Saturday, October 22, 2016

Saturday Serendipity (October 22, 2016)

Today Molly and I will be attending a reunion of her O'Kane fist cousins, but here are a few recommended reads for this weekend . . .

1.  At a time when this tumultuous election has now become focused on the possible abandonment of one of our democracy's longest and most precious traditions, The Weekly Genealogist of NEHGS brought us a nice, feel-good story about a family tradition that started in 1965 and is still going strong through 17 girls in the Parker family. It involves 51 years of school Picture Days and a very special item. Read the story here and wonder like I did why they did not include the photo of the 17th girl. :-)        

2.  And speaking of NEHGS . . . for those of you with New England roots who are not yet members of NEHGS, you have a golden opportunity to try out nearly all of the early New England resources and databases available on the NEHGS website. From October 18 - 25, a FREE "Guest Membership" is available that will allow you to access and explore  almost 300,000 records and other resources.  Better hurry since there are only three days left (including today).  Read more and gain access here.  
3.  If you use Family Tree Maker (FTM) for your genealogy data and sync it with a site such as, then you might want to check out the Family Tree Maker User blog by Russ Worthington -- if you are not already aware of it. Russ has recently (Oct. 14 and 16) posted two "Back to Basics" audio-visual presentations about his "best practices" for using FTM. One is about file maintenance and the other is about checks to run before syncing FTM with Ancestry, etc. Watch and listen to the file maintenance presentation here and the syncing presentation here. [NOTE: You will want to set aside some time for these presentations.  The first is 10 minutes long and the other is 21 minutes long.]       

4.  Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings blog had a post this past Thursday that serves as yet another reminder to all of us to be very careful in relying on and adding data compiled by others to our family trees. Randy and his faithful reader's fact checked the results Randy got from's "We're Related Mobile App" that indicated he was the 8th Cousin 2X Removed of William Jefferson Clinton (who is likely to become the nation's "First Dude" in January). The app was most definitely wrong! Read Randy's fact check post here and get a link to his original post on the "We're Related" app results.       

5.  Not to pile on poor, but Judy Russell, of the The Legal Genealogist blog, also checked out the "We're Related" app and begs to differ about the app's notification that she is a 9th cousin of Barack Obama, 8th cousin one removed of Johnny Depp, 7th cousin once removed of William Jefferson Clinton, and an 8th cousin of different levels to Demi Lovato and of Kurt Cobain. Read Judy's debunking post here.   

6.  If you use, or are thinking of using, 23and Me for your DNA genealogy data, then you might want to read Judy Russell's post this week about 23and Me.  You can access the post here. Be sure to read the comments too. 

7.  James Tanner at Genealogy's Star blog has an informative post this week about copyright law and the need for reform. Read his post here

8.  And finally, UpFront With NGS blog had a post this week titled "Many Reasons to Write a Family History." Read the post and get some useful links here.     

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Copyright 2016, John D. Tew
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