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DNA

NGS 2017 Conference Pre-Registration Ends Today – #NGS2017GEN

Still need convincing? Pre-registration for the 2017 National Genealogical Society Conference ends today (27 April 2017), so you need to get on the stick. NGS has put together a heck of a program. NGS has loosely organized sessions into 10 tracks each day:

Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
BCG Skillbuilding BCG Skillbuilding BCG Skillbuilding BCG Skillbuilding
DNA DNA DNA DNA
Research Planning Solving Problems Records & Repositories Research in the States
North Carolina Historical Context Methodology North Carolina
Historical Context Religion Military Records & Repositories
Working with Records North Carolina African American Family Stories
Tips & Techniques Records & Repositories Historical Context Methodology
Military Technology Technology Records & Repositories
Records & Repositories Organizing Research Native American Religion
Methodology Beyond the Borders Methodology Solving Problems

NGS 2017 Family History Conference - 10-13 May, Raleigh, NCPretty much every speaker is a nationally known expert or an expert in subjects in and around North Carolina. You may know these names (in no particular order):

From Ancestry:

From FamilySearch:

To see the program online, go to http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/program.

To see the PDF registration brochure, click here.

The National Genealogical Society 2017 Family History Conference is being held 10-13 May 2017 at the Raleigh, North Carolina convention center.

NGS: Online Course – Understanding and Using DNA Test Results

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from our friends at the National Genealogical Society.


FALLS CHURCH, VA, 10 DECEMBER 2019—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) unveiled the newest course in its Continuing Genealogical Studies series, Understanding and Using DNA Test Results. The course is designed to help the millions of individuals, who have taken a DNA test to learn more about their family tree, get the most out of their test results. Students learn at their own pace, in their own home, on any tablet or computer.
“Taking a DNA test is easy,” noted NGS Education Director, Angela McGhie, CG. “Understanding the results and knowing how to use the data to identify your ancestors is more challenging. We are pleased to be able to offer a new course that will teach family historians about patterns of genetic inheritance and how their DNA matches can lead to building a broader family tree.
In a step-by-step format, expert genetic genealogist, Angie Bush, MS, teaches the basic types of DNA tests and the value and limitations of their results. The course also explains how to read and interpret DNA charts and cousin match pages; how to apply test results to traditional genealogical research; and much more. To learn more about Understanding and Using DNA Test Results, visit the NGS website.
ABOUT
Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Falls Church, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.
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The words Certified Genealogist and its acronym, CG, are a registered certification mark, and the designations Certified Genealogical Lecturer and its acronym, CGL, are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation

AncestryDNA Whips Past 4 Million Samples

AncestryDNA Reaches 4 Million Customers in DNA Database.Four million. It’s staggering, really. AncestryDNA has exceeded four million samples in its DNA database!

It took AncestryDNA three years to get the first million samples. (See “AncestryDNA Exceeds Million Mark” on my blog on 22 July 2015.)

It took them 11 months to reach two million. (See “AncestryDNA Database Reaches Two Million” on 28 June 2016.)

It took just seven months to get to the three million mark. (See “AncestryDNA Zips Past 3 Million Samples” on 19 January 2017.)

Less than 4 months later, AncestryDNA has reached four million persons in the DNA database. (See “AncestryDNA Reaches 4 Million Customers in DNA Database” on the Ancestry blog, 27 April 2017.) AncestryDNA must be selling over 8,000 kits a day to grow that fast. Ancestry says as many people took their DNA test during that period as got married in the United States. They said “that’s about as fast as babies are born in the United States.”

That’s astonishing.

Twitter, Sidewalk Labs, Google Hardware, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, October 27, 2019

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

TechCrunch: Twitter Q3 misses big on revenues of $824M and EPS of $0.05 on the back of adtech glitches. “Twitter… reported its earnings for the quarter that ended September 30, and the numbers delivered a big surprise, falling on both sales and earnings per share. Revenues came in at $824 million, and EPS at $0.05. That represents sales up 9% year-over-year but far below what analysts had been expecting: (non-GAAP, diluted) EPS of 20 cents per share and revenues of $874.03 million (or higher, $883 million, depending on which group of analysts you’re following).”

