You don’t have to be Norwegian-American to enjoy Candace Simar‘s novels about the lives and hardships of Norwegian settlers in Minnesota in the mid 1800s. Her characters became very real to me as I read about how they dealt with love, the Indian Uprising, the Civil War, losing children, losing crops, and just getting on with their daily lives. How self-sufficient those settlers had to be! The advent of the sewing machine was major, since they made all their own clothes. She even tells parts of these stories from the Native American point of view.
After I finished the fourth one I was sad that there were no more. In order the books are: Abercrombie Trail: A Novel of the 1862 Uprising, Pomme De Terre, Birdie, and Blooming Prairie.
A History of Scandinavian DNA
If Scandinavian DNA is what interests you, you might like My European Family: The First 54,000 Years by Karin Bojs as much as I did. Karin, a journalist, learns about her ancient ancestors, after DNA testing, by going around Europe interviewing DNA researchers and archaeologists.
With the popularity of autosomal DNA tests, many people are not aware of how interesting it is to know about their deep ancestry via Y and mtDNA haplogroups. The Eupedia website has detailed information about the origins and history of each European haplogroup.
Only Family Tree DNA tests fully for these, although 23andMe will give you your top level haplogroups. If you tested at Ancestry DNA, you can upload to Promethease.com – the health information site – to determine your basic haplogroup, see http://www.geneticgenealogist.net/2016/01/how-to-get-ydna-haplogroup-from.html for how.
Personally I like to keep a chart of my family haplogroups.
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)
This blog was intended to be a personal blog with many gardening, cooking, and genealogy posts. However after I tested my DNA and talked other family members into doing it too, I found that they needed explanations of how to do things at the various DNA companies. Unlike me they were not willing to spend hours and hours experimenting, so I added a number of tutorials for my cousins which are linked to from the top menu here under DNA testing as well as from under Resources. Soon I found myself writing more about DNA: tips, techniques, and success stories. Thus this blog morphed into being mainly about genetic genealogy. The numbers for each category shown on the left tell the story.
So enough DNA for now. To me the holidays are about love, family, friends, and food. Happy Holidays to all of you. Now for some food …
My late father always made us “Norwegies,” the family nickname for Norwegian pancakes, on Christmas morning as well as on many other special occasions. So guess what I cooked on Christmas morning for my jewish husband. No I will not make them on every day of Hannukah! Yes he did say that they were just like blintzes.
We stuffed them with strawberry jam and then sprinkled them with confectioner’s sugar. Click here for the family recipe in a previous year’s holiday food post (towards the end).
My New Year’s resolution is to write more food and garden posts, maybe as often as once a month, in addition to the usual weekly DNA post and the occasional genealogy post.
On GENI.com and wikitree.com they allow birth surnames for men and women which makes life easier for those of us with Norwegian ancestry since the farm name of birth can go into the “maiden” name slot for both sexes and the farm where they lived most of their life into the surname slot. It is important to use the farm name as a surname and put the patronymic in as a middle name, since it makes it much easier to find and identify an ancestor. There are so many Ole Olesons and Lars Larsons otherwise.
This wonderful blog post explains Norwegian naming in great detail.
Sadly she has not written very many blog posts.
[UPDATE 9-AUG-2017] That author, Anne Berge, told me to send people to this page instead for her Norwegian DNA project at Family Tree DNA:
I found the original on this page at GENI which discusses Norwegian ancestry in detail.
When I scan in documents I use a product called PaperPort for my Optical Character Reader (OCR – turns images of words into text that can be edited in a word processor) but it does not know about Norwegian characters. So it has been a lot of work for me to clean up the result of a Norwegian scan in order to use Google Translate on it. Needless to say, I was delighted to read that there is an online OCR program for Norwegian! Jim Bergquist, a fellow subscriber to the rootsweb Norway list, posted the step by step process to that group for translating farm book entries using this tool and he has given me permission to rephrase his method on this blog. Here it is:
- Crop the text part of your scanned image and save as a separate image file. Make sure to do a multi-column pages one column at a time.
- Go to http://www.i2ocr.com/free-online-norwegian-ocr . This is an online Optical Character Recognition tool. You don’t have to download or install any software.
- Instructions at the bottom tell you to:
- Click the “File” radio button. Press “Select Image”. Use the file box to navigater to where you put the image on your computer.
- Leave the language in Norwegian.
- Enter the two numbers or words separated by a space. These are used to prevent automated robots from using the site for hours.
- Press “Extract Text.”
- Three buttons will appear at the bottom of the screen and the extracted text will be in the left hand box (see example below).
- Download, to put it on your own computer (a good choice).
- Translate, I haven’t used – it may send it as-is to Google Translate. However, OCR usually requires some corrections to be made, so you should look at the result and correct it before trying to translate.
- Edit in Google Docs, if you are familiar with working on documents in the cloud.
- Of course you can just cut and paste the text in the left hand box over to your word processor instead of any of the above options, which is what I did.
- When you have corrected any OCR errors in the file, select the text and paste it into Google Translate.