Archive | 2017

Getting a Simple Text Pedigree from Ancestry.com

Did you know that you can get a nice text pedigree tree at Ancestry.com to send to your relatives? Recently a new cousin, who had tested her DNA elsewhere, sent me a screenshot of her tree at Ancestry. That really wasn’t very useful because it showed just names and years, no places or exact dates.

For many, exporting a GEDCOM and sending that is best, but if you do not have the software to privatize or export just a section of your GEDCOM, try sending a text pedigree. Your closer DNA relatives might prefer that anyway as it is easy to scan for common surnames.

Here is how to do this.

First go to your tree at Ancestry.com on your computer, not your tablet or phone.

Find the person whose ancestors you wish to share with your new cousin. Click on the name or photo in the tree and a box will appear with more about them that includes several buttons along the bottom.

Click the button with the tools icon. That gets a little menu which includes the item “View her family tree.” Click that.  The example above shows the box and the menu.

If you are not already using the pedigree view, click the pedigree icon at top of the icon strip on the left side of your tree to get it.

Next click the print icon at the bottom of that icon strip. Now you will be on a page with a nice simple looking text pedigree that has all the information a relative would want, as in the example below. Continue reading

Articles to read this weekend

No I am not planning a Friday Finds as a regular feature, just an occasional one. Many articles caught my attention this week so I thought I would share some of the posts I plan to read or reread this coming weekend.

How to organize your DNA data is a perpetual and perplexing question, touched with at the end of this excellent article from Legacy Tree Genealogists, “Going Beyond Ethnicity Estimates in DNA Testing

Another article that might help you organize your results demonstrates a visual way to show the shared DNA among family members. Read this recent guest post by Lauren McGuire on Blaine Bettinger’s blog “The McGuire Method – Simplified Visual DNA Comparisons” to learn more.

The Journal of Genetic Genealogy (JOGG) has resumed publishing under the editorship of Leah Larkin and there are a number of articles that interest me in the most recent issue.

On my reading list are CeCe Moore’s The History of Genetic Genealogy and Unknown Parentage Research, Blaine Bettinger on citizen science and a review of GenomeMate, a tool many researchers use to organize their data. Personally I use spreadsheets because I started out that way. One for each family members’ segments, a list of contacts,  plus a list of known relatives with kit numbers and email addresses. Click on DNA spreadsheets in my tag cloud to learn more.

And for my Norwegian research, I have already read and plan to reread this terrific article by Martin Roe, Let’s wring the census records. Most of these census records are online at the Norwegian archives (see my post on those archives)

Set Your Profile to Public Tree at WIKItree

In two recent blog posts I have shown how your WIKItree pedigree can be linked to your DNA results at GEDmatch.com and 23andMe, but I forgot to emphasize that you must set the privacy level to public tree for that to be useful.

One of the great features at WIKItree is the many privacy levels but the default for a living person is completely private which means that your family tree, starting from you, cannot be seen. Please reset that to private with public tree. This preserves the privacy of all the living just fine; for example, my brother is listed on my chart as private brother 1950s – unknown (see previous blog post for image).

To change the privacy level, go to the page for that profile which you must manage or have trusted access to. Click on the tab that says Privacy.

Continue reading

Link Your Online Tree to 23andme

A new feature at 23andMe is the ability to link your DNA test profile to a tree at any one of a number of online sites. Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com, GENI.com, MyHeritage.com, RootsWeb, and WikiTree.com are all supported. The problem is that most of those sites need a login so if your match is not logged in there, it does not work well.

WikiTree.com and RootsWeb are the two that do not need a user to be logged in to see the tree, so I recommend using one of those sites. Although MyHeritage.com, which many of us still have from the days when you got a free small tree there as a member of 23andMe, will show much of a tree without being logged in.

Where do you see this tree link?
Go to Tools > DNA relatives and click on a person. Scroll to the very bottom of the page and see something like this image. Click the ‘Visit” link to get to the tree.
How do you link your profile to your tree?
This is the tricky part. The only place I have found where you can do this is from your DNA relatives People page.
Continue reading

The Foundling, a Compelling Story

Some books are hard to put down. The Foundling: The True Story of a Kidnapping, a Family Secret, and My Search for the Real Me was one of those books for me, maybe that is because I love working with DNA and genealogy and have helped a few adoptees myself. Perhaps it is because I know Cece Moore and the DNA detectives, so I heard about this from the sidelines. However I think it is really because it is such a deeply personal and compelling exploration of Paul’s journey.

Can you imagine filling out a form at the doctor’s office and having to leave the family medical history blank? Or feeling like the odd person out at family gatherings because you are so different from everyone else? These are common feelings for adoptees and Paul, with his co-author Alex Tresniowski, made them come alive for me.

The Paul Fronczak kidnapping was a famous case of a baby stolen from a hospital by a fake nurse. Two years later the FBI found an abandoned toddler in New Jersey that they thought was Paul and he was given to the Fronczaks to raise. This was long before DNA technology could be used. Fifty years later a DNA test proved that Paul was not the stolen baby.

The legendary journalist George Knapp from the Las Vegas I-team took on this story (next episode coming on April 28) and it soon went national. 20/20 made it famous. Ancestry.com and separately Cece Moore and her DNA detectives took on the DNA exploration.

The toughest adoption cases to solve in these days of DNA testing are the foundlings. With no names and just a location, only DNA can give an answer and even that is dependent on the luck of close relatives having tested.

Don’t click the Continue Reading unless you are ready for spoilers, just get the book!
Continue reading