Family History

All Family History articles are collected here.

Women’s early role in social change

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UMRA members Vicki Gaylord and Craig Swan will share stories of their ancestors’ participation in social change movements in the late 19th and early 20th centuries—and how they discovered those stories—when UMRA’s Family History Interest Group meets via Zoom on Wednesday, April 3.

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A Sister in the Work of Temperance, by Vicki Gaylord

Are we Cousins?

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Inspired by the unexpected discovery that a friend of 15 years was his third cousin, and by the PBS series “Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates Jr.,” Craig Swan wondered how many other cousins he might be meeting every day without realizing they were cousins.

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Craig Swan in front of Cold family tree.

Dale Lange

I have developed a special interest in my seventh great grandfather, Michael Pierce… Putting together the pieces of Michael’s life has been an interesting journey, even if at times complicated and confusing. I have learned to evaluate sources that tell different stories and cannot agree on what one might think are basic facts like when and where someone was born. I have learned to accept and live with these and other ambiguities.

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Solving the Mystery of a Grandfather’s Death

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Knowing your family’s medical history is important for everyone, especially as we become more aware of the role played by genetics in many medical conditions. See this video of Michelle Casey, previously a senior research fellow in the School of Public Health, Division of Health Policy & Management, as she presents her trek through family medical history.

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Growing up Revell

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This Family Reunion Project is about sharing family stories and learning about surprising family connections. I asked everyone to write an essay, prior to coming, about growing up in the Revell family.  The compilation of essays from three generations that was distributed at the reunion has become a family keepsake.

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Craig Swan

How I learned, this summer, that my great aunt, one of my paternal grandfather’s sister, was included in a fresco at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  As far as I know she is the only relative of mine who is part of a fresco anywhere in the world.

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Family Stories—Open Discussion

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The May 2023 UMRA Family History Interest Group ZOOM presentation was an open discussion and question/answer session that covered a wide range of topics.

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Telling the stories of the living

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Larry Rudnick and Vicki Gaylord shared how they have worked with living family members to gain more information and insight into their family trees. Gaylord and Rudnick explained the processes they used and gave great examples.

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Ways to engage family members in family history

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UMRA's Family History Interest Group (FHIG) met via Zoom for two presentations on ways to engage family members in family history.

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Tracing family history with DNA testing

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The Family History Interest Group learned about tracing family history using DNA testing and tools including Ancestry DNA, 23andMe, and GEDmatch which uses the GEDCOM files generated by those companies to connect across platforms.

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How to use your DNA analysis

Kevina and Lee Munnich

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Kevina and Lee Munnich gave a presentation on "Family History Tourism".  They shared information about 4 different sites and insights into their family's history. 

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Kevina and Lee Munnich

Family History Group covers a range of topics

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On May 11, 2022 the Family History Interest Group met for an open forum that gave participants the opportunity to discuss any aspect of Family History.

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Karen LeBat

Writing family stories

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Writer and teacher Brenda Hudson shared her story-project method when the Family History Interest Group met on April 13.

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Writing family history

Using DNA for family history research

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Doing family history research with DNA was the focus when the UMRA Family History Interest Group (FHIG) met in February.

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Biology of DNA

Learn to scan your family photos

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In this session, we learned how to take pictures (of your pictures) with a digital camera, the pros and cons of fee-based digitizing services, and flat-bed scanners.

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Scanning family photos