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Mar 9, 2016

Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 189


Relative Race

BYUtv’s new reality series Relative Race ( premiered on February 28, 2016. The show “features four married couples as they travel across the US in search of long lost relatives, armed with only paper maps, a rental car, a $25 per diem and a flip phone.” (Interview with two contestants later in the show.)


Databases of Runaway Slave Notices

New York Times on new websites that will launch databases of runaway slave notices:

Irish Collections and Tips from Findmypast

Index to Irish Parish Records for 1670-1900 at (FREE FOREVER to search), with links to free digitized content at the National Library of Ireland 


Click here to link to Q&A with Brian Donovan, head of Irish Data and Development at Findmypast on getting started in Irish research


MyHeritage Updates Its Search Technologies

Click here to learn more about Record Detective II from the MyHeritage blog.



Marquise’ new blog:  The Blakeslee Tribe

Kim recommends my free Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast series for beginners and those who want a “genealogy do-over.” She particularly mentions a three-part series on immigration and naturalization records in Episode 29, Episode 30 and Episode 31.

Matt’s suggestion for Find A Grave: leave virtual flowers on the “tombstones” of deceased relatives so other relatives can find you:

  1. Create a free individual log-in from the home page of the website
  2. After logging in, go into an individual record, where it shows your ancestor’s tombstone information.
  3. Click on the button that says, “Leave flowers and a note.”
  4. Select among several different images of flowers.
  5. Choose whether to leave a note and your name.
  6. Others who view this tombstone profile can click on your screen name and contact you through the site.










INTERVIEW: Janice and Patrick Wright from Relative Race

Relative Race host Dan J. Debenham described how BYUtv’s original competition reality show came into being: “What could we create that would be very different from what’s currently out there and that would show people discovering family all across the country?"

Four teams race from San Francisco to New York in 10 days. Their goal?  Find unknown relatives, complete challenges, and don't get eliminated.

In this episode you will hear from Team Black: Patrick Wright is an executive at Alpha Media, a growing radio broadcast media company based in Portland, OR; Janice is a freelance Media Consultant. They joined the Relative Race show because they love travel and adventure. 

Stream the show on the app

Visit the website 


BOOK CLUB: Interview excerpt with Tara Austen Weaver on Orchard House

Author Tara Austen Weaver talks about gardening and family, and how tending a garden isn’t so different from nourishing family relationships.


DNA GEM: 3 Reasons to Test with Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard

My youngest child, Eleanor, is nearly 8, so it was fun to have a 2 year old over the other day. She loved following Eleanor around, and Eleanor was equally thrilled to have someone to mentor in the ways of big girl play. I took special delight in listening to my daughter’s patient and surprisingly complete answers to our guest’s constant inquiries of “Why?” It got me thinking about the Whys of genealogy, and especially of genetic genealogy.

I decided that there are three main reasons to have your DNA tested for genealogical purposes.

  1. It is primary information.

In genealogy, primary information is given by a source with firsthand knowledge of an event, with the best primary information being created at or around the time of the event. I think we can safely say that DNA falls into that category on both counts. Therefore, it is an excellent source of genealogical information and should be obtained as part of a thorough genealogical search.

  1. It is a unique record.

DNA possesses several qualities that make this record type stand out from the rest. First and foremost, it cannot be falsified in any way. No name change, no deception, no miscommunication or misspelling can tarnish this record. Even if it is not a complete record of our family history, the story that it does tell is accurate.

  1. It is a physical link to our past.

So much of genealogy work, especially in today’s digital world, is intangible. We add ancestors to our pedigree charts with a click of our mouse, having no idea of their physical characteristics, never once setting foot in the same places that they did, or if they preferred bread and butter or toast and jam.

But with the advent of DNA testing, I am able to see a physical connection between me and my ancestor. The first time I saw it seems unremarkable. It was just a blue line on top of a grey line, representing the location in the DNA where I had the same information as my cousin. But that line meant that we had both inherited a physical piece of DNA from our common ancestor, Lucy J. Claunch. That realization didn’t add names or dates to my pedigree chart- Lucy had been on my chart since the beginning. But it did add a sense of purpose and reality to my genealogical work. In short, it inspired me to know more about Lucy and to tell her story because I felt inextricably tied to it. Perhaps many of you don’t need a DNA test to feel similarly motivated, you already understand what I learned: Her story is my story. But because I have her DNA in me, I am able to take that idea one step further. Because she lives on in me, my story is her story. So I better make it a good one.

Has your DNA motivated you to find out more about your story?

Genealogy Gems readers and listeners get a special price on Diahan Southard's DNA Video Training 


PROFILE AMERICA: Voter Documentation