Case Studies

An “Easter Egg” in Some Pittsburgh Church Records

Sometimes in computer software we find an Easter egg–“an intentional inside joke, a hidden message, or a secret feature of an interactive work (often, a computer program, video game or DVD menu screen).1 Apparently they occur in online genealogical databases too. I have been researching my husband’s Clark family,...

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In Honor of Labor Day 2017

For Labor Day 2016, I wrote a blog post highlighting ancestors who belonged to labor unions. For 2017, I thought I’d highlight a few labor-related resources I’ve found helpful in researching my ancestors who worked in northeastern Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal industry. Ancestry, “Pennsylvania, Coal Employment Records, 1900-1954“ This collection...

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Case Studies using Mitochondrial DNA

Finding female ancestors often challenges researchers! DNA–both autosomal and mitochondrial–is a powerful tool for identifying the often-hidden women in our family tree, and case studies–illustrations of how researchers have solved particular kinds of problems–help us learn how to use new methods and tools in our own research. Here is...

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Children of James Mackin

In a previous blog post, I described the hypothesis I’ve been working on: three men named Mackin–Christopher, John, and James–who lived in the Madison, Wisconsin, area in the 1860s were related to each other, perhaps brothers. I have researched all three men and their descendants, and initiated a DNA...

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Working with POISON DNA Segments

Earlier this week Blaine Bettinger posted on “The Danger of Distant Matches.”1 In his post Blaine colorfully calls segments smaller than 10 cM2 POISON segments. While I think Blaine is, as usual, right on the money about the risks involved with small segments, I want to share a case...

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