Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Building Bridges: Learning from Others' Experiences: How DNA Solved Parentage

















Normally when I share thoughts and ideas, I tend to concentrate on more concrete things, however, after reading the book, Finding Family by Richard Hill, I felt it wise to share my thoughts on this book.

This is one of those books that once you start reading it you don't wish to put it down until you have finished, yes, it is that interesting as well as informative in the process of locating ones biological parents under the difficult circumstances of closed records, sealed documents, individuals who were sworn to secrecy combined with those who could have helped having already passed away.

From the moment you begin, the reader brings you right into his life as it was at the point that he discovers he is adopted which happens as he goes for his physical before heading off to college. This is a point in life where he has had time to mature and act in an adult manner. He does this brilliantly as he works through how to handle this shocking and unexpected news with his adoptive parents at this point in his life.

During his 10th grade biology class he learned how parent's DNA recombines in their children and two parents with blue eyes should produce a child with blue eyes, his were brown. His teacher simply stated at the time that he should notice that their text book didn't even go into green or gray eyes and it was just a simple way to help understand DNA which didn't cover mutations and so he brushed it off at the time.

Along the way, individuals and friends in the family aid him in his long journey to discovering who his real parents are, his persistence in keeping detailed notes, which he referred to multiple times over a period of 30 years, made all the difference in his success. The hunt for his mother took less time then the hunt for his father.

His journey begins with following the paper trail but ends up through various DNA testing over time to finally bringing closure to discovering who was his biological father. 

Never once does he diminish the roles of the parents that raised him for he understood the difference between biological parents and adoptive parents.

This is definitely worth reading if you wish to learn ways to go about discovering who ones' biological parents are if you are in this situation. Additionally, if you are someone who helps others it is also worth reading.

Its available either from your public library or on multiple sites where you purchase books.

Enjoy!


Comments Are Always Welcomed!


Building Bridges for All Generations!

Claire (*)
We're Your Family is "No. 1"

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 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved



Friday, February 28, 2014

Building Bridges: Just How Do You Learn?










Understanding how one learns is very helpful no matter what career one decides to pursue, but when introducing younger individuals into the world of genealogy and family history research it becomes an advantage that will inspire and guide the individual teacher to match tasks and abilities successfully.

Most people realize that each one learns differently, according to Learning-styles-online.com, "Everyone has a mix of learning styles...there is no right mix nor are styes fixed. One can develop abilities in less dominant styles as well as improving styles already used".

There are 3 different learning styles: Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic and Tactile. Each way of learning allows an individual to develop the best they can in a perspective field. (1)












From the above chart, it is easy to find genealogical and family history tasks to match the learning style of your family members so they have a successful and interesting experience learning about their ancestors.

Here are some genealogical and family history activities according to learning styles that may lead to greater success in ancestral research for younger generations.

Visual: Fan Charts, Online Presence, Hunting in Cemeteries, Collecting photographs
Auditory: Remembers names, dates & places, data entry, family website, organizing family artifacts
Kinesthetic & Tactile: Historical Research, Historical re-enactments, learning about historical events in different time periods, adding the details

(1) http://www.upb.pitt.edu/uploadedFiles/Learning%20Styles%20Inventory.pdf

Comments are always welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

claire@timelessgen.com

 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved







Monday, December 30, 2013

Building Bridges: Sharing and Gathering = Relative CrowdSourcing!










     Being interested in family history is a like taking a great adventure into the past and never really knowing what to expect! This is actually one of the many things that makes family history so fascinating.

     Often discoveries become intriguing and require additional discussions with other family members creating an opportunity to share findings with family and potential family. In the process one can learn more about their family and gain new family members who may know more about your family than anyone realizes. The list of positives when sharing and collaborating is immense when one considers the possibilities.

     So just what is "Relative CrowdSourcing"? According to the Merrian-Westers dictionary, "Crowdsourcing is the practice of obtaining needed serves, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees of suppliers."

     I would like to tweak it a little and consider one's extended family the 'crowd' and you are the individual who is asking your extended family for needed information to build your family tree with not just names, dates and places but with stories, pictures and documents. All these things can be done online through many different mediums available today.

     There is of course the basic email, but there is also Skype and Google + Hangouts where one can converse face to face as well as chat if necessary. Sharing knowledge gained from others can be done in a family blog or on a family website. Pictures and stories can also be shared through blogs or a family wiki and of course FamilySearch allows you to upload pictures and stories too.

     Apps on an Android or an iPhone or tablets make access to these even easier and allow for inter-exchange between multiple people. There are many new and exciting ways to take advantage of the tools already there and to employ new ones. Evernote has added many new features that make it a possible place to store and grow your family tree. Of course there is always Google Drive which can be used to store and share stories and pictures too.

