Saturday, October 29, 2016

Tap Dancing as Fast as I Can

Do you ever get the feeling your life has become that scene in a motion picture where the movie music speeds up so that, no matter how hard you try, you can't step fast enough to keep up?

The concept western civilization dubs a vacation is truly a misnomer. You take a week "off" to travel, but before you go, you must insure that all your work for the next week is already finished; upon your return, you must attend to all the stuff that's piled up in your absence. Of course, that vacation you took was never designed for mere relaxation—you packed it full of activity. You know, all the stuff you never would have gotten to do, if you were still back at work.

Meanwhile, in the midst of all that, those stats I always like to keep here, to remind myself of my research progress...well, it's been three weeks since I last talked about progress. As far as progress goes, it's simple: there hasn't been much of it.

So, the short report. I managed to pump another sixty two names into my mother's family tree, and fifty two into my mother-in-law's. Since part of our trip back east included researching my husband's Stevens line, I did manage to add another eleven names to my father-in-law's line, too. Zip for my own dad. This time, Chicago trumps New York.

There's a new focus popping up for these numbers, though: the upcoming DNA Conference I'll be attending in early November. I'm looking forward to going, mainly because there is so much yet to learn. The event promises to focus on the latest developments in the genetic genealogy testing arena, something I like to keep informed about.

More than that, though, is the way the host company—Family Tree DNA—has updated their user interface on their website. Now that I'm home, I see where I can update my tree posted on their site and align it with my confirmed matches. This is yet another process to add to that fast-growing to-do list which is outpacing my efforts to keep up.

On top of that, whether on vacation or not—well, actually, even if I'm sleeping or doing absolutely nothing—those DNA match numbers keep steadily rising. I'm up to 395 matches at AncestryDNA, and at Family Tree DNA, the number is up to 1,444. That's gains of twelve at Ancestry and forty four at FTDNA. For my husband's matches, he's up six to 171 at Ancestry and thirty five for a grand total of 914 at FTDNA. We'll soon be adding a tally from 23andMe, as well.

DNA figured nicely in our family visits this past week. One of my husband's cousins has already tested at 23andMe—thus the incentive to try our hand at results there, too—and this cousin is willing to give it a go at Family Tree DNA as well. A calculated arrangement, to be sure, but nice to have a match that we have already confirmed.

In the visit to Chicago last week, two cousins who have tried their hand at family tree building have become accomplices with me by virtue of being added as "guests" on my tree for their family. That way, I have a couple sets of eyes looking over my shoulder, comparing notes, making suggestions. That's the kind of synergy that makes for progress. It's nice to think of this family history thing as teamwork.


  1. Yeah for you! Having two more sets of eyes on a tree is great! AND more people testing too, it was a good trip for you! :)

    1. Yes, connecting with family was definitely the best part. It's always a bonus when family members share this same genealogy interest!

  2. The more eyes the better and eyes with a "self interest" are the best!

    1. Yes! These new partners in the search are definitely motivated!


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