First Swab Done!

I mentioned the other day that I was getting my very own DNA test kit (it was a gift).  Today, my kit came and I couldn’t wait to do my swab.  I’m eager like that.

This is what the kit looked like:

 

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It includes two test swabs, two vials for the swab ends to placed in, and a consent form.  All this will be placed into a mailer and sent off to the secret labs at FTDNA (okay, maybe not so secret).

I got everything ready.  I had a timer set up on my tablet so I could count the 60 seconds.  Then, I washed my hands and began swabbing.

I was a little leery about the scraper, but the word “scraper” is a misnomer.  It’s very, very soft.  Not like a soft toothbrush, but like cotton ball soft.  I did a full minute of rubbing with the scraper.  Then, it was time to put the scraper in the vial.

If you have arthritis in your hands you know that dexterity isn’t your number one quality.  I got the lid off the vial and had an “oh crap” moment.  You put the scraper end that you use for the DNA sample into the vial and press the end of the scraper.  It’s supposed to pop off into the vial.  Mine didn’t at first.  It took a couple of tries, but eventually the fingers figured out what they were supposed to do.

Since it’s already 9pm and I haven’t had dinner, I’ll wait until tomorrow to do the second sample.  Then, it’s off to the post office it goes.

 

 

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Guess who is getting her DNA tested?

Well, after getting an offer I couldn’t refuse (my DNA kit is a gift), I’m finally going to do the DNA test. I’m getting the autosomal test (Family Finder) from FtDNA. I’ve already joined the Azores Project and uploaded my GEDCOM. I’m ready to go when my kit gets here!

I’m not sure what I will learn from this test. I have my Azorean and French roots back to the 1600s and earlier in some cases. It will be my maternal grandmother’s line that might turn up something interesting in my chromosomes. I haven’t worked any of her lines back to the country of origin yet. They include Ireland, Australia, Wales, and England. And, her father’s line is still stuck right where I had him when I began researching almost 25 years ago.

I would like to make connections with people, of course. I think my best bet will be on the Azorean lines. I already have made connections in my villages through research. Given the somewhat isolated nature of their existence, I would suspect they were marrying each other left and right.

Anyway, it looks like I am embarking on a new adventure with my genealogy. I don’t think anything beats doing the research, but this will be interesting to pour over and analyze.

Stay tuned… :)

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My Mother Does Not Abide Photography

I am reading a surprisingly wonderful biography called The Rocket Girl.  It’s about Mary (Sherman) Morgan, American’s first female rocket scientist.  She worked for a company that did government contracts during the infancy of space race. Her many achievements included an inventing the rocket fuel used in our first rockets.  Many of her contributions were lost until after her death when her son started digging up her story.

The chapter on Mary’s early childhood caught my interest. She grew up in North Dakota in the 1930s.  Mary’s family never took photographs because, as the author wrote, her mother did not abide photography.  When offered to have their photos taken, either by friend or a professional, her mother refused.  She was completely against the whole practice.

It surprises me that this kind of view was present in the 1930s.  I could see in the early years of photography that it might hit up against religious or societal views against vanity and the like.  But, you would think by the 1930s, most people would have had a baby, school, or marriage photo done.

I’ve never run into a relative or ancestor who refused to be photographed on the grounds that it might not be morally right.  Was this a widespread view?

I wonder if this was really what Mary (Sherman) Morgan’s mother believed or if there was something else behind it.  As a genealogist, I find it sad especially for her offspring.  Her son realized too late that preserving photographs would be important to her story and to himself.  How sad it would be to have no photographs of ones family.  And, how thankful I am that my family has many!

Have you come across anyone in your tree who was opposed to photography? Don’t count those who seemed to avoid cameras…LOL

 
In this video, Mary Sherman’s son discusses her achievements.

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