Episode 333 - Y-DNA Testing Revisited / The Family History Library Makes Progress In Lockdown/ CeCe Moore On Genetic DetectiveJun 21, 2020
Host Scott Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. The guys begin with the story of the passing of the last recipient of a pension from the Civil War! Hear how this 90-year-old woman qualified. Then, George Washington feared a pandemic during the Revolution. Find out what he did for his troops to keep them healthy and ultimately win the war! David then talks about a great article from History that notes all the presidents… as in ALL the presidents… who have worked from home. That’s the White House and elsewhere. Drive In movies just celebrated an anniversary. You may be surprised when and where they started. 2020 is the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower arrival in North America. Hear how the pandemic is changing plans for the commemoration.
Next, Fisher chats it up with Gretchen Jorgensen, a genetic genealogist with Legacy Tree Genealogists. Gretchen explains the significance of Y-DNA testing and how it differs from the “Big Y.”
David Rencher, Director of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, visits with Fisher about what’s been going on with the Library staff during the pandemic and how we will all benefit from it. He also talks about big changes coming to the Library itself. (You may need a map next time you visit!)
CeCe Moore returns to explain what we can expect in the next episode of The Genetic Detective Tuesday night on ABC. It’s another incredible story line.
Finally, David Lambert returns for another round of Ask Us Anything.
That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Transcript of Episode 333
Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert
Segment 1 Episode 333
Fisher: Hello America, and welcome to America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. My name is Fisher. I am your Radio Roots Sleuth on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. Well, we’ve got some great stuff going on today if you’re interested in DNA, and particularly, DNA you might not have worked with yet. That is Y-DNA. The whole DNA thing actually started with Y-DNA, probably twenty years ago. It’s not used nearly as much, but it serves its purpose in finding your ancestry or discovering the roots of your ancestors. We’re going to talk to Gretchen Jorgensen from Legacy Tree Genealogists about that a little bit later on in the show. Plus, we’re going to talk to David Rencher. He is the head of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. What’s going on with them and FamilySearch during the pandemic and what might we see on the backend of this that’s going to actually benefit us from the pandemic? We’ll find out from David. CeCe Moore is returning to talk about her next episode of The Genetic Detective on Tuesday nights on ABC. And of course, we have David Allen Lambert who’s always just right there in Stoughton, Massachusetts ready to help us out. Hi David, how are you?
David: I’d be better if I was in Beantown, but I’ll settle at home. I don’t see why not.
Fisher: Absolutely yes. So many people work from home. We’re going talk about one of those stories here in just a minute. David of course, is the Chief genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. So, David where do we start today with our family Histoire News?
David: Well, you know, if you were ever set on playing a trivia game with your friends and you said there was a pensioner in the Civil War, well, until recently you could have said that was the fact. That is the truth. But now we have lost the last pensioned Civil War child. In fact, Irene Triplett, over 90 years of age, is now gone. Her father, Moses Triplett, started the Civil War with the Confederacy, but defected to the north. We call them Galvanized Yankees. And he collected a pension. In fact, he died shortly after attending the 75th of the Gettysburg reunion. When Roosevelt went out there, and she spoke in her news article that she really didn’t care too much about her mother or her father. Her mother being thirty years younger than her dad. But she had some mental health issues and because of that she has been in state institutions for a long time. And she has finally passed after receiving her monthly $73.13 check from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Fisher: [Laughs] Isn’t that amazing? Absolutely incredible. And, you know, what this really does David, it illustrates the cost of war.
David: Um hmm.
Fisher: It’s been now 155 years since the end of the Civil War. And to think that anybody was still getting a pension for that is inconceivable, but now that it’s over the cost of the tax payers going back to what, our second, third, fourth grandparents in some cases.
David: Exactly. And I mean the pensions that were given out as early as 1861 after the first Battle of Manassas belonged in 1861. We started to see pension number one, number two and all that and those are now on Fold3. But there will be a long time before you get to see Irene’s pension online because it was active until 2020. [Laughs]
Fisher: Yeah, incredible.
David: Yeah. You know, smallpox of course, affected a lot of our ancestors, but a crude smallpox inoculation instigated under the watchful eye of General George Washington may have turned the tide of the war during the Continental Army’s inoculations.
