Friday, October 20, 2006

Legendary pilot 'Earthquake McGoon' heads home

From CNN:
Legendary pilot 'Earthquake McGoon' heads home POSTED: 7:29 p.m. EDT, October 19, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) -- More than a half century after he died in the flaming crash of a CIA-owned cargo plane and became one of the first two Americans to die in combat in Vietnam, a legendary soldier of fortune known as "Earthquake McGoon" is coming home.

The skeletal remains of James B. McGovern Jr., discovered in an unmarked grave in remote northern Laos in 2002, were positively identified on September 11 by laboratory experts at the U.S. military's Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii.

They will be flown back to the mainland next week for a military funeral in New Jersey on October 28, said McGovern's nephew, James McGovern III, of Forked River, New Jersey.

"Bottom line, it's closure for my family and a great feeling," McGovern said.

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Who really sailed the Ocean Blue in 1492?

Who really sailed the ocean blue in 1492?
Spanish scholars are on a mission to demystify Christopher Columbus's life, long shrouded in a veil of mythic heroism.
By Lisa Abend and Geoff Pingree | Correspondents of The Christian Science Monitor

MADRID – Genovese nobleman or Catalan pirate? Adventurous explorer or greedy tyrant? What if the Italian gentleman who discovered America was in fact a brutal torturer and slave owner? And what if he wasn't even Italian?

Schoolchildren may learn about a daring hero who proved the Earth wasn't flat, but because his biography is pocked with holes, Christopher Columbus is a figure around whom elaborate theories and enigmatic rumors have long circulated. This year, the 500th anniversary of his death, two Spanish scholars are working to clear up some of the mysteries.

José Antonio Lorente, a geneticist at the University of Granada, is attempting to resolve one of the greatest enigmas - the question of Columbus's origins. In 1927, Peruvian historian Luis Ulloa Cisneros claimed Columbus was from Catalonia - in what is today northwestern Spain - rather than from the Italian port city of Genoa.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Readers surveyed on software, DNA

Readers surveyed on software, DNA
By James M. Beidler
Lebanon Daily News

Several times since “Roots & Branches” first debuted in 1998, the column has surveyed readers on what genealogy software packages they use and why.

Since it’s been some time since the readers were last asked about this — here’s your chance to weigh in on what products you are using. Just send an e-mail (preferably with your name and city and state of residence) to

But, in addition to the software survey, I’m also asking readers to write me if they have joined genealogy’s “DNA revolution” in any way.

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

A road, and Web, map to finding heritage

A road, and Web, map to finding heritage

The Norman Transcript

— There is so much interest in DNA testing in family research that every genealogical magazine I subscribe to has an article telling me everything I ever wanted to know about the process.

The Family Tree Magazine for October 2006 has a good article titled "Adventures in Genetic Genealogy," written by Maureen A. Taylor. Lots of definitions were included for the various tests, however the more I read the more confusing it all sounds. I did know that to check my paternal line I must use my brother's DNA, and my mother's paternal line can be proven by using her brother's DNA.

According to the above article, the Family Tree DNA site has the only public database of mtDNA test results. That Web site is The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is the genetic material mothers pass on to their children. The cost of this test begins at approximately $129, but can be as expensive as $495 for the mt Full Sequence test.

The mtDNA test can identify our ethnic and geographic origins and this can be our recent ancestors as well as those in the distant past. If you have Native-American ancestry in your lineage this can be identified down to five major groups. In researching this test I found the definitions for Eve's Daughters at

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

FTDNA Press Release about new lab and new tests

Breakthroughs in Genetic Research for Genealogy
Thursday October 12, 9:30 am ET
Family Tree DNA's New Houston-Based Lab to Offer Latest in DNA Testing for Genealogy Purposes, Including First X-Chromosome DNA Tests

HOUSTON, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Family Tree DNA, whose growing array of DNA tests for genealogical purposes has established them as the world leader in genetic genealogy, will introduce ground-breaking new X chromosome tests (X-STR) in early October. The X-STR tests are the first ever available for genealogy applications by focusing on linked "haplotype blocks" which are inherited intact over several generations. This test will be processed locally at the company's recently established Genomic Research Center. Headed by Thomas Krahn, whose German-based DNA-Fingerprint company was recently merged into Family Tree DNA, the state of the art Genomic Research Center is located at Family Tree DNA's Houston, Texas headquarters.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Scanning African American Genomes

Monday, 9 October 2006 Scanning African American Genomes Topic: Genetics

Scientists at Boston University's center for genetics and genomics and Howard University are searching for genes associated with obesity, hypertension and "metabolic syndrome" in African Americans.

It's the first genome-wide scan of an African American cohort, according to a press release from Affymetrix, the company supplying its GeneChip technology to perform the work.

Affymetrix says the resulting data will be free and available to anyone, as part of its Affymetrix Control Program.

Continued here: http://

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