BNN Bloomberg: Google parent is closer to a deal on Toronto’s Sidewalk Labs. “Sidewalk Labs LLC, the urban innovation unit of Alphabet Inc. and Waterfront Toronto, the public corporation in charge of the development, are finding common ground on a majority of contentious issues, according to people familiar with the discussions. The parties have been meeting ahead of an Oct. 31 deadline set by Waterfront to reach agreement on topics such as data privacy, land values and geographical boundaries, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.”

CNET: Google is replacing Home devices bricked by firmware update. “Google has said it’ll replace any of its Home smart speakers that have stopped working after a firmware update, as reported earlier Thursday by 9to5Google. It comes after customers complained online about their Google Home devices being bricked following a recent automatic update, the report said.”

USEFUL STUFF

BoingBoing: Get 35 free audio books from Tor’s new horror imprint. “Renowned sci-fi and fantasy publisher Tor just launched a new book imprint called Nightfire, focusing on new horror fiction. And to celebrate, they’re giving away 35 free short horror stories as audiobooks. The list includes stories by Alyssa Wong, Chuck Wendig, China Miéville, Carmen Maria Machado, and more.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Motherboard: How Facebook Bought a Police Force. “The Bay Area has long been a sandbox for technology giants who are no longer merely occupying communities, but building and reshaping them. In Menlo Park, an affluent, mostly white city of 35,000, Facebook at one point paid workers not to live in lower-income neighborhoods near the company’s headquarters. And now, there’s a police unit that is funded by Facebook to patrol the area surrounding its campus. The bill comes in at over $2 million annually—big money in a small city.”

BBC: How a social network could save democracy from deadlock. “Whether it is the daily Brexit face-offs, the endless scandals on Capitol Hill or the yellow vests of France, the space for meaningful compromise has dramatically shrunk. Instead, it’s a time of digging in, fighting your corner, staying the course. No surrender. It signals a deeper malaise – as electorates become more polarised, democracies become more paralysed. Yet what if it doesn’t need to be this way? What if new ways can be found to break deadlocks and bring electorates back together?”

SECURITY & LEGAL

The Register: Time to check who left their database open and leaked 7.5m customer records: Hi there, Adobe Creative Cloud!. “Adobe has pulled offline a public-facing poorly secured Elasticsearch database containing information on 7.5 million Creative Cloud customers. The cloud-based silo was uncovered by infosec detective Bob Diachenko, who reported it to Adobe last week.”

Route Fifty: Ohio Establishes ‘Cyber Reserve’ to Combat Ransomware. “At least three local governments in Ohio and the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport have all been hit with ransomware attacks in the last year alone. The next time hackers go after a local government in Ohio, however, the state will have a new weapon to deploy: the Ohio Cyber Reserve.”

Techdirt: Whirlpool Left Appliance Data, User Emails Exposed Online. “Another day, another shining example of why connecting everything from your Barbie dolls to tea kettles to the internet was a bad idea. This week it’s Whirlpool that’s under fire after a researcher discovered that the company had failed to secure a database containing 28 million records collected from the company’s ‘smart’ appliances. The database contained user email addresses, model names and numbers, unique appliance identifiers, and data collected from routine analysis of the appliances’ condition, including how often the appliance is used, when its off or on, and whether it had any issues.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Mongabay: Holding social media companies accountable for facilitating illegal wildlife trade (commentary). “Facebook, and other social media firms, mainly rely on algorithms and artificial intelligence to moderate harmful content. But investigations by the Alliance to Counter Crime Online (ACCO) show time and again how these algorithms actually connect traffickers faster than moderators can remove them. They suggest friends and recommend groups, putting illicit actors in touch with one another, continually expanding networks of users engaging in similar illegal activities.”

