Happy New Year! And happy 6-year anniversary to DNAsleuth, too!
Last month I blogged about my genealogy goals, and one is to continue this blog. But look for changes this year.
My original target was to post new content on the 1st of every month—nearly always DNA-related. I’m ready to adjust my expectations now.
For starters, I’m not going to aim for the 1st any more.
And some months I may post more than once. Other months, I may skip. I still have DNA topics I want to explore and share. (I’ve already started drafting a post about Visual Phasing. And then there’s the surprises discovered when I tested a grandchild that I think you’ll find a little amazing!)
But I may post more often about genealogy that doesn’t involve biology, too. Meanwhile, the calendar in the sidebar of upcoming Central Indiana DNA Interest Group programs should still be current.
But sometimes I wish they had labeled those old photos better, taken more pictures, left behind letters or diaries…. Wouldn’t those be treasures?
This month, it occurs to me to blog about genealogy for present and future generations. After all, I want to make memories with the family that’s here and now too. And I realize that I might do future generations a favor by preserving those memories.
So, in October 2021 (after multiple Covid delays), our family finally took a long-awaited trip together to Sedona, Arizona. Here are my five grandkids on Submarine Rock at the end of the Broken Arrow Trail.
It’s the genealogist in me that’s now considering how to produce something tangible and lasting. A photo book with narrative text that tells our story? A video or slideshow, with audio? Will a digitized version of whatever make it more accessible in years to come? Is there some way to engage the grandkids in the creation?
Like our ancestors, we are more than just birth, marriage, and death dates and places. While you’re trying to recapture your ancestors’ stories, don’t forget to create (and preserve) your own! (And please, feel free to tell me about how you chose to do it!)
Many of us use DNA for clues in our genealogy. A DNA match may connect us to a cousin or a location where sources exist with the answer to our kinship mystery. Yay! But what about those times when we don’t find a document with the direct evidence; maybe we find more pieces to the puzzle, and we want to use the DNA as part of the solution. If you ever want to say that you’re confident that A is the child of B because of one or more DNA matches, I’ve got a website recommendation for you!
I’ve been lucky to be able to participate in a couple virtual genealogy institutes, as well as some individual webinars. While I miss the face-to-face networking, there’s a lot to like in this virtual model: no travel costs, no lines for the restrooms…. ;D This past month, I also discovered firsthand how challenging it can be to deliver a remote presentation, when you aren’t able to see your audience and tell whether they are nodding in comprehension, or nodding off!
So, I’d like to offer huge thanks here to everyone who works so hard to continue keeping the genealogy community engaged and supported lately!
Sometimes, you find inspiration in the least expected places.
In 2015-2016, I participated in a peer-guided study program for genealogists called ProGen. Most months, I knew what I was getting into and looked forward to gaining expertise and practice and feedback as I advanced my genealogy skills. But I did have lower expectations for the usefulness of one particularly short assignment, and it ended up surprising me with its enduring value.
We were prompted to create a personal mission statement for our genealogy ‘business’ – even if we were only planning to work on our own genealogy and not take clients. After much thought, I decided on this:
I’ve gotten both my Covid vaccines, and I am so looking forward to gathering in person again this year. At the same time, though, I’m very grateful for all the opportunities we now have for remote learning. It’s certainly a perk to be able to attend presentations that aren’t local, and my education budget stretches a lot farther without travel expenses!
Here is a sampling of some upcoming genealogy events with DNA programming you may be interested in. (Many offer lots of awesome non-DNA tracks too.)
Many blogs offer valuable tips on how to understand DNA results or use DNA tools. It can be harder to find posts that provide a practical example demonstrating how to integrate DNA in our research process to answer a genealogy question.