B is for (genealogy) Books

A few of my go-to genealogy books (non-affiliate links):

The Family Tree Problem Solver (Revised 1st Edition), 2011, Marsha Hoffman Rising, CG, FASG

Evidence Explained: History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, 3rd edition (Revised), 2017, Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, FASG, ed.

books-2158737_640

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 4th edition , 2017, Val Greenwood

Genetic Genealogy

Advanced Genetic Genealogy: Techniques and Case Studies , 2019, by Debbie Parker Wayne

Genetic Genealogy in Practice, 2016, Blaine Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne

Writing it all Up

Mastering Genealogical Documentation , 2017, Thomas W. Jones

Mastering Genealogical Proof, 2013, Thomas W. Jones

Specialty

A Brief History of Everyone who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through our Genes, paperback edition, 2018, Adam Rutherford

Raking the Ashes: Genealogical Strategies for pre-1906 San Francisco Research, 2nd edition , 2012, Nancy Simons Peterson

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide, 4th edition , 2012, John Grenham

The Family Tree Italian Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Family Tree in Italy, 2017, Melanie D. Holtz

What about you?  Any favorites not on this list?  Anyone know of some good German ancestry books?  Or Danish ancestry, for that matter?

Happy First “Blog-i-versary”!

One year ago today I started this blog.  I had intended to write regularly — at least once a week — and I do, in fact, have 52 posts.  (Although I’ve arguably cheated a bit with my “Throwback Thursdays” series look at family photos, and my more recent “Copples in the News” series on Fridays. 

With one year under my belt, I thought I’d look at my blog stats.  What’s my most popular post?  How many people have visited, and from where?  Let’s see…

Here’s a graphic of all-time views and all-time individual visitors.  I have to see all these numbers are much higher than I expected since I’m primarily focused on my own family history and what I’m learning with DNA.

Blog Stats Views

What countries are they from?  I’m guessing WordPress counts spammers, too? (Not sure, but I suspect so.)

 

Blog Stats Countries1

Finally, my most viewed post (after the main page) was my review of the BU Genealogy Certificate class.  Fully 25% of the visitors to my blog this past year checked that out.  The next top 5 posts viewed all related to DNA — specifically clustering matches, Blaine Bettinger’s Shared cM Project (which is ongoing as of this writing), and 23andMe’s ethnicity update.

I haven’t kept up well with the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” series.  That’s okay.  It’s going to hold limited appeal — unless one of my ancestors is also yours.  The top-rated post in that series (which I did not do for a full 52 weeks!) was the very first one, featuring my maternal grandmother who died at the age of 26.  Fitting, really, because in many ways, it was the fact that my own mother knew fairly little about her that got me started in genealogy.

So, for the next year, while I’m still going to continue my “Copples in the News” series, and post more of my research, I will certainly post about what I learn by clustering my own matches, as well as those of my dad and my mom.  I hope it can help others.  We can all learn together! 

 

Thank you for reading, and here’s to another year of learning about our genes and our roots!

Triangulation vs. “In Common With”

This question came up in one of the posts in Blaine Bettinger’s Facebook Group Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques, so I thought I’d give a quick example here that I refer to myself when I get confused.

A man with 3 children, who have all tested, has a match to a 2nd cousin (documented through now through both DNA and traditional genealogy).  He and the 2nd cousin share 11 segments of DNA.

It so happens that all 11 of those segments have passed down to those 3 children, which you can see in the illustration below.  Of those 11 segments shared by their father and his 2nd cousin, Child 1 inherited 4 segments.  Child 2 also inherited 4 segments — but an entirely different four segments than Child 1.  Child 3 inherited 7 of the 11 segments.

The inheritance and sharing is illustrated below, in data pulled from GedMatch.

Inheritance

For purposes of illustration, we’re setting aside the fact that generally, when triangulating to find a common ancestor, we don’t use two full-blooded siblings as 2 of the triangle legs; they are too closely related, and will triangulate on many segments.

That said, Child 1, Child 2 and their 2nd cousin once removed (2C1R) have DNA in common with each other, but no triangulated segments with their 2C1R.  This is because Child 1 shares DNA with 2C1R on chr 6, on chr 12 and 2 segments on chr 15, while Child 2 shares DNA with 2C1R

Child 1, Child 3 and their 2C1R have 3 triangulated segments: on chr 6, on chr 12, and 1 segment of chr 15.

Child 2, Child 3 and their 2C1R also have 3 triangulated segments: on chr 4, on chr 8, and on chr 18.

