Entertaining And Informative Set Of 3 Teaching Genealogy Videos From GenealogyMagazine.Com; Think Of Monty Python; Worth Seeing The “Happy Dance”

Hi Everyone!

I recently came across some information from the Dick Eastman blog on some genealogy teaching videos.  I always like these kind of videos to learn more about enhancing your research skills.  The videos were created by GenealogyMagazine.com.  So I decided to take a look at the 3 videos that were noted by Dick Eastman.

Looking at those videos really made my day.  I am still smiling about what I saw and still remembering the major “lessons” to be learned from within the subject covered in each video.

You simply have to take a look at the videos.  Each video is no longer than about 5 minutes so it should not be too time-consuming for you to view.  And I guarantee, once you start watching them, you will watch each one from beginning to end (and probably go back a few more times for encore viewings).

Do you remember the old “Monty Python” shows on PBS?  The content of the videos will look familiar to you!

Did you ever do the “happy dance” after discovering some great genealogical gem through your hard work and research?  Watch and wait for a rather unique “happy dance”!

Do you put on a smile looking at some vintage stock newsreel film footage?  Great use of these kind of vintage newsreel shorts to make a humorous connection to a genealogical tip!

Here are the links to these wonderful little videos that will at least put a smile on your face and more likely make you really laugh hard and loud!

GenealogyMagazine.com, Episode 1, “Courthouse Research”

GenealogyMagazine.com, Episode 2, “Family Bible Records”

GenealogyMagazine.com, Episode 3, “Diaries and Journals”

Sometimes our research efforts create more stress than we can imagine.  These videos will help alleviate that tension and also give you some insights to improve your genealogy research skills.

View the videos … enjoy … get tense again …. view the videos again … and again … and again!  Smiles and laughs will soon follow!

Thank you GenealogyMagazine.com for the creative and informative work done by James Pylant, editor of GenealogyMagazine.com.  Check out GenealogyMagazine.com at:


Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


“Try-It! Illinois 2017” Free Database Access Available From October 1, 2017 Through November 30, 2017; Request Log-In ID/Password From Illinois Secretary Of State; Approximately 35 Genealogy And Family History Databases Available To Try

Hi Everyone!

Try It Illinois LogoThe Illinois Secretary of State makes available on an annual basis access to a variety of electronic databases that are available for libraries to add to their collection for a fee.  Trying the databases can give the user feedback as to whether the database is good and useful to that user.

The Illinois Secretary of State calls the trial “Try-It! Illinois 2017”.

The Illinois Secretary of State will provide you with a Log In ID and Password that will allow you to visit the databases and give them a test run to see if there is material of interest to you.  If you find a database of interest that your local library is currently not subscribing to you can then provide your input to that library to see if the database access can be obtained by that library for ongoing use.

You can go to the site where Try-It Illinois 2017 information can be found.  At this site you can also submit a request to obtain a Log-In ID and Password that will allow you access to the databases available during the trial.  Here is the site to begin your trial access to a multitude of databases:

Try-It! Illinois 2017

This trial is open to users from October 1, 2017 through November 30, 2017.

Here is a little write-up at the Try-It Illinois 2017 website describing more about this Try-It Illinois 2017 access:

About Try-It!

Welcome to Try-It! Illinois 2017, the eigthteenth annual statewide database trial, sponsored by Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White and the Illinois State Library. Try-It! Illinois offers the staffs and library users of the more than 5,000 ILLINET member libraries the opportunity to survey and evaluate a wide variety of electronic resources. Thanks to the partnerships between the Illinois State Library and the participating electronic resource vendors, there is no charge for accessing these databases during Try-It! Illinois.

Note: We ask that you not post the Try-It! Illinois login and password on the Internet, on Web sites or in publicly archived e-newsletters.

Once I logged in to the trial, I was able to select the “subject” category and it presented me with a list of subjects one of them being “Genealogy and Family History”.  I think selecting the “subject” category will be your best manner of looking for databases rather than the other categories.  Within that category I saw there was a list of 35 databases that had been categorized with this grouping.  You can select a database of interest that will get you to the provider of the database.  With a few more clicks you will ultimately get yourself to the database to actually try it out.

