Presented from a non-genetic genealogist point of view, this presentation explains in a fun and visual way how to choose a test, a company, what to do while waiting for the report, and how to maximize the report results. Whether deciding who to contact, how to use the research within the DNA report, or just how to link our trees to our DNA results, this session will be helpful. Besides spending time reviewing the report, the potential use of raw data is introduced with a visual step-by-step procedure for uploading raw data to other sites.
Brick Wall Busting Strategies: Hammering at the Wall
This is a fun presentation with strategies, sources and a variety of documents that just might hammer down that frustrating brick wall. Examples of brick walls broken down are demonstrated by using vital records, military records, census, prison, land records, newspapers, passenger manifests, and divorce records including a complicated story tracking a woman whose name changed 3 times in public records.
Choosing a Second Chance
I’m a big believer in choosing second chances…or more. Being a slightly (or, more truthfully, extremely) stubborn person, I sometimes seem to insist on making a mistake more times than I can count. Then it takes me some time to actually figure out that my choice IS a mistake. Sometimes it takes eons before I begin to comprehend the relationship between my choices and the consequences of these choices.
Blogging feels a lot like that to me. I began naively and enthusiastically blogging. Shortly thereafter my professional year became overabundantly over-filled with clients and committees, Pro-Gen and gen assignments, conferences and community responsibilities. My blog quickly attained the unenviable status on my to-do list as the very last thing I thought of before falling comatose into my bed at night.
I literally chose every single day to put my blog last. The benefit of this mistake? I realized that I missed it, and I wanted a second chance. So, I choose to begin again.
The Choice to Choose
2018 used to be a new year in January, but since it is nearly April, and the year is ¼ through, we could probably agree that 2018 is not actually new any longer. But for my choice to blog again, it is a new year, month and day.
My choice is made, and I will continue (after the one blog I published) to blog about the back stories of genealogists within the genealogy community. I will also continue to blog about the impact of my strange family (after the one published blog) experiences and what used to be referred to as juvenile literature and is now called “young adult” lit. Yes, it is my favorite genre to this day…even at my mature age.
So, here’s to choosing my second chance to blog again…and choosing to enjoy my own voice and views. The twenty-five loyal friends I have that actually read it–be warned! It’s coming!
Join me, won’t you? C’mon, it’ll be fun!
Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches: Genealogy with Deidre Erin Denton
5 years ago on social media a sudden influx of genealogy memes appeared that only a genealogist—by trade or by interest—would find funny. These memes then and now share inside jokes that create and fill a unique genealogical niche. Styles have changed a bit and political relevancy has crept in, but there is always that ironic humor to enjoy.
Finding the author
A fan of Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches early on and through the years, I couldn’t help but wonder who is the brilliant genea mind behind Twisted Twigs? So I asked.
Deidre Erin Denton cheerfully revealed herself and replied to my request to interview her. We arranged a call time, and my opportunity presented itself to hear the creator’s voice.
A Personal Story
Preferring to be called Deidre Erin, a nice Irish name if ever there was one, I asked her what brought about the birth of the genealogical humor of Twisted Twigs? She shared that she was living with her mother who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. Her parents were divorced with her father in California and brother nearby but struggling with personal issues; she alone cared for her mother. A longtime genealogy researcher, Deidre Erin spent a lot of time at home, on the computer, and involved with genealogy. Her own struggle while living with her mother’s isolating illness developed into a humorous voice for herself and for the genea world.
Five years later Deidre Erin’s mother is now passed away, and “The Detroit Genealogist,” left Michigan. She changed her address, her life, and her memories to take and base her genealogical life and business in the Washington, D. C. area.
Deidre Erin is enthusiastic about her public presence through Twisted Twigs; she sees her memes as a means of “spreading the [genealogical] message. Her memes, in fact, are cloaked in socially embraced humor, and the underlying messages preach pithy principles in a sound bite. Obviously, her message is popular. In 2014 she was followed on Facebook by 15,000, while today Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches claims 34,390 likes producing 25-100 emails per day.
Twisted Twigs Genealogy, Deidre Erin’s research company, currently suffers the growing pains of a burgeoning business. While enthusiastic about her own genealogy research, her clients also experience her generous enthusiasm. Continuing to be known as the “GraveyardRabbit” and “Li’l Miss Go Get ‘Em”, researches and acts as a Records Retrieval specialist at the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA) and other repositories in the D. C. area. Increasing her staff is a current priority. She can be reached through her website http://twistedtwigsgenealogy.com/ or her Facebook page of the same name.
Happy 5th Anniversary, Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches—and thank you, Deidre Erin Denton, for all the laughter and learning.
The Common Circumstances of Conference Incivility
RootsTech 2017 was a wonderful experience; however, I am troubled by evidence of a creeping change of incivility there and at every conference. What was infrequent once is now commonplace.
Incivility is not shown among the conference goers who politely maneuver the halls, stairways, and crowded session rooms, and it is not normally displayed by the speakers. However, in nearly every presentation I attended appeared one or more of the following four common circumstances of incivility.
The first incivility impulsively interrupts the speaker during the presentation. The Interrupter deems that the action of interrupting is more important than the speaker’s time or the audience’s desire. The Interrupter’s greatest damage may be inculcating inexperienced genealogists that this behavior is acceptable.
The second incivility builds on the first: the interrupter becomes a venter. The Venter not only detracts but steals precious moments, maybe minutes, to vent his or her passions about a related (or unrelated topic) in the field. The polite speaker waits for a moment to move on, the polite audience is left waiting for the Venter’s passion to implode, while the Venter is left free to control all but himself.
The third incivility is far more insidious; it creates doubt without the time to amend or correct. This incivility is enacted by the Corrector. The Corrector will publicly disagree with the speaker, perhaps even citing another authority, to point out a flaw in the presentation or to argue with a comment. With limited time—even desire—the presenter moves on leaving the Corrector to feel a sense of victory and identity.
The last incivility is a rampant action. The Snapper takes screenshots uninvited, unwarranted, and repetitively. Imagine, then, the Snapper, raising the device, blocking the view of those behind him. Despite the fact that no permission has been given and that the speaker is looking annoyed, the Snapper plows on. Despite the fact that the entire Power Point presentation is included as an attachment. And despite that fact that his or her screen becomes the shortest endpoint to those sitting behind him or her…again and again.
As a conference goer and as a fledgling speaker, I emplore all speakers to consider doing what Angela McGhie did so beautifully at RootsTech 2017. She took 1 minute before the presentation began and addressed most politely these issues; she is the only speaker I attended to prevent these presentation problems.
Let the speakers educate the attenders; let the attenders become educated; let the common circumstances of incivilities stop now. Will we not all be the better for it?