Fisher: Isn’t that something? He got smallpox visiting Barbados because he had a brother that had been infected with tuberculosis. So, they thought, okay, warm weather, let’s go to Barbados. So, they sailed to Barbados and Washington gets the smallpox. He gets clobbered with it, wound up with pox marks in his face, learned about inoculations then. And so he was fearful that the American Revolutionary Army was going to get infected with this, and that’s how he would lose the war. So, they figured out these really crude inoculations for all those who had not had smallpox previously. So, many of our ancestors could have had this.
David: And you know, the thing about it is that if they didn’t have it, how it could have changed the numbers of the Continental Army and change the whole course of the war.
Fisher: Oh yeah.
David: Well, speaking of people, like presidents, like George Washington, he obviously worked from home, right?
Fisher: Yes, he did. That’s true.
Fisher: He would have been at Mount Vernon because there was no White House yet, [Executive Mansion.]
David: There’s a great article on ExtremeGenes.com. If you go and you can see presidents working from home, and there’s a photo gallery and it talks about presidents from George Washington, John Adams, all way down to the Bushes and Barack Obama.
David: It’s really an interesting story and I never really stopped to think about it until I saw that story so, thanks for posting it.
Fisher: I love Obama’s quote. He says, “It’s great working above the store.” [Laughs]
David: [Laughs] Well, you know, one of the anniversaries I think, on a positive side, is look back to our youth and going on dates. Drive-in movies are now celebrating their 87th anniversary, June 6th 1933, when a drive-in movie opened for its first time Camden, New Jersey and how it changed history. But it’s unfortunate with Redbox and digital video at home streaming, not a lot of the people go to the movies because you could watch as many movies as you want from home now. It’s not like you have that Saturday evening movie on TV, you know.
Fisher: Well, I think for dating though we’re seeing that drive-in movies are starting to make a little bit of a comeback, and I think you might see more of them opening now as a result of all this.
David: Yeah, that really is kind of COVID friendly, isn’t it?
Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]
David: You really don’t want to have your car parked any further away than six feet from the next one because you can’t open the door to go get popcorn.
David: Oh well, with COVID obviously, we’re doing a lot of things remotely. And of course, this year marks the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor in Massachusetts. And a lot of the celebrations have either been cancelled, but many of them actually have been rescheduled virtually as Plymouth 400 recently announced.
Fisher: Well, I’ll tell you what, I’m disappointed in it because I was certainly hoping to be in Plymouth later this year for the celebration. But if we’ve got to do it this way we’ve got to, or maybe we do some of those physical celebrations next year. Keep our fingers crossed that this gets under control.
David: You know, the first Thanksgiving wasn’t until 1621. They didn’t have a harvest feast the first December they arrived because they hadn’t planted anything yet. So, you can look at 1621as an extension of the 400th Anniversary. I’m sure many people are probably going to do that, makes me think of turkey and stuffing. [Laughs]
Fisher: Yes. All right David, thank you so much and we’ll to talk to you again at the backend of the show when we get to Ask Us Anything.
David: Thanks Fish, always a pleasure to be on the show.
Fisher: All right, and coming up next, we’re going to talk to Gretchen Jorgensen from Legacy Tree Genealogists. We’re going to talk about the Y-chromosome, and why you want to test the men in your lives ladies and guys why you want to go out and get tested as well. Find out why and how, coming up next in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 2 Episode 333
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Gretchen Jorgensen
Fisher: Welcome back. It’s America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth. I think it was two years ago now where my wife and I made the decision, we really have to figure out where her mother’s name-line came from. We were stuck at third great grandparents. We couldn’t get any further, and we’d been working on this for like 30 years. So, regular autosomal DNA was not coming through so we made a choice to go with Y-chromosome testing on Julie’s uncle. And the reason we did this is of course because the Y-chromosome is only passed down from father to son, so it really follows back on what we hope is going to be the name-line. And as a result of that testing on her uncle, we discovered a couple of matches and both of them descended from the same couple in Pennsylvania. The guy was in the Revolutionary War. And with that information, we were able to discover, yes, this man had a son named Jessie, who we were researching, and then we went back to the autosomal results on both my wife, and her mother, and her uncle, and between all of them there were some dozen matches of people who descended from this particular couple. So, the Y test came in really well for us, and it’s not something we use all the time but I thought we’d get Gretchen Jorgensen on the line today. She is with Legacy Tree Genealogists. And Gretchen, the Y test, it kind of started this whole thing and then wound up on the back burner and it’s still valuable once in a while, isn’t it?
