World Families' Newsletter, Issue No. 1

Welcome to WorldFamilies.net's Newsletter for Administrators
WorldFamilies.net - Your Gateway to Genetic Genealogy


Happy Thanksgiving, 2007

Newsletter - Issue No. 1

The best part of what we do is working with project administrators and project members, and we get pretty excited when your projects have a success!  We learn new things every day from the project administrators we work with, and we keep trying to make our website more helpful to you. 

This newsletter is for all the administrators who have a project at Worldfamilies.net.  It has been in the discussion stage for quite a while, and we are pleased to finally get it started. We want to share ideas and new developments with you and give you a chance to share your successes, tips, and problems with the other admins.  (Feel free to share it with your project members)

Oh - and if this first newsletter feels like "too much Terry" - don't worry.  That won't last.  We're counting on you - our readers - to share so much with us for coming newsletters that Terry will almost disappear from view in future newsletters.

Holiday Suggestion: Join the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG)

What do you want to hear about, or to see featured?  Send your suggestions, comments,  nominations, hints, success stories, etc., to Marilyn (Terry's wife) marilyn@worldfamilies.net

Genetic Genealogy - lot's of changes coming!

Wow!  Can you imagine what things will be like if all of the recent and expected marketing efforts by the DNA Testing companies fundamentally change the number of folks using dna in genealogy?  Think about it!  FTDNA sold Kit #50,000 on December 31, 2005 and kit #100,000 on August 22 , 2007 - almost exactly 600 days later. 

What if Ancestry.com were to equal FTDNA's recent sales pace - while FTDNA maintained their pace?  That would mean we'd see another 100,000 tests by mid 2009.  Can you imagine having twice as many folks tested in your surname families?  Or - maybe both companies will increase that pace.  Plus, there are a handful of other companies, all competing for the attention of the new-comers.  What if the growth means that you will have 3 or 4 times as many participants by the end of 2009?  Can you handle it?

Right now, most of the surname projects are based at FTDNA.  The ones - like you - who have a website where they can include folks tested elsewhere have the potential for being a major beneficiary of increased testing - even if it isn't done at FTDNA.  The challenge will be to have the right tools, the right attitude and the right visibility so that folks tested anywhere find your project and join in. 

Your leadership position can become even more significant if you focus on making your project "the place to be" for folks with your surname.  How will you do that?  That's part of what we hope to address in coming issues.  Stay tuned!  (and share your ideas)

Terry

News from World Families.net

New WorldFamilies site Coming Soon!
Our long-promised new site is "drupal" based - which will allow you to edit your projects at-the-page, eliminating SiteBuilder.  (yea!)  The new structure pulls the project pages and Forum together, improving navigation and reducing the number of links you and your project members have to manage.  You'll have more control over your project pages - and be able to present a minimum of 4 pages and a maximum of 10 project pages (your choice!).  We hope that this new system will make managing your project easier, and give your project members an easy way to get information about DNA testing and surname projects. 

Beta Testers needed for new WorldFamilies sites
We'd like to get about 20 volunteers to take the first crack at our new drupal-based system.  We'll be expecting you to give things a try - and to give us feedback.  As soon as we resolve the initial set of issues, we'll open the trial to anyone who wants to join in.  Then, when we're sure that we're ready for the public, we'll switch the entire website over.  All of the beta testers will have the choice of keeping your newly-made pages from the beta site - or of re-starting with the pages that are on the live site.  Email Terry if you would like to take part in this trial run.

Do you have Ancestral Surnames that aren't being served by a Surname DNA project?
WorldFamilies will set up a new surname project in our system if you'll either:

1. Agree to take a leadership role in the project - a role that initially may be in encouraging researchers with the surname to join in, while we handle the "heavy" chores of pedigrees and results.
                          or
2. Arrange an order to kick off the project (this makes the project "visible".  If you didn't know - projects don't show up in FTDNA's alphabetic listing until they have a member)

WorldFamilies.net Home Page  If you haven't checked out the links on our Home Page in a while, we think you'll be pleasantly surprised - as much is new or improved

Holiday Certificates - Great Christmas gift!  Good until 12/31/07.  If you need more for your project, let us know and we'll borrow one from another of our projects.  Link for more info: 
http://www.wfnforum.net/index.php?topic=7253.0

FTDNA reduced-cost tests for non-FTDNA tested persons are available - with no end date.  Don't just bring in the results of someone tested elsewhere -  encourage them to retest at FTDNA - so they get full privileges at FTDNA (and reduce your work) 

Our link explaining the benefits of retesting at FTDNA and FTDNA's link to the order form:
http://worldfamilies.net/retest_at_FTDNA.html
http://www.familytreedna.com/PDF/PROMO_GAP.pdf

Launch of AfricanDNA.com
Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr joins forces with Family Tree DNA to Launchwww.africandna.com  This should be a tremendous asset to those with African heritage!  Read the announcement

4th International Genetic Genealogy Conference:
If you weren't able to attend the FTDNA Conference in Houston last October 20-21, I hope you'll be able to make the next one. 

FTDNA  unveiled the MyMaps tool, the innovative genetic mapping system that enables individuals who dont know where their European ancestors came from, to identify their possible specific geographical origins. MyMaps is applicable to all of the companys Y-DNA and mtDNA tests. This is a big advance for genealogists, enthuses Greenspan, because MyMaps will allow an individual who doesnt know, for example, what part of Ireland, or what part of Germany, or what part of France his immigrant ancestor came from to zero in on his closest genetic matches.

Family Tree DNA Project Administrators from throughout the US and Europe were also given a first look at the workings of the comparative database for Full Mitochondria Sequences, transforming what had previously been an anthropological test into the worlds first high-resolution genealogy test. These Full Genomic Sequence (FGS) studies of the complete mitochondrial molecule mean that genealogists will, for the first time, be able to make significant comparisons between individuals who share a recent history.

We'd like to run a success story - or at least a first-hand story on Full Sequence mtDNA testing.  [Send your story to Marilyn: marilyn@worldfamilies.net]

yDNA - Are your project folks confused about what they should do next?

Send them to our new step by step guideline:

DNA Testing the Smart Way

Are your folks also totally confused about Haplogroups?  Send them to our y-haplogroup page - and encourage them to join their haplogroup project.

mtDNA - are you still trying to decide "what to do" with folks who are mtDNA tested? 

Here are some thoughts:
1. Post their mtDNA results on the Misc. page for now.  (our new site will have a page just for mtDNA)
2. Welcome them to your surname project - and encourage them to provide their family's pedigree -  and to try to track down a male family member to represent their family in the yDNA project
3. Suggest that they also join their mt-haplogroup project - as they may learn a lot from that project.

Reader's Tip #1

Give Facebook a try?  One of our administrators, Robert Cushman, recently suggested using Facebook as a way of making contact with more kinfolk.  Here's what he had to say: 

"Facebook is the social interactive medium of choice for young people. My grand daughter uses it all the time and, since she is now a continent away (at school in D.C.), I thought I would give her a "hello". Once logged on to Facebook, I found I had to join (free) to write her. I did so and was immediately complimented by her for being "trendy". Curiosity got the better of me, so I searched the site for "Cushman".  Egads, there were over 500 of them!  I just started through the list, asking them to be "friends" (and feeling a bit like a dirty old man, since they are all so young!). Lo and behold, these kids want to be friends with anyone and everybody (My grand daughter is up to over 120 friends, now. I shudder to think what the record is. Who ever has it must never study!).  Then, I learned about "Groups", so I started a Cushman Genealogy Group, and invited all my Friends to join it. It is growing like topsy.   I find the young people have an interest in traditional genealogy but not the patience or perspective to do the research and contribute directly. But, they do advise and inform their parents, and this has already produced a lot of good information for the paper trail of Cushmans born since 1850.   More important, maybe, is that the young people are much more tolerant about Y-DNA testing. They do not have the resources to do so, but a test kit can make a nice Christmas present from a parent. All we have to do is plant the idea.  So...though the whole Facebook thing is foreign to most of us "older folks" and presents a very different culture, and clearly reveals the generation gap, it is a potentially great resource for genealogy and especially for finding and recruiting potential Y-DNA participants."

