29 August 2012

Review: Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA

I just finished reading Richard Hill's new book, Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA.1

Richard announced the book a few days ago on one of the DNA mailing lists I read. At first I could only find a link he provided to createspace.com, an Amazon company. My first search at Amazon didn't find the book. I didn't want to create another login for createspace.com so I hesitated to order the book. The next day I was able to order the book through my normal Amazon login. A few days later I received the book and I read it in one sitting. You always hear the exaggeration, "I couldn't put it down." I did put it down a couple of times to run down the hall for a break. Other than that, "I couldn't put it down."

I have not met Richard Hill, but I heard him speak at the 2011 Family Tree DNA Project Administrator's Conference. Richard's search for his biological parents was covered in stories in 2009 in The Grand Rapids (Michigan) News2 and The Wall Street Journal.3 At the DNA conference Richard told us his story. It is an interesting and compelling story. This new book incorporates details that occurred after the 2011 DNA conference. These new findings make the story even more compelling for everyone. Genealogists striving to meet the Genealogical Proof Standard4 will find some excellent examples in Richard's search process and in reviewing his analysis.

I don't want to spoil the ending. I'll just say Richard's story demonstrates:
  • why we need a research log to track our project;
  • the importance of a reasonably exhaustive search, why DNA is an integral part of a reasonably exhaustive search today, how persistence and serendipity can both be an important part of the search;
  • how to analyze and correlate information, assessing its quality as evidence, giving up assumptions and pre-conceived notions, finding the kernel of truth in a family story—and the lies and half-truths we all run into;
  • using evidence to resolve conflicts, propose logical reasons for the conflict, reveal facts indirectly, and point us to other research avenues;
  • and arrive at a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion.
Richard's book may not fully meet the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) because it does not include the complete and accurate source citations genealogists expect in scholarly publications. There aren't any footnotes or endnotes for citations. We can't judge the quality of some of the sources or the full extent of the research as some common records aren't mentioned. We do see the importance of persistence in requesting the same record multiple times. We see the problems encountered when the records most likely to give an answer are closed or not available. We see creative thinking to get around these problems. We learn how to interpret several kinds of DNA reports. We see the use of multiple sources to prove facts.

But this isn't meant to be published in a scholarly journal. It's meant to be a readable story that inspires and guides adoptees and genealogists about how to use DNA for family history. There is information on his sources in the narrative. Most of the sources are those same ones genealogists use every day: family stories, the Social Security Death Index, newspapers, court records, city directories. The exclusion of source citations is a deficiency when measuring against the GPS. But this is Richard's search story, not a compiled family history or genealogical narrative where this would be a major flaw. And when a story includes living persons in a sensitive situation, we do have to be careful what is published.

The writing keeps you in the story. The characters, living and deceased, make you want to know them or know more about them. The personalities of the people in the story come through. Each chapter ends with a statement that draws you into the subject of the next chapter. It's a good read; most researchers will learn something; many will be inspired. I think that meets Richard's goals in writing the book.

Richard teaches about the sensitivity needed when working with adoptees:
Adoption is inherently a two-sided coin. On one side, there is gratitude that a nice family chose to raise you as their own. On the flip side, there's a sense of loss. Your birth parents had to give you up for this to happen. {p. 9}

I was beginning to see that there was a lot of curiosity about lost relatives from both sides of the adoption wall. {p. 81}

I knew that some birth parents did not appreciate being found by the children they had conceived. {p. 111}

This book is a perfect illustration of how genealogical conclusions must change as new evidence comes to light. In my opinion, it is also a perfect complement to a recent discussion on the Transitional Genealogists Forum mail list about using DNA as part of the Genealogical Proof Standard.
The so-called "Genealogical Proof Standard" promulgated in The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual is in fact described in that work as a credibility standard. Genealogical evidence that meets that standard—whether documentary or DNA—when properly explained, should be sufficient to convince most reasonable people that the conclusion drawn from it is in accord with reality. However, there will always be some who are still doubters, while only a portion of the evidence would be enough to convince others.
These days DNA evidence is among the types of evidence a knowledgeable researcher would seek, and so is within the scope of the reasonably exhaustive search, if suitable donors can be identified and consent to testing. If none can be found, the "reasonably exhaustive search" requirement has been satisfied, and the paper evidence can stand on its own, without the confirming support or conflicting evidence the DNA samples might provide.

