Some people come to Ft. Lauderdale for the sun and sand. Yesterday, 25 of us genealogical nerds spent our morning mapping chromosomes at the National Genealogical Society Annual Conference. I felt like I was back in graduate school. I signed up and paid extra for this three-hour workshop.
It didn’t take me long to realize I was in over my head and started looking for a quiet way to escape from the room, but then it got better. About twenty minutes into the course our instructor let us know that she was ecstatic when the first person said they were finally getting it. I knew then that I wasn’t alone.
Thankfully, most all of us got it by the end of the three hours. Our instructor was professional genetic genealogist Angie Bush.
I hope to use chromosome mapping to gather more evidence to support a genealogical relationship that is not documented by traditional records, for example in this case census records that do not show relationships.
The 1850, 1860, and 1870 censuses show William and Mary Andrews and several children living with them that may or may not have been their biological children. One of the children was Laura R. Andrews, my great great grandmother; and I am having trouble proving that she is their daughter using these records, which are all I have. I am hoping to use chromosomal mapping to provide more evidence for adding to my proof argument that she is indeed their daughter.
I had already downloaded my Ancestry autosomal DNA results to Family Tree DNA, and so our instructor showed us how we could use FTDNA’s chromosome browser to compare my DNA to my close cousin’s DNA that had also been downloaded earlier. The browser took both mine and my cousin’s results and showed which segments we shared and the location where it was shared on our chromosomes. It also provided an Excel or in my case a google sheets comparison for later use.
Below, you can see where we share some common DNA on chromosome 8.
Now the fun really began as she showed us how to fill in the spaces that were and were not matched.
I only had one cousin’s test that I matched, so there were lots of blanks. This means I will have to get a lot more cousins DNA tested in the future, working each one into a master spreadsheet until by process of pairing or elimination a common ancestor can be determined.
Whew! I’m sure you didn’t get that because I’m still not sure I totally understood it myself. What I do have is good information and step by step instructions. I can’t wait to get home and start working on it.
I also attended an in-booth course on how to better understand the DNA Circles and new Ancestor Discoveries at ancestry.com/DNA. Yesterday I took another similar course on some of the recent new features that came out on the regular Ancestry site.
Later in the day, I attended an in-booth course with Lisa Louise Cook who has a very good book on how to do newspaper research. She was teaching some of the shortcuts and search engines that can be used for this type of special research.
I have been reading the “Family Friend’s” issues from 1859-1861, a total of over 140 issues, but I’m almost finished. It is time to try to try to find more years, since I’m researching a period from 1827-1870. By the way the “Family Friend” is what the Monticello News was called in its early days.
All of the In-Booth courses were offered in the NGS 2016 Annual Conference exhibit hall. The hall is full of every imaginable genealogy research technique and society imaginable.
This is my first conference in this center, and the Broward County Convention Center is really a beautiful facility. It sits right next to the intercoastal waterway just north of Port Everglades. There are approximately 1500 registrants here not counting all the speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors.
Tonight, we had a Taste of Florida reception over at a hotel on the intercoastal. It was outdoors around a pool. For once this week, it wasn’t humid; and there was a nice cool breeze.
Earlier this week I overheard some ladies from Minnesota and Wisconsin complaining about the heat and humidity. I couldn’t help thinking that they would probably think this place was somewhere close to hell come August. It reminded me of my mother-in-law’s old saying, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”