Tag: DNA

Unknown Soldiers: DNA technology makes it possible for their remains to be identified.


Unknown soldiers can be identified!

More than 83,000 US service members lost since the start of WWII are still missing, according to a representative of the Department of Defence. Several lie in forgotten graves on the battlefield and below memorials offering no clue to their identities.

New techniques in DNA technology may mean we have seen the last burial of an unknown soldier. In offices and laboratories across the country and archaeological sites scattered across continents, groups of investigators and scientists comb the remains of the past for lost defenders.

In the US, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), based in Honolulu, Hawaii, and also the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO), based in Arlington, Virginia keep case files on each missing sailor, soldier, Marine and airman.

Researchers at JPAC and DPMO establish possible sites of remains. A team of archaelogists visited North Korea in 2004 and located skeletal remains of thirty individuals tossed haphazardly into a mass grave close to Chosin Reservoir. They shipped the bones to JPAC in Honolulu, where the bones were used to find gender, age, ancestry, and distinguishing marks. The process can take anywhere from two weeks to one year, depending on the existing backlog. Frustratingly, the original sample may not be enough and in that case, they must restart from the beginning.

For the remains whose DNA is successfully processed, the researchers will try and match them with DNA samples taken from thousands of possible family members.

Two of my great uncles, Private Joseph Philias Albert Emery and Private Joseph Turmaine, were reported missing in action in WWI and I would be thrilled to have their remains recovered.

AncestryAcademy training.

Ancestry launches Ancestry Academy; educational video courses for family history researchers.

I just discovered this press release about Ancestry.com ‘s new ‘Ancestry Academy’ for family history researchers. Even though I do have over twenty years experience researching my ancestors, I have every intention of checking this out. I have never stopped learning new things in the … Continue reading Ancestry launches Ancestry Academy; educational video courses for family history researchers.

Irish Genetic Homeland Finder: Ancestry by DNA, place names, surnames.

The Irish Genetic Homeland Finder website is taking advantage of Ireland being the one country that preceded all others in using paternal surnames, by using the surnames as well as DNA and geographical place names in pinpointing direct male ancestry for approximately 1,000 years.
Irish Genetic Homeland Finder: Ancestry by DNA
Irish Genetic Homeland Finder traces Irish Ancestry using DNA, place names, and surnames.

This is an interactive site available to anyone who may be curious about their Irish surname, or those interested in more detailed research into Irish surnames that appear in their family tree.

Registration for this site is free and the first six queries are free, although there are fees applied on a pay as you go basis for additional queries.

All that is necessary is to input your surname(s) of interest to find locations where farmers with that surname cluster, in addition to place names and castles associated with the surname(s). Once the search button is pressed, it is possible to zoom within the interactive map to find known areas of concentrations of the names.

This works particularly well in Ireland because original farming families of a particular surname can still be found farming the lands of their ancestors. Those farmers also used their name in naming places they lived and castles they built, owned and passed on through their families.

If there is more than one Irish surname in one’s ancestry, it is possible to input all surnames and find locations where the highest concentration of each surname can be compared and finding likely places where both surnames coexisted.

Searches can be saved to avoid ever having to pay for the same search twice.

When examined in conjunction with an ancestral DNA test, it is possible to achieve a much more detailed and precise result. The DNA test can help to reveal surnames of ancestors and neighbors up to about 1,000 years ago.

I don’t have much Irish ancestry, but I’m sure this site could be hugely valuable to those whose Irish ancestry is more significant.

photo credit: George L Smyth via photopin cc

DNA, archaeology, anthropology and genealogy open eyes to the past.

It seems that every time I turn on my computer to view the internet, I find new articles and posts about discoveries made in DNA, archaeology, genealogy and even science, that shed new light on our search into the origins of our own family and heritage, and the origins of our ethnic groups.

Today I stumbled upon the article “Discovered 2.3 k-yr-old human skeleton throws light on our ancestry,” on the ANINews website.archaeology, genealogy and science teach about our past and history.

According to this article, “DNA from the complete 1.5 metre tall skeleton is one of the ‘earliest diverged,’ oldest in genetic terms, found to-date in a region where modern humans are believed to have originated roughly 200,000 years ago.”

The DNA evidence pointed to this man being from a branch that is the most closely related to ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ and now presumed to be extinct.

Reading about these new discoveries points out something very intriguing to me. In the past, the discoveries were made based on exploration, experimentation, and finding something new, affecting and changing the future.

Today, the discoveries one hears of most are those delving into the past, using all disciplines of social studies including genealogy, anthropology and archaeology; and the sciences including DNA and chemical analysis.

Today’s most most well known and talked about discoveries are looking to the past and where we came from; individually, as a family, and as part of a broader ethnic group.

This suits me fine as this is my area of interest and fascination. I can’t help but feel excitement with each new discovery in my own genealogy, as well as reading and hearing about the discoveries made with a much broader, more global impact.

It all matters and sheds light on who we are and where we came from.

Barack Obama

I learn my husband may be descended from the first documented slave in America, John Punch…

A while ago I learned from news headlines that President Barack Obama is descended via marriage from John Punch, the first documented African slave in America. He was an indentured servant declared a slave for life in punishment for attempting an escape in 1640. Ancestry.com … Continue reading I learn my husband may be descended from the first documented slave in America, John Punch…

Genealogy News Bites to July 1, 2014.

