Friday, March 5, 2010

Is Alice in YOUR family tree?

It may not be such a stretch when you consider authors often base their characters on real people. The inspirations for the works of James Barrie and Lewis Carrroll just happen to be well known. With all the hype over Tim Burton's new Alice in Wonderland, which is certainly a far cry from Disney, prompted one enterprising genealogist trace the original Alice's family tree, according to an article on Oxford Mail, "Rose Hill woman's 'Liddell' bit of Alice in Wonderland." More or less out of the blue, an Oxford woman, Lisa Liddell, received a call telling her she was a cousin three times removed from the original Alice. According to the article Liddell had some prior knowledge of a supposed link to Alice, but it wasn't fresh on her mind. What fictional character would you like most to be related?

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Political Power -- Is there a gene for that?

No doubt you've heard about the "six degrees of separation" concept. Well, I'm not sure by how many "degrees," but it turns out, according the the research of a young girl from Salinas, California, that all U. S. presidents except one are related. So, in the future, we need not be so surprised to hear this president or that is related to his (or her) diametrically opposite political rival, suggesting, perhaps, our political persuasion is not mapped on the genome. Thus, it holds true once again, we are all more alike than we are different. To see what she did and how she came to her conclusions, you can see the article, "Local student finds all but one U.S. presidents are related," in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

African-American DNA research highligthed

February is Black HIstory Month, and it is no secret to African-Americans with a heritage dating back to the slave era that genealogy research is challenging, at best. A recent article on, "Family Trees: African-Americans find it difficult to trace history," outlines some of the main issues, and highlights DNA research, perhaps, of the greatest breakthroughs for African-Americans. For more on the subject, see author's complete interview with Dr. Rick Kittles, Scientific Director of African Ancestry, at African-Ancestry, Inc. and Associate Professor, The University of Chicago, Department of Medicine.

A couple of resources that might be of interest to researchers include, African Heritage Project and African-American Genealogy Blogs.

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Friday, January 29, 2010

How Would DNA Help My Research

In his article, "How Would DNA Help My Research," Alan Smith takes a look at DNA testing and how it might be used in genealogy. The author makes the point that DNA testing is supplemental to the more traditional genealogical methods, which is good to remember. As the article states, "If any disputes arrive over the history of a family, it will most likely be the offering of an original document which will end the debate." 

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Friday, January 8, 2010

American celebrities explore their family histories

A new PBS series, Faces of America, will premier in February, featuring celebrities exploring their family trees. Hosted by Henry Lewis Gates Jr, "building on the success of his series African American Lives . . . and African Amberican Lives 2" explores the family histories of 12 renowned Americans. The series airs Wednesdays, February 10-March 3, 2010, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET on PBS. 

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