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Chronological List of Blog Posts

DNA and Google Maps: Breaking Through Brick Walls to Reveal a Love Story

Our DNA holds the answers to many of our family history mysteries, and simple tools like Google Maps can help make the task of breaking through these brick walls easier. See how my cousin learned the identity of his great grandfather. #ancestry #familyhistory #ancestrydna #genealogy #ancestors @ancestry

Crowdsourced Genealogy

Crowdsourcing is an under utilized family history research tool. Social media tools can make it difficult to search and archive information. Other tools fail to reach large numbers of people online. A research problem is presented for crowdsourced assistance as inspiration for the capabilities of true crowdsourcing.

Genealogical Indexes: Friend or Foe?

Indexes of genealogical records can be a researcher’s best friend helping us quickly locate relevant records. Yet, indexes can also cause us to misinterpret information. #ancestry #genealogy #familyhistory

Targeted Y-DNA Testing: Uniting a Band of Brothers, Part 2

In the previous blog post, I introduced the research objective, which was to use Y-DNA testing to determine whether five Wilson men, who were all living in a small rural Meigs County, Ohio town, were brothers. The hope was that if I could do so, I would be able to cast a wider genealogical net…

Targeted Y-DNA Testing: Uniting a Band of Brothers, Part 1

Sometimes the solution to breaking through your own genealogical brick walls resides within the DNA of other people. You could wait around for that “other” person to test, or you could proactively search that person out. Constructing a research plan to find the living descendants of the family to whom you think you are connected…

Identifying John Wilson’s Irish Origins, Part 2: Autosomal DNA Analysis

Having identified the probable ancestral origin of John Wilson (1716-1799) using Y-DNA in Part 1 of the blog post series, Part 2 uses autosomal DNA (at-DNA). The purpose here is to provide corroborating evidence that John’s ancestral origin is County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland as well as to offer greater geographic specificity within the county. Compared to Y-DNA,…

Identifying John Wilson’s Irish Origins, Part 1: Y-DNA Analysis

Have you been fortunate enough to trace one of your American ancestors back to the 1700s but found no records indicating where in Europe they originated? Oh, and what if you are “lucky” enough for this ancestor to have a common or occupationally derived surname, such as Smith or Miller, providing no clues as to…

The Power of Original Records

Have you come across a derivative record transcribed from an original document? Ever wonder if it is worth the time, effort, and expense to obtain a copy of the original? The answer to the last question is a definite YES. Let me explain through a brief example. When reviewing my autosomal DNA matches on Ancestry.com,…