Friday, March 29, 2019

Do You Really Know of All the Siblings?

Depending upon the time period and the location, it can be difficult to know for certain all the children or siblings of an ancestor. In places where there was no civil or ecclesiastical recording of birth records, knowing “for certain” you’ve got all the siblings can be a challenge. Probate records often don’t mention pre-deceased children if they left no descendants of their own. Some children may have life spans that don’t include a census year. Some families may not mention children who died young–not because of shame, but because of emotional upset.

Always look at birth dates of children and see if there’s a gap–there might have been children that simply migrated away and are accounted for, some might have died young, there might have been miscarriages, or there may have been no children at all.

If there’s a ten year gap and the last child was born when the mother was fifty, it’s possibly not her child but her grandchild.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

This DNA Kit Does More Than Just Fill in Your Family Tree

Get actionable health plans based on your genetics.

DNA kits have exploded in popularity the past couple of years. And these kits typically offer you a more nuanced insight into your family's past, as well as any genetic health risks that you may unknowingly have. The Vitagene DNA Ancestry Test Kit does all that, but it also serves another function: developing actionable health plans based on your DNA.

Unlike other DNA tests, Vitagene's program is designed to help you find a smarter and more effective way to stay healthy. While it's interesting to discover that you have a big hot celebrity as a blood relative, Vitagene also analyzes your genetics, goals, medications, and current health conditions to craft a customized meal plan that would work best for you.

On top of providing you with a detailed ancestry report (complete with an interactive ethnic map and regional percentages), it utilizes your DNA to explain to you how genetics influence your diet, the intensity of your workouts, and more — and it does all this with just a simple cheek swab.

Read the full story

Monday, March 25, 2019

Jack the Ripper's identity may finally be known, thanks to DNA

Researchers tested blood and semen found on a shawl near the body of the killer's fourth victim, a woman whose mutilated body was found in September 1888. Read the full , hit here

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Ancestry’s Disappearing ThruLines – Now You See Them, Now You Don’t

Ancestry has quite a mess on its hands right now, and genealogists are losing their collective minds. I have some information here to help.

You are always welcome to post links to my articles on other sites, but this article in particular may help many people – so please feel free to pass it on.

I’ve been trying to write an article on ThruLines, but the Ancestry site has been experiencing so many issues that I can’t manage to actually get through my ThruLines to evaluate them and write the article.

There are two different scenarios:

You’ve never had ThruLines and you aren’t sure if they have been rolled out to your account yet. They will be rolled out to everyone through the month of March.
You’ve had ThruLines, but now you don’t and your account has reverted back, meaning ThruLines no longer shows and the Circles placard has returned, or the Ancestry site simply doesn’t work and says the pages are no longer present.

For more information on the subject please see the original article at DNA Explained

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Review the indexes

When using any print index, determine just what the index is indexing. Looking for your name in the index without knowing that key detail may cause you to overlook information. Some indexes are not all the same, some may highlight certain sections and not all of surnames listed in books.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

The Lab Discovering DNA in Old Books

Even the beeswax used in seals is rich with data about the past, including the flowers that grew in that region year to year

It was in the archives of the Archbishop of York that Matthew Collins had an epiphany: He was surrounded by millions of animal skins.

Another person might say they were surrounded by books and manuscripts written on parchment, which is made from skins, usually of cows and sheep. Collins, however, had been trying to make sense of animal-bone fragments from archaeological digs, and he began to think about the advantages of studying animal skins, already cut into rectangles and arranged neatly on a shelf. Archaeologists consider themselves lucky to get a few dozen samples, and here were millions of skins just sitting there. “Just an obscene number,” Collins told me, his voice still giddy at the possibilities in their DNA. To read more of the story hit here

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Is DNA Left on Envelopes Fair Game for Testing?

The genealogist’s dream of testing old, spit-laced artifacts is coming true—but raising questions about who controls dead people’s DNA.

Last fall, Gilad Japhet, the founder of a DNA-testing company, got up at an industry conference to talk about his grandmother Rosa’s love letters.

