Is the word ‘homework’ part of your daily vocabulary? Perhaps as a student or parent one may deal with homework on a regular basis. However, as a retiree, I haven’t considered myself having homework.

During my working years, I attended quite a few education related conferences . When I would come home from many of those conferences, I would spend the next week or so investigating and often implementing something I learned at the conference. Thus, one might say I was doing ‘homework’ as a result of attending that conference. I can even remember some of that homework: building a Moodle server over spring break or setting up Google for Education accounts.

During my working years, I occasionally attended genealogy conferences. While I learned a lot from these conferences, I don’t remember coming home from a conference and implementing what I learned. In other words, I don’t remember doing any ‘homework’ for those conferences.

A speaker at RootsTech 2023 reminded attendees that we should be doing homework. In Diahan Southard’s DNA Shared Matches – the only DNA Tool You Will Ever Need, she even ‘assigned’ homework. And that homework involved re-doing my dots! Wanting to know more about the process of re-doing my dots, I watched the RootsTech session multiple times and her ‘AncestryNDA’s Dot System: An Introduction’ video.

I’m also watching her ‘The 5 steps to Organizing Your DNA in 2023‘ presentation on Legacy Family Tree Webinars to learn more about this process.

While I’m not sure I’ve re-done my homework ‘correctly’, I have redone a lot of them — at least TWICE.

It took re-watching the webinar several times to figure out who gets multiple colors, but I think I finally understand it enough to continue modifying my dots. (Note: it is about 29 minutes into the presentation when the ‘layers’ of colors is discussed.)

I’ve also come to the conclusion that the dots need RE-DONE for each genealogy puzzle one is trying to solve. My ‘spotlight question’ is as follows:

Verify my connection to James Crawford and find more descendants to help me.

Since James Crawford is my 4th great grandfather, I will need to use several levels of ThruLines to filter out shared matches that are NOT thru this Crawford line.

Based on my understanding of how to apply these dots, whatever color I give to second cousin shared matches will be given to all of the ancestral lines for that couple. To help me visualize the process, I named my dots based on the cousin level and the couple and assigned them a color.

Then I annotated a screen shot of the pedigree to add these names. I also added boxes filled with the appropriate colors so I could see which color dots each set of cousins should get.

Now that I hopefully understand how to apply the colored dots, I just need to start over on my dots and see what I find.