NEW Page Added To The Top Of The Blog Homepage; Look For “Tony’s Genealogy Video Tutorials” Page; Variety Of Genealogy Topics To Help You Use Resources

Hi Everyone!

Just want to let all of you know that I created a NEW “page” at the top of the blog homepage.  Look for “Tony’s Genealogy Video Tutorials” page.  You can’t miss it at the top.  It is in the area where you will see a page for “2018 Programs”, “Previous Programs”, “Favorite Links” and many others.  It is right after the link to “Calendar of Local Genealogy Events”.

This new page is the repository of all of the various genealogy tutorial videos I created over the last few years.  Previously, as each new video was created I wrote a blog post making mention of that new release.  Great for those of you that take a look at it right away.  Not so good if you want to look at it later down the road.  Then you have to search for it and hopefully find it with some good search techniques (I know all of you are great searchers, otherwise you would not be great genealogists!).

I thought it was finally time for me to corral in all  of the older videos as well as the very current ones I have been creating and put them all in one place for you to find as well as for you to view immediately in that spot rather than having to leave it to go to still another location.  That is the beauty of WordPress and YouTube videos.  YouTube videos can easily be embedded in WordPress material and viewing is done right there.

Here is a direct link to the new page:

Tony’s Genealogy Video Tutorials

All of the videos still exist on our library’s YouTube Channel.  Now they exist within the blog for easier discovery and connecting you better to the topic of all things genealogy.

Enjoy the new page!

Enjoy the videos!

Your comments would be greatly appreciated.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


April 2018 Newsletter Titled “Cirkular” From The Swedish American Museum; No Genealogy Program In April 2018

Hi Everyone!

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

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

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

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

Swedish American Museum in Chicago, IL

The Swedish American Genealogical Society has a genealogy program on the 4th Saturday of each month from January to November at the Museum.  Unfortunately, the Cirkular does not indicate a genealogy program for April 2018 at the Museum.  Their online calendar of events also is not showing a genealogy program on the 4th Saturday of the month.

The newsletter is showing research times that are available from the Swedish American Genealogical Society members during April 2018.  Times available to seek genealogical assistance are:


Genealogy Research

Genealogy ResearchIndividual research times are available and staffed by members of the Genealogical Society:

Noon – 1 p.m.
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Genealogical Society members:
No fee for first hour; $10 for each additional hour on the same day.
Museum member only: $10 for first hour and $30 for each additional hour on the same day.
Non-member: $30 fee for each hour

Please call the Museum at 773.728.8111 or e-mail to make an appointment. Individuals with appointments have priority over walk-ins.

Please fill out a genealogy research request form here if you are unable to attend an in-person genealogy research session. Forms can be returned to us electronically to or faxed to 773.728.8870.

Based on the information you provide, we will research using the resources available at the Genealogy Center. Information might be available within three weeks. If we are unable to assist you, we will try to refer you to other possible sources.


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

Swedish American Museum Calendar of Events

You can contact the Nordic Family Genealogy Center through the museum at

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 2018 at the Swedish American Museum:

Events At The Swedish American Museum In Chicago April 2018

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

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Upcoming Genealogy “Drop-In” Program At The Cary Area Public Library On Sunday, April 29, 2018 From 1:30 PM – 4 PM

Hi Everyone,

Just received a short notice of an upcoming Genealogy Program at the Cary Area Public Library.

The program is scheduled for Sunday, April 29, 2018 from 1:30 – 4 pm at the Cary Area Public Library located at 1606 Three Oaks Road, Cary, IL 60013.

Everyone is welcome to attend.  This program is being identified as a “Drop-In” program and it does not look like registration is necessary.

Here is a description from the Cary Area Public Library Calendar of what is to take place for the program:

Are you just getting started or need some help with your family history research?  Drop-in and take advantage of some one-on-one assistance from local genealogists.  Bring your research, bring your laptop, let us help you past that brick wall.

The program is open to the public.  You do not need to be a library cardholder with the Cary Area Public Library in order to attend.

You can visit the general library website at to see what they are all about.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Genealogy Program At The Arlington Heights Memorial Library On Sunday, April 22, 2018; “Adoption Searches: Past And Present”; Presented By Matt Rutherford Of The Newberry Library

Hi Everyone!

I just became aware of an upcoming genealogy program that will take place at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library (AHML) on Sunday, April 22, 2018 from 2 to 3:30 PM.

