Top 5 (and first 5) Tasks for atDNA Results

You’ve got your DNA test results back from Ancestry, FamilyTreeDNA, MyHeritage, 23&Me. You’ve looked at your ethnicity results and laughed. Now you know why you like guac so much, and why you love to the polka. And now you have a reason why you like cold weather much more than hot.

Or, the disappointment comes. Is that it? You’re faced with the reality that you’re exactly who you always thought you were. Nothing exotic in your past, but plain old, boring European.

Take heart, fearless test takers, there’s more to your results than “who are my people?” Those cousin matches are the keys to breaking through brick walls, uncovering new stories, meeting great people who love what you love, and shoring up what you always thought was true.

My husband is a data analyst at a large bank. I’m not actually sure that I can tell you exactly what he does everyday. It’s that kind of job. Truly, I try to pay attention when we chat over dinner. But, the acronyms are hard to keep track of! Whole conversations can take place without actually saying any English words. Amazing. But, in spite of the technical nature of his job, there are valuable lessons interspersed in there about data collection and data management.

The next tips will create a foundation of data analysis. This foundation will help with almost every other tool out there – Gedmatch utilities, DNA painter, visual phasing, GenomeMatePro, and DNAGedcom.

Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and get to work.

You’re going to start data analysis, phase 1: data collection.

Work your paper tree your 5th great grandparents. Then, work forwards.

Why 5th? That’s a far as your test results will go accurately. You should be very skeptical of matches further than that without good cause. Matches less than 10 cMs (centimorgans – a measurement of share DNA. The higher the # the closer the match in most cases, with notable exceptions) are most often false positives.

If you can’t get to your 5th greatgrandparents, awesome. You have your first DNA project. Congratulations.

But, you can get to you 2x great grandparents. That’s good too! Sit with those 2x’s and find all of their adult children, who they married and all of their children. Find those children and who they married and their children. Do it all until you reach about 1940. Yep, that’s a lot of work. Do it over and over again.

It will pay off. I can’t tell you how often, I’ve identified a match simply because I’ve worked my tree forward and recognize surnames and locations. It’s not always helpful to just know the surnames of your direct ancestors. Know all those associated families. It’s the FAN club for DNA. Sons-in-law and daughters-in-law and grandkids and great grandkids.

Identify your DNA matches, 3rd Cousin and Closer. 

You don’t need a name or an exact relationship. Just gather all the information you can.

Think about it this way. You have a woman in your tree whose surname, birthday and birthplace, you know. But, you’ve never found her parents. Think about what do you know about her parents? You know: Her father’s surname, her parents’ likely residence or at least that her mother was at a certain place at a certain time (her birthday!) You know her parents likely ages (over 14 and under 50 for a woman, 80 for a man). That’s a lot of information about people on your tree whose names you don’t know yet.

A match that’s 3rd cousin or closer isn’t a false match. They are your family. You’ll know, how much DNA you share with the match. If you’ve tested your family members, you’ll know how much DNA your match share with each of them (could be more and could be less.) Consider how this match may be related to other 3rd cousin or closer matches. You might label the match, maternal or paternal.

Label those 3rd Cousin or closer matches. 

Every testing company has the ability to take notes about a match. Gedmatch, which isn’t a testing company, doesn’t have that capacity, so try downloading matches to a spreadsheet.

You should include in the notes section items such as: the total centimorgans, the # of segments, the longest segment (if available.) Why? Those 3 factors (total cMs, # of segments and longest segment) are, in order, the 3 top factors in relationship identification.

Next, look at the matches haplogroup and note it, if possible. It can be a guide to include or exclude certain parts of your tree in a search for common relationship.

Check the test takers profile for information. Or the test administrators profile. Does the administrator have more than one kit under their name? Can you tell if the tester or admin has logged in recently or are they a one-time user? Have they included a gedmatch kit #, a personal email, residence?

Every detail is important.

Evaluate their online tree, if applicable. 

How complete is it? What kinds of details are available? Is there supporting documentation? Are there surnames your recognize? Familiar locations? These aren’t confirmations of relationship, just starting off points. Note all possible connections.

With enough information in a match’s very small tree, you might recreate their tree on your own and work the family backwards. See if anything starts to look familiar.

Create Groups. Group close matches together based on who matches whom. 

For example, you have a first cousin match that you can identify has being from your paternal side. It’s a reasonable (but not always accurate) assumption, that any other match that matches you and your paternal 1st cousin, is a paternal-side match.

