Why In-Person Is Better

I spent my life before that thing, that should not be named, ravaged the world with its horrible deaths, sickness, and political upheaval, traveling the world and speaking in person to the genealogy community. In 2019 alone, I put nearly 70k miles on planes, trains, and automobiles. It was wonderful to be present, in person, and huggable.

Nearly four years later and the changes wrought by that thing that shall not be named are looking like they might not be transient, but permanent. We came back from the 20th-century flu, sure, but because of technology things are very different in the 21st Century. Technology has afforded us the ability to be connected virtually. That is great and it has served us well. With the physical world shut down, we could continue to connect. Albeit in a less human form.

I have ventured out and back into physical, in-person, talks and conferences. I plan to continue to do so and I hope you will join me.

Reasons Why I Prefer Attending In-Person Events

This weekend I attended the South Carolina Genealogical Society’s Summer Workshop in Columbia, SC. While the organizers are very pleased with how well the event was attended, I am exceptionally pleased with who all attended!

Cousins!

Being a Carolinian at my core, speaking at a conference in the Carolinas is wonderful because of all the cousins I get to see and meet. Yes indeedy. I don’t have enough fingers to count the cousins who came up to me to tell me about our connections! Like my brand new Gaulding/Templeton cousin, Billie Lawson, Jr.

One conference and among the cousins a double cousin! This kind of discovery is huge for me and huge for him as we worked on Sunday afternoon looking for both the genetic connection and the paper connection as well.

Research Finds

I have a 4th great grandfather whose death has always been a question mark. I was able to discover a few years ago that he died in Camden on March 21, 1865, but had never known what it was that caused his death or which of the cemeteries in Camden was his burial spot.

On Friday morning I spoke with William Felder, who was manning the Camden Venders table, about my question – Where was Whiley Buried? On Saturday afternoon he met me with an entry in a book. Wiley died of Pneumonia and is buried in an unmarked grave along with other Soldiers in the Quaker Cemetery in Camden.

But wait, there’s more!

My wonderful friend and colleague, Cheryl Hudson Passey (Carolina Girl Genealogy) was going through Camden on her way home and now I have photos!

Networking

I will admit I spent an inordinate amount of time hanging out with many times over cousin Katherine Borges. But when Katherine ignored me to sell DNA kits for FTDNA, I was more than happy to hang out with author and speaker Dianna Elder’s (Family Locket Genealogists) wonderful husband Mark. Oh, I had fun hanging out with Dianna too! 🙂

Networking also meant meeting Diane Culbertson of the DAR and she told me of the wonderful work she and others are doing for the Liberty Trail. “The Liberty Trail—developed through a partnership between the American Battlefield Trust and the South Carolina Battleground Trust—connects battlefields across South Carolina and tells the captivating and inspiring stories of this transformative chapter of American history.” You can learn more about this great work on their website at The Liberty Trail.

Being Home Where Ever You Are

Being present, in person at a conference or talk takes you home, no matter where you are. You just can’t have that virtually. ‘Nough said.

Ancestry Origins Estimates Getting Closer

Ancestry has had my origins at 69% Scottish for a very long time…well since their last origins estimates update. This is significant to me since I have SOME Scottish influence in my genes, but I don’t have that much based on the Genealogy.

NewesOriginalna Estimates

This time around you can see they have lowered my “scotsness” to 51% (down from 69%), AND they picked up on my probable Welsh patrilineal line – finally. YAY, I am 1% Welsh. Not terribly significant to know that other than it’s in my SURNAME. The latest NGS (Next Gen. Sequencing) test points my patrilineal lines to Wales. That is a good catch Ancestry, and confirms years of research into the fact that Gaulding | Gauldin | Gaulden is possibly Welsh.

All this being said, these estimates are based solely on the testers in the particular database to which you submit your DNA. Are there no Irish over at Ancestry? I am much more Irish everywhere else. The most important thing to remember? These Origins estimates are just that, estimates.

Greg Clarkes 6 Degrees App

Greg Clarke has created a tool at WikiTree that has gotten a lot of hype in the last little bit. Aside from the fact that it’s a cool tool to see your six degrees of family relationships? There is an aspect of this tool that is great for those working on the Genetic Genealogy of their family lines.

One word – ENDOGAMY. It is a pain in the bum for sure because it makes all those fairly tight numbers we work with in genetic genealogy explode into bigger numbers making finding family and connections that much harder.

Note in the family tree what Greg calls halos:

These indicate relatives in the tree who are related to an ancestor in more than one way – in this case to the central person, John Gaulding of New Kent County, Virginia Colony.

I am a visual learner and it helps to SEE those extra relationships when working our lines.

Nice job Greg!