The topic for the program is “Adoption Searches: Past and Present”.  The program will be presented by Matt Rutherford, the Curator of Genealogy and Local History at the Newberry Library in Chicago.  Matt himself is an adoptee.

Here is a description of the program from the calendar of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library:

Having an adopted ancestor can often be one of the most frustrating and challenging aspects of genealogy research. In times past, records of adoptions weren’t as well-kept as they are today, making searching for the link between birthparents and adoptees difficult. And, in modern times, adoption searches are often hindered by legal barriers. Successful adoption searching requires the utilization of alternative strategies and sources. Come join Matt Rutherford, Newberry librarian and adoptee, as he discusses ways of unearthing details of an adoption when they aren’t readily available.

The program is open to the public.  You do not have to be an Arlington Heights Memorial Library cardholder to attend.  There is no cost to attend the program.

Registration for the program is required by the library.  You can register via the library website Program Calendar at:

Arlington Heights Memorial Library Program Calendar

You can also give them a call at 847-392-0100 if you would like to take care of registration via a call.

Trying to research ancestral connections when adoptions are included somewhere in the lineage you are researching can be challenging.  Perhaps, you yourself are adopted and now have the desire to discover your biological connection to parents and others in your biological ancestry.

This program sounds like a great way to learn about some of the past and present techniques used to help uncover your biological connections when adoption has been identified.  I have worked with a few of our own participants in this area and I truly understand how challenging research can be.

Perhaps, down the road I will invite Matt Rutherford of the Newberry to present this same program at our own library’s genealogy program.

So, if you have encountered adoption record researching needs in your own research then consider attending this upcoming “Adoption Searches: Past and Present” program at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library on Sunday, April 22, 2018 from 2 to 3:30 PM.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


Jennifer Holik, World War II Military Records Research Expert; Her Online Video Presentation At RootsTech Titled “Finding The Answers: The Basics Of World War II Research”

Hi Everyone!

Jennifer Holik

Jennifer Holik, professional genealogist and genealogy program speaker, is an incredible World War II military records expert.  She has presented many genealogy programs at our library on researching World War II records.

She recently made multiple presentations at the recently held RootsTech Conference in Salt Lake City, UT.  She has made me aware that one of her presentations is available for viewing online.  It is titled “Finding the Answers: the Basics of World War II Research”.

For those of you that have ancestors that had military service in World II, you may be trying to research the military records of that ancestor.  I think this online video  tutorial from Jennifer Holik can be of great help to you.

Her knowledge of how to research World War II military records is incredibly deep.  We also have her book titled “Stories from the World War II Battlefield: Reconstructing Army, Air Corps and National Guard Service Records” in our circulating collection.  The call number of the book is 929.1 HOLIK, J.  Her book is another great resource for World War II Military record research over and above the video you can link to below.

Here is the link to Jennifer’s presentation:

February 28, 2018 Jennifer Holik RootsTech Presentation Titled “Finding the Answers: The Basics of World War II Research”

I have looked at some of Jennifer’s presentation as I write this post.  The link is still working fine.  However, be aware, that over the years, videos from RootsTech are not always available all the time.  If you go to the link in a few months you will find that it no longer works.

Make sure you access this video sooner rather than later to help you with your World War II military records research before it becomes unavailable at a future date.

Enjoy the video!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

“NEW” Genealogy Tutorial Video I Created; “Word Lists At”; 5 Minute Quick Tip! CHECK IT OUT!; View The Video Right In This Post

Hi Everyone,



Here is a new genealogy video tutorial that I created for your enjoyment that you can view right below.

Are you discovering all kinds of documents that pertain to your ancestors?  Such documents as Church Records or Civil Records?  Are you tracing your ancestors back to a different country?

If you are like me, your answer may very well be “YES”.  My personal ancestral research is Polish.  That means that I will undoubtedly make discoveries of ancestral records that are in Polish (for me they could also  be in German or even Latin!).  For a church record I might easily be able to discover the name of KIERNA written on one of the church records I am exploring.  Maybe it is a Baptism record?  Maybe a marriage record?  Maybe a death record?  In any case seeing my ancestral name of KIERNA on one of these documents is a great discovery.  Unfortunately, how do I figure out what is contained in all of the various columns of information in any one of these records if I do not know Polish?

In this case always consider using as a resource, particularly the FamilySearch Wiki.

Check out the 5 minute video tutorial I put together right below that shows you how to use this incredible resource for the various “Word Lists” that exist for a multitude of nationalities.  These word lists can move your research right along since so many keywords appear on these foreign language documents that are included in these word lists.  These keywords may be the various words you are seeing on the documents you are researching.

