21 April 2016

DNA Sales and Presentations for DNA Day Celebrations

Yes, there is an official National DNA Day! April 25th.

This year the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is presenting an online lecture on "Harry Potter and the Genetics of Wizarding." See more at https://www.genome.gov/10506367/national-dna-day/.

In Tyler, Texas, we will celebrate early on April 23 with an all-day DNA seminar to teach genealogists to begin analyzing DNA test results for evidence to apply to genealogical questions. See more at http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/2016/04/hands-on-dna-workshop-april-23-tyler.html and http://etgs.org/meetings/etgsmtg04_a.html.

Both AncestryDNA and Family Tree DNA are offering sales on DNA test kits.

AncestryDNA is offering a $20 discount — $79 plus free shipping if you use the FREESHIPDNA code. Offer ends Tuesday, 26 April 2016 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Testing at AncestryDNA allows easy comparisons between your public family tree on Ancestry, if you have one, and the public tree of your DNA matches, if they have a public tree. In-depth analysis of shared DNA segments will require the test results (the raw data file) be uploaded to a third-party tool such as GEDmatch.com. AncestryDNA does not provide the in-depth analysis tools most genetic genealogists need and want. AncestryDNA uses a saliva sample.

Family Tree DNA is offering a $20 discount — $79 for the autosomal DNA test called Family Finder PLUS discounts on most other Y-DNA and mtDNA tests. Offer ends Tuesday, 26 April 2016 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

The Family FInder test and AncestryDNA test are very similar, but only Family Tree DNA offers Y-DNA and mtDNA tests which can be done using the same DNA sample. Family Tree DNA uses a cheek swab which can be easier for some elderly relatives.

Testing at Family Tree DNA allows comparisons between your public family tree on Family Tree DNA, if you have one, and the public tree of your DNA matches, if they have a public tree. In-depth analysis of shared DNA segments can be done using the In-Common-With, Matrix, and chromosome browser tools provided by Family Tree DNA. In addition to using the company-provided tools, the raw data file can also be uploaded to a third-party tool such as GEDmatch.com. The shared segment data can be downloaded using third-party tools at DNAgedcom.com. That data can then be used in many other tools such as Genome Mate Pro and other Genetic Genealogy Tools.

Family Tree DNA's announcement includes this info and these prices for other DNA tests:
The prices are below, and are valid on new tests and add-ons only. Discounts do not combine with existing group discounts. Upgrades will be discounted in June.

Product — Retail Pricing — Sale Price

Family Finder — $99$79
mtFull Seq — $199$149
Y37 — $169$129
Y67 — $268$199
Y111 — $359$289
BigY — $575$460
SNP Packs — $119$109
mtDNA plus — Not on Sale

Let's celebrate DNA Day by adding thousands of test results to the databases!

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "DNA Sales and Presentations for DNA Day Celebrations," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 21 April 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

13 April 2016

Hands-on DNA Workshop, April 23, Tyler, Texas

One of the biggest complaints of those who attend DNA presentations is that the concepts seem to make sense as one listens, but when you try to apply the concepts to family research it no longer seems as clear.

The East Texas Genealogical Society (ETGS) has asked me to present a one-day, hands-on DNA workshop on Saturday, 23 April 2016, in Tyler, Texas. This workshop will cover the basics of DNA inheritance for the novice then move into some more advanced techniques used to analyze the DNA test results to answer genealogical questions. All of the types of DNA tests used by genealogists will be discussed. The novice and intermediate level genetic genealogist should learn something new in this workshop. The cost is only $10 for ETGS members or $20 for non-members. Walk-ins are welcome, but pre-registration guarantees handouts will be available.

Information on registration can be found online at http://etgs.org/meetings/etgsmtg04_a.html. Registration can be paid online using Paypal or can be mailed to the society. If you want to order lunch, registration must be done by April 15th (only two days from now).

Location: Fairwood United Methodist Church, 1712 Old Omen Road, Tyler, TX 75701
See map here

The schedule for Genetic Genealogy Analysis and Tools: Stepping Up to the Next Level will be:

8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Registration

9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Welcome and Information

9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. 1st Session
“Genetic Genealogy Today: DNA Inheritance”

A review of genetic genealogy basics such as the inheritance patterns of each type of DNA used for genealogy. This includes an introduction to some of the tools to be illustrated in later sessions.

10:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Break - snacks and drinks furnished

10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. 2nd Session
“Genetic Genealogy Company Comparisons”

Information on how to choose a DNA testing company, the pros and cons of each company’s offerings, and the tests available today; and
“Tools and Applications for mtDNA”
Illustration of a real-life case study using the latest tools and techniques to analyze mitochondrial DNA (passed along the matrilineal line).

11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch - bring our own lunch, go to nearby restaurants, or pre-order a box lunch

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. 3rd Session
“Tools and Applications for Y-DNA”

Illustration of a real-life case study using the latest tools and techniques to analyze Y-DNA (passed along the patrilineal line).

2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Break - snacks and drinks furnished

2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 4th Session
“Tools and Applications for atDNA”

Illustration of a real-life case study using the latest tools and techniques to analyze autosomal DNA (inherited through all ancestral lines).

I hope to see you all there.

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Hands-on DNA Workshop, April 23, Tyler, Texas," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 13 April 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

07 April 2016

Texas Form Book: Decipher those difficult words

In many of my presentations and as a reply to mail list postings I have provided a reference to a Texas Civil Form Book. A recent posting on a mail list for professional genealogists reminded me I never made this available in a blog post where it might be more easily found.

Several years ago I attended a BCG Education Fund Putting Skills to Work workshop presented by Barbara Vines Little titled “Working with Documents: From Discovery to What Comes Next.” During that workshop, I learned that most states have a "form book" used by clerks and lawyers when drawing up documents. These form books provide templates and example wording that can be followed to properly draw up a legal document for a specific situation. In many cases, the laws define the required wording that must be included to create a legally-binding document or a specific type of document. The form books include that wording. While not every clerk copied the exact wording used in a form book unless it was required by law, many clerks did.

These forms can often help us decipher a faded word or words written by a clerk with poor penmanship. It also helps explain why so many documents contain the same boilerplate text. Several Texas form books (and other useful resources for research in Texas) are freely available on the Internet Archive. One form book is:

J. W. (Jonas William) Moffett, Texas Civil Form Book, with Forms of Pleadings, Removal of Causes from State to Federal Courts, The Forms and Law of Bankruptcy of 1898 and Amendments Approved February 5, 1903, and Court Rules of Texas (El Paso: Gammel Publishing, 1907); online archive, Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org/details/texascivilformbo00moffiala).

The story of how I learned of this resource shows how we can all learn new things at any time. After more than twenty years of research and a decade of attendance at conferences and institutes, I had never heard of form books before Barbara mentioned it as an aside in her document analysis workshop. You never know when or where a critical piece of information about a resource will pop up.

And many thanks to the BCG Education Fund for continuing to provide workshops to teach us essential skills. There are only a few seats left in this year's workshop. See http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/2016/02/build-firm-foundation-transcribe.html for more information and for a registration link.

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Texas Form Book: Decipher those difficult words," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 7 April 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

15 March 2016

Texas State GS Conference, Call for Papers, Deadline 15 May 2016

This press release was received today from Texas State Genealogical Society (TxSGS).

Texas State Genealogical Society
2016 Family History Conference
Call for Presentations
Deadline for Submissions: May 15, 2016

11 March 2016—Austin, Texas The Texas State Genealogical Society (TxSGS) announces a Call for Presentations for their 2016 Family History Conference. This year’s conference will be held 28-30 October 2016, in Dallas, Texas. The deadline for proposals is May 15, 2016.

About the Proposals

We are looking for dynamic, enthusiastic presenters! If you feel passionate about your area of expertise and would like to teach and inspire other genealogists, this is the venue for you. Seasoned speakers and speakers new to the genealogical lecturing arena are encouraged to submit presentations.

The areas of interest may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Basic genealogical topics (How-To, or Getting Started)
  • Methodology and problem-solving techniques
  • Ethnic research topics (African-American, German-Texan, Czech-Texan, etc.)
  • Adoptee challenges
  • DNA
  • Researching in record groups (land records, probate records, etc.)
  • Texas- and Southern-focused research
Presenters may submit proposals for as many as five lectures.

Submission Requirements

Presentations should be one hour in length. This includes any question-and-answer period the presenter may want to allow. Please send proposals in the following formats: Microsoft Word, pdf, or rich text format (rtf). File names should include your last name and title of lecture (example: Smith – Understanding DNA Results).

