Many family historians and genealogists have taken the plunge and had their DNA tested and probably with more than one commercial company. Most tests confirm the lineage that the subject had already documented in their genealogical research. Some individuals might be surprised at the distribution of ethnicity in their results. But what happens when those DNA results indicate that the family and relatives that the subject assumed were biologically related are not? What happens when a branch of the family tree is “lopped off” by biological truth? What are the ramifications when an adoptee’s DNA matches finally identify a birth family that may not want to be found? In The Lost Family (Abrams Press; March 3, 2020), journalist Libby Copeland explores the unintended consequences of at-home DNA testing and what happens when the concepts of family, race, and ethnicity which shape an individual’s identity are upended.
So far so good on our new year’s resolutions. Amy is weeding through her piles of documents in her home office, watching webinars but not ones that count, and she submitted her DAR supplement application. Penny has been working on her French genealogy of her maternal grandmother which is taking up quite a bit of time.
In episode #50 of our podcast, we discuss our research and some plans and strategies we employ to make it easier and more complete. So let’s start with Trello. Penny discovered it while listening to a webinar hosted by D. Joshua Taylor where he mentioned using it for genealogy research and was intrigued. After watching a few youtube videos (putting Trello genealogy in the search bar) to see how other genealogists use Trello she tried it out. Amy has used it at work working with colleagues on genealogical document searches as well.
Trello consists of Boards – Lists – Cards. Penny likes to think of it as the card catalog, the drawer, and the cards, just a visual in case you are a visual learner. She created a board with a genealogical question “Who were Catherine Bernert’s parents?” The lists created were:
Catherine – information about the person if there is any
Family – listing her spouse and children with any documentation that could be helpful
Things to Check – places where she could look for documents
Documents Found – Listing all the documents already found including a photo of the document and web address or source information
Documents Needed – List anything might be needed to answer the question
Answer to the question – if answered put it here.
You can choose your background and Penny plugged in “castle” in the search box and chose this one. Love it! Also, this photo is resized to fit here but it gives you a good idea of what the page looks like.
Each list then holds cards pertaining to the list as you can see here. You can have as many cards as you need in each list.
There are many different ways to use Trello for your research and help you see exactly what you have and what you need for your research. You can also share your boards with others and work collaboratively. Give it a try.
While working on her French genealogy, Penny utilized two different websites for trees and another for documents. The sites used for trees were Geneanet and Heredis. You can add your tree to both sites or just use them for ancestor research. Using these trees to check for ancestors and getting dates gives a clue on where and when to look for documents. After getting dates for some of her ancestors Penny utilized the Archives of the Haute Rhin which has digitized everything from 1793-1892. Her process from there goes as follows:
find the documents needed in the Archives
use a snipping tool to copy the document and save (if you can download a document then you don’t have to use a snipping tool)
copy the URL
make a new copy of the document and include the URL and citation on the document by adding a text box (Penny used Paint to add the text box) then save this new document
print the second document and file in binder alphabetically with a label including name, date, type of document, and where found so you have a paper file
file the digital document in the appropriate digital file in the computer so you have a digital file as well
attach the digital file to the ancestor in your personal computer-based program
Did this take some time? Heck yes! But well worth it. Those documents are backed up and are now easy to find. And truly, the most time-consuming part was finding the documents as we all know. Cheers!
Ok, ok, we realize it’s almost the end of January and this is just now being written and posted. But hey, at least it’s completed. Like most genealogists out there we also have made a few new years resolutions. Amy plans to get rid of her piles of paperwork that are currently living in her home office and will implement the 30 X 30 challenge created by Janine Adams over at Organize Your Family History, she will watch one webinar a month for education, and add another DAR patriot. Penny plans to organize all her online photographs – labeled and put into named folders, take a more advanced class online, and work on the French Genealogy on her maternal grandmother’s side.
In our latest podcast episode, #49, we encourage everyone to try something new in their genealogy research. Join a group, listen in or participate in a genealogy chat, or start over. There is a huge genealogy community out there and the amount of genealogy-related blogs is truly overwhelming but worth the time looking and finding new people to follow. Everyone has something to share and we can all learn a new tip to help us with our research. Here are a few we mentioned on the podcast and a few others that we like as well.
If there is a blog or youtube account that you love and want to share, please let us know in the comments below.
It’s December and that means Happy Holidays and that means gift-giving and why not ask for something you truly want…more genealogy knowledge!
In our latest podcast, Episode #48, we talk about continuing our pursuit of knowledge in the genealogical field with new books for our shelves and educational opportunities either in person or online. There is no better time to ask for these items or get them for yourselves. All the books we recommend are on our Amazon storefront which makes it easy to purchase and helps support our podcast which we greatly appreciate!
