Friday, 4 November 2016

Website changes

Status update on my websites.
A bit of rationalization is occurring behind the scenes - slowly, of course, genealogy and dna are far more interesting!
A casualty for a while was my - which holds, amongst other things, my Lorna's Links, and contact form - both of which most sites point to.
Should be back now.

In the review of what's where I did decide it's time to give up on RootsWeb as a Guestbook provider given that it has been more or less unoperational for quite some time.
Although a replacement is not yet in place* a snapshot of all posts (as at June when it was briefly available) from the RootsWeb Guestbook do now appear on as an historical record.

Although things are still in a state of flux, and likely to remain so for quite some time, please do let me know if something doesn't work as expected.

22 Nov 2016 update:
Guestbook now in place - links from other websites may take a little longer to be changed

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Chromosome Map review

Time to see if I'm progressing.

"Progress" here is defined as having formed all my segment matches into groups, and hopefully assigned to a "side".
This assignment is either directly because of a match to a known relative at the same position on a chromosome, or by deduction via a lack of a match to the known relative, at the same position with the smaller segment matches checked at where possible.

Last review was back on the 8th  of January (see "How far have I got?"), which chromosome map took all segments of whatever size (usually down to 10cMs).
This time I restricted myself to those 12cMs and above - on left - with the Jan 2016 version on the right
Lorna's Paternal/Maternal chromosome map, Oct 2016
Lorna's Maternal/Paternal segments, Jan 2016

So why am I doing this (I need to remind myself of this every so often!)?
To find those segments that I (or my other tested cousins) potentially inherited from the brickwall ancestors* that got me/us into DNA testing in the first place.
That pretty picture has yet to be produced, but those are the segments I should be focussing on to work with the matches at those spots to find any commonality for hints as to further research into  potential connections.

* the main brickwall ancestors are listed on the 8th January post linked above

There's a very satisfying decrease in the yellow ungrouped, Group A and Group B segments, primarily because of an increase in tested relatives who are starting to pop out of the woodwork faster than I can keep up these days.
The yellow bits are generally singletons - no other matches at the spots concerned to be compared against, but large enough not to be Identical by State (IBS) aka simple coincidental arrangements of DNA that "matches".
The latter two (A and B) are those matches that have been able to be grouped into segments definitely sharing a common ancestor, somewhere/somewhen, but with no ability to compare against known relatives at that spot.
This could be either because none of the known relatives match at that spot, or because different testing companies were involved with no ability to compare at

If you have tested autosomal DNA at any of FamilyTreeDNA (their FamilyFinder test), or Ancestry or 23andme, PLEASE consider maximising your investment in DNA testing by uploading your resulting file to
It has a wonderful range of tools and gives us all the ability to run comparisons to find matches tested at the other companies. All of which helps all of us find our shared ancestry.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016


Sorry folks.
Some of you may have noticed either this:

or this:

when you tried to access items like my Lorna's Links, Contact me, workshop notes, and assorted other pages over the last few days.

Will try harder next time I try something out behind the scenes and NOT accidentally stray into the production site instead!

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

The "New Experience" at 23andme

Finally, after 10 months of being a second class citizen at 23andme, my three kits have been transitioned into the "new experience".

FamilyTreeDNA is still my company of choice being the good all rounder, with tests for the three types of DNA, tools to work with them, and having DNA projects to assist collaboration.
Even better they've reduced their autosomal DNA test price from $99 to $79US (plus $12.95 US for international shipping). Be in.

But I do have three kits on 23andme, myself, a maternal aunt and a paternal second cousin, given I haven't any closer ones available, just to cover the bases.

It has been a frustrating 10 months during which I'd more or less given up on even checking matches there.

Apart from getting used to where everything I use is - mostly all found thanks to Kitty Cooper's blog posts - I took time to look at my Health reports, which is very low on my priority list, having tested for the genealogy. Curiousity won out.

Can't say I learnt much (thankfully I guess) but I did get a good chuckle out of one report.
I'm apparently an "Unlikely sprinter".
Given I use a wheelchair this seems unlikely or even very prophetic of them :)
And as I'm also getting rather longer in the tooth these days, being a good sprinter also seems a rather forlorn hope.

The more prosaic answer is

Back to the genealogy:
All three kits are now switched to Open Sharing.
If you are on the new 23andme please consider making the most of your investment for yourself, and your matches by reviewing your sharing preferences to select Open Sharing as well.

Tools> DNA Relatives
Over on the rhs beside “Filters” and above the Search box click “Update DNA Relatives profile"
Please select Open Sharing.
 It's great being able to quickly see who all matches whom (amongst your shares or those on open sharing) without having to go through the frustrating invite system that disappeared into a black hole with no record of what you may have said.

Friday, 5 August 2016

The ANDREWS DNA matches ctd

The grid below is on the DNASurnames site linked in the prior post but is included here to highlight the vagaries of atDNA inheritance.
The people listed are all descendants, or believed to be, of John ANDREWS and Rebekah WINES who married in 1808 at Martock, Somerset, England. 
One has yet to be confirmed, but matches so many of the others that they have to fit somewhere.
It only includes those who have uploaded to as it uses their wonderful tools to produce the grid.

The predicted generations to a common ancestor range from 1.4 to 6.9, where the 6.9 prediction is between 3rd cousins once removed.

The actual relationships range from 1st cousins to 4th cousins.

This family group has done much better than another I've done this exercise for.  Fewer blank cells where there was no detectable shared DNA over 7cMs than another family, so well done for the Andrews/Wines DNA.
Click to enlarge

With FamilyFinder on sale at the lowest price I've ever seen, now would be a great time for others to test and see where they "fit" and provide more data for the chromosome map of Andrews/Wines DNA - which is the next item to be updated.

