Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 2014 genealogy meeting wrap-up

Tuesday, April 8, the La Porte County, Indiana Genealogical Society met at the La Porte City Parks and Recreation Department Headquarters on Pine Lake Avenue in La Porte. Sixteen members and guests were in attendance.

Before a business meeting presided over by President Dorothy Palmer, the group enjoyed a presentation by Jeffrey Bassett. Mr. Bassett was an early customer of Ancestry DNA, and was able to use yDNA matching to clarify relationships on his own family tree. As introduction, Mr. Bassett told of the early results he had from classic genealogical methods. He began collecting his family history while his four great-grandmothers were still able to give him a lot of information. The Bassett family had held family reunions as lately as 1912, and many photographs were preserved. This enabled him to trace back to his first immigrant ancestor with good certainty.

Jeffrey told the audience of the three major types of genetic matching and the utility of each. More specifically, he illustrated the utility of using yDNA results to further the study of a surname group.
When the first yDNA tests were available, he took part, and became the defacto head of the Bassett yDNA project. He presently maintains an on-line newsletter and promotes and coordinates the comparison of genetic results for the Bassett surname group.

Using illustrations from this project, Bassett told of the mysteries and contradictions that were resolved when genetic testing was used. During his talk, he accepted questions from the audience, and he told all that he would be willing to advise individuals according to their unique situations. The audience seemed very interested his presentation, and hearty applause greeted the end.

After refreshments provided by Mary Wenzel, a business meeting was held. Patricia Harris, the chair of the bus trip to the Allen County Public Library on April 23, reported that a satisfying number of reservations have been received. The board is reviewing the Constitution and the By-laws, and Fern Eddy Schultz spoke of the objectives and purpose of the society. She concluded that they haven’t changed, but the society should be alert to changes in technology and communication that will enable us to pursue these objectives.

Next month’s program, on May 13, will be “What the St. Joseph County Archives Can Do for You”, presented by Vicky Rydzinski, the Records Manager /Archivist.

The society meets at 7 pm on the second Tuesday of each month, weather permitting, at the La Porte City Parks and Recreation Department building at 250 Pine Lake Avenue. The business meeting will start promptly at 7:00, and the social time and refreshment period will come between the business meeting and the program. The public is welcome at all meetings. Coming up soon is the deadline for residency applications. If you had an ancestor who came to La Porte County early, check the certification categories link from the main page of the web site. For more information about the society's activities in awards, research, abstracting, transcribing, indexing, publishing, and records preservation, visit our web site at

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