Kitchener Public Library 6th Annual Genealogy Fair – Keynote Speaker

KPL’s 6th Annual Genealogy Fair Keynote Speaker

Drum Roll Please! Announcing KPL’s 6th Annual Genealogy Fair Keynote Speaker

magsgaulden - web

Mags Gaulden, 2018 Keynote Speaker, KPL 6th Annual Genealogy Fair

Remember to mark your calendars for the KPL Genealogy Fair being held on Saturday 21 April 2018 at the Central Library, 85 Queen Street North, Kitchener!

Visit your Grandma!

 

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. 

Thanks!

2017 International Conference on Genetic Genealogy

Grandma’s Genes will be present and accounted for at the i4gg conference this weekend in San Diego. Two days of networking and talking and presentations and…

From the website for i4gg: “The DNA Detectives brings back i4GG 2017 in SAN DIEGO CA December 9 and 10, 2017, 9am to 6pm. The event will cover traditional Genetic Genealogy as well as Genetic Genealogy methodologies for unknown parentage. Newbie or expert, this is a great opportunity to learn from the cream of the crop. The event will be held at Sheraton Mission Valley San Diego Hotel 1433 Camino Del Rio South, San Diego, CA. 92108 December 09 – 10, 2017.”

See you there!

 

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 Raw Data to Gedmatch

I noticed a post today about auDNA Raw Data File upload to GEDMatch. The comment that struck me was the idea that people, in general, are nervous, overwhelmed, uncomfortable with the process of downloading their raw DNA data from their testing company and uploading to GEDmatch.

Well, to calm those nerves – we aren’t talking about brain surgery. Not talking about a 120 story tight rope walk. We are not talking about a trip to Mars.

Ir’s just downloading a file to your computer, then uploading the file to GEDmatch. It is exciting, there is no denying that. First time working with DNA results is incredibly exciting. You do all the file portation and in 8 to 24 hours you are connected to people from ALL the Genealogy Testing Companies – not just the company you tested with.

The Process

Get your DNA Tested for Genealogy

No you can’t upload a paternity test using DNA to a Genealogical Testing Site or to GEDmatch. Get a DNA test from one of the Genealogical DNA testing Companies:

FTDNA Family Finder 
AncestryDNA
23andMe *
MyHeritageDNA

You can transfer from other testing companies, like LivingDNA, but until GEDmatch gets the Genesis database merged into the main database you may miss many, many matching opportunities with Genesis.

“23andMe is now using the GSA chip for their new V5 raw DNA file results. This format is not compatible with the regular GEDmatch upload, but can be used with the GEDmatch Genesis upload.”

Register at GEDmatch

Register for a GEDmatch Account

This one is easy AND you can protect your privacy by providing an Alias. Though I am not all that fond of Aliases. One of the first things I do when searching for matches is scan the one-to-many result for a kit to see if any of the known surnames appear in the list (this is easy using your browsers “find” feature). An initial (any initial) and LNAB (last name at birth) can be enough to protect privacy (in my opinion). 

Download your Raw Data File to Your Computer

Here are the links to directions for downloading your Raw Data File:

FamiyTreeDNA Family Finder – Build 36 Raw Concatenated
AncestryDNA
23andMe
My Heritage
LivingDNA

You can download your raw Data from other companies and upload them into GEDmatch Genesis – Google it – “Download my raw data from _____.”

Make sure you know where the file ends up on your computer. When you download the file make sure it goes to your desktop or downloads folder. If you download it and have no idea how to find the downloaded file, then the anxiety can kick-in. If you can’t find it go back to your browser and click on Downloads in the browser to see where the file might have ended up.

Upload your Raw Data file from your computer to GEDmatch.

GEDmatch Notes
Gedmatch Communicates about current information on your profile page.

GEDmatch posts pertinent information about it’s site for users at the top of your profile page. Note the information about the 23andMe chipset and it working in Genesis?

GEDmatch upload link (GEDCOM upload Link too).Once you are on your Profile page you will see the above box on the right of your page. Click on the Generic upload and it will take you to:

GEDmatch Upload Instructions

Upload For FTDNA
Upload For Ancestry
Upload For MyHeritage
Upload Generic (this includes 23andMe and LivingDNA and more)

You’ll get your GEDmatch ID on the Screen at the end of the upload – Write it Down and share it if you are really interested in finding genetic cousins.

It is not all that hard and shouldn’t be anxiety producing. I would equate the feeling of joy with uploading your Raw DNA Data file to Gedmatch. But then again I am such a DNA geek…

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.

Slavery In The US Southern Colonies/States and DNA

Accessory Tether Bonds Prison Shackles Lake Dusia

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.

