16 June 2010

ACC Special: 16 June 2010: SCGS Jamboree Wrapup

In this issue:

Pier 21
BIFHSGO Monthly Meeting and AGM
Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree Wrap-up

Pier 21
On Monday, the House of Commons voted unanimously to designate Pier 21 as Canada’s national immigration museum. More at: http://thechronicleherald.ca/Front/1187383.html

BIFHSGO Monthly Meeting and AGM
Starting at 9am on Saturday June 19 at Library and Archives Canada the meeting will highlight

"Miracles Do Happen" by Shirely-Ann Pyefinch
"Finding Uncle Bernard or How Not To Do Genealogy" by George Swift
"Lily, Thistle, Fur and Feather: The Ancestry of Flore Couvrette" by Carol Annett
"The Importance of Being Ernest" by Chris McPhail
"Albert Edward Weir, Adopted Son: The Search for His Parents" by Patricia McGregor

Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree
Here are thoughts on the talks I heard at the Jamboree held in Burbank from 11 to 13 June 2010.


Kathryn Hope Borges, who is director and co-founder of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy, spoke on "Exploring Your Surname" including formation of surnames, understanding the surname, one name studies, and DNA studies. I was fortunate to be able to sit down with her after the presentation to discuss DNA, and especially autosomal DNA analysis. She helped establish a link to a DNA cousin of mine.

Arlene Eakle, a founder of the Association of Professional Genealogists, spoke on migration patterns into the central US showing how ethnic migration was often highly geographically circumscribed, otherwise termed chain migration. Her's was the only presentation I attended that did not use PowerPoint.


Suzanne Russo Adams from Ancestry.com in a crowded session spoke on what's new on Ancestry.

Bennett Greenspan, founder of Family Tree DNA gave an overview of the company autosomal test called Family Finder. By the first week of July he expects to provide a percent origin figures for DNA, later an X-DNA browser, and in the fourth quarter a new analysis tool - likely one that will identify people who match on a specific DNA segment. Unlike 23andMe he was unwilling to give information on the number of clients the company has for its autosomal testing.Throughout the Jamboree the company exhibit was always busy.

Joanna L Mountain spoke on 23andMe's autosomal testing for genealogical purposes. The company now has about 40,000 clients, about 20,000 of North European origin, that's for health and genealogical interests combined. They will soon be providing more refined analysis on ethnic and national origin.

Shelley Talalay Dardashti lectured on DNA projects showing many Ashkanazi Eastern European Jews were of Iberian Sephardic origin.

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak gave a new presentation "Neglected History" on some of bit players in American history that she has been researching.


Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak spoke on her research on unclaimed persons, people found dead whose relatives are being sought by county coroners. See www.unclaimedpersons.com, www.unclaimedpersons.org, and two year old Facebook group which has tackled 240 cases in two years with 185 of them resolved.

Lisa Louise Cooke reviewed strategies to find living relatives. She mentioned that social networks are fast becoming a prime source for tracing the living. In a separate conversation with Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak she commented that the greater availability of state civil registration records, despite the pressures of overzealous privacy advocates, was the greatest advance in this field in the past year.

Ron Arons, who appeared for most of the conference in a convict suit, told a "putting flesh on the bones" story about researching his great-grandfather who served in Sing Sing convicted of bigamy.

Curt Witcher from the Allan County Public Library spoke on WorldCat.

I'd have to judge the jamboree a significant success. Well over 1600 people registered, and with speakers and exhibitors the number was probably close to 2000 making it the second-largest family history event in the USA. There was a considerable blogger presence, many of them sitting together blogging. Presentations from the two major providers of autosomal DNA analysis services for genealogy was a significant attraction. Genetic genealogy has suddenly come of age. Words are from vendors was that they generally had a successful event, commercially encouraging following similar success at the NGS and OGS conferences


Salabencher said...

Thank you for this posting!

Randy Seaver said...

Hi John,

It was a pleasure to meet you at the SCGS Jamboree.

I knew you were interested in the DNA research, and am glad to see that you took full advantage of this opportunity to connect and learn.

Cheers -- Randy

Joan Miller (Luxegen) said...

Hi John,
I enjoyed meeting you at Jamboree and chatting afterward at the airport. We hope to get to a genealogy event in Ontario or Quebec next year. Perhaps we'll see you there.