Sunday, July 14, 2019

What is Twiggli?

I'm a bit ho, hum about printed out family trees stuck on walls. I think most of them are dull and boring! I guess I'm more of a digital girl.

After visiting Twiggli's stand at THE Genealogy Show in Birmingham recently I changed my mind. I loved the family tree posters they had on display at THE Show and thought that they may even appeal to my grandchildren.

The Twiggli stand at THE Genealogy Show 2019
All you need to produce a Twiggli tree is a gedcom file which you can upload to their website to produce a poster. You can see what the poster looks like for no cost (it will be watermarked so won't be good for printing),  and edit away until you have something that appeals. For just 10GBP you can buy and download a non-watermarked file that you can take to your favourite printer (like Officeworks in Australia) for printing.

I was so pleased to see a product that would be accessible to my Australian genimates at a Genealogy event in England

Any questions? Go to the FAQ page on the Twiggli site.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Ancestry DNA testers please download your data

I spent a few hours yesterday painting (or plotting) my Chromosome Matches with Jonny Perl's fabulous DNAPainter but the results were disappointing. I was able to paint in the data for 32 of my confirmed cousins from three sites: Family Tree DNA, Gedmatch and MyHeritage. I don't have any confirmed matches on Living DNA or 23andMe accounts.

As long as one is methodical the process of painting one's matches is quite easy. I have a very pretty diagram that maps from those 32 cousins only 24% of my DNA with 122 segments painted.

My chromosome map so far.
The good news is that I've had more success with my daughter's DNA, I have mapped 39% of hers. My poor husband's map is sadly very empty.

My problem is that the majority of my confirmed matches, 137 to be exact, are in the Ancestry database and one cannot use DNA Painter to compare with one's matches that are only in the Ancestry Database. Currently one can only get the info to paint matches directly from Family Tree DNA, Gedmatch and MyHeritage but the good news is that one can get one's data from Ancestry and upload them to another site than paint away. There's plenty of help on the Ancestry support site to enable you for downoading and on the other sites for uploading.

 Only a handful of those 137 Ancestry matches have downloaded their data and added it to the another database but more than 100 of my confirmed matches only have their data in Ancestry. Imagine what a pretty and nearly complete picture I could paint if these 100 people uploaded to another database where I can compare ourchromosomes .

I implore anyone who only has their data in Ancestry to upload it to Gedmatch (or one of the other sites mentioned) where one can compare one's data with the matches in that database. Uploading to Gedmatch is free, the only cost is your time.

Please give it a go and if you need assistance call on one of your genimate who will guide you through the process..... and there endeth the rant.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Getting ready to Dive Deeper

Many of you will know that I have been cruising around the Mediterranean since my attendance at The Genealogy Show. Mr GeniAus and I had a super time at this event in Birmingham and are both looking forward to attending in 2020.

We thought our cruise would give us a much needed rest but with 17 ports in 17 days and one or two excursions each day we were exhausted by the time we disembarked. A couple of days after arriving home I celebrated a significant birthday with all the associated hoopla. Today I find myself back in the geneacave working on a long list of geneatasks. I will spend the next few days at my keyboard playing catchup.

I do have something to look forward to....I love a geneaevent and I need all the help I can get with DNA so I am really excited about the next BIG Geneaevent on the Australian calendar. I am proud to be an Ambassador for the DNADownunder series of events being hosted next month by Alan Phillips and his team at UnlockthePast.

Blaine Bettinger and GeniAus at Rootstech 2019
Alan has put together a world class event with Blaine Bettinger, DNA Guru and nice bloke, as the star act. I have been lucky enough to hear Blaine present at both Rootstech and The Genealogy Show. As well as being an expert in the field of DNA he is an entertaining and engaging presenter who can clearly explain DNA concepts.

Blaine will be supported at the events by a cast of Australia's finest genetic genealogists. I am particularly excited to see Canberra genie Shelley Crawford, one of my DNA heroes, on the program, Shelley got me interested in DNA way back in 2010 when she started blogging about her adventures with DNA. She got me started on my DNA adventure.

Those who attend a DNADownunder event in one of the six Australian cities are in for a treat. I will be going to the three day Diving Deep in Sydney event. I have been attending talks on DNA every year since 2011 at Rootstech and latterly at other events and find that I learn something new at each event. DNA is such a rapidly evolving field that there is always something new to learn. I also find it valuable to attend further lectures on familiar topics to reinforce my knowledge.

The beauty of the Sydney event is that there are three streams so there is something for everyone from the raw beginner or someone contemplating a DNA test to those who have already dived deeply into the DNA pool.

