Sunday, April 28, 2019

DNA Reinforcement

When it comes to DNA I need all the help I can get. 

I started out on the DNA Trail when I purchased my first DNA kits in April 2011 and since Rootstech 2011, when I attended every DNA talk on the program, I have listened to umpteen talks and webinars  on DNA and the various tools available. It has been a steep learning curve especially in the early days when the talks were full of science and not really targeted towards ordinary folk like me.

Back in 2011 DNA as a genealogy resource was a novelty and there were many sceptics but the sceptics have been won over and now recognise DNA as a valuable additional resource. I am now at the stage where I know I could stand up and give a credible introductory talk on DNA for family history but I need to learn and understand more in this evolving field. As an old educator I recognise the value of reinforcement in learning.

Blaine Bettinger, a DNA Guru from the US, will be travelling to Australia in August to present a series of lectures with a field of Australian experts at The DNA Downunder Events being organised by Alan Phillips of Unlock the Past. Blaine will be joined by a team of local enthusiasts and experts at the events. In most cities the events are just for one day but in Sydney there will be a super dooper, Diving in Deeper,  3 day event. I am pleased that I live close enough to travel down to Sydney for that event. You can attend this on 1, 2 or 3 days. There is no way I am going to miss out on this mega learning opportunity.

I was pleased to accept Alan's invitation to be an Ambassador for The DNA Downunder Events. I commend Alan for bringing together such a great team for the program, its no easy task to organise such an endeavour.

I know many of my genimates will want  attend one of The DNA Downunder Events and get good value from their DNA dollars. You have until April 30 to snag the earlybird price for the event so, if you haven't registered, you had better move quickly.

Disclosure : In return for promoting the event (and a few other duties) I am receiving a complimentary admission to The DNA Downunder Event. 

Party Favours

Wikipedia tells me that "party favor or party favour is a small gift given to the guests at a party as a gesture of thanks for their attendance, a memento of the occasion, or simply as an aid to frivolity."

Back in 2018 guests at the MyHeritage Rootstech party were given a book as a party favour. I took my book home and put it on my "To Read" pile, as it was a hardcover book (and therefore heavy to hold up in bed) the book languished on that pile until I attended Rootstech in 2019. One of the fellow guests at the 2018 party asked me if I had read the book and I sheepishly answered "Not yet". This genimate suggested that I should read the book as it was a really good story. On my return home I read the book "Something beautiful happened" by Yvette Manessis Corporon. 

I discovered that it was indeed "a story of survival and courage in the face of evil" as described on its cover. The author masterly wove several interconnecting family stories into the text which kept me reading to the last word. She took me to Greece, Israel and the US, travelled from the 1940s to today and introduced me to a cast of interesting characters from different faiths. 

I imagine that MyHeritage gave us this book as their staff provided Ms Corporon and the persons in the story with a great deal of pro bono support to solve their genealogical mysteries. The author wrote glowingly of the MyHeritage team's involvement.

A belated thanks to the MyHeritage team for this thoughtful party favour which I thoroughly enjoyed. With its themes of family, courage, survival, grief, persistence and tolerance it was a perfect gift.

If any of my genimates whom I will be seeing in the near future would like to read this book please let me know and I'll arrange get it to you.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Geniaus' Gunnas

This time last week I was somewhere else
When I am on holidays I make a mental list of things I need to do on my return home. I call these Gunnas (things I am going to do do). What struck me on our recent trip through China, Japan and South Korea was that Gunna figured in the vocabulary of many of the tour guides we encountered.

While I was away I found it easy to keep up with geneanews and to share Geniaus' Gems on my microblogging Facebook Page, However I don't have time to write lengthy blog posts, prepare presentations or answer queries from readers, I could make time but I prefer to direct my attention to the sites I am visiting.

So what of my Gunnas.

 * I need to add a DNA Downunder Ambassador badge to this blog. I am one of a number of my Genimates who have been appointed as Ambassadors to promote and enthuse fellow genies about this around Australia event that will take place in Australian Cities in August this year. I congratulate Alan Phillips for bringing together this cast of DNA Gurus to teach us about genetic genealogy.

From what I have seen on social media already one would have to be living under a rock to miss the news of his event. However if you wish to register at the earlybird rate you had bettter get cracking and do it now before the end of April. See for details of the event in the city closest to your home.

* I must register for the Sydney 3 Day DNA Downunder event before the venue reaches capacity. It would be embarrassing if this Ambassador couldn't secure a seat.

* I have two talks to prepare for THE Genealogy Show that is to be held in Birmingham, England in June. If you have been considering  a geneajourney to THE Old Country it's not too late to grab a cheap airfare to London and combine a visit to ancestral towns and villages with  attendance at this conference that has presentations from speakers from the UK, Europe, the US and Canada and downunder. Several of my Australian genimates are making the journey to THE Show so you will have good company.

* I still have a few videos from Rootstech 2019 to add to my Youtube Rootstech collection.

* I need to get cracking on a guest blog post for next week. I'll share the link once it is posted.

* Cousin Bait can reap rewards but it also hooks distant or potential cousins who need help with their research. I have a few such messages that I need to follow up. These queries came to me via this blog, Ancestry and my family website.

