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Lineage Society DIsappointments

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The New Year (and decade) is well underway and I've been putting off my Genealogy Goals for the year.  Why?  I'm one of those people that just won't let something go if I've committed to it.  My last year goal was to honor my ancestors through various lineage societies.  My thought process was the more places you leave your work, the more likely it won't be lost.  Sadly, that goal really didn't work out for me in a few cases.

I am a member of several societies and they are all legit.  That means, they have goals I agree with, they didn't take my money and run (those are out there) and they actively pursue initiatives to improve genealogy through historical education.

Unfortunately, two I selected last year didn't measure up.  Both cashed the check, told me I was a member and then emailed me that they weren't done verifying what I submitted and would keep me informed.  But they didn't.  I followed up every few months.  Next month will be a year …

African American Research Online

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Without a doubt, researching African American genealogy in the U.S. has never been easy, even though Alex Haley made it look like it was in Roots.  Sure, you can go back to the 1870 census but it often takes hours of Boots on the Ground to determine lineage before the Civil War.

Perhaps that's about to change!  Coming soon, an online database thanks to the University of Michigan's Enslaved:  Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade study that is partnering with organizations to link databases and attempt to match individuals as they moved from place to place.  I first read about this amazing work in the January-February 2020 Smithsonian article, Tracing the Enslaved by Amy Crawford.  Although the database combining multiple records held in archives around the globe is not yet available, it's scheduled to be open soon.

In the meantime, try researching the Slave Societies Digital Archive, the brainchild of Jane Landers of Vanderbilt University.  Begun in 2003, over 700,000 pages…

You May Have Missed This - Another Genealogy Organization Change

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While you were partying away the holidays, you might have missed the announcement from Curtis Rogers, founder of GEDMatch, that he has sold his business to Verogen, Inc.

What does this mean to you?  Well, stay tuned as for now, not much but in the ever changing world of genealogy it could be something later.

I'm not surprised by the sale; GEDMatch was having a difficult time moving the company forward (ie. the website was early millenium when they started) and with policy, such as what constituted adherence to their guidelines ethically regarding privacy and usage by 3rd party sources.  I've blogged about last year (The Dark Side of DNA) if you'd like details.

Personally, I've left my DNA open to view.  This may be a naive decision but I think it's the most ethical for the moment.  I don't care if I'm contacted by the police searching for a relative.  No one is going to steal the limited DNA available and clone me (I have heard that claim from a few client…

Star Wars and Genealogy

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Happy New Year!  December was a busy month for genealogy so I'll be trying to catch up with all the changes each week.  I ended the decade watching the last Star Wars movie which was bittersweet to me.  The franchise started while I was in college, saw one of the films when I was first pregnant with my oldest who became a lifelong fan, and the remaining movies I can remember by associating with various stages of my life.

Star Wars is an epic in science fiction genealogy.  Do you recall being shocked to discover that Darth Vader was Luke's father?  That Luke and Leia were twins?  If you haven't seen the movie yet I'll not spoil it but I'll give you a hint - Mill's FAN Club.  Yes, there is another connection nicely tying up all the movies.

This year, keep the movie in mind as you search for your elusive ancestors.  Wonder why know one talked about Great Uncle Bob?  I say check out his relationships.  His business buddies might just be holding the key to his sepa…

2019 Top 10 Genealogy At Heart Posts

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U.S. Genealogy Enthusiasts - Before the Decade Ends Next Week...

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I know you're busy with preparing for the holidays, visiting family and friends, cooking up grandma's passed down recipes, spitting into those DNA test tubes and standing in lines (or trying to figure out where your package got delivered because it wasn't at your door as expected).  You've got to put this on your TO - DO before December 30th list, though, because it effects everyone interested in family history in the U.S.

I've received several emails from various organizations regarding the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service's 500% proposed fee increase.  That is outrageous on so many levels!  My first complaint is that they just raised the fee 300% less than 3 years ago.  The second complaint is that it TAKES FOREVER to get the documents and sometimes, you don't get them at all and you don't get your money back.

I don't know about you, but I think paying $685.00, waiting up to a year and then getting an email with no individual to respond…

Genealogy Gift Ideas - A Few of My Favorite Things

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My original post planned for today:

For the genealogy enthusiast on your holiday list, here's some last minute ideas that won't break the bank and can be purchased or made quickly.  I've used all of these and am not making any profit on the recommendations.

1.  Do they want to go professional?  This revised book would be oh so helpful - Professional Genealogy:  Preparation, Practice and Standards by Elizabeth Shown Mills on Amazon.

2.  It's Christmas Eve and you're desperate!  Download the revised Genealogy Standards 2nd edition electronically which is also available on Amazon.

3.  Here's another quick gift that can be sent electronically.  Sure, Ancestry.com is great but why not try a different organization this year.  Not sure what to select?  Think of the area where the person is predominately researching:
British - FindMyPast
European - MyHeritage
French - Geneanet
Swedish - Arkivdigital
US - New England plus -New England Historic Genealogical Society
New…