Saturday, July 16, 2011

Who Do You Think You Are? Reruns Begin, through its blog, just announced the opportunity to catch any of the 2011 episodes you may have missed or want to see again. Below is that announcement: 
Posted: 15 Jul 2011 01:59 PM PDT

If you missed any of the intriguing and emotional episodes from Season 2 of Who Do You Think You Are? then you’ll have a second chance to enjoy the journeys of America’s favorite celebrities starting this weekend. Throughout the summer, NBC will begin airing encores of the eight original episodes from earlier this year and we couldn’t be more excited. Last season’s premiere episode will air this Saturday, July 16 on NBC at 8/7c. Ashley Judd’s episode will repeat the following Friday, July 22 at the same time. The remainder of the episodes will run on Saturday’s at 8p/7c with a few exceptions. Check your local listings for the latest information or visit for more weekly information.
Season 2 featured eight of your favorite stars, including Tim McGraw, Gwyneth Paltrow and Lionel Richie tracing their family roots through the centuries. Relive their experiences as they solve family mysteries, make discoveries, and connect with family lines they’ve never known before. One finds a family of trailblazers who stood firm against social opposition to gain freedom for all; another uncovers his own family’s rags-to-riches real estate tale with ties to America’s founding fathers. And the list of discoveries goes on and on. is a proud sponsor of the show and we’re very happy to report that Season 3 is currently in production and will return with all new episodes in 2012!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer DNA Sale from FTDNA

If any of you have already identified a genealogical problem that DNA testing might help answer, now may be the most cost effective time to proceed. The following announcement just arrived in my email box:

Family Tree DNA
Family Tree DNA
Dear Project Administrator,
Last summer, we offered special pricing to attract new members to 
your projects. This was the most successful offering of its type in 
our company's history. Our project administrators that got behind 
the recruitment efforts saw their projects grow, and, thus, our 
database also grew. With this in mind, we'd like to offer a summer 
special again this year.
  • Y-DNA37 for $119 (Regular price would be $149)
  • Y-DNA67 for $199 (Regular price would be $239)
  • Family Finder for $199 (Regular price would be $289)
  • Family Finder + Y-DNA37 for $318 (Regular price would 
  • be $438)
  • Family Finder + mtDNAPlus for $318 (Regular Price would 
  • be $438)
  • mtDNA Full Sequence for $219 (Regular Price would be $299)
  • SuperDNA for $418 (Regular Price would be $518, includes 
  • Y-DNA67 and mtFullSequence)
  • Comprehensive Genome for $617 (Regular Price would be $797, 
  • includes Y-DNA67, mtFullSequence and Family Finder)
In addition, existing Family Tree DNA customers may order the Family 
Finder add-on for $199
The promotion will start today, Friday the 15th at 6PM CST and will 
end Thursday, July 21, 11:59PM CST. Kits need to be paid for by the 
end of the promotion.
As always, thank you for your continued support.
Family Tree DNA

Family Tree DNA
© 2011 Genealogy by Genetics.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Preserving and Syncing Your Important Data

We have invested a great deal of time, effort and expense as we collect and assemble our family history. How do we insure the digital devils will not destroy our efforts? Among the options for securing and preserving your hard earned information is online backup. This option is particularly attractive to those of us who use a desktop when we are at home but rely on a laptop, tablet or handheld devices when we travel to do research. Good online backup services allow easy synchronization between devices; but do they introduce other risks?

I have been a satisfied user of Dropbox. It automatically synchronizes any files in designated directories as soon as I save a new or revised version. As a result my desktop, online storage and laptop each have the latest version. However, are there better choices? Dick Eastman’s newsletter points us to a review article,  "Syncing Cloud Storage Faceoff: Dropbox vs. the Alternatives by Melanie Pinola", that is well worth reading if you are interested in preserving and synchronizing your important data. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Document it!

Even though Rule 3 in my new book, Crash Course in Genealogy is “document it”, I make no pretense of trying to cover the proper format that documentation should take. Genealogical Publishing Company (GPC) has a variety of solutions. That topic has already been covered on various levels by Elizabeth Shown Mills, the grande dame of documentation. The best thing I can do for you is to refer you to her prolific writings. Her magnum opus on the topic, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, runs almost 900 pages and should satisfy the detail lovers among you. For the rest of you, some of her shorter works and Quick Sheets may suffice. Two recently updated ones may be particularly helpful for documenting what you find online:

These two Quick Sheets come plastic covered for use/abuse on the go and are small enough to slip into any briefcase without weighting you down. 

Or you can chose to take the easy way out and order the latest version of a good comprehensive genealogy software product such as RootsMagic or Legacy. At about half of the cost of Evidence Explained, you can get templates that cover almost any conceivable source you might encounter. Even better, these are bundled with database software that will store all your information about your ancestors. They also will help you organize and publish all kinds of reports.

There is no real excuse for researchers to fail to document except for laziness and perceived lack of time. However, if one continues researching a family for very long, the time factor will reverse and come out in favor of the researcher who documents. In other words, not documenting each fact, and so forth, as it is collected is penny wise and pound foolish.