Fishing for Cousins with DNA

10 generations. That's how far back I can go in my Slovakia line now, in large part thanks to a single DNA match. Read More »

Taking a Research Break

This morning I read that Roy Clark died yesterday. You might be wondering what the death of an entertainer has to do with family history unless I am related to him (I'm not). Bear with me. When I was growing up, my brother and I spent a week or two each summer at my grandparents' house in Alabama. Each Saturday evening we ate in front of the television, a small color set that received three channels, watching "Hee Haw" (on which Roy Clark and Roy Acuff were regulars) and "The Lawrence Welk Show" while enjoying what at my grandparents' house was typical Saturday night fare—grilled New York strip steaks and homemade steak fries. I'm sure there was a green vegetable as well, but whatever it was didn't make an impression on me. Read More »

Getting Started with AncestryDNA

This is going to be a short post, but I wanted to be sure that if you tested at AncestryDNA you see this. Blaine Bettinger of The Genetic Genealogist has put together an easy to follow 6 part series on how to go from "new match" to "known cousin" in his awesome Facebook group Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques. He put all the posts in one PDF download that he has graciously allowed others to make available for download. Read More »

How to Customize Facts in Family Tree Maker

In my last post, I showed you how to add facts in Family Tree Maker. In this post, I'm going to show you how to customize some of the options in the default facts. This can be helpful if you don't like the wording in your reports, or if you want to add or remove information from the sentences generated. Read More »

How to Add Custom Facts to Family Tree Maker

In the "Family Tree Maker - Mac Version" Facebook group, there was a conversation recently about Family Tree Maker's DNA Markers fact. Several people didn't realize that the fact was available, and others pointed out that it was of marginal use because of its format (I agree with this assessment). I had added a GEDmatch Kit # fact to keep up with the kit numbers for my confirmed matches on, and I realized from the conversation that not everyone knows how to add custom Family Tree Maker facts. In this post, I will guide you through the process of adding a custom fact to Family Tree Maker. Read More »

Evaluating Evidence in Genealogy

Even those new to family history research can learn the basics of properly evaluating evidence in genealogy. Once you learn the simple process and begin practicing it, you will find yourself mentally evaluating evidence as you discover each new piece of information about your ancestors. As you get into more complex identity problems and work with less standard sources, better evidence analysis will improve the quality of your research and increase the likelihood of solid conclusions about your ancestors' lives. Read More »

Improving Your Searches With Collections

Are you effectively using collections at Ancestry and FamilySearch? Understanding how to use collections can save time and return more relevant results. One of the best ways to save time when researching is to narrow down results by collection. In this post, I'll show you how to use collections at Ancestry and FamilySearch, but similar techniques can be used at almost any website with genealogy databases. Read More »

20 Gifts for Genealogists

Gift shopping can be difficult, especially for older adults. Not only do they simply buy items they need for themselves, most people seem to be trying to declutter after years of accumulating stuff. That leaves me trying to think of clutter-free yet useful gifts on a budget, and -- as you know -- that is HARD. Gifts for genealogists, however, are plentiful. Read More »

"I Took a DNA Test. Now What?"

With Cru advertising his recent experience with 23andMe and Family Tree DNA putting all of their tests on sale earlier this month, there are a lot of people who thought that 2017 would be a good time to take a DNA test. After weeks of waiting, the email finally arrives saying that the results are ready. The most frequent question that comes next is, “Now what?” Read More »

MyHeritage Acquires the Legacy Family Tree Software and Webinar Platform

The entry of MyHeritage into the DNA market in November of 2016 makes them a relative newcomer, but one that is quickly gaining a following. The company was founded in 2003 and in addition to genealogical DNA testing, they offer a large library of historical records and online family trees for members. They are again in the headlines, this time for acquiring Millennia Corporation, known for producing Legacy Family Tree Software and the popular Legacy webinars which feature some of the most highly regarded names in genealogy education. Read More »