Distracted by DNA Painter

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 WikiTree 8 Generation pedigree.

GEDCOM/ WikiTree Links

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”?

Roberta’s DNA Painter Series

New GEDmatch X-chromosome comparison links at WikiTree

From WikiTreer-in-Chief, Chris Whitten comes this great announcement about new GEDmatch X-chromosome comparison links at WikiTree.

“Hi WikiTreers,

We just took another small step forward in our collaboration with GEDmatch.com.

As most of you know, you can click directly to view one-to-one autosomal test comparisons on GEDmatch from WikiTree profile pages and DNA Ancestor Confirmation Aid pages. You can also do Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA comparisons through Ysearch and MitoSearch “[compare]” links on WikiTree.

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,

Chris

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.

My Dad and I from this new feature:

Chr Start Location End Location Centimorgans (cM) SNPs
X 2,710,157 154,551,755 190.1 16,903

Chr 23

Mags

Diversity In Genelaogy

A good bit has been made/stated/drooled over about the ethnic results in the new age of Genealogy – Genetic Genealogy. I help people daily with their DNA, sometimes it’s to dig deeper into their Ethnicity. Deeper than the fairly general ethnicity results information one receives from testing companies. But I have never thought about the diversity of a site, a Genealogy group or a conference. Diversity in Genealogy? I was asked point blank on Sunday morning at the breakfast table a very blunt Question. “Can you tell who is ‘Black’ on WikiTree?.”

The Real Question

After my initial shock that someone would ask that of me, I realized I had/have never, ever thought about it. And I answered her with that – I have never had the need or wanted to know or even considered someones ethnic make-up while working away at the Great Big Ole Collaborative Family Tree that is WikiTree. After the questioner realized that her wording may have been askew she explained the question in full.

The question turned out to be a very good question related to identifying Southern US Colonial and pre-1865 Slaves and how to connect them to their descendants. What better way than WikiTree?

But her question is not the reason for this post.

After one incredible weekend at the FTDNA ICGG2017 and after having been asked this very blunt question, I wondered? Who are we collaborating with on the other side of our computer screens? Who are WikiTree’s, WikiTreer’s.

What’s in your Genes WikiTree?

Being the Project Admin for the WikiTree DNA Project, I thought I would share a little of what I discovered while searching for the answer to this question. What makes WikiTree, WikiTree? It’s Volunteers, from the Genetic Perspective.

The Number and types of DNA tests for WikiTreer’s who are participating in the WikiTree DNA Project:

Big Y 123
Combined GEDCOMs Uploaded 261
DISTINCT mtDNA Haplogroups 264
DISTINCT Y-DNA Confirmed Haplogroups 212
DISTINCT Y-DNA Predicted Haplogroups 0
Family Finder 516
Genographic 2.0 Transfers 55
Maternal Ancestor Information 667
mtDNA 395
mtDNA Full Sequence 316
mtDNA Plus 382
mtDNA Subgroups 16
Paternal Ancestor Information 716
Predicted Y-DNA Haplogroups 188
Total Members 884
Unpredicted Y-DNA Haplogroups 0
Unreturned Kits 153
WTY 4
Y-DNA Deep Clade (After 2008) 45
Y-DNA Deep Clade (Prior to 2008) 26
Y-DNA Subgroups 12
Y-DNA111 191
Y-DNA12 437
Y-DNA25 415
Y-DNA37 410
Y-DNA67 308

And Who,  Really, Are We?

FTDNA pie Chart of HaploGroups of Y-DNA tested WikiTreer’s who have joined the WikiTree DNA (FTDNA) Project.
FTDNA pie Chart of HaploGroups of mt-DNA tested WikiTreer’s who have joined the WikiTree DNA (FTDNA) Project.

Who are we?

