BCGS DNA Group Update – Next meeting February 12 in Burnaby

Already we are posting a DNA update to the original update. This can’t wait till February.

Family Tree DNA is sponsoring a series of genetic genealogy webinars  with Elise Friedman of Relative Roots. Since the first on Family Tree DNA’s new X matching feature is today, I hope this will be available later for viewing as some have been.

Family Tree DNA Feature Launch: X Chromosome Matches in Family Finder.
Time: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 @ 12pm Central
Registration: http://bit.ly/19Wohgg

The next webinars will be January 9 – Managing Your Personal Account; January 14 – Family Tree DNA Results Explained, Part 3: Family Finder; January 21 – Mind the GAP: Beginner’s Guide to the Group Administration Page at Family Tree DNA;  January 28 -Advanced Topics at Family Tree DNA, Part 1: Y-DNA.

For full details and registration links, see Shannon Christmas’ Through the Trees blog.

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The next BCGS DNA Group meeting will be at the February 12th BCGS General Meeting to be held from 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm at the Danish Lutheran Church, Downstairs Hall, 6010 Kincaid St., Burnaby, BC.

We’ll be discussing using charts to decide on and analyze DNA testing and we’ll, no doubt, be talking about the new Big-Y test from Family Tree DNA.

2013 was a very interesting (and sometimes frustrating) year for genetic genealogy and 2014 is likely to be similar.

If you’d like to review 2013, Roberta Estes has a recap at her blog, DNAeXplained, “2013’s Dynamic Dozen – Top Genetic Genealogy Happenings” (posted on 28 December, 2013).

One DNA genealogy related happening I’d add to her list is the decision that two of Henrietta Lacks’ descendants will now be in the United States National Institutes of Health HeLa Genome Data Access working group which approves research on Henrietta Lacks’ genome. Since her death in the 1950s, Henrietta Lacks’ cancer ‘HeLa’ cells have been replicated over and over and used in thousands of medical studies – without her or her descendants’ knowledge or consent. See the Nature article about this 2013 agreement, “Deal done over HeLa cell line” by Ewen Calloway (posted 7 August 2013).

For more about Henrietta Lacks, her story and the medical and ethical questions surrounding her HeLa cells, read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (2010). BCGS Library.

BCGS Research Tip – January 2014

The BCGS Members’ Tip for January 1st, 2014 is:  Automate many of your searches.

New Years clock

What better time than New Year’s to add more Internet search power to your genealogy tool kit. For years, many have entered their key surnames and place names into Google Alerts and kept an eye out for incoming e-mails with links to mentions of these on the web. Google Alerts still functions, but not as well as it did, so I’m now also trying out Talkwalker Alerts – another free service, although not perhaps quite as comprehensive.

If you haven’t used a service like this before for your genealogy searches, it’s easy. You will need to give an e-mail address. (I use a more private one for this type of service.)  Choose some of your more unique surnames and enter each as alert key words. I do not suggest entering very common surnames unless you can also enter a less common place name along with the surname. I’d get far too few useful results entering just ADAMS, for instance, but “ADAMS” and “Shipham Somerset” gets me results.

Upcoming Genealogy Courses – Greater Vancouver, beginning January 2014

If you’ve recently started or returned to your genealogy and family history research, this is a great time to plan to attend classes. Next year, starting in January 2014, there are a number of courses being held in Burnaby, Maple Ridge, Surrey and Vancouver.

Burnaby -

Beginner & Intermediate courses, 8 week sessions for each, beginning in January – Beginners, Fridays, 1:30-3:30 pm.; Intermediates, Wednesdays, 1:30-3:30 pm. Another set of classes will begin in April, then again in September.
Instructor: M. Diane Rogers
Location: Community College for the Retired (CCCR), near Kingsway and Sperling.
Registration: call 604 517 8732 or see the CCCR website: www.cccrburnaby.org

Maple Ridge -

Finding Your Family Tree course, 4 sessions, beginning in either February or April, Thursdays, 7-9 pm.
Instructor: Rob Whitlock
Location: Ridge Meadows College
Registration: call 604 466 6555 or see the College website: www.rmcollege.ca

Surrey -

Start Searching your Family History: A Beginners’ Workshop in 5 Lessons, Saturdays, 10 am-1 pm and Start Writing your Family History: A Communications Workshop in 5 Lessons, Saturdays, 1:30-4:30, each beginning in January.
Instructor: Brenda Smith
Location: Cloverdale Library
Registration: see this BCGS article on Cloverdale’s programmes.

Vancouver -

Beginners’ Genealogy, 4 sessions, Tuesdays, 7-8:30 pm, starting in February.
Instructor: Celia Lewis
Location: Kerrisdale Community Centre
Registration: call 604 257 6100 or see the Centre’s website: www.kerrisdalecc.com

Introductory genealogy course, 4 weeks, Thursdays, 1-3 pm.
Instructor: M. Diane Rogers
Location: Brock House
Registration: call 604 228 1461 or see the Brock House Society website: www.brockhousesociety.ca

For other opportunities to learn about genealogy and family history, follow these links to read about Cloverdale Library’s upcoming talks on Wills, Scandinavian Research and Cemeteries, see the BCGS website calendar for information on dates of BCGS meetings, including BCGS Special Interest Group meetings and BCGS Genealogy 101 sessions, or attend sessions at the BCGS Library in January and February to learn about using Facebook and Twitter for genealogy.

