Monday, September 25, 2017

Genealogy TV Shows

I've already set my DVR for the "Finding Your Roots" TV show, but wondered when the other two, that I enjoy, will be coming back.  I thought some others might want the info:


Finding Your Roots
New Season Starts October 3, 2017 [I've set MY DVR, have you?]
PBS Page for Finding Your Roots:
Wikipedia page with info on each episode:
Facebook Page:  Finding Your Roots - or: @FindingYourRootsPBS
Ancestry Trailer for new season:
Full episodes of previous seasons can be found on YouTube.

Who Do You Think You Are?
Who Do You Think You Are? has been renewed for the US by TLC and will premiere in spring 2018
TLC US Series - Who Do You Think You Are:
Wikipedia - Episode listings and more:
Facebook:  Search for - Who Do You Think You Are - or:  @wdytya
YouTube:  Search for - Who Do You Think You Are USA - to see US episodes
YouTube:  Search for - Who Do You Think You Are BBC - for British episodes

Genealogy Roadshow:
Season 4 is yet to be announced by PBS but seems to be in the works.
Facebook Page:  Genealogy Roadshow - or:  @GenealogyRoadshowPBS
PBS Page:
Can find full episodes on YouTube
Wikipedia Page listing all episodes:

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Useful Links for Learning to Use the Results of Your DNA Tests

I wanted to post these in a specific Facebook group in answer to a question, but my links always come out "funny" on Facebook, so I'll just post a reference in Facebook to this blog entry.

So many people are new to DNA testing or are doing a new type of test and are confused.  There are four main testing companies:  Ancestry, Family Tree DNA, MyHeritage and 23andMe.  Which companyyou use depends on what you want to learn from DNA testing.  For instance, if you want to trace your father's surname, you need to have him (or a brother or another male in the same line with, supposedly, the same surname) take a Y-DNA test and the only company offering that type of test is Family Tree DNA. All the other companies AND Family Tree DNA offer autosomal testing.  Some of the following links will explain the differences in the testing types.  Some of the following links, blogs, pages, FaceBook Groups and YouTube recommendations should help you LEARN about the WHAT, WHY and HOW of DNA testing.  There is another site that should definitely not be overlooked by anyone doing DNA testing.  That's GEDMATCH.COM.  It is a free site, to which anyone who has had their DNA tested at any of the four companies listed previously should upload their raw DNA data.  The analysis tools are fantastic in helping you understand your matches and the site makes it easy for you to contact the administrator of those matches.  I also want to put in a plug to anyone doing DNA testing.  PLEASE upload a GEDCOM file to accompany your posted DNA.  If I match with someone and it's a mediocre match and they don't have a tree accompanying their data, they get skipped by me.  If you're doing the DNA testing ONLY because you saw the guy in the commercial wearing a kilt instead of whatever he wore before his DNA test, and your DNA matches someone looking for a first cousin or second cousin to determine their birth parents, you may face a pretty high learning curve to be able to do some real family research and create some sort of tree to make your data useful and helpful to yourself or someone else.  There ARE times when the heritage only data can rule out things or help you confirm things, but in general it works a whole lot better with real information you dig out of census records, birth records, death records, property records, wills and other real records than just a heritage percentage or someone else's undocumented tree.

A Few of the Best DNA Blogs:
1. - DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy - Blog by Roberta Estes
2. - The Genetic Genealogist - Blog by Blaine Bettinger
3. -  KittyCooper's Blog - Blog by Kitty Cooper

A Few of the Best DNA Resource Pages:
1. - International Society of Genetic Genealogy***  Read this group of pages to learn the basics.  Each of the testing companies also have pages to teach you the basics of DNA testing.
2. - Cyndis list of DNA resources
3. A list of ALL Groups on Facebook - See the DNA category

Very Useful DNA Facebook Groups [there are MANY more - see the link just before this title]:
1. User Group
2.  Autosomal DNA-Gedmatch-FTDNA-23andME-Ancestry-MyHeritage
3.  GEDmatch Lazarus Tool
4.  DNA Detectives
5.  Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques
6.  Kentucky DNA and Genealogy [this is one to which I subscribe.  Check the list of DNA groups, above, to see if there's one for the states of your interest.]

Useful charts and methods to help in determining relationships from DNA:
3. - The McGuire Method
4. - X-Chromosome inheritance charts
5. - Y and Mitochondrial (mtDNA) inheritance
6. - Mirror Trees
7. - More on Mirror Trees

YouTube has MANY videos on Getting Started with DNA Research
Example: If you on YouTube for:  DNA Bettinger, you'll see several interviews and classes by Blaine Bettinger.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Where is my head lately? It's in the DNA WORLD!!

I've been doing genealogical research since about 1977 (Roots was the impetus).  However, I've been REALLY working with DNA information for the last couple of years.  It's been made even more interesting, lately, when two of my male Y-DNA testers have proven to be descended from surnames other than the one they've owned since birth.  The switch seems to have come about eight generations ago for one and a whole lot further for the other, so I may have a chance of finding the change in surname for the first but probably not the second.  I'm going on the assumption that my paper research is missing a gggggrandmother that married Surname1 first, had kids with him, Surname1 husband died, and she married a second time to Surname2 (the surname I have on the paper trail) who promptly adopted the Surname1 child.  If the DNA/Name change was due to something other than a second/subsequent marriage, I'll have very little chance of finding it, so I'm going on the first assumption.  During these interesting searches, I've learned a LOT about DNA research. The types of tests you need to take; the tools you can use to analyze the data; how to contact your matches; on and on.  I've shared many links with my local Tennessee Genealogical Society group that met once a month, but since the new group leader begins tomorrow, I guess I'll try to remember to share here.  There are EXCELLENT blogs and Facebook groups and Wikis with very knowledgeable group leaders.  If you find a match, how do you tell if they're a first or second or third cousin?  How do you know if the match is on your paternal or maternal side? If you come from a small county (like my Lyon or Caldwell counties in Kentucky) where your families have been there for generations and those families have married each other MANY times over the generations, you need to become familiar with the term ENDOGAMY if you are doing DNA research and are coming up with matches from those little, much married, counties.  It means that your DNA matches will look like they're more closely related to you than they really are because of the DNA duplication.

A good place to start in learning about DNA is the Wiki by the International Society of Genetic Genealogy:
You'll learn about the different tests and why you should take each and MUCH more.

If you want to read blogs and Facebook groups on DNA, you couldn't do any better than:
Roberta Estes' blog:
Blaine Bettinger's blog:

There are charts to help you figure out if a DNA match is a 2nd cousin, a 3rd cousin or a 2nd cousin once removed......

Two recent entries from the above listed blogs will help you with those charts:

There are Facebook groups to help adoptees find their biological parents using DNA.  There are Facebook groups on GEDMATCH and the analysis tools contained there.  There are Facebook groups on the DNA testing companies.

Just jump in and read, read and read some more.