The cooperation of 23andMe and MyHeritage to combine their databases for the benefit of their users opens a world of possibilities.
23andMe and MyHeritage pool their resources.
As I work year after year researching my family’s ancestry, it becomes apparent that genealogy researchers are becoming more protective of their information. As a result, access to information is more exclusive and expensive. Despite this, the use of online genealogy resources and databases has grown exponentially.
A surprising benefit of the commercial aspect of genealogy information is the increase in sites offering genealogy data, whether paid or free. Rather than competing against each other, free and paid sites have been cooperating – cross referencing each other’s resources and data, as with Ancestry.com bringing up and linking to free sites such as Library and Archives Canada, BillionGraves.com and FindaGrave.com, to name just a few.
Now, 23andMe, the DNA and genetics company, will be combining its own DNA ancestry database with the family tree database of MyHeritage.
Provide a saliva sample, and 23andMe will discover the geographic origins of ancestors and help connect people to unknown relatives. MyHeritage’s library of over 5.5 billion records, and their technology for automating ancestry research will enable the mapping of ancestral connections via historical records and family trees.
According to MyHeritage CEO Gilad Japhet, “DNA testing can connect you to relatives you never knew existed, who descend from shared ancestors centuries ago, but family trees and historical records are critical to map and fully understand these connections.”
The cooperation of the two companies will enable 23andMe to offer its 750,000 customers access to MyHeritage’s tools and data, and in return, MyHeritage will use 23andMe’s data, allowing the matching of DNA to explore family trees and connections.
23andMe’s Personal Genome Service and DNA tests will both be offered to MyHeritage’s 70 million registered users.
The integration of the two will occur gradually and is expected to be complete by early 2015.
Over time, I have developed this list of my favorite and most wished for cool gadgets and gifts on every genealist’s wish list whether the occasion is Christmas, birthday, graduation, or any of life’s other milestones.
Apple iPad with Retina Display 4th Generation 9.7 on the genealogist’s wish list.
Although in the past, I always used a laptop for portability, I find that I’m home all the time now and have replaced my old laptop with an all in one desktop with 23″ touch screen that I absolutely love.
Since I learned the lovely news that RootsMagic, my favorite genealogy software, has now released Mac and iOS compatible versions, I have decided that my next purchase will be the Apple iPad for portability – for those rare occasions when I do travel away from home.
Flip-Pal mobile scanner is on every genealogist’s wish list.
This is another scanner I don’t yet own, but I’m toying with purchasing this solely because of its portability and ability to ‘stitch’ images together. This is essential for scanning large documents, certificates, photos, charts, and diagrams.
My Passport Slim BGMT0010BAL-NESN Portable External 1 TB Hard Drive is on every genealogist’s wish list.
I swear by my portable, external hard drive. Using this in conjunction with SkyDrive, my genealogy data is always duplicated and secure. This is by far the best method I’ve found for safeguarding years of hard work and investment.
NMicro 32GB tiny mini micro Pen DRIVE Blue Series is on every genealogist’s wish list.
For those occasions when I don’t want to lug around the portable external hard drive, the micro pen drive is the answers. It is great for storing those scanner images, photos, etc. until I can get home and transfer them to my main system.
Magnabrite® 64mm Light Gathering Magnifier is on every genealogist’s wish list.
I haven’t been doing a lot of research in dimly lit, dusty old libraries, archives, etc., this is an amazing gift as it gathers and magnifies the ambient light to direct it at specific documents, books, etc. and making them more readable.
Nuance – Dragon NaturallySpeaking v.9.0 Preferred is on every genealogist’s wish list.
I love my NaturallySpeaking software and use it all the time. It doesn’t work well when there are people around all the time, but for someone like me who is home alone during the weekdays, this software enables easy verbal transcription of documents, and then it’s just a matter of editing and formatting. Such a time saver!
I also swear by this because I like my blogs to have a more conversational tone, so I dictate my blog posts directly into the software for easy editing and formatting. If you’re a blogger with plenty of quiet time on your own, you really must try this.
NOTE: There is some ‘training’ required to increase accuracy, but except for a few ‘glitchy’ instances, I find it amazingly accurate.
Antenna Shop Carrying Case for Tablets and Gadgets on every genealogist’s wish list.
I don’t think I have to say much about this one. Once I’ve purchased all of the items on my list above that I don’t already own, this would be an ideal case for carrying around the iPad and extraneous gadgets required to keep my genealogy research and blogging life simple – believe it or not!
As I’ve written in previous posts, much of human history has involved the management of relationships, marriages, etc. to safeguard against incestuous relationships, and has resulted in an impressive genealogy obsession in Iceland.
Genealogy obsession in Iceland opens academic doors.