In our latest podcast episode, #47, we talk about creating a shared Google Photo file where you can upload your historical family photos and share them with other family members who can also upload photos to the same file. There are a few wonderful things about this project one being that you can download and save in your own files the photos that your family shares in the group site. Another is using Goggles face recognition abilities to help identify who is in the photos.
The process is easy. First you need a google account which is free and easy to set up.
Enter photos.google.com in the address bar
click on CREATE in the top bar
click on SHARED ALBUM when the drop down box appears
Here you can add a title for your album and choose if you will upload photos or use face recognition to start. Can always upload your photos later if you choose “Select people and pets”
If you already have Google photos set up then give the face recognition a try and see what comes up. This option will populate your screen with faces in your photos. (my historical photos are not all in my Google photo file so not many came up when I did this process).
Click upload photos and all your photos that are in Google photos will appear, if you just signed up the album will be blank. In the upper right corner, click select from computer.
Choose the photos from your computer file that you would like to share and upload.
Click the SHARE button in the top right corner and pop up box will appear with your google contact.
click the ones you would like to share the album with OR type in their email where directed.
Once you have all your emails added you can add a message and then click the blue arrow to share. Everyone in your group can upload photos.
Click on a photo and add a detailed description so everyone in your group will have all the information about who is in the photo, where it was taken, who owns the photo etc.
Give Google photo sharing a try and see what photos your family has to share that you may have not ever seen before.
Ancestry will retire DNA Circles on July 1 replacing Circles with Thrulines™. Thrulines offers a more complete overview for kinship analysis between members and their DNA matches. Members can now see how many DNA matches they have from each ancestral grandparent, through each branch, or line, stemming from the grandparent. Matches are more visually clear in Thrulines which allows members to more quickly recognize kinship and analyze new matches.
CONTINUED IMPROVEMENT TO ANCESTRY HINTS
You may have noticed recent changes to Ancestry’s Hints feature.
Continued improvements to Hints allows members to better analyze their Hints
before adding them to a tree. The current change gives context to each Hint,
allowing members to view and compare data already in their tree with the data
provided in the new Hint.
Beginning in July, Hints will contain questions instead of
the current, “Yes/No/Maybe.” These questions will relate to the quality and
accuracy of the new information. This feedback will allow Ancestry to continue
to make improvements to the Hints feature and provide more relevant Hints.
Hopefully, more members will use these tools to analyze new
Hints before adding potential misinformation to their Ancestry tree!
Ancestry is rolling out a new Personal Profile and you have to try it!
The new profile page incorporates your linked trees, DNA summary, location, photo, age
range, and interests. Best of all – you can control how much data is public.
To switch to the new Personal Profile, click on your profile and
slide the Beta button on the top right.
Here’s a hint from Ancestry: Make sure you add a photograph to your profile page. It doesn’t have to be you face, just any random personal photo. You are 3 times as likely to receive a reply to a message you send if you have a photo on your profile.
In episode #39, we challenge you to find an old photograph not necessarily of your own family and do some research from that photo.
Amy found a couple of interesting photos in a shop she visited in Tallahassee, FL. One, in particular, leads her down a road with a very interesting story.
This is Addie Lewis Wadsworth, great name eh? This photo had some writing on the back that clued to finding out about her story. This photo is sent to her Aunt Jimmie indicating a hope that they would see each other soon. Possibly Aunt Jimmie meeting little Addie for the first time. But who was Addie and why is her photo in a shop in Tallahassee, FL? That is the challenge and Amy jumped right in and started digging.
Listen in to find out who Addie Lewis Wadsworth was and how she was related to her Aunt Jimmie in our latest podcast, Photo Challenge.
We mention in this episode a few other articles regarding photos that were found and how they were traced back to their owners. They are both great reads and we hope you enjoy the stories and are inspired to do a little digging too.
In our recent podcast, Episode #37, we had the pleasure of interviewing author Nathan Dylan Goodwin. Nathan writes our favorite genealogy mystery novels, the Forensic Genealogist series featuring Morton Ferrier.
We had such fun learning how Nathan comes up with ideas and does the research for his books. We go a little insight to his family and the characters in his book. We also learned what is coming up and new in print. If you are interested in learning more about Nathan Dylan Goodwin, here is a link to his website: https://www.nathandylangoodwin.com/. All his books are on our website under Books (of course.)
Kenyatta is a professional genealogist, lecturer, attorney, writer and TV personality. She has been doing research for over 20 years and specializes in African American genealogy and slave ancestral research. This past year she devoted much of her time to writing her new book which helps new genealogists get started on their research journey.
There is so much packed into this book and it is easy to read and follow. There are chapters on US records research, including census, court, and property records. Chapters on immigrations, naturalization, and military. These are very comprehensive and have multiple lists by states so you will know when and where you can research for your particular research location. Other chapters cover ethnic and European research as well as DNA and adoption.
Kenyatta’s book would be a wonderful addition to any family historians library and desk as a quick reference guide.