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Why The Shamrock?

I've been trying to attend more genealogy conferences as of late. I recently attended the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium (NERGC) in SpringField, MA and RootsTech in Salt Lake City, UT.  I started giving out business cards with my blog information to help get my name out there as well as include details on my family on the back for "cousin bait".


                                     



The comment I hear the most when I give out my cards is "Oh shamrock. You do Irish genealogy". It is true that I embrace my Irish roots, which is my father's line.  I've had the most genealogy success going back to Ireland so the shamrock seemed like a good symbol to use.

The shamrock is typically associated with St Patrick to explain the Holy Trinity. It didn't become popular until the 19th century where the shamrock and Celtic harp were used as national symbols. During the Victorian Age it was viewed as an act of rebellion to participate in the "wearin o' the green".

I've never been to Ireland but I view it as another home to explore. So many of my ancestors lived in Ireland and established themselves as local farmers for generations before the Irish famine occurred and then migrated off to Prince Edward Island or to the U.S. for a new life.

The shamrock is also associated with good luck, even though it's not officially a four leaf clover (which we associate with leprechauns). In an Irish bride's bouquet you may find a sprig of shamrock to bring good luck to the couple. In genealogy there are times that we do get lucky - we find a document that should have been lost, the family bible turns up from a long lost cousin who got in touch, a DNA match that helps you break down a brick wall on a family line. I've been fortunate to have had much luck exploring my family tree. May you have luck in your genealogy research!


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Here is the Family Recipe: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees


Sift together the following ingredients: 5 cups of flour 1 cup of sugar 1 teaspoon salt 2 heaping teaspoons of baking powder tip of teaspoon baking soda Mix in 1 bar of butter with fingers (try to soften the butter prior - makes it easy to mix) Add cup of ra…

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My first few minutes on the British Isles floor wasn't uneventful. I needed to purchase a flash drive as I forgot mine at home. Luckily the library has one on each floor. I purchased the flash drive with no issue after inserting a $20 and receiving …

Ancestry Genetic Communities

Today Ancestry launched the genetic communities feature for current Ancestry DNA testers.




Ancestry defines genetic communities as "groups of AncestryDNA members who are connected through DNA most likely because they descend from a population of common ancestors, even if they no longer live in the area where those ancestors once lived". My current genetic communities show below, which I previously confirmed through research to be accurate.



When you click on each genetic community, a map comes up like below showing the countries and regions where you match with other AncestryDNA users for that community. When you're on the Story tab, you can see a history overview and a more detailed timeline for the area on the left hand side. I have a genetic community in Northern Ireland, where my father's line descends from.


When you click over to the Connection tab, you can drill into your DNA matches that share that same community. I can view my matches as well as see the surname…