October 4, 2015

A J Jacobs Global Family Reunion Set For 06 June 2015 In NY

In case this event hasn’t been on your radar, please add the date to your calendar for A J Jacobs’ (yes, we are cousins!) Global Family Reunion to take place in New York on 06 June 2015. He’s hoping to break the Guinness World Record in a completely familial way, by showing that we all are related.

Guest Webinar – A J Jacobs Click on the link to view it. Runs 43 minutes.
Personally, I think this is brilliant because it makes logical sense. No, I’m not a Vulcan, but logic pretty much guides my life and my research in turn. How?

Logic and Genealogy

  • Here’s one example, when you add birth and death dates for someone, and then add a child born to the mother it’s logical (but not impossible) that the female can’t have children too close in age to her own.
  • Using logic you look at the location of where your ancestor lived and when they don’t show up in a census for that location, maybe they didn’t move but the county or state boundaries did so.
  • Using logic you know that everyone on this planet is of human origin, and anthropologists have proven we originated in one location (Africa) and then we migrated all over the planet. It’s not too much of a stretch to think we all might be cousins.

AJ Jacobs - Carol Yates Wilkerson

From Six Mothers – Many Tribes

Genealogy Tips and Advice

How Do Cousins Get Removed Or Ignored

  • Quick post for my readers who get confused over what it means when someone tells you you’re X amount of times removed. Read this article from Ancestry that explains why and how it happens.
English: A chart illustrating the different ty...

English: A chart illustrating the different types of cousins, including genetic kinship marked within boxes in red which shows the actual genetic degree of relationship (gene share) with ‘self’ in percentage (%). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DNA Cousins Are A Special Breed And It’s Harder To Determine A Surname Connection

I have three different DNA results on 23andMe for my brother, me and my husband Jim and my email address is used for cousin connection for all three. I’ve also uploaded our raw data to GedMatch that also includes a way to connect as well via email. Three results to maintain and cousins contacting me makes for a bit of confusion because…

  • They don’t consider that there might be one person maintaining multiple profiles for family members. [Include which person’s DNA profile you were looking at].
  • Their message is so cryptic and lacking in even the basic details like how they think there might be a connection. Just this week I got an email that said, “We’re cousins! Welcome to our ever growing family tree.” Huh? [At least try to add your main surnames so we can check our family tree index. I don’t have a memory of each of my thousands of surnames].
  • It doesn’t occur to them to further the possibility of proving a connection by also including their family tree on a site like Ancestry for comparison. [How can we connect if we don’t have any way to compare surnames? Let’s make it as easy as possible to do that.]

Make a small flow chart to post near your computer so you remember to include as much as you can in correspondence. Include as much personal information as you’re comfortable sharing (First and last name, email address where you can be contacted; a link to your tree where it can be viewed online; your website or blog address, etc.)

Source for Cousin Relationship chart “Defining Cousins.” Defining Cousins. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2015.  Rootsweb/Ancestry


Top Genealogy Site Suggestions

Top Genealogical Sites: How These Could Make Your Work Easier!

Genealogical work used to be equated to two words- tedious task. Not anymore. These days, if one is interested in knowing his roots, then all he has to do is sit in front of a computer and type a few keys.

There are several sites that provide free genealogy. Here is a short list that you could peruse and consider in starting your own ‘family tree’:

Possibly the crowd that is most interested in looking for their kindred dead is the Latter-day Saints. They think that genealogical work is an element of man’s salvation. Their belief is three-fold- missionary work, perfecting the saints (improving themselves while following the gospel) and redeeming the dead (here is where the genealogical works come in).

This feeling led to the manufacture of FamilySearch.org They have all the legal right to claim that they have the largest compilation of ‘free’ family tree, records on genealogy and history in the family in the whole world.

This site offers resources for African-American genealogy, listing of the family history sites ( found in LDS meeting houses or chapels) that are nearest to the researcher’s home, basics of genealogy, guides and maps. And similar to other free online sites, they, too, have free downloadable software (PAF or the Personal Ancestral File software).

