Sunday, July 11, 2021

Heat Wave = Genealogy Time


What is it about us avid researchers? When we entered the uncertain times of this (hopefully waning) pandemic, the accompanying side bar to that bad news included comments about how many people turned their attention to researching their family history. Perhaps misery loved company, and we drew inspiration from the hardships our ancestors suffered.

I'm not sure I can say the same this weekend, sitting in air conditioned luxury when temperatures soared to one hundred ten degrees outside my kitchen window. It's hardly like I put my kitchen to good use yesterday in a heat wave like this—unlike my ancestors, who had little choice in the matter. About the only use my kitchen served this weekend was to afford me a view of the outdoor thermometer which was perched in the shade, not the one outside the living room window, melting in the direct line of the setting sun.

So this was the weekend to hunker down and work on genealogy. Since both last month and this involved research on my husband's families, it will come as no surprise that it was that tree which showed the most advancement for this biweekly progress check. With an addition of 310 names, that tree now includes documentation on 22,014 individuals.

With all the focus on my husband's tree lately, not much happened to results for my own side of the family. Right now, that tree sits at 26,138—a respectable accomplishment, to be sure, but gaining only twenty six individuals in the past two weeks, since all my focus went elsewhere. Of course, my family tree will again share the limelight, when research goals swing back to my father's side of the family in the fourth quarter of this year.

One surprise in this biweekly sequence was the big change in the match count coming out of Family Tree DNA. Granted, FTDNA adjusted their algorithm, and is now using Build 37 of the human reference genome, but I was surprised to see a resultant extra 468 DNA matches in my account, plus 678 more for my husband's test at that company. Really? Can I believe my eyes? Or is this just the after-effect of a heat wave coupled with an earthquake? Guess we Californians really know how to rock and roll. 

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