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.

  

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 StackOverflow.com.  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 new.familysearch.org, 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.

Roots Tech 2012 video – “Future of FamilySearch Family Tree”

More on the Roots Tech videos:
The Roots Tech 2012 video presentations are, for the most part, wonderful and the presentation by Ron Tanner was among the best.  It was very informative and Ron is extremely entertaining and engaging.  He says he’s “crazy” but from what I saw his really isn’t “crazy” but rather, his is excited about his work and what FamilySearch is doing in the future.  FamilySearch Family Tree have some amazing things planned, ways in which collaboration in family tree can be much easier and still maintain accountability if/when someone changes something in a tree.  The changes planned really have the potential to revolutionize collaboration. Some changes may not be implemented until the end of the year but the new family tree capabilities appear to be very desirable.  I’m looking forward to the new features.

Family Search is one of my top sites and their improvements might move it to the top.

See: Videos Schedule | RootsTech.org:
Then select: “Saturday, 11:00 AM
Future of FamilySearch Family Tree
By Ron Tanner”

Roots Tech Videos – Great!

I ran into a really great site, Roots Tech.  It has videos from their
latest convention, which is apparently the largest genealogy Tech
convention in the country.  It is held yearly in Salt Lake City.  I wish it was a lot closer so I could attend.  Anyway, the videos seem to run about an hour each. I watched one from a guy from Google and using Google for genealogical research.  It had lots of really great tips.  Probably the best one was using the tilde parameter.  For example, searching for “Arthur Brown ~genealogy” will yield  results that only relate to genealogical research, vital records,
etc.  Really cool.  Also you can use the double dot parameter in dates.
 Such as  “Arthur Brown 1868..1928 will return results for the date
range and will ignore an Arthur Brown born in 1929.   Really helpful.  So often Google searches are like drinking water from a fire hose.  These two parameters can really reduce the flow to a manageable level. 

The video I watched also talked about Google Image Search wherein you can
upload a picture and have Google look for similar pictures.   Subsequently, I have not had a lot of success with it, but I think it could lead to a breakthrough on that rare photo that you know is of someone that is related but you don’t have a name for them and I have a bunch of them. (I have about 20 photos from 1890 plus/minus 20 years which are “Hubers from Switzerland”.)

There was a bit about searching Google News but only searching the archives and leaving out the current events, which we don’t typically care about in genealogical research.  The same thing about using Google Books.  They also mentioned using Google + to link with others doing research.

Just the Google presentation will revolutionize my research methods.  I can’t wait to see the other videos.

As you can tell, I was really impressed and will use their google tips a lot. .