Clayton Library Friends (CLF) of Houston, Texas warmly invites everyone to their next General Meeting on Saturday, August 9, 2014 during which there will be a presentation by Jeremy Balkin, a representative of Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) of Houston. Registration begins at 10:15 am (coffee provided), and the program begins promptly at 10:30 am. Members and visitors alike are welcome to the free presentation.
The presentation entitled, “New Avenues in Genetic Genealogy” will be presented by Jeremy Balkin. Genetic genealogy has come a long way. In this relatively new field, FTDNA has pioneered the idea of applying genetics to the traditional practice of genealogy. People no longer have to rely solely on historical documents and family lore to trace their heritage and fill in gaps in their heritage. DNA testing for the purposes of genealogy has allowed for people to understand more clearly from where they came, to whom they are related, and what their overall ethnic makeup is. It has connected the entire world as one large genealogical community. Balkin will help explain, in layman’s terms, what getting tested involves, how the science behind the testing works, and how one can discover their own ancestry more clearly through a simple cheek swab.
Jeremy Balkin is an Information Specialist and mans his place in the pantheon of Family Tree DNA’s Help Desk. He interprets genetic ancestral results for the expanding customer base, and is one of the voices that one will hear when calling FTDNA. One may find his signature on their email queries as well. Balkin graduated from the University of Houston with a B. A. in History and a minor in Communication.
While Jeremy Balkin is relatively newcomer to the relatively new field of genetic genealogy, he has been able to fuse his communication studies with his knowledge of history to provide ancestral analysis that anybody can understand. He learned from his personal Family Tree DNA Y-DNA test that his direct paternal line is essentially Eastern European as well as heavily laden with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. His Family Finder myOrigins results show that he is 88% Jewish Diaspora, 7% European and 4% Middle Eastern.
Aside from his work at FTDNA, Balkin is passionate about communications. He is a professional photographer as well as a professional writer. His photography has appeared in several publications, and he still photographs weddings and special events. As a “recovering” stand-up comedian, he tries his best to maintain his comic edge through a blog on which he is a staff writer.
The mission of Clayton Library Friends (CLF) is to enrich the resources and facilities of Clayton Library, Center for Genealogical Research – a Special Collections unit of the Houston Public Library. Clayton Library is one of the top genealogical libraries in the United States. In the pursuit of their mission, the Executive Board of Clayton Library Friends, in coordination with the manager of the Clayton Library, organizes and directs projects to support the acquisition of research materials for the library, to upgrade library facilities, and to enhance library services. Since Clayton Library is primarily a family history and genealogical research center, an important part of the Clayton Library Friends’ mission is the organization of programs that encourage family history research, provide specialized volunteer services for the library, and educate the public in the use of Clayton Library and its collections.
The General Meeting of the Clayton Library Friends will be held at Clayton Library located at 5300 Caroline which is located within Houston’s Museum District close to Hermann Park. There are four buildings on the property: the Main Building, which houses the research collection; the historic Clayton House (an auxiliary research collection); the historic Carriage House and the historic Guest House which are used for meetings, functions and seminars. When you drive into the parking lot, the Main Building is located to the left while the historic houses are located to the right. The General Meeting will be held in the historic Clayton Carriage House, which is the smaller building on the right and which is directly adjacent to the parking lot.
For more information about Clayton Library Friends’ programs, activities, membership and volunteer opportunities, please go to their website at http://www.claytonlibraryfriends.org or Facebook page at http://m.facebook.com/ClaytonLibraryFriends?_rdr
For more information about Clayton Library, Center for Genealogical Research, please go to their website at http://www2.houstonlibrary.org/clayton or call (832) 393-2600.