Monday, August 31, 2015

When DNA Surprises You

This is going to be a personal post that may just resonate with others who have had a DNA test or are considering it.

I had my Mito DNA done about 7 years ago. It showed that I am a C1 which is Native American. This was interesting from a genealogy perspective since it proved that my ancestress Francoise Olivier was at least partially Native American. 

What I wasn't prepared to feel was the loss of my European ethnicity. I know I am 99% European and yet my Mito said I was a Native American. It was emotionally disturbing. It made me question what I think I know about myself. 

I got over it but now I have had Autosomal DNA done and I am making connections with others who share DNA with me. My Irish ancestors that I know are from Kerry and Laois, this is proven. However, so far I have connected with two people at 4th cousin who are from Cavan. I have to try to figure out which of my ancestors could possibly have been from Cavan. 

What is really amazing is that I am going to Cavan in September and we are spending our 4th night in the town of Virginia Cavan where one of the people I am connected with has her roots. How strange is that? 

I am now thinking that it most likely must be Johanna O'Connor who is from Cavan. I think I will have to look for more connection who match me on the O'Connor line and see if I find more Cavan ancestors. Since two of my good friends have Cavan roots I am not unhappy to perhaps be a Cavan girl. 

What I am trying to tell you is be open to hearing what your DNA is going to tell you It may not be what you want to hear but as far as I know, DNA doesn't lie!!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Swedish Genealogy Help

If you happen to have Swedish Roots there is online help available. I wish I could say it was free help but it isn't. However, when compared to a trip to Sweden, it is a bargain. 

ArkiDigital has more than 56 million images that you can access including church records, court documents, military rolls, tax and census  registers and estate inventories. The site catalog breaks down the country by counties and tells you what information is available right now for that county. 

Of course, you need to know a little something for this to be helpful. Knowing where you family is from in Sweden is helpful. If you have Swedish roots, this is one that you need to visit.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors October 4-10, 2015

This family history conference will be held in Belfast. It doesn't mean that it is only for Northern Irish genealogy. If you ancestors are from Ulster, which includes several counties in the Republic of Ireland, it can be for you too. Records you have from the 1920's and 30s might call it the Irish Free State. Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal are located in Ulster and if your ancestors call any of these counties home, you can benefit from a visit to PRONI in Belfast. 

This conference is amazing. Not only can you get personalized help to find information about your family at PRONI and the archives in Dublin, you also have the option of taking a tour every day or any day that you choose. It is a great way to combine genealogy with a historic tour to some of the most amazing sites in Ireland including a day trip to Dublin and all the resources that it has to offer.

Check out the website to see exactly what is offered. I am so sorry that I didn't see this before planning my trip to Cavan in September.

Monday, August 17, 2015

2015 ISGC Fall Conference

Illinois State Genealogical Society 2015 Fall Conference
October 23rd & 24th, 2015
Oak Lawn, Illinois

Co-host: Afro-American Genealogical & Historical Society of Chicago. Two days filled with genealogy education, nationally-known speakers, and the opportunity to network with other genealogists and family historians, and meals.  

You can register online.

The cost of the entire conference including the banquet on Friday night for non-members is $130.  There are 3 meal choices for Friday dinner and Saturday luncheon.

Three sessions are offered in each time slot, on Friday and Saturday.  There are a wide selection of offerings to provide a great genealogy experience no matter what you hope to gain from this conference.

Be sure to register and book early to take advantage of early bird rates.  

Hilton Chicago/Oak Lawn
9333 S. Cicero Ave
Oak Lawn, IL 60453
(708) 425-7800
Conference Rate: $119.00 per night if reserved by 02 October 2015. Breakfast is NOT included at this rate. Mention "2015 ISGS Conferences" when making your room reservation.

Registration - Online and By Mail  

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Flashback Thursday -Vital Records Visiting the Town Hall

You are now ready to enter into the world of public records. The first thing you are going to need to do is to figure out where the records you want are. Records may be stored on a town, county or state level. Once you figure out where you ancestor was born, married or died, you need to figure out where the records are held.

I can't tell you where yours will be, there are just too many variables. There is a book however call "The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy" which your local library may have or be able to get for you and it tells you in every state where the records are stored.

Before you go looking for records, you may want to join a local genealogical society. Some states require that you be a registered genealogist to be allowed access to records, especially birth records that are under 100 years old.

Someplace may let you make photo copies of records and other places may require you buy a registered copy. This can start to get expensive but it is worth it to have the hard copies. You want to try to get not only your ancestor but all of their siblings. You never know which record might have that gem of information.

Always treat any books you are looking at respectfully and politeness goes a long way when you are visiting places where people are trying to do their jobs at the same time. Town Halls were not created for genealogy  research and the fact that they share these records is something to be grateful for.

Before heading off to look for records, check to see if they might be available online. Some states have digitalized their records.

Happy hunting.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Putting Your Family In Historic Perspective

Watching Who Do You Think You Are  tonight reminded me of something I have not talked about yet, your family and history.  In order to understand your personal history, you need to understand what was going on in the world around your ancestor. 

Many people emigrated to America, South America and Australia for very good reasons that you may not fully understand. Most people of Irish ancestry whose ancestors came to the U.S. and Canada in the years 1845-1848 understand that there was a famine in Ireland that resulted in approx. a million deaths and another million people emigrated.  But Ireland is not the only country that had events happening that made people leave the homeland. 

What made so many Germans leave in the 1840s and 1850s, why were Poles leaving Poland in the 1880s and 1890s? Why did so many Italians leave Italy in the first decade of the 20th century? It is important to try to figure out when your immigrant ancestors left the homeland and then search exactly what was going on at the time. 

This is true for all your ancestors, not just those who may or may not have emigrated. It is helpful to know how the events and politics of the area they were living in would have affected them. 

Try creating a timeline of your personal history and then add the events that were happening around them. By doing this you may get a better idea of the who, what and why of your family.