     Regardless of the methods used, the main point is to begin and reach out to your extended family and build your Relative Crowdsourcing family who will be there to help you grow your family tree which in essence is also their family tree!

Building Bridges for All Generations!


 (c) 2005-2013, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

     claire@timelessgen.com   

   




Monday, November 25, 2013

Building Bridges: Handling collected information












     When one begins to do Family History and genealogical research it becomes evident very quickly that this particular endeavor can become overwhelming in connection with the amount of artifacts resulting from each search conducted.

     To get a picture of the situation is very easy as one considers all the papers and documents surrounding one's own life today, now multiply that by each ancestor and it is mind boggling to even think of all that there is in one person's life worth keeping and recording.

     As the saying goes, every project one takes up begins with that first step and if one has begun, it is a good idea to have a plan to stay organized as much as possible right from the start. Of course, as one also knows this is easier said than actually doing as life tends to get in the way of the best intentions.

     There are many organizational systems out there but which one will fit your particular situation?

     As a younger individual just beginning perhaps 'simple' is the word to keep in mind. A few file folders and a file holder do not cost very much, there are even some boxes that are the perfect size for hanging folders, either way, color coding and alphabetical and numberical order is most likely the easiest to use.

     The main colors are: Blue for the Paternal Grandfather, Green for the Paternal Grandmother, Red for the Materal Grandfather and Yellow for the Maternal Grandmother. On a fan chart it looks like this:


     Color folders are available but one could easily just color the tabs on regular file folders if funds are an issue. Keeping the colors like this helps with keeping family lines organized in a multiplicity of ways. Following this on through down to the folders will help greatly as more and more families are added to your color chart remembering to have a folder for each family.

     Following this same system on your computer will help you keep your genealogical digital files organized also by creating a folder for each family and keeping all items either scanned or downloaded connected to that family within their family folder.

     Whether you are just starting or have been doing research for years, it is a good idea to either begin or stop and start some sort of system before it is beyond impossible. FamilySearch has a very good short video on organization that may be of help also here.

     Lastly don't be discouraged if you've been collecting and researching for a length of time and it is already out of control. The best thing is to start and slowly add what you already have done, eventually you will be organized!

     Next: Ways to share family/genealogical research

Building Bridges for All Generations!

Claire (*)
Timeless Genealogies
We're Your Family is "No. 1"

Blogs

http://timelessgen.blogspot.com
http://gen-reflections.blogspot.com

Social Media

https://www.facebook.com/TimelessGenealogies
http://www.linkedin.com/in/clairebrissonbanks

Twitter @TimelessGen

 (c) 2005-2013, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

     claire@timelessgen.com   








   

Friday, November 15, 2013

Building Bridges: Reaching out to other family members...












     As one begins their journey into family history and genealogy, it is inevitable that after exhausting home resources, it will be necessary to reach out to older family members.

     Just viewing family photos will most likely reveal cousins, aunts, uncles, grand parents and a growing circle of extended family. Taking time at that point to identify all who are in the photos is critical.

     Over the years I have found that memories fade and often those who do remember can pass away leaving behind pictures of unidentified people. To avoid this from happening, take time to label pictures with their proper names. One of the biggest mistakes is to label a picture "Grandpa ...." as to the one now looking at that picture he may be great or great great grandpa ...". While this is a common mistake it can cause some difficulty in establishing their real identity.

     Choosing a family member to visit can be intimidating, however, if family members have kept in touch over the years it may not be as difficult as one would think. Sometimes just making a phone call and showing an interest opens up a whole new world of possibilities, but one never knows until they make that first phone call. Most people enjoy sharing stories of their own lives as well as photos and find it an opportunity to build a positive and closer relationship with a younger member of their extended family. All family members have stories to share and while they may be related, each person in a family experiences things differently.

     My own mother was the youngest member of her family and when talking to her oldest sister about a family event, each had their own interpretation of the same event and they usually were not the same. Additionally, the oldest sister would know family information that my mother would not know just because she was not there at the time. Each family member can offer different perspectives on everything which is always a good thing.



   








Ok, you've made the call, set up a time and place to meet with the first of many family members, now what?

     It is usually helpful to let them know the reason for your visit and perhaps even provide some things your are interested in learning from them about the family. There are a number of prompts available to help, however, sometimes just having a few questions in mind to get things going is very helpful. To do this list some of things one wants to learn and then put the questions either on paper or type and print them up to take with you. Don't forget to take some sort of recording device as one can never write as fast as one can talk and often stories are shared which makes the visit even more worthwhile and special for all involved.

    Possible questions:

1) What is your earliest memory?
2) What is your favorite memory?
3) Tell me about your parents...what kind of work did your father do?
4) What was school like for you?
5) What was your first paying job?

     As this new journey begins, remember everything in life begins with just one step at a time, never giving up and going forward. Be sure to share and record new discoveries and additions in some permanent format.

