Saturday, September 8, 2007
Here are the best places to do so:
Over 14000 online forums devoted to genealogy, including surnames, US states, countries, and general topics.
Besides a good forum, this site also offers a nice chat room.
A goood genealogy forum that offers a very informative monthly newsletter.
an easy to use messaging forum for everyone researching their family history or local history. The focus is on Ireland and the British Isles.
a web forum for the discussion of UK genealogy and related family history research.
Friday, September 7, 2007
For all of my non-technology-savvy readers, a podcast is a "digital media file, or a series of such files, that is distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and personal computers."
The host of a podcast is called a "podcaster". In this case, two podcasters -George G. Morgan and Drew Smith. The Genealogy Guys.
They introduce their podcast as the longest-running, continuous genealogy podcast in the world. Well, I'll take their word for it. In any case, I strongly recommend you to try listening to them. It's a relatively short podcast, which discusses every aspect of genealogy. This week, they talk about genealogical research myth ("My ancestors' names were changed at Ellis Island"; "Everyone with the same surname is related" "Naming patterns will solve all your brick walls." Last week they talked about newer "social networking" sites for genealogists.
It's a nice alternative for plain radio broadcasts.
Check them out here
DNA analysis has solved another question of parentage, this time of a wine. The popular dry, red cabernet sauvignon comes from a grape that is a cross of two other varieties of Vitis vinifera, cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc, according to viticulture researchers from the University of California, Davis.
Despite the similarity of the grapes' names, write John E. Bowers and Carole P. Meredith in the May Nature Genetics, cabernet sauvignon's genetic link to the sauvignon blanc grape, the source of a light white wine, is a surprise. Yet the researchers' analysis of 30 different genetic markers from the DNA of 51 different grape cultivars--ranging from alicante bouschet to zinfandel--rules out any other possible ancestors except the blanc and the red cabernet franc, which has long been considered a close relation.
The two vines probably grew near each other in the Bordeaux region of France in the 17th century, and a chance cross-pollination led to the new character, the researchers speculate. Cabernet sauvignon is now the world's second most widely planted grape vine for wine.
Monday, September 3, 2007
Genetic Genealogy is the application of genetics to traditional genealogy. Genetic genealogy involves the use of genealogical DNA testing to determine the level of genetic relationship between individuals.
The two most common types of genetic genealogy tests are Y-DNA(paternal line) and mtDNA (maternal line) genealogical DNA tests.
These tests involve the comparison of certain sequences of DNA pairs of individuals in order to estimate the probability that they share a common ancestor in a genealogical time frame and to estimate the number of generations separating the two individuals from their most recent common ancestor.
Either Y-DNA or mtDNA test results can be compared to the results of others via private or public DNA databases.
Additional DNA tests exist for determining biogeographical and ethnic origin, but these tests have less relevance for traditional genealogy.
Genealogical DNA testing methods are also being used on a longer time scale to trace human migratory patterns.
- provide locations for further genealogical research
- help determine ancestral homeland
- discover living relatives
- validate existing research
- confirm or deny suspected connections between families
- prove or disprove theories regarding ancestry
The City of Logan Library recently received 80,000 genealogical books, documents and microfilm worth about $1.7 million dollars.
The collection has accumulated over 57 years in Cache Valley by the Everton Publishers, a privately held genealogical library. Bobbie Coray, president and CEO of the Cache Chamber of Commerce and amateur genealogist, worked to keep the library in Cache Valley.
The gift is given by William Schjelderup, who acquired the Everton Publishers Company and the library. He is also the owner of COMPanion Corporation, the developer of Alexandria Library Automation software.
Research in the library for the public will not be available immediately but will be temporarily housed in city buildings. However, the collection will eventually be added to the Logan library and available through the Internet.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
"Do you have any famous relatives? Do you want some?"
That is how a new site - Fake Genealogy - presents itself to new users.
The internet is known for being a fertile ground for con artists and crooks.
But the new phenomenon of faking lineages is risking more than just your money - it risks our past and future.
With fraudulent databases flooding the internet, novice genealogists may find their researches imprecise or even down right wrong.
This is infuriating, considering the tremendous efforts people put on their research.
In earlier decades, it was not uncommon for people to pay for fake lineages that prove that they are related to different respected, rich and even royal families, but this behavior belongs in the past.
Sadly, predators recognize genealogy's growing popularity and are moving to take advantage of that by selling bogus genealogy material, all for the purpose for making easy money.
