The Genealogy Gems Podcast Episodes
2011 – 2012 Season Seven
Part 2 of Lisa’s interview with Steve Luxenberg, author of the book Annie’s Ghosts
Find out what a Forensic Genealogist Does. Plus suggestions for “Family Medical History” reading, and how to find “Bonus Content” for Steve Luxenberg’s book Annie’s Ghosts
Taking Genealogy out into the Community. Plus Part 3 of Your Life in 5 Minutes, New Records, and a new name for Grandma.
A new way to search with Google, Photo Mystery, Newspapers with Tom Kemp, plus Part 4 of Your Life in 5 Minutes
Genealogist Shirley Gage Hodges will share her genealogical wisdom with you as well as talk about her status as “perennial student.”
The latest news from RootsTech 2012, my video interview with Nick Barratt, and an in depth look at Find A Grave with the website’s creator, Jim Tipton.
Interview with Historian Nick Barratt of the Who Do You Think You Are? TV series in the UK
WDYTYA Live recap, a Family History Mystery Solved, and an interview with Chris van der Kuyl CEO of brightsolid
Genealogy Gems Book Club: Running Away to Home with author Jennifer Wilson
RootsMagic 5, APG, the 1940 Census…
Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Census Schedules, and Ancestry acquires Archives.com.
Bonnets and Hats with Maureen Taylor, and the Genealogy Widower
Lisa interviews Henry Louis Gates about his TV series Finding Your Roots.
A Blast from the Past! This episode includes Episodes 1 and 2!
Interview with Linda Chavez of Finding Your Roots
Life After iGoogle! And the brand new Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems website has launched!
Food and Family History with author Gena Philibert Ortega Part 1. Includes a companion video, AND Bonus Video of Gena and Lisa in the kitchen cooking up a Blast from the Past!
Food and Family History with author Gena Philibert Ortega Part 2.
Head back to (family history) school! Lisa announces her brand new book Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse
Blast from the Past: Episodes 3 and 4. eBay Alerts, Family History Displays, Irish Genealogy
Booth Poverty Maps key
There is a fantastic blog posting on Mad About Genealogy about the Booth Poverty Maps, which look like a riveting way to understand your ancestor’s 1880s London neighborhood.
According to blogger Linda Elliott, “Booth employed a team of social investigators who walked around the London streets often in the company of the local policeman and recorded what they saw and heard. The notebooks that they filled out can be viewed online and make for fascinating reading with amongst other findings they record what the policeman thought of each street and sometime each building and its inhabitants.”
I’ve shown the map key here (right), clipped from The Charles Booth Online Archive. Linda describes each category in greater detail in her blog post, along with everything a genealogist needs to know to use the maps.
I’m hearing so much these days about source citation and I love it! Everyone seems to be getting smarter and better at sourcing their research finds. And genealogy websites are making it easier and more collaborative. Here’s just one example, an announcement just made by BillionGraves:
“After months of work in response to hundreds of user requests, BillionGraves has added several new features designed to validate and enhance the headstone records found on BillionGraves. The Supporting Record feature now allows users to upload evidence-based documents that support the BillionGraves records that have been collected through our mobile Apps. This means that users are now able to upload headstones, birth/death, burial, marriage, cremation, and many other types of records without needing a smart phone.
Thousands of records are being uploaded every day and are breaking down genealogy brick walls and making connections that once seemed impossible. While working closely with our users and genealogists we found that there were many headstones and burials that just couldn’t be accounted for with our current systems; including unmarked graves, cremation scatterings, destroyed stones, and so on. Our Supporting Records features eliminate this problem while maintaining the validity and accuracy of the BillionGraves database.”
Among the 3.7 million+ records new on FamilySearch this week are two updates that caught my eye for international regions that need more record sets online:
Nearly 1.4 million images are now browsable in a newly-posted collection of Nova Scotia, Canada, probate records dating from 1760-1993. According to FamilySearch, “This collection includes records of probate proceedings from Nova Scotia. The records include estate files, inventories, wills, administrations and other records related to probate. Most of the records are dated from 1800-1940, but coverage varies by area.”
Nearly 400,000 digitized parish registers for the Church of the Province of South Africa (1801-2004) have now been indexed. FamilySearch describes the collection as “digital images and partial index of parish registers of the ‘Church of the Province of South Africa.’ Since 2006, the church has been officially known as the ‘Anglican Church of Southern Africa.’ Original records are contained within the collection of the William Cullen Library, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. The Church presently includes dioceses in Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Saint Helena, South Africa and Swaziland. Availability of records is largely dependent on time period and locality.”
I hope these datasets can help your South African genealogy or help you find your Nova Scotia kin.
“Knowing your genealogical question can make DNA testing for adoptees (and anyone else) more focused and relevant. Being patient and determined—not quitting after a single test’s results—can also pay off, as it did for Paul Dobbs, a Welsh-born man who followed his adoptive father to Canada only to learn he was fathered by a U.S. serviceman.”
Paul Dobbs didn’t find out that Len Dodds wasn’t his biological father until after the man who’d raised him to adulthood passed away. The truth came out during a genetic investigation into Len’s rare medical condition. He learned that he was child of an American soldier stationed in Wales during World War II. But years of traditional genealogical research led to dead ends. Then Paul turned to DNA and found a match: a first cousin.
With the help of his new-found cousin and the traditional genealogical records available about servicemen serving in Cardiff at the end of World War II, Paul was able to form a convincing hypothesis about the identity of his biological father.
He reached out to a potential half sibling who agreed to conduct a DNA test to explore this option.
She was a match. Paul had found his biological family! (Read his story in the Vancouver Sun.)
Not everyone will find their birth parents through DNA testing. But Paul took an approach that can serve anyone looking for biological kin through DNA. His experience reminds us that knowing your genealogical question can make DNA testing more focused and relevant. Being patient and determined—not quitting after a single test’s results—can also pay off, as it did for Paul.
For any male adoptee seeking his father, the yDNA test is a logical route to take. This is where Paul turned first. The yDNA provides an undiluted record of a direct paternal line. This can often help adoptees identify a surname for their paternal line. However, Paul did not have the success he was hoping for with yDNA testing.
He then turned to autosomal DNA testing. Remember that this kind of test traces both your paternal and maternal lines and reports back to you matches in the database that have predicted relationships like, “2-4th cousins” or “3rd-5th cousins” and then you are left to decipher who your common ancestor might be.
DNA testing is a great option for adoptees to get a jumpstart on their genealogy. However, before testing, everyone, adoptees included, should carefully consider how the results of testing may impact you and your family, both biological and adopted.
Visit my website to learn about expert consultations with me. You’ll get customized guidance on which tests to order and how to maximize your results for your genealogy research.