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2018 Branch News


Quinte Branch May Meeting:
Digital Presentation: Introduction to GEDmatch Workshop
Presented by: Blaine Bettinger
Article by John Carew, Photos by Georgette Green
  
Beginning around the mid-1990s, online genealogical research and genealogical DNA testing entered the realm of family history research. They were not intended to outright replace existing tools and methodologies. There was however, a high level of expectation of early adoption of these new realities which would be a boost to the family history phenomenon. Call that a good guess! As the opportunity to get DNA testing accomplished became a reality, the initial assault and effort was on testing, by several different companies, with limited concern or thought for cross platform analysis for the different customer cadres. Eventually, steps have been taken to address this shortcoming, and regardless of platform all autosomal test results can be analyzed in one location regardless of test company: Ancestry, 23 and Me, (Family tree DNA, etc.). A big step forward! In the current term, the DNA website GEDmatch is a go-to sight, in order to compare your Raw DNA data for matches determined at most if not all test sites.
  
The GEDMatch website can be intimidating, so this lecture was designed as a primer, with a look at some of its basic but very important tools that genealogists can utilize in their research. The presenter provided a look at the ethnicity tools, the One-to-Many tool, the One-to-One tool, and the X One-to-One tool, basically to equate what researchers would expect to see on their test results, repeated in the larger integrated database on GEDMatch.
  
Blaine stepped us through the above tools, with results variably equating to the test results offered in your DNA test scenario, but with the added value of the cross platform database (a bigger cousin pool). At the moment, I am enjoying a slower learning curve, still working with the tried and true research methods plus the insights to be gleaned from DNA test results, ethnicity reporting and DNA matching. I’ll likely venture into GEDMatch opportunities at some point when the need arrises, but for now, I have enough on my plate to keep me busy. See you in the big database eventually!

  


DNA Questions following the presentation were answered by:
Terry Buttler, Chair and Bob Dawes, IT & Databases
  


Quinte Branch April 21 Meeting:
UEL Workshop: The Loyalists:
Recent Application Changes and Looking Beyond the Loyalist Ancestor
Presented by: Peter Johnson UE & Angela Johnson UE
Article by John Carew, Photos by Georgette Green
  
On Saturday, April 21, 2018, Peter Johnson UE and Angela Johnson UE led a workshop on the general subject of United Empire Loyalists. If one had been considering applying for UEL standing and wanted to hear about, and learn more about, the research universe and collegial enterprise that Loyalists reside in, you would have wanted to be present as part of this group of Loyalist enthusiasts for the afternoon with Peter and Angela Johnson.
  
Peter and Angela are both long service members of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada (UELAC), and the Q&A provided lots of opportunity for questions about the presentation and more general issues in the UEL realm.
    


2018 Ontario Service Awards: John Carew (Past-Chair) - 5 year pin; Lynn Heale (Membership) - 15 year pin; and Debb Walker (Publicity) - 5 year pin. Missing from photo: Debbie McDonald (Secretary) - 5 year pin; Richard Hughes (Research) - 10 year pin; and Carole Foshay - 10 year pin.
  

Prior to the presentation, Angela took the opportunity as Vice Chair to congratulate members of Quinte Branch Council on their recent Ontario Volunteer Service Awards. The recipients were Richard Hughes, Lynn Heale, Carole Foshay, Debb Walker, Debbie McDonald and John Carew.
 


Peter Johnson UE in New Jersey Volunteers uniform
  

It was made clear during the presentation that the application process was not a simple fill-in-the-form exercise, then wait for your UE Certificate to arrive in the mail. No, this process is intended to be exacting in the matter of genealogical proof for each generation, requiring a primary record of birth, marriage or death for each person/ancestor involved in the proof requirement. Where primary records might be lacking, several other types of documents could be invoked in support of the genealogical proof requirement and be presented for consideration. Such documents as Wills, church records of birth, marriage or burial/death, military records, and others could be considered. It is equally important to know that this road to UE recognition, as tedious and challenging as it might seem, is not intended to be travelled alone. In addition to the application, there is also the matter of joining a branch of the UELAC at the outset of your journey either near your place of residence or that of the ancestor whose Loyalist status you intend to claim. This accomplishes two things: a valuable measure of assistance in achieving a successful outcome, and in establishing a bond with the members of your branch and the UELAC itself. All of the genealogical nitty-gritty will seem so much less challenging as a result of embracing the help and guidance that is willingly available.
  
Besides being careful to establish the thorough but friendly and helpful nature of the UE application, Peter and Angela spent a considerable amount of time, showing several of the
period military unit uniforms from the Revolutionary War and afterwards, including the New Jersey Volunteers which Peter wore for the occasion.
  


Old Hay Bay Church
  

They also included a striking photograph of the Old Hay Bay Church, 1792. The mere thought of a building still standing, and so closely connected to the Loyalist migration to Canada prior to 1800 is inspiring, whether you have UEL connections or not.
  


Our Loyalist Workshop presenters: Peter Johnson UE (Cemeteries) and Angela Johnson UE (Vice-Chair). Thank you by Patrick Goodmurphy (Treasurer).
  

Peter and Angela, thanks for the historical and genealogical tour of the UE application process, and the very visible and sincere encouragement to those eligible to join who needed a little nudge.
   

Quinte Branch March 17 Meeting:
Presentation Topic:
Using Census Clues to Build a Blended Family

by Cheryl Levy, PLCGS
Article by John Carew, Photos by Lynn Heale
  
Census records provide many clues to further our research. Each column in each Census return contains valuable and specific information. This is especially important to remember when endeavoring to identify all the members listed in a specific household on census night. However, it is worth asking the question, “do all the members actually belong to the same family?” “Are the recorded relationships accurate?” “Can we trust the surnames given for each person?” “Who are the additional people listed?” These are some of the reality checks necessary to investigate if we really want to conclude our research with reasonably factual information to record in our family trees. The fact is, even with the best of intentions in completing census returns, like many other forms of research records, there are mistakes in spelling and numerical representation, incomplete facts, false information which spawns false assumptions, and poor handwriting by the enumerator and frequently, shoddy recollections by the inhabitants of each domicile.
  