Some of the databases within this list are databases our library currently subscribes to such as Fold3, Historical Chicago Tribune, Historical New York Times, and Newspaper Archive.com.  Many of the databases on the surface are named in a manner that would make you wonder how it got categorized as a genealogy type database!  e.g. “Films on Demand”.  But, nonetheless, it is in the list of 35 databases.  Many seem to be more “pure” history databases and not so much genealogy databases as we are more familiar with.  But at least the “subject” category narrows down your choices over and above the hundreds of databases made available overall.

You also have access to the hundreds of other databases available during the trial, not just the genealogy databases.  The list of databases will be presented to you in alphabetical order by name (Product).  You can also look at the list by “Company” or “Library Type” or by “Subject” as I did to find the Local History and Genealogy Databases. ( I recommend using the “Subject” method to find databases of interest within a subject category.)

So just head on out to the Try-It! Illinois link I provided above and submit your request to obtain a Log In ID and Password from the Illinois Secretary of State to begin accessing this multitude of databases, 35 of which are identified as being Genealogy and Family History oriented.

We should give a big “thank you” to Jessie White, the Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian for making this access available for trial on a recurring basis each year for a rather lengthy period.  This trial is open from October 1, 2017 to November 30, 2017.

Check out the databases, especially ones that you have not previously accessed or even knew about.  There are literally hundreds of databases to sample across a myriad of subjects.  You have access to all of these not just the 35 databases categorized as being for Genealogy and Family History.

See what you think.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Our Next Genealogy Program Is Coming Up On Tuesday Evening October 10, 2017 At 7:30 PM

Hi Everyone!

I thought I would post this reminder of our next upcoming Genealogy Program that will take place at the main location of the Schaumburg Township District Library at 130 S. Roselle Road in Schaumburg, Illinois.

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, October 10, 2017:

Dr. Daniel Hubbard

The Genealogy program will be held on Tuesday October 10 2017 at 7:30 PM in the 2nd floor Classroom. The guest speaker for the evening will be Dr. Daniel Hubbard. Dr. Daniel Hubbard will present a program titled “Developing a Sixth Census: Finding More in the “Census” Than Meets the Eye”.

This presentation is designed to help you really squeeze as much as you can from census data of many shapes and sizes.

Daniel Hubbard is a full-time professional researcher who has been researching almost as long as he can remember. Inspired by family stories and a pair of genealogist aunts he began to seriously conduct family history research at about eleven years of age. He spent eight years at CERN outside Geneva Switzerland learning to handle very large research projects while performing research in particle physics (Ph.D. University of Michigan Post-doc Harvard).

After living in Sweden for eleven years during which he was a software designer strategic product manager and editor of technical documentation he returned to the U.S. to fulfill his passion for family history.

Daniel now combines his skills in technology genealogy complex research the organizing of large amounts of information writing editing and book design to assist clients with their family history projects. He works with a variety of clients on projects including untangling problems in Swedish immigration and ancestry analysis of 19th century letters and photographs and extensive research into colonial families.

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

“What’s New At Ancestry.com September 2017” 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 September 2017 video posted from Ancestry.com that is titled “What’s New At Ancestry.com September 2017”.

The video is an approximate 24 minute production hosted by Crista Cowan of Ancestry.com who provides the viewers with updates on what new things users of Ancestry.com should be aware of.

Crista also mentions that in addition to the monthly YouTube video she creates describing “new” things at Ancestry.com for a particular month the reader should always check the blog from Ancestry.com that you can access at:

Ancestry.com Blog

Topics covered in this video by Crista are:

>  Upcoming Conferences –  Large conference dates for 2018 have been set.  These are:  Feb 28 – Mar -3, 2018, RootsTech in Salt Lake city, UT; May 2-5, 2017, Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank, CA; July 23-28, 2017, International Association of Jewish Genealogical Associations, Orlando, FL; August 30-September 2, 2017, Federation of Genealogical Societies, Pittsburgh, PA.