The following are the genealogy news bites and headlines up to and including June 30, 2014.
genealogy news bites
Genealogy News Bites to July 1, 2014.
KQED (blog)

You Can Transform Your Genetic Ancestry Data into Health Info, But Your

For just $5, Promethease can turn ancestry/family DNA data from companies like 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA, and/or ancestry.com into DNA health data. The link here has step-by-step instructions about how to get your raw data from each of these companies …

FamilySearch Blog

Free Webinar US Research Series: United States Land Records—July 10, 2014

The Family History Library will present a free webinar for all who are interested in learning how to use United States Land Records to help them expand their family history research efforts…

Prologue: Pieces of History

Now On Display: The Civil Rights Act of 1964

On July 2, 1964, with Martin Luther King, Jr., directly behind him, President Lyndon Johnson scrawled his signature on a document years in the making—the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark legislation…

Olive Tree Genealogy

Great News! J. L. McFarland (Case #21) Dog Tag – Family Found

Two days ago I posted about the dog tag of J. L. McFarland. I am really pleased to say that with the help of one of my amazing readers G. Johns, we have found this soldier’s nephew…

Faulty Content List for Home District Land Claims 1803 & 1804 – Corrections Part 3

Canadiana.Org has digitized 21 films of the Heir & Devisee Commission Papers (Heir & Devisee Commission papers 1797-1854, found in their Heritage Collection), and that’s a good thing for genealogists.

Update on Ancestry Websites After the DDOS Attacks

Here is the latest update from Ancestry.com about the outages caused by the DDOS Attack last week. Contrary to what Conspiracy Theorists were posting on various Social Media sites, Rootsweb has *not* been taken down, and it is now functional.  I’m waiting to see if some of the more vocal conspiracy theorists will admit on those same forums that they were wrong…

Is NewspaperArchive DOT com in Trouble?

As reported in The Gazette in the article Cedar Rapids company under state review after complaints, Heritage Microfilm and NewspaperArchive.com are being investigated by the Iowa Attorney General’s Office…

Ancestry.com Blog

Murder Mysteries, Dickensian Conditions, Laughter and Tears

This Summer sees the ever popular BBC show Who Do You Think You Are return to our screens with a stellar lineup of British and Irish celebrities. Launched in 2004, the show will hit its 100th episode during the upcoming series.


The National Archives blog

Two bullets that changed the course of history

On this day exactly 100 years ago, Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, and his wife Sophia, Duchess of Hohenberg, were assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Franz Ferdinand was the nephew of the…

Yahoo Finance UK

Ancestry.com Boasts Largest Online Collection of Puerto Rico Historical

Ancestry.com today announced the availability of nearly 5 million Puerto Rico birth, marriage and death records. Spanning 165 years (1836-2001), this comprehensive collection of vital records was originally


Genealogy Insider – Findmypast Acquires Genealogy Website Mocavo

Findmypast Acquires Genealogy Website Mocavo Posted by Diane Another week, another acquisition for British genealogy company Findmypast: The company just announced that it has purchased Mocavo.com, a genealogy …

photo credit: pierre pouliquin via photopin cc

Genealogy News Bites to June 3, 2014

genealogy news bites and headlines
Genealogy News Bites and Headlines

The following are the genealogy news bites and headlines to June 3, 2014.

FamilySearch Blog

RootsTech 2015 Now Accepting Presentation Proposals

The RootsTech Content Committee is now accepting dynamic presentations for RootsTech 2015 that inform and educate both those seeking to begin and those continuing to discover their family story through technology

15-Year-Old Organizes Unique Genealogy Event for Eagle Scout Project

Fifteen-year-old Hunter Boyer has chosen a unique Eagle Scout project to benefit the past, present and future on May 31, 2014 at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas, USA. Boyer’s goal is to recruit enough volunteers to take photos of over 50,000 graves using the smartphone app BillionGraves

Family History Research Keeps Getting Easier!

FamilySearch will soon release a feature called “hinting.” With this powerful tool, the site will automatically search for records that match people in your family tree. When you go to an ancestor’s page we will show you what we have found just for that person amongst our vast collections of records

Great Web Tools for Searching Historic Newspapers

Countless millions of historic newspapers all over the world are now revealing their secrets as they are being digitally published online. And that means they are much more accessible to family historians—if they know where and how to find them

One Rhode Island Family

Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques – A Book Review

I recently read a book about genealogical research that I highly recommend: Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques by George C. Morgan and Drew Smith (New York: McGraw Hill Education, 2014). I guess it’s no secret

The National Archivees

Politics, Egyptology and revolution

In May 1919, the British government decided to send a Special Mission headed by Lord Milner, Secretary of State for the Colonies, to investigate the causes of the 1919 Egyptian

Ancestry.com Blog

Don’t Miss Out: Enter For A Chance To Win Our Branch Out Contest!

t’s June which means another cycle of our Branch Out Contest! Enter for a chance to win some great prizes! The Grand Prize winner, upon confirmation of eligibility, will receive the following prize package

New Wisconsin State Research Guide

Happy belated 166th birthday, Wisconsin! You don’t look a day over 160. But you do have a rich and storied past. Home to a vibrant fur trade in the 1600s and 1700s, you drew the French, the British, and Native American tribes seeking an escape from the Iroquois Wars of the 17th century

Honoring the Dead: What Military Headstones Can Tell Us

Memorial Day is now observed in the United States on the last Monday in May. However, today (May 30) is the “traditional” holiday. In 1868, Maj. General John Logan declared that May 30 should be set aside as a day to decorate the graves of those who had died in the Civil War

6 Steps for Success in Working with Your AncestryDNA Matches

I’ve been working with my AncestryDNA results for a couple of years now with great success.  Here are six steps you can use to find success with your AncestryDNA matches as well

