Over the past while, I have had many who have been involved in some of the very public posts, which have flown through the genetic genealogy community, contact me to air frustrations. I have been having discussions with so many and I want to continue those discussions with anyone who wants to share their views on specific ideas on how we as a community work to lift and build our fledgling profession and community. I am not interested in rehashing old problems. I am interested only in moving forward.
I want to community build and I have an idea I am working on which I hope, and I think, will help with this. If you have input on positive ways to move forward please feel free to post here. This is not a secret. It has grown organically out of the desire told to me by so many, who have shared their hurt, their pain, and their frustration, from all parts and every viewpoint (and those yet discover). There are a lot of “I’s” up to this point but this is about “we”.
It is very simple. As a community, we need to make a pledge to each other that we will, in the very simplest of ways, and this is something I will repeat from one of those discussions I had over the weekend, “pledge to behave in a professional manner and to treat my colleagues in a civil and respectful way.”
Let’s move on and forward. Let’s build together. Let’s be positive. Let’s be professional. Hobbyist, Amateur and professional alike, let’s build up our genetic genealogy community.
I am not asking you to make a pledge here, in the next bit there will be a space for all of us to pledge. We will work to help others in our community to “stop, drop, and roll” when things start to get heated and to give ourselves the time we need to carry on conversations, even about controversial subjects, in a professional manner.
After working with DNA Painter and GEDmatch matches I discovered that 15% of my DNA matches are actively collaborating in genealogy.
Yesterday Roberta Estes wrote a blog about DNA Painter (she Actually has a series on DNA Painter – see below). Reading her latest sent me into a distracted by DNA Painter Day. Thank you Roberta.
I like DNA Painter and have used it to help my with working out information for my work, but today I decided to paint a bit of my own lines:
I opened GEDmatch and went to my one-to-many matches list. Over on the left hand side of my matches is a column with links to GEDCOM’s uploaded to GEDmatch or a WikiTree8 Generation pedigree.
I have used these links many times when doing quick look-ups on how a DNA match might be related to me or clients, are there common surnames? or are there common ancestors? It’s a great way to use what other people have shared to see who you are.
I followed the information in the GEDCOM File or WikiTree Pedigree and connected 12 new DNA matches to 5 of my ancestor couples using DNA Painter. Nice!
I made some obversations
Of the first 222 matches on my list 37 had GEDCOM’s or WikiTree links, three of the GEDCOM’s listed actually had no GEDCOM’s. That leaves a total of 34 total shared family files to go along with the DNA.
From this we can estimate that 15% of the people in my lines are sharing their genealogy. It’s a rough estimate for sure. Is this a good rough estimate for the amount of people who are willing to share their genealogy? It is a very low number.
Email Tennis Example
I have been working with a client to help identify her mother’s birth family. It’s a hard one because her mother was born in 1916. It’s a hard one because the information on the original birth certificate appears to be “made-up”. The first clue here was that the delivery doctor’s surname was given as the child’s middle name.
I have sent out many runs of emails to groups who match this lady (there is a second cousin match with no identifying information who has not answered many attempts to contact them via the testing companies messaging system – oh if they would!). Yesterday I sent another run to 10 matches asking if they would share a tree or pedigree with me. One person answered with asking me to give him her parents names.
I gave him the adoptees story and why I don’t have that information. I sent him to the research for this adoptee listed on her WikiTree profile. He said he would do his own research into her parents, if I could only give him that then he could see if she matched anyone in his tree.
We sent several volleys of emails in this vein and his suggestion I upload the DNA to other sites might help me find an aunt or uncle…no, no aunt or uncle would be alive… Frustration would be a good word to use to describe the volley. The last email I sent was very polite and specific about how sharing genealogy with someone, literally, can help that person find out who they are.
The Little Exercise
I walked through 10% of my total matches on GEDmatch to find shared genealogies and found how many were collaborative Genealogists. The percentage I got was 15%. Is this indicative of Genealogy as a whole?
WikiTree boasts 554,626 collaborative Genealogists. What percentage of all Genealogist’s (from Hobbyists to professionals) is this number?
How do we get the word out to all the DNA testers that there is more to their DNA test than just “What geographic region do their ancestors come from”?
Incredibly honored and pleased to announce that I will be a part of, the Genetic Genealogist for, the Canadian Casualty Identification Team for the Directorate of History and Heritage within the Department of National Defense Canada. The Team will be working to recover, identify and reunite the remains of formerly missing Canadian Service men prior to 1970 with their families for burial.
Here is a link to a Video about this important work:
I am off to Kitchener in the morning and I have been looking forward to this trip for so many reasons that I thought you might like me to outline a few of them.
The Kitchener Public Library Fair isn’t your regular old run of the mill Library Genealogy thing. This library system serves a densely populated part of Ontario and their Genealogy Fair garners crowds with varying degrees of Genealogy knowledge, from beginner to expert and top-notch speakers from the Genealogy field. I get to be a part of it and that is just so cool!
