My contest for a free pass to RootsTech 2014

One lucky reader will get a free pass to Rootstech 2014 this coming February (an educational event for the howtos of using technology in family history research), since I will be an official rootstech blogger. So my idea was to award it to whomever comes up with the best question for me to ask Spencer Wells at the conference. I am expecting to have a private interview with him, video recorded and posted here. So send me your questions via my contact page by January 30th.

It was Well’s book, Deep Ancestry: Inside The Genographic Project, that sparked my interest in population genetics and genetic genealogy. After I read it, I did the original NatGEO DNA test. Then I transferred the results to but my mitrochondrial DNA was too deep in the past to satisfy my genealogy cravings. Soon thereafter I heard about 23andme and tested there. Twisted the arms of many family members and relatives to get tested, including my father, whom I had tested by both of those sites. In the process I read lots of books and blogs. The marriage of genes and genealogy known as genetic genealogy had me firmly hooked.

Read on for more about all the things I have enjoyed reading to expand my understanding, n.b. favorite blogs are in the column on the right towards the bottom.


My family history book shelf – I have more as Ebooks

The next set of books I read were by Brian Sykes, The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry and more recently Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland.

Then a friend introduced me to the writings of Matt Ridley starting with Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters (P.S.) and continuing with many of his other wonderfully well-written books.

Of course I wanted to relate all my new found knowledge to my genealogy hobby so I read Trace Your Roots with DNA: Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree by Meg Smolenyak and Ann Turner. It was terrific but did not have much on autosomal DNA tests which were new at the time it was published. So I read everything at the ISOGG site, the ISOGG wiki, the DNA-NEWBIE mailing list, the rootsweb DNA-GENEALOGY mailing list, several great blogs: Cece Moore and Roberta Estes among others, and took a few free online courses from Coursera.

Most recently I read Richard Hill’s wonderful story of finding his biological ancestry, almost like a good detective book, Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA

To summarize, I continue to be excited by the marriage of technology to genealogy and genetics and am really looking forward to Rootstech and meeting Spencer!

(Disclosure: my brother Shipley Munson works for and helps organize Rootstech so when I was bragging to him about all the visitors this blog is getting he twisted my arm to be an official Rootstech 2014 blogger, like that was hard!

Also all the book titles are linked to my affiliate code at Amazon)

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