“What’s New At Ancestry.com March 2016” 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 March 2016 video posted from Ancestry.com that is titled “What’s New At Ancestry.com March 2016”.

The video is an approximate 32 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 –  National Genealogical Society Annual Conference, May 2016, at Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Southern California Jamboree, June, 2016, Burbank, CA; IAJGS Conference, August 2016, Seattle, WA; Federation of Genealogy Societies, August 2016, Springfield, IL
  • Ancestry Site – “continuing searching” feature returns; Life Story and Facts tutorials now available.
  • Ancestry DNA – Ancestry DNA testing is now available in 29 more countries.  Full listing of the countries is available in the Ancestry Blog.  Test results from someone taking the test in a foreign country are compared to all of the entries in the total Ancestry DNA database.
  • Ancestry Academy – new tutorials on Italians, Females, School Records, Timelines and African-Americans.
  • Desktop Software – Family Tree Maker acquired by MacIev software, original developers of the product.  Future updates and new releases will continue through them; RootsMagic lineage software will be integrated with Family Tree Maker functions.
  • New Databases – United States, Definitive List of Slaves and Property, 1827-1828.  This new database contains about 5 thousand records.  Always a good idea to browse the database description of records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  When searching you can select the actual image of data to look at.  The most important part of this database regarding slave information is that the name of the slave is actually included in this database.  Slave names were rarely noted on records.
  • New Databases – Alberta, Canada, Homestead Records, 1870-1930.  This new database contains about 206,000 records.      The database is also indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  When searching you can select the actual image of data to look at.  You can find the name, age, place of birth, date of application, place of residence at application, homestead location and marital status of applicant.
  • New Databases – California Mortuary Records of Chinese Dissidents, 1870-1933.  This new database contains about 26,000 records.  Always a good idea to browse the listing of the date intervals of these records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  When searching you can select the actual image of data when it is available.  I saw both handwritten records and typed records.
  • New Databases – Sydney, Australia, Cemetery Headstone Transcriptions, 1867-2002.  This new database contains about 285,000 records.  Always a good idea to browse the listing of the of records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.    The database is also indexed and searchable with a basic size template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  No actual images of headstones to see.  Only transcribed data is shown.  You can often see the religious denomination of the deceased.
  • New Databases – Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915This new database contains about 26  million records.  Always a good idea to browse the listing of the counties and the towns/cities (very long list) and date intervals of parish records before you search to get a feel for what is in the database.  The database is also indexed and searchable with a large size template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.  When searching you can select the actual image of data to look at.   It would be helpful for you to know a more exact geographic location to search if you know it and select it from the large list of towns/cities.
  • New Databases – Indiana, United Methodist Church Records, 1837-1970 (434,000 records; searchable with images); New Jersey, United Methodist Church Records, 1800-1970 (721,000 records; searchable with images); U.S., Selected States Dutch Reformed Church Membership Records, 1707-1995 (400,000 records; searchable with images)
  • 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

Check Out The Video Library Of The Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illininois (CAGGNI); Fun Times Had By All Through A Variety Of Programs Photographed Or Recorded

Hi Everyone,

CAGGNI logoWhile browsing through the website of the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI), I just happened to stumble across a part of the website that I did not know even existed.

It is the CAGGNI Videos part of the website.

Here is a link to the CAGGNI Videos from their website:

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Videos

This very active genealogy group has a good time among their programs and the special programs they offer.  Many of the members take photos of the events or even videorecord parts of the event.  These images are now flowing through the CAGGNI Videos part of the website.  These videos reside on YouTube.  You do not have to be a member of CAGGNI in order to access them.

Currently, there are 17 videos/photo videos/slide show videos for you to enjoy for events that occurred within the organization from as recent as the November 2015 Holiday Program and Speaker to the 2010 CAGGNI Planning and Holiday party and all kind of programs in between!

This is a great opportunity to see what the group is all about through looking at these videos, slide shows, photos and the like.  They are an incredibly active genealogy group that certainly exhibits great camaraderie among its members.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society Will Be Holding All-Day Conference On Saturday, July 9, 2016 At McHenry County College In Crystal Lake, IL; Discounts Available For Early Registration

Hi Everyone!

McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society LogoI just received a notice from the McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society (MCIGS) that they will be offering an all-day genealogy conference on Saturday, July 9, 2016, at the McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, IL.

The conference is titled “MCIGS 2016 Summer Conference”.

There will be 4 separate sessions throughout the day all four of which will provide a choice of 4 programs to pick from.

There will be 5 speakers making presentations:

  • D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS
  • Thomas MacEntee
  • Jennifer Holik
  • Tony Burroughs
  • Tina Beaird

Vendors will also be present for you to check out all kinds of genealogical material to purchase to help you in your own research.

Pre-program registration is encouraged.  Discounts are given if you are an existing McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society member.  Discounts are also given if registration is done prior to April 1, 2016.

Here is the fee schedule:

  • MCIGS Members registering before April 1, 2016 – $40
  • Non-members registering before April 1, 2016 – $50
  • All registration between April 2, 2016 through June 15, 2016  – $60
  • Registration after June 15, 2016 and Walk-Ins – $70

Lunch will be included for all registered prior to June 16, 2016.  Lunch cannot be guaranteed for those registering after June 16, 2016 or for walk-ins.

Here is a link to the portion of the MCIGS website that contains all of the information you need for the conference, especially the individual programs being offered as well as the biographical information for the speakers and registration information.  You can reach the society information for this event at:

McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society July 9, 2016 “MCIGS 2016 Summer Conference”

Please also pay a visit to the main website for the society to find out more about the society and the services they offer to members and non-members at:

McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society

Mark your calendars for this upcoming program.  I have already added it to the Google Calendar that is part of this blog.  It sure looks like there are great speakers offering a wide variety of programs that will help novice researchers through expert researchers.  Be sure you go to the conference link noted above for a full detailed listing of the programs available to choose from.

Time flies on our calendars!  The details are all here with this society for this annual conference.  They put on a great program with fantastic speakers plus they are not that far away in Crystal Lake, IL.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society (NWSGS) Next Program Scheduled For Saturday Morning, April 2, 2016 At 10:00 AM; “Get The Scoop: Interviewing To Gather Family Stories” Presented By Diane Dassow

Hi Everyone,

Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society logo.newjpg (New 2014-25)-150I just received a program notice from the Northwest Suburban  Genealogy Society (formerly known as the Northwest Suburban Council of Genealogists) indicating that their next genealogy program is scheduled for Saturday morning, April 2, 2016 at 10:00 AM.

The society will be meeting on Saturday, April 2, 2016 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.

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 Diane Dassow.    The speaker will present a program titled “Get the Scoop: Interviewing to Gather Family Stories.

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

Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society (NWSGS) April 2, 2016 Program Notice

You will find more details about the program location, the program contents and some information about Diane Dassow, 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

New Poll On Right Sidebar Of The Blog; Simple Question Being Posed; “Have You Ever Viewed Any Of The Program Videos From The Annual RootsTech Conference Available At www.rootstech.org?”; “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 Ever Viewed Any Of The Program Videos From The Annual RootsTech Conference Available At www.rootstech.org?”  Yes or No

The most recent annual RootsTech Conference just concluded in February 2016.  Statistics related to this annual conference are not yet currently available.  Statistics for 2015 were impressive:

  • 23,000 registered attendees
  • 150,000+ live-streaming viewers
  • Over 200 exhibitors in the Expo Hall
  • 93% of attendees would recommend attending this conference to a friend

Some incredible statistics related to this conference.  Can’t wait to see the 2016 statistics when they become available.

RootsTech shortly after the conference concludes makes available online videos of some of the programs that were recorded.  Some of them are Keynote presentations.  Many of them are of a variety of topical genealogical programs that can help beginning, intermediate and expert researchers advance their skills and keep them current with a topical issue related to research.

The videos generally run about 30 minutes for a keynote speech to about 1 hour for a tutorial on a genealogical topic.  Speakers are the best of the best.  Quality of the video is also the best of the best.

I like to look at the Keynote speeches and get an insight into where genealogy might be going into the future.  These keynote speeches give you the “big picture” view of genealogy and all things related to it.

I thought this would be a good poll question to find out if you are familiar with these great videos.  If not, you now have an opportunity to check them out from the recently concluded conference at www.rootstech.org.

So ……………………. “Have You Ever Viewed Any Of The Program Videos From The Annual RootsTech Conference Available At www.rootstech.org?”

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 “Are You Currently Using Family Tree Maker Lineage Software For Which Ancestry.com Indicated It Is Retiring The Software?”; Results Indicated

Hi Everyone!

It is amazing that about  2 months has passed on the life of the poll I had on the right sidebar of the blog since December 31, 2015.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order!

The poll had asked the question “Are You Currently Using Family Tree Maker Lineage Software For Which Ancestry.com Indicated It Is Retiring The Software?”

The results of the poll showed the following from the 56 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their “Yes” or “No” response to the question.  The numbers show that 31 responses (55.36%) noted they are users of Family Tree Maker lineage software  while 25 responses (44.64%) indicated they are not users of Family Tree Maker lineage software .

I actually thought that the numbers would show about a 50% user base for Family Tree Maker.  At one time I thought Family Tree Maker was even more dominant as to market share but the poll and anecdotal conversations with researchers does seem to show it has a good market share but not an overwhelming market share.  RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, Mac Family Tree, Reunion and online family trees are competing interests.

The purpose of my poll question was timed during the announcement that Ancestry.com was exiting the software development part of its business with Family Tree Maker.  This announcement occurred in early December 2015.  The poll has only been up 2 months, but during this time the whole topic of Family Tree Maker being discontinued was turned upside down since.

In fact, Ancestry.com has since announced that it sold the business side of Family Tree Maker to the developers that Ancestry.com used to develop the product.  MacKiev is the company that will now own the product.  They will continue to develop new versions, upgrade the product and provide service to users.  So just think, within 2 months the product has gone from being discontinued, to sold and now somewhat to business as usual under a new company!

Talk about fast turnaround!

Additionally, other software developers were involved in wooing Family Tree Maker users to their own version of the software with steep discounts and special ways to accommodate Family Tree Maker data into these other products.  In fact, another development surrounding this escapade has been that Ancestry.com has made arrangements with the producers of RootsMagic to now have RootsMagic develop all of the capabilities that were included in Family Tree Maker to allow RootsMagic users the ability to upload and interact with family trees on Ancestry.com!  So now both Family Tree Maker and RootsMagic users will be able to upload material to family trees on Ancestry.com.

So while my poll was trying to gear how many Family Tree Maker users might be affected by the discontinuance of the product, it appears that is now a moot point!  MacKiev will now be the go to company for a product that will continue on as if nothing really happened!

There were a lot of responses to this poll question during this up for grabs time period, especially for the 31 respondents that noted they were users of Family Tree Maker.

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 21 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

March 2016 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts Uploaded As A PDF for March 8, 2016 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the March 2016 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts as a PDF file into the PROGRAM HANDOUTS Category on the right sidebar of the blog.

Here is a direct link to the March 2016 Handouts for your convenience:

March 2016 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts

Take a look at it if you choose to browse through it in advance of our Genealogy Program that will take place on Tuesday evening, March 8, 2016 at 7:30 PM at our main library location at 130 S. Roselle Road in Schaumburg, IL.

You can read the handouts online or you can save them as a PDF file to your own computer for reading offline and more detailed searching through all of the contents.

You will also note that I  “highlight” in this uploaded PDF key points within the handout  by using  the “yellow highlighting” function within Microsoft Word.  This will allow your eyes to visually see key points within the handouts that I want to emphasize.  I hope you will enjoy being able to more easily see these key points within the set of handouts through this highlighting technique.  I plan on highlighting within the Handout file on a going forward basis.

Please note that the Handouts PDF file has embedded Bookmarks to allow you to move to the handouts of interest to you quickly without having to scroll through the entire document.  Just open the Bookmark window in the PDF file and select the handout of interest for quick access.

You can also get to the handouts of interest to you quickly via the Table of Contents at the beginning of the document.  You will find hyperlinks that will get you directly to the handout of interest to you from the Table of Contents.

Please note that you can access directly any and all URL Links that you find within the Handouts PDF.  You can get directly to the website being mentioned from within the handout being mentioned.

Enjoy the handouts.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library