Education Plan: Have you got one?

Most who know me know that I thrive on learning new things. I finished my MBA with a concentration in Project Management in 2006 and took a few years off before completing the Boston University Genealogical Certificate Program in December 2012 and ProGen Study Group in February 2013. During the ProGen 13 course, I was required to write an education plan. I haven’t been writing them formally since then, but I thought it might be fun to lay it out in writing for the year and perhaps others might benefit from learning about some educational opportunities in the genealogy field. Boston University Advanced Forensic Genealogy GEN222 – I have heard great things about this course from a few friends who have attended. The course description states, “This course not only presents the practical and theoretical aspects of conducting a commercial practice in forensic genealogy, it also offers instruction on creative elements essential to successful casework. By working through actual case studies, students will learn innovative ways to conduct the investigative process by locating sources of information, analyzing data, and reporting findings.” I have two prerequisite homework assignments to complete before the course in August and I plan to make the most of them! What could be better than a week in Boston? I really wanted to take the Family History Writing course being offered. Decisions, decisions! Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Advanced Genealogical Methods Track 9 – This course is a must do for all serious genealogists! The course description states, “The course will address advanced use of evidence from a variety of genealogical records and research in populations...

Family Tree DNA Updates and New Features – June 2014

The Engineering team at Family Tree DNA has been busy preparing some new settings and features for us. Over the past week or two, there had been some question among admins about pricing on the Y-DNA25 test. It has been adjusted to put it inline with other tests. A SNP search feature has been added on the Haplotree page. Also, there are new myOrigins cluster names. Many will be happy to hear that Deep Clade Extended SNP results have been restored. Here are today’s release notes: 1. Added a privacy setting that will allow a user to opt out of Big Y matching. By default, matching is enabled. If someone opts out of matching they will not be able to see Big Y matches and other users will not see them. The opt in/out setting is located in the myFTDNA Account Settings page, under the “Match and E-mail settings” tab. Here is the setting: ​2. Updated the retail price for Y-DNA25 from $229 to $109. This will put it in line with our other Y-DNA product prices. Upgrade prices were also edited accordingly. 3. Created a SNP search feature on the Haplotree page to aid users in locating a SNP of interest. It is located at the top right side of the Haplotree page. The page will scroll down to the SNP being searched for and highlighted it with a yellow bar. Even SNPs buried in the “More…” pop up will be searched! Here is a pic of the search bar: and here is what a successful search looks like: 4. We restored Deep Clade Extended SNP results. These...

9th Annual International Conference on Genetic Genealogy – Day 2

*Note: It’s very late but I had a flight tonight and I wanted to get the information out.  With little sleep, I am sure there are countless errors.  I’ll fix it up tomorrow.  I figured everyone would rather have the information quickly rather than perfectly! The first thing on the agenda for the morning was the International Society of Genetic Genealogy 2013 Meeting.  ISOGG was born at the 2004 FTDNA conference.  Katherine Borges spoke about the development and launch of ISOGG in 2004 and 2005 and the fact that it is free.  It is a self-supporting and volunteer organization.  There is always a need for help.  If you have a niche where you can help, that would be great. The ISOGG Y-Browse is now up. One ISOGG wiki page that is getting a lot of hits is the new page for Free DNA Tests.  Many administrators sponsor tests and some projects raise money to sponsor tests. The Journal of Genetic of Genetic Genealogy was founded the same year as ISOGG at the FTDNA conference.  Katherine said that she has been lobbied to take JOGG under ISOGG’s umbrella but she has resisted because it wasn’t broken.  At this point JOGG is not working well but we are not at that point yet.  Katherine is determined not to let it die.  The current editor of JOGG is Dr. Turi King of the University of Leicester who worked on the King Richard III project.  Turi has been very busy with this and now there is a rumor that Dr. King will have to work on the King Arthur project. Katherine reminded us to be...

Not zombies, ghosts, or evil Halloween spirits

What caused the deaths of my ancestors?  Certainly not werewolves or vampires or zombies. Judy Russell spread the word that Nathan W. Murphy of  Family Search is to blame for this cadaverous compendium.  Not to be a spoil sport, I’ll play along. Let’s just say it’s a good thing I’ve decided not to be a smoker.  Breathing is always a good thing unless, of course, you are a zombie. I had one great grandfather whose official cause of death was partial cremation.  He died when his truck went down an embankment and caught on fire with him trapped underneath.  Not anything like the Halloween shows on television, but I’m sure it had to be living hell to burn to death, especially if he was still...

Autosomal DNA Tests for Parents?

I have already taken an autosomal DNA test.  Should I test my parent(s)? The answer is YES!  Absolutely! Because of the random way in which autosomal DNA is inherited, each child only receives a portion of each parent’s DNA.  The child is made up of 50% from the mother and 50% from the father but if no parents are tested, matches for that other 50% of each parents’ DNA will not be represented.  That is why it is so important to test parents first, especially if funds are limited and age or health could be a factor. At Family Tree DNA, my mother has 290 Family Finder matches in the database as of today.  Applying the “in common with” filter and selecting my name, there are only 116 matches.  Of my mother’s 290 matches, my results only reflect 116 of them.  This means that 174 maternal matches would have never been discovered without testing my mother.  Applying the “in common with” between my mother and sister only yields 108 matches, which means my sister would have lost even more genetic data than I would have if my mother and I had not tested.  Keep in mind, those “in common with” match lists that my sister and I have are not identical.  We have each inherited different bits of autosomal DNA and will, therefore, have some matches in common and some different. The reason that I tested my sister is because my father is deceased.  If I had a complete set of parental autosomal DNA, I might do my own autosomal DNA test for entertainment, but there would not be a significant...

© 2009-2015 Jennifer Zinck All Rights Reserved