Monday, May 14, 2012

New on the Shelf : DNA & Social Networking

Basic family history methodology is somewhat timeless, but some of the new online & scientific tools that continue to burst onto the genealogical scene have somewhat of a shorter life span. 

Some of my peers and I have joked that our computers/laptops become obsolete the moment we buy them.  Although that may be a bit of an oversimplification, we can't deny that the new "techie toys"  although irresistible are short lived.  How many of us got a Kindle or a Nook for Mother's Day?  Are you mesmerized by DNA study and the idea that it may do your family history for you?

With the changing times comes the added task of keeping up to date with the functions and uses of these tools.  There are a lot of ways to do this including subscribing to subject-specific blogs such as this one, attending online webinars or view online videos on sites such as YouTube.  You might subscribe to a magazine such as MacWorld or Smart Computing, among others.

Not to be overlooked are the latest book titles available at your local library.  A recent addition to the Van Buren District Library book collection is DNA and Social Networking : a guide to genealogy in the twenty-first century, by Debbie Kennett.  As the title suggests, this 223-page book published late in 2011 addresses the two main topics of "The Genetic Genealogy Revolution" and "The Social Networking Revolution." 

The section about DNA gives an overview of the basic principles, identifies the different types of tests, and walks the reader through the process of setting up and running your own DNA project.  The appendices provide a list websites & testing companies. 

Networking as defined in this book includes the following areas:
  • Family History Societies
  • Surname Studies
  • Message Boards & Forums
  • Mailing Lists
  • Genealogy Networking Websites, specifically online tree building sites
  • General Networking Sites such as Friends Reunited, Facebook, Twitter
  • Blogs (follow an existing or start your own)
  • Wikis
  • Multimedia such as Flicker
  • Online Videos, Podcasts & Webcasts
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Voice & Video Chat
...Everything you need to know to get you up and running using the latest tools of the trade.   If you lean toward the high-tech, you'll want to make sure you read DNA and Social Networking and other current titles.  If you've been reluctant to learn about new research tools, perhaps reading one of these books will make the transition seem friendlier. 

In our March 29 post The Case of the Disappearing Abstract of Title we discussed a lesser-known & vanishing property records resource.  Anita Rogers of Indiana had the following to add:
Regarding the Abstracts of Title - As a realtor for 35 years, it was usually my job to request the abstract from my Sellers and deliver it to the Title Company, ALWAYS with the request 'Give It Back' at the closing, either to the Seller or the new Buyer.  Yes, the Title Company destroyed them once they read them and replaced with a Title Policy.  They had no room to store them and were of no further use to them.  Notes to the local Title Companies may be the way to preserve the precious remaining documents.  Oh what stories they tell!
 Thank you, Anita!

Nameless Picture of the Day

 unknown baby
Photographer - Fuller Studio, Kalamazoo
From the Ron Starz Collection

Can you identify the baby in this cabinet card?  Do you have any knowledge of the photographer?  Please contact us if you have any information and we will publish it in a future blog.  Please include the photo's catalog number with your e-mail. 


1 comment:

  1. I don't have information about Fuller, but I have a list of other early Kalamazoo photographers and approximate dates of business. You can find it at I hope this is helpful to someone.