     Remember to send a 'Thank You' note to the family member, the message of appreciation will go a long way in future interviews with other family members down the road.

     Next: Handling collected information

Building Bridges for All Generations!

Claire (*)
Timeless Genealogies
We're Your Family is "No. 1"

Blogs

http://timelessgen.blogspot.com
http://gen-reflections.blogspot.com

Social Media

https://www.facebook.com/TimelessGenealogies
http://www.linkedin.com/in/clairebrissonbanks

Twitter @TimelessGen

  (c) 2005-2013, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved
     claire@timelessgen.com    

 
   
   


Monday, November 11, 2013

Building Bridges: Are You The One?













As a past Family History Director for 17 years it always amazed me how there seemed to be "someone" in each family who would take an interest in discovering the roots of that particular family.

Often that person would come in totally lost and even wondering why they were there except they felt an urging to put together a history for an aging family member or they were curious themselves.

So are you that person who will help their family take the leap and learn all there is about their ancestors? Do not let age be a barrier to enriching your life with a sense of who you are!

Once you've made the decision, it is hard to decide where to begin. I teach a class for beginners and one of the most important things to remember is to just start with yourself and work your way backwards. You can begin online or on paper or with a software program, there are many places to get tips, advice and even hand holding help, however, the main thing is to begin with the thought that "I can do this" and let the fun begin.

One of the first places to begin is with your own family, if you've had an opportunity to watch any of the "Who Do You Think You Are" series, the individual always visits with their family members to begin. If you have a baby book or a scrapbook or even a family book you are ahead of it all and can begin to assemble a family chart.

As I look around at all the available resources, I must say that FamilySearch.org has put together a great set of beginning short videos that would be worth while checking out, they are located here: https://familysearch.org/ask/gettingStarted.

Of course there are other places that provide assistance with getting started and perhaps just placing the statement in a Google search engine of "getting started with genealogy" will provide you with the results you are looking for.

Regardless of how or where you begin, just do it. It will end up being one of the most rewarding journeys you take in this life.

Next: Reaching out to other family members...

Building Bridges for All Generations!

Claire (*)
Timeless Genealogies
We're Your Family is "No. 1"

Blogs

http://timelessgen.blogspot.com
http://gen-reflections.blogspot.com

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/TimelessGenealogies
https://www.facebook.com/TimelessGenealogies

Twitter @TimelessGen

 (c) 2005-2013, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

     claire@timelessgen.com   



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Building Bridges with Ancestral Stories...







     In my previous post, Building Bridges to the Younger Generations, I discussed how important it is to share photos of ancestors with our children, grandchildren, cousins, and any relatives that will benefit from our hard work as genealogists and family historians. 

     Remember, age is never a barrier when holding a picture of a family member and sharing how they looked and then taking it to the next step and sharing the stories about that special person. What difference it makes to both the receiver and the giver of the story. 

     Genealogist and family historians have the best of both worlds when doing research, they learn about how individuals overcame trials or illnesses or how an ancestor struggled to put themselves through higher education or even having to quit school to help support their family because they lost one of their parents. 

     Just recently in the news, we learned of World War II veteran, Arch Moor, age 88, received an honorary high school diploma because he received his draft notice in 1943 just as his junior year of school was just finishing. Instead of becoming a senior he joined the military and served faithfully during World War II, his story was written up in The Tennessean. What a great example this is to his descendants, family and friends. His story will be passed down through the generations and its ripple effect of perserverance will definitely make a difference in their lifes. 

     My own father, Omer J. Brisson, Jr. returned to college after he married my mother in 1950 and graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Accounting while raising a young family, his story is here in another blog post about him.

     As he did, I, too, was able to return to the acedemic world and complete my Associations, Bachelors and Masters degrees after raising my large family, he definitely inspired me and I would hope that someday I've inspired my descendants with the mottos of "its never too late" and "never give-up".

     Ancestors' journals or passed down stories help all who are able to read or hear them and perhaps can help the reader think better about themselves and realize how wonderful they are as a member of their family. To learn of an ancestor who went through a similar situation can make all the difference in the world to the reader.

     Life stories are an important part of the very fabric of each one's life. This is evidenced by the immense number of stories that have been added to FamilySearch's FamilyTree over the last year.

     It's time to share either through a blog like I have with Who Will Tell Their Stories? or create a physical book or even a digital one so that we can pass on to our descendants all the wonderful stories connected with our family.


~~~~

Building Bridges for All Generations!

Claire (*)
Timeless Genealogies
We're Your Family is "No. 1"

Blogs

http://timelessgen.blogspot.com
http://gen-reflections.blogspot.com

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/TimelessGenealogies
https://www.facebook.com/TimelessGenealogies

Twitter @TimelessGen


 (c) 2005-2013, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved
     claire@timelessgen.com