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Life of Fern Laurine Stoddard Woodbury 1929-2020 Part II: Growing Up on the Ranch

“Fern was born and raised on a ranch near Bancroft, Idaho.” Even today, Bancroft is remote. The majority of the community is laid out in a grid of four by eleven streets. As of 2018, the population was 348. It was always said that Grandma was born in Bancroft, but in reality, she was bornContinue reading “Life of Fern Laurine Stoddard Woodbury 1929-2020 Part II: Growing Up on the Ranch”

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Spanish! Basque! Where Did That Come From? Tips for Tracing the Origins of Unique Admixture Estimates

Let’s face it. A lot of people take DNA tests for the ethnicity admixture estimate. They may not be as interested in solving a family history mystery as they are in knowing the breakdown of their ethnic percentages. How much Irish, Native American, African or Chinese DNA do they carry? So prevalent is this perspectiveContinue reading “Spanish! Basque! Where Did That Come From? Tips for Tracing the Origins of Unique Admixture Estimates”

The Life of Fern Laurine Stoddard Woodbury 1929-2020 Part I: Introduction

This last weekend was the funeral of my grandmother Fern Laurine Stoddard Woodbury. It was perhaps one of the most unique funerals I have attended given the current circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide protests in relation to the death of George Floyd. As part of the funeral, my sister and I wereContinue reading “The Life of Fern Laurine Stoddard Woodbury 1929-2020 Part I: Introduction”

Where Are the Petersons? Considering Lack of Representation

During my college years, I took as many genetic genealogy tests as I could. Even in the early years of testing, I had a large number of genetic cousins in several of the databases, but something disturbed me. Why was it that I did not have any genetic connections to the family of Andreas PetersonContinue reading “Where Are the Petersons? Considering Lack of Representation”

How Much DNA Did I Inherit from Grandpa?

Last week, I shared a process for calculating the DNA that I inherited from my grandmother Fern Laurine Stoddard (1929-2020). In that case, I was fortunate in that Fern performed DNA testing before her death, but what about cases where one of your grandparents is already deceased? For me, determining how much DNA I inheritedContinue reading “How Much DNA Did I Inherit from Grandpa?”

How Much DNA Did I Inherit from Grandma?

Over the past several weeks, I have written about the three mothers of my grandmother, Fern Laurine Stoddard Woodbury (1929-2020): Opal Gay Coumerilh, Martha Jane Rickman, and Maude Dee Porter. In the midst of working on these articles, Fern passed away on Tuesday 5 May 2020 at the age of 91. I will miss her,Continue reading “How Much DNA Did I Inherit from Grandma?”

Three Mothers: Part 3 – Annie Maude Dee Porter (1875-1964)

Annie Maude Dee Porter disliked Mothers Day. Her sentiments might have been reflected in the thoughts of Sharon Eubank who on Mother’s Day 2019 stated, “as a middle-aged woman with no kids, I have been by turns annoyed, amused, angry, breathless, and resigned on Mother’s Day,”[1] Eubank goes on to share how through an experienceContinue reading “Three Mothers: Part 3 – Annie Maude Dee Porter (1875-1964)”

Three Mothers: Part 2 – Martha Jane “Mattie” Rickman (1894-1979)

In my grandmother Fern’s reminisces, she remembers “When I was about eight years old, Mother left home. A divorce was imminent. For a few months, things were rough. Then Mattie Scott came to keep house. When she came. I had a great feeling of security and I really enjoyed her good cooking.”[1] Martha Jane RickmanContinue reading “Three Mothers: Part 2 – Martha Jane “Mattie” Rickman (1894-1979)”

Three Mothers: Part I – Opal Gay Coumerilh (1903-1978)

One winter evening when I was about eleven years old, we sat down with Grandma in the living room by the faint light of the fireplace and the Christmas tree. I asked her about her childhood and about her ancestors – people I had never met. “What can you tell me about Opal Gay Coumerilh?”Continue reading “Three Mothers: Part I – Opal Gay Coumerilh (1903-1978)”

“My Nettie, My Nettie; Oh, My Nettie”

Reflections on the Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919 in Logan, Utah “Spanish Influenza – Just Grip Camouflaged Under A New Name,” read the 13 January 1919 headline of an article from The Journal, a Logan, Utah newspaper.[1] Over the previous months, Utah along with the rest of the world had been fighting Spanish Influenza. TheContinue reading ““My Nettie, My Nettie; Oh, My Nettie””