The Surprising Facts Oprah Winfrey Learned About Her DNA

Like many African Americans whose genealogy is difficult to trace beyond slavery, Oprah knew little about her ancestry. She was born in Mississippi and on a previous African American Lives program, had learned that an

Fold3 Blog

150th Anniversary (1864–2014) This Month in the Civil War: Battle of Cherbourg

June 19, 1864, saw the most famous Confederate raider, the CSS Alabama, sent to the bottom of the ocean after a battle with the USS Kearsarge off the coast of Cherbourg, France. After two years of disrupting U.S. shipping all over the world—and sinking a Union warship in 1863

Fashion Times

‘Maleficent’ Star Elle Fanning, Sister Dakota are Kate Middleton’s Cousins … – Fashion Times

Elle Fanning (Photo : Reuters) Genealogy experts found out that “Maleficent” star Elle Fanning and sister Dakota are direct descendants of England’s King Edward III and are related to British princess Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

How Genealogy Became Almost as Popular as Porn

Genealogy is the second most popular hobby in the U.S. after gardening, according to ABC News, and the second most visited category of websites, after pornography. It’s a billion-dollar industry that has spawned profitable

Free Genealogy Advisory Service in the National Library of Ireland …

The joint consortium of Eneclann and Ancestor Network are delighted to announce that they have been selected by the National Library of Ireland to enhance its provision of Summer genealogy services, following a

The Root

Are Slave Narratives Useful to My Family Tree Research?

Get your kin talking, pull out a digital voice recorder, and before you know it, you will have begun a collection of oral histories that will provide a gold mine of genealogy information for you and for future generations. It’s too bad we can’t debrief

Olive Tree Genealogy

Irish Lands Stolen By Oliver Cromwell

Do you have Irish ancestors? If the answer is “yes” then you will want to visit Irish Lands stolen by Oliver Cromwell Quoting from the website (Trinity College Dublin) Taken in the years 1656-1658, the Down Survey of Ireland is the first ever

Reading 16th Century English Records

Call me a geeky nerd but I love the challenge of old handwriting. This image on the left is the baptism record of my 11th great-grandmother Martha Barrett.  It took me awhile to find her on the page but by scrutinizing the handwriting of all entries I was eventually able to recognize her first name and the surname

Genealogy Musings

8th Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise

In March 2011 we ran our first history and genealogy cruise. After our third cruise in 2013 it was evident there was interest in more cruises and greater variety of destinations, cost, duration and cruise focus. In mid-2013 we

Library and Archives Canada

Release of an updated version of the Immigrants from China database

May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada, during which we acknowledge the long and rich history of Asian Canadians and their contributions to Canada. Asian Heritage Month also provides an opportunity for Canadians across the country to reflect on and celebrate the contributions of Canadians of Asian heritage to the growth and prosperity of Canada

A Tragic Voyage: 100 Years after the Sinking of the Empress of Ireland

On May 28, 1914, under the command of Captain Henry George Kendall, the Empress of Ireland set sail under clear skies from Québec City with 1,477 passengers and crew on board heading to Liverpool, England. The ship picked up mail at Rimouski and then continued on to the pilot station, Pointe-au-Père, where the pilot disembarked saying, “I don’t think you’ll run into much fog,” as he climbed down the rope ladder

Underwater Canada: A Researcher’s Brief Guide to Shipwrecks

Shipwrecks, both as historical events and artifacts, have sparked the imagination and an interest in the maritime heritage of Canada. The discovery of the War of 1812 wrecks Hamilton and Scourge, found in Lake Ontario in the 1970s, and the discovery of the Titanic in the 1980s, served to heighten public awareness of underwater archaeology and history

The National Archives Blog

Tales from the Special Operations Executive: Operation Remorse

It was ‘the biggest currency black market in history’,  a secret operation under the auspices of the Special Operations Executive (SOE), Britain’s Second World War clandestine warfare organisation. This was

The Ancestry Insider

Ancestry.com Adds Linking Tool to FamilySearch Collection

Amy Johnson Crow, Ancestry.com spokesperson recently wrote about a new feature on Ancestry.com: the ability to link a record from an image-only collection to someone in your tree. They fly a bit under the radar, but both

Genealogy Insider

Your Comments Needed on New Standards for …

A committee of genetic genealogists and scientists have drafted ethical and usage standards for genetic genealogy research, and they’re asking for your feedback by June 15, 2014. You can download the Genetic Genealogy

Wales Online

Cardiff student is cycling across Europe tracing his ancestry in a bid to … – WalesOnline

A Cardiff student will be spending his summer cycling across Europe tracing his ancestry in a bid to raise funds for charity Unicef UK. Jacob Dirnhuber, 20, will be setting off from Vienna – where his great-grandfather was born – and riding more than 1

Discover Magazine Blog

Ancient Cave Skeleton Sheds Light on Early American Ancestry – Discover Magazine (blog)

Genetic studies have pointed to a Siberian ancestry for modern Native Americans. Most researchers believe the first Americans (Paleoamericans) migrated from northwest Asia via Beringia, the now-submerged land bridge between present-day Siberia and


Researchers develop DNA GPS tool to accurately trace geographical ancestry – Gizmag

The new tool models this process by looking at more than 100,000 DNA signatures, known as ancestry-informative markers (AIMs) that are typical to specific geographical regions. The GPS tool uses autosomal chromosomes for analysis rather than

Silicone Slopes

Ancestry scans DNA of 400000 people in geneology search

AncestyDNA, Ancestry.com’s DNA database, provides users with a personalized genetic ethnicity estimate. Developed by a team of genetic and data scientists and released in May 2012, the test opens up a growing network for users of genetic cousins and

photo credit: mattappleby via photopin cc

Genealogy News Bites – May 5, 2014

genealogy news bites picsIn an effort to help ease the load of searching for genealogy news and genealogy events, I prepare a ‘Genealogy News Bites’ post to gather together what I feel are the most important or informative genealogy news headlines from the previous week (or thereabouts). Following are the most recent and relevant genealogy news headlines.