Here is a link to his original G2G post at WikiTree. “By default, it starts out with showing you your 1st degree connections (parents, siblings, spouses, children), then as you click the stepper each level adds more and more to the display.  You can view the results generically, via coloured dots, or customize it to show initials or first names.  Clicking on any circle will bring up an info sheet for that person – and a handy mini-tree on how they connect to you. The Save As…  menu has an option to save the diagram as a PDF, or export the list of names as a CSV. “

Here is the link to the app – You have to fill in as many of your WikiTree limbs as you can for it to show you all the information you see in this example.

An Introduction to Collaborative Genealogy, WikiTree – September 19, 2020, 11am-12pm, ISBGFH

An Introduction to Collaborative Genealogy, WikiTree – September 19, 2020, 11am-12pm, ISBGFH – International Society for British Genealogy and Family History.

Working your family lines on sites like Ancestry, Geni and Family Search are great ways to move your research forward IF you can find people willing to collaborate with you. One of the biggest complaints about doing just that, collaborating, keeps many from delving into this part of Genealogy.

WikiTree has an answer. WikiTree is where genealogists collaborate and it works. Join Mags as she discusses WikiTree and the many ways to work with other genealogists to find the facts in the ancestor profiles as well as what to do when there is a disagreement on the facts (or lack of facts).

Posting To Cousin-Connect on Facebook

I noted a friend posting to our Gaulding Cousins facebook group about how many of “us” there are in the world.

Gaulding

Gaulden

Gauldin

It’s not a lot to be sure – we can absolutely say we are a rare breed.

Every time I have an opportunity I jump into the post to share my connections via DNA testing and my relationship trail. This will, hopefully, entice others of my Gaulding cousins to DNA test and share their well-documented family history (or not – I am not beyond working someone’s history so it is documented if I can).

I thought I would share the steps I took to quickly and succinctly share my information.

Answer The Post

Don’t just bomb a Facebook or other social media feed with your idea. Even if you are adding a link to a blog post of your your own be careful not to wear-out your welcome by over posting or repetitive posting.

In this particular post I had two things I added – first one person answered about one of the derivative names, Gaulden or Gauldin, “those who kept the name…” I commented that Gaulding is the root of our name. That Gaulden and Gauldin were derivatives of Gaulding. This is the first known spelling in this part of the world – it is attributed to John Gaulding, (abt.) 1665 (unknown but assumed to be England)-1740, New Kent County Virginia.

Second, the original poster and I discussed the fact that we are not related to the Golden family (he is a Golden).

DNA

The Golden et al (which includes we Gaulding cousins) FTDNA Group Project includes 223 YDNA tested males. Of these, there are 11 instances of the Gaulding/in/en surname.

FTDNA Group Surname Results

Unfortunately the Golden Group Project does not have the earliest known surnames (EKA) shown in the results. If they were we could see that the Gaulding/en/ins would be all grouped together since we share YDNA.

Golden FTDNA Group Results

Also, knowing the EKA can give good hints as to the origins of these families. This is not an FTDNA setting but a setting the group administrator can allow or not, depending on how they see the need for privacy for the group members.

I also posted my father’s name on FTDNA to the Facebook discussion so people who do test can see their connection to me. Then I posted his mitoYDNA.org kit ID. mitoYDNA.org is a free and accessible YDNA and mtDNA database where one can compare and match and run tools on results from any and all possible DNA testing companies, past present and future.

mitoYDNA.org Results

There are no other Gauldings on mitoYDNA.org, yet (we are rare) so I ran this with a very wide search parameters. I can tell you that the closest match up is Tsar Nicholas. I know! Cool!

Talk About Family Connections and DNA

I posted about my specific DNA matches and our connections back to John Gaulding of New Kent County, Virginia. About how the two connections who shared their DNA and their family histories with me, briefly, without identifying them – privacy. I also mentioned that I have one match that surely goes back but there is a gap in the paper trail.

I then jumped over to WikiTree and ran a “Relationship To Me” with my fathers ID and John Gaulding, 1665 and posted that to my post.

Facebook Post

It’s easy to share information in a family group in Facebook. It’s easy also to incorporate tools available to help those in the group see how these tools work.

Hope more of us rare Gauldings do some more DNA testing!

Lennox and Addington Museum – DNA 201

DNA 201 – Matching, autosomal, Y, mitochondrial and X

Tips and tools to help you connect with your matches and your EKCA’s (Earliest Known Common Ancestor). Matching is easy! I have a match who is listed as a fourth cousin AND they share my surname. I am done. Not so fast. Is your surname a common surname? Does the match have a good paper trail (traditional genealogy) back to a common ancestor? There are many more things to do to make sure that match is the right match. We look at how to work your matches and what tools might be available to help you make that connection.

