3 new topics on DNA

DNA plus paper menuI have added three new topics to my page DNA plus paper today:

  • Deciding which DNA tests to take
  • AncestryDNA circles
  • Alias Smith and Jones?

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

Just as an aside, the lady in the picture directly above the menu item is my great aunt, Dorothy Ann Crackett, (1888-1974). She was born in Choppington, Northumberland. She married Ralph Tweddle in 1909 and they lived most of their married life in Radcliffe, Northumberland. (Just realised that if you are looking at this on a tablet, then the menu item is under a different lady. Sorry folks, I will have to look at how to optimise for reading on other devices.)

Headstone: John Henderson & Harriet Miller Newton

IMG_0384 3For several years I hunted for a headstone for my 3rd great grandparents, John Henderson (1811-1894) and Harriet Miller Newton (1814-1893).

I acquired their death certificates and knew that John drowned at Lesbury in 1874 and Harriet died in Amble in 1893. They could not be buried with other Henderson relatives in Amble West Cemetery as that opened in 1905, but I still kept my eyes open to see if they might have been mentioned on a subsequent memorial there. The death dates made it possible for Harriet to be in Amble East Cemetery, but that opened a little too late for John. However, I still had a wander round the cemetery and checked an online list of burials. No luck there either. My next thought was Warkworth St. Lawrence’s Church. There were Hendersons there too, but not this couple.

Then finally the penny dropped. There was another cemetery in Warkworth too, on the road up to the beach. There they were, together with two of their boys: Henry Henderson (1846-1871)  and Archibald Henderson (1836-1874) – so easy to find once I finally got myself into the right place. It must have been tough on Harriet as she lost her son Archibald only 4 months after losing her husband.

Playing with the scheduler

20150905_211001I have a few pre-prepared posts that I am going to use to familiarize myself with the scheduling functionality in WordPress. Please don’t be concerned if you see posts suddenly popping up at times when you would expect me to be busy at work or tucked up in my bed. These are just being thrown in at specific times by the scheduler. This post is one of them, if it works according to plan :)

I am not really sitting writing blog posts in the middle of the night at a weekend. If this one publishes according to schedule then I am currently in the land of nod. The clock shows the actual time of authorship. See you in the morning (or perhaps even the afternoon, as I am a slow starter at weekends).

Just hit 200 posts

Status 200 postsWordPress notifications tell me that I have hit my 200th post today. Not very impressive when you consider that I started blogging in 2010. However, in 2010 and 2011 I was just learning about family history research and did not have much of interest to say. I hit a peak in 2012 with 170 posts. Lost the plot a little in 2013 and 2014 when both research and blogging activity were pretty much zero as I was busy elsewhere. It was also minimal in early 2015. Most of my activity this year has been since the summer. However, I hope you realize that there is more to this blog than just the posts that appear on the main rolling front page. There are also structured menu pages covering specific subjects. The most recent of these is DNA plus paper, where I am starting to document my journey into genetic genealogy. Not all pages are fully up to date, but I am planning to tackle that this autumn.

Autosomal DNA relationship calculator

RJLOne of my distant genetic cousins is developing an autosomal DNA relationship  calculator. This is a work-in-progress at the moment, so he is happy to have folks test and offer suggestions on improvements. You can find more information about his development activities on Robert James Liguori’s Blog. Beta-testing of the basic functionality is now started and he is adding more Relationship Range Providers so that we can calculate with various theoretical assumptions as the basis.

Robert and I have a genetic relationship proven by DNA testing, but have yet to find the paper trail that will point us to our common ancestors. We know that they are on our respective maternal sides as we have an autosomal match between his mother and my maternal aunt. I rather suspect that these distant grandparents are lurking behind brick walls due to illegitimacy on both of our relevant ancestral lines. Best guess so far is that our ancestral paths crossed somewhere in Durham, Yorkshire or Lancashire. Possible names under investigation so far: Whitehead, Horsfield, Bailey, Shepherd, Mitchell, Manners, Webb.

Family Tree Maker patch

FTM upgrade versionI just took the chance of upgrading Family Tree Maker 2014 with a patch. I wanted to make sure I was on the most current version in case there could be issues after changing to the new Ancestry format. I was a little worried that I might have to establish a new tree to synchronize with and send out all invites again, but fortunately the upgrade went smoothly. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my tree still synchronized easily after patching. The next technical question to face is whether any of my family history tools might go awry after installing Windows 10. I tried to schedule that upgrade for kl 12.00 today, but so far any activity on that front is missing in action.

New format on Ancestry

Course Completion New AncestryHad to smile at this rather pretentious certificate. This is what you get after a half hour e-learning course if you take the little 20 question quiz at the end. The course had the silly title “Learn About Your Ancestors Using the Latest from Ancestry“. The actual content is a run through the main features of the new format, including the Lifestory functionality. I wish they would not call it lifestory, as until you go through and edit each lifestory it can include a number of time related historical events that are totally irrelevant for the ancestor concerned. My objective in taking the course was to see whether to wait or jump in and go over to the new format now. If you are wondering about the result of this decision making process, here is a snippet of my paternal line in the new format:

Snippet new format GWC