Create a group for your paternal 1st cousin. Give it a name. Gather the common matches and label them with the group/1st cousin name. Who in this new group matches each other? Who doesn’t match each other?

Since your first cousin shares your common grandparents, subgroups may start to form that might be related to your paternal grandfather and another group to your paternal grandmother. One good match with a great tree, would be all it would take to label a subgroup further.

Here’s an example from my own tree.

This is a male test taker on Ancestry.com that matches me.

  • His username gives an alias. It’s too generic to be an email prefix.
  • He has no tree, public or private associated with his test.
  • There’s no information on his profile page.
  • Ancestry notes that he became a member in April and last logged in that same month implying that he took a test for ethnicity only and only looked at his results once.
  • I share 62.8 cMs of DNA on 3 segments.
  • I also know that this match doesn’t match my mother.
  • He matches my sister at 95/5 and my brother at 59/5. He’s a solid PATERNAL match.
  • The match with my sister puts him at 3rd to 4th cousins rather than my estimate of 4th to 6th cousins.
  • He matches my paternal first cousin as well.
  • But, when analyzing other 1st cousin matches, he doesn’t fit into my paternal grandmother’s side matches. He’s likely a match on my paternal grandfather’s side. But, that’s a tentative observation that’s awaiting confirmation.
  • I’ve also noted that I’ve emailed him via Ancestry on a particular date.

That’s a lot of information about one guy that I’ll probably never hear from. Record all of that data. Take advantage of every bit of information. It will likely pay off later.

Why did I pick this match to share with you? I have a brick wall at my paternal line great grandfather. I can’t find any of James Morrissey’s family. See more information about James here. This match may be the key to finding James’ family, and I don’t know who he is. He’s unlikely to ever return my emails. But, I’ll keep my fingers crossed and hope, knowing that I did everything I could.

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DNA – An Intro to Visual Phasing

Visual Phasing: the genetic genealogy phrase that generates fear in the heart of every genealogist.

Yep, I’ve been trying to tackle it. Here’s what I’ve learned, so far.

  1. What’s required in order to start using visual phasing will eliminate many. 3 siblings and uncle/aunt/1st cousin matches on both maternal and paternal sides. If you don’t have 2 siblings, the process is more difficult to an exponent. You may have to commit to finding more testers before you even start the process.
  2. Some have suggested using a Power Point slide for each chromosome. I found that it was too crowded and too confusing. If you like Excel spreadsheets, start there. Much easier. There’s a video link on the isogg.com/wiki/visual_phasing page using Excel. It’s great. There’s no audio and the spreadsheet isn’t in English, but if you’re familiar at all with Excel, easy peasy.
  3. The terminology can be confusing if you’re not a genetist. Sue Griffith at genealogyjunkie.net has some great tips. Including her image. Keep it handy.  
  4. There’s a lot of data to collect. I’d suggest working only one chromosome at a time. Blaine Bettinger suggests starting with the smaller chromosomes – 20, 21, 22. I agree. But, I’ve found that putting one chromosome per spreadsheet in Excel is helpful.
  5. Testing hypotheses. At some point in the process, you’re going to get very uncomfortable. No worries. This is science and you’re using the scientific method! You’re going to have to make a choice to assign a segment of DNA to a set of grandparents or to one grandparent. Just choose. It’s not the end of the world. If it doesn’t work. Revise your hypothesis and try again. You’ll get it.
  6. Along with #5, you’ll have to be really comfortable making assumptions. Those If/Then statements like, “If brother doesn’t match sister on this segment, then she inherited her DNA from the other set of grandparents.” Go slowly. I had my very logic-minded, data analyst of a husband check my work. So, ask a friend to help.

Remember, if something seems too hard, break it down into smaller pieces. Good luck.

 

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DNA: Test All Your Siblings

I’m on a hunt for the parents of the first of our Morrisseys in the U.S. James (see his profile pages) was born in Abbeyleix, County Laois, Ireland in 1832. The only indication of his parents are on the back of his marriage record: Michael Morrissey and Catherine King. I’ve yet to uncover any siblings, or other blood relations in my extensive research on James, including online Irish records like Griffith’s or Catholic Parish Records.

