03 August 2014

IAJGS2014: Day 4

Marlis Humphrey: "I Couldn't Put it Down! Series: Flipboard Your Family History"

There seemed to be more electronic tablets and smart phones than I'd noticed before at IAJGS conferencess, making Marlis Humphrey's presentation relevant to many. 

Flipboard currently has 250,000 people each day using the application to read magazine-like publications on their portable devises. For family history content, one may choose to include webpage content, stories and narrative, maps, wikis, videos, audio or a kehilalink webpage. One may compile one's "magazine" from a variety of content sources: webpages, blogs, RSS feeds, FaceBook, Google+, or Instagram.

Here's one example of a Flipboard magazine by the WikiChicks: Wikichicks Geneapicks ~ Research. One may download Flipboard directly to one's iPod, iPad or iPhone or similar none Apple product.

Israel Pickholtz: "Beyond a Doubt: What We Know vs. What We Can Prove"

Israel Pickholtz provided thought provoking discussion of research problems association with his one-name study "Pikholz Project." Specifically he has been struggling with using his genealogy database effectively when not all the evidence in support of a conclusion are in.

I was particularly taken with Israel's effective use of PowerPoint animations. He was able to illustrate his questions, research aims, evidence (or lack of evidence), suppositions and conclusions with appearing and changing portions of his tree. In my opinion, he has taken use of PowerPoint for explication to a new level. No flying wingdings here. Every animation illustrated an important point in the discussion.

Israel pondered the use of databases and how one might illustrate uncertainty. Israel's rule: to prevent jumping to conclusions, without full documentation (even when you are sure), don't record facts in your database until you have one more piece of evidence.

Elise Friedman: "Understanding Your DNA Results in the Context of Ashkenazi Ancestry"

In the last few days, Ancestry.com has announced their intention to address the fact that Jewish intermarriage often skews DNA relationship projections in autosomal DNA test results. Fact is, we're all related in multiple ways - apparently more so than most gentile populations (although other endogamous ethnic groups suffer over-matching, as well). Jewish people tend to have about 3,000 matches on Family Tree DNA's Family Finder (autosomal) DNA test. Thus relationship projections may look closer than they actually are. Elise Friedman's DNA talk identified this problem and others associated with DNA testing of those of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Elise is a consultant and works part time for FamilyTree DNA.

Elise noted that eastern European Jewish history of relative young or changed surnames may turn up unrecognizable matches in our test results. And our short paper-trail means that we cannot often confirm ancestral surnames beyond the early 1800s.

If she had one overriding bit of advice, it would be "test a theory." The most effective uses of DNA results are in situations where researchers are testing as a part of or in support of specific research problems.

Randy Schoenberg: "Collaborative Town Projects"

I have to admit I struggled with going to this presentation. While I have found Geni trees useful for providing clues on families I am researching, I am not a big fan of collaborative and unsourced trees. I have been thinking, however, about how best to track and illustrate the interrelatedness of town's people in my father's family's shtetl, and Geni's platform makes a great deal of sense to me for this collaborative purpose. 

Randy introduced us to the Jewish Genealogy Portal on Geni. The portal provides a directory of all Jewish-related projects on Geni. 

Randy needed a volunteer, and I provided my shtetl for him to set up a project within the Jewish Genealogy Portal. So now one can check out "Jewish Families from Labun, Ukraine." It looks like Randy's been populating the new project page with links.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments on posts are always welcome but will be approved before posting. I actually prefer to just let people comment without going through this rigmarole, but I've recently had to delete some posts that I had not vetted before publication. So, please don't be offended. I love to hear from you!