• Genetics

    Adopted are Finding Bio Parents with DNA and Genealogy Tools

    Over the years, adopted children have fought for the ability to find their biological parents.  State laws have changed slowly, and a few allow access to records, but for many the records are still closed.  Government agencies charge exorbitant fees with promises of helping find their parents for them, many taking months to get a single document, and many without success. Technology online has helped towards the progress of joining biological families, but nothing has aided more than the explosion of DNA testing in conjunction with 'good old genealogical research' Last year I assisted a client find her biological parents.  Through DNA we managed to start tracing her close matches…

  • News and Current Events

    “Cold case” murders are being solved at a record pace with DNA

    In the News this week! Investigators are entering genetic evidence from old, unsolved rape-murders into a publicly accessible database of DNA profiles. Traditionally used by genealogists so they can use genetic matches to distant family to locate family and ancestors is now a tool for law enforcement. The sleuthing combines DNA, birth records, and social-media profiles. Arguments over privacy were quelled once it was learned this popular site is NOT sharing DNA or other private details of those who submitted their DNA for family history purposes.  The site's popularity is due to its ability to allow DNA results from multiple testing sites be collected and compared in one place.  After…

  • Online Research

    Online Indexing Errors and How to Work Around Them, Part 2

    As discussed in last week's post, the online databases and indexes, as helpful as they are, can be fraught with errors which would lead you to believe a record doesn't exist The trick is trying as much as you can to fool the systems into showing you every possibility. Some common issues for search failures can be: The name is recorded with a different spelling Misleading or incomplete databases Looking in the wrong jurisdiction Frequent letter substitutions Typo - example Joesph not Joseph First, Middle, and Last name reversed or jumbled Name sounds - example Auto for Otto (It really happened!) Nicknames - example Polly = Mary (there are online…

  • Online Research

    Online Indexing Errors and How to Work Around Them, Part 1

    Over the last 15 years we've seen huge changes in the way we conduct genealogy research.  I remember jumping on the bus in suburban Detroit, taking the ride down Woodward Ave to the massive Detroit Public Library to go through the thousand of documents, books, records they had stored at the historical building itself.  At that time, the idea of sitting at home and doing any genealogy research in your family room on the home computer was unthinkable.  Even all off ur pedigrees and family group records were on paper and carried everything in a heavy brief case to the library or where ever I went to do any type…

  • Genetics

    Board for Certification of Genealogists Seeking Input for Proposed DNA Standards

    An announcement resulting from a meeting of the Board for Certification of Genealogists at the NGS Conference in Grand Rapids on May 2, 2018. Via a Facebook post, BCG announced the following on May 23, 2018: At the annual meeting at NGS … “the trustees debated a proposal to update genealogy standards to incorporate standards related to genetic genealogy. As a result of this discussion BCG intends to move forward with the integration of genetic genealogy into Genealogy Standards. The board directed that the committee’s proposal be published for public comment.  The proposed standards can be viewed at https://bcgcertification.org/DNA/Proposed_Standards.pdf.  The public comment period ends on 23 July 2018.  Fill out the survey…