Hello, again! Life got busy the past three weeks. A few DNA cases I have been working were happily resolved, to my great joy. I’ve made a fair amount of progress on a few others, using some of the tools I learned about at i4GG. When things are moving fast it’s hard to break away to do other things such as write an organized blog post. I plan to focus on shorter blog posts for the New Year so I will be able to share new information frequently!
Let’s back up to Sunday morning at i4GG December 10, 2017, for the summary.
There was an informal gathering of Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques Facebook page group members! Blaine invited us to meet Sunday morning at 8 am. This is early for me to be out and about, and we were staying off-site, so we missed most of it, unfortunately. The part we heard though, was questions asked by audience members and answers from Blaine. Blaine asked for suggestions from the group for things to include on GGTT FB page, and he took detailed notes. People suggested things such as “Bring back the short beginner tips and the intermediate tips.”
I missed the “Identifying the Man Known as Paul Fronczak” panel with CeCe Moore, Carol Rolnick and Michelle Trostler because we went to church off-site during that time. I’m sure the panel was excellent and I can’t wait to see it in the conference videos in February! I’ve read the fascinating book by Paul, which came out in 2017 and is available online and in bookstores. Here is the Amazon link for your convenience, but you can find it other places: The Foundling: The True Story of a Kidnapping, a Family Secret, and My Search for the Real Me
“DNA Successes in — And Despite of – Endogamy,” presented by Lara Diamond
I caught the tail end of this on our return from church. Lara is a specialist in Jewish endogamy. Endogamy is when a group of people stay in a smallish geographical area for a long period and intermarry quite a bit. In the case of European Jews, they were marrying within their religion and the gene pool was limited. The result for descendants is “everyone” is related to “everyone” and they have a lot more DNA matches compared to the average person who doesn’t have heavy endogamy in their tree. *Polynesians, Hawaiians and other islanders such as those of the Portuguese Azores Islands can also be endogamous populations. (This explanation is my own words; I’m sure Lara’s was phrased better!)
Look for large shared segments paired with large amounts of shared DNA overall. That gives you a higher chance of finding an actual closer relative but also eliminates some close matches.
Blaine asked to what extent has she found Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA tests useful (with endogamous trees)? Lara said she had some mitochondrial success. Her mom’s test has one exact match. Her mother and one man are one mutation apart from a bunch of other people. See her blog for an update on this, though.
Jewish people haven’t had surnames for as many generations as others. Sephardic Jews have had them longer than some others. If they’re from Morocco, they’re probably Sephardic.
*French Canadian trappers from central Canada are another endogamous group. Kitty Cooper is a resource on this, so check her blog.
**Also, Kitty Cooper knows about New Mexico endogamy (Good to remember, if you find ancestors from the New Mexico area in a tree). Many original settlers of New Mexico were Sephardic Jews who had to hide.
JewishGen has a lot of records indexed.
“Using DNAGedcom’s GWorks” by Rob Warthen
I was looking forward to this, as one of my goals has been to start using GWorks for a lot of people I am helping with their family trees. But I found out GWorks isn’t for Mac at this time, and I use a Mac. Angie Bush said she has a workaround, but I don’t know what that is. For those of you who use a PC, here are my notes:
Rob is a DNAadoption co-founder. His wife is an adoptee.
DNAGedcom was created to more easily gather information on your DNA matches.
It was originally FamilyTreeDNA oriented.
It’s an aggregator of data.
Growth: Double number of users each year.
Rob reminded us that each adoptee or person searching has to be ready to search, which is different for each person. Wait for the adoptee to be ready to search. It’s not your search.
GWorks is in major development moving from DOS-based app to a website.
How does GWorks work?
- Find common surnames
- Compare all trees quickly, including research trees
- Find out how your matches match each other
- Quickly search your match’s ancestors
$5/month for DNAGedcom client that you need to use GWorks
Compare all your trees tool
Help using GWorks:
- Kitty Cooper’s blog
- Debbie Demeester provided an update which is now on the main page of DNAGedcom
- Angie Bush gives great presentations on how to use GWorks
- There’s a DNAGedcom users group
Right now GWorks doesn’t work with FamilyTreeMaker 2014? Will be fixed.
- m_ file is matches
- a_ file is ancestry file
- icw_ file is in common with
- Once you upload files, click process.
Right now, for matches on GWorks it shows first name, last name, birth year, death year.
You don’t have to do spreadsheets anymore. The trend is away from spreadsheets.
Rob likes 23andMe for genealogy. It shows how close Relative in Common matches are to each other (Under the Tools tab – DNA Relatives tab. Scroll down for each match to find Relative in Common field).
Next up: Summary of so much good information from my Sunday afternoon i4GG classes! “Breaking Down Genealogical Brick Walls with AncestryDNA,” presented by CeCe Moore. “Searching for Family in an Endogamous Population,” presented by Kathleen Fernandes, Closing Keynote: “Genetic Genealogical Year in Review 2017,” presented by Blaine Bettinger