What lies ahead for genealogy and family history in 2020? Taking a look back at 2019 can be helpful in predicting where we might be headed in 2020.
The most viewed blog posts on Family Locket for 2019 included those on DNA, Organization, and Productivity. If you missed any of these, I invite you to do some browsing and see if there is something that could help you in your research for 2020. Below are the posts and a teaser for each one.
As is often the case in our genealogy work, discovering the truth of the past can be stranger than fiction. As people continue to use DNA testing to find out about ethnicity or ancestral lines – unsuspected family connections will be revealed. We all want to know where we came from and adoptees especially experience a need to know the circumstances of their birth. As more and more individuals test with the DNA companies, it is probable that many more stories will be traced to the Tennessee Children’s Home Society.
A great way to get the most out of the list of your DNA matches is to separate the people into groups that cluster around one of your ancestral lines. If you can divide your match list into groups, you can focus on finding the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) that you share with that cluster of people. Once that common ancestor or ancestral couple is identified, you can focus your research on one familial line, and identify the DNA that you inherited from the common ancestor(s).
Do you work from multiple devices? Laptop, desktop, work computer, home computer, smartphone, iPad? Learn how to utilize the free tools at Google Drive and Google Docs to help keep your genealogy research organized. You can create research logs with Google Sheets, transcribe records into Google Docs, add document links to records you have saved within your Google Drive files and share your work with other genealogists.
Do you write reports after you’ve completed some research on your family? Have you worked with DNA to prove a hypothesis that traditional research could only hint at? If so, you’ll want to get your conclusions out of your brain and on to paper. What does a research report look like? Learn about the report I wrote on my hypothesis of Benjamin Cox as the father of Rachel Cox. I used DNA as part of the evidence and incorporated it into the report.
Are you challenged with visualizing how you connect to your DNA matches? DNA companies provide match lists, but sometimes we need to take control of our DNA data and organize it in a way that works for us. Creating a genetic family tree for your DNA matches might be easier than you think.
Are you hoping to use your DNA test results to break down a long-standing brick wall in your family tree? What are the steps you need to take? I’m using the Research Like a Pro process combined with DNA to tackle one of my mysteries and sharing my experience here.
Are you ready to get your family history and genealogy papers and processes organized? Those stacks of file folders, documents, and lists of to-do items aren’t going to help you make progress in your research until you have an organizational method that works for you. If you don’t know where to start, I have some ideas to help you!
Are you drowning in a mountain of inherited genealogy? Do you have photos to scan and organize? Would you like to write histories of all your ancestors? Are there brick walls to break down? Do you have a life outside of family history and genealogy? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then you might be feeling overwhelmed with all you need to do. I recently discovered David Allen’s book, Getting Things done: the art of stress-free productivity and for the next few months am going to share with you applications from the book for how to get your family history under control.
Have you heard the term “triangulation” applied to using DNA in genealogy and wondered what it meant? Triangulation is such a powerful tool that the major DNA testing companies as well as third party companies are working hard to provide easier ways for using this concept. In this article, I’ll explore pedigree triangulation and show you examples to help you understand what it is and how it can confirm your research and make progress on genealogical challenges.
When working on a case involving DNA test results, it may feel like you look at hundreds of DNA match pages, reports, family trees, and shared match lists each time you sit down to research. Do you want a better way to keep track of all the sources you consult in a DNA research project? It’s time to take your research log to the next level.
I’m excited for 2020 and seeing where my research will take me. I’m hoping for more DNA ancestor discoveries as well as working on my productivity and organization.
Best of luck in all your genealogical endeavors!