Organizing – Charted Waters! You Gotta Love It And Love The Families ~ And I Have Never Researched A Family I Didn’t Fall In Love With!

Empty charts for your family history? Think they will stay that way? I hear it all the time from the beginning from folks asking for help with their genealogy research, ‘oh, with my family you probably won’t find anything”, or, “You probably won’t find anything on my family I am…” or “I am not,,,”, or, “you won’t find anything on my family because of this” or “that” or… Phooey! Every family is a glorious whole for one person’s ancestry, made up of magnificent parts – every one of them wonderful.

To this day lots of family history is lost because of lack of records and good record keeping and so we want charts and charts and more charts and collecting those charts in organized binders and having digital back ups and copies.

But for each of us, maybe all people, because of age or place will have less or more records but geez why don’t we start our quest with delightful, nurturing, ancestoring – like DNA! Give yourself the head start that just a few years ago no family historian could dream of – even without a jot of knowledge – no recorded history but you can let your genes take you on a personal anthropological journey through time.

Leave the 21st century sitting in limbo and jump about 100,000 years back in time and keep reaching by learning your haplogroup. Everybody has mt-DNA – that is the mother side and men have both mt-DNA and y-DNA. The haplogroups put the most simply are the name assignments and slots where genes are organized into a hierarchy of ancestors going back in time that have letter-numbered names and we can learn snippets about when those genes “lived”, and where they lived.

All these are SNPs (genes) on a chart of time – SNP is pronounced snip – so learn about your personal gene snippets is learning the journey of yourself. No one needs any science to love this and thoroughly enjoy learning your own and then beginning to learn these snippets about each of your ancestral lines. Using this DNA testing – you can verify your relationship to any other relative – are you a close or immediate relative or more distant cousin — using autosomal DNA, au-DNA aka at-DNA testing and verify each of your family lines and their own haplogroups through other relatives’ testing.

1Copy of 01a Copy of cherie known dna haplogroups

Chart from previous version of trees. These letter numbers are the assigned haplogroups of some of my ancestral lines. Those which have mt-DNA beside them are the women’s maternal lines. All the others are y-DNA from male cousins of mine testing.  There are more and I believe all these will be filled in when i have the time to look up more cousins – right now i am busy helping others with their cousins!

Each of these letter-number designations, in this chart above, for these family lines has its own story to tell and you can collect and record the stories for every one of your family ancestral lines. The Knight line: I learned with at-DNA that I am related in my autosomal DNA to several other Knight family descendants. We have multiple matching male Knight relatives who have also tested their y-dna. We know they were named McKnight and the haplogroup is one of the I haplogroups and with the help of two great sites that are my favorite you can have stories to tell and add to the charts notes you will make for all your ancestral lines.

There are tons of free sites and I have to start by mentioning Cyndi’s List – So have a where-to, how-to genealogy question? And you face the problem –  I know nothing! – I know nothing! Wait – I bet there could be an answer to where-to on Cyndi’s List and once she adds my blog to her list of resources then I bet she might just have every genealogy website and blog that ever was or might be in the future!

When your page has its own Wikipedia page then you know you and it have arrived. And Cyndi’s has

No, I did not get to take her course at GRIP – Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh classes earlier this year – all know I am a DNA for genealogy person and I just had to get my work in with Advanced DNA that trip – and I was disappointed that I didn’t get to hear those particular classes which taught all about researching on the internet. But at GRIP I did get to sit at the same table and have lunch with her and co and was delighted to hear her and others speak about research during Institute breaks.

Networking, learning:

MY favorite place to learn about DNA for genealogy and anthropology is from…….

Cherie Lynn’s Herstory

The single best resource for free genealogy is still familysearch

Get a GRIP

Can you travel and plan to go to classes and conferences for learning? I do! I try to learn something new every day and with the help of online classes, institutes and conferences the DNA for genealogy industry has loads to offer folks all year along.

Since I am a student of GRIP – I feel I must mention them and we were impressed with the week for learning – it was worth every minute. The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh offered week-olong courses that immersed the students in a variety of classes. I think all my followers also need a reunion and can meet for classes at GRIP. All us Cherie Lynn Herstorians could organize like ProGen and DAR members who also had lunch meetings for the GRIP week while they also attended classes

We must continue to learn not just yearly but daily with DNA for genealogy with so many changes, I could click send on this page and then learn everything has changed because of another breakthrough in some aspect of research.

