This week my husband and I are doing a Harley trip. We are going to Victoria, British Columbia to attend a HOG Rally. HOG stands for Harley Owner’s Group. This is similar in some ways to a genealogy conference as it’s a bunch of like-minded people who love to talk about their passion. The difference is that their passions are Harley’s.. They have vendor booth but instead of selling Flip Pals they are selling leathers and bike bling. They have a banquet and it’s very similar to a genealogy banquet but the attire might be a bit different. I’ve never seen anyone at a genealogy conference wearing a leather vest and bike chaps.
I’m a genealogist but I do like a good road trip and it’s always fun to hang out with like-minded people and learn new things.
There is one thing that will probably be different from most other road trips that we’ve gone on lately. As my husband is from Ontario, I often take the opportunity to take a side trip and visit a location where my ancestors lived. My husband; Kevin has come to realize that no road trip is complete until you go to the graveyard. I don’t imagine we will be going to any this time as I only have a few ancestors that came from B.C. and <sigh> none of them are from Victoria.
Yesterday I told you how important it is to stay fit so you are able to go for walks through your ancestors last resting place.
Remember this summer when your going to those grave yards, to do your research and take those photos, that you take along your genealogy tool bag. What does a genealogy tool bag have in it? Well mine has; some water (for drinking), some low-calorie snacks, a small notepad and pencil, camera or cell phone, battery pack just in case that cell gets low. How about those gardener knee pads or kneeling boards so that you don’t have to be in pain while your reading that inscription or getting that great photo. Don’t forget that sun screen and bug repellent. Then be sure to bring that soft bristled brush to clean off any spider webs or bird droppings . Finally you might want to bring a spray bottle of water to bring the inscription out a bit more or a mirror to reflect the light so you can get a better shot.
One item I recently heard of that I thought was great was to bring foil. By pressing the foil over the inscription you can sometimes see the inscription so much better, especially those really faint one.
And finally, I saw this idea and it might be something you want to use. If you go to the dollar store get a few of the plastic flowers. Then write a note that says why you are interested in this marker and give your contact information and laminate the note. You don’t have to give your phone number you could get a generic email (either Google or Hotmail) and use that. Then attached the laminated note to the flower and put it on the grave.
You never know….. you just might find a new cousin.
My consultation was a great experience and was done very professionally. She sends you a link to have a go-to meeting and the entire session is recorded and you receive a copy of the recording.
First of all she goes over some basic information about autosomal DNA. She then asked me if there were any male descendants of my `great-grandfather, and there are/were but to the best of my knowledge they have died and left no male descendants. She went on to say that then I had done an excellent job of testing the key individuals that were left. This made me happy to know that I was on the right trail and that my understanding of autosomal DNA was correct.
She went on to indicate that 88 CM probably meant that my mom and Marg were probably only half cousins. This was something that I had suspected and was one of the questions that I had for Diahan, as my theory is that my mom’s grandfather and Marg’s grandmother had the same mother but that each had a different father. Diahan confirmed this was the case because my mom and Marg shared an X chromosome and if you look at the fan charts that are available to explain X chromosomes there are only certain ways you can connect that way . I will cover that in tomorrow’s blog.
We then talked about the chromosome browser tool on FTDNA where you can compare five matches and see what chromosome you connect on. My family connects with Marg on chromosome 11 and 22. As there isn’t a very large list of in common people with Marg this means that it will be easy (if they answer) to contact them and see if we can figure out the overlap in chromosomes and trees of the other matches. Because we don’t know the family names for sure for my family or Marg’s we have to count on those people’s genealogy, surnames and places. I’ve already started some of that dialogue but perhaps I hadn’t asked the right questions. So Diahan advised me on what I should ask.
For instance, the match we have named Cliff, has family members who came from the same region as my mom’s grandfather, Willie and Marg’s grandmother; Annie. I’ve been working with him on this but I should have asked him if there were other descendants of those people who could be tested. So I will do that this next week.
After the session is over Diahan provides a report going over what has been discussed which also provides you with a list of “to do” items for going forward as well as sends you a link to the recording of the session. All in all it was a great experience and I would highly recommend it.
Now to get to work on that “To Do List”. I’ll keep you posted.
As I write this I am patiently waiting for my DNA consultation. Well I may be exaggerating a bit …. I never really wait patiently for anything. I met Diahan Southard at Roots Tech 2015, and the first time I saw her, she was presenting an introductory session on DNA. (Click her name to watch the video) Diahan Southard
I’m not new to DNA but I am interested in the subject and always want to learn as much as I can. Diahan was very entertaining during her presentation . Diahan offers DNA consultation through her business; Your DNA Guide (guide@yourDNAguide.com) and so I purchased a consultation but told her I wanted to wait until I had a couple more kits completed.
So what do I hope to get out of my consultation? The session is for an hour and I’m thinking with all the kits that I provided and what I hope to get out of the consultation, that one session may not be enough. But it’s a start.
I believe that may of the people who are interested in DNA are doing it not only to learn more about themselves but to perhaps use it as a tool to break down a brick wall in their family history. This is the case with me.
So far for this consultation I’ve had the following people’s autosomal DNA tested; myself, my mom, a descendant of my great grandfather’s sister(my mom’s second cousin, Marg), one of my mom’s brothers; Ken, and a nephew of my mom; Rick, who is related on my grandmother’s side of the family. What I’m trying to do is narrow down the number of matches so we are looking at only people who are connected to us through my Beaton family line. I know that’s a lot of kits but I wanted her to have the info so she could decide what she needed to look at and what she could ignore. So I provided all the kit numbers on FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA) along with my password.
When I look at our matches on FTDNA there only a couple that are closely connection to all of us and shows as a 2-4th cousin. This I hope is promising. In particular there is one man; Cliff that my mom connects to at 69.82 CM. Marge connects to my mom by 88.13 CM and to Cliff by 41.92 CM. My mom’s brother connects to Marg by 83.36 CM but doesn’t match Cliff. When I start looking on FTDNA and the in common with it starts to get complicated, at least for me. But I think is just a matter of finding the appropriate way to present it visually to my brain.
I also told her the whole road block story and did my best at explaining how we are all connected. Because I know that it’s hard to figure out all the players when you not connected to the family yourself. Again maybe that’s just a me problem but that’s what I did.
My hope is with the kit information and the tree information, that Diahan can advise me what the next step is to breaking down my brick wall or if that is possible. So we will see. To be continued……