Fallen Leaves of 2018

It’s the holiday season. Thanksgiving transitions to Christmas. Love begins to manifest in gift-giving as evidenced by my neighbors’ gifts upon my porch. I am grateful for my neighbors and, yes, I love them. Not for what they give, but because they’re part of my life. Life is much more meaningful when we’re in the day-to-day together.

Yet, returning from Thanksgiving, I had time to reflect on those I’ve known that I won’t be seeing or hearing from this year. Maybe it’s just that my social circles have expanded but 2018 has been such a year of loss.

Fallen leaves. Not all from my tree, but, nevertheless, connected like aspens. And, if not from the root system itself, from the heart. I could list each person by name, but their names may not be as meaningful to you as they are to me.

January 2018

The first notification I received of the passing of someone in my sphere was Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Whether or not you are a member of this particular Church, if you are involved in family history and genealogy, I hope you would recognize the sacrifices made by a century+ of leaders and members to collect records worldwide so that we may enjoy the plethora of information today in pursuit of our family trees. I had the privilege to stop by the Conference Center on a break from the Family History Library to pay my respects. It was a solemn experience.

The next passing occurred 3 days later on January 5th. He was one of my genealogy students from over a decade ago but he and his wife stayed in touch with me. I had reconnected with them during the previous Fall when my son and I brought them some of our family’s signature cupcakes, made by my son of course. My former student invited us to dinner after the holidays to “talk genealogy.” It never happened. His health began to decline soon after. I saw him once more at the local temple. With his memory failing, I was happy that he remembered my name. He gave me a hug and his hearing aid squeaked. We all laughed. It was a noise out of place in this quiet and reverent space. His funeral was insightful. The stories were inspiring. This humble man went about doing good, but no one knew the extent of his kindness and generosity. Quiet acts recounted, gathered at his funeral. History. Personal history. Family history. Community history. History. I recently sat down with his widow and she shared even more stories. The sacred kind. The kind that lift, bless, and testify that there is a God and, like Mother Teresa said, that demonstrated that we can be a pencil in God’s hands.

It seemed that the pattern of departures continued and each week I would hear of another that transitioned to the after life. It was enough for me to consider not answering my phone or engaging with social media.

Spring, then Summer

There was a reprieve in the Spring and early summer. There was still loss, just not as personal. The concept of death once again was placed in the abstract. It happens, just not today. But I had a nagging feeling.

Shortly upon my return from a summer trip, I was contacted by a woman I had met earlier in the year. I planned to write a story about her father and their family that was to be published in October. It was such a delight to meet them and learn about this family’s passion for aviation. Her note informed me that her father had unexpectedly passed away and asked if I would be willing to forward the photos I took for possible use at his memorial service. Upon review of the folder’s contents, I recognized how often this man avoided the camera. And, I, not to be intrusive, photographed the process, not the people. I did film the entire take down of the balloon, approximately 9 minutes. It’s not the best footage, but it was his last take down in this life. I am grateful to have met him. I have a photo that was taken of all of us, 3 generations plus me, in which I was invited to be included and almost declined. I’m so glad I didn’t. When I look at this photo, it brings me joy!

Probably the most difficult passing was of a family member who struggled with an infection that went undiagnosed. Three specialists. No answers. No treatment. She was still in the process of addressing her condition when she was found unconscious. She never awoke from her coma. Ironically, or a life lesson wrapped in tragedy, she died on the very day that in previous months I noted to myself to contact her. It was the day my schedule would “open up” and I would have the time. My comfort is in learning the stories of her final weeks, the quality of her friendships, and the desires of her heart. But, I missed something, or rather, I missed someone.

Do You Hear What I Hear

Last year, about this time, I failed to hear from a distant cousin I met through my genealogical research and who lived on the ancestral farm. I noticed. I waited thinking life may have caused delays. I never heard. Christmas day passed. New Year’s day came. As I looked through our cards I realized once again that we didn’t hear from him. I decided to call. I’m glad I did.

I discovered during the course of our conversation that his wife’s health required greater assistance. The move was a major life change. As he continued, he reminisced about life on the farm and how much he loved it! I had the pleasure of listening (and taking a few notes for the family history). A few weeks later I received a call. I answered. I anticipated my cousin’s voice in reply but it was his widow. He had passed. On the farm. Just like he wanted. And, the family lost another great storyteller of the past.

As genealogists and family historians we are accustomed to seeking out our dead, yet let us not forget the living for time is finite. It seems it’s human nature to fail to reach out when life is too good, or too distracting, or more often, too challenging. When it’s challenging it is usually a matter of survival, or at least a matter of a more concentrated focus. Life happens to everyone, but this season I am reminded to be aware of those I do not hear from and those whom I do not see.

Last Monday night I had the opportunity to hear Paul Cardall perform at the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center to welcome in the #LightTheWorld campaign. A heart transplant recipient, Paul shared his testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and how he knows that all of us will be resurrected. For those who have lost loved ones, it can feel that any such promise cannot be fulfilled soon enough. This time of year can seem unbearable. #LightTheWorld is a reminder to reach out. Yes, let us not forget the living for time is finite for each of us.