Wikitreer’s appear to be people of all origins, based on the dispersal of HaploGroups across all spectrums of the Rainbow. Especially for the Y-DNA (father’s line) testers. For the mt-DNA (mother’s line) testers there is a larger percentage of the most common Haplogroup for mt-DNA “H”. I thought this was a really interesting thing to see, how very colorful we all are.


I have another set of charts showing the “Brightest Bulb in the Pack” HaploGroup too, but you’ll have to send me some BlueBerry Pie before I will answer anything about those, or the elusive Bossy HaploGroups, or the Elf HaploGroups or the WikiTree Tribble Haplogroups. Blueberry Pie? Ah, Come on, isn’t this post about colorful things and aren’t blueberries, after all, blue?

DISCLAIMER: No BlueBerries or Blueberry Pies have been harmed in the creation of this Blog. Grandma’s Genes does not endorse nor receive payment in blueberry pies by any DNA testing Company or anyone connected to them, despite the rumors to the contrary.

DNA Confirmations and Citations

Did you know DNA Confirmations and Citations are like peas in a pod?

Or Peanut Butter and Jelly or Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers or Bread and Butter.

You can not have Confirmed with DNA status in your research or on a WikiTree profile without the DNA Confirmed Citation. Period, end of story.

How many DNA confirmed status buttons have you clicked without also including the DNA Confirmation Citation? If you have a citation, is it done following WikiTree’s DNA Confirmation Citation Standards?

This page gives you the nuts and bolts of using Confirmed with DNA indicators on WikiTree relationships and how to cite your source for the confirmation. Here is citation specific help. 

The Data Doctors rolled out a new Suggestions report for the DNA Project yesterday:

213: Missing fathers DNA confirmation

313: Missing mothers DNA confirmation

You will notice these popping-up in your Suggestions Report (My WikiTree Drop-down Menu, Top right of every page, scroll to and click on Suggestions) as well. 

As of today there are over 17,000 of these suggested corrections. Can you help to make WikiTree more accurate by reading the instructions listed above and working to reduce these suggested corrections?

Examples from the DNA Confirmations Link above:

One To One Family Finder:
* Maternal relationship is confirmed by a 1417.42 cM Family Finder match between [[Roberts-7085|Peter Roberts]] and his maternal uncle [[Dekle-6|Dekle-6]].

One To One 23andMe:
* Maternal relationship is confirmed with a 23andMe test match between [[Whitten-1|Chris Whitten]] and [[Nally-4|Rebecca (Nally) Syphers]], first cousins once removed. Predicted relationship from 23andMe: “1st to 2nd Cousin based on 6.68% DNA shared across 21 segments.”

One To One Ancestry:
* Paternal relationship is confirmed with an AncestryDNA test match between [[Whitten-1|Chris Whitten]] and [[Bartlett-34|Hollis Bartlett]], second cousins. Predicted relationship reported by AncestryDNA: 2nd Cousins based on sharing 150.3 cM across 9 segments; Confidence: Extremely High.

One To One GEDMatch:
* Maternal relationship is confirmed by a 1417.42 cM match between [[Roberts-7085|Peter Roberts]] GEDmatch T412069 and his maternal uncle [[Dekle-6|Dekle-6]] GEDmatch T559569.

Autosomal Triangulation:
* Paternal relationship is confirmed by a triangulated group consisting of [[Roberts-7085|Peter Roberts]] GEDmatch T412069, [[Sjostrom-39|Kris Sjostrom]] GEDmatch A936004 and [[Collins-5366| Elizabeth Collins]] GEDmatch T688604 sharing a 10.8 cM segment on chromosome 1 from 163621974 to 173712569.

