Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Has DNA testing come up trumps?

Early days yet, but indications are that we may be on the way to proving that Robert FAIRBAIRN,  married to Kate SCOTT and emigrated to Ontario around 1827/8 is indeed a son of Archibald and Alison (CROSSER) FAIRBAIRN.
One of my closer previously unknown DNA matches appears on a segment of dna that I share with a known double cousin (4C1R and 5th, as he descends from both James and from David, sons of Archibald and Alison).
"Do you have any known FAIRBAIRN ancestry" I asked.
"Yes, a Mary Catherine FAIRBAIRN married to Peter Nelson KELLER."
Now I just happen to know that Mary is Robert's granddaughter.

Although I don't yet know how my match links to Mary, or whether there's another line in her ancestry that could account for this match, I'm pleasantly hopeful we're finally on our way to proving my long held theory about Robert being "family".
Updates on Mary's family will now ensue.
Confirmation may shortly be forthcoming as the kit from another descendant of Robert & Kate's is en route back to the lab.
It would still be great to find a direct male line FAIRBAIRN descendant of Robert's willing to do a y_DNA test to quickly and more easily prove this link though!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Moral or medical judgement?

(From an 1866 death certificate)

Found during investigations into a dna match between a descendant of a FAICHNEY/McTAVISH family from Dunblane and two of the extended HENDERSON/McEWAN family tree FamilyFinder participants.
If there are any dna tested descendants from the family of Fergus FAICHNEY and Mary McTAVISH who married at Dunblane in 1842 I'd love to hear from you to help rule in or out that this is the line where the match comes from.
Or, for that matter John McTAVISH and Margaret McDIARMID who married at Killin, Perthshire in 1811.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

A few more CLINTON/PARKER dna snippets

Slowly but surely...
Here's an updated chromosome map for the dna segments identifiable as being inherited from the common ancestors of William CLINTON and Jemima PARKER who married in London in 1810.

With many thanks to the two cousins found amongst our matches at 23andme - you have added new segments to the map.
One day this will help us find more about one or other of the ancestors of William and Jemima!

A small increase in knowledge of the map published in June.

Anyone else claiming descent from William and Jemima would be MOST welcome to add to our sum of knowledge.
Order a FamilyFinder kit*, and join the autosomal DNA project FFLornaHen!

* using this link to order gives WikiTree something towards their wonderful free collaborative tree.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

For your consideration/support

A message from Andrea that I'm happy to post here to spread the word.
Her own webpates are at
and provide inspiration to all.
Hi everyone

Would you please share this with anyone who you think might be interested or could donate.

I am assisting Kiribati set up a Cancer Society and organise effective cancer services either in Kiribati or in the region. Currently there are no treatment options for children with cancer - as well as breast and cervical cancer etc.

I'm heading up to Kiribati in the second week of December and am looking for funding to work there for a week. During that time, we'll create a strategic plan and write funding applications for the major aid donors such as NZ Aid Programme (where I used to work), Australian Aid, USAID, the World Bank, WHO, Japan Aid etc.

Thanks, Andrea

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Richardsons of Morebattle

As explained on my  RICHARDSONs of Morebattle page, we are exploring a (very small) subset of the overall RICHARDSON Surname DNA project to tease out connections between the lines listed, and any others that come along, using both Y-DNA and autosomal DNA.

Our knowledge of the y-DNA of one of the lines has just increased by an upgrade from 37 to 67 markers, and the RICHARDSON results page of the DNASurnames Lineages site, has been updated.

Only two tests are now at 67 markers however but at least the representative from the RICHARDSONs of Eckford, and that of William the Dancing Master, are only minimally further apart.
At 37 markers they were at a genetic distance of 5 (GD5), which included 4 faster moving markers, so only distantly related.
At 67 markers that became GD6 by the addition of one more slow moving marker.
So still only rather distantly related - FamilyTree DNA's Time Predictor gives only a 71% probability of a common ancestory within 16 generations.

Jury still out, from lack of sufficient information on whether or not the Dancing Master belongs to James and Margaret (MABON) RICHARDSON as we can't compare apples with apples, they could be a minimum of GD1, or at most, GD7 apart (one tested with the now defunct ancestry yDNA test, the other with FamilyTree DNA).

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Under my nose

Solved one of my long standing mysteries today.
Joan who shares an interest in my FAIRBAIRN family of Walter and Grace (ARMSTRONG) FAIRBAIRN of Tinnishall, Canonbie, popped out of the woodwork again to share an 1891 letter from Grace to her nephew, John LITTLE.
She had mentioned it a year or so ago, and back then my efforts at solving the mystery of what happened to Walter and Grace's son William had continued as a brick wall.

The letter explicitly mentioned where Grace's family were on 6th March 1891, including William, whom I had not found beyond the 1851 census when he was at home with Walter and Grace as William FAIRBAIRN, 5, son, born Canonbie.
So he had survived.

