Monday, April 10, 2017

That's Just the Nature of Things

My sister and I were finally able to get together for lunch recently. She has been pretty sick for a couple of months, so I was glad that she was feeling well enough to meet. We went to our favorite pizza parlor in Pacific, Missouri as that is close to being a halfway point for us to drive. The pizza was great, as was the company. After we ate I enjoyed taking photographs in the area.

Pacific, Missouri
It has been incredibly beautiful around here, despite the severe storms that have come along with early, high temperatures. We have been getting out whenever we can to enjoy the weather. Shaw Nature Reserve is lovely year round, but spring brings out the daffodils and bluebells, among other things. We took a five mile hike into the back of the reserve, and had the place to ourselves, except for the ten deer that we came upon. Ten! It was amazing, for sure. But the stinkers were running through the woods so I was unable to capture a picture of them.

Shaw Nature Reserve
Saturday I attended the annual Family History Conference put on each spring by the St. Louis Genealogical Society. Their conferences are always great, and I was particularly excited for this year's event. One of the main speakers was Cyndi Ingle, creator of Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet. The site holds a categorized index of more than 335,000 online resources, including my website on researching house history. Not only is she a wealth of knowledge, she is also a wonderful speaker. Also on the program was Jan Alpert, who was offering up tips on using DNA in genealogy. This was of particular interest to me, and not just because I have had my own DNA analysis done. I also had my father-in-law tested, and his results were puzzling to all of us. The ethnicity breakdown for him showed 50% Great Britain, 26% Scandinavia, and 24% Europe West. As I have researched his family back to the early 1800s and found nothing on either side of his family but Germans, the 50% Great Britain makes no sense. For that high of a percentage you would expect that one of his parents was English and that is certainly not the case.

Once I studied the map that you can find when digging deeper into the test results, it sort of began to make sense. Their designation for Great Britain dips way down into parts of France, Belgium, and Germany. As his ancestors are from northwest Germany, I can see where that statistic is coming from. But why in the world do they include that part of the world in their Great Britain designation? It certainly is not the most helpful thing to do.

I spoke with a couple of people who are knowledgeable about DNA at the meeting, and they suggested that I have my father-in-law retested with a different company. I may eventually do that, but I also found out that for $19 I can upload his test results to one of the other testing companies so that I can gain access to their reporting systems. So I will probably start with that and see what happens. I want to have my husband tested as well, since my mother-in-law and one of my sister-in-laws have been tested. It will be fun to compare all of them.

While I was sad to be sitting inside a conference center all day on Saturday as it was a beautiful day, Jim and I got out for a nice walk at Francis Park on Sunday. We have been busy getting ready for an epic adventure, so it was nice to take a break from planning and get outside.

Bob Cassilly's sculptures at Francis Park

No comments: