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.
I always have a list of takeaways when I attend Genealogy Shows/Conferences and THE Genealogy Show 2019 is no different.
Disclaimer – I am on the board for THEGenShow and have a slightly rosie view on how things went down. No Canadian GG’s lost appendages (arms, fingers, pounds) from attending this event.
THE Take Away? THE Peoples Show
From the very beginning, in the very informal conversations for THE Genealogy Show, in its acorn stage, the show director, Kirsty Gray, used the words “a peoples show”. How do you make a recipe for The Peoples Show?
You start by building a team who are known to each other but in most cases, don’t “know” each other. Throw them together for a year and let them bounce international, accessible, open, teaching and researching ideas off of each other. Then, with a light, guiding hand, morph those ideas into the Show Directors vision and you come out with a show that is for “every genealogist”.
Plenty of Seating Spacious Floor Plan Accessible Speakers Great Stands Large, enclosed Wizard Consults Stand Engaging and Friendly Volunteers (some of which were the Accessible Speakers) Engaging and interactive Tags Station A Coffee/Tea Stand in the Hall ….mix, stir with… Thousands of wonderful attendees
Takeaway – THE People
As a personal note, it was my first time for more than a stopover in England. I got to try some local brew, foods I have only heard of my whole life, attempt to be competent in British currency, meet more than a few incredible brits, experience british weather and enlarge my ever-growing circle close friends – thousands of you.
Then there was this amazing wall of ORANGE…My WikiTree family was out in full force as well.Just…Amazing!
Mags will be lending her bit of Canadian/Carolinian spin to this Birmingham, England based Genealogy show!
She will be talking about:
Forensic Genealogy and Adoption – Betty Jean’s Story
Finding Genealogy for your family can become a seriously daunting task if you are adopted. Betty Jean is a 90-year-old Adoptee with no paperwork or information to go on, other than her adopted birth certificate and small hints from her adoptive parents. Walk through the steps needed to find her father.
Friday June 7th, 2019, 11:30 to 12:30 PM in Arena 2.
Roots Tech 2019 was an absolute blast this year. It had a whole different vibe with fewer complaints about lines and how to find things and well, just about anything I heard complaints about from last year was fixed. The Roots Tech folk must have done some good listening to their visitors from last year. Good job all the way around!
At the start of my adventure I was amped-up for an incredibly busy long weekend in Salt Lake City. The Expo Hall was open on Wednesday night from 6-8 and I flew in at 5. Swooosh to the hotel to change into some WikiTree Orange and off to endure the carpet covered concrete floors of the Salt Palace – wait, I just complained. Apologies to Roots Tech because there is absolutely nothing they can do about the floors in the Salt Palace. Of course we could have purchased an upgrade in the floor covering of our booth (this is a discussion between we WikiTree Volunteers EVERY year at Roots Tech).
The Booth was really an intensive “how to connect” to our great big ole shared tree with people this year. We had life-sized cardboard cut-outs of King Henry VIII and Elvis pelvis himselvis. People were all GaGa over both
of them! I got to do a demo-stage presentation on WikiTree and connections. W etook the cut-outs over for the stage but kept Elvis turned so he couldn’t be seen until a big reveal. We had connection issues – note to self, order a macro HDMI connector – The Big Reveal of Elvis caused a few screams from the crowd. Of course, the MC for the Demo Stage had to say, “Elvis has left the building”.Love doing the Demo Stage presentations for WikiTree at Roots Tech.
We all networked, which makes Roots Tech a frenetic place for Professional Genealogists. Different breakfasts, lunches, coffee hours, cocktail hours and dinners were planned every single day. Every single minute was a meeting of some kind, whether it be with a booth visitor or with another Professional Genealogist or Freind.
WikiTree’s total membership grew by 343 since Wednesday. WikiTree Volunteers who never see each other or have never met got a chance to collaborate at the WikiTree booth. It was great fun AND exhausting. I heard that some of our Volunteers stayed up chatting to the wee hours of the morning. Me? My roommate and I were both east coasters and were asleep by the wee hours of the evening – every evening!
I spent a lot of time not promoting Grandma’s Genes, but just being Grandma’s Genes because that is who I am. Many of you came by the booth or stopped me in my wanderings to get selfie’s or a quick question or a wee chat or a hug. I also got some inspiration for a couple of future Grandma’s Genes Blogs. Thanks very much to everyone who suggested blogs or reminded me that I wanted to write about something. Loved seeing you!
I spent a lot of time not promoting mitoYDNA. But we did have a presence at Roots Tech. DNAGedcom and Genetic Family graciously let us have cards and information at their booth. Rob, Gale, Peter, Jamie and I suggested mitoYDNA to people who had questions about our work to provide a crowdsourced, free and accessible mitochondrial and YDNA database. Gale was a great promoter all weekend and had an opportunity to mentioned mitoYDNA in his lectures. Gale created a bit of a buzz as well as being a walking billboard.
If you missed the announcement, we have added two superstars to our team: Jonny Perl (DNA Painter) and Kevin Borland (Borland Genetics).
It’s exciting to see interest in mitoYDNA increase. We are just as excited as you are to move on to matching and beta testing. If you are interested in keeping up with mitoYDNA check out our mitoYDNA Facebook Users Group.
Doing DNA Right!
Flying with a Cello
On one of the flights home we had a delay in our flight by 30 minutes because of weather and another delay in forty minutes for a Cello. Yes a Cello. What?! You’ve never flown with your Cello?
Well, you can’t put your Cello into the baggage hold of an aircraft. You must purchase a seat for your Cello. You can’t just buckle your cello to the seat, the airline must cargo net your cello to your seat. The cargo netting is installed by removing all surrounding passengers, then an airline baggage specialist crawls all over all the area seats to get the cargo net applied correctly. Fascinating.