X Chromosome:
* Maternal relationship is confirmed by a 18.89 cM X-DNA Family Finder match from 142421555 to 150560582 between [[Dekle-6|Dekle-6]] and his [http://www.wikitree.com/index.php?title=Special:Relationship&action=calculate&person1_name=Price-7294&person2_name=Dekle-6 fourth cousin twice removed] [[Price-7294|James Price, Jr.]]

mt DNA:
* Maternal relationship is confirmed by an exact HVR1 and HVR2 match between [http://www.wikitree.com/index.php?title=Special:DNATests&u=6727476&id=7 this Family Tree DNA mtDNA test] for [[Weatherford-199|Priscilla Weatherford]] and [http://www.wikitree.com/index.php?title=Special:DNATests&u=7713929&id=7 this Family Tree DNA mtDNA test] of her maternal line cousin [[Zimmerman-1613|Clair Zimmerman]].

Y DNA
* Paternal relationship is confirmed through Y-chromosome DNA testing. [[Roberts-7266|Anonymous Roberts]] and [[Roberts-7085|Peter J. Roberts]] match on 36 out of 37 markers (see YSearch IDs 9WCMS and 97ZDB) thereby confirming their direct paternal lines back to their MRCA [[Roberts-7104|Thomas W. Roberts]].

Just one more way WikiTree is working to become the most accurate Global Family Tree. Period. End of Story.

Do You Triangulate Well?

 

The WikiTree DNA Project has a brand new spiffy badge just for you.

Triangulator Badge

 

This badge is awarded to WikiTreers who have mastered the complex concept of DNA triangulation and applied it on WikiTree to mark profiles as “Confirmed with DNA“.

To be eligible, the member needs to have added the appropriate citations for each parent-child relationship for three or more distant cousins who share a segment measuring 7cM or more back to their shared ancestral couple as explained in the triangulation instructions on Help:DNA Confirmation.

In addition, so that the badge committee can confirm the triangulation:

  1. all three tests need to be on GEDmatch, and
  2. all three relationships trails to the common ancestor or common ancestral couple need to be on WikiTree and the profiles need to have public family trees.

Requesting the badge

Are you a triangulator? If so you’re a valuable contributor to our single family tree project and we thank you for it!

To get the Triangulator badge, please answer this G2G post.

Be sure to include:

  1. Your WikiTree ID.
  2. The IDs of profiles in the triangulated group that have been marked as Confirmed with DNA.

Standards used

WikiTree’s standard for triangulation (see Help:DNA_Confirmation) is based on ISOGG auDNA triangulation and the writings of Tim Janzen, Jim Bartlett, and Blaine Bettinger.

WikiTree profile: Space:Triangulators

Rabbit Holes and Amonute Matoaka “Pocahontas” and DNA

What about Rabbit Holes and Amonute Matoaka “Pocahontas”? As I sat down to go through my emails and social media notifications (I often laugh when I check in on Facebook for work) I saw a note from Abby Glann, Leader Liaison at WikiTree, telling me she has chosen the profile of Amonute Matoaka “Pocahontas” to be used as an example profile coming up in a week or two.

Setting out to do anything but what I planned

Forget my wonderful and patient (you know you are) clients, forget my research, push a blog post to the back (the blog is the first thing that gets pushed back to accommodate everything else) forget everything else, drop it all to run have a look at the state of this profile? 4 hours later I am still fixing stuff, piddling about, sending messages to project members about this looming deadline and the need to work collaboratively to make this profile sing.

To Blog or not to Blog

Blogging is something I enjoy. I love to Blog, to write (if you can call my butchery of the english language “writing”) and to share the “what’s going ons” of my genetic genealogical pursuits. In a year that has seen regular Genealogical Bloggers pull up stakes and move on from blogging I jumped in with so many feet and inches and centiMorgens that I am chest high in the muck of it – the genealogy blogging world. And LiveCasting – that too can be considered a blog. I don’t see myself jumping out either.

I have been pushing this blog thing to the back of everything. When Abby sent the note about the Example Profile, I thought I would just have to wait to write til another day. Enough!