James being my great grandfather, you’d think it would be a piece of cake. Nope. Nopedy, nope, nope. I think that part of the issue is age. My dad was 48 when I was born (I’m the youngest of 6 kids.) My dad was 3rd out of 6 kids.  My paternal grandfather (Ambrose) was 49 when my dad was born. James was 43 when Ambrose was born and Ambrose was 10th out of 11 kids. Each is old enough to be a grandparent when their kids were born. What’s 4 generations on paper, could be 7 generations for another family or in another’s DNA. Those 7 generations outside of the range of accuracy for an autosomal test.

Y-DNA testing (of my brother) has yet to offer any helpful insight.

Back to the title of my post: Test all of your siblings.

I’ve tested 2 of my 4 living siblings. So, 3 kids in the same family. My mom is still with us, so I’ve tested her. One of my resolutions for 2018 is to work all of those paternal matches. So, if someone doesn’t match mom, their labelled paternal. I add them to an excel spreadsheet an farm all the data I can. I’ve gotten through all of my 4th cousin matches on Ancestry for me, my brother and my sister.

Here are a few things I’ve noticed in crunching the data.

  1. Test taker “B.” My brother matches “B” at 106 cMs. My sister matches at only at 33 cMs. I don’t match this person at all! We have a confirmed paternal 1st cousin who matches “B.”
  2. Test Taker “J.” My brother matches at 92 cMs. My paternal 1st cousin matches “J.” Neither my sister, nor I match “J.”
  3. Our relationship with “P” was identified based on an online tree. We’re 3rd cousins, once removed. “P” matches me, my brother, my sister and my paternal 1st cousin. But at small amounts. 13 cMs, 24 cMs and 14 cMs respectively. While, these numbers fit into the 3C1R range in the Shared cM Project, they aren’t what I expected.

In each case, the lack of sibling tests would have left me without DNA confirmation of several lines on my tree. I wouldn’t have matches “B” or “J,” and “P” would have been such a small match that I probably would have overlooked it.

So, test everyone you can. And get those spreadsheets warmed up!

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Where was Little Tiny Grandma From?

My mother’s great, grandmother was called “Little Tiny Grandma.” She was Antonia Fischer and was born 20 Feb 1851 in Dlouha Trebova, in the Kingdom of Bohemia. Maybe you’ve never heard of such a place? It doesn’t exist on a map anymore, so I wouldn’t blame you for being puzzled. The town is now Dlouha Trebova, East Bohemia, Czech Republic. She’s lived to be 94 years old and died in my mom’s hometown in 1946. We know her hometown because there was a large group of immigrants from Dlouha Trebova that immigrated all together and their records are numerous and consistent. We’ve even tracked their baptisms (in German) in the very small town that the families are from.

Antonia (Fischer) Belina 1851-1946

Antonia is a great example of why it’s so hard to identify a female immigrant’s hometown. First because of her age, and second because she lived 90 of those years in the same county in Minnesota. Third, because Minnesota took state censuses in between federal ones. So, she has a lot of records! Let’s take a look.

The family immigrated in 1854 and they first shows up in the 1857 Minnesota State Census. The family consists of Benjamin, Anna, Josephine, Antonia, Joseph and Charley. The four oldest are listed as being from Germany.

The 1860 US Federal Census listed the oldest 3 as being from Bohemia. 

It’s the same in the 1870, 1880 and 1900 US Federal Censuses and the 1875, 1885 and 1895 Minnesota State Census: Bohemia.

But, Antonia’s birthplace changes in the 1910 US Federal Census where she is the widow of Frank Belina. The transcription of the record states that she is from “Austria.” When looking at the original it states, “Austria-Bohemia.”

In 1920, she’s also from Austria.

Finally, in 1940, Antonia is from Czechoslovakia.

So, where would you begin looking for this family in Europe? Germany, Austria, Bohemia or Czechia?

Why all of the differences? Census takers used the world map at the time the census was taken to enumerate the birthplaces of U.S. residents. The map of Europe changed drastically from 1851 to 1946 in the course of Antonia’s lifetime. Germany, Bohemia, Austria and Czechoslovakia, but all the same place and the same town.

So, what’s a genealogist to do?

If you have European immigrants with similar birthplaces, maps are your friends.

  1. Print out a current world map (or just of Europe to narrow it down.)
  2. Then, Google search: “map of XXX in 18Xx,” and see what might come up.
  3. Or try researching at the David Rumsey map collection online.
  4. Enter the locations and the census years corresponding to your ancestor.
  5. Track where the countries of origins are on your own map.
  6. You may find that as time goes on, that the area where your ancestor lives is narrow down considerably.
  7. Try using the earliest location that’s used. It’s usually the most accurate.
  8. Later census records have ethnic data or information about what language someone speaks. For example, someone may be from Russia and speak Yiddish. Those are big clues to locations and history.
  9. Research others in the county that may have immigrated at the same time. Where are they from?
  10. Consider other sources outside of census records: local histories, naturalization papers, obituaries, and land records are great sources to explore.

