The Shared CM Project Tool 4.0

Courtesy of Pixabay Mystery Match - What To Do Next You've checked your DNA results, possibly at a new test company, and you find an unfamiliar match sharing a large segment of DNA. While some of the companies assign a relationship, "1C,2R", that may not be accurate due to variables such as "half" siblings or cousins.  There are several tools available to help calculate relationships; one we have seen in presentations and online is the Shared cM Project 4.0 Tool v4. You can locate yourself in the white square marked "Self" just off the center.  Relationships that share, or are descendants of one or both of your parents are in light or blue gray.  Relationships with which the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) is one or both grandparents are in green, great-grandparents are in orange. The numbers in the squares represent the average shared cMs for that relationship as well as the low and high range.  Notice that

Strike While the Iron is Hot!

Image The advice "strike while the iron is hot" comes from blacksmiths, who would pull a piece of red-hot iron out of the coals with tongs and begin hammering into shape the horseshoe or hook or whatever the customer had ordered. If he waited until the iron cooled, it would be nearly impossible to shape and have to be moved into the fire again.  Research Log I wrote before about my new favorite tool Airtable , and its older cousin, the spreadsheet. Now I'm using Airtable for my newest favorite, the research log . I've read about why to keep them, but have always chosen to trust my memory instead. This did not work very well! There are tools such as Goldie May which promise to automate the process, but after watching it in action, I don't think it would work for me. Begin with the GPS In the Research Like A Pro study group South King County GS is running for members, one of the necessary steps is a comprehe

Let's Document Every Washington Pioneer!

As  we know, early pioneers come west in covered wagons, or even on foot! But did you know that because the intercontinental railroad was a reality soon after the end of the Civil War, [1 ] many also came to the Washington Territory on trains or ships. Fortunately there are records for these pioneers, and although many were single, families also came here and are named in both the 1880 US Census and the many Territorial Census. If you want to submit some pioneers, be sure to start by bookmarking the  Hints and Help page on the Pioneer Pursuit contest section of the Washington State Genealogical Society website.">Sailing Ship Vectors by Vecteezy You may have some pioneers in your tree   already e ven if they are not ancestors; so you may have most of the research you need to submit one or more pioneers. We would like to document every person  who was here on or before November 11, 1889, whether they were born here or arrived just in time

More Favorite Tools for Genealogy

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from We've had more favorite tools submitted this past week; we hope you find these useful! One Note, Evernote Darlene Steffens :   My favorite tool is One Note (Evernote also works) where I keep handy, just a mouse click away, a variety of research things including:  web links sorted by (1) location (state & country) and (2) generic subject matter; a list of contact persons sorted by family line with email address links, phone, numbers, etc.; a list of source citation formats that I frequently use for copy/pasting into my tree's database; a log of correspondence exchanged sorted by family line, date, who, why, results; a To Do list by state/country where I can "park" those cemetery photos I need to take or the library facility I need to visit and what is needed there (you never know when a visit there is possible); and ever so much more. I like the convenience of all things collected into one place that will open on

Favorite Genealogy Tools

A suggested topic for this blog was A Favorite Tool for Research We received a couple of replies which have spurred conversations from our editors.  We hope more of you will submit your favorite tools. From Deborah Wigen-Noble:    My “tool” right now is webinars. The speaker/presenter, the chat (gleaning all kinds of ideas and suggestions from others watching), and the opportunity to ask and have my questions answered - this often leads to more questions . -  Debbi From Annette Weiss:  DNA is my tool ... can't beat the accuracy! I've been able to connect with a long-lost branch of my daily tree, adding over 100 descendants in the past 2 years. - Annette From Kathleen Hanzeli:  This probably sounds silly, but last week, when I was in Boston, I chose to travel light, meaning I left my big camera at home.  I did take my Magic Wand Scanner but it never came out of my bag. Instead, I used my iPhone to scan (the scanning app associated with Evernote) and copy documents, etc.  It work

Do Not Disturb: Fun Ways to Learn Genealogy While Solving Mysteries

Image How have you learned to do genealogy? Some of us began with basic classes that introduced us to census records, land records, military records and other basic resources. Some of us did wide open internet searches and got lucky on our first or second attempt; others had piles of material handed to them by older relatives. No matter how we started, if we have stayed with our quest, we have refined our methodology in order to get to more accurate or obscure information. If you have subscribed to you may have seen messages between people who are in the current study group working on the book, Research Like a Pro.  I admire the work these people are putting in on their projects, knowing they are developing strong research habits. Another Way To Learn But I don't have the time or inclination to put out that sort of effort. I have found another source for learning methodology--genealogical crime mysteries! Give me th

Uncaged Canines

Photo by  Fredrik Öhlander  on  Unsplash Family History Month in October always brings family stories to mind.   Fortunately, most of the stories I remember are humorous. Perhaps I have  forgotten the ones that are not.  My father was a writer, and many of his pieces  were humor. When I was a small girl, my Father joined my Grandfather in his hardware  business.   My Grandfather, in addition to operating his hardware business was the Mayor of  our small town. My Father soon was elected to the City Council. My Grandmother  had founded the first church in the community. My Grandmother was the most  dignified lady you could imagine. Even her husband called her “Mrs. _______.” We lived in an apartment above the hardware store. My Grandparents lived  downstairs, behind the store. The windows of my parents’ bedroom overlooked  the highway in front of the store and beyond that, there was a ditch separating the highway  from a driveway that ran from the Police Station to cages housing the dogs