Finding Your Roots, Season 7, Premieres Tonight on PBS

Henry the Sleuth meets Henry Louis Gates, Jr., host of Finding Your Roots

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. premieres its seventh season tonight on PBS. This critically-acclaimed series will feature 20 guests in 10 episodes. These guests hail from a variety of fields, many well-known, whose family histories will be revealed in the context of historical events. PBS says, “that [the stories] illustrate the power and diversity of the human experience.”

The Finding Your Roots team uses traditional research coupled with DNA testing to structure the stories and compile them into a book of life.

The season’s schedule is as follows:

Episode 1: “To the Manor Born” with Glenn Close and John Waters

Episode 2: “Against All Odds” with Andy Cohen and Nina Totenberg

Episode 3: “No Irish Need Apply” with Jim Gaffigan and Jane Lynch

Episode 4: “The Shirts on Their Backs” with Tony Shalhoub and Christopher Meloni

Episode 5: “Write My Name in the Book of Life” with Kasi Lemmons and Pharrell Williams

Episode 6: “Country Roots” with Clint Black and Rosanne Cash

Episode 7: “The New World” with John Lithgow and Maria Hinojosa

Episode 8: “Laughing on the Inside” with Lewis Black and Roy Wood, Jr.

Episode 9: “On Broadway” with Audra McDonald and Mandy Patinkin

Episode 10: “Anchored to the Past” with Grethen Carlson and Don Lemon

This season promises to be the best one yet, so check your local listings and tune in to Finding Your Roots!

 

Copyright ©2021 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

On this day, a pictorial walk . . .

According to the National Park Service, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial’s “official dedication date is August 28, 2011, the 48th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, though the ceremony was postponed until October 16 due to Hurricane Irene.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist minister and social activist who became a notable figure during the U.S. civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until he was assassinated in 1968. He played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African American citizens in the U.S., influencing the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among other honors.

King’s memorial is the first to honor an African American individual on the National Mall. The space is a place to contemplate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy: a non-violent philosophy striving for freedom, justice, and equality.”

Since the pandemic and other events prevent the majority of us from visiting our Nation’s capital at this time, here are just a few of his inspiring words etched in the walls of the memorial. I took these photos in 2019 at the height of the cherry blossom festival. As you can see, it was a beautiful day of which I have fond memories.

True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.—1958

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. —Alabama, 1963

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits. —Norway 1964

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant. —Norway, 1964

We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. —Alabama, 1965

If we are to have peace on earth our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation, and this means we must develop a world perspective. —Georgia, 1967

We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. —District of Columbia, 1968

May you enjoy peace on this Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and in the coming week!

Copyright ©2021 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Secrets in Our DNA airing on NOVA

Tonight on PBS stations in the United States, Secrets in Our DNA will be airing on NOVA. The show’s promotion says,

Some 30 million people have sent their DNA to be analyzed by companies like 23andMe and AncestryDNA. But what happens once the sample is in the hands of testing companies, and how accurate are their results? NOVA explores the power of genetic data to reveal family connections, ancestry, and health risks—and even solve criminal cold cases. But alongside the benefits of these rapidly growing genetic databases are serious unintended consequences.

DNA has been such a benefit to so many in genealogy. It has also challenged families as secrets are revealed. However you view DNA, whether as a tool in your genealogy tool box, or not, I invite you to join with me in watching this episode.

 

Copyright ©2021 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

It’s Time for Unfinished Business in the NFL and in the Genealogy Community

It’s Wild Card Weekend!

Warning: Participating in genealogy and family history football while watching an NFL game with your significant other may cause side effects including distraction, interference with relational bonding, and failure to fully enjoy chips, salsa, and guacamole. Research responsibly.

It’s the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend! Now that the playing field has been narrowed to fourteen, the winner of the Lombardi trophy will soon be determined on the field. Although some teams are required to play more on their way to the Super Bowl, it’s anyone’s game. Since there is no NFL team in the mecca of genealogy and family history, the following of the locals here can change as fast as the wind. It’s a house divided. But in football, there is no place like home!

So, are you up for your game this Wild Card weekend? Do you have your goal defined for each of the games you will play? Have you narrowed the field so that you are prepared to finish the season on February 7, 2021? Each play moves you closer to a genealogical touchdown, to winning the game, and ultimately achieving the Lombardi trophy of your Family History Bowl.

Have you looked for information on your pivotal person and it’s just not where you hoped it would be? Is the record set impossible to access in the time frame of this season? Does the most obvious record set not exist? Check out this page on the FamilySearch wiki. Go to the bottom of the page to “Selecting Record Types.” There you will find a listing of objectives and a priority list of records to search. If you cannot find that record set online, check the FamilySearch catalog for available microfilm. If you need assistance contact me. I would be happy to provide coaching advice or execute a play or more on your behalf when the Family History Library opens.