How hard can it be to find a William FAIRBAIRN, florist in Hampshire in the 1891 census of 4 April when his mother had mentioned him on the 6th of March? But no, still no sightings 1861 to 1911, Scotland or England.

The answer was right under my nose all along of course.

As his birth had preceded Walter and Grace's marriage by a couple of years, I went looking for births of William's in Canonbie to mother Grace ARMSTRONG.
Two presented themselves in the right timeframes.
One was with Andrew DAVIDSON, but that family included children back to when Grace would have been only 12.
The other was a William born 1845 to William WHITE and Grace ARMSTRONG, no other children obvious.

Off to ScotlandsPeople to see what the baptism actually said.
Only to find that they showed that I'd already viewed the record!
Perhaps I'd gotten sidetracked back whenever, and simply forgotten I'd checked that, or possibly checked and discarded but not noted anything in my records?
All was explained when the page was re-examined.
The page was headed 1855.
Three baptisms with Grace as the mother were all on the same page, the first WHITE, William born Jun 1845, baptized Mar 1845, to William WHITE and Grace, the next two, both FAIRBAIRN, Agnes and Margaret to Walter FAIRBAIRN and Grace.
I'd only ever looked at the FAIRBAIRN entries I was initially interested in and not looked up the page!

Yes, now easily viewed in 1871 (gardener at Capenoch, Dumfries), 1881 (gardener at Mortlake, Surrey with wife Helen), and 1891 there he was in Havant, Hants as a florist, all as William WHITE.

Still missing in action in 1861.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Spring's early

Heard, then saw, my first cuckoo this afternoon.
It did of course fly away before I got the photo.
Tomorrow is the first day of spring.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Maternal chromosome map

While I'm in dna snapshot mode, here's an updated picture of my maternal chromosome map.
Lots of gaps, but an increasing amount of information that will allow identification of likely areas to focus on for matches.
Click to enlarge

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Henderson brick wall

One of my reasons for venturing into DNA testing for genealogy back in 2007 was to break through several brick walls.

Yes, there have been some successes, many intriguing finds, and a lot of new correspondents to share with.

No, I still have no more idea about where Archibald HENDERSON, or Amelia MILLAR for that matter, came from.

Here's the current state of play of mapped chromosome segments inherited/shared by the tested participants, along with those where their matches also match each other forming a triangulated group. The caveat however is that we do NOT know the segments are from the HENDERSON side of the ancestral couples shown, and for those marked as ... anc., the link can be back up either side of the couple, somewhere, somewhen.

In theory, one day a WOW moment will arrive when one of these matches holds the key in their trees and dna to break through that wall.
Click to enlarge
This picture, and any subsequent updates to it, may be found on both:
and Any descendants of Archibald and Margaret interested in exploring this further would be most welcome to join my autosomal dna (atDNA) project FFLornaHen.
The inheritance of atDNA is such that even siblings can show up different segments, and thus more matches, to add into the mix to triangulate.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Government records are always accurate - yeah right!

Great granddad William HENDERSON has been getting some attention of late as more of the dna several of us inherited is identified.

It occurred to me however that I'd never actually looked at his official immigration records.
After all, I have the ship board diary he wrote and knew he arrived in Port Chalmers on the 8th July 1872, and travelling by steamer "Golden Age" to Dunedin the following day, going to the barracks.

With FamilySearch having digitized the assisted immigration records from our National Archives off I went to check the images.
Couldn't find him!
When the obvious fails, start looking at the less obvious.
The voyage has been identified, and thus indexed, as having arrived in Wellington.
Examination of the papers associated explained why.
Although the cover of the file shows the "William Davie" as "for Otago",
 the next page shows it as arriving Wellington.

Newspaper reports

do confirm that great granddad wasn't lost, and his diary does not show the ship landing anywhere at all other than Port Chalmers after it left Greenock.

William recorded most of the daily lat/long values during the voyage.
See the William Davie voyage for more details, click on the voyage link for the map, and the markers on the map for the dates and any notes.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

REA of light

Looking at the Cumberland GRAHAMs sparked a search to see what might be available for Abigail REA, wife of Stephen GRAHAM.
Father David of Crosby upon Eden has been added to my web pages - but with a caveat on the accuracy of the family noted as belonging to him.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Chromosome map update

Inspired by the GRAHAM dna story over the last two posts (and finally figuring out an easier way to produce the formatted data required), here's the current state of own chromosome maps.
I don't yet know whether any traces of this GRAHAM dna can be detected in my own genes (as opposed to my maternal aunts') as not all of those involved have uploaded to GEDMatch, yet, for the smaller segments to be checked.

The links to the respective surnames involved are to one of WikiTree's wonderful DNA features.
Just some of the more distant lines identified are added as labels on this post.

Paternal side map, ie my Dad's HENDERSON and DAVIDSON ancestry (Surnames involved):

Maternal side map, ie my Mum's ANDREWS and ROWE ancestry (Surnames involved):
Quite a few empty spots to go yet, not sure I'll live long enough to fill in all the gaps.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

GRAHAMs galore

The GRAHAM families of colonial Delaware/Virginia/North Carolina continue to provide interesting research opportunities as we explore the connection to my Cumberland (ENG) GRAHAMs  indicated by our autosomal dna matches (refer earlier post here).

Contact with each match is gradually eliciting responses with further information - at least for those without impossible-to-get-past spam filters on their email.
Thankfully the latter are rare but if someone posts an email address on a dna site expecting contact from matches, it would be nice if you could actually contact them.

The most interesting discovery/lead is the addition of the family of Archibald & Margaret (SHED?) GRAHAM of Augusta Co., Virginia > Patterson Springs, Cleveland Co., North Carolina into the growing, well triangulated group.

As a result of all of this activity, I've promoted the GRAHAMs from the Surname chart section of my website to the Surname pages section.

Check out the GRAHAM page which attempts to pull this information together.
Included here, as well as there, is the current state of knowledge of dna identifiable as belonging to whomsoever is the shared ancestor of:
  • Andrew GRAHAM of Fauld, Longtown, Cumberland, England
  • James & Elizabeth (?ARSKIN/?ADAIR or ??, later OGLE) GRAHAM of New Castle, Delaware, America
  • Archibald & Margaret (?SHED) GRAHAM of Augusta Co., Virginia, America > Patterson Springs, Cleveland Co., North Carolina, America
In the interests of accuracy I do have to acknowledge that Andrew is just one of the GRAHAM lines in this ancestry, the actual link could well be back up an as yet undocumented history of any of the GRAHAMs who married into this GRAHAM tree, of which there are several. He is just the earliest I know of, the rest being to young to be the ancestor of James and/or Archibald.

My WorldConnect Database LornaPotential has been updated to include some of the above Archibald and James GRAHAM families as research proceeds (Archibald, James).

If anyone from these families has tested their autosomal dna from any of ancestry, 23andme and FamilyTreeDNA and we've not been in touch recently about any matches, please do make yourselves known - preferably with a GEDMatch id if you have one - and we may be able to add a few more segments to the above.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

GRAHAMs of Cumberland (ENG) and Virginia (USA)

On the DNA lists, posts sometimes bemoan the lack of participants with UK ancestry, as, it has to be admitted, a lot of the test takers do indeed appear to have what is called deep US ancestry.
Which needs a lot of luck (translates to hard work) to determine where your match might be.

Recent re-examination of my maternal aunts' FamilyFinder results has led to an interesting set of matches, both having what looked like a piece of "sticky" DNA* on chromosome 5 with a heap of matches.  With two matches to one aunt predicted as 2nd to 4th cousins it seemed worth pursuing at least a little further.

Contact with both matches and examination of the shared trees made that relationship seem a tad optimistic, but we fairly quickly homed in on a particular GRAHAM family of Overton, TN (1820s+) via Augusta/Botetourt, VA (1750ish).
The progenitors were likely to have arrived by at least 1720, possibly via Delaware, from either Ireland or Cumberland, England or Canonbie, Dumfries-shire, Scotland  [...take your pick from a variety of trees here..].

My earliest Cumberland GRAHAM ancestor is an Andrew of Fauld, born abt 1660 - one of the earlier lines I've managed to trace.

Expanding my match searches beyond the 2nd to 4th cousins to find those shows as both In Common With (ICW) and on the chr 5 match list, I found another set on the same chr 5 spot predicted as 4th and 5th to remote, a niece/aunt combo descending from the same family.

We have not yet found the exact connection between the families either side of the pond so as to link them up in a family tree, and may never do so, but the message for those FamilyFinder test takers with UK ancestry, don't ignore those deep US ancestry trees, finds can be made, and an interest in early American emigration developed!

It would be great to explore further, so I would love to hear from any distant cousin in my tree who  shares my GRAHAM ancestral line to see what else we may learn.
Any descendants of Stephen GRAHAM and Jane BATY of Arthuret who might be interested? 
Say someone down from Andrew GRAHAM and Jane MOFFET,  Andrew's brother William, or sister Mary's son David?

On the US side, I'd love to hear from researchers of the following GRAHAM families:
William and Priscilla (ROBINSON) GRAHAM probably of Buffalo Creek, Roanake
and their children (or other lines) born Augusta Co., Virginia > Jefferson Co., Tennessee
Priscilla GRAHAM and Walter GREER
George & Elizabeth (TURNLEY) GRAHAM
and any other lines from the same families or any other GRAHAM families from these areas who may turn up as FamilyFinder matches.