What are all of these Rabbit Holes? Here are a few…

My most regular client

for whom I work a specified amount of hours a month – working the DNA and the Genealogy looking to make connections for him as I find them and or as they appear. He drops me a note when he gets a note from someone wanting to know if they are connected a certain way via DNA. They have the same surname in common, it must be it! 9 times out of ten it isn’t and I get to spend some time in the primordial ooze that is his family DNA and his genealogical paper trail to show the hows and whys of “not that route”or the excited exclamation of YOU ARE RIGHT! and we need to do this and this and…Doing work for him every month is like the part of the doughnut you save for last whether it be the filling or the icing, there is always something fun to be had and it can be had at anytime – no calorie restrictions (I have been craving doughnuts this week).

One of my clients sent me an email from the Ukraine

Yes he took off on his own to investigate some of the information we have turned-up about his family. This one is interesting in that it is Jewish Genealogy rife with a demographic that makes genetic genealogy hard – Endogamy. The practice of marrying within ones own community or family group. This case is exacerbated by the living descendants protective nature of the past and the unwillingness to do tests to help find an adoptee from the 1910’s. “Yes, we must keep our 100 year old secrets hidden, even if we don’t know what they are ourselves”.

Betty Jean

Oh yes Betty Jean is still on the front burner because we need to track down her mother. Yes I have been waiting for my favorite genealogical investigator to emerge unscatheed from some very hard family issues. Why do I feel guilty if I work without her? No, it’s not that I feel guilty, it’s because on this we are a team and I feel like I am walking without one of my legs. There is no rush on this for my part at all. Take care of family and I will see you soon.

New client with boxes

She actually said she was bringing shoeboxes with her to our first meeting. She is a professional who just doesn’t have time to learn how to do Genetic Genealogy. She is a good and tenacious researcher and a joy to work with. Sent her a note to ask her Ancestry DNA matches to download their DNA raw data and upload it to GEDMatch and zoom she was off. I am working the analysis and working the paper trail as they appear.

AND MORE! <breathAt this point I just had that stomach turning feeling of I really should be working and not blogging <STUPID FEELING>

WikiTree

Of course there is always work to do on WikiTree since I use WikiTree as my Genealogical Program and it is an integral genetic Genealogy tool in my genealogy toolbox. Did I mention Chris Whitten came back to me with the answer to a question I asked him while at Roots Tech? Hey! He has been busy revamping the GEDCOM apparatus of WikiTree among other things! The question?

How many DNA connected profiles do we have on WikiTree?

Drum Roll Please…

“A new number just went live on our home page: 3,027,628.

As in: “Our shared tree includes 15,105,620 profiles (3,027,628 with
DNA test connections) edited by 453,232 genealogists from around the
world.”

…The total number of DNA test connections is up around five or six million….The total number of test-takers is about 53,000.

This is really very cool. A stat that really says something about our commitment and success in growing a shared, *accurate* family tree. Afamily tree that someday will be confirmed with DNA.” -Chris Whitten

What does a “Test Connection” on WikiTree mean?

Every time a WikiTreer adds their DNA test information to WikiTree, WikiTree adds that information to the WikiTreers profile as well as to that of every profile in the limbs of WikiTrees great big ole shared tree, that that test would affect. So, if I add that I have taken a FTDNA auDNA (Family Finder Test) to my WikiTree Profile, WikiTree will post that DNA Connection to every single profile of my family – siblings, parents, cousins, grand parents, great grandparents – back to my 64, 4th great grandparents will show my test information. All following how I. you, we, inherit auDNA.

Why is this important and why is it a connection? Let’s say Julie Blue is hunting around the internet for information on her great great great grandfather, Dempsey Gaulden. Because WikiTree is cutting edge on it’s search engine optimization, when she searches for Dempsey, his WikiTree Profile pops-up at the top of her search engine results page.
She bounces over to his profile and sees all of the information that this ‘Mags Gaulden’ has done on he and his family, “Oh wow I never knew Dempsey raced horses in New Orleans!” she exclaims. Then her eye falls on this list, “DNA Connections” prominently displayed at the top right of the page:

“Oh My Word! I tested my DNA, I wonder if we match?” And,  “Wow, My Uncle jeb Gaulden – his y-DNA should match this Earle!” Julie Blue spends the rest of HER afternoon down the rabbit hole that is the GEDMatch/WikiTree integration. She uploads her raw data to GEDmatch where she finds Mags and Earle and others on wikiTree from her list of matches at GEDMatch.

