Our Recent Genealogy Program Speaker, Jennifer Holik, Has Just Had A World War II Military Research Article Published In Internet Genealogy, June/July 2015, Volume 10, Number 2; Article Title Is “Online Resources For Finding World War II Ancestors”; We Have That Journal In Our Collection

Hi Everyone!

Jennifer Holik

Jennifer Holik

I just want to let you know that Jennifer Holik, our recent May 12, 2015 Genealogy Program presenter,  has just had an article published in the recent issue of Internet Genealogy (June/July 2015, Volume 10, Number 2).  The title of the article is “Online Resources for Finding World War II Ancestors”.

For those in attendance for Jennifer’s program at our library in May, you may have seen that Jennifer has become an incredible World War I and II military researching  resource in our area.  Her program at our library was also on World War I and II military records.

For those doing World War I and II military ancestral research, I strongly recommend taking a look at this journal issue for Jennifer’s article.  It is packed with plenty of information in which she uses an example of her own ancestor for tracking down military records online.  It is a 5 page article that is just full of tips and website addresses to assist you in your own World War II military research.

We have this journal in our collection.  You can access this journal on the 2nd floor of our library on our magazine shelves.  I would strongly recommend making a personal copy of the article for your own current or future use if you do not currently subscribe to this journal yourself.

You can also find some tips on military research and other military research resources from Jennifer’s web site at:

Jennifer Holik Website

Jennifer is someone you will want to keep in mind as a military research resource for all things World War I and II.  Keep connected to her website for so much more you can discover that can help you in your own research.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

New Poll On Right Sidebar Of The Blog; Simple Question Being Posed; “Have You Ever Attended A Family Reunion?”; “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 Attended A Family Reunion?”  Yes or No

A Family Reunion can be a rewarding part of doing Family History research.  Not only have you discovered information about your past ancestors, but you have also discovered many more cousins than you have ever known about.  Tracking down ancestors is one part but you also track down living descendants of those ancestors that are your cousins.  Most of them may not be “closely” related to you.  But they are your kin.

As Family Historian you may decide to take it to the next level of interacting with living relatives.  Perhaps a Family Reunion is the ultimate get-together of family to interact with and even meet for the first time.  Maybe a Family Reunion might be small.  Maybe you are connecting with those discovered cousins that are local to your area.  Maybe a Family Reunion is large in size taking place at a hotel in a distant city.

You may have a special day set aside for such a gathering.  Maybe at someone’s house?  Maybe at your house?  Maybe in the summer time at a large park for a picnic?  Maybe at a restaurant?  Maybe a banquet hall?  Maybe with a mixed bag of elderly, middle age and children that are your newly discovered cousins, all sharing a connecting back in time to a common ancestor.  Maybe someone else is doing all the work and you are just going to be attending?  Maybe you did all the work?  Maybe you collaborated with your newly discovered cousins?

So ……………………. have you ever been to a “Family Reunion”??

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

“What’s New At Ancestry.com June 2015” 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 June 2015 video posted from Ancestry.com that is titled “What’s New At Ancestry.com June 2015”.

The video is an approximate 26 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 – IAJGS (International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies) July 6-10, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel, www.iajgs2015.org; Ancestry Days, November 7, 2015, Raleigh, NC; Ancestry Days, November 14, 2015, Indianapolis, IN.
  • Ancestry Blog Post – Ancestry.com beta site has visually changed.  Visit the blog post at Announcing the New Ancestry WebsiteScroll down and look for the “Try the new site Click Here” phrase.  Once there you will need to be a subscriber to Ancestry.com  If you  enter in your information you will get connected to the new site for you to experiment with.   Crista mentioned the new “Life Story” view and the new “Facts View”.  Also, the sources and citations of your research are now more prominent and visible in the new site.
  • Ancestry Blog Post – Ancestry Academy is a new tutorial resource part of Ancestry.  Many free online hour-long tutorials on various aspects of genealogy research.  Many new tutorials requiring a subscription to the resource have been added.  If you have a World Deluxe Subscription to Ancestry, you should have access to Ancestry Academy at no further cost.  If you do not have such an encompassing subscription, you can subscribe to the Academy itself for an added cost.  Get all the information about this new service at Ancestry from the blog post here Introducing Ancestry Academy.
  • New Databases – Virginia Vital Records has been added.  It contains 24 million records.  Births from 1864-2014.  Marriages from 1936 to 2014.  Divorces from 1918 to 2014.  Deaths from 1912 to 2014.  Database is searchable and contains actual images of records from 1864 to 1913.  Record images not present after 1913.  You would need to contact Virginia Vital Records to obtain these directly from them.  This is due to privacy restrictions.  Much birth data back to 1864 due to high amount of delayed births that were filed over time.  Virginia did not require Civil birth filings until the 1900s.
  • New Databases –  Lancashire Quarter Session Records and Petitions.  Records from England.  1.2 million records.  Court records  Covers 1648 to 1908.
  • New Databases – Oregon Motor Vehicle Registration data.  Covers 1911 to 1946.  Contains about 3.5 million records.  You can find tickets that were issued as well as determine the type of car owned by an ancestor.
  • New Databases – South Africa Deaths covering 1895 to 1972.  Contains 2.2 million records.  Not searchable.  Browseable images by year and by location of towns in Cape Province South Africa.  Civil death records.
  • 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 spent a good time on this video noting 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

Poll On The Right Sidebar Has Been Closed For “Have You Watched Any Genealogy Teaching Videos On The Ancestry.com YouTube Channel?”; 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 April 6, 2015.  It is time to move on!  I think a new poll question is in order!

