June 2017 Newsletter Titled “Cirkular” From The Swedish American Museum; No Genealogy Program Scheduled For June

Hi Everyone!

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

I thought I would share with you a recent issue of the June 2017 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.  There is no genealogy program scheduled during the month of June 2017.

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 genealogy@samac.org.

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 June 2017 at the Swedish American Museum:

Events At The Swedish American Museum In Chicago June 2017

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 June 2017.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Family Bible Collections Appearing In The Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly Journal; List Of Submitted Surnames; Consider Submitting Bible Records In Your Possession

Hi Everyone!

Some of you may be very lucky to have in your possession an old, old family bible used by your ancestors not only for religious purposes but also for a place in which births, marriages and deaths were documented for the family.

Consider yourself lucky if you have one.

Such bibles with the identification of births, marriages and deaths for family members may be the only place you will be able to find such vital record information, especially if the events occurred before it was the norm for vital record registration for such events (generally pre-1860s in the U.S.).

The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) publishes the Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly Journal.  One of the sections of this journal is titled “Family Bible Collections”.  It is within this section that contributors provide the society with transcribed lists of materials contained in the bibles the contributors have in their possession.  The ISGS has been collecting this data since 1988.  You will generally see the births, marriages and deaths that were recorded by ancestral family members that were transcribed and provided to the Illinois State Genealogical Society.

Here are some of the family names I saw in this quarterly section from the 2017, Volume 49, Number 1 issue:

  • Houston Family
  • Dillon Family
  • Ebert Family
  • Ellsworth Family
  • Elmore Family
  • Eury Family
  • Geddes Family
  • Graves Family
  • Gumbel Family
  • Hieser (Hiser) Family

The section also identifies for the particular bible the name of the person who submitted it, who owns the bible, family places of residence (if available) and births, marriages and deaths.  The submissions do not have to be only for Illinois ancestors.  The society does prefer submissions to be of pre-1920 dates.

Sometimes other non-religious, non-vital record information can be found in these bibles.  Things such as recipes, poems, other family contacts etc. might be found.

My point on sharing this with you is twofold.  Consider just browsing through the issues we have of this journal and look to see if any of the surnames you are researching are contained in the listings.  You can find this journal on the 2nd floor of our library on the magazine shelves.  We have this journal in our collection going back to the Fall of 2013.

If you personally become a member of the society you will receive the journal that contains this information as part of your subscription.

Better yet, check out the link below to the Society that will get you to the “Bible” part of the website to see the entire list of names that have been submitted to the society.  You might find a connection, especially if the name is not a common one.

Illinois State Genealogical Society Family Bible Collections

My second point is to consider being a submitter to the Illinois State Genealogical Society of any bible material you may have in your own possession.  Check the link above that will also give you information on what it takes to be a submitter to the society of bible records you have in your own possession.

Bible records are a hidden resource of valuable material.  You won’t always hit a home run with this material, but if you do it will be like a goldmine.

I want you to at least be aware of this resource from the Illinois State Genealogical Society.  Maybe you will find a connection previously unknown to you.

Check out the link above to access the list of surnames compiled from bible information submitted to the society.  Consider being a submitter and use the same link for information on how to be a contributor.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Offers DNA Special Interest Group (SIG) On Saturday June 10, 2017

Hi Everyone!

CAGGNI logoHave you submitted your DNA for genealogical analysis?

Are you trying to make sense of the results you received back?

Feel like talking about it but don’t know where to turn?

Just want to make everyone aware that the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) has a DNA special interest group (SIG).

I just received an email from the group indicating that their next meeting will take place on Saturday, June 10, 2017 starting at 10:30 AM at the Schaumburg Township District Library.

Here is the text describing what will take place at this upcoming DNA SIG:


DNA Special Interest Group

CAGGNI’s genomic genealogy group continues into its third year. This group focuses on learning the methods for analyzing DNA test results. We study topics such as autosomal DNA, mitochondrial DNA, Y-DNA and surname projects, X-DNA and ancestral admixture results. We’ll also investigate third party tools for analyzing your raw data and comparing DNA and gedcom data with test kit results from companies besides the one you tested with.

DNA can break down genealogical brick walls once thought impenetrable – but only if you know how.

The SIG will combine short 15-20 minute lectures with interactive workshop-style activities. 

Get ready to put your DNA results to work for you!

Facilitators:  Al & Michelle Wilson

For more information: DNA Special Interest Group


Consider connecting with this special interest group local to our area.  You spent good money on your DNA kits.  Why not really learn how to interpret and use your results in a real productive manner.  I am sure your testing company offers automated ways to interpret results through PowerPoint presentations or YouTube videos or maybe even person to person via customer service.  Here is your chance to discuss Genealogy DNA among fellow testers.  Learn about DNA tests that are over and above what you started with and how they can help you even more.

Learn from others, help others.

You can always visit the general website of the CAGGNI group to see what they are all about.  And I can guarantee you they are about many things genealogically speaking, including having this DNA SIG group.  You can visit CAGGNI at:

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois

See how this CAGGNI group can help you with your DNA results.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Interview Questions To Ask Of Older Relatives To Capture Your Family History Stories

Hi Everyone!

While just doing some general searching in my effort to help someone in their research, I did come across what I think is a very nice short and simple list of questions to ask of your living relatives to capture genealogical information.

