More DNA news and a virtual conference

It has been two months since my husband died and I am still not back but there is so much interesting genealogy and DNA news that I am making the effort to blog today. Forgive my lack of original thought; my brain is not working well yet, other widows call it “grief brain.”

SCGS Jamboree 2019

DNA expert panel at the 2019 SCGS Jamboree: L to R: Brad Larkin, me, Tim Janzen, Angie Bush, David Dowell, and the organizer Alice Fairhurst

First of all, my favorite local conference, the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree has been restructured as a two weekend virtual event. This coming Friday and Saturday are about DNA and yes I managed to record a talk on finding cousins which explains some of my favorite techniques at the major sites. Next weekend is the Genealogy portion, again on Friday and Saturday. Plus, as always, there are some free events; for example, Monday next week has virtual round tables and I will be hosting one. Click this URL for more information about all this conference:

Next, MyHeritage has been doing some exciting things with your old photos. The latest is automatic repair. I am eager to try it. Previously they added colorization and automation. Click here for the blog post on the new magic photo repair tool


23andme has come out with an interesting report on the genetic basis for why some people lose their sense of smell with COVID. Click here to read it (it requires you to log in)

Finally GEDmatch has released their updated prettier site. You have the option to use the new site which still has a few small bugs or the old, familiar, but clunky site. Yes the changes are mainly cosmetic and making help more available. As soon as I have some energy I will blog about them. In the meantime be sure to try the new site and send bug reports to

16 thoughts on “More DNA news and a virtual conference

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  1. I was unaware and I am so sorry for your loss, I have been there and it is not an easy recovery but there is hope. Prayers for peace and comfort for you.

  2. “Grief Brain” runs as long as it needs to. For myself a combination of “Grief Brain” and “Covid Quarantine Brain” merged and I’m now coming out of the fog. My condolences to you.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my
    Husband 8 years ago and the grief brain
    Lasted a long time. Not having a job did not help and even my long passion with genealogy
    Did not come back for years I understand
    We all likely have some understanding
    Do not pressure yourself. You need time
    For grieving

  4. I can tell you from experience (I lost my husband 18 yeas ago) that even when you THINK your brain cells are functioning normally they are not. When you look back later on is when you realize that … so take it slow and easy and get used to your new normal. Hugs!

  5. My condolences for your loss. I am glad to see that you are attempting to carry on with your pursuits as they will help you help you deal with it and will make it all easier to bear as time goes on. At least it did for me. Take care.

  6. Hi Kitty, sending hugs around the world to you, one day at a time, no shoulds, woulds or coulds, just be! Know that your readers are out there and thinking of you x

  7. Kitty, love anything you share! I have been there also…it will get better but it does take some time. Do what you need to do for yourself! Prayers.

  8. Hello Kitty, You have been in my thoughts after your letting us know you’ve lost your husband. I can relate to what you’re going through, having lost my husband 20 years ago this month. I’ve been an avid genealogist for 45 years and found, after his passing, I no longer received the enjoyment and personal rewards it has brought me all those years. One day, I realized I was in mourning and wasn’t supposed to be enjoying life and the things that mattered most to me. That day was when I recalled my husband’s mandate, “When I’m gone I don’t want you sitting around having a pity party,” So, I picked up the pieces and began living again and working on genealogy and connecting with others who share this bond continues to bring me joy. We’re counting on you to continue to bring joy into our lives sharing your blog and knowledge. Take care and know it takes time and that’s okay.

  9. Kitty, I have been using the MyHeritage photo enhancer/colorization tool and now the repair tool. It is quite good, but often times the colors are too intense. You can repair some of that by hand changing some of the intensity at MyHeritage, but I prefer to take the improved photos to my Yahoo site and then do edits for lightness, color and clarity. 95% of the time I have excellent end results. A couple of times I had strangely colored hands and shoes. One big benefit it how small things now pop out in the photos and are a benefit to identification. ie brooches, jewelry, medals etc Message me if you want other hints. I have done about 300 photos. Bill

    • william that sounds wonderful! Maybe you could write up you tips, then I would edit it and publish it here as our joint blog post? With some sample photos of course. I will email you.

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