Nothing explains our hunger for learning more about our ancestors better than author Alex Haley:
"In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage, to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness."
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Don’t believe everything you read. In fact, don’t believe everything you pay for either.
In Canada, there are major benefits to being able to prove Aboriginal People ancestry.
NOTE: Aboriginal People is one term for what we used to call native North American Indians or Eskimos although those terms have recently been replaced with Native Canadians or Aboriginal Canadians. See http://bit.ly/2JPniVe for a list of some of the benefits of Aboriginal Canadian ancestry.
It seems that one Toronto-based laboratory that tests people’s DNA to determine their ancestry has been caught providing “proof” of such ancestry, even when the DNA doesn’t prove it. The scam was caught when one Canadian became suspicious and submitted a DNA sample from his girlfriend’s dog for analysis.
The results from DNA testing company Viaguard Accu-Metrics “proved” that Snoopy the Chihuahua has 20 per cent Native American ancestry: 12 per cent Abenaki and eight per cent Mohawk.
The test was repeated. On the second attempt, a French Poodle was “proven” to have five per cent Native American ancestry: two per cent Oji-Cree, two per cent Saulteaux and one per cent Mississauga.
A third test was conducted, this time with DNA samples from three humans, all of whom are CBC employees: Two were born in India and the third was born in Russia, and none was aware of any ancestral connections to North America’s Indigenous populations. As a check, DNA samples from the same three also were submitted to 23andMe. As you may have guessed by now, the results returned by the two companies were wildly different. The results from 23andMe found none of the CBC employees’ DNA was of Native American origin. Rather, greater than 99.8 per cent of their DNA was reported as being linked to the regions where they were born.
The test results from Viaguard Accu-Metrics claimed that all three CBC employees have 20 per cent Native American DNA. The results were broken down further, linking them to specific First Nations communities. Viaguard Accu-Metric determined that the DNA of each of the three individuals was 12 per cent Abanaki and eight per cent Mohawk.
A subsequent CBC News investigation has found there are not only concerns about the accuracy of the DNA tests but also about the possible fraudulent use of cards resembling certificates of Indian status to secure tax exemptions the holders aren’t entitled to.
Canada Revenue Agency, the RCMP, and the Sûreté du Quebec are now investigating Viaguard Accu-Metrics as well as the tax exemption use of identification cards used by people who claim to have Aboriginal Canadian ancestry.
Every so often I go check one of my favorite websites, and type in a random family member's name and info, just to see if something new has come up. It's been a long while since I'd been "surfing" on FindAGrave, a web site that hold thousands of photos of tombstones and cemeteries.
This weekend I went surfing there again, after a couple of years of not being on it. (When you work full-time, you sometimes just don't have the time to go searching like you'd really desire to! Now with a disability, and home all the time, I have much more time to spend doing those things I love doing, namely, research and writing!)
It had been a while since I'd looked for more information on my husband's family. At the age of two his parents were divorced. He never knew his Dad, and by the time he and I went looking for him, it was too late. So we have worked, off and on for twenty years trying to reconstruct his family history. A couple of years back I located photographs of his Dad's tombstone. It's the closest thing to a photograph he has of his Dad, and we plan to make a trip to Mississippi one day to visit his Dad's grave.
This weekend while "surfing" the site, I located his grandparents, great-grandparents, and even his great-great-grandparents graves. They are only over in Kentucky. We live in West Virginia, and may be able to actually go there soon to visit the graves.
We've been twenty years accumulating this information. Knew the where, but had no photographs. So, we are thrilled with the information we found! Some even contained obituaries. What a find!
Sometimes, it pays to go back and recheck those sites you've already been to for new information. Especially sites that are frequently updated. You just never know what you may find!
The U.S. Supreme Court made gay marriage legal in every state, but the LDS Church’s FamilySearch massive genealogy databank still hasn’t listed same-sex couples. However, change is coming to the genealogy resource — and soon.
An article by Peggy Fletcher Stack in the Salt Lake Tribune web site states:
“The church’s genealogical arm has been planning for several years to expand its services to include “same-sex parents and same-sex couples,” according to a statement on the FamilySearch website, but that requires several systems to be “significantly redesigned to support same-sex relationships before Family Tree can release this capability.”
“The group expects to ‘finish this work by 2019,’ it said. ‘Following this work, the FamilySearch Family Tree application can then allow same-sex information to be recorded.’”
“Owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, FamilySearch is ‘one of the world’s largest collections of genealogical data, drawn from civil, ecclesiastical and other sources to assist researchers,’ church spokeswoman Irene Caso said Wednesday in a statement. It makes no judgment ‘as to the legitimacy or character of the relationships found in these public records. … They are simply collections of data to be assessed for their genealogical value by each researcher.’”
You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me. ~C.S. Lewis
As I find myself with more and more time to do those things that truly bring me pleasure, I look forward to afternoon tea. Sometimes with shortbread biscuits. Sometimes with scones. Sometimes simply the tea. But always with the beautiful crockery I have been gifted and inherited.
I find that as I age, I am drawn to more genteel activity, and those things that I truly savor. Tea time being one of those things.
There is something about sitting on the covered porch in the afternoon and sipping a cup of soothing tea while reading a good book. If I'm lucky, someone will drop by and share a cup with me, which is why the tray always carries two cups. A linen napkin covers the biscuits and the creamer or lemon wedges. (One really must know which to add, cream or lemon, to which tea!) I occasionally add sugar, but that is rare these days. I prefer the taste of the tea itself. There's enough sweet in the biscuits or jam for the scones.
Sometimes I simply sit back on my seat and allow the warm summer air to flow over me as I feel myself drift away into a day dream of an era gone by, and I am transported back to a large manor house surrounded by rolling fields. Am I in America? England? Ireland? Scotland? I do not know. But it's tea time. And it's a warm day and I sit in a garden walled in by beautiful roses. There I read, or write in my diary.