Presenters should send a genealogical résumé or biography in addition to your proposals. Please include any prior speaking experience. Be sure to submit the following information for each lecture you propose:
  • Your full name
  • Contact information (mailing address, email address and phone number)
  • A lecture outline or summary (not more than one page)
  • Audio-visual requirements (projector, screen, etc.)
  • Target audience (beginner, intermediate, advanced, professional)

Email your individual proposals as file attachments to the TxSGS 2016 Conference Chair at conference@txsgs.org. Please send one proposal per email. Proposals must be received no later than May 15, 2016.

Selected presenters will also be required to provide the following information and materials for advertising purposes and for the syllabus:
  • Photo
  • Biography (about 150 words)
  • Camera-ready handout for each lecture in PDF format (not to exceed 6 pages per lecture)

TxSGS will provide a projector, microphone and stand.


Selected presenters will receive an honorarium of $100 for each one-hour lecture.

Additionally, a $25 bonus per lecture, will be awarded to the those presenters selected for submitting syllabus materials by the syllabus material deadline. All required dates will be outlined in the acceptance letter sent to the selected presenters.

In addition each speaker will also receive a $150 stipend as reimbursement for expenses as well as a free registration to the conference. No other expenses will be provided or reimbursed. Meals that are included as part of the conference registration will be provided, as well as a ticket to the Saturday night banquet.

Anticipated Timeline
  • May 15, 2016 – Proposals due
  • June 19, 2016 – Notifications of acceptance sent out
  • September 2, 2016 – Syllabus materials due


If you have questions, please contact the TxSGS 2016 Conference Chair at conference@txsgs.org.

About TxSGS

Founded in 1960, the Texas State Genealogical Society promotes, assists, develops, and conserves the genealogical and historical resources of Texas.

Keep up with the latest TxSGS 2016 Conference news!
Follow our Blog | Subscribe to our eNews | Check the Conference Site
Join the conversation @ #TxSGS2016

Contact: Texas State Genealogical Society
Attn: Conference Chair
2028 E. Ben White Blvd. #240-2700
Austin, Texas 78741

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Texas State GS Conference, Call for Papers, Deadline 15 May 2016," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 15 March 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

01 March 2016

GRIP Registration Starts Tomorrow for July Courses

Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) will open registration for its July 17-22 courses on Wednesday, March 2 at noon Eastern (9 a.m. Pacific). The registration page is at http://www.gripitt.org/?page_id=73M. Course descriptions are available at http://www.gripitt.org/?page_id=1900.

Two DNA courses are offered this year:

Other courses available include:
  • Diving Deeper into New England: Advanced Strategies for Success, coordinated by D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS
  • From Confusion to Conclusion: How to Write Proof Arguments, coordinated by Harold Henderson, CG, and Kimberly Powell
  • Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper, coordinated by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA
  • Resources and Strategies for Researching Your Italian Ancestors, coordinated by Melanie D. Holtz, CG
  • Advanced Research Methods, coordinated by Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA

Great location, (usually) great weather, dorm and cafeteria within feet of classrooms. What a great educational environment.

If you can't come in July, check to see if there are still openings in the June courses described at http://www.gripitt.org/?page_id=1897:
  • Family Archiving: Heirlooms in the Digital Age, coordinated by Denise May Levenick
  • Fundamentals of Forensic Genealogy for the 21st Century, coordinated by Cathi Desmarais, CG, Kelvin Meyers, and Michael Ramage, J.D., CG
  • German Research Resources, coordinated by Warren Bittner, CG, and Baerbel Johnson, AG
  • Master the Art of Genealogical Documentation, coordinated by Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG
  • Pennsylvania: Research in the Keystone State, coordinated by Sharon MacInnes, Ph.D., and Michael Lacopo, D.V.M
  • Women and Children First! Research Methods for the Hidden Members of the Family, coordinated by Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG, CGL

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "GRIP Registration Starts Tomorrow for July Courses," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 1 March 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

14 February 2016

Build a Firm Foundation - Transcribe, Abstract, Organize

Accurate transcription, abstraction, and organization of research data are essential skills for accurate evidence analysis.

Whether you want to become credentialed or not, the Genealogy Standards1 define the criteria good genealogists strive for. These standards are also the criteria for evaluating a certification application by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG). I completed my initial certification process in 2010 and have now been through my first renewal. Many colleagues have been through the process, some who achieved certification, some who did not, some who achieved certification on a second attempt. Surprisingly to me, foundational research skills are where many of us fail to meet or only partially meet the standards. We all think we know how to do these very basic and simple tasks. Sometimes we are not the best judge of our own skills. All of us can use guidance from expert practitioners to improve our skills.

