Friday, February 7, 2014

RootsTech - Three Things I Learned in Each Session Today

It's been a long, exhilarating but also exhausting day. Before drifting off into dreamland, I want to share a few things I learned today in the sessions I attended at RootsTech. But first a plug for FamilySearch's indexing initiative for obituaries. Straight from the mouth of Jack Sparrow.

Dead men tell no tales... but their obituaries do!

I hope you help with the obituary indexing project.

Genetic Genealogy Demystified: Reading and Understanding Your Family Tree DNA Results - Elise Friedman

This was a computer lab session and was billed as intermediate. So if you know nothing about DNA, this might look like a foreign language to you.
  1. Mitochondrial DNA - I learned that CRS stands for Cambridge Reference Sequence. This is the first mitochondrial sequencing that was ever done. Everyone is compared to this and you are told where you differ.
  2. Mitochondrial DNA - RSRS stands for Reconstructed Sapiens Reference Sequence. This is what has been reconstructed of early human sequencing. So your differences are compared to this.
  3. Family Finder - Population Finder - Some members of my family have a pretty high percentage of Orcadian ancestry. The Orkney Islands are off the north coast of Scotland. I thought this was rather odd. It turns out this is a catch all for western European ancestry.
Real World Cases from the Desk of a Genetic Genealogy Professional - CeCe Moore
  1. Each case CeCe presented had a similar theme. Start with a question, review what you know, decide the next DNA testing steps to take and the next research steps to take. Does this sound familiar? It's pretty much the same as the way we do plain 'ol genealogical research. The main difference is the DNA aspect.
  2. Most of the cases she discussed involved building out the suspected ancestor's family tree and building out the tree of the suspected match. It's a lot of work to get an answer. But then genealogical research is a lot of work too.
  3. I want to read the book, The Hemmingses of Monticello: An American Family, by Annette Gordon-Reed.

Electric FANS - Jennifer Dondero

FANS here refers to Friends, Associates and Neighbors.
  1. Pivot tables in Excel are great for keeping track of FANS. I need to relearn how to make and use a pivot table. It's been years.
  2. Mind mapping can be a good tool. Jennifer likes Mind Meister. This is something that probably would never have occurred to me.
  3. Word Processing software is good if you have a small project.
I'll be back with an exhibit hall post. For now, good night!

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