Sunday, June 14, 2015

Easy DNA
It's been a while since I posted here on my blog, but I have something exciting to tell you!

In November 2014, I sent a AncestryDNA kits to my daughter-in-law's mother in Virginia.  Peggy was excited and eager to find out if her results would show the Native American ethnicity that she was always told existed in her family.  Peggy did her saliva test and maiedl it in to the lab in the postage paid envelope provided.

A few weeks later the test results were in!  Yes, Peggy's results DID show a percentage of Native American ethnicity!  I excitedly sent them invitations to view her results.  They were both able to see the the ethnicity break down and the pages and pages of possible cousin matches.

Here's the most exciting part.  A couple weeks after receiving the test results, I had a message on my cell phone from Peggy.  She had been telling her friends about her DNA results and now at least six other people were questioning her daily to find out how they could ALSO have an experience like Peggy's.  I explained that the test came from AncestryDNA and they didn't need my help to get their results.  Peggy responded with "But you made it so EASY!  The test came, I did it and mailed it in, and a little while later, you sent me my results!"  THAT is what her friends wanted.  They wanted it to be EASY.  Then the light bulb came on...I can DO "EASY"!

So ladies and it is the "Easy" DNA Admin Service!  For the cost of the autosomal AncestryDNA ($99) and my admin fee ($35), you too may have Peggy's EASY experience!

*Native American ethnicity results are NOT guaranteed.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

NGS 2014 Conference: Day 4

Saturday was the fourth and final day of our National Genealogical Society 2014 Conference in Richmond, Virginia.  My dear friend Rhonda Holden had to leave for home Saturday morning.
Due to being up past my bedtime at the NGS banquet Friday night, I began my day at the 9:30 a.m. session S411 "Rich, Poor, and All the Rest: Why Class Matters to Genealogists" presented by Stafani Evans.  We learned that class is a group sharing the same economic group.

The 11:00 session I chose was Julie Miller's S421 "Organizing Your Research without Losing Your Mind".  We learned methods of organizing digital and paper records.

My last session of the conference was at 2:30 when I attended Barbara Vines Little's S441 "Working with Documents:  The Importance of Context in Record Analysis".  We learned to "study the pieces, but look at the whole."

I went to the exhibit hall one last time and bought software, quick sheets, and books I knew I couldn't live without.  I also renewed my APG membership for two years and my Genealogy Gems Premium membership.

I ended the day with dinner at Chili's with my ProGen 22 mentor, Debbie Hooper, where we had a ringside seats to the massive thunderstorm that swept through Richmond.

I was both saddened and excited that this was the end of the conference.  I met a lot of great people, got to spend time with my good friend Rhonda Holden, and learned many new things that I can't wait to put into practice.

Now I can start planning for NGS 2015 in St. Charles, Missouri!

Monday, May 12, 2014

NGS 2014 Conference: Day 3

My Day 3 of the National Genealogical Society's 2014 Conference in Richmond, Virginia started off at 8:00 a.m. with Dawne Slater-Putt's F301 "Indexes and Databases".  She showed us how to find them and gave us tips on using them.

At 9:30, I attended Sharon Tate Moody's "Disputes and Unhappy Differences:  Surprises in Land Records" and learned that their is often a wealth of family information in land records.

The 11:00 a.m. session I chose was Michael Hait's "Of Sound Mind and Healthy Body":  Using Probate Records in Your Research". We learned the many types of information that can be gleaned from bonds, wills and estate inventories.

At 2:30, it was time for Judy G. Russell's "The Seanachie:  Linking Life and the Law Through Storytelling".  We learned that story telling is the oldest form of education and that it is easier for people to remember facts if they are put in the form of a story.

My 4:00 session was "Black Sheep Ancestors and Their Records" presented by C. Ann Staley. She talked about where to find the records that prove the stories of our Black Sheep ancestors.

Friday night my friend Rhonda Holden and I attended the NGS Banquet which was a 50 year celebration for the accreditation and certification programs of the Board for Certification of Genealogists and the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists hosted by David E. Rencher.  I was out past my bedtime, which led to a very long Saturday and the reason I am writing this on the following Monday!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

NGS 2014 Conference: Day 2

Day 2 of the National Genealogical Society 2014 Conference started at 8:00 a.m. with Diane Florence Gravel's T201 "When the Trail Turns Cold:  New Strategies for Old Problems".   Diane discussed many overlooked locations where info on your ancestor may be hiding including the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections

At 9:30 a.m. I was off to T211 - the BCG Seminar where Elissa Scalise Powell, Judy G. Russell and Debbie Parker Wayne discussed various pathways to certification through the Board for the Certification of Genealogists and how to begin the process.

By 11:00, I was at T226, "Wild, Wonderful West Virginia" with Barbara Vines Little who reminded us that research in West Virginia actually requires knowledge of records in TWO states and shared with us the basics of Virginia and West Virginia.

