The newest episode of the Genealogy Gems Podcast is published and ready for your listening pleasure! Two stars of the new BYUtv show Relative Race join host Lisa Louise Cooke to talk about their experiences criss-crossing the U.S. to meet their AncestryDNA matches.
Here are some more highlights from Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 189:
- Irish research tips–and tons of new Irish records online–in honor of St. Patrick’s Day this month;
- 3 reasons to test your DNA for genealogy, from Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard;
- an excerpt from the new Genealogy Gems Book Club interview;
- emails from several listeners offering inspiration and tips;
- and news from the genealogy world, including databases on runaway slaves (in the U.S. and Britain) and an updated MyHeritage search technology.
I’m a fan of “genealogy TV,” and it’s fun to hear behind-the-scenes feedback from stars of Relative Race. This show’s approach–connecting everyday couples with genetic matches–puts faces to our DNA matches in a fresh and personal way. I’m not hoping to camp on my genetic matches’ lawns anytime soon, but I do sometimes wish I could knock on the doors of some (“please respond!”). Another favorite take-away from this episode was a tip from Matt in Missouri, who wrote in with a creative approach for connecting with relatives through Find A Grave.
Remember, this and all episodes of the Genealogy Gems podcast are FREE to listen to. Click here for FAQ on podcasts and how to listen on your computer or via your favorite mobile device. Click here for a list of past episodes you may have missed. Why not “binge out” a little and catch up during your next commute, workout or down time?
Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 232
with Lisa Louise Cooke
Listen now, click player below:
Download the Show Notes PDF in the Genealogy Gems Podcast app.
Please take our quick podcast survey which will take less than 1 minute. Thank you!
In this episode:
- Exploring what you can do to go deeper in your genealogy research for a more accurate family tree with Elissa Scalise Powell
- Irish genealogy podcaster Lorna Moloney, a professional genealogist with Merriman Research, discusses Irish genealogy.
Marcia Finds Treasure on eBay
“I recently remembered your idea of searching for family related things on eBay.
My grandfather and his brother both worked as agents for the Wrought Iron Range Co. of St. Louis. They sold excellent quality wrought iron stoves and my great uncle did very well there as a supervisor.
I did a search for the Wrought Iron Range Co on eBay and immediately pulled up a history of the company, an advertisement for the range and a metal they gave away. I bought them all!
However, the best goodie which I am still bidding on is a “salesman’s sample Wrought Iron Range stove about 12 inches tall and 14 inches long in color and with all working parts.
(Photo: The stove Lisa inherited from her grandmother.)
I may not win the bid, but I am thrilled with what I found.
This will bring my grandfather’s occupation to life for my great nephews!!!!”
More eBay Research Strategies on Genealogy Gems:
- Learn more about eBay alerts in Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 140.
- Genealogy Gems Premium episode 76
- Genealogy Gems Premium episode 16
- Learn more here about Genealogy Gems Premium Membership
Steve Shares a New German Translation Resource
“I came across a new site that you might like to inform your listeners about. It is very new and just getting started, so I know they would appreciate a mention.
The name of this new site is “German Letters in Letters” [germanletters.org]. What they are doing is trying to collect letters written between German immigrants to the US and their relatives back home in Germany.
You can very easily submit scanned copies of any letters you have and the really neat thing is that they will post them at their site. Once they post them, they are asking for translations by any volunteers. So, this is an excellent way to have any letters in your possession to be translated….. for FREE!
I was given about 30 letters written to my GG grandfather, Johann Bernard Husam, who immigrated to Adams Co., Illinois about 1855.
They are from his siblings, nieces, and a nephew back in Germany. They range from 1866 to the early 1900s.
I scanned them and they are now on this site. I was given these letters by great granddaughter-in-law [my aunt] who spoke German as she had grown up in the Sudetenland area of Czechoslovakia. She had escaped Czechoslovakia at the end of WWII before the Russians invaded. She, thankfully, had translated all of the letters.”
Learn more about German research from these articles at Genealogy Gems.
What Ann Likes About the Podcast
Hi, Lisa, I’d love to say that your podcast has helped me with a genealogy brick wall but at this point I’m only a “drop-in genealogist,” figuring that I’m the only one in the family interested at this time (working on one grandson though, because I think he’d be a real asset) in finding and preserving family stories.
I do research in fits and starts. But, I do love your podcasts. I’m catching up on back episodes now and recently listened to one that started with you describing a granddaughter’s first Christmas coming up.
It reminded me of one of the best things about your podcasts – it’s like you’re sitting in my living room with me, having a cup of tea, discussing your stories and tips and tricks to help with mine.
Thank you so much for all the information, and for your casual, personal, yet professional style!”