© 2018. Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved

Food, Football, & Family History—It’s About Tradition

Thanksgiving is the most traveled holiday in America with an estimated 54.3 million Americans expected to migrate, at least for the day, 50 miles or more this year!

Thanksgiving is known as the day of America’s greatest food consumption! Think turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie as the traditional game plan of the Thanksgiving banquet. Many families have other traditional favorites as well.

Football has also been a traditional favorite at this time of year. Whether it is a friendly game at a local field or watching one or more of the 3 NFL games offered throughout the day, it has become part of the holiday for many Americans. In addition, Thanksgiving has become one of the biggest running days of the year with morning Turkey Trots offered throughout the nation!

So, what about family history? Tradition speak volumes and it is never too late to adopt or create a new tradition. As individuals, we determine what we carry forward and what we create. The Smithsonian Folklife & Oral History Interviewing Guide is a free resource available for download that offers tips on how to make the most of your family conversation to capture family history this holiday season. As mentioned in this publication, “[h]aving a clearly defined goal is key to conducting a successful interview.”

“Out of shared telling and remembering grow identity, connection, and pride, binding people to a place and to one another.”
—Tom Rankin, folklorist

One more way to connect with family about family history is to share a brief replay of a genealogy touchdown—that glorious moment when research came together, you entered your genealogy end zone, and you felt like spiking the ball in celebration (a.k.a., doing the genealogy happy dance as it has been described for generations). Share your excitement of this year’s discoveries and you might just recruit another team member. If not, maybe you’ll expand your cheer squad.

Food. Football. Family History. Touchdown!

For those traveling, may you travel safely. For those celebrating in the United States, have a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday! For everyone reading this post, enjoy your day!

P. S. A Note of Thanks to all who entered to win the RootsTech 4-Day Pass Giveaway—Dr. Who Style. Congratulations to Christy!

There are still a number of RootsTech 2019 Pass Giveaways going on now. Check them out at ConferenceKeeper.org!

© 2018 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

A Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pecan Pizookie — A Pizza-Cookie Recipe

A few Relative Race days ago, Joe Henline of Team Black asked on Twitter what snacks everyone would be enjoying for that day’s premiere. Our family has a tradition of baking pizookies each Relative Race night. A bit of interest was shown in the recipe, so here it is with a holiday twist:

Preheat oven to 400º F.

Whisk together in a bowl —
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Set aside.

In another bowl mix together —
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/4 cup white sugar
Add —
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1 whole egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup canned pumpkin (or your own pumpkin puree)

Beat until creamy, then add —
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix in the dry ingredients.

Fold in —
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (dark, semi-sweet, and/or milk)
1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Add 1/4 cup of mixture to each 1- or 2-cup ramekin, small baking dishes. Press down. Bake through until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Add toppings as desired.

Yields about a dozen.

© 2018 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

RootsTech 2019 4-Day Pass Giveaway—Dr. Who Style

Just in case you did not know, the TARDIS is a fictional time machine & spacecraft that appears in the popular BBC television program Doctor Who.

It’s time for another RootsTech 2019 4-day pass giveaway! The RootsTech conference is scheduled to be held Wednesday, February 27 to Saturday, March 2, 2019 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. This is exciting news! But, did you know that in the midst of preparing ambassadors for Salt Lake, the RootsTech team announced that it is also traveling to London in the autumn of 2019? More exciting news! This link will allow you to sign up for exclusive deals and timely details.

This announcement, coupled with the recent experience I had when I received complimentary tickets to FanX (formerly Salt Lake Comic Con) to hear David Tennant—the 10th doctor of the BBC hit series Dr. Who—I couldn’t help but structure this giveaway around the thought of traveling in the blue box called the TARDIS. I actually look forward to a day when such travel can bridge the time warp and answer some of those really challenging family history and genealogy questions! [Wouldn’t it be an exciting announcement at a future RootsTech?]

Dr. Who is a transformative character that has been played by many. As a young boy the role became David Tennant’s aspiration. As an adult he actually won it! He said that the role was demanding and that it might not even be possible to accept today as a father to 4 young children. At FanX, in response to an audience member’s question about dealing with the demands of the business, Tennant said that he finds renewal in going home to his young family, because “ultimately that’s what it’s all about.” It sounds like the David Tennant family is making their own history, just like you, me and our families.

So this year to honor the RootsTech theme “Connect. Belong.” send me an email that describes the place and time period you would most like to explore if you were given the chance to travel via the TARDIS. It’s that simple.