I'm in heavy research catch up here to see which of the GRAHAM families in the areas involved are actually connected to each other, given trees online can be ever so slightly contradictory, so help would be apprectated.
It does look like dna might be able to help sort some of those tangles out.

* a segment of DNA that has passed down unchanged through rather more generations than is usual

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Inching backward

Knowledge of my mysterious Clinton/Parker ancestors has increased.
Analysis of FamilyFinder results just in for a 3rd cousin shows the following dna segments represent Clinton/Parker (or earlier ancestral lines) dna.
The FamilyFinder results don't show any others helpfully overlapping the above kits at the same points, so we aren't that much further ahead yet in finding previously unknown relations who can help figure out where William CLINTON came from, or any further hints about Jemima PARKER.

GEDMatch results yet to be explored.

Anyone else claiming descent from William and Jemima would be MOST welcome to add to our sum of knowledge.
Order a FamilyFinder kit*, and join the autosomal DNA project FFLornaHen!

* using this link to order gives WikiTree something towards their wonderful free collaborative tree.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Related or not?

The more observant of you may have noticed that my main webpages have been updated (Big Brother).
The list of recent changes is rather bunched up on yesterday, mainly because that was when I checked off the people updated since the last publication - and of course found and fixed all (most of?) the typos etc.

Jemima PARKER appears because I've been fossicking around seeing whether or not any of the  FamilyFinder matches of descendants can shed any light on her and William CLINTON's ancestry - and seeing if there are any lines of enquiry left to pursue.
This time round I decided to see if anything could be found via the marriage witnesses, given I'd a question mark on the spelling of one of them.
The witnesses to their 1810 marriage at St Alphage were given as a James [H/K]UZELL  and Ann CAMPBELL, and after a few false starts on what the name was most likely to be, I found what looks a likely pair marrying at St Alphage in 1813, James HAZELL and Ann CAMPBELL.

Anyone know anything about the family?
Dragged off the street to be witnesses? Friends? Relations? Waiting around in the church for another event?

I'm still digging, but it looks like James might have been a leather cutter, and may still have been alive in 1842 but I've not yet positively identified him or any of the family (daughters Sarah Ann, 1814, Charlotte, 1815, James Henry 1820, all baptized St Giles, Cripplegate) in the 1841 census.
There's a possibility in Essex which piqued my interest given Jemima's background, another in Berkshire and another in Somerset, which latter I think can be discounted. Jury still out on the others.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Likely rellies

My WorldConnect Database LornaPotential has been updated.
As mentioned earlier, it now includes some of the families being investigated because they've come up in  more than one of my FamilyFinder DNA matches.

Of particular curiousity at the moment is the family of Andrew SMEAL/SMAIL and Ann OLIVER (married 1751, Bowden, Roxburghshire) as they have come up several times amongst my matches.
Unfortunately all matches tested  on Ancestry, not FamilyTreeDNA, and only one of the matches has uploaded to GEDMatch where further dna comparisons can be made to explore further, rather than believing Ancestry's "trust us we know what we're doing" policy.

Another is the family of John HOOD and Janet LINDORES who may lead to some DAVIDSON discoveries?

If you are a descendant of any of the families found in LornaPotential, and at all interested in exploring genetic genealogy, by all means join in the fun and try a FamilyFinder test to see what we would learn about our (possible) connections.
There's a great discount going at the moment - until midnight on the 17th June, EST.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Hoping something is true...

... isn't the same as it being true.
A couple of years ago I found some HAMILTON twigs in Australia.
The several trees on ancestry all claimed George HAMILTON and Isabella ORMISTON as their ancestors.
At the time I was on a quest to find a direct male line descendant of this couple (or for that matter any of the preceding generations) who might be willing to be a guinea pig and do his thing for family history by participating in the FAMILTON DNA Project.
Still looking - hint, hint! Remember that the line of the Ancrum weavers that we hope to match are of an unusual haplogroup for the Borders (G), which might add some interest to the search.

Information from an 1899 family tree had shown that several of the sons had indeed gone to Australia, nothing further known.

Superficially the information checked out but with nothing concrete to prove the linkage, and with, I do admit, a slight niggle as one of the death index entries had a wrong mother's forename.

Something led me back to the family this week.
Time moves on, more records are more readily available.

The main link to descendants was William Sydney HAMILTON, son of George HAMILTON and Catherine HENDERSON.
However he is now known to not be the one marrying DRYER and producing descendants, as his headstone shows he died aged 8 months and is buried with three of his siblings (Peter Henderson, Jessie, and Catherine HAMILTON) who all died as infants, and his mother Catherine Henderson HAMILTON of Argyll (not Ireland).

Further info was found this time round on the son who survived infancy, George.
So, several twigs lost and only one gained - IF the George marrying Catherine is indeed our George.
We do know that the George marrying Catherine was 28 in 1848, which fits, but that's circumstantial evidence as his death has not yet been found.
Some trees show George as the 1883 death indexed as parents George and Isabella. However the matching death notice shows that George as 21, native of Glasgow, where there's a matching birth indexed in Govan to George HAMILTON and Isabella BOW.

Son George married a Charlotte Jane McMASTER and produced at least one son, Gordon Cumming HAMILTON.
An note on a FamilySearch tree adds that he was the first to drive a car over the Blue Mountains from Sydney - haven't yet found any record of that.
Can anyone elaborate?
Can anyone fully confirm that this George married to Catherine HENDERSON is the son of George and Isabella (ORMISTON) HAMILTON?

My WorldConnect database LornaHenderson that contains the basic BDM data for all the dead rellies and connections has been updated to reflect this change of tack, and bring in all the updates from the last few months.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Build your own "luck"

Isn't it  amazing we get lucky in this genie hunt - by working hard!

Keep notes on all the potentially interesting snippets when you find them and you never know when you'll get lucky after all.
Some years ago I noted a newspaper obituary for a William SINTON who had died in Birkenhead (Cheshire) having served 20 years as chief engineer for the Ocean S.S. Co.
Never could find him in a census to figure out who he was.

I'm currently checking off assorted old SINTON research to upload more to WikiTree. In particular at the moment, the children of John SINTON & Alison HALL.
Amongst whom were a William and Elizabeth with nothing known beyond the 1851 census in Lismore & Appin (Argyll).

Something brought me back to the above obituary so I decided to explore further.
With probate information now more readily available I quickly found that he was married to an Elizabeth Formby HALSALL.
William was obviously home from his travels at regular intervals, as although he didn't appear in any census, Elizabeth shows up with a growing family over the years.
The first child was called Mary Hall SINTON, so this was looking a rather likely lead as to the fate of William.
Then in the 1871 census, who should show up living with wife Elizabeth but a "sister" Elizabeth SINTON, of the right age, and shown as born Scotland.

Bingo. Two birds one stone.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Increasing FORTUNE

Another of the descendants of Jessie FORTUNE nee ORMISTON has got in touch, prompting me to do a bit more exploration of the FORTUNE family begun last month.
Bit more success this time in finding what happened to some of the descendants.
Some trees have Andrew Park FORTUNE as dying in British Columbia in 1954, which I cannot confirm, but at least he has a Canadian connection as his Boer War medal card shows that after he had served in the Commander in Chief's Body Guard, he transferred to the 2nd Canadian Rifles.
Whether this was before or after the note saying "discharged to settle in Sth Africa" is unclear.
Regardless, it does explain how come he wasn't to be found in the 1901 census in the UK.

Webpages partially updated to include a page for Jessie's Mum Jeany FAIRBAIRN - anyone know what happened to her?
I finally decided that it was silly having both Jeany and Jan in the family both born around 1826 and fate unknown, they have to be one and same person - so I've halved the mysteries in the family!

FAIRBAIRN descendant chart also updated.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Fate of Mary Ann LIVOCK

Remember how a while ago Michael popped out of the woodwork having identified the first wife of the Rev Robert TURNBULL?
And how we couldn't find her death? The closest match by place being a few weeks shy of when Robert remarried, which seemed unlikely undue haste.

Karen, a descendant of David STEVENSON and his wife Eliza (who turned out to be Mary Ann's sister) came up trumps.
She read the online correspondence of David STEVENSON rather more closely than I and found his report back to wife Eliza and the Rev Turnbull of a visit to Milverton in Somerset to see "poor Mary Ann's grave".
Somerset would never have featured on my radar as a place to look for Mary Ann's death.
Karen also found a transcript of the burials at St Michael's, Milverton, and I found several 1843 advertisements for the Milverton Classical and Commercial School, "Master Mr Turnbull".
He obviously couldn't teach Greek!
Mary Ann now appears on my webpages with her own page

Friday, 23 May 2014

SINTON * two

Fascinating where a posting on my guestbook can lead.
Bronwyn left a query asking if I had any clues about her children's 3greats grandmother Catherine SINTON.
Most definitely.
We have now both solved mysteries.
I now know both who the mysterious Catherine in Alford Forest was, and what happened to Catherine in my SINTON tree - one and the same person, or at least I strongly suspect so.

Then a day or so later, Bronwyn casually mentions that she thought Catherine's sister had also emigrated and settled in Alford Forest.
And so it turned out.
There are an awful lot of GRIEVEs to sort out, so anyone interested in helping with who belongs to which GRIEVE family around the Alford Forest/Methven/Rakaia area, please do get in touch.

A few more pins have been placed on the SINTON map.