Kristine is No Longer a “Cooke-Cutter” Researcher
“I just retired and guess what is first on my list of things I WANT to do? 🙂 I jumped in with both feet listening to your Premium podcasts and realized a few times that I am the ‘cookie-cutter’ researcher. But, no more. You are the Captain of my ship now. Thank you!
After binging on your podcasts the last two weeks, the first bit of advice I took was changing the way I searched on Newspapers.com. My family’s everyday life’s treasures were buried in the pages of the local news! You made me take a second look after I dismissed the possibility of ever reading about them.
Thank you so much for your dedicated work on behalf of all the genealogists. My Premium subscription will NEVER run out. When a family member says “I don’t know what to get you” I’m prepared to solve that dilemma!
A listener for life”
Read Lisa’s article called A Shocking Family Secret and 3 Powerful Newspaper Search Tips
This podcast is sponsored by:
GEM: Overcoming Shallow Research with Elissa Scalise Powell
About today’s guest:
Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, is co-director of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP); past-president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, and 2017 She won the Association of Professional Genealogists Professional Achievement Award. She is a Certified Genealogist®, and Certified Genealogical LecturerSM. You can reach Elissa at Elissa@PowellGenealogy.com. (Thank you to Elissa for contributing notes for this episode.)
The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS)
The Genealogical Proof Standard was created to help genealogists gain confidence in their research conclusions by providing criteria that can be followed. A genealogical conclusion is considered proved when it meets all five GPS components.
The 5 Components of the GPS
- Reasonably exhaustive research – This type of research emphasizes original records that provide the information for all evidence that might answer a genealogist’s question about an identity, relationship, event, or situation
- Complete, accurate citations to the source or sources of each information item contributing—directly, indirectly, or negatively—to answers about that identity, relationship, event, or situation
- Tests—through processes of analysis and correlation—of all sources, information items, and evidence contributing to an answer to a genealogical question or problem
- Resolution of conflicts among evidence items pertaining to the proposed answer
- A soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion based on the strongest available evidence
The book Genealogy Standards by the Board for Certification of Genealogists provides a standard by which all genealogists can pattern their work.
Some sources are considered “Low-hanging fruit.” They can be described as:
- straightforward research
- easily accessible
- record type is easily understood
- document states the fact desired
Many times, genealogists will need to stretch and reach for harder to find sources. These types of sources are:
- not straightforward
- possibly unknown to you at this time
- not easily accessible
- time-consuming to explore
- take study to understand it
- not self-explanatory
Elise’s Examples of the Pitfalls of Shallow Research
- Believing that family stories have been accurately passed down in all details.
- Believing that official documents are always correct.
- Believing that published records, especially transcriptions or abstracts, are faithful representations of the original.
- Premature conclusions can come back to haunt us.
- Disregarding ill-fitting evidence can create brick walls.
- Careless citation practices do not give us the tools we need for analysis.
- Researching and understanding historical context is crucial to solving problems.
- Barriers requiring expertise beyond our own should not hamper the research process.
- Assuming there is only one record and suspending research when the first one is found.
- Assuming that details are unimportant, or not noticing them at all.
Elissa also points out that when we do shallow research, we can actually do more harm than good. Shallow genealogical research:
- Doesn’t allow our ancestors to reveal themselves or their reasons for actions
- Puts them in the wrong time and place
- Can create wrong kinship ties
- Misleads future researchers
- Causes brick walls
- Wastes our time
- Does a disservice to our current family and descendants
GEM: Irish Genealogy with Lorna Moloney of Merriman Research
While speaking at THE Genealogy Show conference in Birmingham England in June of this year I got a chance to sat down for the first time with Lorna Moloney host of The Genealogy Radio show which is produced at Raidio Corcabaiscinn. It airs live on Thursday at 4p.m. and is podcast (click here for episodes). Lorna runs Merriman Research which is dedicated to bringing educational solutions and resources to a wide audience.
Lorna’s website: www.traceyouririshroots.com
Photo: Lisa and Lorna at THE Genealogy Show in Birmingham, England in 2019.
Here’s our weekly roundup of new genealogy records online. Should you search for your ancestors in any of these databases?
BRITAIN, MERCHANT SEAMAN. Findmypast.com has added nearly a quarter million records to its 1918-1941 database of British Merchant Seaman.
ILLINOIS DEATHS. Over 3.7 million records have been added to a free index of Cook County, Illinois deaths at FamilySearch.org. Cook County is home to the city of Chicago.
INDIANA CHURCH RECORDS. A new database of Indiana United Methodist Church Records(1837-1970) is available at Ancestry.com. According to the collection description, “The registers may contain baptisms, marriages, burials, memberships, and lists of clergy.”
