Tuesday, January 27, 2015

PRA Membership and Board Meeting - Saturday, March 7, 2015

Our first Membership and Board meeting for this year will be on Saturday, March 7, 2015 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm PST.  Below is your invitation to attend the meeting.  This will be an online meeting.

This will be an important meeting for us as we will make decisions affecting many of our projects and the rest of this year so please attend.

If you have any items you want to discuss at our Membership meeting or to have the Board discuss, please send them to Gene Pennington.

I look forward to meeting with all of you and working together this year.

Please register for PRA Membership and Board Meeting on Mar 7, 2015 10:00 AM PST at:

Join us for our Membership and Board Meeting. This is our first Membership and Board meeting for 2015.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Brought to you by GoToWebinar®
Webinars Made Easy®

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Online Magazine for PRA on Flipboard

The PRA has joined Flipboard with it’s own online magazine.  Flipboard is a single place to discover, collect and share all the news you care about.  I’ve used Flipboard for over a year now and love it.  I have it installed on my Android phone and tablet.  I have it setup to feed my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, PRA public blog, Google + and several genealogy and technology magazines.  It’s an easy way to quickly review many of my news sources without having to change website or jump from app to app.

With our recent decision to discontinue publishing the Pennington Pedigrees and switch to a newsletter format, I decided to experiment with Flipboard as a way to publish information of interest and of value to Pennington researchers.

I’m excited to announce the PRA has created it’s own news magazine on Flipboard as a way to help keep our readers up to date on the latest Pennington research, genealogy websites, genealogy news, and genealogy software to help your research as well as tips and tricks on genealogy research and computers. 

We have two contributors, myself and Carmen Johnson and presently have 38 viewers.  One of the great features of having your own Flipboard magazine is you can invite others to be contributors so they can publish their articles or share articles with our readers.  It is easy and simple to setup, read and share.

Flipboard works on all smart phones and tablets including iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tables.

You can download the Flipboard app for free by visiting their website at https://about.flipboard.com/ and clicking on one of the icons that represents your device and operating system.

Once you have it installed, search for Pennington Research Association and add us to your magazines you wish to follow.

Let me know what you think.

To learn more about Flipboard, visit https://about.flipboard.com/.

Monday, January 12, 2015

New Book titled “A White Angel” by PRA Member Peter Pennington–Tribute to an American Family following 9/11 Attacks

As we all know most Pennington family roots go back to England so a new book by one of our English members will help to give some useful background of the land where many of our ancestors came from.

For US and Canadian members it has an especial interest because it paints a picture of the industrial north of that country at the time when so many were emigrating to our own two nations.

The book, an historical novel about a fictitious Jackson family, opens in Manhattan on the morning of 9/11 and shows how an ordinary New York family coped with the tragedy. There is a theme in the book of paying tribute to the American character in facing-up to those events and how they were able to draw on more than a century and a half of other experiences in order to overcome that dreadful day.

England in the 1850’s is well described before the family decides to emigrate to America where it finds New York starting to grow upwards high above the church spires that had previously dominated the skyline. Later the Jacksons travel on one of the Fall Line coastal steamers up to Providence RI whilst later still other generations have their characters molded by the tragedy of the Titanic and then two world wars.

Eventually on the shores of Italy's’ most beautiful Lake Garda a modern generation finds peace as the threads of the family’s history are drawn together and they face the new 21st century.

The book "The White Angel" is first to be published in England by Ardnamona Publishers in February and can be bought only from them at $US 21.00 + $8.95 handling and delivery. To get a copy of the first print run order by January 31, 2015 thru PayPal and ardnamona2000@yahoo.com

Peter has agreed to sign copies for PRA members if this is requested at the time of ordering.

Information from Peter Pennington, PRA Member and resident of London, England.

Obtaining DNA from Ancient Skeletons

Published with permission by Dr. Nick Penington, PRA DNA Chairman

Melinda and Gene this is an amazing abstract below published in Nature this week. It speaks for itself but significantly it shows one can get DNA from ancient skeletons hundreds of years old and compare the DNA with relatives. Richard the third who died in battle in 1485 at Bosworth field is perhaps the only English king whose remains were lost! Richard the III had no male descendants so they went a couple of generations up and then down his cousins lineage to find living male relatives today  (descendants of the Dukes of Beaufort -they in theory should match his Y-chromosome very closely). However, the male line relatives did not match suggesting that there was what is called a "Non Paternal Event" at some time in the 13 or so generations between them. Note that these descendants are still legally the descendants of their original ancestor (John of Gaunt) but not genetically. The exciting finding was that one of the proven female direct line relatives had a perfect match with the full mitochondrial DNA sequence and another had only one mutation in over 500 years. This proves that this is the skeleton of Richard III ! The news letter might be interested in this.

Here is the abstract of the beautifully written paper by Turi King et. al.:

In 2012, a skeleton was excavated at the presumed site of the Grey Friars friary in Leicester, the last-known resting place of King Richard III. Archaeological, osteological and radiocarbon dating data were consistent with these being his remains. Here we report DNA analyses of both the skeletal remains and living relatives of Richard III. We find a perfect mitochondrial DNA match between the sequence obtained from the remains and one living relative, and a single-base substitution when compared with a second relative. Y-chromosome haplotypes from male-line relatives and the remains do not match, which could be attributed to a false-paternity event occurring in any of the intervening generations. DNA-predicted hair and eye colour are consistent with Richard’s appearance in an early portrait. We calculate likelihood ratios for the non-genetic and genetic data separately, and combined, and conclude that the evidence for the remains being those of Richard III is overwhelming.

Here is the link to the original article published in Nature, December 2, 2014.


Nature Communications 5, Article number:  5631
Received 05 August 2014
Accepted 21 October 2014
Published 02 December 2014