As I’ve said before, there are 3 reasons I enjoy RootsTech:

  1. Keynote addresses from individuals whose life experiences and successes are varied. RootsTech has brought in speakers from the tech industry, the science community, the writer’s circle, the political realm, the entertainment industry, the sports arena, the bloggers’ sphere and, of course, the field of family history and genealogy. I have never been disappointed.
  2. RootsTech offers a customized learning opportunity with over 300 sessions from which choose. I’ve heard in the past individuals lamenting because there were too many choices and the participants were placed with the difficult task of choosing one favored session over another. The good news is that if a session fills quickly, there is always another quality session to attend.
  3. The Expo Hall provides the greatest gathering of organizations, societies, and vendors to explore the latest in the field of family history and genealogy. There’s the Demo Theater with presentations about some of the products on the floor and the Discovery Zone where interactive displays provide opportunities to come to know your heritage in fun and unique ways. Innovation Alley was introduced 3 years ago, highlighting new tech tools and products. The Heirloom Show and Tell is back, where you can bring a small item or a photo of a larger item and have an expert tell you more about its historical significance.

In addition to my initial 3 reasons, one cannot forget that the RootsTech venue, the Salt Palace Convention Center, is within walking distance of the Family History Library. Prepare now to access some of the greatest collections on earth that will help you find your ancestors! There are about 600 reference consultants and volunteers from all over the world on hand to provide helpful assistance at no cost to you.

This 4-day pass allows entrance to the daily keynote addresses, your choice of over 300 RootsTech sessions, entry into the Expo Hall, and all of the evening events. If you’d like to learn more about record access and preservation, it is important, at no additional cost, to pre-register for the Access and Preservation 2019 session to be held on Wednesday, February 27 from 8:00am-12:30pm. This event will be taught by working archivists and librarians. This 4-day pass does NOT include sponsored lunches, computer labs, transportation to or from the conference, lodging accommodations, meals, or any other expenses that you may incur.

Again, how do you enter this giveaway? It’s simple.

The RootsTech theme is “Connect. Belong.” and our family history pursuits provide opportunities to connect and belong to places and points in time throughout history. So send me an email that describes the place and time period you would most like to explore if you were given the chance to travel through time and space via the TARDIS. It’s that simple.

Submit entries via my Let’s Talk Family History page or share on Twitter by tagging me @thesingleleaf. Participants may submit more than one entry if the entries are submitted separately. Each entry is one chance to win. This contest is void where prohibited.

I ask your permission to include quotes from your entry in future posts. If your submission is used, proper attribution will be given. If you’d rather not be quoted in a future post or you would rather remain anonymous, please indicate in your submission. The more you enter, the greater your chance to win!

So, why wait? Send me a message via my Let’s Talk Family History page. Provide your name, email, and in the comment section describe the place and time period you would most like to explore if you had the opportunity to travel via the TARDIS. If you’re not interested in TARDIS travel, send me a description of one of your genealogy touchdowns, a.k.a., genealogy happy dance moments. Tis’ the season for genealogy football and another way to enter to win:

What is a genealogy touchdown?

In my opinion, there is no better way to connect with others about family history than to share a brief replay of a genealogy touchdown—that glorious moment when research came together, you entered your genealogy end zone, and you felt like spiking the ball in celebration (a.k.a., doing the genealogy happy dance as it has been described for generations). This option is open to all interested in family history and genealogy, including those who do not like football, but it is void where prohibited. Football terminology is not required and entries may be of any length. Submit entries via my Let’s Talk Family History page or share on Twitter by tagging me @thesingleleaf. Each entry is one chance to win. Participants may submit more than one entry if the entries are submitted separately.

I ask your permission to include quotes from your entry in future posts. If your submission is used, proper attribution will be given. If you’d rather not be quoted in a future post or you would rather remain anonymous, please indicate this with your submission. The more you enter, the greater your chance to win!

As mentioned, this contest is void where prohibited. Please remember that I will not use your email address for any purpose other than entering you into this contest and to notify you if you are the winner. The contest runs from Saturday, November 10, 2018 to Monday, November 19, 2018 at midnight MT. The winner will be notified Tuesday, November 20, 2018 by email. If you have already registered with RootsTech and your entry is drawn, RootsTech will reimbursed you for the full amount that you’ve prepaid.

Enter today! Good Luck! Hope to see you at RootsTech’19!

About RootsTech

RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador to the RootsTech Conference and, as such, I am provided complimentary admission and other services to accomplish my duties. Nevertheless, I have been with RootsTech since its inception and with its predecessor for many years as a paid participant. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

© 2018 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

RootsTech 2019 Playbook for the Hail Mary of Genealogy—DNA

RootsTech is coming to the Salt Lake Convention Center February 27 through March 2, 2019 and preparation is a key to success. Now is the time to take advantage of early registration discounts!

When it comes to RootsTech, the largest genealogy conference in the world, consider the specific goals you want to achieve at the conference. If one of your goals is to learn more about DNA testing and genetic genealogy, this playbook is for you!

RootsTech offers sessions targeted to those who are rookies and those with a little more experience. DNA testing and genetic genealogy can be the “Hail Mary” that wins your Family History and Genealogy Bowl!

Why DNA?

