New Database Added To; “Illinois, Archdiocese Of Chicago, Cemetery Records, 1864-1989”; Great Resource If You Have Chicago Area Catholics In Your Ancestral Lines; Link To Database Included

Hi Everyone! LogoCeleste, my friend and librarian colleague from Indian Trails Public Library, and a regular participant at our own monthly genealogy program, has made me aware of a newly added database to FamilySearch.

For those of you doing Chicago area research that have Roman Catholics in your ancestral lines, this new database could be the proverbial “goldmine” of information for you.

Here is a link to this exciting new database in FamilySearch:

Illinois, Archdiocese of Chicago, Cemetery Records, 1864-1989

The name of the database is Illinois, Archdiocese of Chicago, Cemetery Records, 1864-1989.  The database is searchable and the search results will be able to link you to images of the record.  Please note that you must be registered with FamilySearch and logged in to be able to see the actual image of the burial card.  You can search and see the transcribed data without being logged in.  The image record is basically a burial card.  Here is what you can expect to find on it:

  • Name of the deceased.
  • Place of death.  This could be a home address or I saw a few in my own ancestral line that indicated place of death was a named hospital.  It could even be an out-of-state location of death that can give you clues for further research there.  However, it does appear that if the person died or lived in the City of Chicago, the naming of Chicago was omitted on the card.  I did find cards for those that died who did not live or die in the City of Chicago, that the town or suburb name was included.
  • Burial Lot/Grave site Information
  • Age of person at death.
  • Date of Interment

One major piece of information is NOT on the burial card.  The cemetery nameCemetery Headstones2 Clip Art is NOT present.  You can see the cemetery name by opening up the link from the surname itself or the icon for the “details” data not the icon for the “image”.  It will appear there as one of the fields at the end of the record of text information.  If you open up either the Surname link  itself or the “Details” data link, you will then be able to see an image of the record that you could also open up.  Many times you just want to look at the image first and only.  If you do, then go back to the “Details” link to see that information that contains the cemetery name.

Also, you will not be able to find information on the most recent 25 years of burials.  The data presented only goes through 1989, which for the most part, is still incredibly helpful to go deeper into time.  Just remember that when you are looking at your results and you are not seeing the name of someone you know that should have been in this database it could be because they died in the most recent 25 years.

I have only sampled this database for a short time and I do notice it can provide many more leads to your already existing research if you have identified the person and information previously.  As an example, I found a Great Aunt in this file for whom I had a good amount of information, including burial location.  This person from an obituary was noted as having lived in Algonquin, IL.  One could assume the person died in Algonquin.  In this case, the burial record noted Place of Death as Elgin, IL.  More to pursue.  Did she die at an Elgin hospital that was not stated on the burial card??  Did she live in Algonquin but perhaps die at the home of a child in Elgin??  Did they move from Algonquin prior to death??

You may very well discover great pieces of additional information from these burial cards that really contain very little information.

Another random piece of information I noticed written on one of the cards of one of my ancestors just simply said “St. Hedwig”.  I know that where the person lived is near that parish name.  I was familiar with it.  So you might discover a parish that the deceased may have had church ceremonies at.  I only saw one of these among 40 that I looked at.

If you have Chicago Roman Catholic ancestral connections, I would suggest you “run” for this file and check it out.  Do not walk!!  Even as I write this post I can’t stop searching this file for different names I know of in my own research!!

Thank you Celeste for the heads up on this database not only for me personally but also for me being able to share this news with so many others via this blog post.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


Take Advantage Of Holiday Family Gatherings As The Family Historian (Originally Posted In November 2009 And Still Applicable!)

Hi Everyone!

Roast Turkey and StuffingNow that the holidays are upon us again, I wanted to re-post a blog entry I made in November 2009 (actually one of my first posts to the new blog at that time) because the holiday times and family gatherings provide the perfect opportunity to the family historian to share previously researched information and also to gather new information to compile into the family history.

What follows in Bold and Italics is the post I published back in 2009.  The message to family historians is as important today as it was then.  Take a look at the message and take advantage of your time with family during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays of this year .


The Holiday Season is one of the best times of the year to moveChistmas Holiday Clip Art your genealogy research forward!  You are circled by family members who may be very interested to know of your research.  Not only can you share what you have discovered but you may have willing family members that can’t help but share more with you during this season of sharing!

Now is the time that family members will really see how serious you take your family research.  They may not open up to you as a willing participant at this time.  But you may have planted the seed in their mind that will come to grow at a future date when their assistance will become invaluable.

Bring some copies of research documents you may have uncovered to date as well as copies of pictures to share with the family members present at the gathering.  Keep the originals at home for safety and security!  If you have digitized your discoveries as .JPG images then bring your laptop with the data or your smartphone or your tablet computer if you have one that contains the images.  Even having the images on a flash drive will help because you can plug that into a computer that may exist in the house.  Even new HDTV sets often have a USB connection to the HDTV that you can plug into.  You can then look at the images on the TV screen!

