• Feb13

    After many years in technology, I am probably what could be termed a “power user” in most facets of computing.
    Except Flappy Bird. Never played it, and now I never shall. :(

    Twitter Search Filters in Action But, if you fellow tweeters are anything like me, you may not be searching The Twitter for best effect. Did you know there are advanced filters available to search for things like images, news, videos, or sandwiches? (Well, maybe not the last one, but then I shouldn’t finish blog posts at lunch time.)

    As you can see in the image above, the format is not too difficult to grasp – and even works when searching from tweeter clients, such as Hootsuite.

    Twitter Filter MenuIf you aren’t keen on massaging search strings via keyboard, you can always search directly on the Twitter.com site proper. Once you search for a word, you should see clickable menus on the left hand side of the search results.

    The top menu filters by media content types, the next one to filter by “All people” or “People you follow”, and the last to filter by location using “Everywhere” or “Near you”.

    If that’s still not enough for you, then you must really, really like The Twitter. Click on Advanced Search on the first menu to find a form where you can get even more granular in your search efforts by limiting to phrases, particular accounts, or by emotion (using common emoticons.)

    Back to keyboard filtering, for those of the old school mindset: If you’d like a handy dandy set of search examples, see the table below.

    Twitter Search Filter Table
    Table Source
     

  • Jan31

    It is probably not news to genealogy folks who research that, as the New York State Archives site says, “Several New York repositories have formed a partnership with Ancestry.com to digitize family history records and make them available on line for free.”

    For several months I have accessed those records on Ancestry, probably most often the 1915 and 1925 NY State censuses. The only trick was that these records are officially free to New York State residents, and once logged into Ancestry, I would visit the URL http://www.ancestry.com/newyork, enter my NY zip code, and thus would get in.

    However, this weekend I found that no longer worked – it is still a search page titled “New York State Records”, but the zip code submission field is gone. If you use that search form, it returns results from the Archives partnership – but if you try to view the images it brings you to the ubiquitous “Choose a membership to get started” sign up page.

    Annoyed by that, a little follow up googling brought me to the NYSED.gov Archives page outlining the partnership. Thankfully, on this page the zip code form field exists. Using it brings you to Ancestry’s “New York: Where History Goes on Record” page, where you can again search the records and click through the results to view the images. (You are still required to have at a free Ancestry login to view images.)

    Again, here is the URL for the NYS Archives site:
    http://www.archives.nysed.gov/a/research/res_ancestry.shtml

    I think it is disappointing that this change occurred, since it makes original NY State landing page more of a funnel to the subscription page, and while there are “free for all” collections listed in the “New Collections” section at the bottom of the page, it does not mention anywhere that many of the collections are free to NY residents!

    More than a bit confusing.

  • Jan16

    We have this photo in our family albums, and my mother believes it is some sort of town gathering in her mother’s home of Předmíř in the Czech Republic.

    One copy seems to date it around 1912 – I really like the image, but wish I knew more about it.

    Předmíř Town Gathering

  • Dec9

    Can you say consanguinity? Sure you can.

    If unfamiliar with the term, or kind of familiar as I was before I dove headfirst into this whole genealogy world, The Wikipedia nicely defines it this way:

    Consanguinity (“blood relation”, comes from the Latin consanguinitas) refers to the property of being from the same kinship as another person.

    As one gets going with genealogy, the first real hurdle we need to get past is the whole “What is this ‘eleventeenth cousin thrice removed’ stuff all about?” So, being mostly a visual sort of learner I created a chart to help myself get the idea straight.

    Over time I’ve moved on from needing to reference that chart too often, but lately I’ve found I needed a new addition to that cheat sheet – Shared DNA percentages.

    Why on earth would one need such a thing? If you’ve had your autosomal DNA tested at 23andme or FTDNA, then you are probably getting hints for new cousins all the time. When the familial connection is not obvious (as it almost always is not), it is a good to know how much DNA one might share with a, say, 4th cousin, so you can start looking in the right part of the old family tree for them.

    Consanguinity Chart Now With More DNA Flavor!

    To give me the visual my brain needs to absorb the info, I created this chart at right. If you’d like a copy for your very own, feel free to click this link and download a full size copy from my Box.com account.

    However, shared DNA is not an exact measure of “relatedness” as it falls in the traditional family tree. Due to the random magic of recombination, there is actually a range for how much DNA actually gets passed on from one’s ancestors. For example, while on average one inherits about 50% of each parent’s DNA, the actual amount can be somewhat greater or lesser. As you can imagine – apply that inheritance wiggle room to a 4 or 5 generations between yourself and your match on 23andme and the number can vary quite a bit.

    (I suggest reading ISOGG’s Autosomal DNA Statistics page for a nice overview of this whole topic.)

    In fact, a recent relatively close match of mine on 23andme illustrates this point nicely – I had a new match show up in my results as a possible 4th cousin, among my highest. Nicely for me, this cousin was on my mother’s side, and she has been tested as well.

    23andme Cousin Match Comparison
    Using my handy-dandy consanguinity chart, at 0.27% shared DNA over 3 segments, one can see the result is a bit above the 4th cousin level. All righty! But, if you look at what my mother shares with this same cousin you’ll notice a disparity in the estimate – they share 1.04% over 6 segments. The other good news in this particular match was that she had an obvious surname and location in her profile that I knew about – and is the first person I have been able to find that I can tie directly into my known genealogical research.

    Her actual connection to my mother is as a 2nd cousin, once removed, and a plain vanilla 3rd cousin to me.

    As such, I should expect to share about 0.781% DNA with her – but because I did not happen to inherit 3 of the segments my my mother shares with her, we only have a third of that amount in common.

    Without access to my mother’s results in addition to my own and without the ability to connect to established paper-based research, I easily could have started barking up the wrong tree – and at the 4th or 5th cousin level there are a lot of trees.

    So, while I still think the chart is a nice reference to have as a starting point in the process, those shared DNA percentages need to be taken with a grain of deoxyribonucleic acid. or maybe some sodium chloride.

    Hope people find the chart useful – I have posted it under a Creative Commons license as listed below.

    Creative Commons License
    Consanguinity Chart Now with More DNA Flavor! by John J. Tierney is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
    Based on a work at http://currach.johnjtierney.com.

  • Nov11

    Our thanks and prayers go out to all the Veterans today.


    Veteran's Day Thanks & Prayers