22 March 2017

I love doing Genealogy, so why haven't I been doing any research?

I love doing genealogy. It is more than just a casual hobby it is a passion. I get such a thrill from research and finding new information. I love being able to share the story of our family with others. So, the question is, why haven't I been working on doing any research?

There are several reasons, or should I say excuses why I haven't been working on doing genealogy....

One, I managed to get all my papers gathered up and put in boxes to go through folders and papers one by one to start my Genealogy Do Over. I even came up with some of the other parts of doing the do-over. I have goals made, I have a naming plan for naming files, etc., and a few other of the exercises that Thomas MacEntee wanted us to do. The problem is I didn't have a clean organized spot to work on my genealogy research.

Everytime I start making progress on getting my "office" area set up life seems to interfere, and by the time I manage to get back to working on it I have managed to pile more stuff in that area that I now have to find homes for. Sometimes it feels like the old "one step forward, two steps back" dance when it comes to organizing my things.

It probably has something to do with organizing not being as much fun as other things, although I can do a really good job at organization (I have had numerous people compliment me on how organized I am). And I do really like the results of having things organized, but sticking with just one organization project until it is done and not getting side tracked is an issue for me. It is why I love books like "Side Tracked Home Executives" by Pam Young and Peggy Jones; "Sink Reflections" by Marla Cilley; and "Organizing from the Inside Out" by Julie Morgenstern. These books have helped me learn the "how-to" skills to be better organized, and also helped me recognize some of the ways I sabotage my efforts in getting organized. It still requires time and energy to do the follow through.

And time and energy brings me to the second reason, or excuse, for not spending more time doing genealogy. Because of my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome my energy is extremely limited. Within the past year I have been appointed to the Modoc District Fair Board, and for about the last 6 months now I have been spending a couple of hours a week working in the fair office, handling the bills. That doesn't sound like a lot until you also add in the fact that it is a 30 minute drive each way over Cedar Pass which is 6300 ft elevation (about 2000 ft higher than Alturas). Beautiful drive, unless the weather is bad.

I have also joined The American Legion. I have met some nice people by joining. It has added other responsibilities to my time too. I am District Chaplain, which really means just attending quarterly meetings and saying Opening and Closing prayers, I am now Post Historian and have had fun scanning some old documents for the post so we have digital copies of them. And then putting all the pages into page protectors and into a binder so people can actually see them, instead of having them stuck in a file cabinet. I am also in charge of making the website for our post and maintaining a facebook page for our post.

And if all that wasn't enough, I had surgery to have joint replacement for my right knee at the end of November! That has really set me back physically, between the actual surgery, and the physical therapy to help rebuild the leg muscles, my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is flaring up big time.

But I did go online recently and checked to see if I had new matches on either Ancestry DNA or 23andMe. As I reported in my previous blog, I did find a 2nd cousin match on my Newman line and was able to update the more recent generations in their family. So that was good.

This week I updated Family Tree Maker 14 to FTM 14.1 by the company who purchased the FTM software from Ancestry. So that was good, because in the process I also made backup files of all the different trees I have on my computer (now to burn those onto a disk just in case anything happens to my computer.). I also found I had FTM files in several locations on my computer. Now, all the most recent files for each tree are in one directory instead of scattered here and there.

I also did an update for Charting Companion which I find is a really neat software program for making specialized charts that you can't get in FTM. Because I do genetic genealogy one of my favorite is the X Chromosome Ancestor Fan Chart. It shows which relatives I would have received dna from on the X Chromosome. You might be asking, but don't we get dna from all our ancestors on each of the chromosomes?

No, we don't receive dna on the X Chromosome from all our ancestors. Men do not pass down any X chromosome DNA to their sons, instead they contribute the Y Chromosome to their sons. This is handy in eliminating ancestors from consideration when you have a dna match that shares dna on the X chromosome with you. On the chart, all the white spaces are descendants of sons of males. These are the ones I did not get any dna from on my X Chromosome, only those who are in Pink or Blue spaces.

You might wonder how that works in a real life situation. I have a dna cousin on 23andMe that shares DNA with both me AND my paternal first cousin. Of my 32 3x great grandparents I can eliminate the 16 on my maternal side, Then, because her and I share dna on the X Chromosome, I can eliminate the 11 other 3x great grandparents i would not have inherited dna on the X chromosome from. This leaves only five lines at that level for us to research to find our common ancestor(s). The problem is of those five possible lines, I don't have names for two of them. Time for more research! Wonder what new records Ancestry has gotten since the last time I looked for them?

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