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 the second seems unlikely :)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 GEDMatch.com 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 GEDMatch.com, 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.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

How many to go?

As you can probably deduce, I'm a DNA junkie.
Apart from using my autosomal DNA matches (and a lot of genealogical research) to map my chromosomes so that I know (eventually - I hope!) which bits on which chromosomes were inherited from which ancestors*, another of my aims to is document the haplogroups for each of my ancestors out to my 2*great grandparents (at least) -  yDNA and/or mtDNA.

Knowing this data is of help in working with autosomal DNA matches to rule in or out of contention certain lines, and you never do know what else you may learn.

So I thought it was time to take stock.
The above is a screen shot of my ancestry tree pedigree with the symbols I've attached for the appropriate haplogroups where known.

How am I doing?
Grandparents: one to go, George Ernest ANDREWS.
There's a test in progress for a descendant of Simon ANDREWS, due next month.

Great Grandparents: two to go, other than George Gibson ANDREWS who will be sorted next month.
Helen Sinton WIGHT (WorldConnect / WikiTree / Geni / FamilySearch) and
Ellen TURNBULL (WorldConnect / WikiTree / Geni / FamilySearch.

Can you help?
Concentrating on Helen Sinton WIGHT first.
Helen Sinton WIGHT has no living descendants who inherited her mitochondrial DNA.
Working back to her mother, Helen WIGHT nee SINTON (my webpages / WorldConnect / WikiTree) there may be some options, but although (or because) this WIGHT family is the one that started my whole genealogy journey back in the 1970s, it is the least documented, and very poorly sourced given how new I was to this back then! 

Can YOU help by contributing any knowledge you have on descendants of Helen?
The three main collaborative world trees that anyone can access for free, that I follow and work with are: WikiTree, Geni and FamilySearch.
Let's see if we can turn up any living descendants down any of the lines in general, hopefully at least one in particular that carries Helen's mitochondrial DNA AND one who may be convinced to indulge my curiousity.

Both WikiTree and Geni have DNA related tools that can be quickly checked for DNA candidates of interest - and easily rechecked as the tree grows:
WikiTree -  descendants of Helen who have inherited her mtDNA a short list - but I am working on an update as we speak. None on the current list are still with us, and the first two branches I've worked on don't appear to have any likely surviving candidates for mtDNA.
Geni - living descendants of Helen who have inherited her mtDNA (none as at Jul 2016)
FamilySearch - descendants of Helen WIGHT nee SINTON

Regardless of this specific quest for mitochondrial DNA candidates, there may well be some cousins still around who would be most welcome to contribute autosomal DNA and see what that adds to our overall DNA knowledge of connections.
Pop along to my atDNA project FFLornaHen on FamilyTreeDNA and order a FamilyFinder test, or test at Ancestry and then transfer that file to both GEDMatch.comhttp://GEDMatch.com and to FamilyTreeDNA so we can all fish in both ponds for matches and use the tools only available on the latter two sites to make the most of our investment(s).
I'd love to hear from any of you - contact form on most of my webpages.

* the main aim of all that work with my atDNA is to concentrate on the matches at the spots where I don't yet know which ancestor is to blame - can you hear the sounds of the crumbling brickwalls?
A wonderful side effect is of course confirming the family tree, testing theories, and as recently highlighted, finding new siblings for some of the ancestors.
Some of the distant cousins you get to "meet" may even be able to shed more light on our shared ancestors with photos, family knowledge etc.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

DAW(E) update

Time moves fast in the atDNA world!

No sooner had I prepared an update to the chromsome map showing the atDNA segments identified as being inherited from either Isaac DAWE or Sarah SMITH of Tavistock/Newton Mill/Lumburn, but yet another tested descendant popped up.
Those results haven't been included.

The two updated pages of relevance are:
DNASurnames now has an atDNA section in the DAWE DNA results - which includes a table of relationships as predicted by the shared DNA compared against the known generations to Isaac and Sarah. The table is also interesting in it shows where no detectable match (over 7cMs/700 SNPs) between descendants was found, such is the randomness of atDNA inheritance.
My DAWE family page has the updated Chromosome map included.
The page still includes the 2014 version for comparison -we ARE making progress - wonder how many are the SMITH side?.
Already at least some of the purple segments that were only potentially from the DAWE side of   William Rowe/Honor Dawe's ancestry are now identified as DAWE.