Stopping sites like this is hard, almost impossible. Make sure to verify your sources as best as you can, and hope you won't come across a bogus family tree.
Genealogists tell us that many U.S. presidents are related to each other through descent from King Edward III, a father of nine and ancestor of Washington, Jefferson, both Adamses, and both Roosevelts, plus Robert E. Lee, Charles Darwin and--here's the comedown--80 percent of the present population of England. What fun is that?
As science writer Matt Crenson points out, the odds are that virtually everyone on earth has royal roots if you go back far enough (AP, July 1).
Crenson was moved to make these observations by the case of actress Brooke Shields. Genealogists had traced Shields's ancestry and decided that she was related to Machiavelli, Hernan Cortes, Catherine de Medici, Lucretia Borgia, Charlemagne, El Cid, William the Conqueror, King Harold, five popes and the royal houses of virtually every European country. But as Crenson observed, that's nothing special. It's just a ease of simple math: the longer ago a person lived, the more descendants that person is likely to have today.
The math does not always go in one direction. I can point to one lineage so exclusive that it is shared by at most one person. I think of that family tree when I look across the street at a big yellow Victorian house. There, on July 19, 1904, was born "Bud" or "Buddy" Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, the great-grandson of Abraham Lincoln. He never came back to see the childhood home in Riverside from which his divorced mother, Jesse Harlan Lincoln Beck-with, spirited him in 1907.
Her lively marital career began with her elopement in 1897. She left Riverside and her husband in 1907, married again in 1915, divorced again in 1925 and remarried in 1926.
Of her two children only Bud married, and he alone had the potential of continuing the Lincoln line. Bud was maritally adventurous too, but not in a way to keep the line going. This self-described "spoiled brat" and "gentleman farmer of independent means" had a vasectomy in 1962 before his third marriage, to Annemarie Hoffman, in 1968. Six months after the wedding he found out that she was pregnant. Bud's urologist certified that he was sterile and could not be the father. Bud paid Annemarie off so she would list the baby's father as unknown, but she broke the covenant and listed him as a Lincoln. A court in 1976 ruled that her boy, Timothy, was "the product of an adulterous relationship." A trust fund was established in his name, worth $10 million to him if he could prove that he was a Lincoln.
Back to the nonexclusive pedigrees: Crenson cites a Dublin genealogist, Mark Humphrys, who estimates that Muhammad, the founder of Islam, "appears on the family tree of every person in the Western world." Humphrys engages in a couple of speculative moves to arrive at that judgment, but let's suppose it is true. Will anti-Muslims regard things differently if and when they realize that they are blood kin of the prophet? Would Franklin Graham have a more generous view of Muslims if he had an Uncle Muhammad?
Not likely. Family feuds, which is what we Jewish, Christian and Muslim children of Abraham are involved in, are the ugliest. Bronislaw Malinowski writes: "Aggression, like charity, begins at home."
Still, it might throw a somewhat different light on current conflicts if we non-Muslims could see Muhammad as kin, and if Muslims could find shade under the branches of the tree of Edward III. The one thing nobody can claim is to be descended from Abraham Lincoln.
Watch it here
Genealogy is the most interesting research field there is - mainly, because it surrounds YOU.
Before we go deeper in to genealogy's fascinating aspects, here is how you should start your research:
Start a family chart. That will make it easier to track progress. Write down all the information you know abut your family. Go back as many generations as you can, and write down family connections and general history of every family member you add.
Gather all the information you have. Search for records, papers, photos, documents and family heirlooms.
Records that are often used in genealogy research include:
· Vital records:
- Birth records
- Death records
- Marriage and divorce records
· Adoption records
· Biographies and biographical profiles
· Cemetery records, funeral home records
· City directories and telephone directories
· Diaries, personal letters
· Emigration, immigration and naturalization records
· Hereditary & lineage organization records
· Land and homestead records
· Medical records
· Military and conscription records
· Newspaper column
· School and alumni association records
· Wills records
Check with your relatives to see if they have any family documents they are willing to share.
If your relative isn't willing to lend an original document, offer to have copies made. When talking to relatives, take the time to interview them and get as much information for your research as you can. Make sure you document everything, so useful information won't get lost or forgotten.
Use the internet to find more information in different databases. I will make sure to browse the internet and tell you which ones are most helpful.
Get started - and just have fun with it!