IRISH BIRTHS, BAPTISMS AND MARRIAGES. Complementing recent online Irish parish records collections are two databases of Non-conformist church records (meaning those not in alliance with the Church of Ireland) now at Findmypast: births/baptisms and marriages.
ONTARIO BIRTHS. FamilySearch has added over 125,000 indexed records to its collection of Ontario, Canada birth records.
UNITED STATES and NEW ZEALAND ARTICLES. Findmypast.com has updated its PERSI database with over 45,000 new indexed entries and images. Ten publications spanning 1883-1984 include articles covering several New Zealand and several U.S. states, including Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Utah.
VARIOUS MARRIAGE RECORDS. FamilySearch.org has published or updated several new free marriage records collections. Click here to see the full list, which includes British Columbia, Durham (England), Indiana, Kansas, Liberia, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah.
Don’t see the records you hoped to among these new genealogy records online? Click here to read a blog post on two powerful tools to help you search for elusive records.
If you have ever wondered if you or your loved ones are at higher risk for diseases such as Late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, read on to learn about big changes that are happening. Health history is just one of the ways in which genealogy research can benefit your family.
According to a recent FDA press release, “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today allowed marketing of 23andMe Personal Genome Service Genetic Health Risk (GHR) tests for 10 diseases or conditions. These are the first direct-to-consumer (DTC) tests authorized by the FDA that provide information on an individual’s genetic predisposition to certain medical diseases or conditions, which may help to make decisions about lifestyle choices or to inform discussions with a health care professional.”
The release goes on to say:
Consumers can now have direct access to certain genetic risk information,” said Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “But it is important that people understand that genetic risk is just one piece of the bigger puzzle, it does not mean they will or won’t ultimately develop a disease.”
The GHR tests are intended to provide genetic risk information to consumers, but the tests cannot determine a person’s overall risk of developing a disease or condition. In addition to the presence of certain genetic variants, there are many factors that contribute to the development of a health condition, including environmental and lifestyle factors.
The 23andMe GHR tests work by isolating DNA from a saliva sample, which is then tested for more than 500,000 genetic variants. The presence or absence of some of these variants is associated with an increased risk for developing any one of the following 10 diseases or conditions:
- Parkinson’s disease, a nervous system disorder impacting movement
- Late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive brain disorder that destroys memory and thinking skills
- Celiac disease, a disorder resulting in the inability to digest gluten
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, a disorder that raises the risk of lung and liver disease
- Early-onset primary dystonia, a movement disorder involving involuntary muscle contractions and other uncontrolled movements
- Factor XI deficiency, a blood clotting disorder
- Gaucher disease type 1, an organ and tissue disorder
- Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase deficiency, also known as G6PD, a red blood cell condition
- Hereditary hemochromatosis, an iron overload disorder
- Hereditary thrombophilia, a blood clot disorder
You can read the complete article called FDA allows marketing of first direct-to-consumer tests that provide genetic risk information for certain conditions here.
FDA and 23andMe – Comments from Your DNA Guide
I look to Your DNA Guide, Diahan Southard for all things genetic genealogy, and here’s what she had to say about the recent news:
23andMe is certainly the outlier among our genetic genealogy companies. It is different because its purpose is not necessarily to help you find your ancestors or determine your ethnic composition, though it can do both, but their goal is to empower your personal health.
In November of 2013 the FDA ordered 23andMe to retract all health reporting from their website in order to better regulate the dissemination of health related information to consumers. 23andMe has slowly crawled back toward that same reporting structure, all the while jumping through the compliant hoops that the FDA has set up.
Now this week they have had a major step forward as they have been able to release the risk assessment for 10 major diseases including Parkinson’s and celiac. This is the first such test available direct to consumers, without first going to your doctor.
This is likely the first of many such developments as 23andMe works to make our own health more accessible via our genetics. If you do pursue this kind of evaluation, it is important to keep in mind the words of Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, “…genetic risk is just one piece of the bigger puzzle, it does not mean they will or won’t ultimately develop a disease.”
Learn More About 23andMe
As with all genetic testing, it’s your decision in the end, so be as informed as you can. Diahan’s quick reference guide Understanding 23andMe (a Companion Guide to Autosomal DNA for the Genealogist) will help you tap into the company’s services from a genealogical perspective. Over 1 million people have had their DNA evaluated by 23andMe. This website has powerful family history tools and this guide will answer the most pressing questions like:
- How can I control how much information is being shared with others?
- How can I enter my genealogical information?
- How do I know when I have a good match?
- Is the YDNA and mtDNA information they give the same as what I see at other places?
- What is the best way to use the ethnicity results presented?