RootsTech: YouTube Your Family History

It seems that I left the best for last of the RootsTech videos (of those I intend to watch).

YouTube Your Family History By Devin Ashby was extremely good.  He spent a short time with background information about You Tube and then gave three ideas for ways to use You Tube.  First was an Ancestor Video.  Creating a life story for an individual can be wonderful.  He does a great job of showing that a video might be much more interesting to family members than the boring trees and charts I love so much.  He suggests some possible software applications that can be used to produce your video.  He has great ideas, some of which will may the “Aunties Project” I’m working on much better.  I think I can also use some of his ideas on some church videos.  So his material was very useful.
He talks some about creating a website tour, where you provide sort of a guide to your website.  I don’t think that is useful to me right now, but I’ll keep the idea in the back of my mind in the event it does become necessary.
Finally, he talked about creating a channel.  He mentioned that having a channel can provide a way to make money from your videos. Of course, he mentions his channel, The Google Genealogist which looks very good.  I’ve subscribed and am looking forward to seeing more of his materials. 
As a side note, in the background portion of his talk he mentions the YouTube Symphony. I had vaguely heard of it but had never seen it. His mention spurred me to looking it up.  It is really good.  I’m playing it as background as I work and am enjoying it immensely.

Roots Tech: YDNA Solutions to Common Genealogical Problems

In keeping with my goal to watch all of the presentations from this past RootsTech conference I decided to watch GeneTech: YDNA Solutions to Common Genealogical Problems by Nathan Murphy.  The presentation was originally given at RootsTech but was re-recorded somewhere else (presumably at Family Search).

Because of my genetic history, I have a substancial interest in YDNA and using it as a tool for research.
Overall, the presentation had good material and was worth watching.  He provided good information about various tests and potential reasons to select between Family Tree, Ancestry DNA, and GeneTree.  
He also talked about places that allow for free uploads of your data, YSearchGeneTree and Ancestry.  

Nathan’s presentation style was quite stiff. He failed to engage the audience, and was quite apparently reading his material. 

That said, most importantly his talk and discussion really made me want to document my DNA experiences. I think they are interesting, so, I plan to document my findings and experiences with both my Y-DNA and my autosomal DNA tests and their results.  You will see the story of My DNA interspersed with my other posts.


Where to begin….

Last Wednesday I did my first volunteer shift at my local Historical and Genealogical Society.  Interesting.  I spent a good amount of time in conversation with the Society’s curator and Vice President.  Very enlightening.  It appears that they have a lot of records and documentations that have never been digitized nor indexed.  From a genealogical perspective it appears that there is a lot of really great things that can be done.  I’ll be very interested to see what may have been done in the past and what might be done in the future.  It appears to me that they may have many newspapers.  Stacks and racks of them from many years ago.  Certainly, it seems to me that if we could capture images of the births, marriages, & obituaries we’d have a place to start from.  Anyone have ideas about what might be a good way to begin?

RootsTech: Reputations Systems for Genealogy Video

As I progress in my Genealogy practices I’ve come to realize that I need to use a system to determine the validity of data in my systems.  I’m not really happy with the one that comes with my software and was looking for a definitive methodology to grade sources.  For example, I find that death certificates are generally poor in assuring the year someone was born.  Census records when a person is typically better and draft registrations are probably the most accurate.
When I saw one of the videos from the 2012 RootsTech Conference dealt with “Reputations Systems for Genealogy“I was really excited.  Hopefully, the video would give me some great ideas about how to quantify the reputation of various sites and sources.  
As you can probably tell from my tone so far, I was disappointed.  For nearly the first 20 minutes he points out the reputation features of Amazon eBay, and  Then he launches into walk-through of the Yahoo Design Pattern Library.  Finally, 51 minutes into the 62 minute talk he finally starts to talk about reputation characteristics of genealogy sites.  It was a lot of background for little substance.
At that point he shows, which is really a bummer because it isn’t available to the general public.  He show how little the site has on reputation of data and provides his recommendations on what it should have.  I think it is in bad taste for a Family Search employee to present thing he’d like to see in a Family Search product (even though it isn’t available to the general public).  The sad thing is that that the director of development for that product also presented at the conference.  Anyway, he does talk briefly about the reputation elements shown on Geni, Fold3, and Ancestry. 
The presenter sounded like he was reading from a script; he had little energy and was not entertaining.  All-in-all it was one of the worst presentations I’ve seen from the RootsTech Videos.  I’d pass on this video.

Ancestry’s Autosomal DNA Results

I have been waiting with anticipation for several months for the results of my autosomal DNA testing from Ancestry and finally received them.  The key component they report is about your Genetic Ethnicity.  No surprise, the results show I am 75% from the British Isles (Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales), It also indicated that for 5% my ethnicity is uncertain.  They also mention that as their genetic signatures improve over time it may provide details. We have long thought that my 3rd great grandmother was Cherokee and the test didn’t prove or disprove it as the 2-3% DNA I received from her is within that 5% uncertain.

Of particular interest further the test results give interesting links to “cousins.”  I didn’t have any close cousins but there are 8 genetic 4th – 6th cousins. That is fairly distant but does provide a starting point for some additional research.  A quick first look didn’t illuminate any common ancestors but there were several who didn’t have shared trees that I’ll have to contact. 

Besides just the contacts the results on Ancestry it provides a common name list. Wherein it displays last names which are common between our trees.  It also has a location tab which shows locations that are common between our trees.  That may prove even more interesting for research possibilities  For example one of my cousins didn’t appear to have any names in common with me, but we both have ancestors born in Carter County, Kentucky.  The individual may have additional details and research that I may find relevant.  

Of course, I’m looking forward to many more people taking the test which should, hopefully, provide a link to someone a bit closer than 4th cousin.  Anyway, it is a great new tool. For those who are Ancestry members the test is only $99.