Sharing my passion, Genetic Genealogy, as the Keynote speaker. The Power of DNA is the message. This message will wrap itself nicely around the DNA theme of this years fair. There will be a small guest appearance by my Grandfather during the presentation too. All the way from the hills and foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of South Carolina. I kid you not.
Riding a train for the first time in my life to Kitchener. Yes. I know. Of course I have ridden the subway in major cities and yes I have ridden the Monorail at Disney, but never a train. My poor spousal unit is getting peppered with all sorts of questions from me, “How will I know which car is car #4?”, What do I do with my luggage?”, “Where are the bathrooms?”, “How do I find lunch?” and “Do they have footrests?” I will be a wide-eyed Harry Potter on his first ride to Hogwarts (thanks to Sheila at KPL for making my travel arrangements!).
Everything always happens at the same time for me!
If traveling by train for the first time in my life and speaking at such a great event weren’t enough? The WikiTree Clean-A-Thon is this weekend. Not only do I get to speak, share my granddad and ride a train, I get to help clean-up Wikitree Profiles and do Video Hangouts with fellow WikiTreers while traveling and when I get home.
Another amazingly busy Weekend in the offing! Come see me, or watch for me hanging my head out the train window like a very happy puppy, tongue flapping, ears blowing back and wearing the biggest grin on earth. You can also see me hanging out with other WikiTreers every four hours starting at midnight on Friday and running through Midnight on Tuesday morning during the Clean-A-Thon (NO! Not at 4am and not during the KPL Genealogy Fair).
One thing we haven’t had until now is easy X-chromosome comparison links. X comparisons can be especially powerful for genealogy because there is a more limited inheritance pattern on the X than the autosome and almost everyone who has taken an autosomal DNA test (all 10 or 12 million of us!) has X chromosome test results too. There is a lot of untapped potential for DNA confirmation using X matches.
Here’s an example of how you might use this. Look on your DNA Ancestors page — this is the “DNA” link on the pull-down menu that starts with your WikiTree ID — and scroll to the X Chromosome section. These are the ancestors from whom you inherited your X DNA. Choose one of the distant ones and click the DNA Descendants icon next to their name.
On your ancestor’s DNA Descendants page scroll to the X Chromosome section. These are the descendants — yourself and your cousins — who are likely to match each other on the X. If more than one of you are on GEDmatch you can click the “[compare]” links to see whether you match as you would expect.
Here are a couple examples of DNA Descendants pages where you can see the new GEDmatch comparison links:
Maybe a more informed genetic genealogist will follow up here with advice on doing the actual DNA confirmations, or with other ideas for using this new feature.
Onward and upward,
P.S. A big thank you to John Olson, Curtis Rogers, and our other friends at GEDmatch for enabling us to create these links. Thank you to Blaine Bettinger for his early and ongoing evangelism for X chromosome usage. (We used Blaine’s charts to create our XDNA ancestor and descendant pages.) And thank you to Mags Gaulden, Kay Wilson and the other DNA Project members for their leadership on these subjects, most especially — especially — thank you to Peter Roberts, who suggested this feature and helped it all come together, as he has with many of our DNA features.”
This is just great Chris (and Peter),
X-DNA is often overlooked, but can be a powerful tool because it’s inheritance is very specific. Click on your DNA link as Chris suggested and look at how this sex chromosome is inherited.
For a female:
From your Dad and his Mother.
From your Mother and her parents
For a Male:
From your Mother and her parents
It’s so specific. The Confirmation Citation is really informative too:
* Maternal relationship is confirmed by a 108.0 cM X chromosome match between John Kingman GEDmatch T782948 and his second cousin once removed Kelly Miller GEDmatch A721343. Their MCRA is Charles Cyrus Babst.
Take some time to look at some of those X-Matches WikiTree has posted for you. You might get a pleasant surprise.
The last Blog Post was all about the 70k Document. It’s a Descendants of John Gaulding compilation document from a DNA connected (who is not connected to my Gauldings yet) cousin who is the keeper of a lifelong Gaulding researchers research. Up to speed? If not please read the, My Dad Has a Y DNA match to two Gauldings.
Making DNA Match Connections
I, personally, have DNA cousins and also people who should be DNA cousins, who are not a match to me, that I have wanted to connect for quite a while. The cousins who we think share a Gaulding MCRA (Most Common Recent Ancester) with me are of course the ones I want to connect first and especially the Y-DNA matches.
BUT, I have this friend and we have known for 3 or four years that we have the Gaulding Surname in our respective limbs of the Big Ole Shared Family Tree that is WikiTree. We have never been able to make that connection until…
You guessed it, the 70k Doc.
I know I should be tracking down those Y-DNA connections so I can confirm my fathers line back forever…
I couldn’t resist Liz and our shared wonder at the fact that we do not match via DNA. Yes, I am absolutely my fathers daughter and he matches two other Gaulding Y-DNA testers. We are Gaulding’s for sure and according to the 70k Doc we share my fifth great grandfather, John Mathew Gaulding.
Why not a match?