The poll had asked the question “Have You Watched Any Genealogy Teaching Videos On The Ancestry.com YouTube Channel”?

The results of the poll showed the following from the 44 total respondents that took the brief time to provide their “Yes” or “No” response to the question.  The numbers show that 21 responses (47.73%) noted they have viewed teaching videos at the Ancestry.com YouTube channel  while 23 responses (52.77%) indicated they have not viewed any teaching videos on the Ancestry.com YouTube channel.

I am actually surprised at the almost equal numbers of responses indicating  “Yes” and “No” viewing of material at the Ancestry.com YouTube channel.  I actually thought there would have been more indicating viewing of the channel.  The fact there were more “No” responses might simply have meant that readers were not aware the channel for Ancestry.com existed on YouTube.  Perhaps this question has now made readers aware of this wonderful resource to be used to learn even more about the various aspects of genealogical research.

Yet the number of “yes” responses certainly indicates knowledge of this resource.  Online genealogy teaching videos are a great resource for the researcher to add even more skills and knowledge to their research abilities.

Check out this great resource.  Just go to YouTube and enter in the search term AncestryCom (note that there is no “.” between “Ancestry” and “com” like a normal URL name) to get connected to this nice channel.  Or the direct link to the Ancestry.com YouTube channel is:

Ancestry.com YouTube Channel

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 20 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

Nordic Family Genealogy Center Of The Swedish American Museum Announces Upcoming Genealogy Programs For July 2015 To November 2015

Hi Everyone!

Swedish American Museum LogoThe Swedish American Museum has shared with me what are the balance of the upcoming Genealogy Programs that will be offered by the Nordic Family Genealogy Center for July 2015 to November 2015.

Programs will take place at the Swedish American Museum that is located at 5211 N. Clark St. in Chicago, IL.  A phone number of the museum to contact them at is 773-728-8111.  An email address to reach them at is museum@samac.org.

You can visit the website of the Swedish American Museum through which you can connect to the Nordic Family Genealogy Center at:

Swedish American Museum Of Chicago, IL

Here are the details of the programs coming up as provided to me from the Swedish American Museum.  List of upcoming programs and other pertinent information about the group appears after the separator line:


The Nordic Family Genealogy Center: Upcoming Events

The Genealogy Center hosts genealogy sessions from 10 a.m. to noon the fourth Saturday of each month excluding June and December. Check the website for any exceptions or updates.

July 25 “Current State of Swedish Organizations” presented by Janet Nelson

Aug. 22 “National Archives – Great Lakes Region” presented by Ellen Kondrot

Sept. 26 “Today’s Immigration in Sweden” presented by Kris Nicholson

Oct. 24 “Writing a Family History” presented by Dan Hubbard

Nov. 21 Discussing Our Own Family Histories

Cost is free for Genealogy Center members; non-member cost is $10. Reservations appreciated. You may email the Genealogy Center at genealogy@samac.org to RSVP or ask any questions you may have about sessions or call the Museum at 773.728.8111 and leave a message for the Genealogy Center volunteer, or visit SwedishAmericanMuseum.org/genealogy.

Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640
(P) 773.728.8111 (F) 773.728.8870 (E) museum@samac.org


Normally I receive program notices for the next upcoming program.  I am glad the organization has provided these for the balance of 2015 for me to share with you.

This is an organization to connect with if you are doing Swedish family history.  They do offer a great deal of information and resources to the Swedish researcher.

Check them out!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Smallest Cemetery In Chicago!; Do You Know Where It Is? It Even Connects Back To Napoleon!

Hi Everyone,

Cemetery Headstones Clip ArtOnce again one of my wonderful colleagues shared with me some insights into cemeteries that exist in the city of Chicago.  We often think of historical cemeteries that still exist within the current boundaries of Chicago as containing hundreds and thousands of burials across many acres of land.  Yet his sharing with me was related to the “smallest” cemetery in Chicago.  That caught my attention because it sounded like a great game question that would be asked on some kind of TV show.

My colleague also has a connection to all things “Napoleon”.  His knowledge of Napoleon is deep and wide.  He shared this “smallest” cemetery information with me because for him it has a “Napoleon” connection but for genealogists it has a connection because it is related to being a “cemetery”.

And we all know how genealogists like cemeteries!!

I am not going to give you the details in this blog post directly that would spoil your own discovery of the information.  I will give you the link that came from “Chicago History Today” on the internet that was shared with me by my colleague.  I found this fascinating to read!

Check out the story about Chicago’s “smallest” cemetery here:

Chicago’s Smallest Cemetery

It was just a fun thing to hear about and read about.  I think you will also enjoy adding on another bit of trivial genealogical knowledge to your repertoire of all of your other genealogy knowledge!

So now you are prepared to provide an answer if that question ever comes up in genealogical conversation in the Chicago area.

Let me see …. I wonder what the “largest” cemetery is in the city of Chicago??

And on and on and on!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

June 2015 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts Uploaded As A PDF for June 9, 2015 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the June 2015 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 June 2015 Handouts for your convenience:

June 2015 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, June 9, 2015 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