Tuesday, March 28, 2017

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 surnames associated with the community.

When you go to your Match List, you have the option to select which Genetic Communities you want to filter by

Clicking on the surname brings up a family history snapshot, which includes items like this surname distribution map. You can click on the different country tabs to see the number of families with that surname based on census data.

Overall, the feature has some great visuals and can filter lists (which is a god send when you're working with endogamous populations).

What have you discovered with this new feature?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Irish Soda Bread: A Family Recipe Passed Down Generations

St Patrick's Day is coming up quickly this week. It's the time of year where I use the family recipe for Irish soda bread. It was passed down from my grandmother, Rose Alice Corcoran, who was passed down the recipe from her mother, Bridget Connelly. Who knows how far back this recipe has been passed down? I was taught the recipe from my aunt Rose as my grandmother passed away when I was a little girl. 

I'm reminded of Steve Rockwood's speech about family recipes at RootsTech. He shared his grandmother's rocky road fudge recipe that has become a holiday tradition. Recipes can be captured online as memories through FamilySearch at https://familysearch.org/recipes.

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 raisins
Add approx 1.5 to 2 cups of whole milk, light or heavy cream (I personally use light cream)
Work with your hands until dough starts sticking together. Just keep adding milk or cream until it does.
My aunt taught me to make scones - they're poppable and easier to give out to friends and coworkers in the office.
Just put little balls of dough on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for approx 25-30 minutes. When toothpick comes out dry-they are done.

Depending on the size of your scones, this recipe can net anywhere from 4 to 6 dozen. Be prepared for a lot of scones!

Here is what the scones should look like before going into the oven

Here is the final result - they should be browned and be crisp on the outside but soft on the inside.


What are some of your favorite family recipes?

As heard on Extreme Genes