Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Free DNA testing for 10,000 African Americans?

I'm seeing online mentions of an initiative to increase DNA testing of African Americans by 23andme.  The homepage does not mention this program, so here is the link.  It would seem that the testing, which is not available yet, is free of charge.  I don't know how much genealogical service is included with the free service, such as Relative Finder and notification of new matches.  I submitted an email address to be notified of developments.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Keep checking familysearch.org.  New records (actually old records, aren't they?) are appearing online and are indexed.  I just found records for Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts that will help me document my pre-Revolutionary War Brewers.

I found not only the notice of intent that Solomon Brewer and Martha Smith were to be married, but the actual notice of marriage as well.  This is a great find in any family.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Local History Room

Today I had the opportunity to visit the Albert Wisner Public Library in Warwick, Orange County, New York.  I was researching an event that took place in Warwick- that post is forthcoming.  The staff was helpful and knowledgeable.  (And so were the other patrons with directions!)  I made use of the local history room.  I recommend asking for and visiting such a room whenever you visit a library.  You never know what you may find.  I found a 1924 book with grave inscriptions from Dutchess County, New York.  You probably would not expect to find Dutchess County material in Orange County, but that is why I recommend browsing the "local" history collection yourself.

I found a listing for a small, private cemetery in Pawling for the Campbell family.  This may or may not be the same Campbell family that I am following in Dutchess County, but now the possibility has entered my mind and can be explored further.  A check of findagrave reveals that someone else has already ventured through the vegetation and photographed these stones, saving me from adding this cemetery to my ever-growing to-do list.  In due time I may have come across this cemetery through other means, but that is true of so many of the treasures that we find.  So check those local history rooms!

I take these pictures with an iPhone.  This enables me to go paperless.  I have boxes of genealogical papers and welcome not having to add to the overflow as more and more genealogical resources become available.  I also tend to copy more items.  It's free and saves me the hassle of requesting permission to photocopy, locating a working copier, and finding change or acquiring a copy machine card.  Once saved on my computer, I can easily search for files instead of rummaging through boxes.  I can also email an image immediately if the find is so wonderful that it needs to be shared quickly.