Who's Harry?

I believe I now know the answer to this one, and an exciting journey it was too - well to those of us who are Genie and DNA addicts anyway, and of course those interested in our ANDREWS of Martock (Somerset, England) ancestry - which is rather giving the game away at the beginning.

March 2016 - cue an excellent set of DNA matches, reasonably close, between a newly loaded kit on, and several descendants of Simon and Jane (GIBSON) ANDREWS.
So why?

Correspondence with the match determined that her family tree did have an ANDREWS, deceased by 1958, father possibly Harry born about 1865. No place information provided. Was this a clue?
As yet, no indication that the DNA was definitely from her ANDREWS line, but definitely an indication from our side, thanks to all the matches to descendants of Simon and Jane.

Apr 2016 a kit from ancestry (another descendant of Simon and Jane) also uploaded to GEDMatch, and yet more matches

July 2016 sees yet another descendant of Simon and Jane tested, and yes, more matches.

Interest on where the match might fit has obviously grown. Time to explore the tree more.
What can we find out about Harry?

Harry proves remarkably record shy to date, even once we knew he lived in Michigan.Yes, there are census records which show him as born Canada - and his parents as born England (mostly, one says Canada) - so far so good. The records also show he was born abt 1861 or Jun 1862.
Then his death cert. threw a 1 Jan 1866 birth date into the works, with the very unhelpful information that his parents were unknown, as were their birth places, but that Harry himself was born "Goodrick, Ontario".

Were there any ANDREWS families with a son Harry born around 1861-1866, living in Goderich?

A William and Eliza/Elizabeth ANDREWS did indeed show up in the 1871 census of Ontario: born England, son Henry aged 12, so born about 1859 - but not with the family in the 1861 census!
What is it about Henry/Harry that causes so much age confusion?
Did any of the trees online have anything about Henry son of William and Eliza after the 1871 census?
But the family did indeed look promising, particularly when one of the trees not only showed William and Eliza as both born in Somerset, but also that they married in Martock.

This just had to be the right family.
But can we prove that William is a relation of Simon's and that their Henry is indeed Harry?
It was looking increasingly likely, particularly given that Simon has a brother William of the right age that we didn't have any sight of beyond the 1841 census.
Census information for William and Eliza in Ontario showed they emigrated about 1844/5 so were easily missed when searching English records, and as yet no death cert. can be found to provide a link back to his parents, just a headstone with his dates.

The first step was easy enough, although it took time - why oh why does England not have electronic BDM certficates? Postage is so S L O W, particularly now that our postal service is down to every second day delivery.

William and Eliz's marriage cert. did indeed show his father was a John ANDREWS, weaver, and threw in a pair of witnesses that belonged to the family, William and Simon's brother Abraham and his wife Mary Ann (nee CHANT), to clinch the identification.

How was this missed when previous researchers had combed the Martock parish registers?
Easy really, they were married at the Ebenezer Chapel in Bower Hinton, not the established church.
It's still exists.

So far so good.
But can we prove the link from Henry born about 1859, or possibly 1861/2 ish, or even 1866, in Goderich, to Harry in Harbor Beach, Michigan by 1910?

If anyone can find Harry's marriage cert. to Barbara SWACKHAMER, or where he was in either the 1880 US census or the 1881 Canadian one, or anything/anywhere after the Canadian 1871 census and prior to the 1900 Michigan census, please do share!

In the meantime, ancestry trees came up trumps yet again.
One in particular had little notes that indicated family information, as opposed to straight research, might be available.
The tree however showed Henry, fate unknown.
But what's more important, the poster actually replied to a message.
Although Bill said he didn't think he could help with my quest, he did enclose his grandmother's notes on the family.
His grandmother was the granddaughter of William and Eliza via their son Walter, and had written up notes on the assorted children of William and Eliza, along with their children.
The notes started with the information that William was from a family of weavers, and that two of his older siblings had left England, one to New Zealand (that has to be Simon) and one to Australia (bit puzzled by that one, but this is currently assumed to actually be Eliza's sister and her husband who emigrated to Australia - which I only happen to know via one of those little coincidences of genie life in that the sister's husband's brother is the ancestor of a friend of mine - and we've only just figured this out thanks to this investigation!).
Reading on, the following jumped out at me:
"Harry had a family in Harbor Beach. He is dead"

I'm convinced. 
Are you?

Thank you newfound cousin Bill.

My ANDREWS page will be undergoing an update, and DNASurnames now also includes an ANDREWS DNA section to show some of the predicted atDNA relationships compared to the actual distance from John and Rebecca ANDREWS along with the utter variability of who actually shows up as matches.

Enjoy, this journey has been fun. Now to explore the rest of the Canadian and Michigan branches of the ANDREWS/WINES family.

Monday, 1 August 2016

How many to go: Helen SINTON mtDNA update

Further research into descendants of Helen WIGHT nee SINTON, and a resulting update to WikiTree for her daughters' families in particular has extended the chart of those carrying Helen's mitochondrial DNA.
Unfortunately, it looks to be a rather short list of living candidates, and with at least one branch apparently in Sth Africa and another in Portugal, information is a little harder to come by. 

Would love to hear from:
The search might have to go back another generation and down the mtDNA candidates from Jane WIGHT, which might actually be easier.
Surely at least one of the Jane SINTON/James TELFER/TELFORD branch will have a living mtDNA descendant in Australia?

Love to hear from you if you can help in this quest.