Roots Tech 2020

Mags will be at Roots Tech this year. Mainly hanging out at the WikiTree booth – #1311.  Mags will also be helping with the mitYDNA.org booth – #1842.

Interesting Booth Talks Schedule

Wednesday:
9:30 AM – Ballroom B, Quickly finding common ancestors through DNA (Rob Warthen) – Regular session
6pm – WikiTree – Sarah Rojas (WikiTree Basics)
6:30 – FTDNA – Y-DNA & Advanced Y-DNA (Gale French)

Thursday:
10:40 – WikiTree – The Basics (Sarah Rojas)
10:35 – FTDNA – DNA Databases (Mags Gaulden)
11:00 – Speaker Area – Meet the Tool Makers (Rob Warthen, Jonny Perl)
12:05 – WikiTree – The Single Global Family Tree (Mags Gaulden)
1:00 – WikiTree – The Honor Code (Julie Ricketts)
2:20 – Roots Tech Demo Stage – What’s new with WikiTree (Mags Gaulden)
2:35 – FTDNA – Y-DNA & Advanced Y-DNA (Gale French)
2:40 – WikiTree – G2G (Kitty Smith)
4:05 – FTDNA – Common Ancestors using Collins Leeds Method (Rob Warthen)
4:10 – WikiTree – DNA Features (Peter Roberts)
5:40 – WikiTree – Our Community (Katie Goodwin)

Friday:
10:40 – WikiTree – The Basics (Sarah Rojas)
12:05 –  WikiTree – The Single Global Family Tree (Mags Gaulden)
1:00 – WikiTree  – The Honor Code (Julie Ricketts)
2:40 – WikiTree – Adding Your First Leaf (and where to go from there) (Kitty Smith)
3:45 –  WikiTree – Incorporating 52 Ancestors Stories Into WikiTree (Roberta Estes)
5:40 –  WikiTree – Name Studies (Mags Gaulden)

Saturday:
11:00 – 4:05 – FTDNA – Common Ancestors using Collins Leeds Method (Rob Warthen)

An African Canadian Family History Mystery – UGA DNA

A scientist in Ottawa, wants to know what his real last name is. The family lore? The great grandfather, Samuel, was adopted by an African-Canadian gentleman, Abraham. The adoptee, Samuel, was the son of Abraham’s wife’s sister. Family photographs of Samuel’s children reveal Anglo-Canadian boys. Taking all the information from a family Genealogy done previously and adding aspects of traditional, forensic and genetic genealogy we will extend the story, finding the truth to this family’s rich history. Along the way we will discover their real identity, and their story, beyond Samuel Gorge and into the dark history early African families in Ontario.

I’ll be webinaring (new verb) one of my best-loved talks, An African Canadian Family History Mystery on the 26th of this month. Not that I am bragging or that the presentation is all that good (it is), but it’s the conversations it starts that make it so powerful.

It’s the story of a family who in this day and age had heard rumors of something “different” in their ancestry. It was an adoption dating back to the early 1800’s. The wife of the couple was reported to be the aunt of the lad, and he was adopted because his father was “not nice” to him. This is a story in and of itself, but add in that the adoptive father was an African Canadian man, the boy took his name and the rumors of blood cousins who might be African Canadian as well?

Today this story still makes a difference in how this family tell their story. so much so, one descendant asked me a simple question. Is my name really what it is? This spurred months of research and a whole hornet’s nest of family lore vs. the truth. A Truth that is still being uncovered by family DNA testers today.

Join me for this one gang, it’s an incredible story!

Timezone is MST – 6-7pm MST (8-9pm EST)

The Good of DNA and genealogy.

The good of DNA and genealogy. DNA and Genealogy set me up for a very interesting , humbling and fulfilling weekend in Hamilton, Ontario

Hamilton Ontario and Union Station Platform 9 3/4

As a fan of Hamilton, Ontario, where I have had the pleasure of speaking, twice, in a month, or so I am happy to say, I now know how to get there. I’ll be back in Hamilton in June at the Ontario Ancestors (OGS) 2020 Conference. I am very much looking forward to it and I have solved a HUGE transportation issue.

Taking the train to Toronto, one must change at Union Station to the Go Transit Bus system. It’s a bit awkward in union station, but I have nailed it. Go to the York Concourse, and take the elevator, very near the entrance from the great hall, up to level 3, to the GO Train platform. Take a left out of the elevator then walk to the very end of the platform.

Push yourself and your luggage cart through the wall, taking care to not hurt your owl. Wait…

At the end of the platform you can take the stairs or go around the corner to the left and take the elevator down to the bus platform. Got it? Good, so far, so now your travel to Hamilton from Union Station Toronto will be less stressful (no there are no trains to Hamilton).