What are your tips for finding an immigrant’s hometown?

Good luck researchers!

 

 

 

 

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Book Review: “The Foundling” by Paul Joseph Fronczak

“The Foundling: the True Story of a Kidnapping, a Family Secret and My Search for the Real Me” by Paul Joseph Fronczak and his writer, Alex Tresniowski, is a recounting of Paul’s determination to find his biological parents. Paul recounts his journey with an emotional intensity giving readers incredibly deep insight into the emotional side of his journey.

Paul discovers from snooping through his parent’s storage, that he is what’s called a foundling or a child that is found without any indication of its parents. With no documentation in the form of a birth certificate or adoption papers, Paul could be anyone from anywhere. He has very few clues to his identity. Wisely, he turns genetic genealogy testing. What searchees and seasoned genetic genealogists both know is that this process isn’t easy. And I’m just not referring to the science and the DNA-match grunt work. In fact, searching is an emotional gut-job at times. And, success doesn’t necessarily equate with a happy ending.

Fronczak’s book is worth a read. Not only for the story itself. The twists and turns are numerous, and the world into which he enters during his search is frightening. However, I’m not a literary critic. I’m a genealogist. And while I read it as a fan of biography, I also read it as a professional. Here are some thoughts.

  1. DNA testing is legit. Many lay people question its validity. But, a foundling found his biological family. It’s the ultimate test, and DNA rocked it.
  2. Every family has some secrets. DNA testing may uncover some of them. You can’t avoid the big reveal by not testing. It only takes a cousin, and the testing databases are growing exponentially.
  3. DNA testing has limits. It can’t provide you with a story. Only people can. Interpersonal skills are a key part of the job description.
  4. The emotional turmoil that a DNA test can unleash cannot be underestimated. As searchers we aren’t professional psychologists and counselors. But, we must educate ourselves on when clients (or friends) may need some emotional support beyond what we can give. We must realize quickly, when I situation is over our head. Maybe, we need a list of counselors on hand for referrals. Why? People don’t give their child up for adoption (or any other scenario when I parent(s) is unknown) when all of the parties involved are financially, physically, emotionally and relationally healthy. There is always something broken in the dynamic. Pretending like all searches will end in happy and fulfilling family reunions is naive and dangerous.
  5. Searchers must be careful to establish boundaries with friends and clients. People that searchers come across in the process will say that they don’t want to help an adoptee (Ex. By providing valuable family information or by taking a DNA test to narrow down parent/child candidates). Professionals must respect an individual’s decision to not assist regardless of the reason. Even if that person is the target parent or child.

Adulting is hard, so be nice. Have the hard conversations, but also do the work to protect your relationships with your dearest ones.

 

Disclaimer: I didn’t get the book for free. Nobody asked me to review. I didn’t get anything in return for reviewing.

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Researchers’ Helpful Hints at the Library of Virginia

A very unofficial guide to researching your family history at the LVA. I’ve tried to include items that you may not find on the LVA website.