There are three reasons individuals test their DNA for genetic genealogy: 1) to learn ethnicity estimates, 2) to connect with genetic cousins for reunions or for information about their common heritage paper trail, and 3) to discover personal health information. In the past at RootsTech, there have been opportunities to learn all you need to make informed decisions for each of these scenarios.

This year RootsTech is scheduled to offer about 35 sessions covering genetic genealogy, with a few pre-registration lab classes, to inform and educate participants on this timely topic. Although it has not yet been announced, the Expo Hall has hosted five genetic genealogy companies in the past. If they return, representatives will be available to answer your questions: 23andMe, AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA, LivingDNA, and MyHeritage DNA.

To MAXIMIZE TIME at RootsTech, PREPARE NOW!

1. Create a list of your questions. First, write down any DNA questions you have at this point. When you have finished reading this post and its associated links, review your questions to see if you have discovered your answers. If not, organize them and bring them to RootsTech. You will then be prepared to ask these questions in any session where the presenter offers a time for Q&A, or you can bring your questions to the Expo Hall to have your questions answered by representatives of the different DNA companies. Clear, concise, and thoughtful questions are always easier for the experts to answer.

2. Define your goals. Ideally, your first question is “why.” Why do you want to take a DNA test? What do you hope to learn? What genealogical problem do you want to solve? Who might hold the genetic key(s) to solving your proverbial brick wall? Remember that DNA is only one type of evidence. It does not stand alone to prove your lineage. Knowing why you are testing and who you want to test will help you determine what type of tests (see below) to purchase and the quantity of kits, too! Vendors at RootsTech have the reputation of offering the lowest prices on DNA kits at the conference, although the actual prices have varied from year to year.

Be aware that pre-registration for DNA lab sessions is required.

3. Become familiar with the 5 DNA companies typically represented in the Expo Hall. This is the most time-consuming part in preparing for RootsTech. If you are planning to test your DNA as a result of what you learn at this conference, become familiar with the 5 DNA companies and what DNA tests are offered by each. Also understand the legal notices for each company, such as their terms of service and privacy policies. Each company’s legal notices are different. Presenters have their own vested interests as employees, affiliates, and business owners and may only cover a portion of relevant material in any given session. Time is limited. Not all companies may be represented in each session you attend. Understanding the legal notices before coming to RootsTech frees you to make informed decisions at the conference. Most, if not all, companies will offer special pricing on their kits at the conference. Many individuals test with more than one company.

A Note About Terms and Conditions

As individuals learn more about genetic genealogy, questions arise. Some of them are legal and are best answered by an attorney without a vested interest in the business of genetic genealogy or even within the genealogy community. Opinions vary throughout the genealogy community and beyond. Each company has its own terms of service and opportunities to opt in or opt out of research studies and to allow degrees for sharing your genetic information. One common question is, Who obtains the rights to my genetic information? It is a good question to ask each company you consider testing with because you must be comfortable with their answer.

4. Create a DNA testing game plan. Creating a DNA testing plan will provide focus, save you money, and give you the best chance of answering your research questions. Be familiar with each of the 3 DNA tests used for genealogical purposes, and be confident that the kit you order will answer the family history question you want answered.

There are 3 tests offered for genealogical purposes:

  • Autosomal DNA, atDNA, is the collaborative DNA from all of your ancestors, male and female, that recombined to define you. It is the DNA from which your ethnic origin estimates are derived as far as scientists and others in related fields can currently determine. These estimates are subject to modification as the reference panels on which the results are based are modified. All 5 companies offer this test. Some companies identify matches to the X chromosome. One good question to ask each company is, How many SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) are tested by your company? [1] The more SNPs, the more comprehensive the results. This is the DNA test that assists you in finding living cousin matches with others who have tested.
  • Y-chromosome DNA, Y-DNA, is the DNA that defines paternal lineage and is inherited only by males; it is passed down from father to son. It provides positive identification of the biological paternal family and outlines the migration pattern of direct paternal ancestors (from son to father, to father, etc.) as far as science can currently identify. Testing for yourself, it is defined by the top line of your traditional pedigree chart. It is a male-only test, so females must find a male descendant of that particular lineage, such as a brother, father, paternal uncle, or paternal nephew, to test for this information. Family Tree DNA is the only major company to offer this as an independent test for genealogical purposes. There are also many surname projects administered through Family Tree DNA.
  • Mitochondrial DNA, mtDNA, is the DNA inherited by all of a mother’s children, but passed on only to the next generation by females. It identifies the maternal migration pattern (from son or daughter to mother, etc.) as far as science can currently determine. Testing for yourself, it is defined by the bottom line of your traditional pedigree chart. Family Tree DNA is the only major company to offer full sequencing of the mitochondrial genome for genealogical purposes.

DNA results are just another source like vital records, censuses, probate or land records. They can assist in extracting one’s biological heritage. It is important to note that a DNA test may or may not provide the answer to your question, or it may provide an answer that leaves you or others in your family uncomfortable. Expectations of extending your lineage must be managed. Not all individuals who take a DNA test find generations of ancestors. Many online trees contain misinformation, and DNA testing is not a short cut to obtain a verified pedigree. In addition, an individual must be prepared to accept that an identified living cousin through DNA may not want to have contact or establish a relationship with the one tested.

