Newsletter – 5th August 2020
Save 25% on Ancestry DNA tests ENDS SUNDAY
The LostCousins newsletter is usually published 2 or 3 times a month. To access the previous issue (dated 29th July) click here; to find earlier articles use the customised Google search between this paragraph and the next (it searches ALL of the newsletters since February 2009, so you don't need to keep copies):
To go to the main LostCousins website click the logo at the top of this newsletter. If you're not already a member, do join - it's FREE, and you'll get an email to alert you whenever there's a new edition of this newsletter available!
As I was finalising this newsletter the news came in that a majority stake in Ancestry, the world's largest genealogy company, has been acquired by Blackstone for its private equity fund. You may recall that a couple of years ago Ancestry was looking to refloat on the stockmarket, after several years under the control of various private equity companies.
At this stage there's no reason to think that this change in ownership will affect Ancestry customers any more than previous transactions have done. No doubt more information will become available in the coming weeks and months.
Save 25% on Ancestry DNA tests ENDS SUNDAY
Although Ancestry wasn't the company I first tested with, way back in 2012, I'm very glad that I bit the bullet and paid to retest with them in 2017 - in a matter of weeks I made more discoveries than I had in the previous 5 years, and the good news has just kept coming. I've subsequently paid for several other family members to test with Ancestry in order to take advantage of the enormous database of existing users (over 18 million according to an announcement last month).
However, it’s not just the size of the database that makes Ancestry DNA special – it’s the way that Ancestry combine it with their enormous collection of family trees to provide valuable insights through their ThruLines and Common Ancestors features. Both make use of multiple trees, including private trees, which means that they're doing much of the spadework – leaving users like you and me to focus on the things that we do best.
Until midnight on Sunday 9th August family historians in the UK can save 25% on Ancestry DNA tests, bringing the price down from £79 to £59 (plus shipping – which is £10 for the first kit, £5 for subsequent kits). Before you quibble about the cost of shipping, I should point out that the price includes RETURN shipping, which means that you can just drop the package in the post box rather than having to go into the post office (something which I try to avoid at the best of times, and now certainly isn’t the best of times).
Please use the link below so that you can support LostCousins when you make your purchase (you may find that you need to log-out from your Ancestry account before clicking the link). If I am notified of offers in other territories I'll update this article with further links.
Ancestry.co.uk (UK ONLY) - ENDS SUNDAY 9TH AUGUST
It's horrifying what human beings have done to other human beings at various times in history, and in some cases the effects live on. 23andMe recently published into the consequences of the transatlantic slave trade as evidenced by the DNA of descendants of those who survived. There's an article in this week's New Scientist, but if you're not a subscriber there are summaries of the findings here and here.
The land border between the USA and Canada is closed because of the pandemic, which creates problems for couple who live on opposite sides. This CBC article explains how true love found a way round the restrictions, thanks to a park that is shared between the two nations.
Hardly any of the people who write to me for advice about DNA are following the advice in my Masterclass. Or to put it another way, if you follow the simple advice in the Masterclass you won't get confused or overwhelmed by the wealth of matches, so it’s very unlikely you'll need to ask for my help.
You don’t need to wait for your DNA results to start following the advice – so follow this link and check out the Masterclass today!
You've probably come across the proverb "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime". Well, that's the principle behind my Masterclasses – the aim is to provide you with the tools to carry out your own research, because ultimately you’re the best person to do it!
There was a wonderful response to the Masterclass on Finding Birth certificates in the last newsletter – many readers wrote to tell me that they gained new insight into their own challenges, whilst others who had succeeded in finding elusive birth records wrote to concur with the advice set out in the Masterclass.
Tip: there are 9 Masterclasses in all, as well as a special edition newsletter dedicated to the 1939 Register. If you’re a LostCousins supporter you'll find links on the Subscribers Only page, but anyone can access the Masterclasses by using the Search near the top of any newsletter (including this one).
Although I'm fast approaching my 70th birthday I suddenly don’t feel old – I've just read this story about a 96 year-old in Italy who has graduated in philosophy with first-class honours. Following on from the article in the last issue about the lady who was retiring at 100, it's all quite encouraging – provided I can avoid catching that blasted infection!
How do you cope when people come too close and there's no way of escaping? The best answer I've come up with so far is to carry a loaded water pistol, though I haven't put it into practice (yet). We're going to be living with COVID-19 for a good time to come, so what would you suggest as an alternative?
So far only one brave reader has written to tell me that she has caught COVID-19 and survived – well done!
This is where any major updates and corrections will be highlighted - if you think you've spotted an error first reload the newsletter (press Ctrl-F5) then check again before writing to me, in case someone else has beaten you to it......
© Copyright 2020 Peter Calver
Please do NOT copy or republish any part of this newsletter without permission - which is only granted in the most exceptional circumstances. However, you MAY link to this newsletter or any article in it without asking for permission - though why not invite other family historians to join LostCousins instead, since standard membership (which includes the newsletter), is FREE?