Monday, 19 May 2014


As I'm addicted to genetic genealogy, in case readers hadn't guessed by now, a while ago I succumbed to an sale and added one of their dna kits to my sum of knowledge.
Although I now see firsthand how woeful their tools are for actually confirming their suggested matches, I do have to report a success.

Using the search by location for Roxburghshire, Scotland over my suggested matches brought up several trees of interest.
One of particular interest showed an end of line HAMILTON as Archibald HAMILTON and Isabella HEN(D)RY whom I know to be of the Abbey Hotel, Melrose (father George appears on my webpages complete with photo).

Our DNA match was predicted as confidence "very low", and I strongly suspect that FamilyTree DNA wouldn't even show it as a match, but nonetheless, having confirmed sufficient of the papertrail shown, I believe we are 7th cousins!
This is somewhat beyond the normal range of autosomal dna testing for a great deal of confidence, so maybe there's a closer papertrail in there somewhere, but for now I'm happy to have found a Californian branch of my FAMILTONs.

However, the next step is to try and verify which segment of my dna can be tracked back to our shared ancestors, William FAMILTON and Elizabeth WILSON (which descendant chart now has at least some of the newfound (to me) line appearing on it).
This couple are the parents of the Bessy FAMILTON who married John RUNCIMAN and we have several descendants with detectable matches back to at least the next generation down.
With a lot of luck and co-operation with the ancestry match we should be able to use the wonderful third party tools at to see if the shared segment is detectable in some of those.

Any other FAMILTON/HAMILTON descendants out there wanting to try their luck at a detectable match via this tree, do join my FamilyFinder project FFLornaHen and order a FamilyFinder test. I'll happily help you through the maze of results.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

WorldConnect - BDM data redux

As per yesterday's post, my updates continue.
WorldConnect database LornaHenderson has been refreshed.

In addition to both LornaPotential and LornaHenderson being on RootsWeb for posterity, both have been uploaded to my Henderson Web Site on MyHeritage.
This time I have hopes that the latter will continue to be able to be synchronised with  my desktop, never having been able to do so up till now for reasons they've not been able to fathom.

With the changes to MyHeritage over the last while, records found in their searches can now be attached to trees, much like Ancestry, but I have to confess the latter impinges on my consciousness more than MyHeritage does, so my trees there, although incomplete, are more actively worked on.
MyHeritage's strength, for me, remains the smartmatch facility I've found useful since GenCircles days.

Regardless of which site, contact from relatives, however distant, is welcome.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

WorldConnect - BDM data

The next of my updates to my assorted online sites was to be to my WorldConnect database LornaPotential, ie those people I've researched as possibly related.
BUT using  my normal link, that on my web pages sidebar, in Firefox, I was taken to a general ancestry search form for the public member trees.
A bit of digging in the ancestry forums led to this thread which explains that there is a problem, that is browser dependent.
For me, FireFox doesn't work to access but chrome does (I don't have Internet Explorer loaded, so haven't checked that).

I'm guessing that this is related to the browser issues that stopped many of us from accessing the source images - the images being covered by big orange bordered boxes with assorted messages that stopped you seeing the actual image.
Switching browsers sometimes worked, sometimes not, as did a forced refresh of the page (Firefox hold shift and hit F5). That has now been resolved, at least for me.

All that aside, LornaPotential has now been refreshed.
Many that were in this database have now been transferred into my main database LornaHenderson (to be updated next).
LornaHenderson database contains basic BDM data on all my researched relations AND their connections. Everyone in there, with about 50 exceptions, can be navigated to/from someone who is related to me and mine.
LornaPotential database contains those I've researched because of potential connections.
Increasingly this latter category includes the lines of dna matches that look most likely to be where the connection lies.
If you are a descendant of anyone in either database I'd love to hear from you, particularly if you have the missing links, or further information AND/OR would be willing to explore potential connections by using an appropriate genetic genealogy test, such as FamilyFinder.
Some of the people mentioned will have a personal page on my webpages with further information.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Lack of activity

The more observant of you may have noticed a decided lack of updates on my assorted sites over the last few months.
Three main reasons:
1) Back in December I foolishly wasn't taking enough regular backups and when I had a database crash I thought I'd lost rather a lot of work.
I'd always been able to simply re-open and carry on after a crash before!
WhollyGenes came to the party and returned a restored database to me, but I then had to work through and merge all the data between the one I carried on working with, and the one returned with the missing data in it. Finally completed in March.
Backup NOW, and regularly.
2) Back in January my lovely cat Zula died aged 17 (& four months for accuracy's sake).

3) I've now acquired two new kittens. The initial requirement was that they like each other, but so far, that looks to be problematic even though they are supposedly siblings and come from the same rescue shelter.
( The green eyes of jealousy are apt, but are actually the result of the flash rather than reality.)