Not all individuals need DNA testing to answer their family history questions. But, DNA testing offers those who have unanswered questions, such as adoptees, amazing results in extending their biological pedigree. It is a source that relies on the permission of family members to obtain. All people who test must agree to the legal notices, such as terms of service and privacy policy, of the company they select for testing. These policies are different for each company and are best read in an environment conducive to understanding the terms so read these documents in the coming months.

Genetic genealogy is an exciting and developing field. It can provide answers to family mysteries. It has brought joy to many and sorrow to a few. It is a topic worth learning about so you can make an educated decision about how DNA testing can potentially help you strengthen your family relationships among the living and add to your family tree.

Not registered for RootsTech? There are ongoing 4-day pass giveaways through November. If you register now and win, RootsTech will reimburse you at your rate of purchase. Find a list of current giveaways at Conference Keepers. For information about The Single Leaf RootsTech 2019 Giveaway, subscribe to this blog. :-)

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is for information only. The final decision to act upon this information is your own and you take sole responsibility for all outcomes.

Note: People ask me why I do not use the term “Super Bowl” in genealogy football. For the record, “Super Bowl” is a registered trademark of the NFL and, for the love of the game, I wouldn’t want to infringe upon it. :-)

[1]“A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP, pronounced snip) is a DNA sequence variation occurring when a single nucleotide adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), or guanine (G]) in the genome (or other shared sequence) differs between members of a species or paired chromosomes in an individual.” International Society of Genetic Genealogy. “Single-nucleotide polymorphism”. (http://isogg.org/wiki/Single-nucleotide_polymorphism: accessed September 30, 2018).

About RootsTech

RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador to the RootsTech Conference and, as such, I am provided complimentary admission and other services to accomplish my duties. Nevertheless, I have been with RootsTech since its inception and with its predecessor for many years as a paid participant. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Copyright © 2018. Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Relative Race in Pursuit of the Genetic Family Tree

It’s a new season for Relative Race! The show premieres tonight, Sunday, September 16th at 7pm MT on BYUtv. Four new teams, new challenges, and new family connections will be discovered as teams enter a 10-day race for a $50,000 winner-takes-all prize.

As I have watched the show evolve through the seasons, I’ve considered the difference between the genealogical family tree and the genetic family tree. Relative Race addresses the latter. Your genealogy family tree encompasses all of your biological, legal, and/or adopted lineages. Your genetic family tree is a subset of your genealogical family tree. Not every cousin can be identified through genetic genealogy. After about 4-5 generations, a person may not receive a DNA inheritance from those back in time. This, of course, leads to a loss in connecting with those descendants through DNA testing results. Relative Race focuses on the most recent generations so autosomal DNA (atDNA) should catch them all. The paper trail, traditional genealogy, ultimately determines the actual relationship among the possibilities.

Relative Race uses AncestryDNA to identify family members found throughout the race. Unlike Season 1, genealogists are retained to verify the relationships discovered through DNA results by pursuing the paper trail.

As in the past, this season consists of 4 teams. The names have changed, but the colors remain the same:

  • Team Red consists of Mike Brown and Austen Williams, a father/daughter team whose goal is to find out more about Mike’s biological father for Austen’s children. In other words, one of the purposes of this journey is to connect Mike’s grandchildren to a paternal great grandfather. In this case, Mike’s the autosomal DNA test results will contain more of the information needed for Team Red to find that great grandfather they seek.
  • Team Green consists of Paris and Preshious Anderson, a married couple with 2 children ages 7 and 3 years. Their goal is to find the biological parents of Preshious, and any unknown relatives of Paris to make connections and win the $50,000 prize. Obviously, Preshious’ atDNA results will be key to finding her biological parents and Paris’ atDNA results will be crucial to finding any unknown genetic relatives on his side of the family. Depending on the disclosure agreement that may list known relatives, Team Green will be taking a journey of a lifetime! I don’t want to downplay the cash prize, but the legacy they discover for their children will be priceless.
  • Team Blue consists of Josh and Tiffany Lewis, a married couple of 4 years, who is on a quest to find Josh’s biological father with the focus on winning the $50,000. (They say that they can return to visit the newly discovered family after receiving the prize money.) Since each person receives approximately 50% of their DNA from their father, this is not necessarily a problem with a direct match. However, familial searching can be used to narrow down possible candidates. This team’s goal relies totally on the results of Josh’s DNA test results and the ability to master the challenges.
  • Team Black consists of Jerica and Joe Henline, siblings from Ohio, who are in this race for the fun of it! What did they get themselves into? Interestingly, the genetic family tree expands the possibilities of connecting with more cousins because Jerica and Joe have received a different DNA inheritance from each of their parents.

