” as your search term in the search box.
  • You will then see one result that is noted as “Genealogy Basics”.  Click on the course to obtain the “Detail”, “Syllabus”, “Requirements”, “Student Reviews” and “About the Instructor”
  • Take a look at the “View Demo” link for each class.  It provides you with a sample of the “Lessons”, “Resources”, “Quizzes”, “Assignments”, and “Discussions” for you get a real feel of what you can expect to encounter should you enroll.
  • If you want to take a course, click on “Enroll Now” and it will take you through the process of registering and providing your Schaumburg Township District Library card information.

A colleague of mine from another library is actually enrolled in this program through her own library.  I hope to hear updates from her on her experience in taking this online Genealogy course.

I hope she passes!!

Take a look at this wonderful resource we offer at our library that is also available to home users.  It is only available to cardholders from our library whether you are using it in our library or from home.

Just wanted to let you know of this wonderful resource especially in light of the fact it contains a Basic Genealogy Program.

Explore the resource just to see what it is all about.  Anyone can do that whether you are  in our library or from home via our web per the above database selection process noted above.  You only need to prove you are a Schaumburg Township District Library cardholder when you want to actually enroll.

See if there is a class there that perhaps you have always wanted to take.  Explore the database.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


Finding A Needle In A Haystack?; It Can Happen When You Least Expect It And Are Not Even Looking For It!!; A Couple Of Pictures And A YouTube Video Included In This Post

Hi Everyone!

Tony Kierna 022415 4As genealogical researchers we can work extremely hard and not make any headway.  Records are not there for us to discover but we do just keep working our research efforts in back door ways to overcome our brick walls.

We all wish for genealogy Karma.  We all wish for miracles.  We all want those serendipity moments to come in our direction.

I just want to relate to you one of those moments that happened to me.  This moment was not related to discovering an ancestral record but was rather related to me just seeing a book on display on one of our library counters and then putting “2 and 2″ together to discover something  related to my life.

First off you know I work at the Schaumburg Township District Library and am surrounded by literally hundreds of thousands of books.  One day I was walking past one of our book displays and one particular book caught my attention.  It was a book titled “The Archdiocese of Chicago: A Journey of Faith”.  The call number of the book in our collection is ILLINOIS COLLECTION 282.773 KANTOWIC, E.  The author of the book is Edward R. Kantowicz.  It is a large size book that might be referred to as a “coffee table” book.

The book literally provides some great pictures of the many Roman Catholic churches that are in the city of Chicago and the suburbs that are in the Chicago Roman Catholic Archdiocese.  It also provides some small summary information about the history of the parish.  It also provides background information on the Archdiocese of Chicago.

I kept staring at the cover of the book because something just looked familiar that at first I could not put my hands on.  It was the statues of the angels that made me look deeper.  The more I looked the more I realized that the cover picture of the book was taken from the rooftop area of St. Mary of the Angels Catholic church in Chicago looking eastward towards the Loop.  That was my parish church for what seemed a lifetime!  It is a massive church when I was growing up and it still is.  You can see the church if you are going eastbound on the Kennedy Expressway at Armitage Avenue (2000N at 1600W) going into Chicago.  It is on the right side of the expressway.  The church has a giant dome and looks somewhat like St. Peter’s Church in Rome!

That was my church on the cover of this book with a picture being taken from the rooftop of the church probably about 150 feet in the air!

 Cover Picture Of The Book “Archdiocese of Chicago: A Journey of Faith”

I flipped through some more of the pages of the book and found another rooftop picture from the top of the church facing a little more eastward to the city.  This picture made me even look still deeper because the homes in the background a few streets away looked familiar.

Yep!  I could actually see the rooftop and back porch area of the 3 flat that I grew up in as a child!

Added Picture From “Archdiocese of Chicago: A Journey of Faith” Showing Rooftop Of House Where I Grew Up (Circled)”

What are the chances of just walking by a book in our collection that highlights on the front cover my own church I went to for many years and then to see another picture in the book in which I can see the house I grew up as a child!

It is like really discovering the missing needle in the haystack!  Or, finding the one grain of sand among millions.  What are the chances I would see that book at that moment, put “2 and 2″ together and then actually see the house where I grew up visible in the background of the many houses surrounding this church.

I asked our Graphics Department to capture the cover image of the book as well as the other interior page image of the book that shows the house I grew up in marked with a “circle”.  I wanted to share this unlikely and unexpected discovery with all of you.

It does not add anything to my personal research but it amazes me how I was at the right place at the right time and genealogy karma flowed over me!

Here is a full picture of the church that you can compare to the rooftop views from the church I discovered in the book.  Note the angels at the rooftop level near the midpoint of the bell towers!  The photographer must have been standing at the roof level in between the bell towers looking down at the street right in front of the church!

St. Mary of the Angels Church

I guess it is true, you never know what will just jump out at you when you are not even looking for something.  One book being displayed among thousands is all it took in this case!

In addition to all of the above pictures I found an amazing 4 minute video on YouTube of what I believe is someone flying a drone to an incredible height to take a video of the church posted back in July 2014.

You can see the video right here:

Karma, serendipity or just plain luck!

Who knows what waiting around the corner for you to discover in an unexpected way related to your own life!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library