Upcoming Genealogy Programmes – January to June 2014, Cloverdale Library, BC

Cloverdale Family HistoryCLOVERDALE LIBRARY FAMILY HISTORY PROGRAMMES

Surrey Libraries, BC

Note: Pre-registration is required for Genealogy Programs – payment
is required before registration is complete unless otherwise noted.

 To register, please call the Cloverdale Library at 604-598-7328,

drop in, or email familyhistory@surrey.ca

 Cloverdale Branch website


Ongoing: Start Searching Your Family History

A beginner’s workshop in five lessons with Brenda L. Smith

Saturdays, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm: Jan 11, 25, Feb 8, 22 and March 8

This series of five 3-hour classes, developed by writer and researcher Brenda Smith, addresses each beginning family history researcher’s need for guidance in embarking on a very personal journey.  Working with their own materials, and supporting each other, learners will discover their particular motives and set goals for their research, organize and evaluate their data, and plan the first stage of their individual programs.  Participants must be able to commit to attendance at all five sessions.

Lesson 1: Probe the Past – From the Known to the Unknown
Lesson 2: Organize – The Second Prime Directive
Lesson 3: Can You Prove That? Verify Your Findings
Lesson 4: Right Forest, Wrong Tree: Interpret Your Findings
Lesson 5: Pack Your Parachute: The Research Plan
Charge: $100 for the series


Ongoing: Start Writing Your Family History

A communications workshop in five lessons with Brenda L. Smith

Saturdays, 1:30 am – 4:30 pm: Jan 11, 25, Feb 8, 22 and March 8

This series of five 3-hour classes, developed by writer and researcher Brenda L. Smith, addresses the beginning family history researcher’s need to report and publish research findings. Working with their own materials, and supporting each other, learners discover how to move from the gathering of information to creating a publishable product. Learners will set goals for their research, organize and evaluate their data, and practice writing basic history research reports. Participants must be willing to commit to attending all five sessions. Participants must have email/attachment capacity and be willing to share their writing samples with classmates and share oral evaluation of each other’s work.

Pre-requisite: Completion of Start Searching your Family History or approval from the Instructor

Lesson 1: The Research Cycle
Lesson 2: Organize to Write 
Lesson 3: Get it on Paper
Lesson 4: Edit 
Lesson 5: Publish
Charge: $100 for the series

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Using Wills to Link the Generations with Peter Whitlock

Wills are an invaluable source of information for genealogists: offering clues to a person’s origin, listing their worldly possessions, and sometimes containing unexpected surprises! Join Peter Whitlock who has over 45 years of genealogy research experience to discover how researching Wills can provide links between generations and reveal family connections that may be impossible to find elsewhere.

Saturday, February 1, 11:00am – 12:30pm
Charge: $10


Finding your Scandinavian Roots with M. Diane Rogers

Join presenter M. Diane Rogers on a genealogical journey through Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. Learn resources, techniques and tools to locate your Nordic ancestors and effective ways to overcome barriers like language and name changes.

Saturday March 1, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Charge: $10


Cemeteries with Lorraine Irving

Are you having trouble locating the burial places of your ancestors? Wondering how to locate burial records? What do the symbols mean on the monuments? Cemetery etiquette? Funeral home records? Don’t overlook this part of your research. These records may provide clues you won’t find elsewhere!

Saturday April 12, 10:30 am – noon
Charge: $10


Ongoing:  Genealogy Collection Orientations
with Cloverdale Library Staff

The Cloverdale Branch of Surrey Public Library has one of the most extensive collections of Canadian genealogical materials in Western Canada. The library has a wide variety of books and microfilms covering records from the Canadian provinces and territories. To help you become familiar with the collection, the Cloverdale library offers orientations on the first Saturday of every month, from 10 am - 10:50 am

No Charge, donations welcome, but please register – dates may change over holiday weekends, and orientations may not be held in July and August

BCGS Research Links

We continually update our BCGS Research Links for useful Internet websites and information about genealogy and family history.

One of the recently updated articles is below – on Jamaican research. To suggest new or updated links, please e-mail webmaster@bcgs.ca To view the BCGS Research Links, go to the Research tab on the menu bar above and click WorldWide Links or click here for our main WorldWide Research Links page.

Jamaica – Links

Jamaican Genealogy & Family History Links

Jamaica, FamilySearch wiki: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Jamaica
Jamaican genealogical records on FamilySearch currently include Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 and Civil Registration records, 1880-1999.

Jamaica Family Search, Patricia Jackson, now a free website: http://jamaicanfamilysearch.com

Jamaica Archives and Records Search Dept.: http://archives.jard.gov.jm/genealogy.html

Jamaica GenWeb, Madeline Mitchell: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~jamwgw

Jamaica Genealogy: http://jamaicagenealogy.org

Caribbean Genealogy, including CarSurdex Caribbean Surname Index: http://www.candoo.com/genresources

Genealogy Plus, Bringing Jamaican History to Life, wills index, information. Dianne T. Golding Frankson ( pay researcher): http://www.genealogyplusjamaica.com/The-Researcher-s-Collection.html

Pieces of the Past, Jamaican history series, The Gleaner: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/pages/history/story007.html

Historical Maps of Jamaica, University of Alabama: http://alabamamaps.ua.edu/historicalmaps/middle_america/caribbean/jamaica/jamaica.html