Friday, May 27, 2011

A New Opportunity

In April 2011, I was elected librarian for the Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County (Florida). Originally, I asked my wife to become the librarian but she did not meet the length of membership requirement to run for the position. I never thought of librarian as being an elected position, but for our society it is. Fortunately, my wife has agreed to volunteer at the library and to do the real library work while I help patrons with their research. However, since I am the librarian and I know next to nothing about being a librarian (although I have spent a lot of time in libraries), I have been thinking about taking an online course from Simons College called Genealogical Information Services. The course description says “Students will acquire a practical knowledge of genealogical users and resources and explore related topics including reference, cataloging, collection development, outreach, and professional development.” It sounds like just what I need.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Brothers at War

A couple of weeks ago my wife was gathering material for a presentation I would give to the Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County (Florida). All of GSPBC’s meetings in the 2010 – 2011 season are based upon Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak’s book “Who Do You Think You Are? The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History.” The book is a companion to the NBC television show “Who Do You Think You Are?” That particular presentation was based upon chapter five of the book: “Marching Orders: Did Your Ancestors Serve?”

One of the things my wife found was a photograph of my father (James Ralph Vick) and his brother (Robert Edward Vick, Sr.) at the memorial to war correspondent Ernie Pyle. The memorial is on the tiny island of Ie Shima which is off the western coast of Okinawa, Japan. The photograph was taken at the end of World War II when my father and his brother crossed paths on Okinawa and went out to Ie Shima. My father had been on Okinawa since the invasion of the island. His brother had come up from the Philippines after heroic action there that resulted in him receiving the Silver Star.

My dad and uncle were a long way from home in Greenville, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, USA. Fortunately, they would return safely in a few months.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sharpening the Saw

As anyone knows who follows this blog, I try to integrate the results from various types of DNA testing with traditional Vick genealogical research to trace our Vick family history. This weekend I will be attending the 6th International Conference on Genetic Genealogy for Family Tree DNA Group Administrators in Houston, Texas. The focus of the conference is on how to use autosomal DNA in tracing ancestry. FTDNA has several very interesting presentations on the agenda that should increase my knowledge of how to use autosomal DNA in my research. I cannot wait to see what I learn and how I can apply it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Joseph Vick Family of America 2011 Reunion

The Joseph Vick Family of America 2011 Reunion will be in Virginia from June 24 – 26. I look forward to finding out the exact location and the planned activities.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Next Step in Using DNA in My Search for Vick Family History

Those who follow this blog will know that I am incorporating DNA in my search for Vick family history. This weekend I moved much closer to having my entire genome sequenced. The Personal Genome Project notified me that I am now enrolled in their project. I applied back in April 2009, so it has been a long wait just to get to this point. Now I have to wait for testing.

I look forward to seeing what new information my genome reveals.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vick Claims to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes

I mentioned in an earlier blog that an upcoming issue of the Vick Family Newsletter would cover claims made by 29 descendants of Stephen5 (Jacob4, Isaac3, William2, Joseph1) to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes (Dawes Commission). Pam (Strickland) Vick’s article appears in the July 2010 issue. She details both the descendants’ claim that Stephen5’s father was a full blooded Choctaw, and the history of the commission. One of the problems we know now with the descendants’ claim was that they incorrectly identified who Stephen5’s father was. While the commission did not recognize this error, it still rejected the claims. Since we have four descendants (three females and one male) of Stephen5’s father (Jacob4) who have tested as part of our Vick and Allied Families DNA Project at 23andMe, we took a look at the DNA results to see if they would have supported the claimants’ position that Stephen’s father was a full blooded Choctaw.

One of the tools 23andMe provides is the Native American Ancestry Finder. 23andMe uses “either two or three lines of evidence in assessing a person's likelihood of Native American ancestry (depending on whether a person is male or female).” Men have their Y-DNA tested to look for Native American ancestry in their patrilineal line (father’s father’s father’s…line). Since women do not have a Y-chromosome, they cannot be Y-DNA tested. Both men and women have mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) which is passed from a mother to both her sons and her daughters (although only women can pass mtDNA to the next generation). 23andMe uses mtDNA to check the matrilineal line (mother’s mother’s mother’s…line). Finally, both men and women have autosomal DNA, and 23andMe checks autosomal DNA. We inherit autosomal DNA from both of our parents, who inherited it from their parents, who inherited in from their parents…. 23andMe’s assessment of the possibility of a Native American in the patrilineal line of the one male descendant of Jacob4 was that the results were “…inconsistent with Native American ancestry along the paternal (father's father's father's ...) line.” So, we can rule out patrilineal Native American ancestry.

Mary [ ] is not in the matrilineal line of any of our project members, so mtDNA results will not help us evaluate her ancestry. However, autosomal DNA is helpful in evaluating both Mary’s and Jacob’s paternal and maternal ancestry. We have one 2nd great granddaughter, one 4th great granddaughter, one 4th great grandson, and one 5th great granddaughter of Jacob and Mary in our project. The 2nd great granddaughter’s results are the most informative since she is the closest to this couple. This descendant is just four generations removed from Jacob4 and Mary. 23andMe said this descendant “did not have any genetically Native American ancestors in the past five generations.” The results from the other three descendants did not contradict the results from the 2nd great granddaughter.

So, if Stephen5’s descendants had been DNA tested, it is highly likely the DNA evidence would have supported the commission’s conclusions that these descendants did not have Choctaw blood from their VICK line.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Vicks in Sports

Who are (or were) the greatest Vicks in sports? Americans are easy to find but I have fallen short on Vick athletes from other countries. Here are a few of the more notable Vicks in sports I have found. Surely there must be great Vick cricket, rugby, and football players around the world.

Samuel “Sammy” Bruce Vick was born April 12 1895, in Batesville, Mississippi. He was the only man to ever pinch hit (really substitute) at bat for Babe Ruth.

Ernie Vick was born July 2, 1900, in Toledo, Ohio, U.S. He played catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals between 1922 and 1926.

• On October 6, 2007, Michael T. Vick ran the St. George Marathon in 2:22:53 finishing eighth.

Michael Vick, at one time the highest paid professional football player in the United States, was born June 26, 1980.

• On May 17, 2008, Robert Vick became the tenth person to bench press 900 pounds. He did so at the Nationals in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, U.S. His lift was a World Association of Bench Pressers and Dead Lifters National and World Record.

• Sarah Vick of Great Britain placed 692nd in the W18 age group at the 2009 Flora London Marathon. Her time was 3:46:56.

• Don L. Vick is a National Collegiate Athletic Association All-American & Southwest Conference champion 1 & 3 meter springboards as well as a seven time world high diving champion.

• In 1988, Glynn Vick and in 2006, Cecil Vick (brothers) were inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame for their rodeo accomplishments.