One set of identical twins, two different ancestry profiles…

At least that’s the suggestion from one of the world’s largest ancestry DNA testing companies.

Last spring, Marketplace host Charlsie Agro and her twin sister, Carly, bought home kits from AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA and Living DNA, and mailed samples of their DNA to each company for analysis.  Despite having virtually identical DNA, the twins did not receive matching results from any of the companies.

In most cases, the results from the same company traced each sister’s ancestry to the same parts of the world — albeit by varying percentages.  But the results from California-based 23andMe seemed to suggest each twin had unique twists in their ancestry composition.

For more info on this phenomenon, check out the following websites:

LegacyFamilyTree Webinars

Did you know that for $49.95 for an entire year, or or $9.95 for a single month you can access’s entire catalog of instructional genealogy webinars?  Topics range from organizing your research to guides regarding specific research topics such as Australian vital records!  Also learn how to navigate genealogy programs and websites such as MyHeritage and

Click HERE to learn more, and HERE to sign up for a membership and SundanceTV present..

Railroad Ties

A 24 minute film presenting true stories of courage and resiliance.

Six descendants of fugitive slaves and abolitionists come together in Brooklyn to discover more about their lineage. Documenting each person learning about their ancestors, and featuring renowned historian, Henry Louis Gates Jr., the film interweaves powerful personal moments with contextual historical anecdotes.

The very human story of the Underground Railroad unfolds through Ancestry records, each discovery revealing the dynamic impact our history has on identity, family and legacy. The film takes a personal look at how understanding our family’s past can influence not just who we are, but how we see ourselves.

Watch “Railroad Ties”


American Ancestors FREE Webinar

Introducing American AncesTREES

Thursday, February 14, 3:00–4:00 PM EST
Presented by Claire Vail, Director of Creative and Digital Strategy
FREE and open to the public

Welcome to American AncesTREES—a new, FREE online genealogy tree experience on! Centered around an evidence-based model, American AncesTREES offers several unique tools and solutions—including cutting-edge DNA tools—to help you research, grow, and share your family history. Join Director of Creative and Digital Strategy Claire Vail to learn how to start building your family tree today!

Click HERE to Register

Central Massachusetts Genealogical Society

We meet on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM in the upper hall of the American Legion Post #129 at 22 Elm St., Gardner, MA.

“Google Earth for Genealogy – Beginner/Google Earth:  Follow Your World”

Lisa Louise Cook will host a Legacy Webinar on February 26, 2019 at our monthly meeting.

Membership is $15 for an individual or $20 for a couple per year (JAN-DEC)
Mail to CMGS P.O. Box 811 Westminster, MA. 01473
We are always thrilled to have visitors at our meetings.

From the Polish Genealogy Society of Connecticut and the Northeast

I have observed in various articles in both genealogical and non-genealogical periodicals conflicting statements regarding surnames ending in “ski” claiming that names of this type indicate noble status. Can you please comment?


The fact that your name ends in “ski” does not by any means indicate that you are irrefutably descended from nobility. While many noble families bore these type of surnames, they later became widespread among the peasantry. We have observed in parish registers dating from the beginning decades of the nineteenth century that priests added “ski” to peasant names to make them “sound nicer”. Our ancestors however had no idea that the priest was recording their names in this fashion because most were illiterate and it would never enter into their head to go check what the priest wrote in a baptismal register.

The peasants did not use these embellished names in their daily lives. Further along in the century names in the registers frequently reverted back to their original forms, although some families retained the surnames containing “ski”. So you may find in the course of your research that your surname appears in different forms.

To illustrate this here are some examples from a parish that our society has indexed. Names which appeared as Golik, Duchnik, Klim, Zając and Wojtasz were transformed by the record keeper into Golikowski, Duchnowski, Klimaszewski, Zajączkowski and Wojtaszewski respectively. NONE of these families were of noble origin. Essentially the ski suffix is simply a linguistic mechanism which changes a noun into an adjective .This can be clearly seen in the names of Poland’s current provinces which are all adjectives derived from nouns ( i.e. zielonogórski from  the city of Zielona Góra or podlaski from the noun Podlasie).

The name of the Polish language newspaper in Chicago (Dzienniik Chicagoski) also clearly illustrates this linguistic phenomenon. Chicagoski is simply the adjectival form of Chicago. So your ski name didn’t turn you into a noble. It turned you into an adjective.

And while on the subject of “fake news”, the next time you hear someone state “My grandfather’s name got changed at Ellis Island” immediately tell them NO! NO! NO! This is yet another false statement that has been circulating for decades. Names were NOT changed at Ellis Island by immigration officials. They were changed, either forcibly or voluntarily long AFTER your ancestor took his or her first steps into a new world.