Friday, October 22, 2010


So here I am in Peoria at the Pere Marquette Hotel on the  eve of the Illinois State Genealogical Society's annual conference! Here's a picture of beautiful downtown Peoria at night.

The vendors have set up their booths and wares, the registration table is ready to go, the volunteers are anxious to assist. Our evening was one of work, conversation and fun!!

Tomorrow can only bring more of the same, plus the bonus of wonderful speakers and learning experiences.
Bring It On!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

US Federal Land Records new website

This new beta site from the Bureau of Land Management was mentioned in this weeks Genealogy In Time newsletter. The explanation follows:

US - The Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) has just launched a new and improved website. This is the official US federal land records site. It is a valuable resource for anyone wanting to trace American ancestors who were homesteaders. The new website contains many new and improved features, including access to more than five million federal land title records (up from three million records on the old site) issued between 1820 and the present. The new website (which is still in beta) also has a better layout for searching for land patents, survey plats & field notes as well as land status records. Finally, the new website now allows map-based searches. Access is free. [US Federal Land Records]

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October 2010 Morning Mtg. Recap - DNA

This morning's meeting saw a great turnout to hear Karen Fugate's presentation on DNA. Based on the number and quality of questions during the Q&A, the talk was well received.
After a brief history of the science of DNA and discussion regarding Y-Chromosonme and Mitochondrial testing, Karen shared the results of her brother and cousin's submissions. (She used her brother in order to get the Y-DNA test).
With reports from the testing company she used, Karen pointed out how she learned of various people who may be related to her family and how the number of matching "markers" are significant The more markers matched, the better of chances. She also showed a map which indicated her family's haplogroup migration patterns back 25,000 years.
Most interesting to me was the negative result for the origin of this family. As in traditional genealogy, negative results can be as telling as positive. In the case of Karen's DNA testing, the results indicated that the family originated in Norway, not England as many family historians believed.
DNA testing can be helpful by supporting or disproving traditional paper trails and family lore. It is beneficial as one more item in our genealogy tool chest.