Japhet’s company, MyHeritage, sells cheek swabs to people interested in their family history. It now has 2.5 million people in its DNA database, making it the third largest behind 23andMe and AncestryDNA. But Japhet wasn’t satisfied with only testing the living; he wanted to test the dead. Which brings us to the love letters—or really, the envelopes they came in.

The envelopes were sealed by his grandmother, and the stamps on them presumably licked by her. “Maybe our ancestors did not realize it,” Japhet said, a smile growing on his face, “when they were licking those stamps and the envelope flaps, they were sealing their precious DNA for you forever.” Then he made the big announcement: MyHeritage would soon begin offering DNA testing on old stamps and envelopes.

He didn’t stop there. If you can test the letters of your grandmother, why not those of historical figures? Japhet is a prodigious collector of autographs, and he revealed that he possessed handwritten letters from Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill. In an intriguing if provocative PR move, he promised that “their DNA is coming to MyHeritage very, very soon.”

 Read the full story

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

DNA testing company will now let users opt out of helping the FBI

Customers will still be able to connect with other non-law enforcement users 

At-home DNA testing site FamilyTreeDNA — which was widely criticized for working with the FBI without telling its customers — will now offer users the option to prevent law enforcement from accessing their data.

In January, BuzzFeed News reported that FamilyTreeDNA let law enforcement create profiles on the site using DNA from unsolved cases. The agencies then used those profiles to look for possible matches in the company’s genetic database. Now, users will be able to opt out of matching with accounts created for this purpose, FamilyTreeDNA said in an email, as first reported by New Scientist. Law enforcement will have to go through a special process to use the database, and customers that opt out will still be able to match with other non-law enforcement users on the site.

In the past year, there has been an increasing number of crimes solved using DNA databases. Most notably, law enforcement solved the Golden State Killer case last April by comparing decades-old crime scene DNA to profiles on the public genealogy website GEDMatch. Investigators uploaded the 37-year-old DNA to a fake account on GEDMatch. While the Golden State Killer didn’t have a profile, law enforcement did find the DNA matches of relatives, which was enough to narrow down the suspects and make an arrest. Since then, familial DNA testing has grown even more powerful and could possibly cover the entire population with a relatively small database.

Read the full story

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

"Finding Our SoCal Roots"

GSHA Southern California Chapter was invited to participate in PBS So Cal "Finding Our SoCal Roots" panel at USC.

I am happy to announce GSHA So Cal member and editor, Colleen Robledo Greene, MLIS, will be participating in the panel, April 9, 2019.

Please see the link below for further information.

Hit here

Lenny Trujillo, President
GSHA Southern California Chapter

Monday, March 11, 2019

Transcribing what is written!

Transcribe a document as it is written. Do not make corrections no matter how “wrong” it looks. The letters sic in buckets[sic] can be used for any error that is obvious (such as the use of “buckets” instead of “brackets”). Separate from the transcribe annotations can be made if necessary. Make it clear where the transcription ends and where the annotation begins.

Then analyze. I prefer to use [begin transcription] document transcription here [end transcription] to make it clear what is what.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

John Schmal Presentations online

John Schmal has provided his link to his presentations online thru another organization. This organization is SHHAR.(Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research).To access them hit here

John Schmal, a honorary member of GSHA-SC, is an historian, genealogist, and lecturer. With his friend Donna Morales, he recently coauthored "Mexican-American Genealogical Research: Following the Paper Trail to Mexico" (Heritage Books, 2002). He has degrees in History (Loyola-Marymount University) and Geography (St. Cloud State University) and is a board member of the Society of Hispanic Historical Ancestral Research (SHHAR).

He is an associate editor of SHHAR's online monthly newsletter,www.somosprimos.com. John is presently collaborating with Eddie Martinez - a graphics illustrator - on a manuscript entitled "Indigenous Mexico: Past and Present" and occasionally gives lectures in the Los Angeles area thru  his collaboration with GSHA-SC, SHHAR and the LDS Church on the same topic.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Update on Panes

We received the following information from Hispanic Heritage Project. Since we are a contributor to their cause, we receive updates from them on what is happening to their website.

