Saturday, November 14, 2009

Do You Use DNA Testing in Your Genealogy Search?

The times they are a changin'. DNA testing for genealogy has become a very popular segment of family history research. Some companies that are well known in this business are FamilyTreeDNA, AncestryDNA, Pathway Genomics, 23andme, and a great many others.

These companies send out DNA kits to gather a sample and you do your own test at home and mail the sample in to one of the DNA testing centers and they will return your results in a few days. The test is harmless in that you just use a little scraper paddle device and run it around inside your cheek and seal it in the sterile return envelope to send to the testing company.

If you are able to test yourself and your parents you will have absolute proof then in order to test further back in generations it becomes a little more like a numbers game. the Y-DNA test is used for testing father to son and is absolute.

If you are a female you do not have the Y chromosome but two XX's and this is called a mitochondrial test that can prove mother to daughter results. All persons enherit mita and this test is used primarily to go way back in history and you will be able to tell which part of the world your early ancestors inhabited.

This type of testing increased rapidly in the 1990's and now in the 21st century it is growing enormously fast. The more people that test and join the database of results, the better the results reporting become. Now is a great time to have your DNA tested.

This is great especially for surname studies, as you can have male distant cousins tested to show approximately how far back in time until you have a common ancestor. Feamles can enlist the aid of a brother or male cousin to prove her surname connection.

Give it a try and see what your DNA test results look like.


Monday, February 2, 2009

GeneMisc will be Moving Soon, and Two New Websites will be moving to a new website of its own soon. The free hosting service here at blogspot, which is part of the Google empire has been a very nice place to post occasional messages such as we have done, and with a big thank you to Google.

However there are certain things that can be improved when this site is moved over to the WordPress Blogging platform and hosted on our own servers that we pay for. Blogger has various templates that may be chosen and it has been quite easy to just fill in the blanks and publish, however there are certain guidelines that must be followed and it is not easy to bring you various new Web 2.0 interactivity, or at least not as easy as it is with WordPress.

We will announce it here when the new site goes live and we will be moving all of the previous articles from this Blog over to the new structure. Thank you to all of our readers and friends that have been following our occasional rants, and we look forward to serving you even better in our new digs.

Next I want to tell you about a couple of new websites that should be helpful in your genealogy research. The first is Obituaries Help at, which is a free website that is staffed by volunteers.

From their own description of their website: Access newspaper obituaries and discover your genealogy online. Discover obituary resources like old newspaper obituaries archives and Download free genealogy forms and printable family tree charts.

Here is another website that will give you some ideas about using old newspaper articles for genealogy research and how to Search Obituaries.

Thanks for reading and keep checking back for the new move.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, Who Do You Think You Are?

This Who do You Think You Are program in England is extremely popular. It draws many millions of viewers for each program.

It also has everyone waiting for the next lurid or juicy tidbit. Who Do You think You Are is coming to America so be ready folks.

Here is an announcement from the recent issue about the Mayor of London.

LONDON - London Mayor Boris Johnson rambling through his family history on BBC One's 'Who Do You Think You Are?' pulled in 6.8m viewers last night to win the prime-time slot, according to unofficial overnight figures.

The second episode of the series, which saw Johnson tracking down his great-grandfather, a radical Turkish journalist, and investigating the supposed French aristocracy of his granny, attracted 28.5% of the 9pm-10pm audience.

Read the full story on the Brand Republic website.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Report of a Good Resource for Early Ohio Research

If you had early Ohio ancestors your research comes with some built in problems. The 1800 and 1810 census for most of Ohio, save Washington county, are lacking.

One resource that has been created to help fill some voids in that time period is a book that was compiled first in 1971, then had an all name index created for it in 1973, and now has been reissued in its combination form.

Early Ohio Tax Records, by Esther Weygandt Powell. This book was created to take the place of Ohio’s lost pre-1820 census information.

An in-depth explanation of the tax lists used is in this report from the Tribune Star newspaper website of Terre Haute, Indiana. Article by Tamie Dehler

Read the full report on this early Ohio research source at the TribStar, Early Ohio Tax Records.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Federal Government Turns Genealogy Into a Money Making Venture

The Federal Government reports that they received over 40,000 requests for genealogy information from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS,) through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA,) so they have decided to turn it into a fee-for-service revenue generating department for the government coffers.

