Sunday, February 26, 2017

March 21st Meeting to Feature French-Canadian Genealogy

The March 21 meeting of CCGS will feature a presentation from Margaret R. Fortier on "French-Canadian Genealogy". Margaret will introduce listeners to the tools and strategies one needs to trace French-Canadian ancestors. Learn how they lived in Quebec, how they differed from European immigrants, where they settled in the U.S., and how to deal with name changes and "dit names" (an alias given to a family name). Margaret will outline, step-by-step, how to track individuals when you know their Quebec location and when you don't.

Margaret R. Fortier
Our invited speaker, Margaret Rose Fortier, is a professional genealogical researcher, writer, and lecturer. She specializes in French-Canadian and Italian-American research. A graduate of Boston College and Bentley University, she holds a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University. She serves on the board of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, and she is registered as an Independent Researcher with the National Archives.

The meeting will take place at the Brewster Ladies' Library, Rt. 6A, Brewster on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 10 a.m. As usual, all are invited to come early for socializing and to enjoy refreshments starting at 9:30.

Friday, February 24, 2017

comparing online genealogy services

For anyone trying to decide which online genealogy service(s) to invest in, or whether you are using the best one(s) for your needs, here's a link to a recent presentation at RootsTech 2017 that will help:

https://www.rootstech.org/videos/sunny-morton

In just over an hour, Sunny Morton compares Ancestry, FamilySearch, FindMyPast, and MyHeritage.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Family Tree guide to DNA testing and genetic genealogy : featured library resource for February 2017

The CCGS Library has acquired our first book on DNA, The Family Tree guide to DNA testing and genetic genealogy, published in 2016.  The author, Blaine T. Bettinger, is an intellectual property attorney and a frequent presenter on genetic genealogy, as well as the founder of the popular blog theGeneticGenealogist.com.  The book is intended for all experience levels.

In the introduction, Bettinger contrasts the imprecision of genealogical records with the scientific exactitude of DNA information.  But he then points out that interpretation of DNA results is still very much in its infancy, and therefore can introduce errors and inconsistencies.  Genealogists need to use both tools together to build the best picture available.

The book is organized into three sections:
  • Getting started
  • Selecting a test (mitochondrial, Y-chromosomal, autosomal, or x-chromosomal)
  • Analyzing and applying test results
Additional information includes a glossary, and appendices:
  • A Comparison Guide (flowchart and tables to help you decide which test and service to use)
  • Research forms
  • More resources (books, blogs, websites)
The book includes helpful features like summaries of the salient points of each chapter. The writing is clear, and the layout is colorful and pleasing.  I especially liked the chapters on common misconceptions, and on analyzing complex problems with DNA.  Case studies are used to illustrate uses of the different types of tests.

Bettinger reminds us that the first publicly available DNA testing was in this century (2000), though it was famously used before that in forensic tests on the remains of Tsar Nicholas's family, and in proving that Thomas Jefferson fathered children with his slave-mistress Sally Hemings.  It was only in 2005 that both Ancestry's and 23 and me's databases reached the one-million mark.  So DNA testing is very young and will continue to evolve.  This book will be useful in getting you started on your DNA journey.