Roots Tech 2018

Roots Tech 2018 was another great event – the biggest event where WikiTree has a BIG presence! I counted 22 WikiTreers who came round for our Group photo on Friday. MANY, MANY more popped in and out of our great booth location over the entire conference and signed one of our Banners from Last year (thanks for the photo Erin Breen).

Location, Location, Location

Thanks to our tenure at Roots Tech and our industrious Forest Elf, Eowyn Langholf, we were one of the first booths to see when entering the Exhibit Hall. Literally, you came in the front door, looked to your left and saw a wall of Orange. What a great location this year.

Not once did I hear someone say they had trouble finding us or that they had to look very far. We were often the first stop on attendees day or two or three in the Exhibit Hall.

WikiTreers from near and far

The WikiTreers who came to man the booth, the Roots Tech Team, hailed from near and far. Aleš (and Family) win the distance contest – they traveled from Slovenia. The rest of us came from, England, Canada and the US. As best as my tired brain can count we had 15 Roots Tech Team members in attendence.

The Booth

We had a new booth format this year. In years past we spent a lot of time standing in and around the booth talking to people and running in to find a place to sit with visitors to share and explain WikiTree. This year we added a bit of a Bistro feel (no, no baristas, no latte’s – dang it). We had small tables and chairs set up and our WikiTreer’s showed up with plenty of laptops, Netbooks, Ipads and the like. We all spent time chatting with people, but a good bit of time was spent actually doing the thing we do, collaborating with the attendees and their limbs already on our great big ole shred tree!

I can’t tell you how great it felt to type in a Surname and have my booth guest squeal with glee that thier GGGwhatever was there looking back at them. Soon followed by another squeal when I revealed the DNA test connections of their ancestors, on their ancestor profiles! Being at Roots Tech is so rewarding on personal level.

Every year our booth is the booth for fun and enlightenment (of the Genealogical kind).

Roots Tech 2018 Conference Other Activites

There are other activities going on at the Conference and a few of us were able to take in some classes. We also spent time roaming around talking to people on the fly or posting Live FB Videos of happenings.  We got to meet a lot of new people and meet up with old friends.

I have more pictures to post but at the moment my fingers are refusing to type more…

Like impromptu WikiTree lunches and breakfasts and dinners and trips to the Family History Library, strolls through the pre-snow covered streets of Salt Lake City and  After Parties and Geneabloggers Tribe goings on, skiing at local resorts and…

Rest for now more for later…

70k Doc – First Connection

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.

TEST Please!

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.

My Dad has a Y-DNA match to two Gauldings.

My Dad has a Y-DNA match to two Gauldings. This means we can confirm our family connections back to our most common recent ancestor. The other two Y-DNA testers are from a branch of the family that haven’t been connected to the main trunk by anyone with published information.

Distant Cousins and Gaulding Researchers

Over the past years I have been talking to a very distant Gaulding cousin (a close relation to one of the Y-DNA testers) who has one such unpublished document. To make the family connections she agreed to share it with me. The document arrived as a 70K word rich text document converted to a Word document format. There is no consistent numbering schemes. It does not follow any genealogical numbering system nor is it chronological, skipping around from sibling to sibling in one generation then back to the generation before. The formatting, because of the conversion, has globs of spacing and the indents and lists are crazy.

Making It Make Sense

It’s taken me weeks of night and weekend work to get it into a format to print so I can look at it, make notes and correct the formatting, chronology, indents and lists systems. I started three nights ago with the meat of the document. The “How are we connected?” work of getting the siblings, parents, grandparents, great grandparents all lined up correctly so I can start the research and sourcing to make it right (the author did not include his sources either).
The author of this document (in an introduction to the document) makes no excuses, no apologies for the document format or lack of sources and rightly so since it is not intended to be published.
My hope is to get the document in good nick, genealogically wise, make the connections to confirm my dad and their dad’s DNA connection and to send the re-formatted document file back to the cousin who sent it to me. What a wonderful labor this is. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate her willingness to trust me with this researchers life work. As I work, I will fill in the missing pieces on WikiTree from his work so you can follow along there if you’d like.

Follow along if you’d like

I think our most common recent ancestor is, John Gaulding, St. Peter’s Parish, New Kent, Virginia, (abt. 1665-1740).

DNA and The Global Family Tree – Poll 1

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. 


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
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.

Genealogy Gadget Geek

This weekends BIFHSGO conference has all the traditional Genealogy lectures and Tours and Workshops and a great Marketplace Hall.

Social Media Team

I am also volunteering here at the conference since BIFHSGO is also my “home” Genealogical Society (OGS Ottawa too). Surely you have noticed my tweets about the conference as a member of the Social Media Team. As such I spend a good bit of time slinking along the back rows of lectures taking quiet pictures and tweeting briefly, politely during those lectures so you all can live vicariously through me and my Social Media Shares.

DISCLAIMER – Please do not take pictures or do social media while attending lectures unless you are  a part of a recognized Social Media Team for the event.

Gadget Proximity

Since the Social Media Hub at this event is set-up in the BIFHSGO Conference MarketPlace we have the opportunity to hob nob with some of the venders while sessions are running. No it’s not downtime, because you don’t have to be registered or even pay to get into the Market Hall, so there are always people buzzing about, it’s just a break from the crush of people from the sessions.

This year the Social Media Hub is just around the corner from this conference’s main Gadget Geek Vender, Shop The Hound!

I want to buy everything they have!

A Few Eye Catching Gadgets

One thing that has caught my eye is the ZCan Scanner Mouse. If you have ever had a scratch off card? Lottery or coupon – as you scratch an image appears kind of thing? Well this is similar  you run your mouse over an image or document and with each swipe of the mouse the image or document appears. It’s crazy cool and it’s easy to carry.

Shop the Hound has other Gadgets too. Need to add some bling to your headphone jack? They have has shiny, sparkly bangle for this. Want to carry a full blown, but portable, Scanner? You can walk away with the Flip Pal. Have a lot us SD storage cards from Camera’s or netbook storage floating around in every bag and drawer you have? Well, they have a little leather case designed just for this and more! Tech Gear and Gadgets specifically designed for Genealogy, can’t beat it.

Now I have to run do another WikiTree Source-A-Thon. Exhausted but still working!

Swab-A-Thon a Success ‘Thanks Ottawa!’ says Grandma’s Genes

Grandma’s Genes held Ottawa’s first (World’s First) genetic genealogy Swab-A-Thon.    The event, held at Bowman’s Bar and Grill on Saturday August 27th, brought a diverse crowd.  People came with questions about their origins, asking what they could learn from DNA testing?  Genetic genealogist, and Grandma’s Genes co-founder, Marc Snelling opened the event.  He spoke about the discoveries that can be made through DNA.

Marc spoke about how to learn more about your ethnic background. About how and where we fit into the human family tree.  He also spoke about breaking a brick-wall in records, such as adoptions where no records are available, or finding unknown grandparent. Other reasons for DNA testing he covered included; leaving a legacy for your children and grandchildren, making new discoveries, and connecting with living cousins.

Participants in Ottawa's first genetic genealogy Swab-A-Thon put on by Grandma's Genes, Family Tree DNA, and
Participants in Ottawa’s first genetic genealogy Swab-A-Thon put on by Grandma’s Genes, Family Tree DNA, and

Grandma’s Genes co-founder Mags Gaulden spoke about DNA tests currently available to consumers.   Autosomal tests  (chromosomes 1-22, and X),  are a test offered by ‘the Big 3’ testing companies, 23andMe, AncestryDNA and Family Tree DNA.  23andMe includes testing for DNA health markers, and idetifies paternal and maternal haplogroups, currently priced at $249 (CA). She also spoke about mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) a test of your direct maternal line and it’s associated halpogroup, and Y-DNA a test of the direct paternal lines. (tests offered by Family Tree DNA).  She also spoke about The Genographic Project, a science-focused DNA project to document the human family tree and it’s haplogroups.

Mags Gaulden, Marc Snelling of Grandma's Genes at Swab-A-Thon
Grandma’s Genes co-founders Mags Gaulden and Marc Snelling answer attendees DNA questions at the Swab-A-Thon.

Mags and Marc spoke with Swab-A-Thon particpants about the value-added services Grandma’s Genes provides to customers who have purchased a DNA test from one of ‘The Big 3’.  Some of the services offered by Grandma’s Genes include;

  • In-depth ethnic analysis, beyond simple percentages with results across multiple DNA testers,
  • Searching for birth families of adoptees, and uncovering the identity of unknown ancestors,
  • DNA mapping – identifying common ancestors shared with DNA cousins, through triangulation of DNA and genealogy across all company’s databases and public records, 
  • Preparing genealogical reports for First Nations or American Indian Nations, and other lineage societies such as United Empire Loyalists, Daughters / Sons of the American Revolution.

Lesley Anderson from spoke to the crowd about the Ancestry database, over 2 million samples. The size of the DNA database together with millions of user-created family trees creates discoveries through Ancestry DNA Circles. Ancestry DNA Circles are an automated tool that discovers common ancestors shared between DNA matches.

Everyone who came had a different reason for being there.  One adoptee sought to learn more about his birth parents.  Two others wanted to learn more about what their DNA will tell them about their deep roots in their home countries, France and Algeria.  Another wanted to know more about his maternal granparent. An ancestor the family says was in England while other lines were in Eastern Europe. Several others purchased tests as gifts for their relatives.

Free kits won by three!

Three free DNA kits were awarded.  One from Grandma’s Genes., one by Family Tree DNA, and a third from Geraldine won the FTDNA Family Finder kit offered by Grandma’s Genes.  Vanessa won the Family Finder kit offered by Family Tree DNA.  Lyle won the free AncestryDNA kit.  Those who won prizes all purchased additional kits for testing themselves at both Family Tree DNA and AncestryDNA. They also purchased kits for other family members.

Another Swab-A-Thon?

Thanks to everyone who came out and helped create Ottawa’s first genetic genealogy Swab-A-Thon.  Several participants were hopeful another Swab-A-Thon will be held.  An event  to bring their cousins and family members to, to learn more about DNA testing.  Grandma’s Genes hopes to bring another Swab-A-Thon to the area in the future.