Record and Document

Make a record, make many records of all you learn and where. I share charts, you are welcome to use mine and make you own.

44Copy of gray Copy of 01 folder

I think if these as birth charts. A person is only with their ancestors (no spouses or children) and I make one for every ancestor. Some might never have any name for themselves, much less their own ancestors, but if a record does take me to someone – nameless or not – since there had to be a set of parents – then each person is at least – mother of… or father of…


1 Copy of Copy of Copy of chart copy

Many people like the fan chart to have an over view of many ancestors at a glance to see where you need work or just to have at least a note about many ancestors in one place. This is a 7 generation chart instead of the usual 8 generation chart to make it just one hair easier for senior eyes to see.  Chart from Heirs And Heirlooms

3-ring binders are just the ticket for keeping the folks organized and getting the binders with the plastic view front you can place a cover sheet for each of your binders.

namest tree

Make your own chart and you can start with this one for a cover page for your binders of records. I never said I was an artist but this one is a place to start.

If you do not have access to printing out these charts we have limited numbers to sell from the printer – and by the time you read there there might not be copies of any in bulk. But from your local office supply and printer you can print out any I share with you.

The learning charts:

cherie fan chart dna best names

The three main DNA for genealogy or anthropology tests! For years and years the autosomal DNA test was called short name au-DNA – now it has become at-DNA. Also the y-DNA test. And the mt-DNA test which gives much more anthropology and not as often any direst genealogy.

The x-gene is exciting. Which ancestors can provide is a fun family history puzzle to solve. Women get x-genes from both their parents but men ONLY get x-genes from their mothers. This is another one of those lessons in DNA where you are hit with a curveball like complexity in the lesson. When you share an x-gene with someone that is a recombined, mixed gene. Again – you do not need to understand the science – but you must be exact it identifying which ancestors can be your x-gene ancestors. These charts help you fill in the whos. The pink center circle chart is for a female and the blue center circle chart is for the men. Looking at the men’s chart you can see what you must remember and very very carefully fill in the names of the possible x-gene ancestors.


The most important tip is to research people as families – not just their direct family but the siblings and aunts and uncles. Today countless people share records on social media sites but 100 years ago and 50 and 200 people could not easily have photos and records of any kind much less share them.

So one person in the family wound up with any family pictures and bibles or diaries and so if you don’t have anything then maybe another branch of the family did. And certainly finding extended family – through 2nd cousins and 3rd and more, you are making your tree grow and expand with — maybe — additional pictures and records!

Copy of 1953 cherie and co atlanta

From the left Shirley Ann Kidd Knight (my mother), Emma Pearl Stripling Knight (my paternal grandmother), Willie Mae Bland Hanchey (my paternal, great aunt’s mother-in-law), Carol Jean Knight Powers (my paternal aunt), and the little on on the hip is me, Cherie Lynn and behind, acting out for the camera, is Samuel Harry “Sam” Knight (my father)


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Folks get together over the holidays, have lots of copies of charts for family to share and fill in and take home. We all learn more working together with our collective memories and those who need all the answers this time of year will see many good deals on DNA tests.


What better way than 3-ring binders to organize research. Having the binders with clear plastic covers allows you to add art work and labels to identify your work

These binders contain the research for all the men of the failed expedition of Francisco de Miranda. I found what happened to all but one of the men – and I found descendants and the life stories of many of the men – but I identified them all – but maybe this one poor soul. Below is a link with a wee bit more info on that research – which will be expanded on all along.


You gotta love families and when you do, the information will grow and grow and having a way to organize the love and memories means you will be able to pick up any binder of research years later and enjoy your family and people treasures for ages and generations to come.

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There are free charts everywhere and these can get you started and make your own. The holidays will find many families and even family friends who get together for the holidays. Have loads of copies of charts for people to fill in and share and take home. You can print them from here and you can have copies made in large and small quantities at the countless print shops and sites now.

blog shared cMs cherie lynn herstory1

A few relatives with shared cMs noted. See also the links for the additional charts and tools. 


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