To the NFL players and coaches this season, the genealogist who struggles to find time to play the game, to our ancestors whose lives were rarely blessed more than ours, I close with a quote known as The Man in the Arena[1]:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Cheering you on in your game to win your Family History Bowl!

1.Roosevelt, Theodore. “Citizenship In A Republic.” Delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on April 23, 1910. Accessed January 4, 2014. http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html. [For a copy of the complete speech in PDF format click here.]

Note: This article was originally posted in 2014 and updated for today’s events. Lynn Broderick was the first to introduce The Man in the Arena to the genealogical community via this blog, so if you heard it before at a genealogical event, the speaker most likely got their inspiration from here. 

Copyright ©2021 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

The Moravian Star—a Christmas Tradition

“Philosophy [i.e. natural philosophy] is written in this grand book — I mean the Universe — which stands continually open to our gaze, but it cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and interpret the characters in which it is written. It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometrical figures, without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it; without these, one is wandering around in a dark labyrinth.”

Galilei, Galileo. “The Assayer.” In Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo, translated by Stillman Drake (1957), pp. 237-8.

Stars. A symbol of Christmas representing light and peace. One that comes to my mind is the Moravian star. Did you know it was a geometry lesson at a boy’s school in Niesky, Germany that is credited for constructing the first Moravian Star? 

A couple of years ago, my daughter and I had the opportunity to travel to Niesky, a lovely village, to walk its streets, to visit the church, and to view the Star that is displayed from Advent to Epiphany. There is a connection that takes place when you visit the setting of a story that has been shared with you.

If you’re a historical researcher, you won’t be surprised that we wanted to go to the source of modern production, Herrnhuter Schauwerkstatt und Manufaktur, located in Herrnhut, Germany. There we enjoyed a tour of the factory. We learned that making Moravian Stars was a pre-Christmas activity for families as well as students. Congregations would also construct them. The Moravians created a word for this activity. They called the activity “Sterneln,” which translates to “making stars.”

The business of Moravian Stars began about 1900. The paper stars were modified with a tin frame that would allow it be disassembled for compact storage. The basic Moravian Star is produced from a truncated cuboctahedron with 17 four-cornered pyramid-shaped tips and eight three-cornered tetrahedron shaped tips. The 26th face provides an opening for lighting. I have found that there is nothing like an original Star. This year the factory prepared advent calendars for families to enjoy assembling a star together once again. It’s part of our Christmas present.

This year Thomas McCullough, assistant archivist at the Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, presented a webinar about the history of the Moravian Star. I thought you might enjoy viewing it this holiday season. 

Note: If you would like to purchase one of these stars in the U.S., the Moravian Archives sells the stars manufactured in Herrnhutt. This year a portion of the proceeds from sales provides for the much-needed restoration of a significant painting, a portrait of Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf as a child with his parents. You can also contribute directly to the restoration project. These links are for your convenience only, not affiliate links. 

© 2020 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

It’s National DNA Day!

It’s National DNA Day! Eight weeks have passed since the RootsTech family said goodbye for another year. We hailed from 49 states and 55 countries, almost all of which have now been locked down or citizens asked to stay home due to the novel coronavirus, commonly referred to as COVID-19. It’s historic.

Here at the Single Leaf, I’ve been reflecting on the past, the present, and the possibilities for our future. There have been revolutionary changes in the genealogy industry. From the many digital images now readily available to us, with more to come, and DNA results creating another accessible record set, we have the greatest opportunity to accurately record the history of our people and some of us have been given this time to contribute more than we would be able to otherwise.

At RootsTech I gave a presentation titled, “Ethical Considerations Using DNA Results.” In summary I stated, “As a community, we will determine whether genetic genealogy is a treasure chest or Pandora’s box.” Later that day, Scott R. Woodward, Ph.D.,  former president of Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF), gave his presentation titled, “Practical and Ethical Issues Associated with Genetic Testing.” Without consultation, we landed on the same page, which is confirming since we come from backgrounds of different disciplines.

“As a community, we will determine whether genetic genealogy is a treasure chest or Pandora’s box.”

DNA results have contributed to solving, resolving, and revealing many mysteries from the past and in the present. I wrote a post about considerations before testing that I won’t replicate here, but there is information I would like to pass on to you in a timely manner.

What is National DNA Day?

National DNA Day “celebrates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April of 2003 and the discovery of DNA’s double helix in 1953.” There are some fun activities you can do to learn more about the genome, especially if you find yourself homeschooling at this time.

