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January 2019

Heading to Genealogy "Winter Camp"
  The day after tomorrow (the 17th), a friend and I are driving to Salt Lake City so that I can attend the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Academy. This is the first year for the Academy; its purpose is to provide education on an advanced level for professional genealogists. it's one thing to read blog posts (in between answering emails, researching online, making dinner, and grocery shopping), watch webinars and see brief announcements on Facebook, but it's quite a different experience to be in class with 30 other genealogists for a solid week, learning about how to use DNA to further help our clients. I am really looking forward to this!      
     
My Goals for 2019
*    Publish (by the end of February) my first full-length family history: On the Banks of the Pee Dee: the ancestry of Mary Gladys Jordan Sells
*  Continue writing my first genealogy mystery, The Murder of Rhoda Jones, based on real records of people in the past. Civil-War era Hillsdale, Michigan is a hotbed of intrigue. Henry Jones has just died, and two women are fighting over his Civil War pension. Orinda can't prove the deaths of her first two husbands, and Lizzie has been married at least 5 times (that she admits to), but  never divorced. Rhoda Jones is found dead near the railroad tracks a mile from her house. The newspapers called it suicide - but was it?
*  Continue exploring my own family history -  now that I have the Prosser Puzzle solved, there are my German lines to explore.
*  And as always, continue learning!
 
What I'm Reading
 
    Just after Christmas I got the idea of getting back to reading genealogy mysteries again. More and more have been published, and you can see an updated list here.
    A few days ago I was at the library, and with this list open on my phone, I roamed the shelves. (Sometimes it's nice just to browse!) I found A Memory of Muskets, and was immediately hooked. It takes place in present-day Wisconsin, where a historical Civil War era village is the setting for murder. A Civil War ancestor plays an important part.
Celebrating Ten Years
as a Professional Genealogist
Find Your Family, Find Yourself
 
   This year I'm celebrating 10 years as a professional genealogist. When I look back at some of my earliest client reports, I can tell how far I've come. So I'm continuing last month's special: get 6 hours for the price of 5, and 12 hours for the price of 10.
   Or, if you're not quite ready to commit to a large project, get a personalized DNA testing plan, with recommendations of DNA tests, testing companies, and family members to test, for $99.
Upcoming Presentations
 
Saturday, March 9, 10:30am
Enumclaw Library
Discover Your Family History

Saturday, April 27, 3:00 pm
South Hill Library
Searching for Your Ancestors in Historic Newspapers

I am creating 3 new presentations for 2019:
"I've Had the DNA Test: Now What Do I Do?"
"Finding Your Ancestor in Military Records"
"Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor"

See the complete list of my lectures on my website here.
If you'd like to see these at your local library, ask your librarian to contact me!

 
In the News

PBS' Finding Your Roots begins its 5th season, and DNA is an important part of the family stories that are uncovered. Comedian Andy Samberg's mother was adopted, and she has wondered all her life what her mother looked like. Here's a background article on that search. (I dare you not to cry!)

Forensic genealogists shake family trees to find criminals

A call from Wendell - James' DNA Surprise Story
 
Understanding pharmacogenomic testing and how it can help your doctor prescribe medication
 
 Looking for a genealogy software program? GenSoftReviews announces User's Choice Awards

The Library of Georgia has digitized Georgia newspapers before 1861
Summer on Christmas Day. She's 15 months old now!
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