Showing posts from December, 2019

2020--What's in Your New Year?

It is the time of year when we think about setting goals for the New Year.   How many timeshave we resolved to lose weight, go to the gym regularly, call Mom every week, or any number of other things.   I always have a goal of reading 50 books a year.   Some years I do better than others.   This year looks like it will be about 31 or 32.   Not too bad, but I could do better.   I listed 19 things that I wanted to accomplish in 2019, and I must admit that I did not do very well.   As I reflect on this performance, or lack of same, I have resolved to take a different approach in 2020.   After setting my overall goals for 2020, I am going to break them into monthly goals and do a monthly review, so that I do not get so hopelessly behind that I just give up. I’m particularly thinking about my genealogy goals for 2020.   Many of you know that I want to become a Certified Genealogist.   Before the end of 2020, I will “go on the clock”.   What that means is that I will have one

Success with Ancestry's Thrulines

If you use Ancestry, and have done a DNA test there, you've heard about the shortcomings and the value of Thrulines. Recently I've been doing a drive to get all my Baysinger DNA matches actually onto my Ancestry tree, and properly tag them as DNA matches, and also tag each of their connections to our most recent common ancestor (MRCA). The match gets a DNA Match  tree tag, each connecting ancestor gets a DNA Connection tag, up to the MRCA(s) which get a Common DNA Ancestor tag. When one does this on enough lines, in the pedigree view of the tree: Valorie Cowan Zimmerman's 6-generaton DNA-proved pedigree See all the DNA symbols? Isn't that cool!? The part that doesn't show here is the work of "building down" some or all of these lines. I'm happy to say that I've finished building down all lines from Elias Henry Baysinger, my two times great-grandfather, at least until the new DNA matches hit the database in January and February! I may have

Why I Use FamilyTree DNA and You Should Too

Why I Use FamilyTreeDNA  (FTdna) and You Should Too .... But only if you have family mysteries you have been unable to solve!  Don't we all have such mysteries? Years ago, my father's family had done some family history, then I did some research, and got my dad's Cowan line back to the Borders of Scotland and the tiny village of Yarrow Feus in Selkirshire where they lived before emigrating to Ontario, Canada in 1832.  However, the records before 1700 are scarce, and so the question remained - did the Cowans always live in the Scottlsh Borders? Were they always sheep herders? Y DNA testing When FTdna first introduced Y-DNA testing, I got a kit for my Dad for Father's Day one year. It was thrilling to see matches come in. He had an identical good match at 35 markers, which was what was available at the time. His match Chris Cowan and I compared notes, but his bunch came from Ireland and mine from Scotland. My dad and he both paid for more markers, and they w

Have you tried AncestorSearch on Google Search for searching for ancestors (or living people) lately?

Used with permission from Randy Majors For a change, this post focuses on Google  Search  rather than the Google  Maps  tools on this website. If you've tried searching for a mention of your ancestors (or living people) using Google Search, you've no doubt run into this little issue from time to time: 175 MILLION results?  OK, this might take a while... Enter  AncestorSearch on Google Search , a free search tool that uses Google search enhancements so that you are much more likely to find mentions of the ancestors (or living people) you're looking for that are otherwise buried in thousands of Google search results.  Basically, it uses Google advanced search operators  behind the scenes  so you don't have to spend time typing a bunch of awkward symbols. An example is probably the easiest way to illustrate how  AncestorSearch  works.  Let's say I am looking for mention of a marriage of a coupl

SKCGS December Happenings

SKCGS December Happenings Greetings!   Winona and I are looking forward to spending an evening with you at our Annual Holiday Potluck at 6:30 Tuesday evening, December 3, at her home.   Your spouses, or significant others are welcome.   Just warn them that they will have to listen to us talk about our ancestors.   Please RSVP to Winona at to let her know what you will be bringing to share and to ask her for her address if you need it. It was great to see a good crowd at the Research Group on Friday, November 22.   I have heard that several participants had good luck with their research.   The next opportunity to use these free resources will be January 24, 2020.   There will be a reminder in the January activities blog post. Thank you to all who completed the Program Committee’s Survey in October and November.   The Board of Directors is seriously considering your comments and suggestions.   Please know that some programs were scheduled before the sur