The BCG Education Fund Putting Skills to Work workshop at the NGS conference in Ft. Lauderdale is designed to improve those foundational skills. Registrants attend two half-day hands-on workshops.

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, will lead the session “Spreadsheets 201: Manipulating Data to Dismantle Brick Walls.” Students will use spreadsheets to reveal otherwise hidden patterns that can resolve problems of kinship and identity. Prerequisite: knowledge of basic spreadsheet skills.

Jeanne is a full-time professional researcher specializing in Chicago and Cook County research, forensic genealogy, problem solving, and multi-generational family histories. On behalf of the Department of the Army, Jeanne searches for and identifies family members of unaccounted for servicemen from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Jeanne writes articles for scholarly journals and society publications. She is a frequent lecturer at conferences, workshops, and institutes. She is a Trustee and the president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

David McDonald, D.Min., CG, will lead the session “Reach for the Power Tools: Transcriptions & Abstractions.” Students will work with various documents to transcribe, abstract and analyze the material, with an eye toward developing effective research plans.

David has more than thirty years' research experience throughout the United States, Canada, and in various European countries, particularly the British Isles and Germany. Dave's research specialty is in the "Old Northwest," those states (or parts thereof) formed from the "Territory Northwest of the River Ohio": Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. In addition to these states, Dave has conducted extensive research in neighboring states, such as Kentucky, Iowa, Missouri and Pennsylvania and elsewhere across the United States. He has research interests in transcontinental migrations of New England families, the effective use of Christian church records and repositories, and fraternal organizations and societies and their records of genealogical interest. Dave served six years on the board of the National Genealogical Society, and has lectured throughout the US and UK. His personal research includes work in England, the Mid-Atlantic, colonial-era New York and Virginia, Kentucky, the Midwest and the Great Plains. He has also done extensive work in the UK and on Germanic lines from the sixteenth century onward.

The Putting Skills To Work pre-conference workshop will be on Tuesday, 3 May 2016, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM.

Putting Skills To Work is a unique full-day, hands-on workshop limited to sixty participants. The focus is skills needed by anyone practicing serious genealogical research whether as a family historian, librarian, dedicated hobbyist, or writer. Materials are geared to intermediate and advanced practitioners and advocate established genealogy standards.

The $110 registration fee includes lunch, two in-depth presentations, hands-on exercises, syllabus, handouts, and active class participation. NGS Conference registration is not required. Sessions typically book to capacity before the NGS Conference registration deadline.

Come join these two experts and build your foundation for better research in the future.

Registration is through the NGS Conference registration site at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/. If you've already registered for the conference, just login and add the Putting Skills to Work workshop. If you haven't registered yet, now is the time to do it!

For more information see BCG Education Fund web page.

1. Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genealogy Standards, 50th-anniversary ed. (Nashville, Tennessee: Ancestry, 2014).

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Build a Firm Foundation - Transcribe, Abstract, Organize," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 14 February 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

11 February 2016

Free Preview: Richard Hill's Finding Family

Since 2012, Richard Hill's book Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA has been one of my favorite books, describing how to use DNA for family history research and Richard's personal quest to identify his biological parents. Most reviews of the book describe it as a page-turner that holds the reader's interest like the best novels do. Many of us stayed awake reading long into the night because we could not put the book down.

A new Amazon feature allows a preview of the book to be read without the necessity of downloading a Kindle app to your computing device.

Richard's link to this preview at http://amzn.to/1nyZc5w allows you to read several chapters of the book. The preview will pull you in so you want to read the rest of the story. The Kindle version purchased through this preview link includes Richard's Guide to DNA Testing: How to Identify Ancestors, Confirm Relationships, and Measure Ethnic Ancestry Through DNA Testing as a bonus.

If you decide to purchase the book, a free Kindle app is available for handheld, laptop, and desktop devices. Click this link to download the windows computer version. Search for "kindle" on your favorite app store for links to download to smart phones and other handheld devices. I've used a kindle app on my Android tablet and phone and Windows 7 laptop for many years with no major problems. I love being able to take a whole library in my bag with no added weight like I had when I had to carry printed books with me.

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Free Preview: Richard Hill's Finding Family," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 11 February 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved