Monday, April 24, 2017

Celebrating Six Years of Blogging

Today marks six years since the beginning of writing on For the most part writing is something I enjoy doing. This blog keeps me on track with my work and new discoveries from that work. Every day is something new and remarkable in doing family history research. New databases are released from the major online sites on a daily basis. Most of the time it feels as though I am lead to the information that is needed for the family involved.

In the past several months work was done on families to compile information and locate documents and indexed information to confirm what was found. While most of the principal work is done on, using the categories search and exploring all options, at times the information directs me to other websites. Those websites can be a gold mine for facts about a family. We all use and marvel at the items published on the pages for individuals. In looking further we search the cemetery for other known family members. Recently in being directed to the Manitoba Vital Statistics Agency a wonderful new resource was discovered.

While searching on and within a database, along the right side of the indexed information will be hints for other available records for a person. Those need to be followed carefully to evaluate if they truly apply to the person one is researching. It is tempting to continue following those bread crumbs for more hints, but in doing so one can lose the focus of the original research. It is important to back arrow to the first page and look at all the categories not yet viewed. It is much like going down a rabbit hole and strict organization in researching will lead to better results.

One key part for my research has paid big benefits lately. For one family we are looking for Native American ancestors. In finding records of an early 1900s application for benefits, the index information found was added to the personal database. When wanting to return to this database on it was easy to go to the information pasted to the notes of the person, copy and paste the title of the record collection and go to the catalog and enter the information. So many times links to pages are broken and using this information is more accurate.

This same client brought me a tote full of documents and printouts to be organized. It took a couple of weeks, but now all that information has been examined and what was good is incorporated into six notebooks. They are marked for the family lines included and have a pedigree chart representing those lines. All information was entered into a personal database, a copy provided on a flash drive in both original and gedcom formats. It always feels great to turn this over to the client. For the rest of my work the personal database is all I need to work from.

The client had already done an ancestry DNA test and we were anxious to see the results. When they came back she was at first very disappointed in that there were no Native American matches or ethnic markers. Then I went to work on the matches and found she has two second cousin matches and fifteen third cousin matches. Of those one second cousin match and ten third cousin matches have family trees posted. Between those eleven trees she has links to eight of her known family lines. In her fourth cousin matches she has 1,005 matches. There do not appear to be as many links to her family lines in the fourth cousin matches, but then I did not pursue any past the first of 500+ pages.

These findings gave further information to the work that had been done. Her brother has a public tree on and it had been reviewed before. In the research I found six possible incorrect links. Now four of those have been validated through the DNA testing. To help ease her mind about the Native American finding she was shown the article "Missing Matches With Mom" by Diahan Southard in familytree magazine May/June 2017.  We uploaded her gedcom database to and she is very pleased with the outcome. Then we went to the FTDNA website and uploaded her ancestryDNA results. Hopefully we will find even more matches for her families.

One last thought on this day of celebration and sharing of serendipity moments. Today I ordered the last two books from my genealogy book wish list. Now the list can continue to grow. My love of books and genealogy are a perfect match. Then I donated ten books to the Watts House for their collection. This world is all about sharing. Have a great day and look for those serendipity moments.

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