Upcoming Genealogy Programs At The Swedish American Museum In Chicago; January 2018 To May 2018

Hi Everyone!

I just received an email from the Swedish American Museum in Chicago in which they provided to me the schedule of the upcoming genealogy programs that will take place between January to May 2018.

Oftentimes I become aware of their programs on a more short-term basis as they publish the information in their monthly newsletter Cirkular.  Glad to see they have a much longer series of scheduled programs.

Take a look at the upcoming genealogy programs at the Swedish American Museum in the link below:

January to May 2018 Genealogy Programs at the Swedish American Museum

The programs are free to attend for members of the Swedish American Genealogy Society.  Non-members are welcome to attend for a $10 fee.  The museum does ask that you contact them in advance if it is your intention to attend a program.  Many of the programs appear to be oriented for those doing Swedish genealogical research.  Can be very helpful to you if you are doing Swedish research.

You can visit the web site of the Swedish American Museum in Chicago at:

Swedish American Museum

You can also visit the Swedish American Genealogy Center website that is part of the museum at:

Swedish American Genealogy Center

Enjoy the museum and the programs.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


Our Next Genealogy Program Is Coming Up On Tuesday Evening December 12, 2017 At 7:30 PM

Hi Everyone!

I thought I would post this reminder of our next upcoming Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library.

There is no pre-registration required in order to attend the program.  There is no fee charged to attend.  Anyone can attend this program.  You do not have to be a library card holder with the Schaumburg Township District Library in order to attend.

Here are the details of our upcoming program for Tuesday evening, December 12, 2017:

The Genealogy program will be held on Tuesday December 12 2017 at 7:30 PM in the 2nd floor Classroom. There is no formal presentation for this gathering. Instead we will have our breakout group discussions so participants can work within a small group of people having specific interests in a common genealogical topic. The object is to share information and experience on this topic among those in the breakout group.

We are planning on having the same breakout groups we had in our previous breakout groups based on various nationalities. These will be Polish, Czech, German, Irish, British, Italian, Scandinavian and Colonial American. There will also be a “new” DNA/Adoption table. Finally there will also be a Beginners Group.

A laptop computer connected to our projector will also be available in the room to use by those in attendance. Participants are also encouraged to bring in their own lap top or net book to connect wirelessly to the library’s WiFi Network. This will allow the user to share information with other participants in areas of genealogical research.

Some of the above mentioned groups may be eliminated if there are not enough participants in any one group to make it beneficial. Some groups that have not been identified may be added.

The doors to the room will open at approximately 7 PM so participants can pick up the handouts review books and journals and interact with other participants. Tony Kierna the STDL genealogist will start the program at 7:30. Introductions of new participants will occur as well as a brief review of handouts and genealogical matters. It is expected that the breakout groups will form at around 7:45-8:00 PM. We will end the session by 9:30 PM. For further information contact Tony Kierna at 847-923-3390.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Sales For DNA Products For Genealogy Abound During The Holiday Season; Some Savings Can Be Significant; Keep Your Eyes Open For Sale Opportunities Across All Of The DNA Products Offered

Hi Everyone!

I submitted my DNA for testing for genealogy a couple of years ago.  As a full disclosure, I submitted my DNA with Family Tree DNA.  So my experience with all things DNA for genealogy is through Family Tree DNA at the moment.

Once I submitted my DNA, I did find that Family Tree DNA is on top of their marketing efforts.  I would not say that I am overwhelmed with marketing emails from them but I do know they send just the right volume of reminders to me reminding me of other DNA tests that I have not utilized that I could consider to purchase.

During the various holidays throughout the year, I have received notices to consider other tests to purchase.  It is not even so much to consider the other tests, but Family Tree DNA also includes in their marketing emails consideration to actually purchase a test not for you but for someone else.  Presumably for you to give to a cousin or someone you think is related to you.  I think that is a good idea and broadens their marketing appeal.  However, know in advance that a cousin would accept the test kit and would actually take the test and submit it for analysis.  No sense giving a surprise kit to someone who would never use it.  Maybe you could do a little arm-twisting and tell them how important it would be for you to solve an age-old research problem with their results in the database!

From Thanksgiving and through the Christmas and New Year’s season, you will see much more about sales being held for the various tests.  If you have not yet done your DNA test for genealogy, it is probably worth being aware of the various companies and the various sales going on for each of their “entry” level tests.  It is the “autosomal” test that I consider as the entry-level test and usually the most inexpensive test to take from the variety they offer.  That is the test that I started with.  With Family Tree DNA, it is called “Family Finder”.  The product name can be different with other providers but it should be their version of an “autosomal” test.