I understand DNA evidence to be one more part of the mix, to be considered along with everything else on the basis of its relative credibility compared to the other items of evidence. Y-DNA and mtDNA matches can provide supporting, but not conclusive, evidence of relationships, but mismatches can upset them conclusively.

And don't forget the cautionary note that needs to accompany the GPS:

Conclusions that meet the GPS are always subject to reconsideration when new evidence is discovered.

The GPS doesn't provide finality, even though that's what many are looking for.5
The genealogical paper trail and the DNA evidence must be used in conjunction: we analyze and correlate all of the information we gather. Richard illustrates that well.

I have to admit that, as a Texan, I was surprised when Richard described how he had been warned "not to mistake Dale's strong Texas accent for a lack of intelligence" {p. 183} and by the fact that not everyone in the U.S. knows about the domino game called 42 {p. 202}. But then I don't know anything about euchre, apparently big in Michigan. And I worked very hard to soften my Texas drawl when I started teaching international and national students. My Texas accent was hard on the New Yorkers and Scotsmen, and vice versa. We tend to forget that, even with the homogenous landscape we live in today, with a McDonald's and a Walgreen's on every corner, there are still a lot of regional differences. I embrace those differences even when they do surprise me. Those differences keep life interesting.

Disclaimer: Richard Hill and I are "friends" on social media sites, but not personal friends. I link to publications on his website http://www.dna-testing-adviser.com/ where he publishes information useful to genealogists and adoptees using DNA for family history research. He is the author of the free e-book Guide to DNA Testing: How to Identify Ancestors and Confirm Relationships through DNA Testing; A Plain-English Overview for Genealogists, Adoptees and Everyone Else.

I did not receive a free copy of Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA; I paid full retail for it. Money well spent. I recommend you do the same.

Added after initial post: I forgot to state above that Richard's process also clearly demonstrates something I state in all my presentations: the DNA test results indicate statistically how likely something is to be true. But random events don't always perfectly match statistical probabilities. The actual relationships must be determined using the DNA data and the documentary evidence. But you should be able to correlate the evidence to explain why a situation outside the probabilities is likely to be true.

1. Richard Hill, Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA (n.p.: self-published, 2012); available on Amazon.com. An e-Book version should be available soon.
2. Pat Shellenberger, "Rockford man uses DNA testing, Internet searches to find his birth father," 21 June 2009, the Grand Rapids (Michigan) News (http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2009/06/rockford_man_uses_dna_testing.html : accessed 29 August 2012).
3. Gautam Naik, "Family Secrets: An Adopted Man's 26-Year Quest for His Father," 2 May 2009, The Wall Street Journal ( http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124121920060978695.html : accessed 29 August 2012).
4. Christine Rose, Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case, 3d ed. (San Jose, California: CR Publications, 2009).
5. Donn Devine, "DNA - proof or just indication?," slightly modified version of a TGF mail list message, 18 August 2012, (http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM/2012-08/1345179394 and http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM/2012-08/1345276256 : 28 August 2012 modification and permission to use to Debbie Parker Wayne along with the cautionary note).

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Review: Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 29 August 2012 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2012, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, All Rights Reserved

28 August 2012

J. Mark Lowe, CG, East Texas Seminar

J. Mark Lowe, Certified Genealogist, will present a workshop and seminar soon for East Texas Genealogical Society in Tyler, Texas. Registration starts one-half hour before the presentations. Walk-ins are welcome, but pre-register to be sure you get handouts and choice of lunch.

Friday evening from 7-9:00 p.m., "Following a Case Through Court Workshop"
Learn the basic of the legal system. Understand the process of following a case through court including dockets, orders, depositions, etc. Find the key to solving a problem using these records.

