SLVGS Formed

The SecondLife Virtual Genealogy Society (SLVGS) is a new group focusing on genealogy topics within the Second Life world. We are currently working on membership and bylaws. Our next meeting has not been scheduled but you should keep an eye on this site for further news and information.

Something Special for August!

This Thursday, August 11 at 5:30 pm SL time (Pacific) ALL genealogists in SecondLife are invited to a very special meeting followed by a summer dance, at Just Genealogy.

The meeting will be held to discuss the organization of an official SecondLife Genealogical Society. Yes, we already have an award-winning chapter of the APG (Association of Professional Genealogists), but this new group will be for genealogy enthusiasts at any level of skill – beginners to experts, hobbyists to professionals. We can learn a lot from one another!

One hope for this group is  to have this new group become a partner society of FGS (the Federation of Genealogical Societies), which would provide our group members with the benefits of FGS membership: discounts, webinars, and more.

Following this meeting at about 6:30 pm will be a fun, summer dance, with our favorite DJ Jaffee Gaffer.

Please plan on joining us at 5:30 p.m. SecondLife Time (Pacific Time) to share your ideas for this new group!  And of course, you can’t miss the dance – They are always a great opportunity to chat and share our summer genealogy research stories and successes.

Hope to see EVERYONE there!!

July Meeting of the SL-APG


Be sure to join us tomorrow night for the monthly meeting of the Second Life Chapter Association of Professional Genealogists (APG)!

WHEN: Thursday, July 14, 2016
TIME: 6:00 p.m. SLT (same as Pacific Time)
WHERE: Fire Pit at Just Genealogy SLurl

This month’s featured speakers will be Dean and Cynthia Richardson of Genlighten, who will present “Offering Research Services Online: What We’ve Learned from Our Adventures with”:

We will share some of the insights that we’ve gained from working with our providers, and give tips for creating strong, effective profiles on whatever platform people chose to use (for example, business website, APG list, blogs, marketplace websites like Genlighten), as well as talk about some things that leave clients feeling happy and satisfied. We’ll also touch briefly on the “Now What?” part of waiting for clients to find us online, and ask for input on what professionals would like to see in terms of marketplace tools to help advertise and manage their online services.

About Dean Richardson: Dean was introduced to genealogy by his wife, who ushered him up to the genealogy section of the local university library one night to show him the New York Times obituary for his Civil War ancestor. That was thirty years ago, and he’s been hooked on family history ever since. Dean’s responsibilities at Genlighten range from front-end design and Rails back-end development to inbound marketing and search-engine optimization.

About Cynthia Richardson: Looking for a way to turn her passion for historical document research into a source of income, Cynthia taught herself HTML and CSS and built back in 2003. Since then, she’s performed Chicago-area genealogy lookups and custom research for thousands of delighted customers. She’s also served as volunteer and director at the Wilmette Family History Center. At Genlighten, Cynthia handles customer support inquiries, maintains our online help facility, and curates our community-generated content. When you call or e-mail us, she’ll usually be the one you chat with.

SL-APG meetings are held on the second Thursday of every month (except August), at 6:00 p.m. Second Life Time (same as Pacific Time), at the Fire Pit in Just Genealogy. Meetings are open to all interested genealogists. Please contact Ellington Sweeney for more information about this group.

May Meeting of the SL chapter APG

This Thursday night, May 12, is the monthly meeting of the award-winning SecondLife Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. Following a short business meeting, our guest speaker will be Gena Philibert-Ortega, who will be presenting “Women’s Lives in the Newspaper.”

Women’s lives are well documented in the newspaper but how do you find mentions of your female ancestor. We’ll discuss the types of articles they can be found in and the best ways to search.

Gena holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology and Women’s Studies) and a Master’s degree in Religion. She is a popular speaker at groups across the US as well as virtually, speaking on many genealogical topics including researching female ancestors. She is the author of the books, From The Family Kitchen (F + WMedia, 2012), Cemeteries of the Eastern Sierra (Arcadia Publishing, 2007) and Putting the Pieces Together. She also writes regularly on her blogs, Gena’s Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera.

SL-APG meetings are regularly on the second Thursday of every month, at 6 pm SecondLife time (which is the same as Pacific Time). We meet at the Fire Pit in Just Genealogy.

If you’re new to SecondLife, you might be interested in the Tutorials section, or join our Facebook Group – Genealogists in Second Life to ask questions as well.

April’s Tech Tuesday Postponed

I’m postponing Tech Tuesday to next week, Tuesday, April 12th at 6:00 pm, still at the Just Genealogy Fire Pit. What I’ve got to share is just so dang cool, and I’m not quite finished with the presentation — It’s just too neat to share half-baked!  Teaser: It involves maps, family history, stories, photos, and did I mention maps??? I know you’ll love it, and thanks for your patience!