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Terry's Comment:  My immediate (white haired) reaction about using Facebook was "that's for kids", so we probably "shouldn't be using it".  Then, I gave a "Using DNA in Genealogy" presentation to a genetics class at a local High School last week, and one of the students told me about searching for anyone with her surname - and only finding one person - who lives in Norway.  hmmm.   The two are now trying to figure out if they are related!   A number of the students expressed an interest in helping their parents figure out their ancestry - another surprise to me!  And - I have learned that Facebook is no longer "just for kids".  So - either give it a try - or get your child or grandchild to help you get involved - the Holidays may be just the right time!   And, just  maybe you'll find some folks down the street, across the country, or even in the "old country" who are interested in seeing if they are your kin! 
 
[Send your Reader's Tip  to Marilyn: marilyn@worldfamilies.net]

Featured Administrator - Terry Barton

Terry has been a project administrator for the Barton Surname project since mid 2001. 
Favorite Learning - that his Barton ancestors probably come from Lancashire - where a Barton family has been an important landowner since the 1200s.
Proudest Moment
- presenting the Barton project to the 2nd International Genetic Genealogy Conference in Washington DC in National Geographic Society's offices (2005)
Biggest Frustrations - the folks who have tested, but don't have a match, the folks who order a test and don't return it, and the folks who won't provide their family pedigree.
Little Known - Terry is a founding board member of the Journal of Genetic Genealogy (JoGG).  Check them out!
Project Statistics - 199 members;14 genetic "Lineages" -  their Lineage I has 77 men representing 35 separate families (different EKAs); 2 men with MRCA in 1620s or earlier - who are 66/67; 37 "Independents"
 
[Send your nominations for featured administrator to Marilyn  marilyn@worldfamilies.net ]

Featured Tool - #1

FTDNA's Member Sub-grouping  - Handy Tool #1
I support some pretty large projects - and it gets really tough to find the new results that are "just in"  when preparing an update to the Results table.  Once I started using the Members Subgrouping", I found that it made things much easier - as anyone who has just transferred into the project, or who has just received new results - is readily identifiable at the bottom of the page - where the "ungrouped" folks end up.  After I have figured out where this new person fits, I add them to their group.  My group names match the headings I use on the Results page.  Click here for FTDNA's GAP Guide

I even use this tool with the mt-T1 project that I co-administer.

Atlas of the Human Journey - Handy Tool #2
The National Geographic's Genographic Project (NGGP) continues to update their site and to provide more insights to our deep ancestry.  You may find that it will help your project participants understand haplogroups - and their own ancestry - if you refer them to the NGGP site

[Send your handy tool story to  marilyn@worldfamilies.net ]

Helpful Links for Admins:

WorldFamilies.net SiteMap
http://www.worldfamilies.net/sitemap.html

WorldFamilies.net Admin Guide
http://www.worldfamilies.net/paguide.html

Project Administrator Information
http://www.worldfamilies.net/admin.html

FTDNA GAP Tools Quick Reference Guide
http://www.familytreedna.com/ftGroupQRGuide.html

FTDNA Quick Interpretation Guide - Results
http://www.familytreedna.com/ftGroupQIGuide.html

FTDNA SiteMap
http://www.familytreedna.com/sitemap.html

WorldFamilies.net Reference Info
http://worldfamilies.net/reference.html

[Send your helpful link to  marilyn@worldfamilies.net ]

Success Stories!
In this first issue of our WFN Newsletter, we would like to share one of our favorite success stories.  In future issues, we hope you will send us your success stories we can share with other project administrators.  It's these success stories that keep us going, and, if you're like us, you like to hear them too.
Hodges-Hodge Surname DNA Project - like so many surname projects, has grouped a number of participants into their genetic families, fostering shared research and stimulating another look at the documentation - through the lens of "who is really related".  And, like so many other projects, it can be proud of the leaders, the learning, and the camaraderie it stimulates.  But - here is the reason it's featured: Project members organized a first, exploratory meeting in Houston in 2006 where they formally organized.  They held their second meeting in Richmond last month.  Their planning is already underway for their 2008 and 2009 annual meetings.
Congratulations to the project and to Hodges-Hodge Society that is the direct result of the project.

[Send your success story to Marilyn  marilyn@worldfamilies.net ]

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