Gretchen: It sure is. Y-DNA testing and mitochondrial for a long time were kind of the only game in town. And then when autosomal testing became available in the consumer market, that’s kind of where everyone’s attention went.
Fisher: And for good reason. [Laughs]
Gretchen: Yes. Absolutely. It’s extremely powerful and there’s a lot that can be done, but autosomal DNA testing won’t take your line back forever. There are limits as to how far you can trace your genealogy.
Gretchen: And so, I have done a lot of Y-DNA testing with my client research and I’m just finding it to be a really useful tool.
Fisher: Well, for people who are new to genealogy and family history research using genetics, let’s just kind of lay the foundation for this, Gretchen.
Gretchen: Sure. So, FamilyTreeDNA has a couple of different types of Y-DNA tests that are available.
Fisher: And by the way, we should mention they are the only company these days doing Y testing.
Gretchen: There are a couple of smaller companies that are more of a niche market and for really deep specific types of tests. But, you know, for a starting place, yes, FamilyTreeDNA, there’s the only game in town. And so, the basic test is a Y-STR test. STR stands for Short Tandem Repeat and that’s the kind of Y-DNA test that’s been available for a lot of years and at FamilyTreeDNA you can test 37 markers. You can test 111 markers. There are some other options available through upgrades, but if you’re purchasing a test those are the current options. And back when this all started 37 was probably closer to the high end of what was available.
Gretchen: So, the number of those markers have increased over time while the price has dropped.
Fisher: And of course, the benefit to that for people who would be considering it is the more markers the more you can tell the closeness of a relationship with somebody who might match you.
Gretchen: Yes. Y-37 is kind of the minimum number of markers you need to have matches that are genealogically relevant. There are older 12 and 25 marker tests still floating out there, but a lot of men, especially men with common European haplogroup will have thousands of Y-12 matches.
Gretchen: So, that’s not helpful. So, the more markers you get, you have matches that kind of drop off your list and the ones that are left standing at that 111 marker level are the ones that tend to be most likely to be your closest relatives of the people that have tested.
Fisher: Sure. And the thing about Y-testing too is it really goes back thousands of years. It’s really hard to put a timeline on it. For people who are familiar with the usual autosomal testing, maybe through Ancestry.com, 23AndMe or the Family Finder test in FamilyTreeDNA, those can give you a distance to the common ancestor, but a Y-test is a lot more difficult to do that with.
Gretchen: It is. And that’s kind of the advantage and disadvantage all rolled into one.
Gretchen: The Y chromosome, because each man only has one copy of it, if he has a son, he passes that copy on essentially intact to his son. There are a few mutations along the way, but those aren’t really that common. They don’t happen every generation and so your Y chromosome is probably the same as your dad’s, and your grandfather’s and your great grandfather’s. And so, you can get men that are quite a distance from each other that have an identical Y chromosome.
Fisher: Um hmm.
Gretchen: So, if you are searching for a recent ancestor, like if you’re looking for your biological father, or grandfather, or great grandfather, Y-DNA testing is not the place to start with that because you can’t really note down the candidates the way that you could with autosomal testing.
Gretchen: But if you’re looking for a more distant ancestor, you know, third, fourth, fifth great grandparent, something that is going to be a lot more difficult to do with autosomal testing, then Y testing can work out really well in those cases.
Fisher: Let’s talk about the haplogroups for a minute here. A lot of people are into that because it traces the path of their male line ancestor back sometimes thousands of years. Is that beneficial at all in genealogical research?
Gretchen: It can be. The base haplogroup by itself is not always so useful. Like, if you are a man with European origins and your haplogroup is R-M269, that tells you, you’re in good company with, you know, half of Europe.
Fisher: [Laughs] Right. I’ve seen that. Yeah. [Laughs]
Gretchen: Right. Exactly. But sometimes we have some surprises. I have one line of my family that is all German as far as we can trace back. But the men in that line have haplogroup beginning with the letter E and it’s from Northern Africa. So, there’s a mystery there which is on my long “to-do” list of personal family history research to get to some time. [Laughs]
Gretchen: So, that can be helpful, certainly for recent generations, but really for everyone. The autosomal is a good starting place. I like to utilize that as far as is possible, and then bring in Y-DNA on select lines as appropriate if you’re brick-walled earlier on with one or just have a particular interest in that line, then adding Y-DNA to the mix can be a helpful research tool.