At noon I attended the BCG Luncheon with Master of Ceremonies for the BCG Panel, Warren F. Bittner. The former and current BCG presidents recapped the past 50 years of the Board for the Certification of Genealogists.  My vegetarian entree was worth the wait.

By 2:00 p.m. I was in the room for the 2:30 p.m. T241, Elizabeth Shown Mills' "Using Evidence Creatively: Spotting Clues in Run of the Mill Records".  By 2:15, all the chairs in the large room were filled and Ms. Mills played to a packed house!  She taught us how to use creative-thinking principles to stimulate genealogical solutions.

My final session for the day was T251, "Finding Thomas's Father".  Pam Eagelson explained how her thirty-year quest for the identity of the parentage of Thomas Stone who died in 1791 in Prince William County, Virginia was solved by searching extant records, patent surveys, and DNA.

After my final session, I met with members of the ProGen Study Group who had the chance to pose for group pictures and break into groups to discuss various topics of interest.  My group discussed the BCG certification process and how graduate of the ProGen Study Group have a higher certification success rate than non-members.

Day 2 ended with a bang!  As we were leaving the Marriott to return to our hotel, a police chase was under way.  A police car was chasing a car as it hit an Omni Hotel van, ran right through the Marriot entrance area and out to 5th Street where in car turned the wrong way on a one way street. It plowed into another car and continued down the street out of our view.  No genealogists were harmed.

More fun tomorrow during Day 3!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

NGS 2014 Conference: Day 1

This morning was the much anticipated opening session of the National Genealogical Society 2014 Family History Conference in Richmond, Virginia. Approximately 2,200 people registered for the conference this year.  Sandra Gioia Treadway, the Librarian of Virginia and State Archivist, spoke on "The Evolving Library:  Planning and Adapting to Meet the Needs of Twenty-First-Century Researchers." Next year NGS 2015 will be held May 13-16 in St. Charles, Missouri and it was announced today that NGS 2016 will be held May 4-7 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The exhibit hall with it's 76 exhibitor booths was mobbed after the opening session by a swarm of convention participants in search of "take aways" and conference ribbons provided by the vendors.  If you are here at the conference, stop by the Colonial Roots booth #615 and see Debbie Hooper, my ProGen 22 mentor.

Since my highest priority at this time is my certification through the Board for Certification of Genealogists, I am following the BCG Skillbuilding Track.  My first session was Elissa Scalise Powell's W121 - "Problems and Pitfalls in a Reasonably Shallow Search" where we were reminded that assumption is not part of genealogy.

Next I went to Thomas W. Jones' session W141 - "New Standards or Old:  Guidelines for Effective Research and Family Histories" where I learned about newly revised genealogical standards and how to apply them to research, compilation and writing.

I finished the day with David E. Rencher's session W151 - "Mining the Destination Data" and how to use all the data available to identify your emigrant ancestors.  Many of the sessions are being recorded and can be ordered through

Well, it's the end on Day 1 and tomorrow I get to do it all again!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ancestors in the Attic Gets a Makeover

Time for a fresh new look for Ancestors in the Attic!  When you see my logo, whether it is here on my blog, on my website, Facebook page, or on Twitter, you will know you are in the right place. 

When I started my blog in the Fall of 2010, I had no idea there was an old Canadian television show by the same name.  Somehow people who are familiar with the show found me.  I almost feel guilty for the traffic it has generated on my website and pages. When I do get requests for assistance with Canadian research, I pull out my list of fellow APG genealogists who actually specialize in Canadian research and try to direct my would be clients in the right direction.

I have posted links to all my pages at the top of my blog.  Please feel free to visit me on any of these sites as I work on improving my brand.  I am always happy to hear from you...even if you live in Canada!  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Packing List for NGS 2014

Jen Baldwin has gotten me thinking about what I should pack for my upcoming trip to the NGS 2014 Conference in Richmond, Virginia in May.  I thought I should make a list so I don't forget anything important.

  • Crystal Light Energy - Several of the scheduled speakers have that soothing "Southern Drawl" that lulls me to sleep like a baby.  I'm going there to LEARN, darn it!  I have to stay awake!
  • Bottles of water so I don't have to pay $3.00 a bottle for the bottled water in the hotel room.
  • A sweater for those chilly conference rooms.
  • My cell phone and camera for photographing my genealogy idols.
  • Address labels for entering all those vendor drawings.
  • My cell phone my charger.
  • Business cards to exchange with fellow genealogists.
  • Comfortable shoes.
  • My laptop so I can blog about all the fun I am having at the conference.
  • Ear plugs for my roommate.
  • Mastering Genealogical Proof for reading at the airport, on the airplane and anywhere else I want to appear intelligent.
  • Clothes, makeup, blah, blah, blah.
What's on your list?  See you next month!