Olive Tree Genealogy

Victorian Reform School & Prison Records Online – A Contest!

John Wormald age 11 Reform School 1892 Ancestry.co.uk, Ancestry.ca and Ancestry.com have recently published some fascinating reformatory school and prison records from West Yorkshire

Irish Census Records 1821-1911 online

1821 Census Colebrooke (Aghalurcher, Fermanagh) Irish Census Records from 1821 to 1911 (with gaps 1861 to 1901) are now available online.  The earlier records are scattered and many have not survived but The National Archives of Ireland

Prosapia Genetics – Worth the Money?

Yesterday I decided to check out a website that has the genealogy community buzzing. The Examiner called it a “Groundbreaking GPS tool [that] finds your ancestors, genealogy, family tree and history”  Basically it is being touted as

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Panel to discuss genealogy issues in La Verne – Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

The panel sponsored by the Southern California Society of Professional Genealogists will provide members and guests with a special opportunity to meet in a roundtable setting


Matthew 1:1-17; The Genealogy of Jesus (Cross-Reference Comparison)

Some believe that Matthew’s genealogy focuses primarily on the family tree of Jesus’ adopted father, Joseph, while Luke’s highlights the lineage of his mother, Mary. Another theory

Genealogy Canada

RCMP obituary card index and notices, 1876-2007

Here is an instance which demonstrates the co-operative partnership that exists between Ancestry and Family Search these days with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) obituaries card and notices between 1876 and 2007

OGS announces officers for 2014-2016

The slate of new officers for 2014-2016 was announced today at the OGS Conference. The president is Alan Campbell. Alan is from the Lambton Branch of the OGS.The vice president i…

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

Evernote Was Made For Genealogy | Eastman’s Online Genealogy …

Cyndi of Cyndi’s List has started a new section entitled, Evernote Was Made For Genealogy. She writes, “I will admit it. I’m an Evernote junkie. I love this tool and all it has to offer

Ancestry.com Blog

Don’t Let Mold Destroy Your Family History

Mold is a four-letter word. It can destroy your documents and it can make you sick. What do you do when you discover that great-grandpa’s Civil War letters or the family Bible has mold on it? Here are some tips

Erik IX, King of Sweden

Saint Erik IX, King of SwedenErik IX, King of Sweden, is 26th great grandfather of my children on their father’s side.

The odd thing about this ancestry is that it is not through my husband’s mother’s Swedish ancestry, but through his father’s Welsh, and Royal ancestors.

Saint Erik "the Saint, den Helige" Jedvardsson IX, King of SwedenKeeping in mind the quality of sources going back that far, I have sourced this line through the best, highly regarded sites available to researchers, such as Foundation for Medieval Genealogy and the Directory of Royal Genealogy of Hull University, among others.

Today, I read a USAToday story about scientists opening the coffin of Erik IX, King of Sweden, who was murdered near Uppsala, Sweden in 1160. The identity of the murderer of Erik is speculation, one possibility being Emund Olvbane, an assassin, and another being Magnus Henriksson, who some say succeeded Erik IX briefly. Erik was made a saint later in his life.

There is excitement surrounding the ability to study King Erik’s bones because there is so little known about him. They will be using DNA and x-rays to examine and investigate, hoping to learn details about his ancestry, health, diet and residence locations. There has been disagreement over his place of origin, some believing he was from Uppsala, and some believing he was from the west coast.

Uppsala CathedralEvidence of a sword strike has been noted and may have contributed to his death. Some believe he died from a blow to the head, while others  believe he was captured and later beheaded. Either of these theories is plausible because of the mark on the collar bone from a sword. Hopefully, these studies will provide answers.

Among artifacts to be studied is the gilded copper crown adorned with semi-precious stones, worn by Erik and being the oldest existing medieval royal crown in existence.

The crown of Erik IX, King of Sweden, will go on exhibit at the Uppsala Cathedral in June, along with several artifacts from other churches. Uppsala Cathedral is believed to have been built to house the remains of King Erik IX.

Genealogy News Bites – April 19, 2014

overwhelmed with news

In an effort to help ease the ‘news’ and ‘research’ load, I prepare a ‘Genealogy News Bites’ post to gather together what I feel are the most important or informative headlines from the previous week (or thereabouts).

Following are the recent stories and headlines of interest to the genealogy community since April 10, 2014.



Basics of Genealogy Reference : A Librarian’s Guide

Basics of Genealogy Reference : A Librarian’s Guide free download

“Basics of Genealogy Reference: A Librarian’s Guide” by Jack Simpson Overview – This book offers novice and experienced reference librarians an introduction on proven genealogy techniques and


Free Access to Civil War Records on Fold3

To remember the commencement of the Civil War in April 1861, FOLD 3 invites you to explore all records in its Civil War Collection for free April 14–30. Explore Civil War documents featuring everything from military records to personal accounts and historic writings. Soldier records include service records, pension index cards, “Widows’ Pension” files, Navy survivors certificates



Library and Archives (LAC) Canada

New Genealogy & History Records on Heritage Website

This is an announcement from Library and Archives Canada: The following is a list of digitized microfilms that have been recently added to the Héritage website. Please note that although the titles have been translated, the records are still in the language of origin.

