Two new topics on “DNA Plus Paper”

I have added 2 new topics to my page DNA plus paper:Snip GMP

  • Getting to know Genome Mate Pro (Nov 7)
  • 23andme – Addressing Anonymity (Nov 7)

These topics explain my recent change in approach to contacting anonymous matches on 23andme and my use of Genome Mate Pro to structure and coordinate my analysis and follow up of matches from the major testing companies.

You can access them from the link above in this post or from the menu line of Digging up the Ancients.

Our 90 year old cyclist

Snip Aunty Jean Gower bike rideMy cousin, Maureen Burton (née Ormston) has just sent me a fascinating newspaper cutting about our Aunty Jean. Aunty Jean is actually our great aunt. Jane Ann Evans (née Turner) was born in Amble, Northumberland in 1896. After marrying a Welshman, William Daniel Evans in 1924, she moved to Swansea. The cutting shows Aunty Jean, aged 90, meeting stars Sue Pollard and Matthew Kelly after a cycle ride around Gower in aid of the British Heart Foundation.

Adding Archie to the family archives

Archie and Meggie 1949A few days ago I posted a picture of a postcard sent by my grandmother (Margaret Jane Webb, née Henderson) who was holidaying in Toronto, Canada in 1949, to her younger brother (Randle Henderson) in Amble, Northumberland. The postcard indicated that they had lost contact with their brother Archie who had emigrated to Canada and that she was planning to seek him out while on holiday. The Archie in question was their younger brother, Archibald Henderson, born 1907 at Amble in Northumberland.

The good news is that the search had a positive result. My grandparents met up with Archie in Canada. I know this now because the cousin who sent me the scan of the postcard continued to dig in her family photo box and found another gem. On the back of this photo is “Your sister and brother, Maggie & Archie, hope it reaches you before boat sails.. Sent Harriet one too.” From this we can deduce that the photo is of my grandmother and her brother taken in Toronto late 1949, before she returned home to England, and that she sent two copies: one to her brother Randle and the other to her sister Harriet. We very probably have one in our own photo box, but as that would be her own copy it may not have his name on the back.

5 years of blogging

Snip WordPress 5th anniversaryWordPress reminded me today that this is my 5th anniversary of starting to blog. My first post on Digging up the Ancients was made 24th Oct 2010. At that stage I knew very little about my family history so this has been an amazing journey. I have learned so much about the people, the places and the times. Elements of history and geography that flew over my head in lessons at school have found a new meaning because I can now relate them to my own family. So many interesting tales to tell, covering the full spectrum from lost loves to manslaughter and mayhem. I have found ancient ancestors and claimed new cousins. My adventure is now taking me beyond my grandparents’ yarns and the documented paper trail into the realms of genetic genealogy where more fascinating facts may be lurking.

Niagara Falls on Sunday – 1949

Postcard from Canada 1949My grandparents, Jonty and Meggie Webb (née Henderson), travelled to Canada in 1949 to visit their daughter Mary who had married Canadian Jimmy Ash and moved to Toronto.

A newly found Henderson-cousin, Jayne Handyside of Amble, has found this historical gem while rifling through her family’s old photo box. It is written by my granny and addressed to her brother Randle who was Jayne’s great grandfather. The Archie that is referred to in the postcard is younger brother to Meggie and Randle. He was born in Amble, Northumberland in1907 and emigrated to Canada.

They are clearly having a whale of a time and planning a trip to Niagara Falls, which must have been quite spectacular for them on their first trip abroad.

Amble in old photographs

Snip Amble in old photographsThose of you who are on facebook and have ancestors from Amble may be interested in joining the group Amble in Old Photographs. This group was started a few years ago by Bartle Rippon and for a while there were only about a dozen of us who participated. Membership has increased exponentially over the past couple of months. Many fascinating memories are being published. Since Bartle is a published author, The Ambler editorial board have asked him to consider putting together a book with Amble memories based on input from the group. If you have any good material hidden away in your cupboards and drawers please dig it out and join the group.

My own experiences on there have been very positive as many previously dangling branches on my Henderson part of my family tree have now attached themselves to the right spot with a little collaboration from newly found family members in the group.