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Genetic genealogy: FTDNA updates its DNA matches

Posted by Ian Lamont on

Genetic genealogy: FTDNA updates its DNA matches

For genealogists who use genetic genealogy to conduct research, there is some important news to share about an online resource, Family Tree DNA (commonly known as "FTDNA") which has just undergone a major update. The FTDNA database and testing service is used by millions across the globe to extract genetic markers from kits and match with other test-takers, which makes it possible to trace one's origins and sometimes break through research "brick walls." According to genealogist and blogger Roberta Estes, FTDNA's recent update not only looks good and makes the site easier to use, it also has some behind-the-scenes changes...

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5 tips for successful genealogy road trips

Posted by Ian Lamont on

5 tips for successful genealogy road trips

Summer is here! For genealogists, summer often means going out on genealogy road trips to visit cemeteries, town halls, and relatives across the country. The above picture is from a road trip I took a decade ago - the house was built by my great-great-great grandfather in the wilderness of Northern New York in the 1830s, not far from Lake Champlain and the Canadian border. Across the street is a small cemetery where some of our forebears are buried, which allowed me to verify birth and death dates for several ancestors from that branch of the family.  We're going to take another...

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Genealogy research tip: old photos and UGPs (unidentified genealogy people)

Posted by Ian Lamont on

Genealogy research tip: old photos and UGPs (unidentified genealogy people)

A customer wrote in with a great question: What should be done with old photos with no names, and the people who might know the faces have already passed away? I have a name for unknown folks on faded black-and-white photos or old tintypes: unidentified genealogy people (UGP). Here's one from our collection: Some UGPs may be direct ancestors, others may be people from side branches. There may be some UGPs who married into the family, or friends of the family. You may not know who they are ... but it's so hard to throw them away. What if that old photo...

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Teaching a genealogy class? Here are some forms for students.

Posted by Ian Lamont on

Teaching a genealogy class? Here are some forms for students.

We received a great question from a reader who wants to teach a genealogy class based on the award-winning Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes by author and genealogist Shannon Combs-Bennett: I would like to purchase a kit that contains enough forms that will allow 15 people to create their family trees based on the teaching of Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes that I purchased from the EasyGenie web site.   Here's my advice to anyone in this situation where they are giving a class or seminar on basic genealogy techniques. If people are just getting started and they have their own printers,...

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Memorial Day: Remembering WWII "Hell Ships" and Tuskegee Airmen

Posted by Ian Lamont on

Memorial Day: Remembering WWII "Hell Ships" and Tuskegee Airmen

Before the pandemic, my town held an annual Memorial Day parade featuring veterans and other community groups. I hope the parade will return next year, but today we can still remember those who served. When I was a kid, I participated in the parade as a scout and remember talking to one of the U.S. Army Air Force vets from World War II in the march. He told me he served on a bomber crew over Europe, and remembered missions where fighter cover was provided by the Tuskegee Airmen - the all-black squadron who escorted bombers over Nazi-held territory.  Their...

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