Normal services should resume soon-ish!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Chromosome map update

The above is an update on my earlier Chromosome picture, but using a more comprehensive tool, thanks to Kitty Cooper's ChromosomeMapper.
The reason for this update is the small orange segment of dna on chromosome 15, a newly detected, triangulated match* between myself, two maternal aunts and Richard, my 6th cousin once removed.
I and the aunts descend from Elizabeth ALGAR and Richard PEEK, Richard descends from Elizabeth's brother Samuel ALGAR of Yealmpton, Devon.
Their parents, Samuel ALGAR & Sarah LOWRY married in 1720, at Yealmpton.

There aren't quite as many unmapped areas as all the grey indicates on the above, I've simply left off the match segments from the very close relations where there is insufficient information on matches to enable segments to be tied to specific earlier ancestors.

To identify more of the grey bits, and thus help break through some of the brick walls, I would particularly love to hear from descendants of the following of my ancestral lines who may be interested in exploring their genetic heritage, and thus help pinpoint where some of the many  matches "fit":
- William CLINTON & Jemima PARKER
- Robert TURNBULL & Eleanor SCOTT
- Andrew GRAHAM & Jane GRAHAM
- William BATY & Sarah BATY
Check out my FamilyFinder project FFLornaHen, and the FAQs about FamilyTree DNA's  FamilyFinder test, and if willing to help, please contact me (details on footer of most of my webpages)

* for an explanation on mapping and triangulation, see this article in Roberta Estes' DNAeXplained blog

Monday, 10 February 2014

When is a son not a son?

No, not an existential question, just a comment on the sometimes idiosyncratic indexing of census "families" on ancestry.

The 1881 census for Maryhill, Lanarkshire includes the military Barracks there.
In residence were William PAXTON, wife Mary PAXTON (formerly RUNCIMAN, nee DOUGAN/DUGGAN), John, Frances and Norman, her children from her previous marriage to George RUNCIMAN, and Mary, her daughter with William.

How do (John,) Frances and Norman appear on ancestry?

As children of William and  Bridget REYNOLDS:
William Reynolds 36 Head Soldier b(orn) East Indies
Bridget Reynolds 33 Wife b. Ireland
John Runciman 15 Soldier b. Ireland
Francis Runciman 8 Daughter Scholar b. Gibraltar
Norman Runciman 4 Son b. Malta

FindMyPast shows each of the family members individually (ie not listed as a family, but reported as head, wife, son..., my regrouping):
PAXTON, William Head Married M(ale) 34 1847 Soldier (born) England
PAXTON, Mary Wife Married F 31 1850 Lemerick
RUNCIMAN, John M 15 1866 Soldier Ireland
RUNCIMAN, Francis Daughter F 8 1873 Scholar Malta
RUNCIMAN, Norman Son M 4 1877 Malta
PAXTON, Mary Daughter F 2 1879 Hongkong

I confess to not having checked the original record, but do have sufficient evidence from other records for my conclusions.
A number of family trees on ancestry have come to a dead end on their ancestors as a result of not checking further, and assuming William & Bridget REYNOLDS are their ancestors.

For those interested, this family is included in the RUNCIMAN One Name Study.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Taranaki 1860

Tonight's monthly meeting of our local Genealogy Society is "Here is the news", with members encouraged to bring items that have caught their attention from our historical newspapers, online at PapersPast.
This prompted me to not only find the references to my 2*great grandfather being imprisoned for refusing to let his wife be evacuated from Taranaki to Nelson, but also to see what other background may be available about this particular incident at the time of what are now known as the Land Wars.

Four newspapers reported the incident:
  • The Taranaki Herald (8 Sep 1860)
  • The Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle (11 Sep 1860)
  • Colonist (14 Sep 1860)
  • Otago Witness (6 Oct 1860)
Initially I thought that the dates might indicate how fast the news spread around the country, but as both the Nelson Examiner/Chronicle and the Colonist were both Nelson based, those dates were more likely governed by publication dates.

PapersPast tells us that the "Colonist was founded in 1857 by a group of Nelson residents as a means to oppose the dominance of the large landowners of the district. At the time its only opposition was the Nelson Examiner, which the Colonist was largely established to challenge and to provide an alternative voice". Issues appear to have been Tuesdays (11 Sep) and Fridays (14 Sep).

"The Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle was the first newspaper published in the South Island. It was established by Charles Elliott (1811-1876) in 1842, within a few weeks of the New Zealand Company settlers arriving in Nelson" and had publication dates around this time of Tues 11th, Wed 12th, Sat 15th, Wed 19th Sep.