Iceland, with its population of only 320,000, is one small corner of the globe that still deals with the issues of living in the shallow end of the gene pool, manifesting in today’s Icelanders’ preoccupation with genealogy and family history.
In one instance, a group of students from the University of Iceland engineering department created a smart phone app, allowing users to simply bump phones to see if they have a common ancestor, as well as if there’s a relationship and just how close it is.
Prior to the smart phone app, the “Book of Icelanders” (Islendingabok), has been the receptacle of genealogy records. Kári Stefánsson, an Icelandic neurologist, created a web-based version of the “Book of Icelanders” to provide constant access to its users. Kári Stefánsson and Fridrik Skulason claim to have documented 95% of Icelanders of the past three hundred years.
A benefit of the impressive job Icelanders have done tracing their family genealogies, is the extensive collection of data available for studies and experiments in many disciplines including science, social studies, health and genetics.
Although the thoughts of the current and future benefits of genealogical study are pleasant ones, consider the negative – how would such caches of genealogical information have been used during WWII in Germany? The thought is truly frightening.
New analysis from Ancestry.com reveals surprising connections between occupation and owning a home today and since 1900.
Owning a home: Military members least likely and fire fighters more likely to.
I found some of the findings described in the following press release by Ancestry.com surprising except for one – the statistic showing that military members are less likely to own a home.
Having been raised in a Canadian military family, economics was never the first consideration for military families when it came to buying a home, although it was very important. Considering the transient nature of military postings and transfers, it often made more sense to rent either from the military itself or private landlords because we never knew how long we would live somewhere before being transferred yet again.
Changing housing markets always were a major factor, making buying a home while in the military a huge gamble. Although a member may be able to buy a home in one location within their financial means, there was a huge risk of having to sell at a loss at a later date since the time to sell was never the choice of the home owner because they remained at the mercy of the military and were governed by their assignments and transfers.This loss could be greatly compounded if the new transfer location was a higher value housing market, pretty much eliminating the possibility of home ownership in the new location.
The possibility of inheriting property was made much more difficult, possibly resulting in the sale of the family property because of the inability of military families to live on their own property and support their homes near their bases.
The volatility of military living circumstances made it almost impossible to make the investment in a home until nearer the time of retirement, when plans were being made for the future outside military service.
Members of the armed services are among the least likely to own a home in the United States, according to a new analysis by Ancestry, the world’s largest online family history resource. Ancestry recently analyzed 112 years of U.S. Federal Census data to better understand the connection between occupation and owning a home across the nation over the last century. As of 2012, optometrists have the clearest line of sight to home ownership at 90%, while dancers and dance instructors have the lowest home ownership rate at just 23%.
Occupation has had a major impact on home ownership rates since 1900. While the typical size of a profession’s paycheck is an important factor in the rankings, it’s not the only one. There are many instances of a profession having a higher rate of home ownership than another that typically pays more. Some interesting findings from 2012:
Public service often pays off in terms of home ownership rates, except if you are in the armed forces. Fire fighters ranked #7 at 84%, and police officers and detectives #12 at 79%, compared to lawyers and judges who ranked #20 at 78%. Teachers were higher than economists (#45 at 74% versus #97, 64%).
Janitors and sextons had a rate about double that of waiters and waitresses (54% versus 27%).
It turns out that all artists are not starving. Sixty-three percent of artists and art teachers own homes, which is almost twice as high as dancers and dance teachers, which have the lowest rate of home ownership among any profession. Higher rates of home ownership were also seen among musicians and music teachers (62%), entertainers (57%) and authors (63%).
Some skilled professions that include many unionized workers had fairly high rates of home ownership, such as electricians at 73%, plumbers at 70% and power station operators at 87%.
Sixty-two (62) percent of editors and reporters owned homes in 2012, which is higher than almost every other analyzed decade.
Home ownership rates were at just 32% in 1900 and have doubled since then, but nearly all that growth came by 1960. “This kind of historical context is extremely valuable information for people researching their family history,” said Todd Godfrey, Head of Global Content at Ancestry. “Home ownership, occupation, and location are often key bits of information that can help bring the stories of our ancestors to life and greater illumination to the times in which they lived.”
With the stability of the housing market and the economy fluctuating drastically in recent years, occupations with specialized skills and heavy ties to the community fared the best. According to the analysis by Ancestry, top occupations for home ownership in the United States for 2012 are as follows:
Toolmakers and Die Makers/Setters: 88%
Power Station Operators: 87%
Forgemen and Hammermen: 84%
Locomotive Engineers: 84%
Airplane Pilots and Navigators: 83%
“Firemen, dentists and farmers all play integral roles in their local community, so perhaps the need to root in the communities they serve has played a role in home ownership,” Godfrey said. “Firefighters have a deep love for the community they serve, farmers are tied to the land and optometrists and dentists have spent their careers building a clientele list tied to the community. It could also be a case of raising their families in the same homes they were raised in and their parents before them.”