DNA Testing Discounts for DNA Day!

(NO AFFILIATE LINKS IN THIS POST OR ON THIS BLOG)

Yesterday 23andMe posted a DNA deal we’ve come to love and appreciate. The Ancestry + Health service is now $149, regularly $199. It is the only company approved by the FDA to provide health information. The company has also revised its Neanderthal Report based on the latest science. The Ancestry + Traits service is regularly $99, but is on sale for $79. Both provide access to cousin matching. This offer ends April 26th. If you have already tested with 23andMe, you might also consider participating in the on-going COVID-19 study. “The major goal of 23andMe’s COVID-19 study is to uncover genetic risks associated with severe outcomes of infections by SARS-CoV-2,” as stated on their website.

AncestryDNA is not providing a direct discount this year but is providing three months’ access to family history record collections for $1 with kit purchase. They also have an on-going Ancestry COVID-19 study. If you have tested with AncestryDNA, please consider participating.

Family Tree DNA is the only company of the genealogical five that provides comprehensive testing for y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA. The company also has Family Finder that provides autosomal (atDNA) results. Y-DNA testing starts at $99, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) full sequence testing is $139, and the Family Finder test is $49 until April 26th.

LivingDNA has its test on sale for $69, regularly $99. I missed having David and Hannah at RootsTech this year to learn of any updates, but the test offered is based on the People of the British Isles project and more. If you want to know specifics of where in the British Isles your people hail from, this is a test I recommend that you investigate.

MyHeritage is offering its DNA test for $39, regularly $79. This is another autosomal test that helps to determine ethnicity and provides cousin matching. The company’s sale ends April 30th.

I cannot forget Wisdom Panel! This company is for the dogs in your life! The essential kit is regularly $99, and the premium kit is $149, but the company is offering a $10 discount code, “DNADAY2020,” on either kit. If you have a mutt, if you’ve rescued a puppy, this test provides clarity to your dog’s breed and their family tree for four generations in addition to other information. Let me just say I found my dog’s results fascinating, informative, and helpful!

National DNA Day is a time to celebrate the advancement of our knowledge about life. We face unprecedented times, and with this type of knowledge, we can address our present global concern, and more, for an unparalleled future.

It is my prayer that you and yours are healthy, safe, and happy! Some people are busier than ever; some are not. Some have had their income reduced or lost employment. Some are struggling with separation from loved ones. Others have lost the ones they love. My deepest concern and sympathies to each and every one who finds themselves in these situations. It’s not an easy time; it’s been devastating.

I’ve read online that some who have been given additional time at home are overwhelmed with the opportunities currently available. I *do* appreciate all that is being offered gratuitously, but to keep from being overwhelmed, don’t look outward, look inward. Ask yourself, “What do I want to focus on? What do I want to learn? What skill do I want to develop?” If one subject you want to focus on is DNA and genealogy, today is your day! There is a lot to consider going forward. Make this time count!

Note: This post is written for your information only. Always read terms and conditions of any website you access or in preparation for any DNA test you take. Understand by what laws, beyond the terms and conditions, each test is governed. 

© 2020 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

RootsTech—Making & Changing History

RootsTech. It’s always been a different kind of genealogy conference. These past days we’ve celebrated the last ten years and how RootsTech has influenced changes in the genealogy industry. Yesterday we heard from David Hume Kennerly—how “photographing people in the act of being themselves” makes and changes history. He shared his adventures in photography—the story of him—and the power of photography in our lives. Kennerly is optimistic about the future although he has seen life in the trenches. You can watch his keynote address at RootsTech.org.

The power of photography is something that all of you use in your research, it really is able to move mountains. —David Hume Kennerly

Today Emmitt Smith will join us at RootsTech. You can watch it live at RootsTech.org. Here is a list of the other sessions live-streamed at a glance:

I’ve got to run! It’s the final day at RootsTech! Emmitt Smith will be there and, for someone who loves genealogy football, you know it will be a great day!  If you can’t be there, be sure to catch his remarks on the live-stream. Conflict in schedule? You’ll be able to catch it on-demand as early as tonight. Whatever you do, make it a great day!

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.”

© 2020 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Turn Around—Two Words That Have Changed Many Lives

Yesterday Leigh Anne Tuohy gave an inspirational keynote on the RootsTech main stage.  Her story made some of us laugh and some of us cry. Some of us laughed and cried. She was so gracious in her presentation and she was most gracious when she first met Henry the Sleuth!

“Turn around”—two words that altered Leigh Anne and her family’s life. Those words brought Micheal Oher into her family and made the difference that inspired the movie, The Blind Side, through a series of miracles.