Chris just posted this explanation – way more…techie than my answer. What you don’t like Melodrama? <southern hand across southern forehead>

“What exactly is a DNA test connection? It’s where we post a notice on a WikiTree profile that says there is a DNA test that might be useful for confirming or rejecting relationships to that person. For Y-chromosome tests it means the test-taker is on the same paternal line. For mitochondrial tests it means the test-taker is on the same maternal line. For autosomal tests (the most popular these days, e.g. AncestryDNAFamily Tree DNA Family Finder, 23andMe) it means that the test-taker is within eight degrees and is therefore likely to share significant segments of DNA.

The bottom line: A DNA test connection is an opportunity to try to scientifically prove what’s been established through traditional genealogy.

Every time I see a new one on a profile that I care about I get a little rush of excitement. Knowing there are three million of these around our shared tree puts a big smile on my face.” – Chris Whitten

Sound easy? It is!

ooop, I just blogged. ‘Scuse me.

Grandma’s Genes is giving away a Boutique DNA Package

You heard it right,

Grandma’s Genes is giving away a Grandma’s Genes Boutique DNA Package, Plus A Free DNA Test. This includes a FTDNA Family
Finder test, upload of Raw Data to GEDmatch and a walk through of the winners results – live with – you guessed it, Mags! It’s all part of the upcoming Source-A-Thon at WikiTree:

WikiTree Hosts Second Annual Source-a-Thon

Enjoy Genealogy

Genealogy community donates $4,600 in prizes

 

September 1, 2017: Today WikiTree is opening registration for the second annual “Source-a-Thon,” a three-day genealogical sourcing marathon. The event starts on the morning of September 30 and ends at midnight on Monday, October 2. It is timed to coincide with the start of Family History Month in October.

Sourcing is a Priority

The Source-a-Thon highlights the importance of citing sources for good genealogy. Inexperienced genealogists don’t always record their sources, or their tree has been handed down to them. Second-hand family history deserves to be preserved and shared, but it needs to be verified. Currently, 220,000 person profiles on WikiTree’s 15-million person tree have been identified as needing independent verification.

Collaborative Sourcing

In the Source-a-Thon, hundreds of genealogists will be working side-by-side — in teams such as the Kiwi Crew, Team Australia, GB Gen, and the Southern Sourcers — to add sources to as many profiles as possible.

Of last year’s Source-a-Thon, high-scoring participant Charlotte Shockey wrote: “Despite little sleep in 72-hours I had a lot of fun working towards a common goal with my fellow WikiTreers in a competitive spirit! The cherries on top were the real sense of community with loads of laughs and friends that were made.”

Prizes

To encourage participants, individuals and organizations from around the genealogy community are donating prizes to be awarded at random. Over $4,600 in prizes have been donated, including DNA tests and full memberships from MyHeritage and Ancestry, as well as valuable prizes from FindMyPast, Fold3, Newspapers.com, Legacy Family Tree, RootsTech, National Institute of Genealogical Studies, Grandma’s Genes and more. Prizes are still being added. If you would like to donate a prize, contact eowyn@nullwikitree.com.

Eligability

To be eligible for the random prize drawings, participants must register in advance and get a “race number.” Registration is now open. See https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Source-a-Thon for further details.

WikiTree: The Free Family Tree has been growing since 2008. Community members privately collaborate with close family members on modern family history and publicly collaborate with other genealogists on deep ancestry. Since all the private and public profiles are connected on the same system this process is helping to grow a single, worldwide family tree that will eventually connect us all and thereby make it free and easy for anyone to discover their roots. See https://www.WikiTree.com.