DNA is the genealogy tool of the 21st century - Anyone with an interest in genealogy should not miss one of these events.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

The People's Show

THEGenealogyShow2019 was dubbed "The People's Show" because the stands/booths were for the most part manned by people like you and me - enthusiastic members of  local societies and personnel from small companies. The absence of the Big Boys with their huge stands that overpower the smaller exhibitors benefitted both the exhibitors present and those who wanted to see what they had to offer.

Mr GeniAus graciously volunteered to whip around before the show opened and through the event to take some pictures of the exhibitors. You can see in the photos below the People who were an integral element in "The People's Show". Apologies to those few groups we are not posting due to poor lighting in the photos. Thanks also to all the patient people who kindly posed for the camera.


The Show will be held again in Birmingham on 26 and 27 June 2020. Watch THEShow website for further details.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Where do I start?

A week ago I was in cold wet Birminghmham, England preparing for my first talk at THE Genealogy Show 2019. How and why did I get to be on stage preaching to an audience of mostly British Genies?

GeniAus presents at #THEGenShow2019

Roll back the clock to a morning late in March 2018 when I was sitting in bed enjoying my coffee. My phone pinged with a Facebook message followed by a chat. It was my young genimate, Kirsty Gray, telling me of her latest project. She had realised that since the WDYTYA Live Show was not longer being held there was a space for a new geneaconference to fill the gap. Kirsty is always up for a challenge so she decided to stage THE Genealogy Show, she had booked the venue and organised the money side of things. She invited me to be involved. I had a chat with Mr GeniAus (who is always keen to take a trip to England) and let Kirsty know that I was up for it. An invitation to join the Show Board followed.

Kirsty pulled together an international team of genies to be members of the Board and organised the wonderfully efficient and calm Kat to be the Conference organiser. This group from three continents and many countries communicated by email and in a private Facebook Group; some of us met in person at various events but our communication was mostly online. I was also part of the program committee that was chaired by Canadian genealogist, Ruth Blair.

The main role of members of the board was to advise, discuss and comment on all matters relating to the Show, this wasn't an onerous task but we were made to feel that our contributions were valued by those at Show headquarters. Wasn't the Green Carpet a good decision! I enjoyed this process immensely as I am opinionated plus I got to know a new group committed genies from all over the world.
Build day at THE Show
We board members all volunteered to work on the show. John Boeren, DearMyrtle and I also nominated our partners to work at the event (love in action) thanks to Matt, Gordon and Robert. We arrived at The NEC on the Thursday before the conference and with a few extra volunteers, some of Kirsty's staff and her Ma and Pa set our minds to all the tasks that had to be done prior to the Show.

Busy hands make light work - the day prior to THE Show
On Show day we volunteers worked to a roster,  I had great fun selling merchandise and tickets with my genimate Pat, aka DearMYRTLE. Both of our husbands worked tirelessly doing ticket collection and other duties for all of the two days. The volunteers are now our TGS Family, we all worked together filling gaps in the roster as they appeared. While it may have appeared chaotic to us behind the scenes it has been wonderful to hear and read all the positive comments congratulating Kirsty and the Board on the smooth running of the show.

The TGS Family minus DearMYRTLE and Gordon and Kirsty's Ma and Pa - didn't we look smart in our Tshurts!
In between my rostered duties I gave two presentations and took part in two panel presentations. While I enjoy my individual presentations I love participating in the less formal presentations that give me an opportunity to work with and learn from fellow genies. While I had presented with Kirsty previously I hadn't joined DearMyrtle, Mags Gaulden or Janet Few on stage, what an honour it was to be up there with these geneastars. I hope that we can schedule more panels in the program for #THEGenShow2020.

Panelists DearMYRTLE, Kirsty (back) Mags and GeniAus (Front)

There was something for everyone at THE Genealogy Show, there were big name speakers from the US, there were speakers from  all over Europe and one from Australia giving talks on research and resources in their countries and there were many family history societies and small vendors available. One could even buy a DNA kit from MyHeritage or LivingDNA. The Wizards who gave free genealogy advice were most appreciated but they were worked off their feet.

One of the many Groups represented at the Show
Best of all there were plenty of chairs inside the hall where genies could rest, chat and network. Watching the delight on an English visitor's face when she realised that she was chatting to THE Blaine Bettinger, was priceless. My only regret is that I didn't have much time to sit and chat but experiencing the good vibes from the sidelines gave me an enormous sense of pride.

Towards the end of the the event Kirsty asked my husband who had worked all day (mind you he got to see 5 excellent talks from his post at the door)  if he would come again next year for #THEGenShow2020. His immediate response was "Yes". That a non-genie from halfway across the world would proffer such an immediate and positive response says so much about THE Genealogy show. It was a friendly, affordable, accessible and polished event.

I was proud to serve on the Board for 2019 and look forward to working with Kirsty and her team on planning #THEGenShow2020.


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