Access to Information and Privacy requests can now be made online

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is launching a form that will enable Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) requests and payments to be made online. Processing of credit card payments will be made through the Government of Canada’s secure Receiver General Buy Button (RGBB). The request form is located on the LAC website under Transparency

Newly Digitized Microfilms on the Héritage Portal – Recent Additions

The following is a list of digitized microfilms that have been recently added to the Héritage website. Please note that although the titles have been translated, the records are still in the language of origin

Genealogy Canada Blog

Parish registers: Manitoba

Heritage Canada has put more digital records online, and one of the records that you may find helpful are the parish records for Manitoba.Government registration of vital statistics (baptism, marriage and death) for Manitoba did not begin until the late 1800s

Parish registers have been put online

Irene Schofield just sent a notice that the registers of St. Ann Roman Catholic Church, Guyborough, Nova Scotia has just been transcribed and have been put on http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~saintann/Records/home.html


Genealogy Canada: Ancestry.ca releases Lower Canada and …

Ancestry.ca releases Lower Canada and Canada East Census Records. Ancestry.ca has announced the release of more than 120,000 Canadian Census records from Lower Canada (now Quebec)


Probate in the United Kingdom: An Overview

After finding your ancestors in civil registration, census records, and parish registers, there are many different record types that are widely available for the UK. When I’m doing research, I usually look for probate records, and specifically wills, of my ancestors

Pennsylvania Death Certificates Now Available

Pennsylvania research just got easier, thanks to the release of Pennsylvania, Death Certificates 1906-1924. This collection contains more than 2.4 million records and has images of the actual death certificates

Tattoos: Signs of an “Interesting Past”

Jack London is quoted as saying, “Show me a man with a tattoo and I’ll show you a man with an interesting past.” My great-great-grandfather, Thomas Howley, was certainly no exception. In 1864, he joined the U.S. Navy under an assumed name so his wife wouldn’t find out

DNA Hints – Providing More Clarity To My DNA Results

Last week we announced that the AncestryDNA team collectively has found 2.7 million DNA hints. 10 days later, we are nearing 3 million DNA hints – and the number is increasing as more and more people get tested and build out their family tree. Remember: a hint is more than a DNA match. You get a DNA hint when AncestryDNA has found a common ancestor you and a DNA match share

Ancestry Scanning to Return in 2014 – Genealogy Jamboree Blog

We have received confirmation that Ancestry will again be on site during Jamboree to provide free scanning services. In past years, scanning has been one of the most popular activities at Jamboree. We know you’ll be happy

Online Trees. Root of All Evil?

…So are trees the root of all evil? In a word, no. And in fact, not only are they not evil, if you are doing genealogy correctly, they must be part of your research plan. Yep, I went there. Now, I’m sure some of you just spit coffee


King George’s Answer to the White Feather: World War I’s Silver War Badge

The British Empire lost more than 700,000 service personnel in World War I, and almost three times that many were discharged because of wounds or illness that left them physically unfit for service. The service and sacrifice of more than 800,000 of these men—and women—is recognized in the collection of Silver War Badge Records, 1914–1920, now on Ancestry.co.uk

The Ancestry Insider

Win Ancestry.com Subscription, DNA Test, and Research Package

The unofficial, unauthorized view of Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org. The Ancestry Insider reports on, defends, and constructively criticizes these two websites and associated topics. The author attempts to fairly and

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter (EOGN)

Update: 2014 Genealogy Cruise Early Booking Special – Eastman’s …

I wrote earlier (at http://goo.gl/MttkJE and at http://goo.gl/qhG8Oe) about a 7-day genealogy cruise on board the Celebrity Silhouette in the Eastern Caribbean that starts on December 7, 2014. I will be one of the speakers on

Federation of Genealogical Societies calls for Award Nominations …

April 10, 2014 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) calls for genealogy contribution award nominations through June 15, 2014. The specific award categories and a link to the submission form can be

Brookings Institution Blog

Trace Your Genetic Ancestry Through National Geographic’s Genographic Project

Ever wonder where you came from? Now with the help of National Geographic’s Genographic Project, you can find out. Population geneticist Dr. Spencer Wells and a team at National Geo (www.genographic.com) will send you a Geno 2.0 test kit that collect


Attention Indexers! Your Feedback Is Needed

With the introduction of the new indexing program, FamilySearch is planning to introduce a new process to maintain indexing quality. In this new model, a single volunteer will index and submit a batch, and a second volunteer will review the completed work. The person reviewing the batch will have the ability to add corrections

FamilySearch Adds More Than 2.1 Million Images to Collections from Italy

FamilySearch has added more than 2.1 million images to collections from Italy. Notable collection updates include the 89,778 images from the new Italy, Lucca, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1807–1814, collection; the 445,302 images from the new Italy, Genova, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1796–1812, 1838–1859, 1866–1899, collection

Genealogy and History News

Chris Paton–Thomas MacEntee Downunder Tour Survey Stats …

Their events include genealogy expos, roadshows, cruises, and more some specialised meetings from time to time. To help with future events they rely on feedback, so after each event they send out a survey which allows

The National Archives (UK)

To display or not to display – that is the question…

Faded book spines, curtain backs, and tapestries; we’ve all witnessed the irreversible damage that light can cause to decorative objects.  Such colour change can detrimentally affect the aesthetic appeal, interpretation

National Genealogical Society

UpFront with NGS: The newest genealogy-related Apps for ios…

It also puts me in a bind as far as this blog, since I really like to report “news” that has broad utility and ideally that would be announcing the availability of a genealogy-related app for both platforms

Genealogy News Bites – April 10, 2014

Genealogy News Bites
Genealogy News Bites

Following are the genealogy news bites and headlines up to April 10, 2014.

