More Sales, a Conference, and a Card Game

The sales are crazy! Black Friday and now Cyber Monday. Maybe you should buy a few kits on sale for relatives at the same company you already tested with. If you still have not done a DNA test, what are you waiting for? I have my thoughts on testing at this page – http://blog.kittycooper.com/dna-basics/dna-testing/ – with links to other pages discussing this. One point though for those of you who have already tested, if you have British ancestry, you might really benefit from the detailed regional breakdown offered by LivingDNA briefly on sale for $89.

If you have not yet registered for the i4gg genetic genealogy conference in San Diego the weekend after next, do so soon. Last year it sold out. The full schedule and speakers are now listed on the web site. [UPDATE: 4 Dec 2017 – the conference is now sold out]

Last but not least, I told all my clients I would be on vacation this week. It is not exactly a vacation, the National Bridge Championships are in San Diego this week. Yes the card game, my favorite game, and I will be competing, so do not expect timely replies to your comments this week nor will you see me on facebook much at all.

If you are a social bridge player you might consider a visit to the tournament to see what it is like. You would qualify to play the beginner events if you do not yet have an ACBL ranking or at least not a high one. See the second page of this pre-bulletin for some details – http://cdn.acbl.org/nabc/2017/03/bulletins/Pre.pdf

How to get your ancestry match to respond

Most of the time when you send a message to a DNA match at ancestry you get no response. I used to assume that their membership had lapsed or that they had not logged in and seen their messages, but it turns out, that may not be the reason at all.

The real reason is that many people are using the Ancestry App on ipads, tablets, or smartphones and the Ancestry App does not show your messages. I was shocked when I finally got this response today from a match.

The last date that someone has logged in shows on the match page and I had seen that this person was logging in regularly, but it was from their tablet! So everyone who uses the app please complain to customer service at Ancestry.

So how did I get his attention? I left a comment on an ancestor on his tree with a link to the find-a-grave entry! The next day I got the message above. Leaving a comment always generates an email which finally gets their attention.

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More Sales And More News

Both Ancestry.com DNA and Family Tree DNA have now started their Holiday sales, joining the group that started last week (MyHeritage, LivingDNA, and 23andMe). So buy your family members tests for Christmas at whichever company you used for your own test so you can compare with them easily. Of course there is always the GEDmatch site to compare tests from different companies.

If you haven’t tested yet then click here to read my lengthy discussion of which company might be best for you. It includes links to several other such discussions.

Jessica Taylor of Legacy Tree Genealogists (yes I am an affiliate) celebrated her birthday by listing one thing she had learned for each year. What a clever idea! I took number 14 to heart “Podcasts are great for drive time” and listened to one of my favorites, Scott Fisher of Extreme Genes, interviewing me the other day about chromosome mapping (podcast number 214, I start at 9:10) as well as a few other people. Now to figure out the bluetooth connection in my new car so my phone can play it through the speakers.

If, like me, you are a genealogist in addition to doing genetic genealogy, you might enjoy this interview discussing how I organize my work on the Janine Adams blog in her “how they do it” series: https://organizeyourfamilyhistory.com/how-they-do-it-kitty-cooper/ which includes my CLUB acronym for genealogy work: Cite, Log, Understand, and Backup. There are many other interviews in the group, all of which I have learned from.

I am way more organized electronically than with my paper files. As soon as my office space is under control I will post a newer picture than this one from 2015.

So Much Genetic Genealogy News!

I am enjoying my little vacation on the beach, but there is so much news to report in the DNA world that I have put together a list with links to some of my favorite other bloggers’ reports.

Holiday Sales have started

Every year most of the companies have sales during Thanksgiving week. 23andMe started theirs early, an incredible sale where you can get two kits for the price of one ($49 each) or just one kit for $69.

There are many things to like about 23andme, getting your haplogroups, receiving some health results, and learning your ethnicity by chromosome location as well as a more accurate ancestry overview than the other main companies (but not necessarily better than LivingDNA, see below). The down side is they have moved to the new illumina chip which is not very compatible with the other companies, see Debbie Kennet’s discussion of the new chip:
https://cruwys.blogspot.com/2017/08/23andme-launch-new-v5-chip-and-revise.html

While AncestryDNA is the leader for cousin matching, if you can afford a second test, do 23andMe while on sale, unless your ancestry is primarily British …

Those of British descent will prefer to do a LivingDNA test on sale at half their usual price, now comparable to the others at $99. What this test provides is an accurate breakdown of your ancestors’ locations within the British Isles, as well as your haplogroups which provide your deep maternal ancestry (as well as paternal for men).

LivingDNA announced their Holiday sale for Halloween but it appears to still be on. They are also now taking uploads of DNA results from other companies, but will have no resulting reports until August 2018. Additionally they are looking for people to test with four grandparents born within 50 miles of each other from specific countries.

UPDATE 6 Nov 2017: MyHeritage also just started a great holiday sale = 40% off until November 23 so only $59 for a DNA kit!

Family Tree DNA has a sale on the unlock of DNA results uploaded from elsewhere. Roberta’s blog covers this as well as a fix to the problems with ancestry DNA uploads. I can vouch for the latter, my newly found 3rd cousin used the fix successfully. https://dna-explained.com/2017/10/27/ftdna-unlock-sale-upload-fix-triangulation/

AncestryDNA has reached 6 million testers!

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Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor in Norway

The hardest task for many genealogists is tracking their immigrant ancestor back to his original home area in the old country in order to find records. In this article I will walk you through the process of getting across the ocean to Norway using all my favorite resources.

The newest online Norwegian archives have had a modernizing face lift but the functionality is the same as described in my 2015 post. It is the single most important site for finding your immigrant ancestor. However there are many others you would use first, to try to figure out where in Norway to look. All of Norway is not impossible with an exact birth date, but a rough location makes it easier.

One of the problems with searching for your Norwegian ancestors is the surname issue. Back in Norway, people were known by their father’s name and their farm name until the early 1900s. Plus the farm name would change when they moved. For some city dwellers a fixed surname came earlier, around the 1880s. There are a number of articles about Norwegian naming listed in my Norwegian genealogy article on the menu above (or click here).

Most Norwegians picked either the farm name, a variation of the farm name, or their patronymic for their surname once in America. So although there are many Lars Olsens and Ole Hansons, there are also Tweets (from Tveit) and Challeys (from Tjelle) and Hollands (from Haaland) to name a few anglicized farm names among my cousins. One of my great-grandfathers created Wold from Torgevollen and another great-grandad created the surname Lee. How he got that from farm Skjold is a complete mystery, although family lore is that it was done so that the name would fit around a tugboat chimney.

Finding the immigration record can be key, so it is best to start at Ancestry.com or FamilySearch or MyHeritage and locate your ancestor in the 1900, 1910, or 1920 census in order to get their year of immigration.

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