Monday, September 21, 2020

Genies Today: Invitation

 Hello, Genies,  Join us for our monthly conversation about genealogy.

Topic: Ferndale Genies

Time: Sep 21, 2020 01:00 PM Pacific Time.  Opens at 12:45.


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Meeting ID: 856 0094 4206

Passcode: 434841

Thursday, September 17, 2020


Hello, Genies,  Join us for our monthly conversation about genealogy.

Topic: Ferndale Genies

Time: Sep 21, 2020 01:00 PM Pacific Time.  Opens at 12:45.


Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 856 0094 4206

Passcode: 434841

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Genies Minutes for August 17, 2020

Thank you, again, to Sylvia for excellent minutes.



DATE: August 17, 2020 1:00 P.M. – 2:30 P.M. 

IN ATTENDANCE:  Judith C; Sylvia W; Frank & Margie; Bill R; Rick; Linda B; Peggy; Elizabeth D; David R; Susan M; Judy B; Judy S



Linda B was delighted that a family member is sending her an ancestor’s letters from WWI. She now has a primary source to back up her research and is looking forward to learning more. She has conversed with her sister about their German ancestry.  

Bill R found a DNA match of 280 cMs that might be a match to his unknown grandfather’s biological family. He contacted the match, but she doesn’t know who her family is and her mother, now in her 90s, does not want her to research. Bill is building a tree for her on Ancestry, keeping it private and together they are researching this family history to see how they are connected. 

Rick is busy with settling into his new home and has not had much time to work on Ancestry. He tries to do a little bit each day and is delighted to now have really fast internet after many years of less efficient connections.  

Peggy is reading and transcribing the old journal she has discovered. She hopes to give her 100-year old cousin a copy very soon.  

Elizabeth is working on her husband’s tree. Looking at a census record, she was surprised to find only the parents of the family she knew was large with many children. However, right next door was a large number of children with a 21-year old listed as head of the family. Elizabeth wonders what that story is and if it is one family occupying two addresses. She is finding a lot of current family information in a box of letters and scrap notes but does not know if they are valuable to save. Suggestions included saving the contents, transcribing the notes and letters; keeping the contents as the sentiments expressed and anecdotal information could be useful for future generations; contacting a historical society or academic institution for some of the notes and letters. Elizabeth has her father’s letters from WWII and a cousin’s letters from Vietnam. It was suggested that Fold3 is a great storage site for information. It was explained that Fold3 is an Ancestry app but with a separate subscription. However, you can enter a memorial note about a veteran for free. 

Sylvia is using the tools of all the DNA sites where she has submitted her DNA. She is delighted to find some DNA matches that appear on more than one site and is she working to use the tools of each site to get more information about the matches and their common ancestors. Each website offers different ways to use the match and this has proven to be helpful. 

Frank has been going through Frank’s old childhood photos. It made him wonder where his old school friends are now, and he began using genealogy tools to help him. He wants to share the old childhood photos with friends he can reconnect with.  

Margie asked about DNA Painter and how it can help her interpret DNA results, especially health profiles. Judith explained that DNA Painter is not a DNA testing site. It is a “3rd party program” where you can transfer test results from Ancestry, etc., and use the site’s tools to analyze your DNA. It is a technical tool. Ancestry is the best site for genetic testing and 23andMe is the best site for health testing.  

Sue M says a granddaughter on her mother’s side researched and found helpful information. She has an aunt who is 100 years old. Sue cleaned out boxes and found pay receipts from her mother’s work when she was young. She asked if maternal tests are good for tracing your mother’s side. It was explained that mitochondrial/mtDNA testing is for ancient history – taking you back to your original Haplogroup, known as “deep ancestry.” Autosomal DNA (like Ancestry) gives you recent ancestry going back five or six generations. 

Judy B reports that she is struggling to learn about using DNA website’s tools. She is watching webinars, trying things out, and studying DNA books to help her learn. She has connected with people working on DNA matches. Recently, Judy found a scrapbook of her mother’s and found letters from her father to her mother when he served on a ship in the Pacific. He did not know of Judy’s birth until four days later and he had written a moving letter in which he tells his daughter (so she’ll know when she grows up) why he was away from home and on the ship at that time – he told her “So your generation will never have to go to war.” 

Judy S went to Ancestry after the company announced the changes at the end of August in which they will eliminate all your matches that are between 6 – 7.9 cMs. This is in order to use a new algorithm that Ancestry says will be more accurate, and because matches that low are often of no use and can be false. Judy put her lowest matches into groups with color-coded dots in order to preserve them with her match lists. She is connecting with her DNA cousins – 3rd and more distant and has tried to alert them to inaccuracies in their trees. She is waiting to hear back from them. She is also maintaining her connections re: pioneer history. 

David wanted to know how he could access the TV series Genetic Detective with CeCe Moore. He had only been able to watch 3 of the 6 episodes. He says another series may be in the works, but they don’t know when or if it will air as the first series did not have high ratings. Several suggestions were offered, such as going to to locate the first series, and searching for the series either on You Tube (now free for Comcast/Xfinity customers) or online. Also trying On Demand on your remote.  

Judith C was about to cancel her Ancestry subscription which was due. She could not find any deals. She has done this before, re-subscribing a couple of months later. She said this time she was given a choice: to either cancel or pause for a two-month period. Ancestry now says if you cancel you might lose access to all the records attached to your trees! Judith chose to Pause for the period and research her options after that time.  


Judith C and Linda B shared their Zoom session with the Skagit Valley group. Two people presented their travels back to Europe to research their family histories. The first went to Germany and at a museum, she discovered a book that included the story of her family! It is in German, but she put it through a Google translation program. The other presenter took a tour of a part of Russia connected with her ancestry. She learned that travel is not always as easy as it is in the U.S. and the accommodations in the countryside were not the most comfortable. However, she learned her family was from a group of Lutherans who were brought from Russia. Judith shared that you never know what you are going to get in a presentation but thought it was amazing. She especially liked that maps, pictures and family trees were included in the presentations which really helped them to understand and appreciate the trip.  

NEXT MEETING: Monday September 21, 2020 via Zoom.