DNA is a valuable, even indispensable, type of evidence in discovering one’s family tree. But, on the eve of the premiere of season 4 of Relative Race, I like to remind myself that DNA inheritance is not the whole story, just a part of the amazing journey called LIFE!

Copyright © 2018. Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Family History and Genealogy—It’s No Fun

Family history and genealogy are popular pursuits. So is football. The combination is my game. It can be fun and entertaining, but it’s never fun to be sidelined and that is where I’ve been for the past 3.5 years. It’s the injury that’s no fun. You may have seen me at RootsTech, but I haven’t made it to an Institute. I’ve written some, but not enough. I’ve tweeted, but rarely posted to Facebook or Instagram. And, forget Pinterest. It’s been a long recovery. If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen me at my best.

I set a goal to publish today and it seemed an appropriate segue to highlight Extreme Genes, hosted by Scott, or Scotty, Fisher.* This week Fisher hosted two segments with NFL Hall of Fame Class of 2005 recipient Steve Young about his book, QB: My Life Behind the Spiral. Young shared his journey about writing his personal history, which, of course, expands into family and NFL history. Young’s intention was never to publish his memoir for general consumption, but to counter a taunting narrative by his young son’s classmates. (Maybe taunting is too strong of a word, but I’ve taught elementary school and the social interactions among children can be brutal.)

Young enlisted a friend’s help to write this history, who then produced a manuscript for Young in chapter form. With Young’s permission those chapters were shared with others and Young was persuaded to go public. He acquiesced when he realized that his battle with anxiety could serve some purpose. It could possibly help others in their struggles. I encourage you to listen to this episode of Extreme Genes to learn more and to discover the epiphany Young had on air. It’s an unintentional well-kept secret among family historians.

On a personal note, I met up with Young at a local book signing in 2016 when his volume was first released. It wasn’t my intention, but serendipity has its way. As the Single Leaf, I’m always interested in a good memoir or biography. Besides, Young is a part of the Broderick family’s history. (Although the scene I’m about to share never made it into his book, it’s one of my favorites.)

“Love them dwags!”

While at a local golf event, Young was sitting alone in his cart chowing down on what would now be known as a JDawg in Cougar Country (a.k.a., BYU and Utah Valley). As I was walking by with my two young children, Young said in a declarative voice, “Love them dwags!” and my little one dropped to her hands and knees and began to bark. Okay, she was only 5 years old so it was absolutely adorable! Hopefully you can see why this story is part of our family’s history … lol :-)

Are we related?

Scott Fisher mentioned that he and Young are cousins. It provoked me this week to explore Relative Finder, a program that can delineate one’s relationship to traditionally notable people in history to the degree that FamilySearch Family Tree is accurate. According to the results, I’m related to Young as well, so does that mean that Fisher and I are cousins? Who knew?

It’s Time to Renew Your Commitment to Family History and Genealogy

As the regular NFL season begins tonight, it is my hope that you will also make family history and genealogy your game this season! Steve Young once said,

“Football is a unique sport. There is no statistic, touchdown, or passing yard that is achieved by a single person.”

The same is true for family history and genealogy. Let’s talk about it this season!

As a side note, first to call RootsTech the “largest coaching conference in the game,” I am once again a RootsTech ambassador for the 2019 season. I will be giving away a 4-day pass in the coming months. Subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss the opportunity to enter and win!

Cheering you on from the bleachers!

*Scott Fisher has never asked me to highlight his podcast, but then again, we’re family. :-)

About RootsTech
RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador to the RootsTech Conference and, as such, I am provided complimentary admission and other services & opportunities to accomplish my duties. Nevertheless, I have been with RootsTech since its inception and with its predecessor for many years as a paid participant. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Copyright © 2018. Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Surname Series Published on the RootsTech Blog

This past Friday RootsTech began publishing my three-part series about surnames, surname distribution maps, and where to find surname distribution maps online. Since I’ve been a bit preoccupied with spring activities, including a photo op with these cute creatures, I thought I’d share the link to part 1 of the series titled, “What is a Surname?

The Calico Kid

Ole Blue Eyes

Such a good mother to her 3-day old kid.

This Kid Has Attitude!

“Here’s looking at you, kid!”

Copyright © 2018. Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Easter Story Cookies—A Kitchen Activity with Children

The Resurrected Christ by Wilson Ong

The year 2018 has not been easy for many within my social circles. I have learned about the death of someone’s loved one about every week since January and I have attended a number of funerals. It is a time of loss and separation, but it has also been a time of rejoicing for many of my friends who are of the Christian faith, especially my LDS friends, who trust in the promise that families can be together forever. In their minds there is comfort that, although they may be separated from that loved one for a time, the individual that has passed is being reunited with loved ones on the other side of this mortal life.

Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared a story of one of his ancestors who had a visitation from the other side about life there. He told the story during the opening session of Family Discovery Day during RootsTech 2017. It is edifying, uplifting, and reassuring to hear such testimonies during times of loss. President Nelson is also a retired cardiologist who spoke as an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ at the April 1987 General Conference on this topic titled, Life after Life. [This weekend is General Conference for all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Whether or not you are a member of the LDS Church, you are welcome to view the proceedings at lds.org.]

