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  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.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

RootsTech 2017

The annual RootsTech, the world's largest genealogy conference, takes place in Salt Lake City this coming week.  Several sessions per day are available for free live streaming Wed. through Saturday.  Click here for the schedule:

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

February CCGS Meeting to Feature Live Webinar on Researching WWI and WWII Service Veterans

The February 21st meeting of CCGS will feature a live webinar, entitled "Researching World War I and World War II Veteran Ancestors", presented by David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Genealogical research on many of these service veterans presents some unique challenges. On July 12, 1973 a fire at the National Records Center in Overland, Missouri destroyed 16 to 18 million personnel records for the U.S. Army (service years 1912 to 1960) and the U.S. Air Force (service years 1947 to 1964). The webinar will provide guidance on how you can reconstruct your ancestor's service using draft registration cards and enlistments, the U.S. census, discharge papers, unit histories, and more.

Our meeting will take place at the Brewster Ladies' Library, Rt 6A, Brewster, on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 10 a.m. All are invited to come early for socializing and refreshments at 9:30.

For those CCGS members who are unable to attend the meeting on February 21, you may use the following link to register and view the webinar at a remote location.


Once you register through this link, an email confirmation will be sent to you with a full set of instructions on how to access the webinar.