Thankful Thursday – Genealogy friends

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 book done!

First book done!

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

George Rusler's Obituary

George Rusler’s Obituary

find! (although the obituary was quite sad).

Second, about a year ago I had taken part in the’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  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 ($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.

Daniel, Delilah and Ledford Gotcher

Daniel, Delilah and Ledford Gotcher

Gotcher Family - Daniel Delilah and Girls

Gotcher Family – Daniel Delilah and Girls

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.


About Rosanna Ward

Rosanna is a devoted mother of four children, two of which are homeschool graduates. She currently homeschools her 11 and 6 year old sons. Rosanna is a homeschool graduate and a graduate of Oral Roberts University: She grew up in Tulsa and has been homeschooling here for the past eleven years. Rosanna has loved family history for as long as she can remember and love genealogy for the stories of her ancestors.
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3 Responses to Thankful Thursday – Genealogy friends

  1. Donna Witte says:

    How do you go about doing the DNA testing?


  2. Rosanna Ward says:

    companies like,, and others offer them. There are 3 basic types. Y-DNA is for direct male line – a male has to take it and it traces his line back father son father son way way back. mt-dna is the maternal line a female has to take it and it traces her maternal line. The third kind is the family finder type test it tests all the dna and gives you information on ethnicities and helps match you with other relatives that have taken the DNA test (like Larry Dale took it for the Rusler line and we matched). the family finder DNA also seems to be the type that you can download the raw DNA data and upload to other sites. This test runs about $99 for the basic test. I like the way familytreeDNA reports their findings – it makes sense to me but the only other genealogy site I tried was ancestry and theirs is still fairly new. If you want to match with me or Larry Dale I suggest After you sign up for it they send you a kit which contains a cheek swab and instructions, you do the cheek swab and send it back in in the envelope they provide. After that it takes about 6+ weeks to get results. Even after you get initial results you have keep checking back on the site as it continually upgrades as they get more information. The only thing about the family finder DNA is that it is random – unless you know a match from genealogy you won’t know which line they match you on – paternal maternal, etc.

  3. I did 23andme at the beginning of the summer and also got my dad to do it too. It has been lots of fun. You can also download raw data from 23andme and they have the health reports. 🙂

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