The Week

Adolf Hitler’s wife Eva Braun ‘had Jewish ancestry’

Scientists who extracted genetic material from Eva Braun’s hair found she had Jewish ancestry

Gloucester Citizen

Old fashioned baby names dying out: The full list from Ancestry.co.uk

Research carried out by Ancestry.co.uk studied birth records for 1905 and produced a ‘top 100’. They then compared the names to those on the 2012 baby name list from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the most recent data available. The extinct

Olive Tree Genealogy

Evidence of St. Louis French Colonial Log Home Found

Evidence of a French colonial home in St. Louis was found beneath layers of concrete and bricks during digging by the Department of Transportation.  It is the first trace

One Man in England Saves 5000 WW1 Photos from Being Destroyed

Screen Dump from BBC News Sussex website This is a fascinating story about an ordinary man in England who took it on himself to save and preserve WW1 photos, cards, letters and other objects from the dump

DAR Accepting DNA as Evidence of Descent From Revolutionary War Ancestor

Good news for those seeking to prove an ancestor for admittance to DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution). Keeping up with the times, DAR now accepts DNA as evidence

Corpses of WW1 Soldiers Found as Glaciers Melt in Italy

A recent story online Melting glaciers in northern Italy reveal corpses of WW1 soldiers explains how dead soldiers from WW1 battles are being found and reburied by local villagers

Library and Archives Canada

Sir John A. Macdonald: Rare and intriguing treasures from the vaults of Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada holds Canada’s most comprehensive collection of material related to the life, times and continuing appeal of Sir John A. Macdonald (1815–1891)

The Vindicator

Program on DNA Testing as a Tool for Genealogy

While her educational research focused on Cajun identity and language, her role in customer support at Family Tree DNA has led to a passion for educating the public on how to make their own connections through genetic genealogy. Her program, Getting

Huffington Post

Utah Prisoners Do Mormon Research From JailGenealogy

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) William J. Hopkins already knew a bit about genealogy work when he arrived at the Utah State Prison in 1994, an interest that was sparked in his teens by an aunt who is a family historian. Hopkins, 40, now spends two to three hours

Owen Sound Sun Times

War medals return, family thrilled

Grey Roots purchased an Owen Sound man’s First World War war medals on eBay and now Sgt. Nelson Ross “Scotty” Crowe’s great-great-niece has come forward with pictures and details about the soldier’s life

Magic Valley Times-News

Hidden History: Farm Labor Camps in WWII

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed in 1942 an order placing all people of Japanese ancestry within the U.S. into 11 relocation centers throughout the West

Brisbane Times

DNA to pick out suspect, warts and all

Australian police and researchers are developing a ground-breaking test that will help them identify suspects based on the DNA evidence they leave behind

The Guardian

Spain offers Sephardic Jews fast track to naturalisation

Cabinet approves bill allowing dual nationality for Jews whose ancestors fled the Spanish inquisition Spain has announced new measures to speed up the naturalisation of Jews of Sephardic descent whose ancestors fled the Iberian peninsula five centuries ago when they were told to convert to Catholicism or go into exile

Havana street produces 12 sets of twins

High number of twins in Cuban capital district baffles scientists, as locals blame everything from genetics to a sacred tree Some say it could be something in the water. Others point to a tree with mystical significance

Tracing your family tree? The 10 best apps to help you find your relatives

Laura Berry, lead genealogist for BBC1’s Who Do You Think You Are?, offers an expert’s guide to aid your online searches A decade ago there was no point even considering researching your roots

The Scotsman

Pensioner meets brother and sister after 70 years

A Scottish pensioner has been reunited with his long-lost brother and sister for the first time in 70 years

Payvand Iran News

Eight Iranian-Americans among recipients of the 2014 Ellis Island Medal of Honor

Eight Iranian-Americans are among the recipients of the 2014 Ellis Island Medal of Honor which will be awarded on May 10th, 2014. The medals are presented annually to American citizens who have distinguished themselves within their own ethnic groups while exemplifying the values of the American way of life

The Vancouver Sun

John Mackie: Vancouver’s vaudeville mystery solved

Lucy Tremblay died in 1983. So imagine her daughter-in-law’s surprise when she opened up Monday’s Vancouver Sun to see Lucy in a vaudeville photo from the 1910s or ’20s

Genealogy News Bites to March 28, 2014

Internet podcasts

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

Amara is an online resource that gives individuals, communities, and larger organizations the power to overcome accessibility and language barriers for online videos.  This unique tool is simple to use, collaborative, and fun

National Archives (Great Britain)

Last autumn we put out a call to the higher education sector for research project proposals based on our research agenda, and received a fantastic response.  Proposals of the highest quality were received

Web Pro News

…there are plenty of ancestry sites that will help you locate the records you need. Most of these sites charge a subscription fee. The question is, are they worth the cost? If you plan on putting a lot of time and effort into your genealogy or family history

Ancestry.co.uk Blog

DNA solved a 70-year-old question of whether Loraine Allison survived the Titanic crash. Many have wondered what happened to the two-year-old little girl

FamilySearch.org Blog

For those who were not able to personally attend RootsTech 2014, we now have the video recorded present(ation)s of nineteen selected speakers posted online

Several new research classes have been added to the Learning Center on FamilySearch.org. The new training includes courses in Swedish, Danish, and Czech research, as well as 8 Spanish language research courses