You can view the video right here:

Check out the various word lists that may exist for the language of your own ancestral research.  Eliminate much of the frustration you encounter trying to understand what is on these documents that pertains to your own ancestor.

Thanks for checking it out.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


“Relative Race” On BYU TV; When “Genealogy” Meets The “Amazing Race”; Totally Different Twist On Genealogy TV Shows

Hi Everyone!

I came across something interesting that came to my attention via the Dick Eastman blog.  Thought I would share this with you.  I actually included my description of this interesting topic  in the March 2018 Handouts document that you can read from the Handout document in the right sidebar of the blog.  Thought the topic was so interesting that I wanted to get it out to you via this blog post.  I never had an idea such a thing existed!

Had enough of the Genealogy TV shows?  For some of you maybe “yes”, for others, “can’t get enough”.  That is what follows below … check it out


Are you tired of seeing genealogy TV shows that only feature Hollywood celebrities?  They just show up, speak to someone, travel to an exotic destination and are given all the research all while posing for the camera and sounding interested.  What if that Hollywood celebrity could be an “average Joe”.  Genealogy Roadshow caters to the “average Joe” but in a way different .  And now, you can even find another source to see similar “average Joe” genealogy discovery shows, but in a really different way!

“Relative Race” is just now starting Season 3.  “Relative Race” by BYU TV seems to have twists along the way.  I did not realize that the show is being conducted like a race.  I did look at the “teaser” link from the Dick Eastman blog post.  Not only is it a race, but one of the four teams will win $50,000 if they are the first to find their “unknown” cousins and out score their race opponent teams.

Apparently, both of the contestants on a two-person team submits their DNA to Ancestry DNA.  The show’s production company then researches and “finds” a cousin that matches their DNA.  The discovery of the cousin then becomes the goal for that team somewhere in the United States over the 10 day period of searching.  During the ten days the two person team does receive clues to help them narrow down their searching.

Does any of this sound familiar?  How about the CBS show called “Amazing Race” in which two person teams travel the world with the goal to be the last surviving couple that did not come in last on solving puzzles and completing tasks along the way for the events of the day.  Sure does to me!

How can you watch the show?  The show is on a station called BYU TV.  It does appear to be a channel that is available within cable and dish companies.  However, it may not be part of a “package” of stations that you currently subscribe to.  So you would need to determine what new “package” structure you would need to get that includes BYU TV.  There is a Wiki entry for BYU TV that does seem to indicate through which cable and dish companies the channel is available.  Check out the Wiki entry here:

 Wikipedia Entry for BYU TV

Also, you can go directly to the website for the show and see what it is all about at  “Relative Race” on BYU TV.

I saw that the website does have Season 1 and Season 2 programs available to view.  I clicked on the Season 1 Episode 1 program and got connected to viewing without any problems.  No registration, no subscription.  How nice is that.  In viewing parts of Season 1 Episode 1 the twists in the show start immediately.  All 4 couples had to give up their smart phones and instead were given the resource we used for traveling 20 years ago …. an old-fashioned paper map. The couples do receive a “burner phone” from the host before traveling.  The “burner phone” will be used by the host to provide the couples with a text message having clues to help them find their newly discovered cousin in that city they are in. Just like “Amazing Race”, you do not want to be the last couple to discover your new cousin in the city of your destination for that couple.  Come in last and you get a strike.  Get 3 strikes and the game is over for you.  It also looks that each couple uses a car for the traveling. No airplanes.  The start of the race is in San Francisco for Episode 1 and the end destination is New York City.  So, it is a 4,000 mile race over 10 days!

If you like the “Amazing Race” and you are into genealogy, this show sure could be a perfect fit for your viewing likes.  My biggest surprise was just seeing so many young couples in the race.  Contestants are not predominantly older by any stretch.  Plus, many couples tell you upfront that they are in it for the “money”, the “adventure” and not necessarily the “family”.  Maybe they are not in it for the “family” but for many of the contestants background information is revealed that indicated they may have been adopted or lost one or both of their parents when they were still young and have no idea about family that is out there related to them.

I did not have the time at work to view the entire one-hour episode that I started.  I do think that I am going to return to it and view the show in its entirety just to gauge how an entire episode works.

This show has raised my curiosity to at least see one full episode.  Never knew it existed.  Never heard about it.  Maybe you want to check it out also.

I can’t wait to view a full episode just to get the full flavor of what an episode is, especially the discovery of family!


Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library