BUT…there’s more! Once you get into Hamilton you can take your bus all the way down to the Bus Station, about a half km walk, to the hotel across from the convention centre entrance (The Sheraton Hamilton Central). Or you can get off on Main St. in front of the cool Hamilton sign, near King St. West, walk across the street, down and around the corner to the entrance of the convention centre/hotel. Google Maps, Pshaw.

Leaving is so hard to do! Not really. The bus stop to get back to Toronto’s Union Station is right outside the entrance to the Honest Lawyer (it’s a bar/adult arcade not a real honest lawyer) across from the entrance to the convention centre and next to the hotel. Or if you are into health in June, in Canada, then walk yourself back the half km to the bus station.

Thank you, and shout out, to the Hamilton Public Library for throwing such a great Genealogy Fair. What a great turnout! What a great space! What friendly volunteers/event staff. Loved being so well cared for, throughout!

Ontario Ancestors! Thank you for sponsoring my contribution to the day. I can’t imagine having more fun at work than I do, you made my weekend.

My lecture? The audience was full, attentive, and engaged. We had fun learning about DNA!

Here are some Photo’s.

Big Thing #1

The two biggest things that happened during the day? As soon as I arrived, I was helped with my booth/table setup by my neighbors, the Hamilton Branch of the UEL, thanks Martha and Pat. No, that isn’t a big thing, to you. Martha is the big thing (sorry Pat). I didn’t remember her name on the first go. She and Pat immediately created nametags for themselves. Upon reading Martha’s name? I really shouldn’t give her privacy away, but suffice it to say that her nametag included one of my surnames. One that I have not researched (I don’t have time to work on my own family!!!) Now I have started a name/place study to figure out how we are connected. Bad Martha!

Big Thing #2


The other big thing? This is a really big thing. It’s about how the power of DNA can give us a sense of self, of identity.

A Lady who has attended my lectures in the past came by my booth before lunch. She was with a “friend” and they started confusing the heck out of me trying to get me to help them with the last nudge their research needed to tell them who their Earliest Known Shared Ancestor is.

I finally had to get them to spoon feed me the names dates and places so I could start drawing out a chart I create for all of my clients (for me). It is based on the Maguire Method of looking at diagraming shared matches. The chart let’s me see how close family members are related and their level of relatedness. I referenced Blaine Bettinger’s Shared cM tool at DNA Painter, to help with the cousin/familial relationships and added those relationships to my McGuire Method chart.

After getting all the data down in a rough sketch we all three (more me than them) could easily visualize the familial connections and immediately we saw something was wrong in the family story. These were first cousins, these two ladies, but the amount of shared cM’s pointed to something dark and sinister about the birth of one of the lady’s Mothers.

This mother had been adopted. The other lady, who was a part of the first lady’s birth family, had accessed a family journal entry from a cousin, which stated that an aunt had gone away to Michigan and became pregnant while she was there. Once she was home and nine months later? A baby girl was born. The baby girl was shuffled off to live with an Aunt out west and all was good and a happy ending for the baby was guaranteed.

But the numbers were off. We talked of endogamy and could endogamy have anything to do with how things were lining up? It certainly looked like it, especially after looking at the high number of high cM matches that turned up in the match list.

The ladies, cousins, were throwing out three different father names from my sketch. How could this fella be, or this fella? It was all wrong and nothing really pointed to any of the men. Then, I ran David Pike’s ‘Runs of Homozygosity (ROH)’ utility at GEDmatch (click on “Are Your Parents Related” in the right hand column of your GEDmatch home page) on the adoptee’s kit at GEDmatch.

“Since you inherit half of your DNA from each of your parents, it stands to reason that large blocks of SNPs where both alleles are the same would be an indication that your parents each inherited that block from the same ancestor. These are called ‘Runs of Homozygosity’ (ROH). There are other utilities available that look for ROH for other purposes, but this analysis is specifically aimed at determining how closely related your parents might be.” – David Pike’s ‘Runs of Homozygosity (ROH)’ utility GEDmatch.

Running the analysis took a second, which seemed like and hour…

David’s utility pointed us to the right man. Still a member of the family, but not a possible 1st cousin to the mother. The ladies were a bit worried that, that would be the case. It was still not a nice story for them, though. It appears that they share a common grandfather. That this man had had an affair with his wife’s sister, a baby was born, though not shipped off to the far away sister, but put up for adoption close by. It certainly isn’t the happy ending from the journal. But a happy ending none the less. Two cousins discovered together, who they were; one morning at their local library’s genealogy fair.

Oh, the power of DNA and the tools our community has put together for us to use, free of charge to make these kinds of discoveries. This is the kind of story I like to see about DNA databases and the genealogy community.