The following sites (in no particular order) are likewise free sources of genealogical researches:

Cyndi’s List of Genealogical Sites on the Internet – One of the premier sites for all things genealogical.

MyTrees.com- they have the so-called Ancestry Archive Search, MyTrees Plus (Search and Results), vital records and genealogy from countries like the U.S., New Zealand and Canada. There is in addition a death index for Social Security.

AncestrybyDNA.com- this is different from other genealogical sites because this concentrates on genetic genealogy. It is the ‘youngest’ among the kinds of genealogical searches. One can find his ancestors through genetic research and knowing their backgrounds (ethnic).

RootsWeb.com (by Ancestry.com)- it claims to be the oldest free site on genealogy. It offers resource tools, databases for census records, research on civil war, narratives of slaves, replace for 1890 census, periodical source (index), history of the ‘great’ migration and the biographical index for American genealogy.

Ancestorquest.com- this site has pointers and tips on doing genealogical work, it also has links to several races like African- American citizens, Native Americans, even Hispanic links. A researcher could also publish his genealogical sites.

Genebase.com- concentrates on several areas of genealogy like analysis of DNA, family trees and finding ancestors through last name search. Under this, we can find the famous DNA Ancestry Project.

Linkpendium – Links, links, and more links from the hardworking folks at this fabulous genealogy starting site.

Ancestry.co.uk (for United Kingdom and Ireland)- has a 14-day free trial. It is the site for the biggest collection of records from UK. It is additionally contains the census records from 1841-1901. Genealogical experts are likewise on the standby to help people who are novices at genealogy.

Surnamesite.com- this site incorporates archives of wills, obituaries, biographies, bible and funeral records, all having surnames on them.

These are just some of the top sites for free genealogy. You see, knowing who you are ought not to be a matter of choice but a matter unavoidably. A person’s roots could define who he is or what he could be. Whether you agree or not isn’t the question. The question is, are you willing to let the past stay in the dust, or are you thinking about satisfying dig through and use it to motivate your future?


How Genealogists Can Spread The Love Of WDYTYA Goodness


For all the seasons that Who Do You Think You Are have been on there’s almost always a love/hate discussion the next day in the Facebook genealogy community. At first, everyone was happy the show was on and promoting the interest in family history. Then, little by little the critques began. The complaints ranged from there being too much detail that made the stories drag on, to not enough content that showed how many hours it took to find the juicy details.

Of course, what some people failed to take into account was that the show is just an hour long commercial for Ancestry.com. There is certainly nothing wrong with that, but it should be understood by those of us who do all forms of research that by criticizing and nit picking the show each week we are doing more harm than good when it comes to promoting the fun of finding family history documentation. We’re darn lucky someone like Lisa Kudrow chose to promote genealogy by producing the programs.

The program has changed from a national station host to The Learning Channel that may or may not be as accessible. As time went by the format for the stories of each celebrity evolved to keep it interesting while staying within a set budget. I’m assuming all this, but I suspect it’s all true.  As has been said recently, many aspects of the episodes can be teaching opportunities for those of us who write about genealogical research. Not just teaching opportunities, but talking points as well.

Now, About Your Own Research

If each celebrity’s life leaves us with questions, that’s a good thing. We might find ourselves with new ideas for our own research. Avenues we haven’t thought of persuing like voter lists, criminal records, church histories, newspaper accounts, or even special censuses for states. Have you considered searching for a topic in Google books? Not just in Google itself, but in their books.

Even more ‘daring’…search for your ancestor by name in a general Google search of images. I’m not advocating just doing research online of course. Find out if your local library has a genealogy section. Maybe your local historical society has a few suggestions for you too. One more suggestion, ask your friends what kind of books they might have that you could use for research. Personally, I have a few genealogy books of my own and can do lookups in them if you ask nicely. 😉

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