On the eve of this Easter weekend, I am reminded of a kitchen activity for children that strives to represent the Easter story. It’s a recipe of unknown origin.

Each of the approximately 18 cookies will crack in a unique way. This is just one example.

If you would like to try it, you will need:

  • 1 cup of whole pecans or walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar (I’ve used white, apple cider, and most recently, cherry, which worked well.)
  • 3 egg whites
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • electric mixer
  • a plastic bag (A quart-sized freezer zip-lock bag works well.)
  • tape (I use painter’s tape to avoid any residue, but clear tape works as well. I haven’t known it to leave residue but I cannot guarantee it.)
  • scriptures
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Explain with scripture how Jesus was taken and mistreated. Place the pecans in the plastic bag, seal it, and allow the child to break them into pieces with the wooden spoon. [The scriptures tell of the violent treatment of Jesus in Matthew 26: 67-68 & 27: 28-31; Mark 14: 65 & 15: 16-20; Luke 22: 63-65; and, John 19: 1-3]
  3. Tell how Jesus’s need for thirst on the cross was met by posting a sponge with vinegar. Allow the children to smell the vinegar and place 1 teaspoon in the mixing bowl. [Matthew 27: 46-48; Mark 15: 34-37; and John 19: 28-30]
  4. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave up his mortal life so that he could give greater life to us and hope of eternal life with Him. Add the egg whites to the vinegar. [Matthew 20: 28; Mark 10:45; John 10: 10-11]
  5. Tears were shed by many of the people. Tears are salty. Allow children to taste the salt. Add a pinch of salt to the vinegar and egg mixture. [Luke 23: 27-28]
  6. As the Psalmist said, “…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” [Psalm 30: 5] Add 1 cup of sugar to the mixture. Share scriptures that relate the love of God, such as Psalm 34: 8—”O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”
  7. To represent the tomb, for these meringue cookies, beat the mixture at high speed until stiff peaks form, about 10-15 minutes. Fold in the nuts. Drop mixture by teaspoons onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or similar. These mounds each represent the tomb cut out of rock by Joseph of Arimathaea in which Jesus was laid to rest. [Matthew 27: 57-60; Mark 15: 42-46; Luke 23: 50-56; & John 19: 38-42.]
  8. Put the baking sheet in the oven, close the door, and turn the oven off. Allow each child to seal the oven door by a piece of tape representing the sealed tomb. Leave the baking sheet in oven until morning. [Matthew 27: 65-66]
  9. On Easter morning open the oven door and find a crack in each of the cookies (hopefully, but not always). This, of course, represents the empty tomb and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. [Matthew 28: 1-7; Mark 16; Luke 24: 1-9; & John 20: 1-16] Enjoy!

Happy Easter!

Copyright © 2018. Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

RootsTech 2018: “Connect. Belong.” Another Year in the Books.

Dalton and Caitlin are cousins who live on different continents but converge at RootsTech!

As a genealogy technology conference, RootsTech 2018, with live-streaming, social media interaction, and a global emphasis, delivered once again. The theme was “Connect. Belong.” and from many accounts this is exactly what happened as we close the book on another year.

“Relatives at RootsTech” was a big hit with attendees connecting with many cousins! The success of the app depended on how deeply an attendee was connected to the FamilySearch Family Tree so while some had a plethora of cousins, others had none. A few that thought that they would not find any cousins, found at least one or two. Some messages were sent, some contact information was exchanged, some screen shots were captured for later consideration. “Relatives at RootsTech” was a benefit for those in attendance, but the program upon which it is based, Relatives Around Me, is a relatively new feature on the FamilySearch Family Tree app that you may want to experiment with at your next genealogy event or maybe just at a neighborhood gathering. There is one caveat—the results are only as accurate as the FamilySearch Family Tree.

For those #NotAtRootsTech, I am starting to see posts containing photos of items won by virtual attendees. The #NotAtRootsTech experience may not be the same, but it is the next best thing to being at the conference. For those who missed the live-streamed sessions, they’re now available at RootsTech.org. Other sessions were recorded, but not live-streamed, and are also available.

As I mentioned in a post leading up to RootsTech, attending this conference can be overwhelming. There is so much to hear, see, and do. It is impossible to do it all. Knowing your “why” for attending can make all the difference. It is a strategy that I use each year and it works. I have never been disappointed.