As a point of comparison, just a few years ago the entry-level tests were in the $199.  I waited until a sale existed within Family Tree DNA that had the product on sale for $79, down from $99.  Now, some of the companies might be offering this test in the range of $59.

You can really get some great bargains for entry-level tests during the holiday season.  Even their higher end products such as for Mitochondrial DNA or Y-DNA are offered with some big sales.  So if you have taken the entry-level test, you could still save significant dollars on the other DNA test available to you that you have not yet taken.  But be aware, you could save big dollars, but the savings are based on significant costs in the hundreds of dollars for these other products.  And don’t just take a higher end DNA test because it is on sale.  Know that it can help you in possibly giving you other clues to help with your research.

Thought I would at least give you some links to the major companies offering DNA testing so you can see what some of the sales are for your consideration.  Take a look at the following as of today, December 4, 2017.  Sales are not open-ended.  They are often for no more than a week, but they often re-occur while the holidays are still coming up.  Check out:

Family Tree DNA

Ancestry DNA



National Geographic Genome Project

I have no regrets having done an autosomal genealogy DNA test.  I have connected with newly discovered cousins as a result of the test.  It can and probably will happen to you also.  The prices are incredible compared to just those that were offered just a few years ago.  The holiday season offers some of the best prices you will find.

Take the plunge if you have not done so already.  The entry-level prices are really low.  Consider taking advantage of the sales of their other products if you wanted to add another new test over and above the basic one you may have already taken.

The sales will not last forever.  The sale prices now do not automatically become the new price in a few weeks after the holidays.  Check out the sites above for all of what they are offering now and through the next 30 days.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library


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

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 December 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 program scheduled for December 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 December 2017 at the Swedish American Museum:

Events At The Swedish American Museum In Chicago December 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 December 2017.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

German Genealogy Podcast From RadioPublic; The German Genealogy Girl’s Podcast With Ursula C. Krause; Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, Professional German Genealogy Specialist, Being Interviewed; Teresa Will Be Our February 13, 2018 Genealogy Program Speaker

Hi Everyone!

I have recently become familiar with a podcast provider known as RadioPublic (www.radiopublic.com).  I was checking out what genealogy related podcasts are included in all that is offered.  Wanted to see what kind of variety of podcasts were available by ethnic area of interest.  I used “genealogy” as a search term as well as “family history”.  Some results showed some very active podcast series with lots of podcasts.  Some series had just a few podcasts.

For me as a blogger the nice thing about RadioPublic is that I can directly include the podcast into a post along with the player so that you can play the podcast directly from within my post.  Here is a direct link to the site from which you can search for all kinds of podcasts by subject:

Search RadioPublic Podcasts

Happened to notice there is a fairly new Germanic podcast series that goes under the title series of “The German Genealogy Girl’s Podcast with Ursula C. Krause”.  She has 5 episodes that are all fairly current, the most recent one being November 2, 2017.  This is how Ursula describes what her series focuses on:

“If you are of German descent and love doing research, this is the podcast to listen to! The German Genealogy Girl’s Podcast helps you make the most of your research time, by providing helpful techniques and a deeper insight into German research. Together with her guests from all over the world, Ursula Krause guides you through numerous websites, best practices, German history, pesky German grammar and language and best resources available. Her and her guest’s experience and knowledge will enlighten you and give you tools needed to advance your genealogical search. Join them monthly as they delve into the world of German genealogy.”

I checked out that podcast and happened to notice that the November 2, 2017 podcast included an interview with Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, a well-known professional genealogy researcher from our area who focuses on Germanic research.  Teresa will be our February 13, 2018 genealogy speaker.  She will present a program on that day titled “The Voyages of Our German Immigrants”.

Here is the actual podcast to listen to with the interview of Teresa Steinkamp McMillin.  One suggestion, click on the “+” sign that you see as part of the player first.  This will open up another full window that includes a text description summary of what is on the podcast as well as the player.  You can start listening just by clicking on the start arrow for the player within the full screen.  You can also choose to just start the player below without clicking on the “+” sign.  You just won’t see the text description summary of the program.  Your choice.