The DNASurnames table and segment traceability diagrams can only include those who have uploaded their DNA file to GEDMatch, so neither include the descendant of John DAWE (hatter in Tavistock) and wife Mary FRIEND who popped up on Ancestry as a solid match to myself (Lorna) and also has a smaller match to a descendant of Isaac and Sarah's son Thomas.
Anyone only on ancestry cannot be compared at an appropriate level of detail against the other "cousins" as Ancestry simply does not provide the tools available at either GEDMatch or FamilyTreeDNA.
It would be great to be able to see how likely it is that her John is the John baptized Whitchurch to an Isaac and Sarah.
Working on it, but real life takes priority - sometimes.

Perhaps another descendant of John and Mary might be interested enough to participate?
FamilyFinder test from FamilyTreeDNA or the Ancestry DNA test, but in either case, please upload your file to GEDMatch.
Bear in mind that we still have not definitively proven that Robert DAW in California, born Michigan and father of Mark Walton DAW (b. 1892 Oakland) is one and the same as Robert Henry DAW, son of Isaac Friend DAW who emigrated to Michigan (see prior blog post).
So ideally, descendants of any/all of those mentioned very very welcome to see what we learn about the family relationships from their DNA.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

One thing always leads to another

This trail started with an enquiry from someone helping an adoptee find her family.
What could I tell them about her DNA match with x?

It led to my extending the family tree of the match back up one of the lines I don't share with him.
Which, surprisingly, led me from Andes, Delaware, New York, back to WHITSONs on the Scottish Borders.
Which, of course, led to my wondering if they were related to the Alexander WHITSON of the Muirhouselaw Tile Works who married Elizabeth Richardson WIGHT my 2* great aunt, ie sister of my great grandmother Helen Sinton WIGHT.
Which led me to have a quick look around the family to see if there were any unsolved mysteries while I was there.

What happened to Elizabeth Jane Sinton WHITSON aka SOUTAR who married Industrial Chemist David McLaren PAUL?

Her birth had been a mystery, given her first appearance was as a daughter in a SOUTAR family but no matching birth.
That was solved once I realized that she wasn't actually born as Elizabeth Jane Sinton SOUTAR, but as WHITSON, but brought up by her mother's sister after her mother's death in childbirth.

Her death had also been a mystery - until tonight.
It was presumed to be between David's marriage to her, and his subsequent marriage to Ivy Elsie POVOAS in 1945.
It was not found in Scotland, nor easily recognised in the English Death Index (David was working in Worcester when they married in 1916) last time I checked.
Tonight I did another search of English deaths.

FindMyPast now includes records from the Manchester Crematorium, and there she was
"In December 1940 as the result of enemy action of 30 Wellington Road Whalley Range Elizabeth J. Soutar the dear wife of David M. PAUL. Service Manchester Crematorium this day (Friday) at 2.30pm (Manchester Guardian Fri 27 Dec 1940)"

With the knowledge that at that time her name was considered to be Elizabeth Soutar PAUL, there she also was in the death index as Elizabeth S PAUL, registered 1940 Qtr 4 Manchester, aged 56.

Which led to research on the Manchester Christmas Blitz of 1940, including:
A site dedicated to the Greater Manchester Blitz Victims, any of who being listed on the Commonwealth War Graves site, although civilians, including Elizabeth

An eyewitness account from a lad who lived through it:

Unseen images of the Manchester Christmas Blitz from the Telegraph

A chronology of the attack, which understandably, gets less detailed as events progressed and probably rather hard to keep up with events.

This map shows the sites (interactive on the Manchester Evening News website) which doesn't actually include Elizabeth, so I added the arrow to show her address.
I do admit to wondering if that bomb had David's name on it, given his occupation in 1911 "technical chemist, explosives manufacturer"

Never give up.
Get sidetracked, you never know where it will lead :)
Don't dismiss apparently irrelevant sources! (I would never have thought of searching the Commonwealth War Graves for Elizabeth.)