Friday, March 8, 2019

A new data scandal: How ancestry DNA firms share your most intimate secrets

Genetic testing companies that trace customers' ancestry are amassing huge databases of DNA information, and some are sharing access with law enforcement, drug makers and app developers. Read the full story

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Read it over and over to check for interpretation errors.

It never hurts to read over your conclusions more than once. Anyone can make typographical errors and those errors can run from ones that are irritating in a minor way (spelling “Castile” when you mean “Castle”) to ones that restate facts (mixing up a father, son, cousins or worse yet an older gentleman as senior and a non relative younger man as junior, thinking they are father son combo). Even if the typographical errors have been removed and the facts are straight, have someone else look at your writing. They may catch errors you don’t–particularly conclusions that may not be clear or phrases that don’t convey quite the message you think they do.

Hispanic Genealogy: Spanish Records class available in Oakland

For those of our members living in Northern California, we were notify by California Genealogical Society that they are hosting a seminar by an expert, Lucy Jennings Sweeney, on Saturday, March 9, 2019 from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM (PST) in Oakland, California. We realized this is late notice, but just received the information. The price for admission to the classroom is $30 and an advanced registration is required. Their location is California Genealogical Society & Library, 2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland, CA 94612.

Discover how to search for your Hispanic ancestors, using records such as baptism and marriage. You don’t need to know how to read Spanish. You will receive a resource list of online and print material.

Records in Spanish contain a person’s genealogy. Learn how to verify your family stories, how to use the Spanish naming system, and how to find records for your country and town.

For more hit Details and Registration.

For more information see below:

Hispanic Genealogy: Spanish Records with Lucy Jennings Sweeney March 9, 2019, 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM Discover how to search for your Hispanic ancestors, using records such as baptism and marriage. You don’t need to know how to read Spanish. You will receive a resource list of online and print material. Records in Spanish contain a person’s genealogy. Learn how to verify your family stories, how to use the Spanish naming system, and how to find records for your country and town.   Lucy Jennings Sweeney is a San Francisco native who graduated from UC Berkeley. When she retired from teaching, she began investigating her heritage which spans roots in both Mexico and Ireland, with great success in Mexico.       REGISTRATION INFORMATION Pre-registration is required. Class size is limited so register early.  CGS members enjoy free admission. Non-member admission fee is $30.00* and can be applied towards a new one year CGS membership the day of the class. Register early to confirm your seat. Walk-ins will not be admitted. If something comes up and you will not be able to attend please let us know at: Cancel My Attendance     PAYMENT OPTIONS Credit card payments will be processed by Eventbrite. *Seminar fee is non-refundable.  

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Dawn of a new era for 'spit-and-send' DNA tests

UK-based firm Muhdo has launched one of the first at-home epigenetics kits, which it says can provide flexible and accurate information based on a persons genetic expression. Read the full story

Monday, March 4, 2019

The Dangers of a Mandatory DNA Database

A controversy in Arizona is a portent of future public-policy fights.

In Arizona this week, a state legislator named David Livingston stirred a controversy about DNA that may be a portent of privacy nightmares to come. A law he proposed would have forced many residents to give samples of their DNA to a state database, to be stored with their name and Social Security number.

If passed, “many people—from parent school volunteers and teachers to real estate agents and foster parents—will have no choice but to give up their DNA,” The Arizona Republic reported. “Any DNA in the database could be accessed and used by law enforcement in a criminal investigation. It could also be shared with other government agencies across the country for licensing, death registration, to identify a missing person or to determine someone’s real name.”

For the rest of the story hit here

Saturday, March 2, 2019

He took a DNA test in search of his birth father — and found a daughter instead

From shock to nerves to excitement: How an adopted man’s journey with DNA testing led him to a biological child he didn't even know existed. Read the full story