10 tips to trial a tool

Every January I spend a little time brainstorming my genealogy goals for the New Year. Genetic genealogy is such a fast-evolving field—exploring new tools will probably always be a worthwhile addition to my annual To-Do List. It’s certainly on my radar for 2019. But I haven’t decided which tool to try next. Why not?

There are so many factors to consider! Here are ten tips to consider when choosing a tool to try.

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5 reasons to take your family tree sideways

Do you know how many siblings your grandparents had? Great! And the married names, too, for their sisters?

How about your grandparents’ first cousins? (And both maiden and married names, for the girls?)

Why is that important for genetic genealogy?

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news from Central Indiana

This month’s blog post is a short, local DNA/genealogy news byte! *Big* news, to me—but not a lot of words needed.

First of all, our Central Indiana DNA Interest Group (CIDIG) has a new website!

CIDIG logo

Check us out at cidig.org. A few features are still under construction, but it’s the place to go to register for a free one-on-one consultation with one of our team leaders this month (on November 17 2018), and discover what other events are coming up soon! Our group can also be found on Facebook here.

(I’ll continue to have a static Central Indiana DNA Interest Group page on my DNAsleuth website too; it contains a map to our ‘home’ base location at the public library in Fishers, Indiana, and a general overview of our local DNA group. You can find our calendar of events on both sites.)

Want to know more about our Central Indiana DNA Interest Group? Erin Harris, the blogger at Famicity.com, featured our organization this week. Take a look here!

Finally, I am proud to announce that I now hold a Certified Genealogist® credential. After several years of dedicated work and education, and submission of a 144-page portfolio, I have been certified by the Board for Certification of Genealogists. You can read more about that organization and process here: https://bcgcertification.org/.

All cause for Thanksgiving around here!

Ann Raymont © November 2018

What are the Odds? New help in finding birth parents

My family gets to welcome another adoptee to our extended family – yay! We have a new projected third cousin match (Mary) at 23andMe. Her dad Bill, now deceased, was born in Ohio in 1930 and later adopted. Mary would love to discover her dad’s birth parents. I spent a fair number of hours working up a hypothesis and even more hours trying to write my analysis up in a way Mary and her family might understand.

Now, there is a fantastic new tool at DNA Painter—called What Are the Odds?— that can cut down that analysis time, improve accuracy, and it’s so easy now to share the results in an easy-to-understand way! So thank you to creators Jonny Perl and Leah Larkin for making this available to genetic genealogists!

You can read more about this exciting option at TheDNAGeek Leah Larkin’s blog post Science the Heck Out of Your DNA Part 7. And you can read below to see how it worked on Mary’s case. (Because of course, I tried it out there to sanity-check my own analysis!)

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Organizing my AncestryDNA matches

One of my ‘resolutions’ for 2018 was to come up with a better process for me to manage my AncestryDNA matches.  We’re halfway through the year, so I thought I’d share my progress.

My new strategy depends on the Notes option in AncestryDNA and a cool Chrome extension called MedBetterDNA. I established three baseline steps (do it once and I’m done!) and two recurring steps.

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