*******
And that is a quick overview of triangulation vs. in common with.

 

 

My review of the B.U. Certificate in Genealogical Education course

This past fall I took the Boston University Certificate Program in Genealogical Research.  This is a 15-week online course (for continuing ed credits only — NOT undergrad academic credit) taught by experts and professionals in the field of genealogy. 

The program was updated and modified with my class (Fall 2018).  It now has 4 modules:  (1) Genealogical Methods (5 weeks); — taught by Allison Ryall
(2) Evidence Evaluation & Documentation (4 weeks); — taught by Julie Michutka
(3) Forensic Genealogy (4 weeks);  — taught by Melinde Lutz Bryne, CG, FASG
(4) Genealogy as a Profession (2 weeks). — taught by Angela Packer McGhie, CG

Assignments were due each week, and were graded.   In addition, you are expected to log on regularly, and to participate regularly in discussions that are part of each module.  You need a grade of C or better in each module, and a B- overall to attain your certificate.  (Note: this is just a certificate.  It does NOT mean you are a Certified Genealogist through the Board for Certification of Genealogists.)

Getting on to what I thought of the course, I loved it!  It was well worth the cost (close to $2,700 — but I got 10% off, as I am a member of National Genealogical Society).  I did NOT take the 7-week Essentials course suggested by BU in advance of this course, deciding instead to just take the plunge.  I definitely needed a minimum of 20 hours per week to get through this course — but some weeks were more intense (citations!) and other weeks were “easier” (for me, that was the first module).

While I can’t make specific remarks as to the course content, my suggestion is that you are best off in the first module if you are familiar with a wide variety of records and have a high-level understanding of how DNA matches play into genealogical research.with DNA.    The module on evidence and citations has a new textbook — Thomas Jones’ Mastering Genealogical Documentation.  You are taught the art of citing your sources by understanding the source itself and the information within it — so you won’t have to just refer to templates.

The Forensic Genealogy module includes a focus on Ethics, since ethics play a significant role in dealing with living people, as far as DNA research and (financial) inheritances are concerned.  Finally, the module of Professional Genealogy covers the basics of what it takes to be a professional genealogist, using the brand-new Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards (published in 2018).

I found all the instructors (and their assistants) to be extremely responsive to my fellow students and myself.  I also thought the interaction between the students via discussion forums to be extremely helpful, learning as much from my classmates as from the coursework itself.  (The interaction between classmates is limited to the group you’re in, however; there were enough enrolled students for Fall 2018 that the students were divided into 2 sections, and further divided into 5 subsections of roughly 25 students each.)

All in all, if you want to ramp up your genealogical research skills very fast, this is a great course in which to do it.  Be prepared for a “grind” — you’ll likely need those 20+ hours a week to work on the readings and assignments.  There were about 4 or 5 in my own subsection of roughly 25 students that apparently dropped out before the end of the first module.  Afterwards, if you earn your certificate, you can choose to join the alumni mailing group (which includes alumni from all the past classes, back to 2009); a Facebook group exists as well.

 

Genealogy Goals for 2019

I’ve never been one for rigid goal-setting, or resolutions. (Hey, my Myers-Briggs type is INFP — and we “P” people like to keep our options open!)

That being said, I’m in a fairly unstructured time in my life right now; a little structure will keep me focused. And the cherry on top is to post my plans here.

Here’s to an awesome 2019! Happy New Year!

Education and Development Comments
BU (online class) for Certificate of
Genealogical Research
completed Dec. 2018
IGHR (Athens, GA) week of July 21, 2019;
registration opens 2 Mar 2019
Texas Institute of Genealogical
Research 2019
week of June 9, 2019
Legacy Tree webinars focus on BCG-sponsored
Community and Colleagues  
join Assn of Professional
Genealogists
done!!
renew Indiana Genealogical Society membership done!!
renew NGS membership done — 2 year renewal
join Tx State Genealogical Society done!!
start attending DGS meetings and
DNA SIG meetings
attend meetings regularly in 2019
Writing (high-level)  
Evaluate: what do I know and
how do I know it?
for key (aka “brick wall”) ancestors
Formulate a research question and a research plan for each of the
“brick wall” ancestors (above)
 
Write up GPS proof summaries (or narratives) for each research question I’ve asked (and think I’ve answered) re: my ancestors’ lives  
DNA  
Continue mapping my
chromosomes
my favorite thing!
Copple (family line) project  
Ask other cousins if they will
consider testing
 
Long-Range  
submit my lineage to Sonoma
County Genealogical Society for a
certificate (if approved)
by the end of 2019
submit an article to NGSQ this is at least a year away
get my CG designation — or my AG designation this is at least a year away
enroll in and complete ProGen
study course
typically a 6 month wait list, after
you enroll. Offered 3 x a year.