Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Lazy Vicar?

I only started seriously researching my mother's side of the family in 1990 (Dad's side had all the attention prior to that) and quickly realised that noone had a clue as to my 2* great grandmother Jane GIBSON's ancestry.
This was also one of the brickwalls I hoped that DNA would one day help chip away at when I began testing back in 2007 (finding a direct female line descendant for her mitochondrial DNA - which is still to find a match, but we live in hope).
2010 began adding in assorted cousins testing autosomal DNA to see where that would lead.
So 7 years later.....

A couple of days ago I convinced myself, and a fellow researcher, that after 27 years we've finally cracked the brickwall of who on earth Jane GIBSON was, and who her parents were.

Apologies to your mother, Jane. All these years I've been assuming you were illegitimate.After all no father is shown on your 1840 marriage certificate in Martock, Somerset, nor your 1906 death certificate in Taranaki, New Zealand.
All we had from one English census and your death certificate were an approximate age, and birthplace of Somerset, along with a supposed birth date (6 Apr 1812) scribbled on a flier in the Waitara Genealogy Rooms.
No candidates were obvious for your baptism in Martock, the presumed parish of interest.

Over the years I've seen people assign Jane to several versions of her parents, all well copied to other trees via Ancestry/MyHeritage etc by people who simply don't check the likelihood of the data:
1) a William Gibson of Chatham, Kent who seemed to have absolutely no connection to Somerset
2) a William who supposedly died in 1867, Somerset  - which wasn't borne out by the England/Wales death register.  (Closer inspection of this one led to the FamilySearch tree where his siblings were in Somerset alright - but in Massachusetts.)
3) a William and Jane (SIMPSON) GIBSON of Scotland, which Jane would have been 15 when daughter Jane born, down in the other end of the country.

Although I've no idea why William seemed so popular as her father's name, it has turned out to be rather prescient.

Back in May this year a flurry of activity with a couple of other researchers (thank you Sue and Rick) identified a potential candidate over in Queen Camel, the other side of Yeovil from Martock, but still only 12 miles or so away.
A Jane conveniently baptized on the April the 12th 1812 to a William GIPSON and wife Mary who married at Suton Montis in 1804 (Mary being nee HANHAM or HANNAM).
The birth date is spot on for a baptism 6 days after the unsourced birth date we have.

Pity that the mother was a Mary not a Jane, and how come this looked to be perfectly legitimate daughter Jane?
There things lay, as conjecture, until a couple of days ago.

Throw an Ancestry DNA match into the mix to myself, not particularly close but creeping up into the "potentially significant" category at 18cMs, predicted Distant cousin (range 5th to 8th cousin).
In itself, not looking likely to yield an easy result given a small attached tree with nothing immediately springing out as the connection - recent-ish Canada, ie after the 1921 census, so few clues as to where they came from, surnames not obviously connected.

What drew me to investigate further however were the shared matches  - a couple of known Andrews/Gibson "cousins" and a mother/son pair who regularly show up as matches to a lot of the former.
* Ancestry only shows these if they are 4th cousins or closer to the test taker

So I went looking for more clues.
Perhaps another match had that surname in their tree? (ignoring the fact that at the level of my missing 3* great grandparents there are potentially 32 different surnames, and therefore only a 1 in 32 chance I'd be on the right track here).
Yes. But their tree stopped back in the 1870s in Australia.
At least that was reasonably easily remedied and tracked further back - to guess where (no prizes)?
Queen Camel, Somerset.
But what was the connection?
A spot of tree validation for the names of the wives using the invaluable new GRO birth index for England and Wales which provides the maiden surname of the mother soon provided the potential link:
John Jones WINDSOR had married an Ann GIPSON in 1829, at Queen Camel.
Census data showed her as born around 1810 - and sure enough, Ann appeared in the baptisms found back in May as a sister of our potential Jane.
Was this the connection?

Working on the assumption that William GIPSON and Mary HANHAM, who married in 1804 at Sutton Montis were highly likely to be Jane's missing in action parents, further digging around in the far reaches of my, and assorted cousins', DNA matches also turned up another descendant of Ann (married John Jones WINDSOR), along with a descendant of Jane and Ann GIPSON/GIBSON's brother William.

Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger said, “Once is happenstance.  Twice is coincidence.  Three times is enemy action.”

One family tree with a DNA match that can link back to a likely sister of Jane
One DNA match of the same surname, that has subsequently been proven to also link to the same Ann GIPSON
I'll count that as Once is happenstance.

I'll count the descendant of Ann & Jane's brother William as Twice is coincidence.
Add in DNA segment data from GEDMatch (thank you Doug for uploading to there from Ancestry, it really does add the source data to the suggested DNA connections).
Was the segment concerned at a spot I had mapped to being from my ANDREWS/GIBSON ancestry?
Did Doug and I share it with any other known ANDREWS/GIBSON cousins?
YES (thank you Ross)
And did that other cousin and I also match at that spot (triangulation).

I'll count that as Three times is enemy action.

But why "The Lazy Vicar"?
I can easily concede that a son-in-law as informant for the death of his 94 year old mother-in-law, or the registrar recording the information, might have simply written Jane's name in as both the deceased and her mother.
I was rather more wary of the lack of a father on her 1840 marriage certificate.
After all he was still alive and well and living in Queen Camel at the time, with two unmarried daughters still at home in 1841.
Passing this doubt on to Sue brought back a prompt response that she still remembered that when she was researching the Martock registers all those years ago when we were both starting out on this side of our respective families, she thought it odd that so many of the certificates lacked fathers for either or both parties. Were they all really illegitimate?
With the Martock register images now readily available on Ancestry I had a quick check around the time Simon and Jane married - and yes, Sue's memory was correct.
An unusually high number of certificates do not have a father shown.
For the DNA purists out there, yes I know that I have not eliminated all potential other sources of that segment of DNA from the tree of my match - but after all, he does also show several other DNA segment matches to descendants of Simon ANDREWS and Jane GIBSON.
In addition, I and another cousin show matches on Ancestry to at least three descendants from two of Jane's siblings.