The questions were put together by FindMyPast.  Big thanks to them for putting together a very good list of questions to ask of your older relatives.  Found it on their website.  The link is a little further down in this post.

Why is this important?

If we start asking our living relatives just general questions off the top of our head, we may discover that there were better questions we could have asked.  Sometimes you only get one chance to ask these questions.  It helps if you have a pre-set list of questions to elicit helpful genealogy material.

Another thing we may tend to do (I am guilty of this!) is to start with a question and then we segue into an unplanned series of questions from the responses we are hearing the person provide.  And we just go deeper down the rabbit hole while we realize we did not ask the questions on our list and time has run out.  Maybe we will be lucky to ask our relative the missed questions at another time.  Maybe not!

The questions on the list are very thoughtful and planned to get the most from the responder to help us pursue various aspects of genealogy research e.g Did you have a family that lived close?.  Such a question can expand your research possibilities if you hear about siblings of the responder or parents of the responder that lived close by.  Now you know who they are and can tie them to a specific geographic area.  Another question such as “Is there a naming tradition in the family?”  may allow us to know of a pattern where the firstborn son is named after the paternal grandfather to discover as we do our research.

Having a list of questions will simply keep you focused and not rambling.  Provide questions for which you would like responses in advance of your get-together so the person has had time to think them through.  Having them write responses would even be better but if not that is where you will capture the information via your interview.

Don’t think of doing all of the questions in one setting.  It will exhaust them to the point the responses will not be very good or well thought out.  You will get exhausted thinking you have to go through all of these items quickly.

Take a look at the list.  Consider using these yourself.

Here is the link I found online:

Questions To Use To Interview An Older Relative

Don’t use questions off the top of your head.  You will not obtain the best results. Use a list of questions.  Get the most out of what might be a one time only chance to obtain information from an older relative.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Re-Post Reminder! – McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society Will Be Holding All-Day Conference On Saturday, July 8, 2017 At McHenry County College In Crystal Lake, IL; Discounts Available For Early Registration; Top Notch Speakers And Programs; Program Links Included

Hi Everyone!

Just want to send out a reminder that the July 8, 2017 Annual Conference for the McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society is not that far away.  The largest discounts for early registration are over but you can still register at the next discounted rate until June 15, 2017.  After June 15, 2017 you will need to pay the undiscounted rate if you register or “walk-in” on the day of the event.

The annual conference is excellent!  The facility is outstanding (I have been at the college for some other programs.)!  The speakers are outstanding!

Consider attending this wonderful conference put on by a wonderful genealogical society.

Check out all of the previously published information I provided in my original blog post about this event after the separator line.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


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 8, 2017, at the McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, IL.

The conference is titled “MCIGS 2017 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 4 speakers making presentations:

  • Mary M. Tedesco (hostess, Genealogy Roadshow on PBS)
  • Thomas MacEntee
  • Paul Milner
  • Michael Lacopo

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

The society will actually be trying something new for this conference.  A “Genealogy Help Desk” will be staffed by members of the McHenry County Genealogical Society during session breaks and lunch to help those in attendance who might have genealogical questions.  You will even be able to sign up for a 15 minute session with one of the volunteers to seek research help.

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 to members of the society  if registration is done prior to April 1, 2017.

Here is the fee schedule:

  • MCIGS Members registering before April 1, 2017 – $50
  • Non-members registering before April 1, 2017 – $60
  • All registration between April 2, 2017 through June 15, 2017  – $70
  • Registration after June 15, 2017 and Walk-Ins – $80

Lunch will be included for all registered prior to June 16, 2017.  Lunch cannot be guaranteed for those registering after June 17, 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 8, 2017 “MCIGS 2017 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

May 20, 2017 (Saturday) Computer Assisted Genealogy Group Of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) Program At The NIU Center In Hoffman Estates; “WikiTree, The Free Global Family Tree” Presented By Marty Acks

Hi Everyone!

CAGGNI logoJust wanted to let you know that the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI) will be having their next program at the NIU Center at 5555 Trillium Road in Hoffman Estates on Saturday, May 20, 2017 starting at 10:30 AM.

The program is open to any and all interested in learning more about genealogy as well as learning more about this wonderful genealogy group and meeting its members in attendance.

The title of the program is “WikiTree, the Free Global Family Tree”.  Speaker for the program is Marty Acks.

Program description is:

An Introduction to WikiTree, the Free Global Family Tree

WikiTree is a free community of genealogists dedicated to growing an accurate single familytree using DNA and traditional genealogical sources. In this program, you will learn the key features of WikiTree, be shown how you can easily get started on the site, and learn numerous tips and techniques to get the most out of your time on WikiTree.

About the Speaker:

Marty Acks has been researching his family history since 1999 after having caught the bug from his mom and dad.  He volunteers at WikiTree where he contributes to the global family tree.  Marty leads a Porterfield surname study (maternal grandmother),assists other members, and monitors activity as a WikiTreeRanger.     


This meeting is being held at the NIU Center, 5555 Trillium Road, Hoffman Estates, near the intersection of I-90 & Beverly Road.  Map

Find out more about the CAGGNI group and all that they do.  Visit them at their website at:

Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI)

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

May 2017 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts Uploaded As A PDF for May 9, 2017 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the May 2017 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 May 2017 Handouts for your convenience:

May 2017 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, May 9, 2017 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