 

WikiTree Challenges

WikiTree has SO much going on, all the time that It’s almost impossible not to get involved as a volunteer in something. When you do volunteer you can do it in the most selfish way. Working on your own limbs to the great big ole shared tree that is WikiTree. But, when you get to a point where you need to clear your pallatte, so to speak, try dropping into one of WikiTree’s Weekly, Monthly or yearly challenges. The Challenge that caught my eye today is the WikiTree Surname Spotlights. Here is WikiTree Team Member Abby Glann’s Post from G2G about this challenge:

Surname Spotlights Challenge

We’ve got a new challenge in town, focused on surname collaboration: Surname Spotlights. 

So much of what we do as genealogists and family historians centers on surnames. We have so many tools on WikiTree to make working on specific surnames easy and kind of fun. We want to encourage it! 

Most of our surname activity is centered on our One Name Studies, which run the gamut from official studies associated with the One Name Study Guild to amateur approaches just look to connect with others who share an interest in certain surnames.

Focus

Our Surname Spotlights will focus on 4 surnames each month. You pick one surname to work on during that month. Any contributions you do for the Spotlight counts toward other challenges, like the Connectors, Errors, BioBuilders, or Sourcerers Challenges, as they apply to each of those (for a full ist of WikiTree Challenges please see the Challenges Page). 

You do not have to have any of these surnames in your family to join in. It’s just a fun way to work together with shared goals and improve the tree as well as try to gather together folks with shared interests in certain names. 

The names for August are Acheson, Downing, Callis, and Smith. A couple of these are just getting started and would love some attention to the free-space page to add information. Others are well established so working on specific profiles would make sense. All of them would love your attention! 

If you’d like to head up the volunteers working on a specific surname, post an answer below. Then all others working on the same name, comment on that answer to chat about what you’re working on.

See the Surname Spotlights page for more detailed information on how to join in. 

Thanks for making WikiTree a great place to collaborate!

So for all you One Name Study Junkies (I know quite a few) try jumping into this challenge! Smith? Really? Who puts Smith into a single challenge date. This surname should be a weekly One Name Study Challenge.

OGS Conference 2017 – My Experience

The OGS (Ontario Genealogical Society) Conference 2017 happened over this last weekend here in Ottawa. I can’t tell you how nice it was to have the conference in my home city (not my hometown, there’s a difference). Of course there is a story to tell…

Social Media Team, #OGSConf2017

It all started a couple, three, four…it all started when I volunteered for the OGS Conference 2017 Social Media Team. I know some of you might be absolutely tired of me adding #OGSConf2017 to all my tweets and posts but I felt I needed to get the hastag out there in general. So, long before the thing actually started I was tweetin’ away (excuse me).

Once things started rollin’ and attendees started registering, the social media team were in action. We posted and tweeted every event, standing at the back discreetly taking photo’s and sharing the presentations, workhops and events. From excursions on thursday through to Ancestry Day, we did our appointed tasks quite well! What a great team to work with.
OGS 2017 Social Media Team Logo

CBC Radio One “All In A Day” with Alan Neal 

Thursday Night I tweeded a picture of Krsty Gray (@TheKirstyGray) having a pre-intereview interview with the CBC. Little did I know Kirsty was on the phone telling them they wanted to interview a local Genealogist, “Talk to Mags Gaulden”. Thank you very much Kirsty!

I did the interview Friday morning and it aired Friday afternoon. Over the weekend, because I was walking around with my Grandma’s Genes Kit on all weekend, I got stopped by more than a few people to say they heard the interview and had a question. Thanks Kirsty.

I had recieved a request for a bid proposal for a project (can’t tell you what yet) earlier in the week, which I had been thinking over. Hadn’t even responded to them. On Tuesday this week – post conference – I got a call from the company asking for the bid. They had heard the interview and they really want me to get the bid notes together for them. Thanks Kirsty (curtsying or is it kirstsying).