Saturday seminar, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

1. Locating Civil War Ancestors - Discover the records of your Yankee or Rebel ancestor. Learn more about compiled military service records, pensions and more.

2. Finding Uncle John by Talking to the Neighbors - Using census records, manuscripts, and land records, learn details about your ancestor's neighborhood and the people with whom they worked, prayed, fought and married.

3. Cemeteries as a Genealogical Resource - We often overlook obvious clues as we walk through a cemetery. Whether town or country, enjoy this look at ways to learn more from our ancestors through gravestones and cemeteries.

4. Just Talkin' or Oral History & Genealogy - Talking with family members will help you gain additional information about the family. Learn how to conduct an effective interview, how to follow-up, and how to document the information

Mark is an entertaining and informative genealogical speaker. Click these links for a map of the location and PDF version of the flyer. You won't find a more economical workshop or seminar where you will learn so much while having such fun.

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "J. Mark Lowe, CG, East Texas Seminar," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 28 August 2012 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2012, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, All Rights Reserved

26 August 2012

RIP: Neil Armstrong, Moonwalker

Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted last night, "Men Walk On Moon - The only positive event in the last 50 yrs for which everyone remembers where they were when it happened." (I don't tweet. I learned about this message from a Wall Street Journal blog post.)

I thought about that and realized he was right. All the other big events I remember were bad things. The assassination of Kennedy—the first political event I remember. Learning of the death of relatives. Hearing about and seeing terrorist attacks perpetrated by both foreign and American-born terrorists.

Why do we remember the bad things so vividly? Why don't the great things make connections in our minds? Most women have strong memories of childbirth. That is both a good event and a painful time so still fits the theory. As our grandmas pass down memories of family events, how many good things get lost to time? We lose some of the stories of disreputable ancestors when grandma purposefully doesn't tell them. But how many good stories had she forgotten?

Where's the time machine when we need it? Maybe a time machine is a dream. But the only possibility of ever seeing one depends on the kind of research done to explore space. Here's to the future Moonwalkers and Marswalkers that my genealogist descendant may research and that Neil Armstong will inspire.

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "RIP: Neil Armstrong, Moonwalker," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 26 August 2012 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2012, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, All Rights Reserved

25 August 2012

Upcoming DNA Presentations

In the next three months I will be presenting "GATA GACC! DNA and Genetic Genealogy Today" in several different Texas cities. I'd love to see you at one of these events and see what you think of my unique images to illustrate DNA inheritance patterns.

Monday, September 17, 5:00 p.m., Angelina County Genealogical Society, Kurth Memorial Library, 706 South Raguet Street, Lufkin, Texas – http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txacgs/

Saturday, October 6, 11:00 a.m., Dallas Genealogical Society, J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas Texas – http://www.dallasgenealogy.org/

Saturday, October 20, 1:00 p.m. – plenty of time for questions during a two-hour DNA session as part of an all-day seminar starting at 9:00 a.m., Fort Bend County / George Memorial Library, 1001 Golfview, Richmond, Texas – http://www.fortbend.lib.tx.us/

Friday, November 2, time TBD, Texas State Genealogical Society Annual Conference – http://txsgs.org/

I will also be covering "Forensic Techniques for Genetic Genealogy" at the Forensic Genealogy Institute of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy on October 25–27. The institute requires pre-registration and has closed enrollment for this session. Check their site for future institute offerings – http://www.forensicgenealogists.com/

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Upcoming DNA Presentations," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 25 August 2012 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2012, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, All Rights Reserved

The Informed DNA Tester

Disclaimer: The following represents my opinions. I've spoken and written little publicly about the issue of Ancestry.com not providing raw DNA data to their genetic genealogy customers, here, in several posts on mail lists, in DNA presentations, and in private messages. I try to be fair when stating my objections to policies and actions of a company whose product I use every day. I don't use their DNA products or put family trees on their site. I make extensive use of their databases and record images. I analyze DNA data from Ancestry for clients and family members and compare it to the results from other companies when enough information is provided to allow this. I pay standard subscription rates for all services from Ancestry. I do not receive free access or services from them or from any other DNA company.