Phys .org: Researchers make neural networks successfully detect DNA damage caused by UV radiation. “Researchers at Tomsk Polytechnic University jointly with the University of Chemistry and Technology (Prague) conducted a series of experiments which proved that artificial neural networks can accurately identify DNA damage caused by UV radiation. In the future, this approach can be used in modern medical diagnostics. An article, dedicated to those studies, was published in the Biosensors and Bioelectronics journal.”

ZDNet: AI can now read the thoughts of paralysed patients as they imagine they are writing. “Handwriting is becoming a rare skill in the digital age. But researchers have now discovered a new application that could significantly improve the way tetraplegic people, who are often also unable to speak, communicate with the outside world.” Good morning, Internet…

Do you like ResearchBuzz? Does it help you out? Please consider supporting it on Patreon. Not interested in commitment? Perhaps you’d buy me an iced tea. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

NGS Live Streaming – #NGS2017GEN

Live stream NGS 2017 Family History Conference sessions.If you can’t make it to the 2017 National Genealogical Society Conference, all is not lost. NGS is offering select sessions via live streaming or for three-month’s later viewing. You can purchase five sessions for Thursday, 11 May 2017 and five sessions for Friday, 12 May 2017.

  • Thursday: Viewers will be able to stream five lectures on DNA from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. These lectures will demonstrate how DNA has revolutionized genealogy problem solving, clarified contradictions in records, and found female ancestors without a known maiden name. They will also offer advice on the best practices for analyzing autosomal DNA. $95 member, $115 non-member.

image image image image image

  • Friday: View five “BCG Skillbuilding” lectures by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. This set of lectures will teach how to probe documents beyond the obvious, find rich evidence in deeds, use an ancestors’ neighbors, prepare a Genealogical Proof Summary, and build a solid conclusion from disparate evidence. $95 member, $115 non-member.

ximage image image image image

All ten sessions can be purchased for $150 member, $185 non-member, if purchased before midnight, 10 May 2017. After 14 May 2017, the price jumps to $175 member, $215 non-member.

Sessions can be viewed for three months following the conference. All packages include a full, electronic conference syllabus.

For more information, or to purchase sessions, visit http://www.playbackngs.com/7770.

Monday Genea-Pourri – Week Ending 20 October 2019

Here are the highlights of my family history and genealogy related activities over the past week:

1)  Moderated the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) DNA Interest Group Meeting  on Wednesday with 12 attendees.  I reported on the Ancestry Health announcement, the FamilyTreeDNA health announcement, the 23andMe updated ethnicity and family tree, the MyHeritagwe Live 2019 DNA videos, the RootsTech London livestreams and handouts, and my Newton/Brigham DNA matches.  The attendees reported on the status of their DNA test results and analyses.  

2)  Participated in Mondays With Myrt today.  The panel discussed the Zoom webinar and meetings features, RootsTech London, the Society of Genealogists, the Irish Genealogy site with free BMD records, removal of FamilySearch records, and the Newspapers.com obituary hints.  

3)  Finished up my new presentation on “Researching in Historical Newspapers” which I will give at the 30 October CVGS general meeting.  I still need to do the syllabus.

3)  Watched one MyHeritage Live 2019 video –  The Worldwide DNA Web by Alon Diament Carmel. 

4)  Wrote and posted a biographical sketch of 6th great-grandmother #511 Sarah (Campbell) Rolfe (1746-1838) for my 52 Ancestors biographical sketch on Friday.  This completes my known 6th great-grandparents and closer ancestors.


6)  Ancestry added about 4,000 record hints for the Newspapers.com Obituary Index and I started resolving them, adding content and sources to my RootsMagic tree.  I used the mining tool for a specific Ancestry record collection.
7) There were several sessions working in the RootsMagic software program to match with and update FamilySearch Family Tree profiles for Seaver families and my ancestral families, with occasional additions to the RootsMagic profiles. I have matched 33,163 of my RootsMagic persons with FSFT.

