Census Research Tip: Why Look at the Same Thing Twice

When may it pay off to look at the same records or indexes twice? When you can compare them on different genealogy websites. Here’s an example for this census research tip. census research tip

You’ve probably noticed that some record sets are available online at multiple websites. At each site, the images and indexes you find may be a little different. Online tools for viewing and searching at each site may also be different.

For example, a digitized image may be faded, dark, blurry, blotchy, cut off, or otherwise unreadable on one website but clearer on another site. Here are two images from the first few lines of the 1880 U.S. Federal Census taken in Bay Minette, Baldwin, Alabama. The first image comes from HeritageQuest Online (available at public libraries) and the second is from Ancestry.com. See the difference?

 

 

As you can see, depending on which line you’re reading, one image may be clearer than another.

Here’s another census research tip: The online tools available at each site are different, too. At HeritageQuest Online, you can view the image at original size, 200% or 400%, and you can look at the image as a negative, which sometimes helps faded text stand out a little more. Ancestry.com lets you zoom in and out, magnify specific areas, and rotate the image or view it in mirror form (in case you’re trying to read backward text bleeding through from the other side).

More Gems for Online Genealogy Research

HeritageQuest Online Gets Better with Ancestry’s Support

4 Tips for Getting the Most out of Ancestry.com

Genealogy Gems Premium podcast episode 125: HeritageQuest Online, Ancestry Library edition and other great genealogy resources at the public library (Available only to Genealogy Gems Premium website members)

 

AncestryDNA® Ethnicity Estimates Updated

Here’s the latest DNA update quoted from Ancestry®:

Ancestry DNA ethnicity update

Ancestry® Expands Reference Panel to Deliver More Precise Results and New Regions

“Today, Ancestry® announced their latest update to AncestryDNA® ethnicity estimates.

This update was made possible thanks to an increase in the AncestryDNA reference panel.

The reference panel is now more than double its previous size with samples from more places around the world, allowing Ancestry to determine ethnic breakdowns with a higher degree of precision.  

New ethnicity estimates will roll out to new and existing customers over several months, resulting in these potential developments for customers.”

New Ethnicity Regions

From their blog post:

“For example, previously we had North and South America as two large regions: Native American–Andean and Native American–North, Central, South.

With this new update, we are able to refine the areas into 11 smaller ones.

If you received one of the older regions before, your new report will most likely have one of the newer, more precise regions instead like Indigenous Eastern South America, Indigenous Cuba, and Indigenous Americas–Mexico, among others.” 

More Global Regions

“This advancement will enable AncestryDNA to deliver even more regions globally to enhance the experience across diverse populations including improvements and region realignment in West Africa, northwestern Europe, the Americas, Oceania, and South Asia.”

Ancestry DNA ethnicity update offers more global regions

When You Will See the Update

“It’s important to note that we are phasing the update over time to ensure individual attention is given to delivering each result; therefore, some may see results earlier or later than others.”

when you will see the ancestry dna ethnicity results update

Read the Full Announcement

Get all the details on this new update announcement by reading their article Ancestry® Expands Reference Panel to Deliver More Precise Results and New Regions

List of AncestryDNA® Regions

“More than 1,000 global regions make up the ethnicities displayed in our DNA test. As DNA science improves, the number of regions we test for (and the countries covered in each region) may change.

This article lists each region, but to see which areas of the globe are included in the regions, you’ll need to view the list from your DNA Story page (which will highlight an area of the map when you click a region).

To see all the regions, click See other regions tested at the bottom of your ethnicity estimate and click on a region on the next page. 

Ethnicity Estimate FAQ

Check out the interactive map and watch the explanatory video: FAQ for new AncestryDNA ethnicity estimate.

ancestry dna ethnicity FAQ

Click here for AncestryDNA ethnicity estimate FAQ

Results May Vary, Here’s an Example

If you’ve taken a DNA test, you may have received different ethnicity results than you expected and different from your family members. DNA expert Diahan Southard explains why this happens in the Genealogy Gems article “Results May Vary:” One Family’s DNA Ethnicity Percentages. Click here to start reading now.  

Click here to pick from our vast collection of DNA articles including DNA Ethnicity Accuracy: How It’s Getting More Specific.

More Resources

Get the DNA SUPER BUNDLE: 10 Quick Reference genetic genealogy guides by Diahan Southard at the Genealogy Gems store. 

10 DNA Genetic Genealogy quick reference guides by Diahan Southard

10 DNA Genetic Genealogy quick reference guides by Diahan Southard available now at the Genealogy Gems Store.

What Do You Think?

Have you noticed the update in your AncestryDNA® account? Did this update deliver any surprises? Please leave a comment below and share what you learned. 

Podcast Episode 267 How to Become a Forensic Genealogist

Show Notes: Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a Forensic Genetic Genealogist. Dr. Claire Glynn joins me to talk about the field of investigative genetic genealogy, criminal cold cases solved, and the new Forensic Genetic Genealogy certificate program she has developed at the Henry C. Lee (notable for his work on the OJ Simpson case and many others) College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences at the University of New Haven.

Listen to the Podcast

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Fort Wayne, Indiana is the home of the second largest free genealogy library in the country. Make your plans to visit today. Learn more at https://www.visitfortwayne.com 

Visit Fort Wayne and the Genealogy Center

Learn more about the free genealogy resources at VisitFortWayne.com

 

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