What a great time to share family information as well as to gather more if you can.  Bring a digital recorder or a camcorder with to document the new information family members will be willing to share.  If you have a smartphone you probably have an App that can function as a digital recorder.  Don’t leave all of the stories to your memories.  Get the stories in the voice of the original provider for further analysis down the road.  Ask their permission to audio or videotape what they have to say.  Respect their wishes if they choose not to be recorded.  Then take notes.

Always remember to be a good guest if you are visiting.  It is the Holiday Season after all and not necessarily a genealogical convention!  Don’t make yourself a genealogical nuisance at this time but see if you can arrange a time in the future to revisit with key family members to obtain further information in a non-holiday pressured setting.

Share your family history stories and research.

Keep an ear open for other family history stories.

Plant those seeds among family members for future help.

But most importantly, enjoy your family during this Holiday Season!


Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Big Sale Going On At Family Tree DNA; Looks Like Majority Of Tests They Offer Are On Sale; Family Finder Autosomal Product On Sale For $59

Hi Everyone!

Family Tree DNAWhile looking over material from Dick Eastman’s site, I notice that one of his articles notes that there is a big sale going on at Family Tree DNA (  Family Tree DNA is the company that I used to have my DNA tested back in July 2016.  I purchased what I consider to be their entry-level product called Family Finder.  Back then, this product was on sale for $79.  The normal price at the time was $99.

This product is now on sale for $59!  That’s right, on sale now for $59 when just about 1 year ago the normal price was $99.

Here is a link to the Dick Eastman article that provides information on all of the sale price information for what looks like most of their DNA testing products, as well as a link in the article to the part of the Family Tree DNA website where this sale price information is more detailed:

November 2016 Family Tree DNA Product Sales Noted By Dick Eastman

If you have never had your DNA tested, these are incredible prices, especially for what I would call their entry-level product called Family Finder.  $59 is an incredible low price.  Now is the time to take the plunge.  My experience with Family Tree DNA has been wonderful.  I even wrote up a few blog posts documenting my own experience with Family Tree DNA from ordering to receiving my results.

For those of you that have already had your DNA tested with Family Tree DNA, you may want to consider taking advantage of these sale prices across the majority of their product lines and use the products as gifts for various relatives.  You can easily do that.  It would probably help to know that an intended DNA test gift would be accepted by the recipient before just blindly giving them such a gift.  As well-intentioned as that gift would be, many recipients would be reluctant to have their DNA tested and the gift would go to waste.  You would want to feel comfortable knowing that the recipient receiving such a gift would actually use it.

If you have already had your DNA tested with the basic Family Finder product, this is also an opportunity for you take advantage of one of the more advanced tests that are also being offered at significant price reductions.  These can often run into the hundreds of dollars.  You will find discounts among some of the male or female ancestry oriented products up to $40 per test.

The one thing I need to point out is that it is not clear how long the sale will be in effect for.  Traditionally, Family Tree DNA has had these annual sales around the Holidays of Thanksgiving through the end of the year.  I cannot find an end date for the sale.  Can you assume it will go on until the end of 2016??  Don’t know.  Usually, when the sale is coming to an end, Family Tree DNA does post a specific end date and time that may give you maybe a week’s notice.

If you have been thinking about it as a first time test for yourself, the prices are fantastic, especially for Family Finder (autosomal test) at $59.

Think about it, but not for long.  Better act on it for yourself as well as for gifts to your other cousins.

Now is the time to connect to Family Tree DNA.  The prices are right!!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“What’s New At November 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 November 2016 video posted from that is titled “What’s New At November 2016”.

The video is an approximate 23 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 –  All major conferences for 2016 have been completed.  Large conference dates for 2017 have been set.  These are:  February 8-11, 2017, RootsTech in Salt Lake City; May 10-13, 2017, National Genealogical Society in Raleigh, NC; June 9-11, 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 Databases – Quebec, Canada, Notarial Records, 1626-1935The new database contains about 16.5 million 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 indexed and searchable.  Records are in French.  Browse the list of kinds of records to narrow down your search.  There are images associated with the data that can be browsed by individual municipality name to select.  Kind of event is noted.
  • New Databases – A variety of  UK and Ireland Medical Directories Databases, 1615-1980These 6 new databases contain about 1.1 million  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 databases are also indexed and searchable with a template to filter your search.  There are images associated with the indexed text results.  You will be able to see Name of the individual, residence date and place, and name of the directory in which name is contained.
  • New Databases – Bavaria, Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1556-1973 databaseThis new databases contains about 3.6  million 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 databases are searchable but there are no images.  Records are in German.  You can discover the name of the person, event type, event date, event city and named relatives.
  • New Databases – South Africa, Select Estates Death Notice Index, 1833-2008This new database contains about 44,000 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 to filter your search.   There are no images associated with the indexed text results.  You will be able to see Name of the individual, birth date, death date, death city and relatives mentioned.
  • New Databases – UK, British Army Lists, 1882-1962.  This new database contains about 2.4 million records.   The database is  indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.   You can discover the name of the individual, military year, regiment, rank in the record.  You can view the original image on Fold3.
  • New Databases – Hawaii, Denization Records, 1846-1849, 1883-1898.  This new database contains about 862 records.   Denization means someone is applying for rights of citizenship without being a citizen.  The database is  indexed and searchable with a template of information you can supply to narrow down your search.   Image linked to indexed name.  You can discover the name of the individual, birth year, residence date in the record.  You can view the original image.
  • 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 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

DuPage County Genealogical Society (DCGS) Annual Conference To Take Place on Saturday, March 11, 2017 At NIU Conference Center In Naperville, IL; 280 Person Capacity Limit; NO WALK-INS ALLOWED!

