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October DNA Days (with me)

Blaine Bettinger, one of the best presenters and educators on genetic genealogy, is coming to Carlsbad, San Diego, for a daylong seminar next week on Saturday, October 6. This is a wonderful opportunity to gather knowledge from one of the stars of the field. At the moment, there are still a few seats open.

I will also be doing a workshop on working with your DNA matches that morning in Carlsbad. If you are interested in having your results be an example in my workshop, please contact me with some details.

The idea of a workshop is I talk briefly, then you try it yourselves. Then I talk some more. Then you try some more and we repeat again. So please bring your laptop or tablet or even make do with your smartphone and we will have fun! We will mainly work with Ancestry matches plus a little bit with GEDmatch. If you have not yet uploaded your DNA data to GEDmatch.com please do so. Click here for how.

Blaine’s workshop about visual phasing will be at the same time as mine. Everyone loves this workshop at Jamboree so it is great to have it locally. Blaine is not only the author of several books on genetic genealogy and a blog, but he also runs a FaceBook group of about 46K members called “Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques.” His latest endeavor is a web site for self paced learning called DNA Central.

If you cannot make it up to Carlsbad, then come hear me following Saturday Oct 13 when I will be talking to the San Diego Genealogy Society in the Lake Murray area.

Or if you are in New Mexico, I will be talking in Albuquerque New Mexico the following day, Sunday Oct 14!
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An Online DNA Conference from FHF

The thing I have disliked in the past about doing webinars is the lack of audience feedback. I really enjoy explaining my passion to a group of people, seeing their reactions, and then answering their questions. That is so much better for me than talking into a microphone while going through my slides.

Practice FHF online presentation, Sam, Andy Noel of FHF, and myself (0nly one person shows when presenting)

The software that Family History Fanatics (FHF) uses for online conferencing lets me see the chat comments and shows my face in the corner while I present my slides. Plus I can switch to full face mode, which I plan to do when answering questions. I think this will be a much better way for me to do a webinar, so I welcome you all to register for the FHF one day DNA conference – A summer of DNA on Saturday, August 4. I will be joined by Diahan Southard, Sam Williams, and Michelle Leonard. After all the talks there will be a panel including a Q+A. Continue reading

Jamboree Round Up

The SCGS Jamboree is perhaps my favorite genealogy conference because there are so many DNA talks. Of course the i4GG conference, which is coming back to San Diego on December 8-9, is all DNA so I love that one even more.

It was great to meet so many of the people I only knew via the internet, particularly the DNAadoption crew for whom I have written several tools. Here we all are last Thursday night (thank you Leah Larkin for taking the photo!)

Front: Rob Warthen, L to R: Gale French, Barbara Rae-Venter, Pam Tabor, Barbara Taylor, Richard Weiss, Karin Corbeil, me, Don Worth, Kaitlin Mueller (Rob’s stepdaughter)

A shout out to all who came to my Triangulation talk, the slide for MyHeritage triangulation is now included. Those slides are online at https://slides.com/kittycooper/dna-triangulation-8-8-26#/

My presentation about using GWorks with unknown parentage cases went very well. This pleased me since I had worked so hard to try and make this tool understandable. I did this by showing how I used it on a few cases. Here is my favorite slide:


The idea is that you can usually find the ancestral couple to build down from on a second cousin match’s tree by using GWorks alone. Look at the top ancestors in the GWorks compare all trees to see if any of them are on the second cousin’s pedigree tree.  In the image above the tree is on the left and the top GWorks matches on the right. Do you see any names in both places? Click the image to go to the slide, then click the forward > to see the answer highlighted.

All the conference videos and audios are available for sale (Click here). There were talks I did not get to in time to get a seat, and others that conflicted with each other, so I will probably buy a few myself.

One of the things I have been thinking about a lot recently is how to get my younger family members interested in family history and perhaps even DNA.
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This is your life DD Carol!

When DNA Detective (DD) Carol Rolnick showed a family network diagram at her presentation last Saturday a voice suddenly piped up from the back of the room. Amazed, she looked up and said, “Sean?” A foundling whose case she had recently solved had flown in from Texas to come and surprise her. They had never met in person before. He saw on FaceBook that she was speaking in Carlsbad, so he got on a plane. Wow.

Sean left, Teri (a DIG organizer) center, Carol (surprised) right, photo by Kimber Motsinger

What a treat for us at our North County DIG (DNA Interest Group) meeting! Not only did we get Carol’s presentation but we got to hear the story of this case from both her and Sean. She mentioned that she has a special place in her heart for foundlings. They took turns explaining how she used DNA to solve this mystery of a 4 year old boy abandoned so many years ago in a motel room with his 2 year old brother. They knew their first names and not much else.

Sean was absolutely compelling when he spoke. Not a dry eye in the house. Preparation for his book tour?

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The i4GG Videos Are Here!

The videos from i4GG conference are finally available and I have not yet finished looking at Rootstech videos! You can purchase any or all of these videos from the i4GG site.

Personally, I went immediately to the presentations I missed at the time because they conflicted with another talk I went to.

Carol Rolnick, a fellow member of DIGG (the North San Diego DNA special interest group) gave a talk called “Tips and Tricks from the Genetic Genealogy Trenches” at the same time as my talk on “What’s new at GEDmatch on 2017” so of course hers was the first talk I listened to (after my own).

Several tips she gave were new to me. For example, did you know that in Chrome you can right click on an image and get google to search for it? Sometimes this works to find the name of an individual on your match list who has used a pseudonym. Of course a lot of the time it does not find a name but rather you get something like “official” or “portrait.”

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