I would have taken a picture, but I didn’t want to get mobbed for being insensitive. Not sure I would have gotten away with the, “but I need this for my blog” excuse.
Roots Tech London
Apparently, I will be hoping the pond again in October of this year to be at Roots Tech London! How about that! Can’t wait.
Mags will be presenting, The Power of DNA, to the Merrickville and District Historical Society Annual General Meeting. She will discuss the nuts and bolts of how DNA and genealogy can move family histories forward. The DNA of one of Merrickville’s founders may make a special appearance during the talk.
Please contact the Merrickville and District Historical Society for more on the Annual General Meeting.
Genealogy with a Canadian Twist, hosted by Looking 4 Ancestors Genealogist, Kathryn Lake Hogan, U.E, is a weekly chat about all things Canadian Genealogy. On this particular episode Kathryn will be chatting with Mags Gaulden, a member of the Canadian Casualty Identification Team. The Program identifies newly found remains of missing Canadian war dead prior to 1970 and gives them proper burials. The work Mags is doing is working the identifiable information from the graves, including DNA, to identifying living family members.
This is our third 72-hour sourcing marathon. The first one in 2016 was lots of fun and together we added sources to over 22,000 profiles. Last year we had almost 500 participants and added sources to over 53,000 profiles!
Our goal is to clear out the Unsourced Profiles category on WikiTree. Although including sources is in our community’s Honor Code, inexperienced genealogists don’t always record them. Sometimes the source is “Aunt Mabel,” as Mags put it. This doesn’t mean the information isn’t worth preserving or sharing. It’s a starting point — information waiting to be confirmed.
Like a marathon, this is a competition, but most participants won’t be serious competitors. Most of us will be doing it for the challenge of sourcing as many profiles as they can, for the mission, and for the fun of it.
We will be hosting live Google Hangouts throughout the weekend to cheer each other on. During every chat we will draw a winner for a door prize. Every participant who is online and adding sources during that time will be eligible.
The party starts Friday morning, September 28, at 8 AM (ET) and runs until Monday, October 1, at 8 AM (ET). (Eastern Daylight Time is GMT -4.) Genealogists from all over the world will be participating at the same time.
My children – well one son – gives me an incredibly hard time because I like to talk about food. Not just that there is food but what makes the food what it is. He says “Mom, you think you are a foodie”. Pshhaww! I also like beer and talk about the crafts brews I find on my travels. He never calls me a fake “beery” when I talk about choicest hops, barley and malt (Barn Owl Malt in Ontario – shameless plug for a friends Ontario Malt). So fun today, in the hotel lobby with all my bags packed waiting to run to the train station, to meet a Chef. I went to a great Genealogy Conference and met a Chef, The Edible Genealogist, Mark Drew, UE. (@ChefMark Drew)
Meeting up with old friends all through out and networking rise to the top of the list for things to do at Conferences, but I got to spend 6 hours on Friday talking about my passion, Genetic Genealogy. Two workshops on DNA! I hope the confusion people brought with them to the sessions was lessened after we were done.
Ontario Genealogical Society Conference 2018 Round Up
Jonathon Vance’s opening Plenary Lecture was fabulous, just a fabulous way to start a Conference and then having Amy Johnson Crow weave threads of Jonathon’s lecture and other sessions into her closing lecture – It takes talent to recognize a thread and it takes something of a humble speaker to change her planned lecture, turn the phrase or theme touched on by other speakers and weave it into their own. Amy and Jonathon and all the rest of the speakers and venders and volunteers made the conference comfortable and consistent- it was very nice to have the theme carried through and tied with a bow.
The Conference was held on the sprawling campus of Guleph University in Guelph, ON. Beautiful setting with the architecture of the school marrying modern and historic buildings and green spaces into perfect symmetry. BUT. The Sprawling campus offered a unique challenge to the Conference co-chairs and committee. Getting all of us from our various hotels or campus residence rooms into the heart of the conference buildings. They had golf carts! A fleet of Golf Carts supplied by Family Search kept the attendees moving on time to our respective activities and sessions.
Take Away? Golf Carts Rock!
Well, the whole conference rocked really. Sessions on building a nation – Canada. Sessions on preserving our records. Sessions on how to care for our precious research once we have passed – What!? you haven’t included your genealogical research in your will? Or talked with the Genetic Genealogists about working to preserve your DNA for future researchers? I was talking about that and work Blaine Bettinger is doing with his Committee for the Preservation of DNA Records in my sessions.
I am headed home now.
I have a huge list of “to-dos” on the go from meetings and discussions had this weekend. Two of them promised while traveling on this very train back to my home. Promises made and promises kept and a sense of loss as I leave all the wonderful friends <appendage> I have and the new ones made and… the Chef? He is in the seat right in front of me.
A Chef who talks about the foods of our ancestors is sitting right in front of me. He is probably praying that I don’t lean over the chair and ask him questions again about the food that sustained Champlain on his initial forays into the Canadian shield – Sun Choke/Jerusalem Artichoke…and what about…
Your favorite Blueberry loving Genetic Genealogist will be presenting Workshops on Friday June 1st at the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference in Guelph, Ontario.
DNA and the Global Family Tree
DNA and adding your DNA connections to a Global family tree. Attempting to breakdown brickwalls using DNA can be daunting. Which “Global” family Trees are truly capable of connecting you to your DNA matches? Which is best for the kind of DNA test taken? How do each of the Global Family Tree’s propagate DNA results? How do you find matches and make connections on these Trees? Working across all DNA testing Companies and all Global Family Tree Sites we will look at which “Global” family trees work best for DNA. Via hands on work, participants will work through the process of making DNA connections and help to get their DNA Global Family Tree connections working for them. – Computer Skills are essential to this workshop.