Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Questions About Me, Find-A-Grave and DNA

Melissa asks:
"Are you on Facebook? Can I add you as a friend?"

Yes I am on Facebook. I am listed as Michele Simmons Lewis. I am also on Google+ as Michele Simmons Lewis. I love networking with researchers all over the world so friend away! I love Facebook/Google+ for genealogy. That is where I hear about all of the current events in the genealogy world as well as educational opportunities.

Don asks:
"Do you do research for other people or just for yourself?"

I take on a limited number of clients. I do not do paid research as a full time business. I also do a fair amount of pro bono work.

Macelyn asks:
When you were talking about errors on Find A Grave you said that the person that entered the information put Ferry Belle but the photograph of the tombstone said Fairy Bell. Do you think maybe that the person that put Ferry Belle knows something that we don't like Ferry Belle was her real name?

If a person posts something on Find-A-Grave that is different than what is actually inscribed on the marker, then they need to explain WHY they recorded something different, preferably with a good source citation. Ferry Belle may indeed have been the proper spelling but how do we know this? Did it come from a Bible? A marriage license? An obituary? Was the source for the information a better source than an inscribed cemetery marker? We can't know that unless we have all the facts.

Question from Marcia:
"Have you done DNA testing? Did you find out anything you didn't know?"

I have done autosomal DNA and I did find something interesting. My mother is German. Her family has been in Germany/Prussia for as far back as I can go. I found that I have cousins here in the United States from my German side. What that means is, even though my mother's family did not emigrate some of her direct line ancestor's siblings did. I haven't tried to untangle those lines yet but it should be interesting. yDNA is next on my list. I am a female (duh) and my father is dead so I will need to enlist the help of one of my uncles. I am still not sure if I will do mtDNA. I do have my German lines back to the early 1600s but there aren't as many genealogists in Germany so there are not as many German DNA samples to compare with. I might wait awhile on that one.

Anne asks:
"Are any of your kids interested in genealogy? Mine couldn't care less."

One of my daughters in interested. Back before, she would go with me when I went to the library to look at miles of microfilm. She has helped me with about 50 cemetery surveys and she used to help me enter all of the data in my file. She won first place for a big genealogy project/presentation she did at the Georgia state 4-H competition when she was 14. Now that she is older, married and in college, she doesn't have much time for it right now but she does go with me to take photos for Find-A-Grave when she can. I still keep her up to date with what I am working on and she is still interested. The other kids listen to the stories of their ancestors only because I make them.

Copyright © 2012 Michele Simmons Lewis

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