Thursday, October 11, 2018

Genies Meeting Monday and Education Galore

October is Family History Month and a popular time for genealogy seminars and workshops. 

Ferndale Genies next meetings are this Monday, October 15 and November 19.  We’ll be asking how the Genies can help you with your family search. And my other favorite topic…Education.  Bring questions or topics that would be useful for you.  As usual, 1:00 at the Ferndale Library.

Skagit Valley Genealogical Society has two Saturday sessions remaining in their Intermediate Genealogy Workshop.  I would call to see if there are openings: 360-770-0762.
Oct 13    Exploring Online Family Tree Sites
Oct 20    What to Do with the Data You’ve Found and Recordkeeping

Sessions are $15 each, at 10 AM to Noon at the Burlington Public Library, 820 E Washington Ave.
Don’t let the word “Intermediate” scare you.

On Monday, November 12, 2018 the Whatcom Genealogical Society welcomes Elizabeth Joffrion from WWU Center for Pacific Northwest Studies and Jannette Gomes from the Washington State Archives for a presentation on what is available for genealogists at their facilities.  Meeting is at 2:00 at the Elks at 710 Samish Way.  Everyone welcome.

A few months ago I joined the newly-formed Virtual Genealogy Association.  From their members Facebook page I have received notices of two free courses appropriate for beginners thru intermediate.  I haven’t seen this type of free multi-session classes before.  

The first, from VGA member Tracy Kennedy, is the North Carolina Government & Heritage Library offering, "RootsMOOC: Intro to Genealogy and Family History Research". This 10-week class starts October 22, 2018, and is open to all - there is no experience necessary, no cost to participate, and no required textbook.  What more could we ask?  The course schedule is as follows: 

Orientation Module - Begins October 22 
Module 1: Getting Started - Begins October 29 
Module 2: US Census - Begins November 5 
Module 3: State & Local Resources - Begins November 12 
Module 4: Online Sources & Strategies - Begins November 19 

Materials and discussion boards will be available in Canvas through December 31, 2018. 

To join, visit

Second, from VGA member Sue Draper, is the University of Strathclyde-Glasgow online course, "Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree." This free course begins on 05 November 2018 and runs for 6 weeks. It will cover (among many other things): 
- differences between primary, derived primary and secondary sources. 
- the importance of knowing who made a document and why and how they were created. 
- lateral ways to approach research including the FAN/cluster technique and mind mapping. 
- primary source databases including searching techniques 
- an introduction to main source types including civil, church, census and military records 
- review of major databases 
- the principles of the Genealogical Proof Standard 
- the use of DNA testing in genealogical research 

For more information or to register, visit

This course is freemium. This is a new word coined to mean free with a paid premium upgrade available.  For a course it may mean access to handouts.  For a website it may mean some free content with access to exclusive content behind a membership wall.  Many websites have enough free material that a paid membership is not necessary.  Be sure what you are buying.  Ask at the Genies.

Also we have this reminder that Ancestry has free data bases.  “We have hundreds of free databases that you can access without a subscription, and offer the option to save information to your tree online through your internet browser.  We've included a link to these databases below.“

Knowing specifically what you are working on drives the Genies’ meetings and blogposts.  Come talk with us next Monday!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Participants and Helpers Needed for Getting Started Class this coming Monday

That doesn’t give us much time but we can do it.  Contact me right away at ferndalegenies at gmail dot com.

A Getting Started class is good for beginners and people wanting a refresher or a kickstart.  Helpers are also welcome. 

I’m looking for one or two people who can come to the Ferndale Library on this coming Monday, Oct 8 from 1-3:30.  I will be covering some basic ideas about genealogy as a hobby.  I have been known to talk about genealogy up to an hour and then turn it over to you to start using the tools. 

I will mention DNA but that is NOT the focus of this class.

Bring whatever family info you have.  Bring a computing device or borrow a library laptop.  Bring your passwords (esp. email and any genealogy sites).

One thing you can do ahead of time is sign up for a free account at

Directions:  The address is 2125 Main Street.  Use the Main Street exit off I-5 (exit 262).  Drive through downtown Ferndale.  On the left after 4th street are the city hall, the old pizza place, then the Library.  You turn into the parking lot before the building.  When you walk up the entrance ramp, go through 2 sets of double doors.  We are in the Conference room on the right.

Friday, September 28, 2018

More DNA tips

Tip 1:  Cheryl sent this video along “for any of us using DNA”.

Mirror trees are a tool discussed in many online genetic genealogy groups as a methodology for figuring out how you are related to your AncestryDNA Matches. Join Crista Cowan and Angie Bush...

Two notable DNA experts discussing Mirror Trees in a 23-minute video.  They use mirror trees attached their own trees to identify close relations.  They both participate in Facebook pages where they recommend asking questions.  They are Genetic Genealogy Tips and Techniques (Blaine Bettinger’s page) and AncestryDNA for Dummies (don’t be offended).

Tip 2:  Another fun feature added to AncestryDNA is “Map View”.  Just to the left of the Search Matches button on your match list.  Click on Map View to see your matches located on a map.  I found a 4th cousin match that lives in Bellingham.  I better write a message.

Another way this could be used is to look for matches who live in a county where you want to research.

Mark your calendar for the next Genies Meeting on Monday, October 15.  For more info on any topics email ferndalegenies at gmail dot com.