SecondLife Genealogy Group Newsletter: April 2016


APRIL 2016

Greetings, Second Life genealogists and family history enthusiasts!  World Health Day is this month, so let’s pause to consider the afflictions of our ancestors, as well as the effect of our own health on our descendants.

Please enjoy this month’s newsletter highlighting some useful research sites, and this month’s calendar of scheduled activities and genealogy events in Second Life.  For more information, please contact Ellington Sweeney, either in-world, or at





This year’s RootsTech Innovator’s Summit top prize winner, “TapGenes helps you crowdsource your family’s health information, helping you understand the thread that ties your family’s health together.” TapGenes is a for-profit company that is self-funded by the CEO and a group of private investors.


The Chirugeon’s Apprentice

This is not a genealogy blog, but a medical history blog, with some very interesting history stories from a medical perspective, done in a story-telling fashion. Great writing style, showing that you can tell historical stories with both citations and facts, and still have a compelling narrative.


@atlasobscura – Follow Atlas Obscura for interesting, offbeat stories, often involving history, ancestors, cemeteries, and interesting locations around the world.


Sunday,  April 3
5:30 pm – DNA Study Group
Need help getting started with genetic genealogy? Join us for this new bi-monthly group hosted by Red Rider.  Meets on the front porch of the Family History Centre in Adam ondi Ahman.

Monday, April 4
6:00 pm – Meet & Greet – Get Some Second Life Help
Gather at the Just Genealogy firepit to discuss the ins and outs of SecondLife – how to sit, stand, fly, talk… Anything you might need help with! At the Just Genealogy Firepit

Sunday, April 10
5:30 pm – Family History Chat
Join other family historians and genealogists of all skill levels for a casual discussion on the front porch of the Family History Centre in Adam ondi Ahman.  Host varies, style is both Q&A and presentation.

Tuesday, April 5   April 12
6:00 pm – Tech Tuesday

Genie Weezles promises a fabulous discussion about some cool organizational tools. This month’s presentation will involve maps, videos, and family histories. All are welcome! At the Just Genealogy Firepit

Thursday, April 14
6:00 pm – APG Second Life Chapter Meeting
The award-winning Second Life Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) welcomes all to this monthly meeting.  You won’t want to miss hearing Genie Weezles give details on how to participate in the chapter’s 2016 project: FamilySearch Indexing Beta. Bring your questions! For more info about the chapter, contact in-world Ellington Sweeney, Chapter President, or Genie Weezles, Chapter Representative. At the Just Genealogy Firepit

Sunday, April 17
5:30 pm – DNA Study Group (NOTE NEW EVENT & NEW TIME)
Need help getting started with genetic genealogy? Join us for this new bi-monthly group hosted by Red Rider.  Meets on the front porch of the Family History Centre in Adam ondi Ahman.

Tuesday, April 19
6:00 pm – Methodology Tuesday
Exploring old and new research methodologies with your fellow genealogists! The March reading will be updated here and announced on the Genealogists in Second Life Facebook page soon. The meeting will be held at the Fire Pit in Just Genealogy. 

Sunday, April 24
5:30 pm – Family History Chat
Join other family historians and genealogists of all skill levels for a casual discussion on the front porch of the Family History Centre in Adam ondi Ahman.  Host varies, style is both Q&A and presentation.

Thursday, April 28
6:00 pm –  NGSQ Study Group

The Second Life NGSQ Study Group focuses on a specific article from the National Genealogical Society Quarterly monthly. Please feel free to attend even if you are a prospective NGSQ member. Hosted by Ellington Sweeney. Click here for the 2016 Reading List.  At the Just Genealogy Fire Pit.

For more information about Genealogy events in Second Life, please feel free to contact:
(in-world): Genie Weezles, Clarise Beaumont, Ellington Sweeney.

See the Facebook page:
Follow us on Twitter: @SLGenealogy
And our blog:
See the listings on the GeneaWebinars calendar:
Or stop by Just Genealogy in SecondLife!


Review of the DNA Study Group: Playing With Matches

The following post is from Red Rider, host of the SL DNA Study Group. You can join us for these meetings at 5:30 p.m. SLT (same as Pacific Time), on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month at the Family History Centre in Second Life.



Our last SL Family History Centre DNA discussion focused on working with matches. After initially going through our matches when we get our results it’s necessary to return to our results pages frequently in order to keep up with the continual flow of matches.

I generally review new matches at least once a week. Both 23andMe and AncestryDNA have filters which will list your most recent matches from newest to oldest. You need to click on the drop down menu at 23andMe, then click newest matches. At AncestryDNA there is a new match filter button in the top left portion of the match list page. At Family Tree DNA it’s easiest to just click the date at the top of the match list. This will display newest matches at the beginning of the list. At GEDmatch new matches’ kit numbers are highlighted in green.