Some of the record groups that the USCIS will be able to search for a fee are:
  • Naturalization Certificate Files (C-files) from September 27, 1906 to April 1, 1956
  • Alien Registration Forms from August 1, 1940 to March 31, 1944
  • Visa files from July 1, 1924 to March 31, 1944
  • Registry Files from March 2, 1929 to March 31, 1944
  • Alien Files (A-files) numbered below 8 million (A8000000) and documents therein dated prior to May 1, 1951
Index Searches and Record Copy Fees will run from $20.00 to $35.00.

Read about this new program on the USCIS website.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Aztecs and the Making of Colonial Mexico, an Exhibit at the Newberry Library

Every once in a while I get speechless with wonderment in this study of genealogy. This is one of those times.

To the readers of the Genealogy Miscellanea Blog, you just have to check out this fantastic collection that is on display at the Newberry.

One of the key items that you will admire is an Illustrated Will done in 1576.

This is just beautiful!


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana Receives 10 Million Dollar Gift

Tom Kemp in his GenealogyBank Blog has reported that the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) in Fort Wayne, Indiana just received a grant of 10 million dollars, to be spread out with a one million dollar check every year for ten years.

The same endowment was also given to three other organizations in Indiana by the Edward D. and Ione Auer Foundation. The others gifted were; The Fort Wayne Philharmonic, The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo and Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne.

Edward Auer was the senior vice president of Lincoln National Life Insurance Co. and owned his own investment firm. Ione Auer was a philanthropist who passed away in 2007 at the age of 103.

Read Tom Kemps GenealogyBank Blog .


Friday, August 1, 2008

Genealogists Warning: Do Not Take Laptop, Ipod, Cell Phone, or any other electronic recording device abroad

Planning a Genealogy Research Trip to the mother country of your ancestors?

Fair Warning. Do NOT take any electronic gadgets with you, without standing the chance of having them seized at the border upon reentry.

The new rules of border protection allow the security officers at the border to seize all laptops or other devices that "might" have digital files of any type in them, for an undisclosed period of time, to allow technicians a "reasonable" period of time to inspect all the files and look for possible evil.

You do not have to fit any particular ethnicity, group or religion, the officers have the right to seize them for no reason whatsoever. They also will be sharing all of your files with many various other agencies for cross-linking of the data.

Let us know what you think about this and what might be done to be able to share your genealogy research trip findings. Seems possible that it might be better to put all of your research up on a website before your trip, and then while abroad you might want to buy or rent digital devices to use to capture the history of your research trip.

While abroad you could always take digital photos, movies, scanned records, etc., and put them up on a website to be able to access when you get back home.

Let us know what you think.

Read the full story of this problem in the Washington Post newspaper.

(Note: if you tried this earlier the link was bad. Randy Seaver on the excellent "Genea-Musings Blog" pointed this out. Thanks Randy.)

If you feel strongly about this story please share it with others by linking to this Genealogy Miscellanea Blog article, and if you use DIGG (see button below) or Stumble Upon, it would help if you DIGG or Stumble this article with a thumbs up.



Thursday, July 31, 2008

Secretary Hand, Handwriting of the 16th Century and How to Read It.

Learn to read very old handwriting.

Your friends may laugh at you when you tell them you know how to read handwriting from the 1500s, but if you go through the online tutorials Vona Williams shared Wednesday at the Conference on Family History and Genealogy, your friends will have to wipe the smirks off their faces.

Williams is the manager of British reference at the Family History Library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She teaches a class there on how to read "Secretary Hand," a handwriting that was common between 1485 and 1650.

Read the rest of this article by following the link, and on the Mormon Times website the article continues with links to locations where you can observe and practice with this type of "Secretary Hand" writing. Very interesting.

By Michael De Groote
Mormon Times


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Preserving Wheeler Family Genealogy

Progenitor of the WHEELER Family in America.

In 1667, Thomas Wheeler, the first of his family to come to America, was granted 4,000 acres in Stonington, Connecticut. This made him the largest landowner in the area.

Today, all that remains is the family's quarter-acre burial ground in what is now the Stonington Acres subdivision.

"This is what's left," said Dick Wheeler of Ledyard, gesturing across the approximately 86 grave sites, most of which date back to the 19th century.

Wheeler and his son Steven, also of Ledyard, for ten years have painstakingly restored the family burial ground. Today, stone walls with a wrought iron gate surround the quiet, tree-shaded cemetery with its well-preserved gravestones and small white sign.

Read more of this story by Joe Wojtas of the Day of New London, in the Newsday Newspaper for July 27, 2008.,0,6107601.story