Fisher: So, let’s talk about what they call the “Big Y” over at FamilyTreeDNA, and that’s the one with the big price. [Laughs]
Gretchen: [Laughs] Yes.
Fisher: And of course, with the new pricing structures recently it’s come down quite a bit, which is great. What are the advantages of the Big Y test? How can it help you genealogically?
Gretchen: Okay. So, it’s really a completely different type of test that looks at different regions of the Y chromosome than the STR tests do. And what the Big Y test does, is it looks at SNIPS, single nuclear type polymorphisms, and it looks at hundreds and thousands of them. And SNIPS are more stable than STRs are. So, that provides some advantages for genealogy. So, let’s say that you grandfather, if he were to have done STR testing, he might have a value of about 26 at some particular STR, which is just counting the number of patents repeated at that place. It’s possible that your father could have had a mutation there, and increased that count to 27. It’s also possible that you could have had a back mutation and gone back to 26.
Gretchen: And so, that is fairly likely to happen with some STRs, some more than others, but very unlikely to happen with SNIPS. And so, once a variation from the norm takes place, that typically just passes down generation to generation to generation. And so what happens with that in the Big Y test is that creates branching on the haplo tree. So, if you have a certain SNIP, that’s a clue that you descend from a given ancestor. That ancestor could be 50 years ago, or 5000 years ago. But the more testers that go to Big Y, the more SNIPS are being defined and it’s providing some really great clues for people.
Fisher: So, if you don’t have a good match at the STR level, then the Big Y isn’t necessarily going to help you genealogically, is it?
Gretchen: No. No. It’s possible you could have some really distant matches on the Big Y that you didn’t have at STR, but they’re going to be too far back. They’re not going to help with genealogy.
Fisher: Sure. So, you might want to take the test in faith basically that some others will come along that will match that might move up to the Big Y test so you can do those comparisons. It’s kind of a shot in the dark, isn’t it?
Gretchen: It can be, yes. We look at the Y-STR results and those that display what test other matches have taken, so you can know if you’re at a lower level, whether your matches have upgraded or not. But I certainly have had clients that have chosen to upgrade even in absence of other Big Y testers just because they are interested in those deeper roots, those predictions, or they’re hoping that other matches come along. And I have actually seen that take place, and I’ve certainly been on the others side of that where I have encouraged someone to upgrade because other people have already done so. If those other people hadn’t already done so, my client wouldn’t have upgraded either.
Fisher: Sure. Right. Somebody’s got to go first. [Laughs]
Gretchen: Yes, absolutely.
Fisher: She’s Gretchen Jorgensen. She’s a DNA Specialist with our friends at Legacy Tree Genealogists. Gretchen, great stuff. Thanks so much for coming on and updating us on what’s going on with Big Y and Y chromosome testing.
Gretchen: Yeah. Great to be here.
Fisher: And coming up next, we’re going to talk to David Rencher. He is the head of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. What’s going on there during the pandemic? When might it reopen, and what might we gain as a result of this downtime? We’ll find out from David, coming up next in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 333
Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Rencher
Fisher: And welcome back to America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth. And I’m excited to have on the Director of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City Utah, David Rencher. And David, it’s been a while since we talked. We bumped into each other briefly at RootsTech but I am imagining that life has been a little different for the staff of the Family History Library. What’s going on?
David: A little different is kind of an understatement there. So, yeah, we closed on the 13th of March and we have not reopened at this point. However, that hasn’t slowed us down internally. The staff has been working extremely hard, accomplishing a lot of good things. You will see a new library when we are able to reopen. So, it’s going to be fun because we have expanded not only our offerings within the library and continue to make changes there. But we are certainly expanding out in the virtual realm as well. So, I think people are going to be extremely excited with what they see.
Fisher: Well, I’m excited about it and it’s one of my favorite places literally on the planet. [Laughs]
Fisher: And my thought is during this, having not spoken to you, I’m thinking there’s got to be a lot of people who are indexing and creating things online in huge numbers unlike anything we’ve even seen before because people just want to keep busy with this.