  1. Parking- there’s an underground parking garage beneath LVA. It’s free when you get your parking stub validated at the front desk. The library fronts West Broad Street, occupies the entire block between 8th and 9th streets and backs up directly to Marshall St. Depending on what part of town you’re entering the city from, you may use either one way streets – 8th or 9th streets. 8th Street moves South. If you’re using 8th, cross Marshall St in the left-hand lane. The parking deck will be immediately on the left after Marshall. But, 9th Street moves North. Travelling north on 9th Street, cross Broad Street in the left lane. Right before Marshall St, the entrance to the lot in on the left. There is one clearly marked elevator that will take you to the main entrance hallway.
  2. Sustenance. Research areas on the 2nd floor do not allow food or drink. There is a small cafe with sandwiches, salads, soups, drinks, coffee, etc, on the first floor. Expect to pay $8 or so for a panini with a side and a soda. There is a sub shop a half block East on Broad St. And several other restaurants within a few block’s walk. Here’s the kicker, none of these places are open on Saturdays. Only M-F for downtown work lunches. I would suggest bring a bag lunch on Saturday especially if weather is inclement.
  3. Technology. Flash drives – don’t leave home without them (they also sell them at the circulation desk!). Not only will you need them for microfilm readers, but the book scanner uses them as well. On a side note, get your file naming conventions in order. There’s nothing like opening a file at home that’s titled 4521853.pdf, and trying to remember what county, book #, page # the deed came from for part 3 of the GPS. Rename the file immediately after saving it. All scanned items are saved in .pdf form. There are power strips for laptops and chargers at most work stations, so bring your cords.
  4. Get a library card at the circulation desk. The 2nd floor manuscript room requires it to access anything. You’ll need a driver’s license.
  5. The LVA website is invaluable in order to prepare before your visit. Search their catalog and their chancery records. Become familiar with what’s available in your county/area/time of interest before you visit. It’s easy to waste time at LVA or get sidetracked by all that’s available. Staying focused on your task is essential to time management.
  6. The Genealogy and Local History Section is a first stop. Arranged by State of Virginia, County, City and former state areas (like West Virginia), a searcher does himself a favor by checking these sections first. Abstracts, especially, are invaluable search aides to peruse before heading to the microfilm readers for copies of the originals. There are also county histories, and back issues of genealogical journals and much more that can assist in your search.
  7. Microfilm readers. Unless you’re an expert, get the staff to give you a quick reader tutorial. These folks are unfailing patient and very helpful with the less tech-minded among us. Even if you are techy, like me, they can teach you something.
  8. Manuscript Room: working with original documents has it’s own guidelines. Most important are the use of only loose leaf paper and pencil. Photographs and scans are only used after given special permission. There are lockers available to keep personal belonging secure, but you may not even be allowed to keep your purse nearby depending on what you’re requesting.
  9. Ask for help. I’ve never been disappointed when I ask. Staff is always helpful and knowledgeable. Many can help interpret old cursive handwriting or translate colonial legalese. LVA staff is top notch.
  10. Familiarize yourself with the National Genealogical Society’s “Guidelines for Using Record’s Repositories and Libraries.”

The Library of Virginia is a jewel and researching their always pays dividends.

 

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If you’re searching for an unknown…

As I’ve been working with friends and clients to find lost family members. Whether put up for adoption or adopted themselves. Whether you are a child of a brief relationship. Or the parent of a child of a brief relationship. Whatever the circumstances that have led you to search for someone. I have some advice, if you want to be found.

  1. Get on Social Media. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram. All of them. Post information about you, and your vital stats (you don’t even have to be exact and should still protect you PII.) If you are a parent who is searching, include that in your profile. For example, if you have a child up for adoption, you might put, “I lived in X county in 19??, and am searching for a baby girl/boy who was born mm/dd/yyyy.” Put as much information as you can: your information (birth year, birthplace, heritage information, parents’ surnames and residences, grandparents’ surnames and residences.) Consider including a link to your family tree that you’ve posted online.
  2. If you are a man looking for a child that you suspect was adopted without your knowledge. You should follow #1, and include all of that information as well. Also, consider listing your residence at the time of the physical relationship or pregnancy. Generally, parents still have to be in the same place and the same time to make a baby.
  3. Return to the adoption agency and request information. Leave word there, that you will welcome contact from any inquiries. Leave several means of contact: address, phone, email and next of kin contacts. Keep this up to date.
  4. Take a DNA test. This is sometimes a searchers only option. Leave contact information in your profile. Create a tree on the site, with as many generations back from you as you can. At least to your grandparents.
  5. If you were born in the U.S. to American parents start at Ancestry. It has the largest database of U.S. testers.
  6. If you are European, a recent immigrant or the child of recent immigrants, start at FamilyTreeDNA or My Heritage. Both of these sites seem to have more international testers.
  7. Then Upload that DNA test to Gedmatch and FamilyTreeDNA. Gedmatch is free, but FamilyTree will cost you a few more bucks.
  8. Use those DNA test results! Ignore the admixture/ethnicity results. Really! Go straight to the share ancestor matches. Start with the closest family members. Check out DNAAdoption.com and follow their process. It works.
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Book Review: “The Stranger in My Genes” by Bill Griffeth

It’s a regular source of conversation among genetic genealogy testers: NPEs or Non-Paternal Events. Somehow, someway, a parent on paper is NOT the parent via DNA. ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogists) defines an NPE as: “An event which has caused a break in the link between the surname and the Y-chromosome resulting in a son using a different surname from that of his biological father (eg, illegitmacy, adoption, maternal infidelity).”