I believe it is important to test with a company that gives you full access to your DNA data. The graphical tools provided by the testing companies allow only the most superficial analysis of the data. The raw DNA data can be used in many utilities and by knowledgeable genetic genealogists to help you learn more about your family history. Isn't that the main reason you took the DNA test?

Ancestry.com, under the name AncestryDNA, offers genetic genealogy tests. Even though their policy states you own your data, they do not provide the raw data results to you. Having access to the raw data is important, not only because it is your data and you can learn more by analyzing the raw data. When an error occurs, as is possible in any human endeavor, the error can be caught quickly when we see the actual data. When all we see is a graphical representation of that data, as interpreted by a proprietary algorithm, it is difficult to determine the cause of an unexpected result. The genetic genealogy community has helped quickly resolve problems in the past by analyzing the raw DNA data and seeing illogical results.

In my opinion, every customer of Ancestry should demand the raw DNA data be made available to them. For details of a specific problem that brings this point home, see these blog posts:
CeCe Moore, "AncestryDNA: Confusing Relationship Predictions and Adoptees," Your Genetic Genealogist blog, posted 21 August 2012 (http://www.yourgeneticgenealogist.com/2012/08/ancestrydna-confusing-relationship.html : accessed 21 August 2012).

CeCe Moore, "Follow Up: Lab Error Responsible for Adoptee's Confusing Match at AncestryDNA," Your Genetic Genealogist blog, posted 24 August 2012 (http://www.yourgeneticgenealogist.com/2012/08/follow-up-on-ancestrydna-and-adoptees.html : accessed 24 August 2012).
Be sure to scroll down and read Tim Jantzen's comment about contacting the Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues if Ancestry refuses to provide your raw data to you. Debbie Kennett's comment and the link below to her blog raise a separate issue.

Emily Aulicino, "Autosomal Testing: Genetic Genealogy's Current Buzz-Word," dna - genealem's genetic genealogy blog, posted 24 August 2012 (http://genealem-geneticgenealogy.blogspot.com/2012/08/autosomal-testing-genetic-genealogys.html : accessed 24 August 2012).

If Ancestry does not make the raw data available I will not recommend them to my friends, colleagues, or clients. I now feel justified in making this statement publicly. Ancestry does a lot of good by providing indexes and images to genealogical researchers. I believe their policy is wrong in their handling of DNA testing and results. Ancestry may choose to continue their current policies. Many in the genetic genealogy community think that is not a wise decision and will hinder growth of our knowledge of human genetics as relates to family history research.

In addition to the problem of not providing raw DNA data to the person tested, Ancestry does not indicate on the first page of the activation form that one of the check boxes gives permission to participate in an optional research program. Every customer should carefully read both the "Consent Agreement" and the "Terms and Conditions" before checking the boxes. I feel sorry for customers who do not take the time to perform this important action and blindly agree to something they may not want.

You are required to agree to the "Terms and Conditions" to activate the DNA test. If you agree to the "Consent Agreement," as is your choice, you are granting broad rights allowing Ancestry to
perform genetic tests on the DNA using test methods available now and developed in the future
and to use, host, sublicense and distribute the resulting analysis to the extent and in the form or context we deem appropriate on or through any media or medium and with any technology or devices now known or hereafter developed or discovered.1

Even though some of this is standard legalese here in the U.S., it seems pretty far reaching where DNA is concerned. We are still learning about DNA; giving this much control to a public corporation is something to consider carefully before agreeing. Check out these blogs for more information from those who have tested at Ancestry. For now, I prefer to spend my money at companies that understand the results of a DNA test belong to me, including the raw DNA data.
Roberta Estes, "Ancestry’s Consent Form for AncestryDNA Autosomal Test," DNAeXplained blog, posted 16 August 2012 (http://dna-explained.com/2012/08/16/ancestrys-consent-form-for-ancestrydna-autosomal-test/ : accessed 18 August 2012).

