Thursday, April 19, 2018

WWJD: The Story of In His Steps

By Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams
My sister recently gifted me with a bunch of old books. I brought the box of books home where I put it aside until a couple of weeks ago. When I finally got around to going through them I found an old, yellowed copy of In His Steps by Charles M. Sheldon. The introduction in my copy dates it as 1956. I remember hearing about this book in the past, but I wasn’t as familiar with it as I would be if I had read it. I finally got it out and began reading. One of the things that stood out to me as I read the preface was that this is the source of the phrase, what would Jesus do?

I don’t know about you, but I thought this was a twentieth-century-coined phrase. Late twentieth century. I had not heard it until my children were in youth group at our church and they all began wearing the rubber bands with the anacronym printed upon it—WWJD. I called my sister and talked to her about this book. She reminded me that Mama had a copy of it when we were girls. That’s why the title seemed familiar to me. Still, it wasn’t a book that I had read. By now, I was intrigued. I had to learn more.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

When DNA and Art Colliide--Chromosome Painting

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams
Last week I went over the basics of DNA testing. As I said, I am not an expert. I just happen to be the person most people in my family go to for information. The likely reason for that is that they are only marginally interested in our ancestors at best. To me, they are an integral part of the person I am today. Even though I have never met the majority of my ancestors, I feel a deep connection to each of them.

But it isn’t just about the DNA. The largest part of learning about one’s ancestors is discovering their personal stories. My great-grandmother’s story impacted me so personally that I wrote my first novel, a cozy mystery, centered partly around her missing grave. To this day, we still have no clue where she is buried in spite of searching for her for over twenty years.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

DNA Testing--Yes or No?

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

A few of my cousins on both sides, my and my husband’s, have asked if I’ve taken a DNA test, and if so, which one I chose. The answer is, yes, I have. I did the Ancestry test a couple of years ago. I tested, my husband tested, and so did all four of our sons.

The Ancestry test is autosomal. At this point, that is the only test Ancestry offers. It is very popular, in part, in my opinion, because it is far less costly than many of the others, especially if one waits for a sale. The cheapest I’ve seen it is $59. It is normally $79. FTDNA can be as high as $500. That’s a lot of money. 23andMe is $99 on Amazon, $199 if you choose to do genealogy and health. They had another one, MyHeritage for $75. I’m not familiar with this one, but I’ll do some research before next week and I’ll make inquires of my cousins.

But cost shouldn’t be the only factor when one is choosing a DNA test. It actually depends on what you wish to learn about yourself and your ancestors. The three main types of testing available are autosomal, mtDNA, and Y-DNA. Let’s delve into what each is.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

New Tricks for the Family Genealogist

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams
Y’all know that I consider myself to be an amateur genealogist. I’ve been doing family searches for about twenty years, but I am by no means an expert. This has been a hobby for me all these years. I rely heavily on other family members who know how to do the serious looking. I also rely on websites for the latest information, but I didn’t know all  they could do.

I ran across an article in the past couple of weeks about a trick that the pros likely already know. I’ll admit, I didn’t know this one. They called it the most important search trick you’ll ever learn. Well, I can tell you that grabbed my attention . . . big time.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Working Through the Busyness

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

I don’t know about y’all, but I’m tired. I feel as if I’ve been on a non-stop roller coaster since Thanksgiving. And the tired is just about to catch up with me, as soon as someone lifts the bar and lets me off this ride.

Sometimes life just takes over and we find ourselves in the midst of just too much busyness. And we can’t stop it because we have to do the things we have to do, like it or not. As my beloved niece is fond of saying, it is what it is.

That’s where I’ve found myself the past few weeks. I’ve completed my first novel and I’ve been hard at work on the edits with the best editor out there IMHO. But in the midst of trying to finish the first round of edits, my husband and I had to go from our little villa in Florida to North Carolina where our home there was being renovated.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Nicknames--We Don't Get to Choose

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

My sister and I had a good conversation last night about nicknames. We shared a few laughs walking down memory lane. I don’t know how prevalent they are up north, but here in the south, I know a lot of people who are called by a nickname.

My name is Debra Ruth, but most people who’ve known me all my life call me Debbie. I’m not sure that’s as much a nickname as some, but I guess it still qualifies. One of my Florida friends always calls me Debra D. My husband calls me D. My grandchildren call me DD.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

If I Had Hammer

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams
I have a lot of family and friends who have decided to jump on the let’s get healthy band wagon. I have to applaud their efforts. Some have done quite well with their lifestyle changes, but others are like me, they go up and they go down, and they go up again, and down again. You know, the proverbial, cliched yo-yo. You’ve probably seen the cartoon of the woman with a hammer or some such object in her hand, and the scale broken into a thousand little pieces. That’s so me. Some days, I just want to bash that scale.