*  Not many DNA matches contact me but a few that I have contacted have responded to me so I must follow these up lest they lose interest.

* A twelve hour wait at Tokyo airport the other day gave me an opportunity to catch up on blog reading. I am particularly enjoying Carmel Galvin's and Pauleen Cass's posts in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. I must admit I don't read all the posts about people's ancestors that come through my feeds  but I love those with themes that interest me. In her posts Carmel shares recipes that remind me of childhood days while Pauleen recounts tales of her times living in PNG. Having taken part in the Challenge on a couple of occasions I understand the effort involved  and congratulate those who have the stamina to reach the finish line.

* Before I go travelling again I must schedule some blog posts for the Geneadictionary. Thankfully I keep coming across new words and phrases used in genimates' writings.

*All of the DNA Kits I administer have moved from Gedmatch to Genesis so some investigation is warranted.

* Then there is my own research and chasing up more DNA matches!!!

I have four and a half weeks before we set off the the UK for a Garden tour and a bit of research prior to THE Genealogy Show  so I don't have time to dilly-dally.

As I brought a bug and dose of asthma home from Japan I am confined to quarters for a few days so I have some time to concentrate on my Gunnas

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Another Episode of the Fling

One of the more popular posts on my blog to this day is "Fling it in the Folder" a description methods. As I wrote this post 8 years ago I thought it was time for an update. I still use the same system but have tweaked it a bit and changed some of the software I use.

I am reposting my post from 2011 with alterations and comments in Green.

In a couple of previous posts I have alluded to my digital filing system and, in a comment on one of those postsSharon Brennan asked me "Can you describe your filing system??

I have hesitated in doing so because my system is neither scientific or complex. It is a simple system that works for me. Having trained in Librarianship many years ago I am in the habit of putting things in alphabetical order so this is the simple basis of my system. With digital systems I prefer a flat structure to one that is deeply hierarchical requiring lots of drilling down to access information.

I have already spoken of my scanning station (I now have a Scansnap scanner on my desk connected to my computer via USB) and my commitment to scanning all the bits of paper I have related to my genealogy obsession. I have also talked about what I do with conference papers.

My system is to "Fling it in the folder". I have a series of folders set up on my hard drive, each file I have, irrespective of format, goes into the appropriate folder or sub-folder. All my image files are additionally tagged with Picasa ACDSee software.

I do not worry about linking Places in that folder to People in that folder or creating other similar relationships between files (but I guess I could hyperlink them if I felt the need at a later date) as my genealogy software manages that for me. 

The folders are: I have added a few extra folders.

Most of the labels are self explanatory but some need clarification.

Correspondence contains genealogy letters of a general nature. Those about a specific surname or person are filed in the Names folder.

Curry All  stores files about the Curry surname in Australia ready for when I have the time or inclination to conduct a one-name study. Renamed CurryAus for my Surname Study.

Geniaus Backup  is a backup of my family site files ie templates and design. I don't need to back up the data as the backup is my TMG database and its backups.

Geniaus Talks is the home of my talks and presentations and articles I write for journals, newsletters etc.

Names is the biggest folder. It has some sorting folders that are prefixed with 00 and then a folder for each surname in my database.

Within each name folder is a series of documents and folders. Each file name is in the format:
Lastname, Firstname DoB File description.

Once I have more than three or four files for an individual he or she gets a folder labelled with: Lastname, Firstname DoB and Date of Death.

Odds & Sods is just that. The place where I fling  graphics, cartoons and other ephemera.

Our  Diary is peculiar to me. It contains an Excel spreadsheet that is my digital diary; the folder also contains other documents such as invitations, programs, tickets that are hyperlinked from the corresponding entry in the diary.

This diary from the day of my parent's marriage has been constructed over the years from documents, printed diaries, old calendars, receipts, certificates, recollections, newspaper clippings and by uing photographs as prompts. I  presently use Outlook for my diary and periodically export this into the Our Diary spreadsheet.

The Headings for this spreadsheet are: Day, Date, Time, Details, Source 1, Source 2, Source 3.

Places is similar to names but contains folders with maps and information about the places of my ancestors. These include, Towns, Houses and Churches.

Presentations has been explained in a previous blog post,Where do you put them? Conference Papers

Research Log and Plans does not house my master research log(that is a Google Docs spreadsheet) Now integrated in my Family Historian software but the smaller logs I create when I am going to visit a particular repository, resource or place eg The National Archives, The Family History Library, or The National Library of Australia.

TMG and TNG are where one finds files relating to my two genealogy software programs. These folders do not have family data. I no longer use TMG so have created a folder for Family Historian my current software of choice.

I keep and tag all of my bookmarks in Delicious Evernote and use Picasa ACDSee software

to tag and organise my photographs. Librarything is my program of choice for organising my books.

Perusing this list I am reminded of one other folder - Genealogy - Scans to sort. This is where my scans live until I file them. For consistency I think it will be renamed.

Phew! That was a post and a half - hope it answers your question, Sharon.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Trove Tuesday - Family History

Found while I was lost in Trove.

1899 'FAMILY HISTORY.', The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), 29 March, p. 2. (The Mercury Supplement), viewed 10 Mar 2019,


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