09 June 2016
If you appreciate the Great Migration Newsletter articles about how a passenger list or a town record was analyzed, then there is absolutely no doubt that you will enjoy "Elements." You'll also appreciate it if you like to read books about evidence and analysis in genealogy and it's an absolute must-read for anyone with colonial New England ancestry.
I think one of its strengths is both the number and depth of the examples for every single point Anderson set out to make. The detailed analyses of documents -- not simply what is printed on them but where, when, why, by whom -- support any discussion of the genealogical proof standard.
05 June 2016
FRIDAY – Yeah! An average commute so I wasn't late...just tired.
8:30 to Noon – Extra $50 Hands-on Workshop with Blaine Bettinger on Third-Party Tools for Autosomal DNA
As expected, an “Oh, Wow” Experience for me! Ok, maybe I would have preferred less time on admixture and more time on GEDmatchTier One Tools and a lot more on DNAGedcom. At least I do now see that there is some value to the admixture tools in general. Overall, the workshop was well worth my time but it was also evident that not everyone had done the workshop preparation as listed in the registration materials. Since I had done all the preparation, there was a good deal of repetition and that time could have been much better used on the Tier One tools &/or DNAGedcom. Still I feel it was worth the price.
A thought: Remember how Thoma MacEntee did the weekly prompts/steps to review genealogy research? Given my success at following Blaine Bettinger's workshop preparation instructions for third party tools, I think Blaine (or someone) should continue that concept and have weekly prompts to take users through GEDmatch and DNAGedcom. That may be what his upcoming book is going to do...we should know by next month!
I spent the afternoon in the exhibit hall, perusing, picking up freebies & brochures. I asked some questions and got some help at My Heritage. It turns out most of my issues are them and not me. Great freebie bag, though....
Overall, the exhibit hall did not have the excitement it has had. A couple of my favorites were missing and I was unable to purchase two books I had planned to buy.
With no exciting sessions to see and relatively little to do in the exhibit hall, I went home mid-afternoon, trying to beat both Friday drive-time traffic and getting past a Dodger stadium before the home game traffic.
The biggest surprise Saturday morning was the commute: the absolute easiest & fastest I have ever, ever had to Burbank for anything!
Saturday held no research-necessary sessions, so I settled with being entertained by Michael John Neill on Pre -1850 Censuses. I've heard him before on that topic, but he's one of my favorite speakers and I knew it would be enjoyable. Note: I think his Casefile Clues is the most under-revered genealogy books/newsletters there is. I think of it as a book because I printed out Volumes 1&2 and put them in a binder. Super!!
I tried Newspapers.com in the Tech Zone. Found some things worth pursuing.
I bought 2 more FTDNA autosomal kits and went home after lunch. I really like how FTDNA re-organized and fully staffed their conference booth. It was the best FTDNA conference experience I've ever had. Unfortunately, the commute home was not so good.
SUNDAY'S program didn't have enough great stuff to overcome the commute and the thought of sleeping in, so I stayed home to sleep in, console Hubby, and blog.
Big News! Oh, my goodness! I've made the big time...after all these Jamborees, I'm finally one of the unnamed background extras in one of Randy Seaver's Jamboree photos!! I can prove I went to Saturday!
I think that the next time Jamboree has a schedule that really motivates me, I will take Hubby along and get a room at the hotel for 2-3 days. My total commute time for the three days I attended was over 10 hours and that doesn't count the stress and energy and parking fees and the lonely husband issues....
I hadn't expected to attend Jamboree this year, but when the schedule first came out with a full day of excellent speakers on intermediate/advanced sessions for DNA Day and an extra Friday workshop, I was hooked for the whole conference. Unfortunately for my blogging, the daily commute precluded my posting each day...more on that later. Here's a summary of my impressions. A blog post on the rest ofJamboree to follow.
Even though I allowed 90 minutes for a commute that can be done in an hour-ish, I was 30 minutes late and arrived to find myself “locked-out” of Kitty Cooper's session on triangulation. Fortunately, her blog posts are thorough so I think I can tough it out and fill in the gaps myself. I spent the time left that session in with Katherine Borges & Linda Magellan on Recruiting DNA in Europe. Those few minutes were enjoyable and informative while I let myself unwind from the drive. On to the rest of my day:
10am with James V. Bartlett on Intermediate DNA: Autosomal DNA – Specific Steps to Insure Success
An excellent presentation and syllabus: lots of detail yet very easy to follow. I need to follow his suggestion of having a few “standard messages” ready to use for cousin contacts. Duh..no wonder I was never happy with my attempted messages...I was trying to make one fit them all. Also, I need to keep trying: Jim cited much improved response rates by the third inquiry he sends out to an individual. His tips on spreadsheet management are useful, too.
11:30an with Tim Janzen on Organizing All of Your DNA Match List Data
Another excellent presentation in every regard. He provided very detailed info on how he structures his spreadsheets. Maybe I can make this work...I really like the idea of giving a new cell to each individual email to/from a cousin contact. In general, he works his analysis more at the segment level than by total size of a match.
2:00pm back with James V. Bartlett on Segment-ology: Learning about Autosomal DNA
Still very good and by this point I didn't need to take as many notes. I choose to think that's because of all my new knowledge and synthesis skills rather than from info overload! I think I've really got a good grasp now on analyzing matches that could be on either one of a chromosome pair.
3:30pm with Diahan Southard on Circles or Triangles? What Shape is your DNA?
Another excellent presentation as always from Diahan! I went into this expecting to still be strongly favoring triangulation. However now, I must admit that I see there is indeed some logic & science behind Genetic Networking (seems to be the generic term for “DNA Circles"). I still count myself in the triangulation camp, but I will be less overtly critical of a certain company's circles. I really liked Diahan's emphasis that while you may have DNA matches in circles, you MUST then “do the genealogy.”
5:00pm with Blaine Bettinger for Genetic Genealogy: Year in Review 2016
Good presentation, well organized. Yes, a lot really did happen in just the last year. Key quote: “We need to expect our match lists to change over time.” It's clear that more updates and more changes are going to be a fact of life.
Overall, a great day and it's going to take me hours and hours of work to start implementing all that I learned and/or am now more motivated to actually do.