After shifting my newest matches to the top of the list I will then take a look at the best matches, those that share the most DNA. I will click on those at AncestryDNA and 23andMe. I will then check for common surnames if a tree, or name list, is available. At Family Tree DNA you need to click the pedigree chart icon, below the match name, to see a full tree. Sometimes surnames are listed on Family Tree DNA’s match list pages. At AncestryDNA and Family Tree DNA I will then click shared matches or common matches. This can help narrow the possible relationship if they match someone I’ve already established a relationship with. At 23andMe you will need to compare matches with each other in the chromosome browser, in order to see if they are related to one another.

At Family Tree DNA it’s a good idea to compare your common matches in the chromosome browser to see if you can find triangulations.

I also check for matches who share my surnames by searching my match lists. All of the companies allow you to do this. The companies also provide the ability to create notes for matches. At AncestryDNA you can star interesting matches.

At AncestryDNA I often take a look at hints which will be displayed if you click the hint filter located near the new filter, at the top portion of the match list. You can also access hints from the AncestryDNA home page. You will receive hints for matches who have the same ancestral couple, or ancestor, on their tree. AncestryDNA will than display exactly how you and your match are related. The hints need to be taken with a grain of salt because it’s possible you may share other ancestors besides those on your trees.

Someone at the last discussion reminded me that you can sometimes preview trees at AncestryDNA even if the match list says a match doesn’t have a tree. This is possible because some matches have Ancestry trees but have not attached them to their DNA results.

tree match

I also just noticed that you can download all of your matches’ ancestors’ names. There is a button you can click at the bottom of the name list on your matches’ page. A CSV document will then be download to your computer with all of their names. This may be quicker to review if a match has a large tree.

Our next discussion on April 3rd, at 5:30 SLT (or Pacific time), will explain how segments are used to establish relationships with matches. I’ll also talk about how mapping segments helped me discover a wrong connection I had made with a match.

Notes From the Second DNA Study Group Meeting

The following post is from Red Rider, host of the SL DNA Study Group. You can join us for these meetings at 5:30 p.m. SLT (same as Pacific Time), on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month at the Family History Centre in Second Life.


At the second meeting of our SL DNA discussion group, I went over some DNA jargon. If you want to get the most out of your DNA results, it is important to read about the subject. Joining groups at Facebook such as the ISOGG group, or the DNA Newbie group, is also a great way to learn about the subject.

Reading about new findings in the field, and joining groups, helps us stay on top of changes regarding the evaluation of our results. Genetic genealogy is a new field, and the interpretation of our results is subject to change. Since DNA terms are not always explained, it is helpful to look at some of these terms and definitions before embarking on further study of the subject.

Here are my slides with the terms and definitions we went over on Sunday, March 6:


A new blog post by Roberta Estes, “Concepts – Identical by…Descent, State, Population and Chance,” introduced me to some new terms for defining Autosomal DNA (atDNA) segments. Identical by chance or coincidence, or “IBC,” for one.  This would apply to matching segments not shared by parents, or not inherited through your parents. Identical by population, or “IBP,” would be segments which are common to particular populations, such as ethnic populations. These segments are not considered “identical by descent” because they cannot be attributed to a common ancestor. However, in the case of population segments, “IBP,” they can sometimes be useful if you can link the segment to an ancestor because they are the only possible source of the population segment.

IBP segments lead me to a term I left out Sunday. I forgot to include “pile ups.” This term is used to  refer to these population segments.  A pile up is literally many people sharing a segment in the same location (see illustration below). AncestryDNA removes populations segments using their Timber filter. The other companies do not.


When it comes to the interpretation of results, Autosomal DNA is the most challenging to work with, which is why I included so many terms for this test in my “DNA Jargon” presentation. For instance, we need to know something about the statistics regarding whether a segment is IBD or not. We need to build out our trees as far as we can in order to draw accurate conclusions from our shared segments. We need to collect and map segments. We need to compare trees carefully looking for all possible shared ancestral lines, especially if we are from endogamous populations. These complexities have resulted in the proliferation of terms and acronyms.

Finally, I suggested we might discuss topics being discussed at the Facebook ISOGG group during our SL Sunday chats. Anyone can ask to join this Facebook group. An ongoing topic is how we determine whether autosomal DNA segments are IBD. I suggested reading “Another Triangulation Success, Another Etne Cousin” by Kitty Cooper, as well as the comments below the post at Facebook.

Since not everyone attending the Sunday discussions has tested yet, we will go through the testing process in more depth, and talk about what we can do to get the most out of our results, at the next meeting. See you there! 😀

Questions? Contact Red Rider for more information.

TONIGHT: Methodology Discussion

Genie's Gazebo

Join us tonight at 6:00 p.m. SLT for our monthly Methodology discussion, hosted by the lovely Carolina Belle!

The March reading is “Analyzing Wills for Useful Clues” by Elizabeth Shown Mills, from OnBoard 1 (May 1995): 16. Read the article for free on the BCG website.

NOTE: We will meet tonight at Genie’s Gazebo at Relatively Curious, which is just up the hill from the Fire Pit. If you land at the Fire Pit, head up the stone path to find the gazebo. 🙂