I. What’s this about a genie and why does she tease?
About it: I needed a twitter alias/handle thing. My childhood nickname was Ts, genie is short for genealogist, I am a genealogist, and genealogy is an endless series of teases. Once in awhile you get a happy ending after all your energy & effort. It sounds just like it looks: Tease The Genie. Our ancestors do that to me all day long.
II. “TsTheGenie” was born for Twitter.
I love sharing hints & inspiring other genealogists on Twitter. I aim to make genealogy fun & as interesting as it can possibly be. Sometimes my fun is a bit more colorful than the genealogy community is used to but they seem to put up with me. I try to earn my keep among the veterans & make it worth their effort to embrace my style. When I am not working on my own genealogy, I enjoy helping Donor Conceived & Adoptees find their biological families & that is the part that makes me feel somewhat like an actual “genie”. I am a volunteer Search Angel, I learn from the best at DNA Detectives, and I love doing it. I will never know everything & so many at DNA Detectives are much better than I am, but because of CeCe Moore & her dedicated community of seekers & finders, I continue to learn every day. I believe in Genetic Genealogy, & as far as I am concerned CeCe is the Goddess of that approach.
How do you do Genetic Genealogy? You simply add DNA evidence to your work rather than just letting the paper trail alone tell the family story. I start with a traditional family tree, like everyone else, then use the genetic matches to map out which branches are verified & up to which point. If there is no way to make a traditional tree (such as in cases of adoption) then what I do is analyze one’s DNA, compare it to their matches, identify which ones line up on the same segment, build a mirror tree based on that & eventually (sometimes after many years) we find our Huckleberry to start a traditional tree with. It can take a very long time if a person doesn’t have many close DNA matches, & some cases remain cold for decades. Particularly if they are Jewish. That is nearly impossible & I refer those seekers to a better genie than I. Ashkenazi Jews didn’t have surnames until about 200 years ago, so working with their genealogy is for those who are very, very gifted with patience.
III. This explanation was necessary.
I’ve gotten some ridiculously flirty messages from people thinking it was a sexual innuendo. For the most part I can roll with it, I can take a joke & throw one back. I am well aware that it is punny & I have been carrying the nickname “Ts” for enough of my youthful years to have heard all the fun that can be made of it. I often forget how silly it sounds because it’s been the story of my life & I am used to it. Admittedly, I didn’t think anyone would actually take the assumption & run with it. I thought people would “get it”.
IV. About Ts, The Genie
*I guess I should disclose here that I do not have a personality crisis going on, yet there IS a separate page on this site named About the Writer. Yeah, that’s me. But that’s the real me, not the me that is spending her time learning about everyone but me. That’s a page of stuff unrelated to my hobby & the reason you are on THIS page is because you wanted to know about the genealogist. There are so many layers of me & since all of them share this web space, I try to give each one their own room. I will eventually create a better layout but for now… well… anyway….
NOW, as a genealogist, I am all about using what I’ve learned in a way that inspires others to care about their family history. I am new at that, because it’s not in my nature to care what others care about. And before agreeing to care about it, I was all about it for something else. Family research is always about something else, at first…
I first found myself in the bottle (of course not literally) about 12 years ago. Before that day, I didn’t care even one little bit about who my ancestors were. Then, suddenly I did. It was like something came over me every once in awhile & I was not interested in things I normally would be. A couple times a year I would hole up in my office & go on these little escapades into the genie bottle & my family realized that even though I was sitting right there, I was a million miles away, so they just carried on. What I found inside of it eventually became a part of me outside of it. It wasn’t until about 4 years ago that I really started to take myself seriously as a genealogist though. Around that time, I was given some news that forced me to recognize that life is short. That mine is likely to be particularly shorter. Not cancer. It’s crazier, more exotic & much less predictable than that. Nonetheless, I recognized that when my time is finally up on this earth, a short memory would be all that my children have left of their mother. Not only would they be left without knowing who I was before I was their mother or what other choices I had when giving them life was the choice I ultimately made, but they’d have no heritage. No living people, even if only in the distance or on paper, would be left for them to know of. None of the pride in who they are would come from my heritage because it would all be buried with me. Well, I guess I decided that I can’t have that for them… just this string of kids & grandkids who could pass up their own cousin on the street & not know it… not even care. So, I was compelled to spend more time learning about my heritage so I could tell them about it. I grew up without it, but for some reason I don’t want that for them.
I didn’t know much about my biological family, & what I did know didn’t impress or satisfy me enough to leave them with just that much information. I needed to look further to get a broader idea about what I was made of. I had to be made of more than just 2 drunk people in an orchard having a good time on the hood of a car (truly how I happened). There were 1000’s of years that led up to my creation in that orchard & so many life altering & legacy changing decisions that occurred, every one of which ultimately affected me. I started looking for noteworthy people in my tree who might lead me to a better understanding of who my people were & maybe even how things got so screwed up by the time my parents were born. Surely they weren’t screwed up since the beginning?
I certainly found the ancestors who could tell the story! I found brave & tough soldiers up one side of my family tree & back down the other. Several fought in famous battles that decided the fate of the United States. There are inventors. There are poets. There are explorers. There are Presidents. There were so many who rolled the same DNA SNiPs that I rolled in the genetic lottery way before I rolled it. Some Easter eggs were/are even hidden in the branches of my tree that were a pleasant surprise. Like finding out I am related to Marilyn Monroe. She’s dead but still so much alive. There are quite a few celebrities I’ve come across, in fact. A handful of them are still among the living. They have no idea who I am, which is fine, but if they ever need a kidney they’d sure wish they had a list of relatives, wouldn’t they?
I do genealogy research almost every single day. I am working on 2 books that require it. One is about my Ingersoll line (paternal side, 4 generations up). There hasn’t been a lineage book written for them since 1925, so a whole century of us is scattered about. Apparently, according to history, the Ingersoll’s were “famed for their beauty as well as their intelligence”. That was flattering & intriguing, but certainly there’s got to be more to us than that? I mean, I’ll take that, but I want more. Oh, OK, there may be a small part of me that kneels to the vanity in that phrase, of course, but it’s a small part. I am sure I will find some ugly ones to make the non-Ingersoll’s in the world feel better (I am kidding about that, though I will endeavor to update the account published in 1925). On occasion, I spend time internet stalking Ingersoll’s, looking for someone to talk to me about their line of them, so that I can choose the best stories to add to the book so that my book doesn’t exclude their personalities & uniqueness the way the last one did. On occasion, an Ingersoll gives me a really good story. On occasion, they ignore me. On other occasions, they do something entirely different yet just as interesting.
The other book type thing I am somewhat working on has less to do with genealogy (but still a little) & is more about my crazy life, growing up with no parents. I use the protected pages on this website to write stories down as I remember them so that I can put them in the appropriate place in the imagined book. The real purpose of that book is yet to be fully understood by me, so it’s not my top priority, but it is still important to me. The only thing I am sure of about this book is this: I have been compelled by either THE GOD or at least one of the Gods (who takes a particular interest in writers) to make it happen. Said God of writers is impatient.
On my Did You Know? page I will talk about my most interesting discoveries, from relatives hung in the Salem Witch Trials to relatives killed in their own kitchens (RIP Mary Bliss) where death happened so quickly no one quite knows how it all went down. Their lives were cut short so they didn’t get to tell their own story beyond the tragedy, so I will endeavor to do that. But then we have the ones who DID live to tell their stories, such as being thrown out of a country for peddling religious books & dragged from a courtroom for refusing to take off their hat. Thrown OUT of the country! It should be an amusing section! Relatives will have some fun with the page that holds all of that 🙂