Debbie Kennett, "My Ancestry autosomal DNA test Part I: Consent forms and admixture analyses," Cruwys news blog, posted 21 August 2012 (http://cruwys.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/my-ancestry-autosomal-dna-test-part-i.html : accessed 22 August 2012).

Debbie Kennett, "My Ancestry autosomal DNA test Part 2: The matching process," Cruwys news blog, posted 22 August 2012 (http://cruwys.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/my-ancestry-autosomal-dna-test-part-2.html : accessed 22 August 2012).

1. AncestryDNA, "Information and Consent Form," (http://dna.ancestry.com/legal/consentAgreement.aspx : accessed 25 August 2012).

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "The Informed DNA Tester," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 25 August 2012 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]). Or you can link to the individual post.

© 2012, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, All Rights Reserved

23 August 2012

Family Tree DNA 72 Hour Sale

Today Family Tree DNA announced a 72-hour sale.

There are only two options for this sale:

Family Finder + Y-DNA 12 for $249
Family Finder + mtDNA for $249

Orders must be placed and paid for by August 25th. For more information see http://www.familytreedna.com/family-finder-compare.aspx

To order through the Texas State Genealogical Society (TxStateGS) project use this link http://www.familytreedna.com/group-join.aspx?code=C91769&Group=TXStateGS

© 2012, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, All Rights Reserved

17 August 2012

23andMe DNA Melody

I woke this morning to e-mail from 23andMe with the message:
Hear the music in you! 23andMe has developed a lab that creates a melody from your genetic data. Hear the melodies of your 23andMe connections and share yours with friends and family.

You can hear the music made by my DNA if you go to:


I've always loved the sound of dulcimers. This tool also allows you to hear piano, classical guitar, koto (apparently a Japanese zither according to Wikipedia), marimba, sitar, and steel drums. This steel drums are kind of cool, too.

The rhythm of the melody is based on eye color and height traits in the DNA. Pitch is based on markers for earwax type and photic sneeze response. My maternal haplogroup, U5b1d, determines the key used. Then the listener can choose the instrument that provides the timbre. (Photic sneeze response is a trait where sunlight triggers a sneeze. My husband always told me looking directly at a light would make me sneeze when I am sitting there feeling a sneeze coming on, but it just doesn't come. I always thought he was crazy until I found out it was a real thing.)

This is a cool new tool offered by 23andMe. There is one enhancement I hope they add. On my login page I can listen to the different music made by my DNA and the DNA of others whose tests I administer. I can hear the difference between me and my sister. But when I make my DNA music, then make my sisters, her music page overwrites mine. Apparently there is only one music page per account and not one per person tested. It would be so cool to send my sister a link that would let her listen to both of us and compare. I'll investigate further to see if I can find a way around this limitation.

© 2012, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, All Rights Reserved

16 August 2012

Caution: What Permission Will You Give Ancestry to Use Your DNA Results?

Anyone who is having a DNA test performed at AncestryDNA (Ancestry.com's DNA arm) should first read the consent agreement. Do you want to give this much discretion to Ancestry? If not, do not check this box when you register your kit.

Roberta Estes discusses this in her DNA Explained blog article "Ancestry’s Consent Form for AncestryDNA Autosomal Test."1

I have not yet taken a DNA test at Ancestry. They don't provide the raw data to testers. This is MY DNA data, not Ancestry's. I am paying for the test. I want all of the data. As I indicate in my DNA presentations, I suspect Ancestry will be forced in the future to provide this data to testers as their competitors Family Tree DNA and 23andMe do. I am hesitant to give any of my money to Ancestry until they change their policy. And I won't be agreeing to allowing Ancestry to use my results for whatever they or whoever owns the company in the future may decide is a good idea.

1. Roberta Estes, "Ancestry’s Consent Form for AncestryDNA Autosomal Test," DNA Explained Blog, posted 16 August 2012 (http://dna-explained.com/2012/08/16/ancestrys-consent-form-for-ancestrydna-autosomal-test/ : accessed 16 August 2012).