David: Yeah. You know, we have a missionary workforce of over 400 missionaries that serve there and of course we’ve kept them busy while we’ve been closed. So, a number of them have turned to indexing projects ad content for the research Wiki, which has been a huge help on a number of things that we wanted to accomplish with Wiki content. So, people obviously would see that online and the efforts from all of that type of work. We’ve also reached out into other church campus departments helping to keep their staff fully engaged because some of those departments their work had to be done in person, onsite and when they couldn’t do it they were looking for other ways to keep that workforce gainfully employed as well. We’ve even had the benefit and help from some other people there that have just been able to do some terrific work for us. So, it’s been a real benefit actually.
Fisher: So, some of the staff has actually been able to access the facility and get in there and do some things?
David: So, we’ve had a very few number of staff. It’s mostly centred around our collections team. Last time I was on the show, we talked about the books that we don’t have access to.
David: So, actually during the closure to be completed by the end of June, we’ve added a significant number of bookshelves to the third floor and completely rearranged that. The reference desk has been relocated on the third floor. We’re replacing all of the flat table space. Many of those tables dated back to when the building opened in 1985. So, you’ll see all new, refreshed, updated tables and chairs. We are adding book shelving to the British floor on B2 that will allow us to bring all of the British books out of high density back onto the selves. We’ve made some progress on our rights, releasing books online. So, we’ve actually been releasing thousands of books that were previously not able to view online and those are able to view now.
So if you did check a book and you couldn’t see it online, you may want to go back and see if it’s one of the ones we able to release. There’s just been a lot of work going on with the collections team there behind the scenes to do that. We’re remodelling, just taking care of some basic infrastructure. We’re remodelling some of the restrooms on the main floor. So that’s been under construction. The jackhammers have been going. It’s good that we’re closed.
Fisher: [Laughs] So, when we hear about all these people who are bored during the pandemic that obviously did not include anybody you work with.
David: Uh, no. No, no, no.
David: Actually I’ve gained a couple of hours that I don’t have to commute any longer, so I think everybody is kind of in that mode as well.
David: So, I think under the closure we’re actually accelerated the work, not lost time.
Fisher: I totally get that. And for people who aren’t familiar with the Family History Library, it is the largest of its type in the world. It is operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and it’s all tied together with FamilySearch.org. So, what’s going on with that side of the ledger, David? Are we seeing more indexing happening there and what other things can people do during this shutdown time?
David: So, obviously we’ve got all of the offerings with FamilySearch, so you’ve got all of the mobile apps. We’ve seen an increase obviously in submissions to the Family Tree. We’ve seen an increase in people attaching sources to the Family Tree.
David: We’ve seen an increase in people merging duplicates within the Family Tree. So, all of that has been extremely positive. We’ve been doing some testing with new search strategies, new algorithms. We’ve done a number of things that really will make a difference to the way we do our research and the way we find people online. So, the engineering team just has a number of different fronts that they work on and it just continues to get better and better.
Fisher: Now, I know last time I think we talked a little about what it was going to take, how long it was going to take to get everything that was in that big vault in the mountain side online.
Fisher: And the thought was it was going to take maybe five years. What’s the progress with that?
David: So, we’ve accelerated that progress as well. We are cautiously optimistic looking at sometime next year. That’s significantly accelerated. Of the things that we’re allowed to digitize, we’re closing in on that gap as well. So, we were down to our last 600, 00 films I think when we last talked.
David: We’ve been able to cut that closely in half, so we’re still doing a lot of that. For people who are looking at our Family History Library catalogue, if in the catalogue you see a DGS number but you still see the roll of film icon, what it means is that the item has been digitized because it has a DGS number. But it is still in the process of waiting to be published. So, if you go into the catalogue and you see the film icon and you not see a DGS number then that item has not yet been digitized. Just a little tip for the day.
Fisher: Oh, that’s a great tip and there’s been online consultations going on as well and chats, right?
David: So, we’ve started a whole effort with our Family History Library staff which we are modelling right now. So, you’ll actually see a lot more information coming out about the research consultations. They’re 20 minute consultations with a member of our referenced staff. We’re offering them both in English and in Spanish. And we will be able to make reservations online, right now that’s through our Wiki page, our Research Wiki page.
David: And then of course all of our touch points with advertising and marketing. You’ll start to see more and more about that. So, our staff is learning how to do these right now and we’ve had quite a successful launch into this space and the feedback is extremely positive and we’re beginning to get that kind of thing.
Fisher: So, with indexing, David, are we seeing an increase of it over the last few months since the lockdown began?