Bill Griffeth, a financial news reporter and long-time genealogy hobbyist, took a y-DNA test at a family member’s prompting. He discovered that his father wasn’t his biologically. He recalls his experience in his book, “The Stranger in My Genes: A Memoir.”

Have you ever had a moment in your life, when you thought to yourself, “Things will never be the same again?” For me, I can name two. When my father died and 9/11. When dad died, I remember leaving the hospital and on the drive home I crossed a bridge over the interstate that runs through my city. I vividly remember seeing all of the cars and wondering out loud, “Why are all of these people out, don’t they know that dad just died?” My personal universe was fundamentally different. Then there was 9/11. By the time the plane crashed in the Pennsylvania field, I knew. And over the next few days as the whole of the U. S. stopped working and moving, it was obvious. Life was going to be different. Fundamentally.

For Bill Griffeth, a favor for his cousin, taking a DNA test, fundamentally shifted his identity. His book is an account of the emotional rollercoaster that is an NPE discovery. It is not a textbook on genetic genealogy testing. It’s a recounting of his own journey.

Here’s what I loved about it:

-Bill is a genealogist himself. He mixes his own DNA story with family stories of how traditional paper genealogy research uncovers family secrets as well. Bottomline, DNA testing is not unique in it’s ability to cover what people have tried to hide. Bill makes it clear that his experience is only unique to him.

-His story is paced. The DNA results are the tip of the iceberg in uncovering the story. It’s the beginning and the journey is long, sometimes dark and at times, frightening. Answers never come all at once. This isn’t bad. The slow burn allows a searcher to reconcile themselves to each new bit of information a little at a time. Surely, it would be overwhelming to know everything all a once. And while a searcher is rightly impatient for answers, Bill’s living-in-the-moment style is a valuable model.

-He’s thoughtful about how his discovery effects others. A discovery like Bill’s effects his entire family, family friends and unknown numbers of people that he’s never encountered. His mother, his siblings, extended family, his own children, family friends, and co-workers. And that’s just his family. There’s a biological father, who has parents, siblings, children, friends, and co-workers. He is not living this experience in a vacuum, but in a context of relationships, some of which are very complex. Some require a sensitivity that demands caution and forethought.

-Bill never appears to be “entitled” to his story. Many in the NPE search community communicate their deep, compelling desire to know their birth story as a fundamental right. I confess that I bristle at this. There are always others to consider – their experiences and their feelings. There are right ways and wrong ways to go about finding a birth story. Barreling over people like a Mack truck isn’t it. A searcher may finding themselves having alienated all family including the one they’re trying to discover. Bill appears to be hesitant to discuss his discovery with his mother and I’m sure that would frustrate many other readers. For me, I admired his respect for her and his sensitivity to just how hard the situation must be for her. He’s carrying a big stick of a secret, yet he walks softly.

-Bill avoids the temptation to sensationalize his story to up the drama-quotient. It’s a quiet story.

Overall a great read for those working with DNA testing. Lay people may not find the story compelling and exciting enough.

NOTE: I have not received any payment in any form for my review. I purchased the book from Amazon.com with my own cash!

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Top 5 Ways to Recognize an NGS Conferencee #NGS2017GEN

I love people, dead or alive. People watching is even more fun. So, here are my observations on the recent NGS Conference in Raleigh. The top 5 ways to recognizing someone who attended:

  1. One shoulder is higher than the other. We walk a little lopsided, not because we’re injured or frail. It’s the books. One of a kinds or limited printings that aren’t digitized online. We love them and buy a lot of them. They’re heavy. Hence the lopsided.
  2. We’re a strange mix of history nuts and tech nerds. Give us a one-of-a-kind, handwritten in cursive, 100 year old document and we’re in heaven. For weeks, we’ll be in heaven. We also love new technologies and will pay any Hadoop programmer a $1M for quick DNA match scraping tool that auto-connects cousin matches with tree similarities. Can I get an “Amen?”
  3. We are forward-thinking. We love history, but we know better than most the mistakes of the past. We love historical research, but we don’t want to live there.
  4. We have heroes. I personally would love a t-shirt with Judy G. Russell’s face on it. Maybe an Andy Warhol-inspired head shot of her. I’d wear it to the library. I’d wear it to bed. I’d wear it to church.
  5. You can trust us. Promise. But… we love a good secret. Dog with a bone. Bloodhound on the scent. CNN on a Trump scandal. We’re better keeping the secrets and discovering them.

How do you recognize a genealogist?

 

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