Our visit to Chicago at the end of last month became doubly sweet with a recent email from one of the cousins we saw during our travels. My husband actually turns out to have two cousins who enjoy doing genealogical research—and one who is keen on DNA testing. Trouble is, she had all her family test at the one company our family hasn't used: 23andMe.
However, she has been kind to let me take a peek at her results at 23andMe, so I could familiarize myself with the tools that company offers to analyze DNA results there. You know how it goes, though...too many things to do in too little time. Guess which opportunity got squandered for lack of time?
I knew that had to come to an abrupt stop, though, since I signed up to take the most recent week-long DNA offering at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy this coming January. One prerequisite for the class was to test at all three companies. Guess which one I hadn't yet tested at?
Since these cousins are from my husband's side of the family, the natural choice for
Before we could arrange to get his results in, this past weekend I got an email from this cousin with a link and a breathless "you gotta look at this" message. Not knowing about the Kelly match I had been working on recently—the very one we had traveled to Lafayette, Indiana, to research during our visit to Chicago—she realized that that was the family name in her set of matches at 23andMe.
When the same names start popping up in our tests at different companies, it not only lends some confidence to the results, but sets us all a-buzz about the discoveries we're making. Together.
There's nothing like teamwork. With the advent of all these genealogical offerings that can be utilized online—I like to say, "In our comfy jammies, sipping a cup of hot chocolate, at midnight"—I'm afraid all of us genealogy aficionados are turning into hermits.
This bestows an air of solitary
Now, it seems so easy to sink into that assumption that it all can be done single-handedly, through our computers, connecting only with the digitized documents that are the end proof of what we seek. What a refreshing deviation from that trend, when we discover fellow travelers on the same pedigree lines.
There may be some people who couldn't be happier than when they chug along in the quiet isolation of their own home's access to computer-delivered genealogical records. That, however, is not me. I thrive on gathering with fellow enthusiasts at society meetings and conferences, or traveling to an archival collection with a research friend.
But above all, it's the best when your own relatives want to join in the fun of discovering your family history.