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Caution: What Permission Will You Give Ancestry to Use Your DNA Results?," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 16 August 2012 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2012, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, All Rights Reserved

11 August 2012

Two-fer: Surnames and pedigree charts in DNA accounts

I just got a two-fer with a new DNA match at Family Tree DNA.

While my match and her mother were perusing my surname list, Mom noticed a name in common with her current husband whose test results are due back in a few weeks. Not only do I match the daughter on my Ryan line through her bio father, I have a common ancestor with her step-father on my Hurt line. Two matches for the price of one. The family has photos of the Hurt line I don't have. They also have Ryan photos that may help me identify some of the photos I inherited when my grandmother died. Links made through DNA matches can help us with our traditional activities as well as provide new scientific information to further genealogical research using DNA.

I only learned of the Hurt line a couple of years ago while I was researching my Parker line in Milam County, Texas. My reasonably exhaustive search1 led through the district court indexes looking for all the surnames associated with my Parker line. The FAN club: friends, associates, neighbors, including in-laws. My ancestor surnames were not indexed, but the in-laws were. This led me to a court case that not only named my Parker ancestor and his Maples wife, but gave a maiden name to her mother, named all her sisters and half-siblings with the names of husbands for the women, and named my third great-grandfather and two of his wives.2

If I had not searched for those surnames of the FAN club, I would not have known I had a Hurt line and would not have known how I matched this Hurt cousin. If I had not included my ancestor surnames in my account at Family Tree DNA, we would know we had a common ancestor who passed DNA to us, but would have no idea who that ancestor might be.

In my DNA presentations I stress the need for a surname list and pedigree chart to determine how your DNA matches are related. If you don't include a GEDCOM file or surname list your matches won't be able to easily determine how you are related. This experience shows how important it is to include your ancestral data in your DNA account profile. Some of your matches may not contact you if they can't see how you might be related. Why spend the money to do a DNA test if the goal is not to determine HOW we relate to our matches?

Your research will benefit by including your surnames and pedigree in your account profile.

1. Christine Rose, Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case, 3d ed. (San Jose, California: CR Publications, 2009).

2. Milam County, Texas, District Court Minutes, D:329–334, Nancy Stovall, et al. vs. Lizzie Richards, et al.; and District Court Civil Case #3402; District Clerk's Office, Cameron. This case settles the estate of Richard Hurt, father of Monterey Carise Hurt Maples, naming Monterey's daughters and children of the deceased daughter. It also names other heirs of Richard Hurt.

© 2012, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, All Rights Reserved

06 August 2012

Curiosity - A Safe Landing

"... curiosity is, perhaps, the central defining human attribute."
- Dr. Adam Steltzner, 5 August 2012, NASA News Conference held after the safe landing of Curiosity, the latest Mars Lander

Congratulations to NASA, JPL, all the teams across the world that contributed to designing and building the Curiosity Mars Lander, taking it to Mars, executing a safe landing, and bringing us wonderful new images and scientific knowledge from Mars. In the press conference we learned it only cost seven dollars per American for this project. It seems like a good investment to me. Seeing the earlier Mars landers function well past the predicted service life shows, when we put our minds to it, we can still build quality products that exceed expectations. A goal we should all strive for.

How can we relate this to genealogical research?

Our genealogy software developers may one day need to add new elements to the place fields for planet, planetary system, and galaxy. Maybe not in my lifetime, but someday. What we can learn on Mars is a first step to those more distant trips through the galaxies.

Our image enhancement capabilities will likely be improved as the techniques developed by these scientists become part of main-stream software programs. Not to mention whatever cool new things like Velcro may come from the technological teams working on space exploration.

The scientific method of research has the same elements no matter what field of application. We form a question, gather information, form a hypothesis, test the hypothesis, analyze and correlate the data, publish the results, and retest and review the findings. New data can always change the findings. This applies to genealogical research as well as scientific endeavors.

Curiosity, that defining human attribute, leads us to explore our family history and others to go where no human has gone before.

© 2012, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, All Rights Reserved