Matching a MCRA at our 64, 4th great grandparents is about as far back as you can go with auDNA. Give or take a shake or two. Knowing Liz and I match further back than our 64, 4th Great Grandparents at our fifth makes a non-match a definite possibility.
The other factor might be that we didn’t inherit as much of the same DNA segment from our MCRA or that we didn’t inherit ANY matching segments of DNA from our MCRA. It’s the same as looking at a pair of siblings who have different color hair or eyes. I didn’t inherit the exact same things from our ancestors that my siblings did and it’s obvious when you look at us.
The Excitment of the Hunt
Over the past week or so, Liz and I have shot emails back and forth exploring names that might break down her brickwall. We finally did it a few days ago and couldn’t have done it without the 70k Doc. So this is revelation #1, Brickwall busting #1 and possibly pulled muscle #1 from Liz’s happy dance. Now we just need to verify all the genealogy we are looking at and we are done.
Now back to those two YDNA matches.
To any male Gaulding, Gaulden, Gauldin, Golding, Goulding descendants, please test! In particular any descendant of John Gaulding of Verginia (any of them) or William Goulding of Bermuda. William names a nephew in his will, another William, who lived in New England. Be great to prove the theory that he was the father of John Gaulding of Virginia, imported by the Ripley Family.
In June your Grandma will be presenting a 3 hour Workshop at the Ontario Genealogical Associations Conference 2018. The subject of the Workshop is DNA and the Global Family Tree. In preparation for this I’ll be posting some polls to find interesting information from you, to mix into my presentation.
I’ll post polls to Grandmas Genes Facebook Page. Please do share these polls to your pages, blogs, message boards, Twitter, holiday table and consider it a gift to the OGS Conference 2018 Workshop participants.
It’s a controversial topic, Slavery In The US Southern Colonies/States and DNA. Well, I don’t know if DNA is all that controversial but I don’t shy away from discussing it either. It is my heritage, slavery and slave ownership. That my family(s) were a part of this wide ranging, “it’s what they did back in the day”, thing is not something to be proud of, but I am also not hiding it away. My Family, most every limb, at one time or another owned slaves.
Resources, information and a listing of owners.
My part as the descendant of slave owners, is to add any information I find regarding the ownership, sale, gift of a human being to another, to the work I am doing. Mainly on WikiTree, where the US Southern Colonies has a Project on Slavery. As WikiTreers add profiles of Slave owners, and transcriptions of wills or other documents to WikiTree, they can also add the category, Slave Owner. There are other categories for each state and one for all of the US. Searching these categories for the names given to Slaves is a boon to helping those searching for their ancestors. These categories create an incredible resource for people trying to find and identify the place where their ancestor lived and worked.
Today I was looking into something we are working on in the DNA project regarding triangulation (using DNA from three matches that share DNA on the same segment of the same chromosome, used in confirming the genealogical paper trail). I drifted to my own DNA trail when I got an email from a Gaulding/Gaulden cousin in reference to the Y-DNA of her brother – which matches my dad back many, many, many generations to our MCRA.
The haplogroup that caught my attention
I headed over to the FTDNA Gaulding/Gaulden Portion of the Golding DNA project. The results page is cumbersome (a table within a table and two scroll bars) so the page often sits or takes a while to scroll. Sitting there waiting for the screen to catch up with my mouse I realized I was staring at people in the project who had a Nigerian/Camaroonian Hapogroup – E-M2.
I had been staring at it for so long that when it dawned on me who I was looking at I felt a burst of energy. Really. There in the midst of all these DNA results were people whose ancestors were, in all probability, slaves. They listed as their MDA (most distant ancestors) as people living in the US south prior to 1864.
Slavery DNA Project
My next question is, is there a DNA Project specifically designed to help identify people whose ancestors were slaves? Googling Slavery DNA Project returns hits with people. like me, writing articles or Blogs about Slave related DNA Projects. FTDNA has an African DNA Project and 23andMe has the African Genetics Project, but no one has a Slavery DNA Project.
Check your surname DNA project
Because of the way Slaves were named, very few carried their original name, they were given the name of a master, or of many masters. Then the masters listed them in the bills of sale or their wills by first name only or by the diminutive “boy” or “girl” or just “negro”.
I know there are Gaulden’s out there who are of African descent. Already done a shout out to try and connect with Lydia Gaulden (mother of Raven-Symoné – someone has to know how to get me in touch!). There’s a college football player with Gaulden emblazoned across his Jersey as well. I know that every single person out there with the name Gaulden is related to me to some degree, no matter the amount of melanin we have.
Find Your Surname DNA Project
Go check out all the DNA Projects associated with the name your family was given and look for the African haplogroups in the DNA. Better yet, get your DNA tested and add your results to a DNA project. Other people may find you and have some answers for you.
I’ll be talking more about slavery as it relates to the US and Canada in my presentation, An African Canadian Family History Mystery on Sunday October 15th at the Great Canadian Genealogy Summit in Halifax.
LiveCast on the 30th
The US Southern Colonies Project will be the focus of the the WikiTree LiveCast comping up on the 30th, live from the BIFHSGO Conference 2017.