Heritage Day upcoming at local WDM

The Yorkton branch of the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society (SGS) invites you to join them when they take part in Heritage Day, Sunday, February 17 from 2:00 till 5:00 p.m. at the Western Development Museum. This day celebrates “Heritage: The Tie that Binds” – our shared heritage in all its forms that has the power to bring people together and create a sense of belonging. The WDM will have a wonderful afternoon celebrating our heritage, featuring guest speakers and displays by the Yorkton Chapter of the Saskatchewan Genealogy Society. Regular museum admission applies; free for WDM members. For more information call the WDM at (306) 783-8361.

Delving into DNA has become a very popular process in recent years. Many people are thrilled to share their experiences about “spitting into the cup” and finding out more about their family background. Is this process for you? Before you begin, do some homework about what DNA tests will and won’t tell you about your family background.

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There are three types of DNA tests. The autosomal test studies chromosomes from both parents and can help to tell your ethnicity. Y-DNA tests study the Y chromosome, inherited from father to son. mtDNA tests study mitochondria, inherited from mothers to children, to explore the maternal line. The tests can tell you where you came from, your ethnic mix, and possibly connect you with other people who share your DNA, as well as other information, depending on which test you choose.

Be realistic about what you are expecting from your DNA test. After the test, a person will be given a breakdown of their ethnic makeup by regions in the world. This is the fun and interesting aspect of DNA tests. DNA information will tell you where your ancestors may have come from; and your new information may take your genealogy research to an exciting new level. But because this process is new and always advancing, be sure to do some thoughtful research before you begin.

Researching your family information is an ongoing adventure. Whether you are doing your research the traditional way by mailing out letters to gather information, researching online, or delving into the DNA approach, family research is a combination of known facts, hopeful speculation that requires more detective work, and sometimes lucky bits of information that leads you to information you didn’t know before.

Write down everything you know about your family, and never miss a chance to talk to older relatives. Write down or record everything they have to say. It is never too early to begin the process, but can be too late. A very wise person said “Every time an old person dies it is as if a library burned to the ground.” The information and wisdom older family members offer family researchers is priceless and irreplaceable. Treasure it.

Who we are and where we came from is one of the most fascinating aspects of our lives. Placing ourselves side by side with long ago ancestors, or ancestors from far away, gives us a deeper understanding and appreciation of where we fit and belong today.

The Yorkton branch of the SGS meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the history room at the Yorkton Public Library. New members are always welcome. Come and enjoy lively discussion and shared experiences of genealogy research. Every family has a story; discover yours with the Yorkton Genealogy Society!

submitted by
Debbie Hayward

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