8)  Used Web Hints and Record Matches from Ancestry, MyHeritage, Findmypast and FamilySearch to add content and sources to my RootsMagic profiles.  I now have 55,167 persons in my RootsMagic file, and 111,073 source citations.   I TreeShared thrice this week updating 276 profiles, and I resolved 1105 Ancestry Hints.  I’ve fallen behind on the Ancestry Record Hints with 120,220 to be resolved, but I work on them weekly.

9)  Added several more ThruLines to DNA matches to my RootsMagic file.  Added Notes to about 5 AncestryDNA matches.   Downloaded  new MyHeritageDNA shared cM match list and got it into a spreadsheet, hoping to find common ancestors for my matches.  Tried to obtain the Auto cluster analysis but it failed for some reason.


10) Wrote 17 Genea-Musings blog posts last week, of which two were a press release.  The most popular post last week was 
New Collection on Ancestry.com – Newspapers.com Obituary Index, 1800s to Current  
with over 472 views.

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Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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U.S. Justice Department Sets Rules for Using Genealogy Sites to Solve Crimes

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has released new rules governing when police can use genetic genealogy to track down suspects in serious crimes—the first-ever policy covering how these databases, popular among amateur genealogists, should be used in law enforcement attempts to balance public safety and privacy concerns.

The policy generally limits law enforcement to considering genealogy sites when a candidate sample belongs to a possible culprit, or when a likely homicide victim is unidentified. Prosecutors can greenlight the use of these sites for violent crimes beyond murder and sexual assault, but only when the circumstances create a “substantial and ongoing threat” to the public. Agencies can’t use the sites unless a sample has first been uploaded to the FBI’s DNA profile database and hasn’t produced a match. Also, the investigators in the relevant jurisdiction need to have followed “reasonable investigative leads,” and case info need to be entered into national databases for missing people and violent criminals.

There’s more even after meeting these rules. You can read more in an article by Jon Fingas in the Engadget web site at: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/25/justice-department-rules-for-genealogy-site-use/.

My thanks to the several newsletter readers who notified be about this new Justice Department ruling.

Genealogist-on-Demand: Virtual Consultation Service announced by Legacy Tree Genealogists

Legacy Tree Genealogists is a well known and highly respected genealogy research company. Now the company has announced expansion into a slightly different service for genealogists. The following announcement was written by Legacy Tree Genealogists:

[SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, September 19, 2019] – Legacy Tree Genealogists, the world’s leading genealogy research firm, announced today the launch of a new service—45-minute, virtual one-on-one consultations with a professional genealogist. At only 100 USD, these consultations provide users with a cost-effective resource to have their research questions answered in real-time by a professional genealogist, from the comfort of their own home.

Users have the option to schedule either a DNA Consultation with a genetic genealogist who can explain their DNA test results, or a Genealogy Consultation with access to one of their worldwide researchers with expertise in regions around the globe, including England, Ireland, Scotland, and Australia.

“We recognize that not everyone interested in learning more about their personal family history may have the budget, or the need, for in-depth research services,” said Legacy Tree president, Jessica Taylor. “Many people enjoy the challenge that genealogy research can provide, but may benefit from having a professional genealogist provide them with research strategies that will help them extend their family history even further. These consultations are the perfect solution.”

Tailored to your specific research questions, the one-on-one consultations are conducted utilizing screen sharing technology that allows the user to share documents, records, or DNA results with the genealogist in a secure, virtual environment.

“We pride ourselves on being innovators within the industry, and will continue to lead out on ensuring everyone has access to professional genealogy research assistance and can experience the satisfaction that comes from connecting with ones’ roots,” said Taylor.

Legacy Tree will continue to expand its consultation offerings to include additional regions in the near future in order to continue to serve the global genealogy community.

