WikiTree LiveCast – US Southern Colonies Y’all!

On Saturday September 30th at 3:00PM EDT US Southern Colonies Y’all!  LIVE from the BIFHSGO Conference. Join Mags as she chats with US Southern Colonies Project members about the US Southern Colonies and possibly a couple of drop-ins from the conference, AND don’t forget that the Source-A-Thon will be on the go as well! So much to talk about in an hours time! As always, bring your questions to the live chat and Emma will post them for our LiveCasters to answer.  

Pull up a chair to watch or ask questions in the LiveCast chat, OR even join us as a LiveCast attendee (LiveCaster). Either way we promise an hour of WikiTree fun! If you want to see a complete list of past and future LiveCasts click the graphic below or follow this link.    

WikiTree Source-A-Thon Hangouts

September 30 – October 2 — the start of Family History Month — is WikiTree’s second annual “Source-a-Thon“.

72 hours of sourcing fun and mayhem!

This three-day event is for a good cause (sourced genealogy!) and there will be over $5,700 in door prizes donated from around the genealogy community. It will be lots of fun.

If you hear me snoring i am sleeping!

Join Mags, Eowyn and Julie EVERY THREE hours starting at Midnight on the 30th, for live updates on how the source-A-Thon is giong, which team is in the lead, who is the frontrunner and best of all…

How many profile are being sourced on the only Global Family Tree that thrives on collaboration an accuracy! WikiTree, run by 456,000 (yes nearly half a million) volunteers. 

Check here for the schedule of Hangouts – but every three hours on the hour should be pretty easy to figure out.

23rd Annual BIFHSGO Family History Conference

23rd Annual BIFHSGO
Family History Conference

September 29 – October 1, 2017


You can catch me live and in person strolling the Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa in West Ottawa ALL WEEKEND.

 
I look forward to see you there or while I am joining the Live WikiTree Source-A-Thon Hangouts (every 3 hours round the clock for 72 hours)
or
during Grandma’s Genes WikiTree LiveCast on Saturday at 3:00PM in the atrium of the Ben Franklin Place
or
while answering questions and helping out in the Research Room, Sunday from 12:45 to 1:15PM.
 
When! I am tired just thinking about this! 
Must…get…blueberry pie…

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.

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 LiveCast – The Australian Projects

On Saturday August 26th at 8:00PM EDT All things Australian!  How many Australian Projects does WikiTree have on the go? Join Mags and Emma and Team Member Paul Bech as they chat about all things Australian on WikiTree. From the Anzacs to the Early Explorers of Australia, sit in and hear all about WikiTree’s Australian content. 

Pull up a chair to watch or ask questions in the LiveCast chat, OR Join us as a LiveCast attendee, either way we promise an hour of WikiTree fun! If you want to see a complete list of past and future LiveCasts click  this link

WikiTree LiveCast – Australian Projects with Paul Bech!

On Saturday August 26th At at 8:00PM EDT (Sunday August 27th 10:00AM AST) All things Australian!  How many Australian Projects does WikiTree have on the go? Join Mags as she talks with Team Member and Aussie, Paul Bech about all the things happening On WikiTree that are Australia related.

On Saturday August 26th At at 8:00PM EDT (Sunday August 27th 10:00AM AST) All things Australian!  How many Australian Projects does WikiTree have on the go? Join Mags as she talks with Team Member and Aussie, Paul Bech about all the things happening On WikiTree that are Australia related. As Always bring your questions to the live chat and Emma will post them for Paul to answer. 

Pull up a chair to watch or ask questions in the LiveCast chat, OR Join us as a LiveCast attendee, either way we promise an hour of WikiTree fun!

LiveCast Quickie – DNA/Pedigree Charts

Trying to figure out how to chart DNA and Pedigree information to find the living limbs in a tree? This LiveCast Quickie will give some guidance in doing just that. Sit in with Mags as she goes over creating a chart for DNA matches. Ashley Gonzalez joins live and discusses some of her research in the Island community of Cuba.

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.