Monthly Archives: December 2015

DNA solves mysteries of ancient Ireland/Ukraine Connection

December 30, 2015 · 5:00 PM EST
By Christopher Woolf (follow)

The Poulnabrone dolmen (Poll na mBrón in Irish) is a portal tomb in County Clare, Ireland, dating back to the Neolithic period, probably built 5-6000 years ago.

Let’s call her ‘Maria.’

This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

Click the arrow.

She’s a brown-eyed, brown-haired woman, with a face that would be right at home in the Medi terranean or the Middle East.

And she’s Irish.

She lived about 5200 years ago, and was buried near a stone monument and an ancient ring-shaped earthwork, in Ballynahatty, near Belfast. It was her people who built nearly all those megalithic tombs, monuments and stone circles, that you see in advertisements from the Irish tourism industry. Continue reading


 By Thomas M. Prymak University of Toronto 

The question of ethnicity, which is closely related to the idea of nationality, and somewhat more loosely related to the idea of “race,” is presently of great concern to many people in North America. This generally includes not only those of European, African, or Asian ancestry, but also more particularly, even to those of east European and Ukrainian ancestry. However, questions of ethnicity and indeed “racial” mixing are not only of import in contemporary poly-ethnic and multi-racial North America, but in the case of the Ukrainians, also go back quite far into Ukrainian history, and in particular, are closely bound up with this traditionally Christian country’s relations with its neighbour to the south, Muslim Turkey.

suliemaney.  Roxelana
The great Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent and his Ukrainian wife Roxelana,

As is well known to archeologists and linguists, Ukraine most likely formed at least part of the original homeland of the famous and somewhat controversial Continue reading

Russian Activist Gets Two-Year Sentence for ‘Calls to Extremism’ on Social Networks

Darya Polyudova at a single-person picket. Image from her VKontakte page.

A Krasnodar district court has found activist Darya Polyudova guilty of “public calls to separatism and extremism” on social media and has sentenced her to two years in a penal colony.

Prosecution earlier asked that Polyudova receive a 3.5-year term, according to an report.

Earlier, Polyudova was charged with public calls to activity aimed at disrupting the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation (under a new article 280.1 of Continue reading

23andMe Changes Terms Again (and Not for the Better)

The genetic testing company 23andMe is at it again. First they got slapped hard by the US Food and Drug Administration for trying to sell unauthorized medical tests. Then after several months they finally got this sorted out just last month and received the proper approvals from the USFDA.

Now they have changed their terms eliminating some aspects that were very important to genealogists. And did we mention, they just doubled their prices in the US from $99 to $199? Judy Russell at the blog Legal Genealogist does a good job of describing the situation. [23andMe Changes Terms]

– See more at:

Ancestry Moving All Customers to the New Ancestry

In a blog post this week, Ancestry made it official. They are now moving everyone to the new Ancestry website.

This has created a certain amount of controversy in genealogy circles since some people don’t like the new Ancestry. The need to interact with family trees as opposed to doing a simple ancestral search is a feature that many find particularly annoying.

It is certainly no coincidence this announcement comes one week after the announcement of the shutting down of the popular Family Tree Maker software (see our previous article below).

From a business perspective, what Ancestry is doing is fairly straight forward. They now have a two-step process for retaining customers. They not only want you to find the ancestral record you need, but they also want you to keep it on their website – forever. Continue reading

Guide to Parish Records in Ukrainian Regional Archives

This document is intended to serve as an ongoing guide to archival indices of parish records that they hold.

More and more Ukrainian archives are posting catalogues of their holdings online.  This guide is by no means complete, but it is presented here to provide a ready English-language reference to online guides of various archives so that you can better find records of interest, particularly parish records.

Western Ukraine / Galicia:

– Check out the published Shematisms of Przemysl, L’viv, and Stanislaviv Eparchies compiled by the late Fr. Dmytro Blazhejowsky.  Portions of the data (but not all of it) for villages in the Lemko region are extracted here:

Continue reading

Teach Me to Dance

This is an amazing short film from the National Film Board.  It shows the prejudiced attitude toward the Ukrainian pioneers by the English establishment. Worth showing everywhere.

In this drama, Lesia convinces her English-Canadian friend Sarah to perform a Ukrainian dance with her as part of their school’s Christmas pageant. Sarah’s father, angry at the growing number of Ukrainian settlers, won’t allow his daughter to participate. Despite the prejudices of their parents, the girls’ friendship remains strong, and they meet in Sarah’s barn to celebrate Christmas Day together. Part of the Adventures in History series.

What Ancestry’s Retirement of Family Tree Maker Software Means for You

by Lisa Louise Cooke

Ancestry announced they will stop selling Family Tree Maker on Dec. 31, 2015. This is startling and disruptive news for the many users of one of the world’s leading genealogy database software programs.

After receiving the news earlier that day from Ancestry’s Public Relations Manager, I went to work on this article for you: What Ancestry’s Retirement of Family Tree Maker Software Means for YouWhether you user Family Tree Maker, another software program, or a website to store your family tree data, this is important information for you.  Continue reading

If you’re a Canadian genealogist, please complete LAC’s survey

I encourage you to take part in Library and Archives Canada’s online survey to help them develop a strategic plan for the next three years. By participating in the survey, you will help LAC improve its services.

If you’re a genealogist, it is important to tell LAC what services you use, what services are important to you, and what you would like to see in the future.

The survey will take approximately 8 to 10 minutes to complete. Your responses are confidential and protected.

The survey contains questions with multiple-choice answers. The questions range from your familiarity with LAC to how you rank the importance of certain initiatives.

There is only one open-ended question and this is where you can write your own comments — and it is perhaps the best way for you to voice your opinion.

The open-ended question is:

Are there any initiatives you would like Library and Archives Canada to pursue over the next three years?

The English survey is here.
The French survey is here.


There are hundreds of blogs dealing with Genetic Genealogy and developing a clear picture from reading the innumerable articles can be rather daunting. This page from the blog “Wheaton Surname Resources” contains sixteen well written and simple to understand lessons to get you started on this new quest. The lessons are found at the bottom of the page.

Introduction to Genetic Genealogy: Dead People Can Talk After All

Note: the best way to absorb these lessons is to read them one at a time and follow the suggested links–not only will this help with “beginner’s head spinning syndrome”– it will allow you to absorb the material more fully. If you are an advanced beginner or intermediate you might find the terminology and background in Lesson 5 invaluable no matter which lessons are of interest. Also have a look at Lesson 11 which has a list of resources to help you including a new “Cheat Sheet File” category. If you really