Sunday, August 30, 2015

Practicing What You Preach: Podcasts, Social Media and Genetic Genealogy

by Nancy Maliwesky

I wrote a blogpost about podcasts a while back, and I have to admit, while initially obsessed with them, I've fallen off the habit lately. Yesterday morning, though, I checked my favorite genealogy podcasts again and found one by Jane Wilcox on the Forget-Me-Not Hour that caught my attention. This was an interview with Michelle Tucker Chubenko, and organizer of a Ukrainian Genealogy Facebook group Nashi Predky (Our Ancestors). My husband, Jerry, is Ukrainian and I've been trying to piece together his family, but have not been having much luck.

Just in case one of Jerry's relatives is reading this post, Jerry's grandparents were Cyril and Antoinette Kogut Maliwiacki and Theodor "Frank" and Helen Micho Hnotko. Both families came from Galicia and settled in Syracuse, New York in the early 20th century. Having done most of my family research long distance, it's been quite a treat to actually live in the same neighborhood that the people I am researching lived in, and I have found a lot of information about Jerry's grandparents in Onondaga County, but have found it very difficult to get any solid leads back to the old country.

My husband took the autosomal DNA test a while back, and although he has many connections, I have not been able to figure out how he is related to all of these new cousins, and it's been somewhat frustrating as it seems the majority of people he's matching don't have family trees online. I check his and my DNA matches about every week or so, and was surprised, recently, to find that he had a match identified as a second cousin! That's pretty darn closely related, but still, the names weren't really matching up, so I contacted the administrator of the test and waited to hear back. I also decided to ask Jerry's cousin and aunt to take the autosomal DNA test, hoping that this would help us to identify which side of Jerry's family this second cousin match was on. I was excited to learn, from Blaine Bettinger's blog "The Genetic Genealogist", that Ancestry had added a new feature to their autosomal DNA results called Shared Matches. I checked Jerry's second cousin match and this tool identified two other matches that also connect to his second cousin.

I've also blogged about using social media as a genealogy tool. I've seen great success with surname groups on Facebook, but hadn't really used this much for my own research. After learning about Nashi Predky, though, I thought I'd give it a try. I asked to join and was promptly given access, I then started reading the posts and decided to add my own, concentrating on Jerry's paternal line. I posted the information I had and noted that I was currently living in Syracuse, but would be moving to Delaware in November.

Shortly after I added the post, a very nice member responded back, welcoming me to Delaware and telling me about the genealogical societies and Ukrainian community in Delaware. Another kind member added additional information about where we can find Ukrainian stores close to where we are living. I have to say, people from Delaware are some of the nicest people I've ever met! I can't wait to move!

As my conversation on the Nashi Predky Facebook page continued, the craziest thing happened. It turns out that the person who initially welcomed me to Delaware is the same person who is matching Jerry as a second cousin on

What are the chances? My jaw is still hanging open. I can't wait to meet Jerry's new cousin when we move to Dover in the fall. I am sure that together we will figure out this connection, and I am thrilled that my mother-in-law, who is moving with us, will have a kind and welcoming Ukrainian community to welcome her to her new home.

And because we really are all connected, don't miss your opportunity to see Jane Wilcox and Blaine Bettinger at the upcoming 2015 New York State Family History Conference held Sept 17-19 in Syracuse. I'll be there, at the NYSFHC booth, and would love to meet you!

©2015 Nancy Maliwesky

Nancy Maliwesky, past Central New York Genealogical Society Board Member and Chair of the New York State Family History Conference worked as a professional genealogist with the American Pomeroy Historic Genealogical Association for ten years. Recently retired, she continues to pursue her passion for genealogical research and writing. She is also a singer/songwriter (the self proclaimed "Singing Genealogist") and an artist.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Upcoming Genealogy Technology Interest Group Lectures in August

compiled by Paul Fleischmann

"Researching my Civil War Ancestors" by Thomas J. Ebert.

August 10, 2015, 6 - 7:45pm at the Salina Library, 100 Belmont St., Mattydale,NY.

"The talk I gave in Oswego a few years ago and have duplicated elsewhere is entitled "Researching my Civil War Ancestors". The talk will be particularly relevant since those attending with Civil War ancestors will likely have ancestors from Central New York. It will discuss some of the twists and turns one will encounter in their research and the many sources that will be useful on the internet.

"In the course of my research, I discovered 12 Civil War ancestors on my mother's side. Many of them are buried in Oswego cemeteries, but at least one is buried in Cold Harbor as an unknown, another buried somewhere in Virginia, and another one disappeared in Texas after the Civil War.

"I am sure that your audience will find the talk both informative and entertaining.

"As for background: I am a fourth generation native Oswegonian with graduate degrees in History (European actually but am pretty good in American and Civil War history also) and Library Science. I was a major collaborator (but not coauthor) with Dr. Allen Carden on his book Freedom's Delay : America's Struggle for Emancipation 1776-1865 published last July by the University of Tennessee Press. I am working on a coauthored book with Dr. Carden: a biography of John George Nicolay, Lincoln's private secretary."

"CNYGS Tree Talks and Civil War Research" by Joyce Cook, Tree Talks Editor and Civil War Researcher.

August 24, 2015, 6 - 7:45pm at the Salina Library, 100 Belmont St., Mattydale, NY.

Joyce Cook has been editor of Tree Talks for ten years, leading a group of volunteers and contributors in producing one of the New York States pre-eminent genealogy research resources. She is also a dedicated researcher of Civil War history, notably in her research on Elmina Spencer, an Oswego resident, who was a valuable nurse and held a prominent position with the Sanitation Commission during the Civil War.

Tree Talks is the Central New York Genealogical Society's 64-page quarterly publication. Within Tree Talks are articles by noted genealogists, abstracts of records of genealogical significance and reviews of publications. An every name Index is currently published annually, containing surnames from March, June and September issues. Printed copies of individual publications and searchable DVDs are available for sale on the Central New York Genealogical Society website. We also offer County Packets for sale, which contain county specific research from our Tree Talks journals.

The Central New York Genealogical Society began Tree Talks in 1961 to present abstracts of records from the post-Revolution era, to about 1860, of historical and genealogical interest from five central New York counties. By 1964, when New York State chartered the Society as a nonprofit educational corporation, coverage had expanded to forty-six of the state's sixty-two counties. Presently, forty-nine upstate New York counties are covered.

Material printed in Tree Talks is largely contributed by CNYGS members. Genealogical and historical records printed include those from Surrogate Courts and County Clerks' Offices, plus abstracts of church, cemetery and newspaper vital records. Members have supplied many Bible records and day-books of doctors, ministers and store-keepers. Tree Talks also contains book reviews of new genealogical publications.

An early census, or other significant record, with index, has been published as one issue of Tree Talks since 1974. The record transcribed is chosen because: it is the earliest unpublished census of that county; the county was on a migratory route, or was a parent county; names can be supplied by member-researchers for the initials used in the original enumeration; and finally, because of the research interests of the volunteer subscribers.

Showcasing the 2015 New York State Family History Conference

NYSFHC Featured Speaker: D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

“Crossing the Pond: Finding Those Elusive English Origins”

This Saturday luncheon talk is sure to be a sell out with such a fabulous speaker.

Josh Taylor is a professional genealogist and current president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. A co-host of the popular PBS series, Genealogy Roadshow, Joshua has also been seen on Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC and TLC) and at family history events across the globe.

Josh will be giving four lectures during the FGS Focus on Societies Day and three general lectures at the New York State Family History Conference. Sign up today!

Sue Miller is the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society's Director of Education and a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She has been working on her family's genealogy for more than twenty years.