>  New Database
 – Sydney, Australia, Anglican Parish Registers, 1818-2011; 1.8 million records; Birth, Marriage and Death Records; Indexed; Searchable; Images of documents can be browsed; select the city or municipality, parish, record type; browse images as if it were a microfilm.

>  New Database – New York, Death Index, 1880-1956; 5 million records; Death Records; Indexed; Searchable; No Images; 1880-1889 data is also browseable; searchable by last name and other search limitations that can be entered via the template.  Can discover the name of the individual, birth date, death date, event location.  Records are in English.  The images are not of the actual death record but are rather pages of master death indexes in which the name you search appears. You would use the discovered death certificate number to go back to the county to ask for copy of full death record.

>  New Database – Virginia Colonial Records, 1607-1853; 112,000 records;   Stories, Memories and History Records; Indexed; Searchable; Images are of pages where resource resides; searchable by last name that can be entered via the template.  Results of search will lead you to the resource where the information can actually be obtained.  Page images are in English.

>  New Database – Shropshire, England, Extracted Church of England Parish Records, 1538-1812;  1.3 million records;  Birth, Marriage and Death Records; Indexed; Searchable; searchable by last name and other search limitations that can be entered via the template.  Can discover the name of the individual, event type, event date, event location, parish and possible naming of other relatives plus other information.  Records are in English.  No images of original records.

>  New Database – Saskatchewan, Canada, Catholic Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1867-1932 ; 164,000 records; Indexed; Browseable Images;  Can browse by parish and year range of records;   Can discover the name of the individual, event type, event date, event location, parish and possible naming of other relatives plus other information.  Records are in English.  Image linked to indexed name you search.

>  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 Ancestry.com 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 Ancestry.com site.

I also did a search on YouTube looking for similarly titled videos and did discover that there are many “What’s New At Ancestry.com” 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 Ancestry.com.

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 Ancestry.com:

“What’s New At Ancestry.com” 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 Ancestry.com and where they are located.

Because so many of us use Ancestry.com, 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 Ancestry.com.  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

Lots Of Podcasts At RadioPublic; Some Genealogy Podcasts Also Included; Can Search For All Kinds

Hi Everyone!

Like many of you, you start out searching for one thing, discover something else and then forget what your initial searching was for.

Yep, that can happen to me also, especially if the unexpected discovery is actually better than what you were initially looking for.

I happened to come across a nice website called “Radio Public” that is all about podcasts.  The site gives you information about connecting to this service via an app to access over 250,000 podcasts for free.  I was able to discover a link that allows you to search through this massive amount of podcasts for those that can be of interest to you without getting the app initially to gauge what material exists accessible within the app.

I was able to do a search of the material via a different website that goes by:


The main website without a search function (as best as I can see) is:


I did a search of the site using the “search” site name above for “genealogy” and “family history” and found some hits for podcasts in this area.  Some of the podcast episodes for some podcasters were copious, some not so.

While there is some genealogy podcast material you can find here, I wanted to share this resource for being able to search it for any kind of podcast topic of interest to you over and above genealogy.

Give it a try.

If you try searching using  “genealogy”, you will see 3 podcast creators, 2 of which are really genealogy and the other being more religious/bible oriented keying off of the term genealogy as it applies more biblical.

Try searching using  “family history” and you will also see 3 podcast creators to select from.  The one having the most episodes is “Family History Genealogy Made Easy Podcasts” created by Lisa Louise Cooke with 44 episodes.  The most recent episode is September 2014.  However, you can easily visit her website for the full amount of the podcasts (207 episodes going back at least to 2007-2008) she has on genealogy on her own website at:

Lisa Louise Cooke Genealogy Gems Podcasts 

You are not always going to hit a “home run” in finding what you are searching for relative to podcasts.  But Radio Public can sure open you up to searching for so much more than pure genealogy.  I had fun exploring and discovering genealogy material as well as just fun searches for all kinds of subject podcasts.

On the topic of “home runs” read on!

Try “Chicago Cubs” and find 239 episodes to pick from about “game recaps”.

Try “Chicago White Sox” and find 375 episodes of a variety of kinds to listen to, including game recaps.