Fold3 Blog

Fold3 has digitized nine titles documenting hundreds of thousands of men who served in the New York National Guard (NYNG) and other New York regiments for conflicts from the Civil War to World War II

Library and Archives Canada (LAC)

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has a wealth of early sound recordings of pioneers in the arts on discs and wax cylinders. These recordings cover a range of themes, such as patriotic songs, jazz and dance from the 1920s, Québécois recordings

LAC is releasing its latest podcast episode, The Virtual Gramophone: Early Canadian Sound Recordings. LAC’s Virtual Gramophone is a multimedia website

Fort Howe images are now on Flickr. During the American Revolution, New Brunswick experienced continuous pressure from American forces including attacks

Discover a sampling of photos of the Indian Residential Schools of Alberta. The photos from other provinces and territories will be added to this first collection this summer

The following photographs are part of the Arctic Images from the Turn of the Twentieth Century exhibition presented at the National Gallery of Canada. Featuring material from Library and Archives Canada’s collections, the exhibition showcases rarely seen images

photo credit: Br3nda via photopin cc

King Richard III’s genome to be sequenced by scientists.

Richard III, King of EnglandPrevious posts I’ve written described our fascination with King Richard III and the search for his grave, which ended successfully when his skeleton was unearthed in a Leicester parking lot in England.

Now scientists have announced they will be sequencing Richard III’s DNA, which is of great interest to us and numerous other descendants of Richard III and his family.

He is an ancestor of Mark’s family and has been the subject of some research on my part. The resulting posts were:

Richard III's grave in Leicester parking lot.I’ve been toying with the idea of getting Mark’s and my DNA, and now that DNA profiles are more prevalent, it’s looking more and more like it would be a worthwhile endeavor.

Tombstone plaque for Richard III.Research can only be so accurate. Every family and generation has experienced their scandals and secrets that were never documented, and which may have affected the recorded ancestries, such as a child born from an illicit affair that was never disclosed. Even more questionable are the undocumented connections.

DNA might be helpful in solving some mysteries in more recent generations of branches of my family, as it is the one and only way we might have to prove blood connections to family and ancestors, either confirming or refuting the documentary evidence. It would be wonderful to have some of my questions answered and suspicions and theories confirmed.

photo credit: University of Leicester via photopin cc

photo credit: OZinOH via photopin cc

photo credit: lisby1 via photopin cc

Do you have Neanderthal DNA? You may well ask if you are hairy, have tough skin, nails and thick hair.

CavemenThis morning, I happened upon an extremely interesting news story on malaysiandigest.com, “Are You A Hairy Diabetic Smoker Who Suffers Stomach Cramps? Blame Your Neanderthal Ancestor“, in which they describe the links between remnants of Neanderthal DNA and several modern health problems.

Do you have Type 2 diabetes, lupus, Crohn’s disease and biliary cirrhosis? These are some of the illnesses and conditions linked to Neanderthal DNA.

The Neanderthal DNA has also been linked to inherited traits such as tough skin, nails, and thick hair.

People of sub-Saharan Africa who did not migrate out and breed with Neanderthals, have very little or no Neanderthal DNA.

As genealogists, we do understood that traditional genealogy research techniques and tools can only take us back as far as a couple of centuries with any certainty.

DNA testing, however, opens up a whole new wealth of information about our ancestries that can be valuable in genealogy, but especially in determining, predicting and managing certain health conditions and traits.

The malaysiandigest.com article explains the connections in greater detail.

photo credit: wallyg via photopin cc

DNA DataLink by DNA Services of America revolutionizes the DNA services industry.

DNA DataLink is an internet-based operating system that allows for complete integration between licensed and franchised services centers, and accurate test results nationwide.

Lafayette, LA (PRWEB) May 26, 2013 (Published directly from the original PRESS RELEASE.)

DNA Services of AmericaDNA Services of America, founded by entrepreneur Jeffrey A. Martin, is excited to announce that they have revolutionized the DNA services industry through their breakthrough innovation DNA DataLink. DNA DataLink is an internet-based operating system that allows for complete integration between licensed and franchised services centers. DNA DataLink has not only lead to rapid growth and a winning business model for DNA Services of America, but it has also opened DNA testing services to all states in the nation.

DNA DataLink has been integral in the expansion of DNA testing services throughout the United States. Since its founding in 2004, DNA Services of America knew that it was important to push growth into untapped markets, and embraced a franchise model. However they also realized that without an operating system like DNA DataLink, which they developed later, there would be no way to offer consistent results in a timely manner. Before DNA Services of America launched DNA DataLink, it was not uncommon for businesses requiring DNA services to use a diversity of different laboratories nationwide. This often led to slow response time, and uncertainty in methodology between differing labs. In an effort to bring these elements under control and to provide the best service as quickly as possible, Jeffrey A. Martin commissioned DNA DataLink and has distributed it nationwide. Currently DNA DataLink is one of the most important and fundamental backbones of the DNA testing services industry. Looking forward, DNA Services of America will continue to bring quality DNA Testing and Paternity Testing services to even more remote areas of the nation.

DNA services are becoming increasingly more important than it was even a decade ago. Generally, DNA services focus on identifying family relationships, such as paternity tests or ancestry, but that is not the only applications for DNA services. DNA is also required in immigration cases, as it is now an integral part on the path to citizenship in the Unites States. DNA Services of America also assist in legal and forensics cases. As the need of DNA services grow within the United States, so too will the need for reliable, controlled, and quality DNA services.

DNA Services of America is located in Lafayette, Louisiana.

DNA results: Leicester parking lot remains are those of Richard 3rd.