To demonstrate, Cheryl employed an interesting blended family case study through the period 1861 to 1911 to help us learn how to uncover the details needed to explore additional documents to confirm accurate identities and related facts. The process, as usual, started out by examining census records, questioning returns that appeared to be “doubtful” or in conflict with known facts. Then use of alternative methods and clues to interrogate census databases was employed to unearth more useful and supportable information from other record sets to complete each problem area. After a series of efforts aimed at solving each mystery one at a time, Cheryl completed the steps that were required to build this blended family, successfully placing the many household members in the “shown to be correct” family groups. By gleaning census clues, following leads in various databases, and remaining focused on the objective, we were soon able to understand the family history stories behind how and why certain family members came to be in particular households together on various census nights, but were in fact, as individuals, members of different family groups in the larger blended family.
  
For the novice researcher, this was a very valuable learning experience which will save lots of anguish and unforeseen errors. For the experienced researcher, Cheryl’s talk was welcome confirmation that the lessons learned over the years were right and game savers.

Cheryl is a graduate of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, with a focus on genealogical research and education. She is a member of Quinte Branch, OGS, where she holds the executive position of Social Media Coordinator.
  


Cheryl Levy, PLCGS and Terry Buttler, Quinte Branch Chair
  


Quinte Branch February 17 Meeting:
Presentation Topic: All About Quinte Branch
by Quinte Branch Council Members
Article by John Carew, Photos by Georgette Green
     
Prior to the presentation, the Chair made some administrative announcements including a reminder of the early bird registration deadline of February 28 for OGS Conference 2018 at Guelph, and the treasurer introduced and explained the budget for 2018 and successfully sought budget approval from the members present. The membership coordinator advised the assembly that the membership thus far for 2018 was 231 including family members. Our OGS President, Patti Mordasewicz, arrived just in time for the presentation, a visit to Quinte Branch that she had been looking forward to for some time. In a thank you email to our Chair, Patti said she appreciated the warm welcome and the opportunity to share ideas and the afternoon with us.
  


OGS President, Patti Mordasewicz and Terry Buttler, Quinte Branch Chair
   

The presentation was emceed by Terry Buttler, and the speakers were Cheryl Levy, Bob Dawes, Lynn Heale and John Carew. Having got our Quinte Branch website back up and running after almost 2 months of downtime, we decided to focus our attention on the website menu and its myriad parts as a useful refresher. That turned out to be a good decision and many thanks to Steve Fulton for standing up the website on the OGS server. Our new URL is: https://quinte.ogs.on.ca.
  
Cheryl provided an excellent overview of the Branch Information, Library and Research, Publications, and Genealogy 101 subsections. She also covered the Branch’s very successful Facebook page and the benefits of Pinterest and how it can be used in genealogy research to keep track of websites for future use. Bob provided a practical live demonstration of the Names Index Database, both the online version and the computer-based version in the library. He also demonstrated the new OGS membership signup system for joining and renewing membership. Lynn explained the purpose of the online Surname Interest List service, how to make a request, and how to determine who to contact, using the Provider and Surname PDF files. John reviewed the Library Catalogue and discussed its use as both a library management document and a research tool.
  
The website menu on the homepage is available always, and it is recommended to all to scroll through the menu occasionally to check for new services and features, and to remind ourselves of the wealth of information available behind the Quinte Branch OGS website.

   


Cheryl Levy, Webmaster & Social Media Coordinator; Terry Buttler, Chair; Lynn Heale, Membership Coordinator; Bob Dawes, IT & Databases; and John Carew, Past Chair
   


Quinte Branch January 20 Meeting:
Crouse-Wanamaker Lecture:
Presentation Topic: Making English Connections
by Bob Dawes, Quinte Branch
Article by John Carew, Photos by Georgette Green
     
For several years now, Quinte Branch has taken the opportunity to pay homage to the 1980 Charter members of the Branch and, in particular, the early leadership and mentoring of the Branch by Gordon Crouse, and Laurel and Mildred Wanamaker. This year was no exception, and the chosen Crouse Wanamaker lecturer was Bob Dawes. Bob is our Database and IT coordinator, an integral member of the Quinte Branch Library Committee, an accomplished researcher and a well-recognized and appreciated speaker on the genealogy circuit.
  
Making English Connections is the second such lecture on this theme, following a previous and similar undertaking by Bob on the topic of researching Scottish Ancestors. The presentation was comprised of five elements including: English County and Parish structure, Parish, Civil, Census and other pertinent records, Societies and the many ways that they can help with research objectives, a review of close to 20 different paid and free websites which be used to conduct research into these various records and a case study to demonstrate methodology and results.
  
It was evident that there were many choices of websites available to accomplish the task of fleshing out one woman born in 1905 in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England and findings vital records for her, her husband, their son and his wife. However, Bob was successful in stepping us through this process, using only free websites with very good results.
  
As a much-appreciated bonus for those of us who attended the lecture, Bob provided a copy of his website list complete with a summary of the record types which could be discovered. It will be put to good use.
  

 

 

Quinte Branch Council 2018 News:
Welcome New Treasurer: Patrick Goodmurphy

Photo by Georgette Green
     


January Presenter: Bob Dawes, IT & Databases;
Welcome to Patrick Goodmurphy, Treasurer;
and Terry Buttler, Chair
   

 

 

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