Lower rates of home ownership.
From a list of nearly 200 occupations, the rate of home ownership in 2012 is as low as 23% for certain job types. While the professions with the very highest rate of home ownership weren’t necessarily those with the biggest paychecks, the majority of the professions with the worst rates of home ownership have a mean hourly wage of $13 or less. Job stability and job security also played a large role in how likely those in a given profession were to own a home.
As expected, many of the lowest ranking occupations don’t require higher education including cleaners, waiters, counter workers and cashiers–and have lower job stability. Though surprising at first, members of the armed forces are less likely to own a home due to ability/requirement to live on base, possible deployment or the average age skewing younger. The following are occupations with the lowest rate of home ownership in 2012:
Dancers and Dance Teachers: 23%
Motion Picture Projectionists: 27%
Waiters and Waitresses: 27%
Counter and Fountain Workers: 28%
Members of the Armed Forces: 33%
Service Workers (except private households): 34%
Charwomen and Cleaners: 35%
Cooks (except private households): 36%
Owning a home has been the dream of working men and women in the United States from the nation’s founding. For people from tool makers to optometrists to dancers, home ownership continues to be part of the American dream. To learn more about the Ancestry analysis of home ownership and occupation, visit http://ancstry.me/1ywaIkB.
It has become increasingly apparent recently that there are two distinct schools of thought regarding quality and depth in genealogy research. There are the genealogists who believe in working only with well-sourced, proven information – and then there are those of us who started our genealogical quests simply for the pleasure of doing so. Before either camp can begin searching for answers, they much first know the genealogy questions.
We must know the genealogy questions before we can find the answers.
My own research (see my Blythe Database) started with a curiosity about our history because I grew up in a military family that moved a great deal, and therefore I had very little opportunity to meet with near and distant family members to learn family stories and lore.
I do agree with the article “Take time to produce well-sourced, quality work,” on the Genealogy Today site, in which they respond to another article by Sharon Tate Moody in the Tampa Tribune, entitled “Drive-by genealogists should learn a few rules.” I am one who looks at unsourced information as possible clues to breaking down brick walls and answering questions. Although the information itself may be unsourced and seen as questionable, it can be regarded as a clue. When I receive gedcoms from others, or access information online, I do not discard what could be valuable information simply because there are no sources cited. I note the information, making it part of my own database, intending to return to it, find and cite concrete sources as I can. Yes, I’ve found mistakes, but I have also found wonderful information allowing me to enlarge upon my family’s own stories.
I believe in the researchers’ responsibility for assessing the quality of the data they receive from others. I never take sources cited by others at face value, always working to find the sources cited and attach concrete proof in the form of images, etc.
Although a great deal of the Blythe Database attached to this site is not sourced, the majority of it is – the result of tireless work and ever increasing expense over 15 years. I have a clearly stated ‘Data Quality’ disclaimer linked in the upper horizontal menu of every page and post, and it states:
“The Blythe Database is my genealogy research in its entirety and is an ongoing process. I spend a minimum of four hours a day researching sources to verify data.
I have been researching genealogy for over fifteen years and you will note that I classify all sources by quality. If it is a poor quality source it is clearly indicated as such…
…It is common for there to be gaps in data and sources and in these cases I will use the individual anyway and either leave sources blank (indicating no sources found) or will clearly indicate source quality. It is up to the person using the data to use the information as classified.
I continually search out sources and documents to verify data and improve on substantiation. I have made some of my best discoveries using unsourced data as a starting point and I would hate for those clues to not be available.
This site is an effort to provide open, free sharing of genealogical information. However, all information is only as good as the sources cited.
I will gladly make corrections to data providing the information provided can be substantiated by the submitter with a source…”
Let’s face it: it’s quickly getting to the point where information gleaned from others will rarely include sources, images, etc. as more and more researchers become protective of their data. I understand as I struggle with my decision to openly share ALL of my information, but ultimately feel I’ve made the right decision, hopefully promoting more open and cooperative sharing of data by others as well.
Genealogy is a passion for me – and others. I enjoy the hunt as much as finding those elusive facts and sources. Maybe it’s my inner detective struggling to get out. Whatever the reason, my database will always have a substantial amount of unsourced data as I continually stumble upon new and hopefully ‘breakthrough’ information. I do, however, spend as much time as I can finding evidence and sources, but find (and I’m sure others do as well) that each new discovery raises numerous new questions, and finding those answers takes a great deal of time and effort.
Sorry for the large gap. I’m in the process of doing some experimental performance of this site which has demanded much of my attention in the past couple of weeks. Finally, though, here are the FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Updates and Additions to October 14, 2014.
FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions
FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Updates and Additions.