PapersPast adds that the "Taranaki Herald was the first newspaper published in Taranaki, with New Plymouth being the last of the early European settlements to get its own newspaper. The paper survived a number of controversies in its early years ... "

Conditions in New Plymouth were becoming crowded as the families were encouraged to move into the town where they could be better protected, and given the date of the following advertisement still being carried in the local paper 6 months later, had been for some time:

The Taranaki Herald of 8th Sep 1860:

WHEREAS it is essentially necessary in the present crowded state of the town that every precaution should be taken to prevent accidents from fire, Notice is hereby given that the penalties imposed under the Municipal Police Ordinance against persons allowing their chimneys to catch fire will be rigidly enforced. And all persons are hereby warned not to light fires out of doors in the town. G. CUTFIELD, Superintendent. New Plymouth, 9th March, 1860.

Also in the same issue was this rather ill-tempered sounding Proclamation by Lieut Colonel R Carey, Deputy Adjutant-General, from New Plymouth Head Quarters:

Can't have the public service being inconvenienced by the local populace now can we!
A bit more background was found in the Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1860 Session I, E-03c (AtoJs, also - selectively - online), which puts a more serious light on affairs - soldiers can be put to better use than protecting women and children.


Item 34 attached is a letter from Major General Pratt CB to the Governor Gore-Brown CB, in which he summarises events since his arrival the month before:


Where did this leave Simon and Jane?
The evacuations to Nelson show up in the Shipping Intelligence columns of the Taranaki Herald where Issue 423, 8 September 1860, Page 2 lists on the White Swan (s.s.) sailing for Nelson under Capt. Wilson on the 6th Sept:

Passengers— Mr and Mrs R. Lethbridge and family, Mr and Mrs S. Howell and family, Mr and Mrs Henry and family, Mr and Mrs Symes and family, Mr and Mrs Pote and family, Mr and Mrs R. Pope and family, Mr and Mrs R. Baker and family, Mrs Fathers and family, Mrs D. Bishop and family, Mrs J. Ward and family, Mrs G. Jordan and family, Mrs T. Hempton and family, Mrs C. Sampson and family, Mrs S. Andrews and family, Mrs Gibbons and family, Mrs Rossiter and family, Mrs G. Giddy and family, Mrs H. H. Wood, Mrs Consins and family, Mrs T. Bayly and family, Mrs J. Colesby and family, Mrs J. Knight and family. Mrs W. Sole and family, Mrs Honnor and family, Mrs Copestake and family, Mrs P. P[ris?]ke and family, Mrs Brooks and family, Mrs H. Turner and family, Mrs Sands, Mrs Brooking and family, Mrs Wollaston, Messrs Gollop, Scott, and Hurlstone.

Further down the page was the first of the reports found mentioning Simon and his partners in crime (it was even stated as treason in a later report, journalistic license I hope):

 After Jane had already left, reports appear in the paper showing that additional support for Simon's actions had been given by the boatmen:

Further reports before and after show some of the impact on those concerned and the support offered from other areas.
The Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XIX, Issue 73, 8 September 1860 reports clothing being sent from Wellington to New Plymouth with a subsequent agreement that all women's and children's clothing to be forwarded to Nelson and men's to be retained in New Plymouth, which is reported to curretly hold about 1,200 women and children, 630 of whom are receiving rations, most being scheduled to leave. About 250 had permission to remain.
By Feb 1861 complaints were being voiced about the refugees' treatment by the Government agent, and becoming concerned about facing a Nelson winter (February is currently our hottest month, evidence for climate change, or just worry about the wheels of government ever moving slowly?)

Sunday, 12 January 2014

First the bridesmaid, then the bride

Another example of why it pays to advertise, ie publish your research, and the gaps.
In my inbox today arrived a certificate and a note  saying "I think I've found the first wife of the Rev. Robert TURNBULL for you".
Sure enough!!
The Robert on the cert. was shown as a schoolmaster, son of a carpenter Robert.
So far so good.
Even better, one of the witnesses was a Dav[id] STEVENSON.
The Revd Robert's son Robert, later Sir Robert of the LNWR, is to be found in the 1871  census as a visitor in the household of a David STEVENSON, a railway manager, born Islington, MDX.

And just to make even more certain, another of the witnesses was one Louisa Philippine MAES.

Jan 1843 Robert marries Mary Ann LIVOCK, daughter of John LIVOCK, Coal Merchant.
Nov 1844 Robert marries, as a widower, Louisa Philippine MAES.

Now to find Mary Ann's death.
One possibility in Pancras looks a few short weeks prior to Robert's marriage to Louisa!!
There are others to investigate.

My benefactor was interested in the LIVOCK family because of John William LIVOCK the architect who had designed railway stations.
He had added that Mary Ann's sister Eliza married David STEVENSON, the witness, and with whom (Sir) Robert was in 1871.
This branch of the TURNBULL family does seem to attract railway connections.

Now I'm on the hunt to identify Mary Ann and Eliza's mother as she appears to have been born in Cumberland.
This family may well do a full research circle, Cumberland to St Pancras and back to Cumberland.