By: Jeremy Balkin

Picking Your Gift

My foolproof technique for gift-giving always involves going to a large store, staring blankly into the void of products, and waiting for an idea to form in my mind. This usually surprisingly works. After the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, I did my yearly store-void-stare for my dad’s birthday gift until one of the rugs against the back wall of the store spoke to me. The storm had destroyed his old rug. Looking at the bright array of rug colors at that moment at Cost Plus World Market coalesced into the perfect idea. I had done it again!

The next year, after my sister let me know she had gotten the perfect birthday gift for my mom (it really was), I went back to my old formula. After 3 hours of staring at the back wall at Cost Plus (aside from the sad realization of how dull my life had become and the fact that employees were starting to get concerned) I realized I had no idea what to get. I turned to the internet for help and ended up buying her some movies on DVD I thought she’d like. They were delivered to me the next day, and I realized how good we have it. My ancestors could not get anything they wanted at the click of a button. They probably didn’t even have a button, or sometimes even fingers.

Changing With the Times

As we enter a new age of instant gratification and Cost Plus-type stores with everything you could ever need within a 50,000 square foot space, it’s sometimes tough to internalize the idea that the really good things in life must be earned. I’m just as guilty of this as anyone. If my DVDs hadn’t arrived in the mail literally one day after I had ordered them, I would have been upset. I should think of all of the people and work that must to go into the process of getting some schlub 10,000 miles away some DVDs because he decided to stare at a wall for hours. Instead I’d probably contact Amazon, using any means necessary to get my items, and money, back.

A Perfect Marriage

Genetic genealogy is an anomaly. It combines one of the oldest practices of humanity with one of the newest. It’s the equivalent of using horseback to deliver a printed email message. It shouldn’t work as well as it does. I shouldn’t be able to connect with my family at the click of a button. That’s what DVD shopping is for.

Looking back, I can’t believe how far this field has come in under 20 years. It’s tough to receive a Y-37 Marker match and truly believe they hold enough genealogical relevance to unlock your family’s secrets. It’s almost laughable today. There was a time when it wasn’t. I’m not totally sure, though, because back then I was still in college. If a Y-37 match is the Apple Computer 1, a Family Finder match is an iPod. Whatever we have 10 years from now is the ability for my iPhone 8 to know my global position, listen to a song of my choice, watch a movie, make a deposit, make a withdrawal, find a spouse, and try to remember how to make a simple phone call.

The Future of Your Results

Your results can be fascinating. Sometimes they can be confounding. They look a lot different than they may have 10 years ago, and they won’t stay like this forever either. As this is a scientific and technological endeavor, it will continue to evolve and progress. Your results are only as good as our database. As it continues to grow, everyone involved will gain more insight. If you have a lot of current Matches and a very mixed myOrigins percentage report, great. If you do not, part of the excitement is in not knowing what you may know tomorrow.

About the Author

Jeremy Balkin

Customer Service Manager
Jeremy’s bio is super interesting, but he can write it better than we can.