12 Golden Rules of Genealogy

I stumbled upon this graphic of GotGenealogy.com‘s “Golden Rules of Genealogy.” Great compilation of common-sense genealogy truths.


NGS to live stream certain conference sessions

NGS conference sessions to be live streamedOnce again, parts of the National Genealogical Society’s annual Family History Conference will be made available to those unable to attend the conference in-person. The conference will be held in Ft. Lauderdale May 4 to 7. NGS is offering two tracks, Land Records (May 5) and Methods for Success (May 6). Each track consists of five lectures and can be purchased for $65 (members) or $80 (non-members). Or you can buy both tracks for $115 (members) or $145 (non-members).

Registration is open now through April 22. To see a description of the lectures in each track go the Live Streaming page of the NGS website.

I’d been planning to attend the conference in person (I even have my hotel reservation), but am now thinking it’s not going to be feasible, due to conflicts in my schedule. So I’m really happy to know of the live streaming and to know that the recordings will be available to watch through August 7.


Ethnicity: The fun byproduct of my DNA test

DNA test. Now what?Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I never felt much of a connection to March 17 until I had my DNA tested through Ancestry DNA. Then I discovered in that test that I’m 38% Irish. (That’s my pie chart in the picture.) I knew that Ireland was in my family tree, but I haven’t researched much that far back to realize that it was an important part of my heritage.

Growing up, Irish roots were never mentioned. All that came up was vague mention of England, though in reality our heritage wasn’t much discussed. That’s probably because there were  no immigrants recent enough for my parents or grandparents’ to have known them. We always just felt American.

When I had my DNA tested, it was in an effort to meet cousins and further my genealogical research. (Understanding those results is an ongoing project.) The ethnicity component of didn’t even enter my mind. But today, St. Patrick’s Day, it feels nice to have a kinship with my Irish forebears, though I’m still learning about who they were.

If you’ve had your DNA tested were you surprised by the ethnicity results?

Have you created a longevity pedigree?

There’s a fun idea making the rounds of twitter and genealogy blogs in the last week or so. It started with a tweet by David Allen Lambert (@DLGenealogist) who sketched a pedigree with his ancestors’ ages at death on the back of a napkin.

the longevity pedigree

I first read about it on the Genealogical Gems blog. Jeanne, the Genealogical Gems author, added cause of death to her longevity chart. I was captivated by such a simple, but revealing idea.

It took just a few minutes for me to grab a scrap of paper out of the recycling bin and sketch my own. It’s not the most beautiful document, but I didn’t get all perfectionistic about it. Here it is (click the image to get a better view):

Creating a longevity pedigree

It was a fun and useful exercise. Here are some of the things it revealed to me:

  • My people tended to live a long time. (But I knew that already.)
  • My ancestors tended to die from disease or old age, not accidents.
  • I have Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and stroke on both sides of the family (though I bet that’s not too unusual).
  • I haven’t noted the cause of death for a good number of my ancestors.
  • I have yet to discover an ancestor who died in war.
  • I have more death certificates to find!

I’m glad that David Lambert’s simple idea has become so popular, because I really enjoyed making mine!

Have you made a longevity pedigree? If so, what did it reveal?