The latest episode of the free Genealogy Gems podcast (Episode 178) has been released and it’s PACKED with gems you can use now to inspire your family history!
First, nationally-renowned genetic genealogist CeCe Moore joins me on the show to talk about using DNA for genealogy research, adoption, and the Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. TV show.
I love CeCe’s analogy of using different DNA test providers to “fish in different ponds.” She talks about using different types of genetic tests (autosomal, y-DNA or mDNA) to chase answers to specific genealogy research questions, and the importance of using test results together, not in isolation. Because autosomal DNA is coming onto so many people’s radar, I ask her to explain that in more depth–its uses and its limitations. CeCe shares her favorite tips for people who are getting started and gives us lots of great buy gout medication examples, including a helpful example for African-Americans who are trying to identify a genetic ancestor (who may also have had a slaveholder relationships with the family).
Also in this episode, we announce the newest featured title in the Genealogy Gems Book Club: The Lost Ancestor (The Forensic Genealogist)by British author Nathan Dylan Goodwin. Listen to the episode to hear what this mystery novel is about and why we chose it.
Finally, I share some fantastic new record sets that are online now and ready for you to explore, and a Genealogy Gems listener shares an important update on adoption records in Ohio.
It’s not uncommon for genetic DNA tests to reveal that you’re not related to people you thought you were. But here’s a twist I’ve never heard before.
A family who had a daughter by artificial insemination of the husband’s sperm eventually decided to do some DNA testing for family history. Imagine the wife’s shock when she discovered that her husband and daughter shared no DNA!
They got a bigger shock when they did a little research. Apparently the biological father worked at the lab that handled the family’s insemination process. The man is dead now, but it appears he may have deliberately swapped in his own sample for the father’s.
Of course lots of questions have come up–including how many other children may have received the DNA of a man who was a convicted kidnapper.
My heart goes out to this family and to others who now fear their genetic fatherhood was hijacked. Read the full story here (it’s popped up in several news outlets now, but I first saw it at KUTV.com).
In the following video interview, a news reporter chats with Spencer Wells, one of the keynote speakers for “Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2013.” They talk about how the National Geographic Society’s Genographic Project uses DNA to place us on a worldwide family tree. Spencer even helps the reporter take his own DNA cheek scraping on live TV.
Whether you’d love a teaser for the upcoming genetic genealogy conference or you’re just interested in DNA, check out this video:
THIS IS IT! Our #1 blog post of 2015. Not surprisingly, it’s about how to secure your data on Ancestry.com: your trees, photos, sources and even DNA!
Earlier this year, rumors circulated that Ancestry was up for sale. Our post about that rumor included tips about how to back up everything you’ve put on Ancestry–trees, source citations, images and even DNA results. That post from our genealogy blog circulated among thousands and thousands of Facebook friends! It was definitely our most-read post of 2015, thanks to those of you who helped share its tips with your friends.
Here’s the bottom line from that post: if you don’t already have up-to-date copies of everything you’ve put on Ancestry, download it now. From here on out, keep your master family tree not on Ancestry (or any other site) but on your own computer. If you do keep building your tree on Ancestry, download updated GEDCOM files regularly. That way, if Ancestry gets hacked, goes out of business or even dumps your data (it’s happened before), you’ve still got your tree.
In that same spirit, back up your own computer systems. Many of you have taken our advice to hire Backblaze to do this for you. Backblaze runs in the background of all Genealogy Gems computers, instantly backing up to the cloud every new or revised file we create, 24/7. Including our master family trees, digital photos and genealogy document images! Lisa loves that their online backup security is second to none and costs just $5 a month. (Click here to learn more about Backblaze.)
Click here to see all Top 10 Genealogy Gems blog posts for 2015–and enter to win a great prize! The contest ends TODAY, so click now to enter!
Ancestry’s new app for the Apple Watch brings new meaning to the idea of giving our ancestors “the time of day!”
The Ancestry blog reports that while the Ancestry app for Apple Watch doesn’t offer full-service genealogy research capabilities on its small screen, you can do two major tasks:
“1. Get notified about important events in your family history. You can see important ‘on-this-day’ events in your family history including birthdays, anniversaries, and death dates of your direct ancestors and close relatives. Plus, we will let you know when we find records about a possible new parent or spouse, or birth, marriage, and death info missing from your tree.
2. Keep on top of new hints and comments. Take small steps to discover more about your family anytime, anywhere. A simple tap to review new hints or comment by voice dictation can enrich your family stories step by step. Within the watch app, you can scroll through a feed of meaningful hints, important dates from your tree, and comments about photos and stories. If there’s a hint that looks interesting, you can easily open right to it by pulling out your phone—if it’s a photo hint, you can save it to your tree directly from the watch.”
Interestingly, responses posted to this news announcement seemed most excited about the ability to have fingertip access to family birthdays and events. This feature is already available (without having to purchase the Apple watch!) from MyHeritage: you can opt to receive text alerts for living relatives’ birthdays and anniversaries, along with any other family events you put on your own private family calendar. We blogged about it recently: check it out!