David: Absolutely. An increase in indexing and we’ve been scrambling to put up more indexing projects to make more available. We also know that a number of those are new users, so we’ve tried to put up a balanced approach from easy to difficult projects for people to do. So, indexing has certainly accelerated over this last 11 weeks.
Fisher: So, you’re not doing a lot of old German handwriting. Is that what you’re saying?
David: Yeah, me personally, no.
David: I’m not the one to do old German handwriting or Polish.
Fisher: Isn’t that funny though that when you work with something like that over time you know, and you learn a word here, a word there so that you can figure out what the record says, that your eyes begin to adjust after a few days of that sometimes. Have you had that experience?
David: Absolutely had that experience. But the beauty of it is we also have of indexers who that’s all they want to do, right. We had two indexers. These two ladies absolutely didn’t want to do anything except 17th century old English handwriting.
David: And because they were so good at it, right.
David: And so, that’s all they wanted to do, and they just made this huge contribution in helping this index, that type of record which was extremely difficult for others to index. So, it’s beautiful when people know what they’re good at and take on the challenge of doing that.
Fisher: So, if people want to index or be involved in one of these other projects, where do they go?
David: They can just simply get on the FamilySearch website and go to the indexing page and sign up there. There’s a tab at the top that says indexing and it tells you how to find a project, gives you an overview of the program. It’s an easy way to start. We try to match everybody’s skill sets to something they’re comfortable doing.
Fisher: He’s David Rencher. He is the Director of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, connected of course with FamilySearch.org. And it sounds like some good things coming out of the pandemic as far as the work is concerned. Thank you so much David. Appreciate it.
David: All right. Very good to talk to you.
Fisher: And coming up next, CeCe Moore talking about her next step of The Genetic Detective on ABC when we return in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History show.
Segment 4 Episode 333
Host: Scott Fisher with guest CeCe Moore
Fisher: All right, The Genetic Detective, it’s on ABC every Tuesday night at 10 O'clock on the coast and 9 O'clock on the flyover country as they call it. And CeCe Moore is the star and she's with me on the phone once again this week. Hi CeCe, how're you doing?
CeCe: Hi. How are you?
Fisher: You know, I'm doing well. I'm loving your show. And I've got to tell you, I'm hearing from a lot of my peeps that they really love your show and they're learning a lot just from seeing how you go about things.
CeCe: Oh, that's great news.
Fisher: Yes, it is great news. And you've got six episodes going on right now and we're up to number four already. I can't believe how quickly the season is flying by. Tell us what we're going to be seeing this week.
CeCe: This week is the April Tinsley case, which is a young girl that was kidnapped and murdered in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
CeCe: So, a terrible, terrible crime that had a huge impact on the Fort Wayne community for many years. The community was very afraid, because this person was not caught, and then to make matters worse, he was taunting the police and the community by leaving messages that he was going to strike again.
CeCe: And so, he caused a lot of fear.
Fisher: Now, how far back does this go, Ce?
CeCe: So, April Tinsley had just turned eight years old and it was 1988.
Fisher: Oh wow, so this is a real cold case! That's incredible.
CeCe: Yes, and they had spent so much time trying to solve this case. It was hugely important to both the Fort Wayne Police Department and the community. And they had looked at hundreds of persons of interest in this case. One really interesting thing about it is that a witness thought that they saw a blue truck. And so, the police department looked at every man that owned a blue truck in the area over many, many years. You know, some people were worried about genetic genealogy potentially pulling innocent people into investigations, but I don't think people realize what goes into many investigations. People get pulled into investigations for the smallest reasons.
CeCe: Including having the wrong color car or having a license plate that starts with the wrong letter or number. And so, in this case, there were actually over 1000 people that were looked at as persons of interest that all turned out to be innocents.
Fisher: Did you have a lot of key matches in this or just one or two?
CeCe: We didn't have any real close, strong matches in this case. However, we had quite a few third cousin matches, enough that I was able to build four different genetic networks. If you have enough data to build two, three, four genetic networks, there's a very good chance of being able to really narrow it down to one immediate family. And that's what happened in this case, I was able to narrow it down to one family with three sons, but one of the sons was ruled out, because he was no longer alive while the perpetrator was still taunting the police, so I could narrow it down to only two brothers. It was a fascinating genetic genealogy case, having these inner sections and triangulations happen between the genetic networks. The one really notable thing about this case, in addition to the genetic genealogy that it took to get to the identification, this case was the very first case where the suspect was identified through investigative genetic genealogy and we got a conviction. So, we talk a lot about William Earl Calvert II was the first convicted, but that was the first convicted through a jury trial. This was the first case where we got a conviction of a suspect identified though investigative genetic genealogy, because he confessed and pled guilty.