For those interested in Germanic research, check out the other 4 podcasts in this series from Ursula Krause.  You can find all of them here at:

The German Genealogy Girl’s Podcasts with Ursula C. Krause

Enjoy RadioPublic and all that you can find at the site searching for podcasts of interest.  There is even an app you can download and install on your phone for even easier mobile listening for either Apple or Android.  Download the app directly from the main website for RadioPublic at www.radiopublic.com.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Podcast From RadioPublic Ties In With Newly Released Poll Question In This Blog; How To Prepare For A Trip To Visit Your Ancestral Area Of Origin

Hi Everyone!

I guess timing is everything in life!

You may have seen that I just recently activated a new Poll question on the right sidebar of this blog.  This new poll questions asks you:

“Have You Gone To Visit Your Ancestral Town/Village Of Origin Outside Of The United States?”

I have also been poking around RadioPublic seeing what kind of podcasts exist.  Lo and behold I noticed another series of genealogy podcasts there in a series called “Ancestral Findings”.  It looks like a very active and current series of podcasts.  I see a total of 153 podcasts with the most recent one having a date published of November 21, 2017 (how current is that since today is November 22, 2017 as I create this blog post).

Quickly, I noticed episode 152 created on November 14, 2017 is titled “How to Get the Most Out of a Trip to Your Ancestral Homeland”.

Again, timing is everything!

I thought I could include that podcast in this blog since it ties in so perfectly with my new poll question.

Right below is the player with this podcast that you can listen to right in the this post.  One suggestion, click on the “+” sign that you see as part of the player first.  This will open up another full window that includes a text description summary of what is on the podcast as well as the player.  You can start listening just by clicking on the start arrow for the player within the full screen.  You can also choose to just start the player below without clicking on the “+” sign.  You just won’t see the text description summary of the program.  Your choice.

Because it looks like the “Ancestral Findings” podcasts are so prolific with many podcasts and also being very active, I want to share the link to get you directly to the long list of 153 episodes for you to peruse the topics covered.  Almost all of the podcasts are in the 5 to 10 minute category for recording length.  I would also like to share the name of the creator of this wonderful series of podcasts, but I have yet to be able to find who it is from either the podcasts or their website or from Facebook.

For now,  here is the link in RadioPublic to get you to the series of “Ancestral Findings” total list of podcasts:

Ancestral Findings Podcasts From Within RadioPublic

You can also access the main website Ancestral Findings at:

Ancestral Findings

So …. you now have a “two-fer”.  Access the poll and submit your response.  Then listen to this podcast on “How to Get the Most Out of a Trip to Your Ancestral Homeland” that ties in directly to the poll question.

Timing is everything.  Efficiency is everything.

Have fun with the above podcast if you are now thinking about making a trip to the land of your ancestors.  Check out all of the others on a variety of genealogical topics from Ancestral Findings that are easily listened to for an under 10 minute commitment of your time.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

New Poll On Right Sidebar Of The Blog; Simple Question Being Posed; “Have You Gone To Visit Your Ancestral Town/Village Of Origin Outside Of The United States?”; “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 Gone To Visit Your Ancestral Town/Village Of Origin Outside Of The United States?”

A) Yes

B) No

For many of us our research discoveries often identify where in the world our ancestors came from.  Sometimes your research only gets you back a little bit of time in the United States for a location.  Sometimes we are lucky enough to keep going back farther and farther in time and identify our most distant known ancestor may have come from England, or Italy or Poland or …. you get the idea, somewhere outside of the United States.

Identifying a location outside of the United States is one thing.  Many researchers often take it to the next level.  They actually want to go to the area of their origin to that discovered town/village outside of the United States.  Genealogy trips are becoming a new development for researchers.  Professional guides and tour groups are actually now running formal tours for researchers to get them to that magical area of origin.

As a member of the Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) I have read many stories published in the journal of the organization of individuals sharing their stories of trips to Poland and meeting distantly related cousins.  These stories are always touching, fulfilling and emotionally rewarding.

We often feel a connection even more so to our ancestors when we can walk the ground they walked on hundreds of years ago.

So …….. I am interested to see if any of the readers of this blog perhaps may have taken that very next connecting step and set foot on the same ground as that of their ancestors from perhaps hundreds of years ago outside of the United States!

I think this is a simple and direct question.

So where do you fit into the responses ?  Yes or No

Let the poll speak for itself

Lets see how the responses go to the question at hand with just a simple “Yes” or “No” to pick from.

So …………………….“Have You Gone To Visit Your Ancestral Town/Village Of Origin Outside Of The United States?”

A) Yes

B) No

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