i4gg – San Diego

WikiTree In The House!

I will be attending the 2018 International Genetic Genealogy Conference in San Diego and will be sporting the latest in WikiTree Orange. See if you can find me – it will be like where’s waldo, but with an orange twist!

This event is sponsored by the Institute for Genetic Genealogy and happens December 7th to 9th at the Sheraton Mission Valley.

I4GG

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.

Distracted by DNA Painter

After working with DNA Painter and GEDmatch matches I discovered that 15% of my DNA matches are actively collaborating in genealogy.

Yesterday Roberta Estes wrote a blog about DNA Painter (she Actually has a series on DNA Painter – see below). Reading her latest sent me into a distracted by DNA Painter Day. Thank you Roberta.

I like DNA Painter and have used it to help my with working out information for my work, but today I decided to paint a bit of my own lines:

I opened GEDmatch and went to my one-to-many matches list. Over on the left hand side of my matches is a column with links to GEDCOM’s uploaded to GEDmatch or a WikiTree 8 Generation pedigree.

GEDCOM/ WikiTree Links

I have used these links many times when doing quick look-ups on how a DNA match might be related to me or clients, are there common surnames? or are there common ancestors? It’s a great way to use what other people have shared to see who you are.

I followed the information in the GEDCOM File or WikiTree Pedigree and connected 12 new DNA matches to 5 of my ancestor couples using DNA Painter. Nice!

I made some obversations

Of the first 222 matches on my list 37 had GEDCOM’s or WikiTree links, three of the GEDCOM’s listed actually had no GEDCOM’s. That leaves a total of 34 total shared family files to go along with the DNA.

From this we can estimate that 15% of the people in my lines are sharing their genealogy. It’s a rough estimate for sure. Is this a good rough estimate for the amount of people who are willing to share their genealogy? It is a very low number.

Email Tennis Example

I have been working with a client to help identify her mother’s birth family. It’s a hard one because her mother was born in 1916. It’s a hard one because the information on the original birth certificate appears to be “made-up”. The first clue here was that the delivery doctor’s surname was given as the child’s middle name.

I have sent out many runs of emails to groups who match this lady (there is a second cousin match with no identifying information who has not answered many attempts to contact them via the testing companies messaging system – oh if they would!). Yesterday I sent another run to 10 matches asking if they would share a tree or pedigree with me. One person answered with asking me to give him her parents names.

I gave him the adoptees story and why I don’t have that information. I sent him to the research for this adoptee listed on her WikiTree profile. He said he would do his own research into her parents, if I could only give him that then he could see if she matched anyone in his tree.

We sent several volleys of emails in this vein and his suggestion I upload the DNA to other sites might help me find an aunt or uncle…no, no aunt or uncle would be alive… Frustration would be a good word to use to describe the volley. The last email I sent was very polite and specific about how sharing genealogy with someone, literally, can help that person find out who they are.

The Little Exercise

I walked through 10% of my total matches on GEDmatch to find shared genealogies and found how many were collaborative Genealogists. The percentage I got was 15%. Is this indicative of Genealogy as a whole?

WikiTree boasts 554,626 collaborative Genealogists. What percentage of all Genealogist’s (from Hobbyists to professionals) is this number?

How do we get the word out to all the DNA testers that there is more to their DNA test than just “What geographic region do their ancestors come from”?

Roberta’s DNA Painter Series

Influencers

If you have ever asked me how I got interested in Genealogy, you know that I claim my grandmother caught me as I was being born and started telling me, “Your Grandfather is…”. If you have ever read my bio, you know that in addition to and in a much more stick to my brain sorta way, another cousin, an influencer, gave my some Hunt Family Papers when I was in High School,

As a Child, my mother, grandmothers, and grandfather would often tell me about my family. Who we were, where we came from and how our family came to be. As a teen I was given some unpublished papers by a Hunt cousin. I scanned them, as teens do, but I kept them. Years later I went back to them and entered the information into Family Tree Maker. Soon after I started my hunt, pardon the pun, in earnest for the rest of my family. – WikiTree Profile Page

This Influencer, Helen “Honey” Hunt, is a distant cousin. I could, in A. J. Jacobesque style, roll – out of our connection,  “she is my mothers fathers grandfathers brothers great grand daughter…

More than that and in spite of being a distant cousin she was always in my life because she is also a very good family friend. Always around at parties and gatherings. Although I talk about Honey’s influence on me often I haven’t really had it sink in – the depth of that influence –  until I heard  of Honey’s passing this morning.

Really, if I think about it, if I had not been given those family papers my interest in Genealogy and in Genetic Genealogy would not have been piqued. Today I have a growing Genetic Genealogy Business, I am an international Genetic Genealogy Lecturer and a leader at WikiTree. My second career is because of something Honey did for me when I was young. To say I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for Honey is an understatement.

This passion I have for genealogy was introduced to me by my Grandmother.  My cousin Honey gave me the tinder upon which to start a lifelong passion and a second career. Honey is one of the greatest influencers in my life and will continue to be one of the greatest influencers of my life.

Thank you.

 

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.

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

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…