CeCe: So he was the very first one that was fully adjudicated. So this was a really important case for that reason in addition to the obvious reasons.
Fisher: Well, congratulations again!
CeCe: Thank you.
Fisher: Well, we look forward to seeing the episode coming up, it’s The Genetic Detective with CeCe Moore. It’s on ABC 10 O'clock on the coast, Central Time and Mountain Time will be 9 O'clock Tuesday nights, check it out. Thanks so much, CeCe. We'll talk to you again next week.
CeCe: Thanks for having me again.
Fisher: And coming up next, David Allen Lambert joins me for another round of Ask Us Anything when we return on Extreme Genes in three minutes.
Segment 5 Episode 333
Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert
Fisher: All right, we're back for Ask Us Anything on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fish here with David Allen Lambert, the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. And David, we have a question here from Tiffany in Plains, Georgia. Oh, Jimmy Carter's neck of the woods!
Fisher: And she says, "My ancestor settled in Canada coming in from the UK, but there are no passenger lists and of course no naturalization." because Canada was part of the UK." She wants to know how she finds out where her people were from in the UK. What do you think, Dave?
David: Well, let's see, having a quarter of my ancestors from Atlantic, Canada, I'm sure I can give her some suggestion. The best place of course to try to track that down is sometimes our ancestors inscribed where they came from on their gravestones.
David: And it's very popular in the 19th century and early 20th century to have at the top on the gravestone that says, "I am in need of a _________". The other thing that's kind of useful are land records, but not the contemporary. Ideally, we're looking at grant or grantee looking at deeds. It’s not like land that is sold between two people or two parties. This is land you partition for from the crown of England. So crown land grants. So why these are important, that of course you know, it tells you where your ancestor was living, it gives you their occupation, but often times in the partition for the crown land, it says, "I, David Lambert, a native of the county of Tipperary in Ireland arrived in this province in December of 1816." So it foregoes not having a passenger list and it forgoes having no record that may have ever recorded it elsewhere. This is true for one of my Irish ancestors, John Kelly. The partitions are the hardest things to find, so you want to reach out to your provincial archives when they open back up, but also look at FamilySearch.org, but look under land records under that province and when you're looking within the land records, look for something that has in the title, crown land, crown land grants, crown land registers, crown land partitions. And these are where you're going to find potentially that clue to tell you where in the UK your ancestor came from.
Fisher: So, in your example, David, you were saying, county Tipperary in Ireland. Would it ever give the actual village they came from?
David: In some cases it does. If you're lucky, at least you get the county in which your ancestor came from. If they were making the partition themselves, there's not a form they filled out, so there's no rhyme or reason as to how much or how little they may give, but it is a chance of finding where one of my, John Kelly, of course it’s like trying to find John Kelly in Ireland.
David: It’s not as easy as finding John Kelly in South Boston. The problem basically is, I didn't know where. At least I know the county, but it’s still not exact enough to find church records, but it’s a start.
Fisher: Of course you can always use the FAN method, right? To find family, associates and neighbors, people surrounding them, maybe somebody with a more unique name, find out if you can locate where that person came from and maybe that could be where your John Kelly would have come from.
David: And this is the approach that I'm using for my Lamberts who settled in Nova Scotia. The earliest land deed in 1793, there are two transactions where my third great grandfather, John Lambert is buying land along with Henry Furlong and David Sinnott. These are both names that show up in Waterford, Ireland. So, did they travel with him? That whole FAN approach.
David: So, look at witnesses on deeds, look at witnesses in probates, obviously witnesses in church records and work outside the box. Look for the origins in the crown land grants and the gravestones of those people and track down their descendants and see if they have a clue.
Fisher: What a great response and what a great question. Thank you so much for it. And of course if you have a question for Ask Us Anything, you can email us at [email protected]. David, thanks so much, appreciate it.
David: Always a pleasure, my friend.
Fisher: And that's our show for this week. Thank you so much for joining us. Thanks once again to Gretchen Jorgensen for talking Y-DNA Today and to David Rencher, the head of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Looks like some good things will come out of the pandemic as a result of all this mess. We'll talk to you again next week. Thanks for joining us. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!