One of my goals this year was to connect with my genealogy community of friends—the ones who share a passion for family history, love to hear the latest ancestral stories, and brainstorm ways to break down brick walls. Many of us know each other online but we’ve never met in person. It can be quite humorous to see someone and remember their handle but not their name. Jenna Mills, a.k.a., @SeekingSurnames, suggested that I wear my trademark as a mask so that I would be easily recognized. I never thought about it before, but it could be fun. Maybe next year. :-)

Since I am the self-proclaimed “Human in Salt Lake City Reporting on RootsTech,” I would like to introduce you to some of those in attendance this year:

What would a genealogy conference be without at tree? Seriously, I met RootsFinder in 2017, but this year I insisted on a photo capturing his roots. Look around on social media and you will find that most photographs cut off his roots. This is totally contrary to the purpose of a conference like RootsTech. :-/

When I caught up with Scott Fisher, of @ExtremeGenes, and Judy Russell, a.k.a., @legalgen, they were discussing their plans for the Innovation Showcase. I may have overheard a word or two about the predictions but I was sworn to secrecy.

I connected with Hilary, a.k.a., @Genemeet, Cheri Hudson Passey, a.k.a., @CarolinaGirlGen, Marie, a.k.a., @histfamilles, and Melanie, a.k.a, @ShamrockGen at the Media Dinner. We welcomed Melanie as a new RootsTech Ambassador this year!

It is great to schedule time to sit and chat. This particular chat included Cheri, @JasonHewlett, who is incredibly entertaining and MC’ed RootsTech, and @LauraLHedgecock. Cheri and Laura are also on the board for the @GeneaBloggersTribe.

I also connected with Angie, a.k.a., @arodesky, and Ruth, a.k.a @PassionateGenea, at the @Living_DNA booth. Living DNA was a platinum sponsor this year with announcements that included an incredible conference price and an upcoming feature, Family Networks, using DNA results, gender, and birthdate to populate the family tree. Angie is a Living DNA U.S. ambassador. Ruth is the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference Program Chair this year. The conference will be held June 1-3, 2018 in Guelph, Ontario.

One of the wonderful aspects of RootsTech is that it attracts family historians from all 50 of the United States as well as 42 countries this year. @JennyAJoyce, from Australia, brought Jaffas to share. Thank you, Jenny! Yum!

Although we’ve had plenty of interaction on Twitter, this was the first time I had the opportunity to meet Jenna, a.k.a., @SeekingSurnames (and a @Chiefs and @Royals fan), and Beth, @BGWylie. Just an FYI, #genchat will be held tonight on Twitter at 8 p.m. MT. Follow the hashtag and @_genchat, too! Join us!

Long over due, I finally connected with my good friend True Lewis, a.k.a., @MyTrueRoots. True is a former U.S. Army Veteran and co-host of @BlackProGen.

Unlike those who blog or who are active on social media, Debbie and Glen serve as writers for FamilySearch. They also double as bouncers for the Media Hub so when I took this photo they had their eye on someone. Glen’s most recent post for the FamilySearch Newsroom is titled, “Quest to Find the Painting of the Ship Brooklyn.”

When I was sitting by Ellen, I had no idea who she was! But then as we began to talk I realized that we were Twitter friends. Meet the Family History Hound! She a “Hound on the Hunt” and she doesn’t want you to “bark up the wrong tree”.

Marian Pierre-Louis attended RootsTech for the first time this year! I know Marian from her blog, Marian’s Roots & Rambles, the fact that she solved Geoff Rasmussen’s “Cracking the Case of Nathan Brown’s Parents” and as a current host of Legacy Family Tree Webinars. It was great to connect!

Michelle, @SoSleuth, and I met back in 2015 when she was an ambassador for the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference held in Salt Lake City in conjunction with RootsTech. It was great to see her again. Meeting up at conferences is like a family reunion. This year RootsTech was on its way to verifying this simile as fact with “Relatives At RootsTech.” I may not be related to Michelle by DNA, but I claim her as family anyway!

In the final hours of the conference I was wrapping up the conference with these wonderful women: @MichelleGoodrum, Tierra Kellow, a.k.a. @Pressingback, @AmyJohnsonCrow, Lara Diamond, @larasgenealogy, and Kenyatta Berry, @kenyatadb. Although I can name the year that I connected with each of these women, whether an old acquaintance or new, the important fact is that we each belong to the family history and genealogy community. :-)

And, where would we be without the RootsTech team! They work hard each year to put together this conference, striving to improve that which needs improvement. The 2018 statistics are in and there were 17,210 registrations, 111,699 unique live-stream views, 38,288 unique households that watched the live stream, 125 unique countries that watched the live stream, 11,237 tweets using #RootsTech, and over 26,000 Family Discovery Day participants!

Participants could not help but be aware of some of the challenges this team faced this year with the changes and growth, but they’re on it! They’re working toward a better onsite and virtual experience for everyone next year! RootsTech will be held February 27-March 2, 2019 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Early bird registration will open September 2018. Hope to see you at RootsTech 2019!

FYI: I have identified Twitter handles for many that I mention in this post, but the highlighted handles are linked to their respective blogs or other relevant information.

About RootsTech
RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador to the RootsTech Conference and, as such, I am provided complimentary admission and other services to accomplish my duties. Nevertheless, I have been with RootsTech since its inception and with its predecessor for many years as a paid participant. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Copyright © 2018. Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.