It’s the end of Day 2 of SLIG (but the third day of activities) and I find myself marveling at how transformative this experience may prove to be.
This year, SLIG added a Tech Day on the Saturday before the courses began. I learned about how to take my Evernote use to the next level and how to organize everything from an ancestor’s movements to a research trip using Google’s My Maps. I also attended a very intriguing session on Mind Maps for genealogy.
After the fact, I realized all of the topics I selected revolved around ways to use technology to visualize information. This was not a conscious decision, but I do struggle with organizing and conveying the ever-growing web of family history in my head. I could have attended classes on writing, managing family photos and heirlooms, or foreign language tools — all of which would have helped me. But clearly I gravitated toward certain sessions for a reason.
During the institute, I’m taking the class called “A Practical Approach: Establishing Genealogical Proof with DNA.” Among other things, we are learning how to use two applications — DNA Gedcom and Genome Mate Pro — to extract DNA information from testing company websites for better analysis. Consumer DNA testing has become ridiculously popular, but once the novelty of ethnicity reports wears off, it’s the matches who inevitably become the focus of one’s attention. (Or they SHOULD, anyway!) Although we have not quite reached the point where we are fully using the software, I can already tell this will change my daily life. (Yes, I look at DNA results every day!)
Up to now, looking through DNA match lists has felt like a card game of “memory” or “concentration” on steroids. I’ve been flipping the same cards over and over, trying to remember which test-taker had which surnames in his tree, and which one had which birth locations in hers. No matter how much I believe I’ll remember every card I’ve seen, it’s just not an efficient way to assess so much data.
As a kid, I loved a good game of Concentration. Even now, I play it on my iPad occasionally. But I am ready to stop playing around and learn to use these technology tools to solve DNA and other genealogical puzzles much more effectively!
#SLIG2018 #SLIGExperience #genealogy