Win a RootsTech Pass as We Celebrate Our YouTube Anniversary

Last year, I told my husband that I wanted to expand my dream of inspiring and educating others about genealogy and family history by cre...

27 June 2017

DNA Proves Me Right!

AncestryDNA & Genealogy Record Trail

Recently I took a second genetic genealogy test. I anxiously awaited my AncestryDNA test results following the RootsTech 2017 conference where the kits were on sale for an incredible price.  I frequently checked the status to follow the processing of my DNA with mixed emotions. Would the test have more relative connections than 23andME or have the same disappointing links?

When I received my results, I wasn't concerned about my ethnicity. I knew from 23andMe that I was a solid European descendant. My sister-in-law from Mexico has a beautiful chromosome map painted with a variety of colors to document her mixed genetic heritage. My chromosome map was almost entirely blue (European). I'm not surprised by these results because six generations of the ancestors I can find are from Colonial America, Germany, and Sweden. Doubting Ancestry reports would differ, I skipped the ethnicity results.

Welcome screen from AncestryDNA
Welcome screen from AncestryDNA

Instead, I looked at my relative matches. I noticed a number of results with no trees attached. All I can say is, “Please add a tree!” It's frustrating to find a close DNA relative who hasn't posted a family tree. However, I understand that there are a variety of reasons people take the genetic tests, and not all of them are relative finding.

20 June 2017

Momma Is Calling Via Find-A-Record

Find A Record Cleans Up FamilySearch

As you spend time on FamilySearch Family Tree, you'll so recognize the tree needs a lot of pruning for it to become healthy and vigorous. There is an app and web tool that helps us find spots on the the tree that need a little tender loving care. So, get your gardening sheers ready and let's dive deep into Find-A-Record, the resource that searches FamilySearch and it's source hints to return results of records that exist in the place and time of our ancestors! And that's not all.

Find-A-Record Record Hints
Click on the details button to learn more.

 I logged into Find-A-Record, and I was shocked to see the first entry. That's my mother. I have her death record. I don't need to find the death record. What in the world could be going on?

12 June 2017

Simplifying Father's Day - Family History for Children

Simplify Father's Day Family History for Children

Call me a traitor to mothers and father's everywhere, but I'm not a fan of Mother's Day and Father's Day. Or more accurately, I'm not a fan of the pressures of these days for grand gestures, gifts, and projects. For those who like those things, have at it. There's no one way to celebrate the patriarchs and matriarchs in the family. For those like me who shrug your shoulders, let me make a suggestion. Simplify Father's Day.

This Father's Day, just say THANK YOU to the father's in your life.

Meet Devon Noel Lee on NextGen Live!

Howdy readers. I wanted to invite you to watch me on YouTube Live as Eric Wells from The NextGen Genealogy Networks interviews me. We'll discuss how I became involved in genealogy, my genealogy specialty, and my favorite books. Eric promises to wear something shiny along with me, so be sure to find out what that is!!!

Watch: Monday, June 19 at 6 PM Central Time.

Follow either of these links to watch the live stream.

YouTube Link:Faces of NextGen Live: Devon Noel Lee! (If you click on this link now, you can press a gray button that says "Reminder" and YouTube will remind you when we go live!)

Facebook Link: Faces of NextGen Live: Devon Noel Lee! (If you click the "Going" or "Maybe" button on this event page, Facebook will remind you when we go live, so you won't miss it!)

Before the interview, be sure to check out my latest video on


In the comments section below, see if you can answer any of these questions:

  1. What is my favorite genealogy book?
  2. What is my favorite non-genealogy book?
  3. What is my most exciting genealogy discovery? 
  4. How did I get started in genealogy?

These questions will be answered in the NextGen interview, and more, but I'd like to see which fan knows me best!

09 June 2017

My Ancestor Has Multiple Names, Which Name Do I Use?

Genealogy Research Problems Which Name Do I Use

Do you ever cringe when someone gets your name wrong? My husband doesn't because his name is pretty hard to mess up- Andrew and Andy. For me, my mother gave me a name that people rarely say right at first glance- Devon. There's one way that when pronounced I hear nails scratching down the chalkboard and shudder.

Names are important and in genealogy, names help us find more records and details about our ancestors. When you discover a new ancestor through your research, how do you manage their name as you acquire more records about that ancestor? In other words, as you find records about your ancestor, what name should you use on an online tree’s profile about that ancestor?

When you're using FamilySearch,, RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, or paper records, you have one line for the name of your ancestor. There are additional places to record alternate names, but what do you write in the name blank?

07 June 2017

9 Ways I Preserve Family History for My Descendants

9 Ways To Share Family History With Children

Family History is meaningful when we preserve the perishable and share our stories. There will always be time to find a new relative to add to the tree (and often it takes considerable effort to do so), but saving and preserving our family history is my top priority. Here are 9 tasks that I do regularly to ensure our family history is captured and preserved for my children, grandchildren, and cousins.

01 June 2017

Friday Funny: Would You Agree to These Wedding Vows

It's wedding season for the June brides. But let's go back in time to see if you'd like to have these vows recited:

Can you guess what year this wee writing appeared in print?

The modern bridgegroom led the modern bride to the altar. The modern clergyman was waiting for them with his modern wedding ceremony.
"Will you," he said to the bridegroom, "take this divorced woman to be your social wife, to have and to hold until you are both tired of each other?"
"I will," said the groom, "with the understanding that she is not to kick up a row, no matter who I bring home with me, and that she turns over all her available cash to help me out of my scrapes."
"And will you," sad the clergyman to the woman, "take this man to be your companion in misery for so long as you think best?"
"I will," said the woman, "if I don't have to nurse him when he is sick or take breakfast with him."
"Is there any one," said the clergyman, "who objects?"
"No one," said the spokesman for the congregation. "We are all very glad of it. It makes gossip, and the mere fact that we are here will enable us to have our names in the papers. Let the ceremony proceed."
"There!" said the clergyman, "I prounce you man and wife. Send me a check or cash by registered mail, give your names and a description of your presents to the society reporters, and when you want a divorce, here's the card of the best lawyer in the business."

Now, I'm not making fun of the institution of marriage. I love my hubby tons and the children we're raising together. I was just surprised by the date of this article. Have any idea what it is, without looking ahead?

I would say modern day - 2017. Or perhaps the "Me Generation" of the 1980s.

But I would be wrong! Completely wrong. So far off, that I was shocked that this piece appeared in the 20 February 1904 edition of The Daily Tacoma of Tacoma, Washington. 1904! That was a shock.