07 June 2015

Congratulations to OGS Toronto Branch

I for one thoroughly enjoyed Saturday's all-day session on genetic genealogy organised by the Toronto Branch of OGS, in conjunction with the Canadiana Department of the Toronto Public Library. Book-ended by excellent plenary presentations by Maurice Gleeson, which should soon be available on YouTube, the only frustration for the day was not being able to attend each one of the parallel sessions.

I had to be at my own talk but would happily have gone to those given at the same time by Linda Reid or David Pike. It was good to be able to explain to the small but knowledgeable audience why the investigation of the skeleton thought to the Richard III shows how vapid is the description of levels of confidence given in Evidence Explained, which discusses the terms “apparently, likely, possibly or probably” as “adhering to no universal scheme … taking on whatever sense the writers create with their supporting details and interpretations.”  Contrast that with the assessment of the evidence from the skeleton found in the Leicester car park which points to a 99.9994% probability that it was that of Richard III. That level of confidence greatly exceeds the 99% extremely probable level, but fails to meet the 99.9999% virtually certain level as proposed in the book “Proving History” by Richard Carrier.

I got to enjoy strong presentations by James F S Thomson and Susan Reid. I'm sure my enjoyment was shared by the other 120 attendees.whichever talks they selected.

Lesley Anderson announced that AncestryDNA will be making their testing available in Canada starting this week.


Elizabeth Kipp said...

An excellent session and like you John, Ed and I very much enjoyed the talks. I attended David Pike's talk which I had particularly wanted to hear on phasing as I am keen to try and phase my parent's DNA using the DNA of my siblings. Unfortunately people kept on interrupting him to ask for explanations which was a shame as it meant that he could not cover everything that he had planned. I think that when a course is said to be advanced and put in a smaller room that people should heed that recommendation and either not attend or expect to have to muddle through. The talk is available online as well as those by Maurice Gleeson. David gives excellent explanations and with the wee bit of knowledge of phasing that I went in with I was quite comfortable with his talk. In spite of being interrupted though he completely explained phasing and how to use it to reproduce a missing ancestor's DNA when you have the appropriate people's with which you can work. I had not heard Maurice Gleeson speak although did know of him as he is a member of the Guild of One Name Studies. His talk on Irish ancestors I especially wanted to hear as I am muddling through the Galway Blake line there on paper with the desire to separate out the "other" Blake lines of Ireland from this very large Blake family. Records are sparse there although any descendant of the Galway Blake family is very fortunate as Martin Joseph Blake brought together all the papers of his family in two publications published prior to the burning of the Four Courts buildings in Dublin in 1922. Without those books, the Blake family of Galway would have considerably less material with which to look at their family.

Barbara Tose said...

I, too, enjoyed the day organized by Toronto Branch OGS. I went to all the "Beginner" sessions and hope to take that information home to work on my matches. All the speakers I saw were excellent and the whole day was well organized and run. I'm really glad I made the effort to go. I wondered if we might be able to "import" the day to Ottawa.