Saturday, February 6, 2016

Family Tree Maker is Not Going Away

As I noted in December, Ancestry.com announced that they would no longer be selling Family Tree Maker software as of the end of 2015 and would no longer support it as of the end of 2016.

So lots of FTM users went a little nuts trying to decide how long they would stick with this program as they explored other options.

As a user of Family Tree Maker for Mac 3, I explored several genealogy programs for Macintosh and although all of them had different features that appealed to me, I liked Reunion best and was planning to eventually transfer a GEDCOM to that program. However, because Reunion handles source citations and their media differently than FTM, I have spent several weeks "scrubbing" my data, as explained at the GenealogyTools.com blog. (It's actually been a good exercise in cleaning up my sources. I thought I had gone through these sources, but not very consistently...)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Three Siblings' DNA Chromosome Match Results

I previously shared the ethnicity estimates for me, my mother, and my brothers.

The following images from the chromosome browser at FamilyTreeDNA shows where exactly, on which chromosomes, my brothers and I match.

The first image shows my brother S's matches with me in orange and with my brother R in blue. In other words, I am logged into S's account and looking at where he matches me and R.

FamilyTreeDNA Chromosome Browser



Thursday, January 28, 2016

Three Siblings' DNA Ethnicity Results

I have previously written about DNA test results for my family - this link shows all posts with the DNA tag.

After I tested myself at FamilyTreeDNA, I had my mother's and one brother's autosomal DNA tested with that company. I just got the results from another brother and I thought I'd share one example of why it's interesting and helpful to have all siblings tested.

See my earlier blog post Autosomal Testing with FamilyTreeDNA (April 2014) which explains autosomal DNA and provides additional links to other helpful blogs.

The following colorful images are from FamilyTreeDNA's MyOrigins feature which shows estimates of an individual's ethnicity going back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The key word here is estimate - this is really just a fun way to see where your distant ancestors came from.

My family's autosomal DNA shows that we are 100% European. (No surprise there.) FamilyTreeDNA confirms that my brothers and I are full siblings, however, we received slightly different DNA from each of our parents and our estimates of ethnic makeup are slightly different.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun ~ Updating My Ancestor Score

This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge from Randy Seaver is not new, but is interesting to update periodically.

1) Determine how complete your genealogy research is. For background, read Crista Cowan's post Family History All Done? What’s Your Number? and Kris Stewart's What Is Your Genealogy "Score?" For comparison purposes, keep the list to 10 or 11 generations with you as the first person.

2) Create a table similar to Crista's second table, and fill it in however you can (you could create an Ahnentafel (Ancestor Name) list and count the number in each generation, or use some other method). Tell us how you calculated the numbers.

3) Show us your table, and calculate your "Ancestral Score" - what is your percentage of known names to possible names (1,023 for 10 generations).

I did this challenge back in January 2014 and so to update my chart, in Family Tree Maker for Mac, I ran a new Ahnentafel report for ten generations of my ancestors and counted the names. I then updated the spreadsheet that I had created the last time I did this.


My "Ancestral Score" is 468 known names to 1,023 possible names in ten generations for a percentage of 45.7%, an increase of 3.1% (32 names) since the last time I calculated this.

The changes are on my mother's side, partially because of work I did on my Townsend line. (See Surname Saturday ~ Townsend of England, Massachusetts and Maine). This is a colonial New England line, so I should be able to add to this branch with not too much work.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

New Year's Resolutions

I generally avoid New Year's Resolutions, but this year, with the announcement that Family Tree Maker is being retired, it prompted me to share my primary genealogy resolutions for 2016: By the end of 2016, I will have decided on a new genealogy software program and will have "cleaned up" my data, especially sources, in the process.

I have been reading about Thomas MacEntee's Genealogy Do-Over and I think that if I am exploring new genealogy software in 2016 then it's a good year for a Do-Over (or at least a Go-Over: I have over 5,000 people in my primary tree and I don't want to enter everyone from scratch).
See Genealogy Do-Over: 2016 Topics for more information. You can subscribe to this blog by RSS feed or by email. There is also a Facebook Group for the Genealogy Do-Over where members are very helpful.

If I don't blog as often as I did last year (52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks really spurred me on), it's because I'm working on cleaning up my Family Tree Maker database in order to transfer it to new software. I will blog about interesting stories that I find during this "Genealogy Go-Over" process.