Showing posts from October, 2019

Activities November 2019

Image  T h is is the time of year when we think about the sacrifices our ancestors made coming to a new land seeking a better life for themselves and their unknown descendants.   Many of them braved perilous voyages over rough seas in tiny ships seeking religious freedom.   One hundred and fifty years later, their grandsons fought in the Revolutionary War for the right of self-government.   As genealogists, we have the privilege of gathering their stories and preserving them for our descendants.   I hope you will share their stories as you gather with your family this month.   On October 5, Katie Hanzeli, Marilyn Schunke and I attended the Seattle Genealogical Society’s Fall Seminar featuring Dr. Thomas W. Jones.   The topic of the Seminar was “Creating Credible Conclusions While Circumnavigating Walls”, learning how to forge innovative paths around research brick walls with confidence and ethics.   Learning from Dr. Jones is like drinking from a firehose.   Sunday, I

23andMe Wants You!

23andMe Wants You!  In the early years of 23andMe DNA testing, the site seemed like a useful site for researchers. Then all that changed. For the next few years, many genealogists and family history researchers felt unwelcome at 23andMe. Family trees were removed from the site, and moved to MyHeritage. There was no useful linking to these trees, and match profiles were closed by default. Among active researchers, 23andMe matches were notorious for never answering messages (in site), rarely granting matching, and not being interested in finding common ancestors, even if they replied. The messaging system was so bad that there was a Chrome add-on to make it usable! Times have changed - family tree tools The designers of the site seem to changing all that, and inviting us researchers back in. If you have a 23andMe kit and log onto the site, open up Settings and scroll to Preferences at the bottom of the Settings page, you will find the Beta. Select Become a tester , and you w

Mitochondrial and Y DNA research - New Resource!

The three kinds of DNA of use for family history research* Autosomal - what most of us use, via Ancestry , 23andMe , MyHeritage , FamilyTreeDNA Family Finder and LivingDNA Y - available from FamilyTreeDNA, Yseq and a few others Mt or mitochondrial - available from FamilyTreeDNA Autosomal DNA For autosomal DNA (AtDNA), to make best use of your results for research, you will "fish in all the ponds" by testing with Ancestry and 23andme since neither accept uploads, and then upload your raw data to Gedmatch , MyHeritage and FamilyTreeDNA, which do accept uploads - for free!  The value of autosomal DNA testing is that it covers all of your ancestry back four generations or so, and up to six or seven generations, which is quite long ago. However, as your matches are ever smaller as you go further back in time, your AtDNA will not take you back to your deep ancestry before surnames and record keeping. Y and Mt DNA Both Y and Mt DNA will take you back very f

Enrich Your Research with Newspapers!

Newspapers are wonderful sources for your genealogy and family history research -- and they are available FREE! You might think that your ancestors would never be found in the newspaper, but if they lived in a small city or town, or even out on a farm -- you will find them, and not just in obituaries. The fire referred to in the above "Card of Thanks" was not reported in the newspaper, but the notice was. And without this little notice we would never have known about the fire suffered by my great-uncle Sidney and his family. Obituaries can be a goldmine, though, even if you already know the date of death and place of burial. Especially if the surviving children are mentioned, you then know that they are alive at that date, and sometimes their locality and spouse are mentioned as well. Those who are *not* mentioned is sometimes meaningful too. A caution that "facts" reported in an obit are not necessarily true. Top of 1944 Seattle Daily Times article about B