Me In My kit

Someone asked if I was going to have a venders table for the Conference. “No, I am a walking billboard”. Basically my kit is a shirt with Grandma’s Genes Logo emblazened upon the pocket, my Bag with a Grandma’s Genes Bumper Sticker across the front, my business cards on a lanyard, a Grandma’s Genes Sticker on my Conference credentials and Grandma’s Genes on every bit of electronics I brought (this is for security as well).

Grandma's Genes Conference Kit

Of Course WikiTree Was At The Conference As Well

WikiTree didn’t have a Venders table either. They had a walking billboard as well. Moi. I bounced around the conference in Orange too.

WikiTree LiveCasts

Saturday we did the WikiTree LiveCast Live From the conference. I had spread the word and posted a Casting Call for the LiveCast and boy did I get responses! Yes, real, live WikiTreer’s here in Ottawa answered the call. Thanks to Blaine Bettinger (my dinner date for Saturday night too), Kirsty Gray, Annette Cormier and Leanne Cooper for sitting in along with Romaine Honey, Librarian with the Ottawa Public Library and Emma McBeth for moderating from the West Coast. Thank you also to all the orange shirted people who randomly appear on camera through-out the LiveCast.

I also presented “DNA and the Global Family Tree” in a fast trax presentation on Sunday which Grandma’s Genes LiveCasted as well.

At one point, I changed my shirt in the elevator (I should have have a telephone booth). Blaine said I should sew the two shirts together. He is awfully clever.

Networking

There was a lot of that giong on as well.

Living DNA and I discussed some of their recent changes which might facilitate some integration with WikiTree. Early days yet, so patience is the key here.

Kirsty Gray and I decided to do a LiveCast about going to conferences, What to take? What to do? How to get into trouble? Stayed tuned for this one for sure!

Blaine Bettinger and I discussed WikiTree’s DNA Project and genetic genealogy and family and food and his books being contraband at the border, what? What is in those books!?!? Just words and hard work!

I got to Volunteer for the Program Committee for next years Ontario Genealogical Society Conference 2018. The real work of the Committee starts the same week I will be traveling to speak at a Family Reunion in North Carolina, he he. 

BlueBerry Pie

Why yes there was blueberry Pie. The Social Media Team plus a few extra’s spent Sunday Dinner together (when a group goes through something together they don’t want to be separated) and were treated to Blueberry pie of course courtesy of Grandma’s Genes. Thanks Bowman’s!

Can’t wait til next year.

Live Streaming from the OGSConf2017

We are quickly zooming to the weekend of OGS Conference 2017 and if you can’t make it, there will be a few Live Streams to scratch your itch, quench your genealogy conference thirst! Live Streaming from the OGSConf2017.

What Streams and how do you watch?

Just Click the links…

Stream Number one…Friday June 16th, 2017 – 6:30pm EDT.

Friday night Opening Ceremonies including a talk Destination Canada by Dave Obee. Viewing link The opening Ceremonies begin at 7:00pm EDT.

Stream Number two…Saturday June 17, 2017 – 9:00am EDT.

Saturday morning Plenary including Family Ties: Exploring Genealogy through the Archives of Ontario by Danielle Manning. Viewing Link

(Unofficial) Stream Number 3…LiveCast with Grandma’s Genes, Saturday June 17, 2017 – 3:00pm EDT

Hangout with Mags and others in a LiveCast chat from OGSConf2017. You never know who might pop in. LiveCasts, where genealogist chat. Viewing Link.

Stream Number 4…OGS Annual General Meeting, Saturday June 17, 2017 – 3:30pm EDT

Coverage of the Ontario Genealogical Associations General Meeting. Veiwing Link.

So many things to do, so many places to be…Carry your laptop out to the garden, or to your local coffee shop and enjoy some of the goings on at the conference!

I will see you there or online! Blueberry pie for everyone!