When company has arrived, I dare not allow myself such luxury as day dreaming. Instead, I relish the conversation as we share our tea. I can see that she/he is nervous about the china cup and saucer and would rather have tea in a heavy mug instead, for here, today, that is what most people use.
We speak of the fine weather, and the gentle breeze that helps keep the mountain area cooler than at lower altitudes.
We talk of the flowers in bloom. And if my body will allow me we will cut a bouquet of flowers for them to take home with them.
Once they leave, I gather the tray and make my way back into the house. And I am transported back to the 21st century. The dishes must be washed up. And before long dinner must be started. My husband comes out of his office and lets me know he has finished with his computer for a while. He thinks he will take a nap before dinner.
I fill the sink with hot soapy water and wash up the tea things. I dry them carefully and put them away. Left over biscuits or scones are wrapped carefully for tomorrow at tea time.
The tea pot placed back upon the shelf, I am fully back to this day and time. Where deadlines are to be met. And writing to be done. And housework that must be finished before days end. Already, I am waiting for tomorrow and my journey into afternoon tea once more.
The other day my youngest child sent me the above combo pic. On the left is her today at almost 34. That's me on the right at only 15. Uhhhh….guess there's not much chance I could say she isn't mine is there? Pretty uncanny, huh?
Now look between me and this woman. Notice a resemblance? Except for the nose and hairstyle, we look the same! That's my mother when she was 18, just 3 years older than me in the photo above. This was her Senior High School portrait. Beautiful wasn't she?
Now look at this woman. Look at my mother, and then me. You see the similarities? This is my great-grandmother. (My mother's father's mother.)
And then there are such similarities on my dad's side as well!
Now look at this young fella here. Notice any resemblance between him and me? Look at that nose! Yes, you guessed right. That's my dad. Just a year older than me in the pic above.
And this one? Look at those eye brows and brow ridge? Yes, that's my dad's mother, my grandmother.
Now this one is a little tougher. See the gentleman here? That's my dad's dad, or my grandfather. Not much physically resembling him here. Or so you would think.
Now look at the two men in the middle of this photo. That's my dad on the right, and his brother, Jack, on the left. Now look at the man above. Eerily alike!
This is a sister of the two men, Margaret. She passed away a few years ago. Around the mouth, and the obvious very white shock of hair
And finally, look at this one. Look at that white hair! (I'm only 58!)
We are often an amalgamation of our parents and grandparents, and even our great-grandparents! I look at myself in the mirror and I see my mother, and my father, my grandmother Beane, my aunts and uncles. There's that Faudree nose from my dad's mother's family. Chubby cheeks from there as well. My mother's smile. Her brow arch. The shockingly white hair of my grandpa Beane. The height and heavy build of my Grandpa Dreher (mom's dad). I don't see any of my mom's mother in me. But I do have the height and build of her father, my great-grandfather Banet. Tall, big man. (Shame I didn't take after my great-grandmother Banet's family, the Eve's. Tiny petite women who lived to ripe old ages and never had any gray hair!) But then, I'd have to use a step stool to reach my top cupboards! Ha ha.
Who do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see your parents? Your grandparents? Aunts? Uncles?
One thing for certain....my daughter can say she pretty much knows what she'll look like when she reaches my age! The gray hairs are arriving as I speak! LOL
Okay, let me see a show of hands here....How many of you have ever been surfing through online resources or books and came across a juicy mention of an ancestor and became so excited that you immediately recorded the information, documented it and got the citation correct. You were so excited to put it into your genealogy program, and suddenly.. you are gobsmacked! (yeah, I know, that Appalachian gal and Irish/English/Scot gal sometimes gets all mixed together and I come out with a singular phrase that no one in America recognizes, except the old timers in the mountains, or the English. Like "gobsmacked".) There before you, clearly your own entry in your genealogy program, is the exact same information, from the exact same source!
Yeah, that's what I thought! Everyone has their hand raised!!!
Yes, we've all done it. And that's the precise reason why you should keep a research log. I keep one on each individual in my program. Why? Well, before I go either busily copying by hand, or paying for a copy at the library or courthouse, I check my research logs to see if I already have the same information on that particular individual. No need in looking and doing all of that if I already have it!
I know some individuals however, who if they are looking into a source where they know they've already looked before, won't look for that person again. Well, anyone who has been doing this for very long won't mind telling you it's okay to take a second look! Or even a 3rd or a 4th! I've found information several times after I thought I'd exhausted the source before! So it never hurts to look again.
The waste comes when you copy down the same info again and again. By keeping a research log, this will help you eliminate that, and give you time to look elsewhere for new info!
I have a 6-inch research log, which contains everyone in my tree. Each individual has their own Research Log. (For time, I simply alphabetize this binder's pages.) It makes for a bulky addition when going to a courthouse or historical society to do research in my backpack. But one that has saved me countless quarters in a copier, or many dollars for a vital record.
Yes, I'm probably known as the "bag lady" when they see me coming! My backpack is a regular large daypack, with bright neon yellow trim (in case I become lost amongst the stacks of books or records, rescuers will be able to find me in the dark!). Seriously, keep a research log. You can save the pdf or Word Doc file of a really nice one over atFamily Tree Magazine (this is where I have received ALL of my research forms absolutely free). While there, you can also read and download several books that will be of invaluable assistance to researching your ancestry. There are even classes you can take! Books you can purchase! And they have an awesome magazine that comes out every other month!
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The Tri- State Genealogical & Historical Society is as a non-profit organization, operated entirely by volunteers and dedicated to preserving the history of the Tri-State area of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. One of our major goals is to help families trace their family history.
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