Some Fall Projects

I'm going to be radio-silent for the next few weeks because I have several pressing Fall projects outside of work and family obligations. These are probably in reverse order of importance, but here goes.  

First, the grapes are overdue to be picked and juiced. I've processed 50 quarts and have at least that many more to pick and juice. The rest of the garden, mercifully, has been harvested.

Second, my brain finally reached input-overload and I can no longer juggle and remember all my accounts and passwords, my family members' accounts and passwords, and generally feel like I'm on top of things. I'm geeking-out and making a Home Operations Manual with Phone numbers, Bills & Accounts, the Family Budget, a Home Inventory, a Food Inventory, a Family History Inventory, and a section for Operations Manuals for every task necessary to run this home. 

Third, my family is co…

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Quick & Dirty Family Trees for DNA Matches

Genealogists often build Quick & Dirty family trees (Q&D trees) for DNA matches who don't have linked family trees or for DNA matches whose trees aren't complete enough to help determine the family relationship.   I don't have the patience to build a tree for each tree-challenged DNA match, so I use a shortcut.  


I'm a hobbyist. My husband is a professional in the industry. Professional Genealogists probably consider this a very low-brow method partially because I'm using a public family tree that I didn't personally research and because the FamilySearch tree will have errors. When I research with my husband, he hands me a stack of these papers and tells me, "Document everything, especially failures." This isn't that; it's not original research. That's why the title includes the words "find" and "quick and dirty." I ain't doing the work. To some pros, this method is akin to dum…

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Do the Math – How Many Ancestors Do I Have?

Sometimes you just need a simple answer to the question:   How many ancestors do I have?   There's a mathematical formula for figuring out how many ancestors you have at each generation. x=2n  

x is the number of direct-line, biological ancestors you have;

n is the generation back from you.

So, one generation back, x=2¹ or x=2, you have 2 ancestors, your biological parents. You may also have adopted parents, step-parents,  etc, but for the purpose of DNA matches, we're concerned with biological ancestors you may have inherited DNA from. As a general rule, this formula shows the largest number of ancestors you could have.

At some point, you'll have pedigree collapse and this formula no longer applies, but it works well for the limited number of generations we examine in most of our family history work.

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