Hi Everyone!

Feature Presentation Clip ArtIt is never too early to be aware of upcoming genealogy programs!

I want to remind everyone of the upcoming 42nd Annual Conference that will be held by the Du Page County Genealogical Society.  You can visit the main web site of the society to find out more about them and what is available at their site at:

DuPage County Genealogical Society (DCGS) Web Site

Their conference will take place on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at the NIU Conference Center in Naperville, IL from 7:30 AM until about 3:30 PM.   At 7:30 AM, you can have some morning refreshments that you can buy and take a look at the materials available for purchase from the vendors that are also participating at the conference.  The actual genealogy presentations will start at 9:00 AM.  The last series of genealogical presentations will start at 2:30 PM.

Please note that “Walk-Ins” will NOT be allowed for this conference.  Every attendee must be pre-registered.

The Annual Conference Theme is “A Tradition of Excellence in Education of Genealogists”.

Please note that the society is noting at the society website and in the program brochure that there will be a limit of 280 people who will be able to register.  So if you are interested you might want to take action by registering in advance while there are openings.

I have previously mentioned this upcoming annual conference at our own program.

I encourage everyone to visit the Du Page County Genealogical Society Annual DCGS LogoConference Information directly at the following link:

At their site in the above links you will find out all the details about the upcoming program such as:

  • Information about the NIU Conference Center and driving directions to the facility.
  • Registration Fees
  • Program Titles, Times and Speakers.
  • Speaker Biographies
  • Information on Previous Annual Conferences

I am a big proponent for attending these one day, all day local conferences.  You will be exposed to multiple genealogy presentations that you can choose to attend throughout the day.

There are 4 segments of programs that occur.  One is at 9:00 AM, one at 10:30 AM, one at 1:00 PM and one at 2:30 PM.  Within all the time segments you will be able to pick from 4 programs that will be occurring.   You will be attending one of the segments that is of interest to you.  So you will actually be able to hear 4 unique programs among the 16 that will be offered.

The speakers that will be offering their unique presentations are:

  • Dr. Michael D. Lacopo
  • Carole Magnuson
  • Kathy Meade
  • Donna Moughty
  • Diahan Southard

These speakers are some of the best of the best that you can encounter as you expand your genealogical knowledge.

I attended this conference in February 2012 and in February 2014.  It is one of the best conferences that you can attend in the local area.  If you have never attended such an all-inclusive one day conference, then this is the one to experience.  The location is close, the facility is great, the organization is superb, the programs are outstanding, the speakers are top-rated, the vendors have great material and other societies are represented!

You will have a great genealogical learning experience in one day that will expand your genealogical knowledge and assist you further in your own research efforts.

Take a closer look at the Du Page County Genealogical Society Annual Conference Information by clicking on the links I provided above.  All of the information about the conference can be found here.

Our library provides one program per month.  Here is your chance to hear 4 presentations by top-rated speakers in one day.

I don’t think you will be disappointed.

This may seem like it is a long time away.  But we all know how time flies.  Mark your calendar now for this date so it does not slip by.  You will not be sorry!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) Has Schedule Of Offered Webinars For 2017 At Their Site; Great Way To Learn More About Genealogy

Hi Everyone!

Webinars Clip ArtI just came across the 2017 schedule of Webinar classes being offered by the Illinois State Genealogical Society.

Webinars are a fantastic way to hone your genealogical research skills by hearing about a topic of interest from a well-known genealogist about the topic.

The Webinars are all being offered on the 2nd Tuesday night of the week starting at 8 PM Central Time.  (Just a side note – The 2nd Tuesday evening of the month is our own monthly scheduled genealogy program at the Schaumburg Township District Library!  Make your choice, I know you will choose wisely!)

The topics on the schedule for 2017 look fascinating with some great presenters being offered through the year.

You do need to register in order to participate.  The Webinars are open to theISGS Logopublic.  You do not need to be a member of the ISGS in order to register or participate for the live Webinar.  As a benefit for members of the ISGS, they can then go into the archive vault to take a look at past Webinars.  Non-members of the ISGS can register for the “live” presentation but cannot go in to the archives to look at the past Webinars.

Here is a link to a PDF from the ISGS where you can look at the scheduled Webinars for 2017 as well as see a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” that pertains to the Webinars:

2017 Webinars Being Offered By The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS)

It is really nice being able to view webinars that are in an archives.  But as you can see, you may want to become a member of ISGS just to be able to access these wonderful learning exercises to increase your genealogy research skills.

Check out the topics on the above schedule.  There may be some that are just perfect for you.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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

Hi Everyone!

I have added the November 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 November 2016 Handouts for your convenience:

November 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, November 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