Try “Chicago Bears” and find 5 separate podcast creators to select from to get all you want to know about the Chicago Bears.

Yes, some genealogy but you can find so much more here for your enjoyment.

Hope this resource makes you curious for what you can find.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Upcoming Lake County Genealogical Society Annual Conference To Take Place On Saturday, November 11, 2017 In Lake Villa, IL; John Phillip Colletta, Ph.D Is Featured Speaker; Link To PDF Brochure Included In Post

Hi Everyone!

Lake County Genealogical Society LogoOne of my counterpart genealogy librarians made me aware of the upcoming Lake County Illinois Genealogical Society Annual Conference.  It is scheduled to take place on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at the Lake Villa Township West Campus, 37850 N. Ill. Rt. 59  in Lake Villa, IL.

The title for the society’s 25th Annual Genealogical Workshop is “The Rank and File: Seeking Our Military Ancestors”.

The speaker for the 4 of the 7 programs offered for the day will be John Phillip Colletta, Ph.D

The speaker for the other 3 programs that will be offered will be Michelle Bray Wilson.

Feature Presentation Clip Art


After visiting the Lake County Genealogical Society website, I see that at this time they have current online information regarding this upcoming 25th Annual Genealogical Workshop that will take place on Saturday, November 11, 2017.

I have a link to the online brochure for this event down below.

Registration and browsing of materials starts at 8 AM.

Programs run from 9 AM until 3:30 PM.

Main guest speaker for the day is John Phillip Colletta, Ph.D..

It looks like the costs for the program are:

  • $35.00 if you are a member of the society (program registration prior to November 1, 2017)
  • $40.00 if you are not a member of the society  (program registration prior to November 1, 2017)
  • $45.00  (program registration after November 1, 2017 or as a walk-in on the day of program)

“Walk-ins” on the day of the program are OK  but you are on your own for lunch.  Lunch is not guaranteed for “walk-ins”.  You would pay the highest fee on that day.

Please use the following link that will get you directly to the PDF file that has all of the information about the day including the registration material, program titles and times, speaker biographies and directions:

November 11, 2017 Lake County Genealogical Society 25th Annual Conference Program/Registration Brochure

I have been to their programs some time back and I always felt that they had top-notch speakers.  I would definitely recommend attending this annual event.

I know you will enjoy the day.

The society puts on a great annual conference with top-notch speakers and topics.  You will not be disappointed.  If you have not attended a local, all-day conference, this is a good one to attend.

You can always decide at the last-minute and be a “walk-in” to attend the conference (unfortunately, at the highest cost to you).  I have attended conferences as a “walk-in” and I usually find that it was well-worth the added cost to attend at the last-minute if pre-scheduling was a problem for you.

You can visit the general website for the society at:

Lake County Genealogical Society (IL) Website

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society (NWSGS) Next Program Scheduled For Saturday Morning, October 7, 2017 At 10:00 AM; “Ireland’s Griffith’s Valuation: Using the Tables and Maps” Presented By Paul Milner

Hi Everyone,

Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society logo.newjpg (New 2014-25)-150I just received a program notice from the Northwest Suburban  Genealogy Society indicating that their next genealogy program is scheduled for Saturday morning, October 7, 2017 at 10:00 AM.

The society will be meeting on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 10:00 AM at the Arlington Heights Senior Center, 1801 W. Central Road in Arlington Heights, IL.

There is no prior registration needed.  There is no fee to attend.  Visitors are always welcome.

The society offers an early informal gathering at 9:00 AM that would allow you to exchange information and ask questions with others present at the time before the formal program starts.

Please be sure to view the link below that will get you to the program description material supplied to me by the society. 

Feature Presentation Clip ArtThe speaker for the morning program will be Paul Milner.    The speaker will present a program titled “Ireland’s Griffith’s Valuation: Using the Tables and Maps.

Please take a look at the full PDF announcement of the program by going to:

Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society (NWSGS) October 7, 2017 Program Notice

You will find more details about the program location, the program contents and some information about Paul Milner, the speaker for the morning from the above link to the program information.

You can always visit the website of the Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society to see what they are all about at:

Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library