DNA lab testThe remains found under a parking lot in Leicester are indeed those of Richard III.

The identity was confirmed by tests conducted comparing DNA from the remains and those of Richard III’s nearest living relative, Michael Ibsen, a Canadian who descends directly from Richard III’s sister Anne.

Richard III is 1st cousin, 24 times removed to my children, who directly descend from Richard III’s uncle and brother to Richard III’s mother Cecily de Neville, Richard de Neville, Earl of Salisbury.

After Richard III died in a battle at Bosworth Field, Henry VII, the victor, put his body on display, afterward burying him in Grey Friars monastery. The monastery having later been destroyed, the location of Richard III’s burial remained a mystery thereafter – until now.

With the support of donations to the Richard III Society, research led to the parking lot in Leicester where the remains were discovered. The skeleton will be reburied at Leicester Cathedral and a tomb erected in his honor.

It’s amazing to realize how much DNA has opened up the world to us – both past and present. Through DNA, we can answer questions we once thought impossible to answer.

Now I’m seriously thinking of looking into DNA testing for myself and my husband to confirm relationships proven as much as possible through research alone. DNA could be the ultimate tool to resolve those brick walls where we believe in a relationship but can find no definitive proof.

Bones unearthed could be those of Richard III, King of England.

Richard IIIRichard III, 1st cousin 24 times removed to my children, was King of England from 1483 to 1485, yet is most widely known in our time as the scandalous title character of the play ‘Richard III’ by William Shakespeare. His reign ended upon his death in the Battle of Bosworth Field.

Richard’s checkered past before becoming King included becoming Duke of Gloucester on November 1, 1461. He was then appointed Admiral of England, Ireland and Aquitaine on October 12, 1462 and made Constable of England October 17, 1469. Besides suspicion over the disappearance of the princes, his reputation as a scoundrel was cemented by suspicion of his participation in the murder of Edward Prince of Wales, whose widow he married, as well as becoming Great Chamberlain of England in succession to his brother George, Duke of Clarence on February 21, 1478, the same day he was murdered.

Upon the death of Richard’s brother Edward, Richard became Lord Protector of the Realm for the heir apparent, Edward’s 12 year old son King Edward V. Richard escorted Edward V to the Tower of London, where he was placed, to be joined later by his brother Richard. Before young King Edward was crowned, Edward IV’s marriage to the boys’ mother Elizabeth Woodville was declared invalid, illegitimizing the children, negating their claim to the throne and making Richard III the heir to the throne. Princes Edward and Richard disappeared and accusations soon arose that Richard had the boys killed.

Richard married (Westminster Abbey 12 Jul 1472) as her second husband, Anne Neville, widow of Edward, Prince of Wales, and daughter of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick and Anne Beauchamp.

Accounts of the time describe Richard as having a condition of the spine causing his right shoulder to be considerably higher than his left. This condition is now widely believed to have been scoliosis, an exaggerated curvature of the spine that can be severe and debilitating.

Based on the accounts of Richard’s physical disability and the fatal injuries he sustained in the battle now lead archaelogists to believe they have unearthed the grave of Richard III.

This grave existed under a parking lot on the grounds originally belonging to Greyfriars Abbey in Leicester, the church where Richard was supposedly buried. The bones show evidence of similar wounds and a spinal condition similar to what has been described. As optimistic as archaelogists are, they are seeking to prove his identity by performing a DNA test on a living, direct ancestor to Richard’s sister.

I’m hoping there will be some way the DNA information from this testing will be made available for others like my husband and children to compare to in an effort to prove our own connection.


  1. Foundation for Medieval Genealogy; http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/ENGLAND,%20Kings%201066-1603.htm#_Toc321390527
  2. Wikipedia.org; http://www.wikipedia.org
  3. Kings and Queens of England – The Plantagenets, The Royal Family online; http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page58.asp.
  4. Kings and Queens of England – The Yorkists, The Royal Family online; http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page47.asp.



DNA Solves Mystery for the Child of the Last US Soldier Killed in Vietnam

On Friday, the family of John O’Neal Rucker gathered with Tia McConnell and her husband Allan and their two boys Matthew and Quentin at the Veterans’ Memorial at Linden’s courthouse to honor her newly discovered father.

Tia had been an orphan in Da Nang, and was adopted by Karen and Jack Whittier of Colorado after being evacuated from Vietnam. After a lengthy and problematic search for her birth family, Tia discovered that John Rucker was her father.

She honored her father with placement of a flag at the monument that recognized him as the last American soldier to die in Vietnam. Rucker had been a member of 366 Combat Support Group, 366th Tactical Fighter Wing during the Vietnam War, and was the last American soldier to die in Vietnam, having been killed by a rocket attack on January 27, 1973. Sadly, this attack and John’s subsequent death occurred only hours before the Paris Peace Accords were signed, ending the Vietnam War.

Mae Rucker, John’s mother, had met Tia and her family the day before, after Tia’s search led to John and DNA testing proved the connection. Despite a negative first test in comparison to John’s mother, they persevered and had another test done to confirm the result. This time her DNA was compared with John’s two sisters and the tests were positive, indicating a 91 percent match, which is impossible unless the parties are closely related.

This story has finally convinced Mark and I to get our DNA tested. It’s something I’ve been considering for quite a while now, but I’ve been hesitant because I wasn’t sure I trusted the process enough yet.

Mark and I want to test our DNA rather than our children’s because we feel it would allow us to maintain separation of the data from our two different branches. I’m curious to find if my suspicions are correct and there are commonalities between the two branches.

I’ll post later about the process and results.