Saturday, June 25, 2016

DNA - Just what does that mean?

DNA, just what does that mean to you and how will it help you in understanding your family tree?
To me it is diagnosing possible family connections, negotiating the information provided, and applying that information to your compiled family tree.

Since the first of the year our family has participated in two autosomal tests through ancestry.com and then transferred the results to FTDNA to attain more possible matches. It has been exciting to find people we match to in our family connections, comparing the information provided and then applying the information to our compiled family tree. The tests are for my husband and myself and we hope to soon have the results for a third test. These tests provide ethnicity estimates and matches from all lines of our family tree. While we have no compiled family tree at ancestry.com or FTDNA, our family tree for those who are deceased is available at familysearch.org.

We have also participated in three YDNA tests and one mtDNA test at Family Tree DNA. These test results are more limited and will require more work to more fully utilize them.

For now the test results are in notebooks, with pedigree charts and lists of those matches that can be compared through online family trees.

On Thursday my uncle came to visit and we discussed the tests results for him and other family members. He only has eight matches in his results, one being from Portland, Oregon, near where we were meeting. We decided to go out to lunch and on the way we stopped for the mail. It was a wonderful surprise to find the test ordered for his ancesty.com autosomal test was there. At the restaurant, while still in the car, he did the spit collection and we sealed his test to put in the mail.

My uncle's  YDNA test provides the male line for my mother's father on back. There is only one other uncle and four male cousins who could do this test for our family. He has eight matches.
My brother's YDNA test provides the male line for our father's father on back. There is only my other brother and three male cousins who could do this test for our family. He has thirteen matches.
My mtDNA  test provides the female line for our mother on back. My sister is the only other person who could do this test for our family.
For our father's mother there are no direct females who can do this test for our family. There may be some distant cousins who can do the test.

My husband's YDNA test provides the male line for his father's line on back.
In transferring his ancestry.com test to FTDNA we discovered that his mother is a perfect match. We had no idea she had even tested prior to her death.

So just what does all this mean? It means that we need to spend considerable time to understand the results and organize them into useful information. The YDNA and mtDNA tests will require education and skill to utilize the information. The key is that the tests have been done while there are still people who can provide us with the connections that we need.

Serendipity continues to happen as we explore these new avenues of researching our family connections. Some of what we do is for pure entertainment, but most of it provides still unforeseen answers to knowing who we really are. Occasionally there are surprises and those can surely cause one to pause and ponder the history of our families. They can also provide answers to long sought after questions. What are you doing to seize the opportunity to know more about your family history?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Verla Jean Zollman LeBlanc Rametes

My mother-in-law, Verla Jean Zollman LeBlanc Rametes, passed away a year ago. For almost thirty six years she was a powerful influence in my life. She demonstrated what it means to be tough and determined. It takes a super woman to raise five sons, who grew to become honorable men. She was patient, understanding and considerate of all. Many of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren received a quilt at birth and other treasures throughout their lives. Having new babies in the family was a great occasion for Jean. Her life was filled with family, friends, church acquaintances, and fellow workers, etc. She had pluck and was not feint hearted when work was required of her. We loved watching her humming birds and the squirrels that came to visit. Her greatest wish was granted in that she lived out her life in her own home. Now she is off to her eternal home and no longer is bound by her earthly infirmities. We all look forward to receiving a warm hug from Jean when we see her again.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Celebrating Five Years of Blogging

After five years I believe writing a blog is one of the most rewarding aspects of doing family history and genealogy work. To celebrate here are some current statistics as of today, 24 April 2016.

Pageviews for all-time 67,406
Pageviews for today, April 24, 2016 - 72, last post February 28, 2016
Months with the most pageviews
April 2103 - 1764
March 2014 - 1747
January 2016 - 1503

Blog Archive, posts per year
2016 - 3
2015 - 12
2014 - 37
2013 - 56
2012 - 105
2011 - 80

Comments - 100

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Fascinating Connections through DNA

When my friend read about our recent AncestryDNA results, she mentioned how interesting it would be to see how many connections were made for someone who had well researched family tree. Being an adoptee, her research for her birth family has been a struggle. While my personal database still has much work to done on it, our online information at familysearch.org is the result of forty years of work. As mentioned in the last post our family tree database has not been placed on ancestry.com. Now that we are finally jumping into the DNA tool for advanced genealogy and family tree work, there are very few copies of my work for our family posted online. Finding DNA connections is fascinating and many of the people matching our results are found in my personal database. Viewing their family trees present some very similar links, but some have been totally different than our known ancestors.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Tasks to Be Done and Bucket List Accomplishments

Today is February 18, 2016, six weeks since my last post. One might wonder what I have been up to in all that time. Several genealogy tasks and bucket list items have been accomplished. The first major step was going through all the boxes of books and finding a place for them in our home. There are still five boxes holding books, but they are sorted and will move into the space that will come as I continue organizing our home. My mother had a huge collection of books and they were culled to those that had her name, a relative's name or a friend's name in them. Beyond those there were a few that out of curiosity will be read and then donated. Some books went to family members, friends and relatives. It feels so good to be past that task.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Genealogy Books and a Happy New Year

It has been two months since my last post. During that time my focus has been on genealogy books. Our local society, the Genealogical Forum of Oregon, had a book sale that was irresistible. The email announcement notifying of a sale of 50% off the list price certainly caught my attention. The accessible list of books in PDF format was 41 pages. When I finally got around to looking at the list I was up most of the night. Using a copy and paste system a list of 42 books, some multiple sets, was created as a word document.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Thankful for Family History

Family History is significant to so many people. The three most recent projects to fill my time revealed wonderful connections. Two have Native American roots. Two also have history that occurred very near to our new to us home. It takes hours compiling a family history from online resources, and yet that is only the beginning of understanding those families. Viewing pedigree charts that show five generations of basic information we ponder about the families each of those couples represent. Generations pass away and the descendants represent even more families.