Author Archives: dnasleuth

Applying DNA to a genealogy brick wall: getting started

10-10-10                     

Happy Birthday, Nancy Agness Ann Jameson, born 10 Oct 1810!

birthday-cake-public domain

That’s a fun date to remember—and a lot of given names for a little lass born in Kentucky so long ago. I wish I knew more about her. She appeared seemingly out of nowhere in Greene County Ohio in the summer of 1832, when she married James Hammond. By 1840, they had relocated to Holmes County Ohio, and around 1850 their growing family moved to DeKalb County Indiana. Nancy spent the rest of her life there and died a widow in 1888. My search for her parents reached a dead end pretty quickly.

Could DNA help me find her mom or dad?

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I made up a new acronym! MDIDS

One of the fun things about managing your DNA matches in a spreadsheet is that you can choose to log whatever matters to you. I just added a new column to mine, and I invented a new acronym to go with it! It’s MDIDS (I pronounce it M-dids); and I use it alongside MRCA (Most Recent Common Ancestor), because sometimes MRCA isn’t quite what I want.

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Managing multiple kits – and the new AncestryDNA change

 

There has been lots of brouhaha in the genetic genealogy community this week! AncestryDNA just announced some dramatic changes coming July 18th for people who want to manage multiple kits. In a nutshell, AncestryDNA kits that are registered on that date or later must have their own unique Ancestry account, with its own unique email. This can be a free account, and we can still manage those other kits, but it involves a bit more effort, especially initially.

I have some relevant links that I’d like to share here, in two sets. Before we think about the AncestryDNA policy change, we need to think about some implications of managing other people’s DNA results in general. So that’s the first set. And then we can learn more about the specific impact of Ancestry’s announcement and how to deal with those changes—for that, see the second set of links.

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Negative Evidence: genealogy methodology and DNA

Genetic genealogy, like documentary genealogy, can result in negative findings and negative evidence. What’s the difference? (It wasn’t that long ago that I was confused about that too!)

You start with a research question and a source. ‘Negative’ means the information you’re looking for in the source isn’t found. A negative finding doesn’t help you answer your research question. Negative evidence does. You may have to understand the context to know which one you have. Some examples, with document-source genealogy and DNA-source genealogy, may help.

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