Would you be convinced?
I am - at least for now.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

LivingDNA results are in

The first set of DNA ethnicity results I could get interested in!
It could of course be a case of confirmation bias, but I like this a lot.
It will be even better when (if?) it gives me links to the matches in the areas concerned :)

Click on this link to explore what Living DNA tells me about my ethnicity

"Your family ancestry map shows the areas of the world where you share genetic ancestry in recent times (10 generations). The map is interactive allowing you to explore each area of your ancestry. "

Highlights (not interactive) from the "Cautious", and "Standard" views below

 where several regions overlap in categories - which could explain why on Ancestry my distinctly paternal Scottish ancestral cousins also show up in my South Western England Genetic Community.
Northumberland Related Ancestry
Northumberland Related Ancestry

Orkneys Related Ancestry
Orkneys Related Ancestry

South-England related ancestry
South-England related ancestry

Some reading on ethnicity/admixture results:

Monday, 7 August 2017

Chasing rabbits

I finished a "DNA finds" session at our local Genie group the other week with this image:

and, as always, ignored my own advice.
I should be methodically finishing off analysing, and publishing, what we've learnt from newly in  known-family tests on each of my Andrews, Rowe, and Dawe * lines.
* including finally, after 10 years, confirming the yDNA signature for the line of Isaac DAWE of Lamerton, Devon.

Instead I was having a look at the posts in the FaceBook group Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques and couldn't resist trying out one on how to visualise your Ancestry match lists (this link to my DNASurnames blog where I post general DNA type posts as opposed to those more related to my own genealogy work).
I ended up with a filtered set of groups that actually do interact - or have a match of particular interest in them:

My Henderson/Millar brickwall will some year find an answer amongst the dark blue group on the left.
My Jane Gibson brickwall amongst those in the light blue cluster top right.
That on the bottom right reminded me I'd not finished chasing the rabbit that led to a small cluster of more extended Fairbairn family matches ....

Saturday, 22 July 2017

First you find her, then you lose her

A distant cousin popped up on WikiTree the other day, so I connected his ancestor, Janet SINTON up to her parents, James SINTON & Margaret WILKIE.
Then looked to see if there was any research outstanding on the family that might be advanced.

Janet had a sister Mary SINTON, aged 37, still living, when father James died in 1855.
But where was she between 1818 and 1855? What happened to her?
Past investigations had found no obvious death, marriage, or census entry in Scotland, and rather too many Mary anyones, preferably born Melrose or Bowden, in the 1851 census in Scotland, let alone of an age, born Scotland, in England.

So this time I tried immigration records - and turned up a Mary SINTON emigrating to New York on the "Yazoo", arriving in July 1838.
Bit of a long shot I thought - until I noticed the family above her on the passenger list.

John & Margaret FAIRBAIRN with family - known to have ended up in Ontario by Dec 1838, dying in Blandford.

Margaret was Mary's older sister.

So the chase has shifted from after 1855, likely Scotland, to finding any evidence of Mary after 1838, likely Canada but possibly USA, and her death after 1855 somewhere.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Normal service hopefully restored soon... - and now is

An upgrade to my broadband plan has had an unexpected side effect.
Until how to get out of that mess has been resolved, any of my website links that go to will be unavailable.
That includes:
  • Lorna's Links
  • Guestbook
  • Contact
at least, probably others.
Remember that most of my web pages also have a contact/feedback email link in their footers.

21 Jul 2017 update - there isn't one. Still having problems.
3 Aug 2017: All back - let me know if anything still not working. Mind you there's always opportunities for me to muck things up of my own accord without tempting fate by upgrading something.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Maternal side Chromosome Map update

I see that my Paternal side chromosome map was last published Dec 2016.
The intention was for the companion Maternal side map to follow shortly thereafter, but 2017 had other plans.
Click to enlarge

A quick reminder for myself of the maternal brickwall ancestors that I hope DNA will one day aid in cracking (see embedded WikiTree Widgets below for each of my maternal grandparent's pedigrees):
  • Jane GIBSON: supposedly born Martock, Somerset in 1812, married Simon ANDREWS in Martock, 1840 and emigrates to New Zealand on the "Timandra", arriving 1842.
  • William AUSTIN: husband of Emma Parker CLINTON - disappears after arrival in Australia;  Emma remarries as a spinster with no children!
  • William CLINTON: married Jemima PARKER in London, 1810 - and had the above daughter Emma Parker CLINTON
Way too many unknown grandparent segments as yet - but I hope that visual phasing* of my 3 first cousins' DNA will reduce that.
*Visual phasing links:
My maternal grandfather's pedigree (WikiTree) - if you are a descendant of any of these PLEASE upload your autosomal DNA file (eg FamilyFinder from FamilyTreeDNA, Ancestry, MyHeritage, 23andme) to and contact me.
Every little clue helps.

embeddable family tree updated live from WikiTree

 My maternal grandmother's pedigree (WikiTree)

embeddable family tree updated live from WikiTree

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Don't despair

I am not ignoring your emails, just cannot access them where I currently am.

Normal service should resume shortly but the exact timeframe is as yet unknown.