The DNA

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.

Great Canadian Genealogy Summit

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.

Further Reading

Check out this in-depth article, Locating Afro-Diasporan haplogroups within Africa on African Slave DNA from Tracing African Roots Blog.

Give me a shout

If you ended up with my last name (any of my last names) or any derivative shoot me a note. I will gladly try to connect you further back along your in your heritage if I can.

Shout out from me

Thanks to my childhood friend Cynthia for sharing your finding of your heritage story with me. Your wonderful work and your family inspire me everyday.

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.

Genealogical Holiday

You often see posts for people traveling to their family home to do research and see loved ones and family. Visiting the Archives of the state or province where the family lines connected and settled. You even see posts where people follow the (whichever) “Great Wagon Road” their pioneers used to get to the place where lines connected and family settled.

My Genealogical Holiday

I was asked to speak at a family reunion in Cherryville, North Carolina by my Mom’s Neill Family. Not because I am a Neill researcher, but because 3 Neills had done DNA tests and I had results and observations to share.

It was supposed to be one day for a short bit of Genealogy and I was done.

Blaming my Flight

On the flight south a fella politely turned his head from his row mates and and sneezed on me. Within two days (mom said it isn’t possible it was the sneeze) I was laid out with a very nasty bit of nastiness – a cold turned into bronchitis variety of sick. The first two days were spent with family and friends, but on the third day I flat out couldn’t do a thing. All plans canceled – except the presentation.

What to do when your Mom is in charge and you are home Sick?

My mom is in charge of my schedule this trip anyway. One day I knew about in advance. The “Going Through Doodle’s Photographs Day” (Doodle = my grandmother who passed in 2005 on the brink of a century). I had gone through them with her many years ago and had asked her to go through them and mark who the people were so when we went through them later we would know. She did. She reorganized them into their own envelopes with each person in the photo noted on the back. Wow and thank you Doodle.

Who needs a Brick and Mortar Archive?

We also went through her keepsakes: letters from her grandkids, EVERY single newspaper article about us and Dad and Mother and Mom. An old Scrapbook about…we couldn’t really figure it out…clippings from the Laurens Advertiser on keeping house and home. Bible verses and stories. Her children’s storybooks (so delicate we barley touched them). My dad’s early artwork. It was, for me a wonderful day of sitting with my parents, with my dad, and reintroducing Doodle and my dad to me through Doodle’s archive.

The Presentation

Bolstered with piles of pills, cough syrup and herbal remedies we set out for the drive up I-85 into North Carolina for the reunion and the presentation. Nothing better than a potluck in the Carolinas – Friend Okra, Mac and Cheese, Home cured Ham Biscuits, Squash Casserole, Green Beans cooked southern style and Banana Pudding. The tastes of my childhood.  The Presentation went very well, made more so by one of the organizers who took all the kids into the church kitchen for Ice Cream while I spoke (Thanks Sam). There were great questions afterwards and a couple of people asked me if I might help them with brick walls. I was able to spend time with the DNA testers as well, to thank them for testing and to give them specific information about their results. One set of results were a bit hard to deliver as they introduced one fella to his real last name according to the DNA. He didn’t tell me, but he told my mom I had it wrong. That’s ok. It’s DNA and unless he got a friend to do the swab?

More HomeSpun Archives

The plan was that I was going to spend the night at my Aunt Chris’s and meet with the testers so there would be time to discuss things. But with me so very under the weather I didn’t stay. Chris had a bag of stuff for me to take back to South Carolina. The First Volume of the Shoe Cobbler’s Kin, By Lorena Shell Eaker. Family Memories and Stories, a collections of emails and essays about the family including recipes. The last one is an incredible collection of Family notes for each of James Andrew and Mary Jane Eaker Neils descendants which was aptly entitled, Genealogy. This collection of Binders and book were too heavy for me to carry. Now I have two days to try and absorb them. Wow.

Downtime and Chief Inspector Gamache

Since I am sick I asked my mom to make me some soup. In my mind I was thinking of her old cure, Campbells Tomato Soup. Instead I arrived at the kitchen table to Lobster Bisque. YUM. When I curl up with a blanket (which means I can’t work – incapable of holding a laptop and curling up in a blanket at the same time) I pull out my current Louise Penny book and read. Being able to escape to Quebec with Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of Sûreté du Québec while I am sick in South Carolina is more than wonderful.

The delivered archives are calling to me here, wrapped in the blanket, medicines and herbal cures to my left and my Mom and Dad working around the house, around me (Mom is cooking dinner for My Aunt, my Brother, my Niece, my cousin and his family tonight – I hope I can smell the lemon zest I hear her working on in the kitchen).