Wow! I have so much to be thankful for, in life in general, but specifically in my genealogy hobby. I took some time away from the blog this summer and away from research as well. But I have still been busy in the genealogy world: I have had several people send me information and pictures that were such a joy to receive, I have started dabbling in the DNA world more, and I joined a local genealogy club.
First, I finished the Rusler and Erxleben blogs and then edited them to flow together, added some source records, printed and bound about fifteen of them and sold them to interested relatives. I also sent a few copies to genealogy and history libraries in the counties where my Rusler and Erxleben ancestors lived. One of the copies I sent to the York, Nebraska County Historical Society and the lady there (who has helped me in the past) read it right away and seeing that I still had questions about some of the relatives, immediately sent me an obituary for one of them. This is was such a great
find! (although the obituary was quite sad).
Second, about a year ago I had taken part in the ancestry.com’s beta DNA test. It came back that I was 99% Scandinavian which just seemed kind of crazy to me. So this summer I transferred the raw data over to familytreeDNA.com. Their family finder test gave me the results that I was 94% Orcadian of Western Europe and 6% Middle Eastern. The Orcadian population was indigenous to the Orkney Islands north of Great Britain. So basically I am descended from Vikings and people from that region. Since this went along with ancestry’s findings I decided to start believing. Last week I transferred the data to a medical DNA company called promethease.com ($5) and they gave me a fun breakdown of my medical DNA. Turns out that most of my DNA would suggest that I would have blonde hair and blue eyes. (I actually have brown hair and
hazel eyes). This was funny but really starts to explain why we have two children with blonde hair and blue eyes. (my spouse also has brown hair and hazel eyes) There was alot of other information about what kinds of diseases I was more likely to get, the fact that I can taste bitter, I was lactose tolerant, etc… It is definitely a fun little website and really helped me understand DNA a bit better.
I also had my spouse do a Y-DNA test, when I received the results I didn’t understand them much so I went ahead and did the family finder on his also, the results of which I am still waiting on. It does says that he is Western European and gave him a haplogroup number (not sure what to do with that yet). And my Tracey cousin did the Y-DNA test also and we are waiting on his results. Maybe they will be easier to understand. I learned alot about DNA this summer.
I have also recently had two researchers that connect to my ancestors 3-4 generations back send me pictures that I had never seen before. It is like Christmas every time I receive pictures or stories from other researchers. Just this week another descendant of my great great Gotcher grandparents sent me two pictures of the family. While neither picture included my great grandpa it was great to see what my Gotcher ancestors looked like and after I posted the pictures to our family group on Facebook we all agreed that there is definitely family resemblance in many of us to these grandparents – especially my brother with great great grandpa Daniel.
My intent this summer was to take a break from my paternal genealogy and work on my husband’s paternal genealogy but I ran into a roadblock right away. Oklahoma has changed their rules for ordering death certificates making it especially difficult for a genealogist to get them. Now you have to send in evidence that you are related to the person you are trying to get a death certificate for. Since I was trying to get a death certificate for my husband’s great great grandma, Texanna Dyer Ward, I had to show how Texanna was related to her son Elmer (census report, which I have), then how Elmer was related to Mike (census report, which I have), then how Mike was related to David (?), then how David is related to Jason (Jason’s Birth Certificate, which I have), and how Jason and I are related (Marriage Certificate, which I have). The only way I can bridge the gap between Mike and David is to ask my father in law for a copy of his birth certificate…awkward? Anyway, it is a maddening rule. I mean, that is a lot of paperwork and it’s not like she even had a social security number that anyone is going to steal, which is their excuse for these new rules).
But the best thing I have done this year is join a genealogy club. I am a dedicated introvert but it is so fun hanging out with a group of people who share the same passion as I do and speak the same language. Their eyes don’t glaze over when I talk about genealogy adventures and finds. They understand the joy of the hunt and of finding a piece to the puzzle. I have had a great summer, I have much to be thankful for and I am ready to get back to researching and blogging. Stay tuned for more of Rosanna’s Genealogical Thoughts.