Genealogy with a Canadian Twist – Mags Gaulden and her work as a member of the Canadian Casualty Identification Team.

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.

For more information on the CCIT and it’s mandate please visit the History and Heritage, Casualty Identification Website.

WikiTree Source-A-thon Hangouts

Source-a-What?

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.

Schedule

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.

I went to a Genealogy Conference and met a Chef.

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)

Much more happened at the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference 2018 than my last minute drool over meeting a Genealogist who is a Chef!

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…

DNA Workshops at OGS Conference 2018

Your favorite Blueberry loving Genetic Genealogist will be presenting Workshops on Friday June 1st at the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference in Guelph, Ontario.

Friday Afternoon

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.

Genetic Genealogy is the Ultimate Crowd Source Project

It’s nothing near a stretch to say that Genetic Genealogy is the Ultimate Crowd Source Project. Genetic Genealogists are often called citizen scientists. To say someone is a citizen scientist means, in my book, that they, them, you and me, us are not associated with multi million dollar corporations in any financial way.

We work to share our work. It’s the new paradigm in Genealogy – collaboration.

Since we are working to share our work and further our research together, we have worked out ways to do that. Many of us have our own blogs. Many of us have Facebook pages or even Facebook groups to share. One great case in point is Blaine Bettinger’s Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques group which has over 40,000 members. 40 thousand people sharing and posting and discussing Genetic Genealogy – crowd sourcing.

GEDmatch stands out as one of the greatest crowd sourced tools in the Genealogy community, offering a database of autosomal and X DNA test results and tools to do analysis and matching. It’s growing rapidly. This growth in new members has occurred since the release of information that the GEDmatch database was used to help identify a man who turned out to be California’s most prolific and elusive serial rapist and murderer. The case has caused an uproar in the Genealogy community with people publicly stating that they will remove their data from this important database because of it’s use in a criminal investigation. But still there is that growth. I certainly have noticed it in the higher count of people on GEDmatch when I login. Good.

Family Search is crowd sourced. Geni is, for the most part, crowd sourced- if you can work around the the many annoying paywalls. We Relate is Crowd sourced.  Then there is the ultimate crowd sourced Global Family Tree, WikiTree, with it’s…well with it’s everything.

Recent Crowd Source Losses

Three significant crowd sourced projects closed their shutters this week. Which speaks to growing concerns for privacy and the GDPR (if you have been under the proverbial rock – it’s the General Data Protection Regulations for the EU and UK. Google it. I am so disgusted with it’s fall out I don’t even want to link to it). I know this new regulation will eventually make crowd sourcing better, but it’s a huge hit to lose Y-Search, mitoSearch and World Families. 

Thank you and goodbye to you three. I have often been in your data working to solve adoption cases or help a family find their true surname or build a clients sense of family or connect my family to the rest of my family tree through DNA.

Moving “onward and upward”

The “onward and upward” quote is something I see often in Chris Whitten’s (WikiTree’s, WikiTreer-In-Chief) emails and posts to WikiTree. We as a community will move on. Moving on means that we need to do some things to protect our databases from extinction. And we will.

Crowd Sourcing

Crowd sourcing will be better with tighter controls on privacy and a mind to even more openness. Yes I said it, privacy and openness. I will say it again and I will follow that advice as I work on my family and friends and clients families on my favorite crowd sourced project (which has taken incredible steps to protect itself and it’s community of crowd sourcing and enthusiastic genealogists) WikiTree.

I will also continue to use and support and lecture about other crowd sourced ventures like GEDmatch.

I love being in this incredible crowd sourced community.

New International Gen. Conference

Great news from Kirsty Gray and Sylvie Valentine this morning. There is a new international genealogy conference to fill the void left by the demise of Who Do You Think You Are?

THE Genealogy Show

From one of the show directors, Kirsty Gray, “I am delighted to announce that Sylvia Valentine and I are Ministers of Magic aka Show Directors for THE Genealogy Show 2019 which is being held at the NEC in Birmingham, England. We already have an international board in place including genealogy stars such as Jill Ball, Ruth Blair, John Boeren, Liv Birgit Christensen, Mags Gaulden, Pat Richley-Erickson (Dear Myrtle) and DM Walsh.”

Our main aim is to create a terrific new show which becomes an annual highlight on the genealogy calendar. Attracting family history societies (in some cases, back) to the event, as well as providing outstanding educational workshops and networking opportunities, are at the core of the planning.

What’s not to like? NEC has 16,500 parking spaces, a raft of hotels and easy access by road, rail and plane. See you there? Check out the website www.thegenealogyshow.uk, like our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/THEGenShow, and follow us on Twitter @THEGenShow2019.

Oh, and did you say you wanted to be an exhibitor, sponsor or speaker? Details on the website!”

Thanks very much and I will see you in Birmingham in June of 2019!

And In My Spare Time?

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: 

Video about the CCIT

If you would prefer to read about it here is a link to an article:

DND looking to contract DNA and burial experts to help ID Canada’s missing war dead

Off to Kitchener

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.

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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).

 

 

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