She praised the audience for the genealogical research that they do to help others find family. She encouraged the audience to “Write [their] story.” RootsTech has posted the recording. I highly recommend it for your viewing.

Today’s live-stream sessions at a glance are as follows:

This is brief. More to come. It’s Friday! Two more days of this fabulous conference! Whatever your plans, have a wonderful day!

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.”

© 2020 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

RootsTech Celebrates 10 Years!

Yesterday was the first day of RootsTech 2020. Sessions were held as early as 8 a.m. and the keynote address was delivered in the afternoon. It was no surprise that we would reminisce about the first ten years. “The idea of a technologist getting together with a genealogist is the reason RootsTech is here today,” said Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International. “Family history is continuously being written. Your story matters. We don’t just study family history. We live family history.” If you missed the #RootsTech10 Years celebration and Steve Rockwood’s keynote address, it is now available at RootsTech.org.

It’s another day of live-streamed sessions. Just log on to RootsTech.org.Also, if you love Relative Race, and you are at the Salt Palace Convention Center, you’ll want to catch the Relative Race session at 1:30 p.m. TODAY in Ballroom B! You may also like the Relative Race challenge offered in the Expo Hall. There’s some great swag for those who complete this challenge.

Jenna Mills, a.k.a. Seeking Surnames, found me in the Media Hub. It’s time for #GenChat photos! There are new signs, so no #GenChat attendee will get away with an old photo. (Using an old photo is kind of like some women in the U.S. Federal Census—they get younger than ten each census year!)

It’s great to catch up with friends and make new ones. Jenna and I met at RootsTech in person a couple of years ago, but this was the first time I had the opportunity to meet Diana Richie. Connect. Belong. at RootsTech. Here they displayed their signed copies of Nathan Dylan Goodwin’s mystery novels. Have you read them?

Besides Nathan and many other vendors in the Expo Hall, you can record “The Story of You” just like the segments shown in the opening keynote address. Once your story is filmed, it is sent to you via email as a keepsake.

Finally, at the end of the day, interviews began in the Media Hub. First up was Thom Reed from FamilySearch. Thom has been active in promoting Black History Month. You can read more about it here.

 I do my best to follow what’s happening on social media during the conference and on Twitter it was mentioned that “#NotAtRootsTech FOMO” (Fear of Missing Out) was “currently happening.” I could only reply that even if you are at RootsTech, there is so much going on that a person still might suffer FOMO! RootsTech: Truly amazing! Potentially overwhelming! Very rewarding! (Or, would “exhausting” be a more accurate term?)

With day one in the books, this post may be an example of the potpourri of activity going on at RootsTech. It’s onto Day 2!

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.”

© 2020 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready or Not, It’s Time for RootsTech 2020

RootsTech 2020 is underway at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s an amazing conference whether you are onsite or participating remotely. This year’s theme is “The Story of You” and last night Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International, encouraged those of us in attendance at the media dinner to tell not only ancestor stories but our own.

This is my tenth year at RootsTech and Henry the Sleuth joins me for the first time. He has already met a friend, #MiniTGS. It is just one example of RootsTech’s tagline, “Connect. Belong.” There are a lot of people to meet in the next four days. Participants are coming from 49 of the United States and 55 countries!

RootsTech is a fast-paced conference so I will be communicating mostly in photos on this blog. I post to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @thesingleleaf, so follow me for the latest updates. Follow the hashtags #RootsTech and #RootsTech10Years on social media to hear from all of the RootsTech ambassadors.

Today’s live-streaming schedule is as follows. Just log on to RootsTech.org and you’ll be virtually onsite. It’s a great opportunity to expand your genealogical education. Don’t forget to download the RootsTech app for access to all of the handouts.

There is always someone who can offer assistance at the Help Desk. In addition, there are people in RootsTech “Ask Me Anything” turquoise t-shirts and the RootsTech Crew ruby t-shirts who can provide just about anything you need.

Don’t miss Steve Rockwood’s keynote address as he highlights #RootsTech10Years and delivers an important announcement.

The Expo Hall opens at 5:30 p.m. tonight right after the keynote address.

RootsTech knows how to make the best of a situation. With the south end of the Salt Palace under construction, they’ve had to make accommodations since the former restrooms are out of order. I took the “toilet quiz.” It says I’m a “Modern Toilet.” Ha! Ha! An essential piece of information to include in “The Story of Me.”

It’s on to day one of RootsTech 2020! If you can’t view the live-streaming today, RootsTech will be posting the sessions on the website for later viewing. Enjoy your day!

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.”

© 2020 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.