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About Legacy Tree Genealogists

Legacy Tree Genealogists is the world’s leading genealogy research firm. Founded in 2004, the mission of the company is to bridge the divide between clients and their ancestors, helping them discover their roots and personal history. Legacy Trees’ team of professional genealogists search the world for answers and find the un-findable. Based near the world’s largest family history library in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, Legacy Tree has developed a network of professional researchers and archives around the globe. Visit https://legacytree.com.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Ellen’s Questions Part 4

Calling all Genea-Musings Fans: 

 It’s Saturday Night again – 

time for some more Genealogy Fun!!


Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1)  Ellen Thompson-Jennings posted 20 questions on her Hound on the Hunt blog three weeks ago – see 
Even More Questions About Your Ancestors and Maybe A Few About You (posted 27 June). 

2)  We will do these five at a time – 
Questions 16 to 20 tonight (we did 1 through 5 three weeks ago, questions 6 through 10 two weeks ago, and questions 11 through 15 last week)


3)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment on this post, or in a Facebook post.

Here’s mine:

16)  
If you’re into DNA which would you say you work on more? Genealogy or DNA? Or about the same? 

I definitely work more on Genealogy than DNA.  I am actively researching descendants of my 4th great-grandparents, and spend more time on searching, data entry and blogging than looking at DNA matches.  I do add the ancestral lines of some of my DNA matches into the RootsMagic tree.

17)  Do you think that your genealogy is ever really done? 

No, I think my genealogy will never be completely finished.  At least back to, say the 1600 time frame.  I have so many unknown parents of ancestors and it sure seems like there are no records for many of those ancestors.  I’m trying, though!

18)  Did you ever search an ancestor’s name on the internet and you were surprised at what you found? 

Yes, all the time this happens.  A birth record, a baptism record, a marriage record (or two or three), death record, burial record, a photo, a military record, a passenger record, a name change record, probate record, deeds, etc.  It only takes one clue to set off the search for more.  

19)   Do you ever feel like your ancestors are nudging you in the right direction in your research?

I really haven’t felt a nudge one way or another.  I haven’t had a dream where someone says “go to this place and find a surprise…” I have walked into a cemetery and quickly found an ancestor I was seeking, but she was right on the main path into the cemetery. 

20)  If you could give one piece of advice to someone new to genealogy, what would you tell them?  

Only one?  How limiting.  Please, please, please, cite your sources so that you can find the record again, someone else can find the record, or someone can evaluate your evidence and conclusions for each event for a person. 

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Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the “Comments” link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com.

Genealogy News Bytes – 16 July 2019


Some of the genealogy news and education items across my desktop the last four days include:

1)  News Articles:


Announcing the Polish Genealogy Conference 2019


*  Announcement – Laura G. Prescott Scholarship Winners

*  Vivid-Pix Announces Adding Metadata Zoom/Transcribe Feature to its RESTORE Software


2)  New or Updated Record Collections:

*  Upcoming Family Tree Webinar – Wednesday, 17 July, 11 a.m.:  Research Your Newfoundland Ancestors, by Tessa Keough

*  Upcoming SCGS Webinar — Wednesday, 17 July, 6 p.m. PDT:  More Power: Genetic Genealogy Apps and Extensions, by Shannon Christmas

*  Archived Family Tree Webinar:  Lesser Used Records for Research in the Netherlands, by Yvette Hoitink

4)  Genealogy Education – Podcasts:

*  Fisher’s Top Tips:  #88 — Write Your Story


*  Extreme Genes:  Episode 290 – The Georgetown Memory Project / Lambert On Researching Revolutionary Ancestors

*  Research Like a Pro:  RLP 53 – U.S. Homestead Records

5)  Genealogy Videos (YouTube):


6)  Genealogy Bargains:



7)  DNA Success Stories:


8)  Did you miss the last Genealogy News Bytes – 12 July 2019?

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Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the “Comments” link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com.