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.

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.

Family history through the alphabet – I is for Investigative Initiative

I is for Investigative Initiative

One of the things I have learned from my genealogy research is that if you get stuck then try again from a different angle. I use several different online sources and often find that something which may not be indexed on one will turn up on another. I have also learned that it is wise not to be too restrictive on search terms. A wider search can often throw up something that will be filtered out if the search criteria are too narrow. It can also give interesting collateral information about other family members than the object of the search.

I is for Ironside

I is also for Ironside, one of my Scottish pedigree lines which starts with 3x great grandmother Margaret Ironside. Margaret was born in 1816 at New Deer in Aberdeenshire.

If you would like to know more about this alphabet challenge or read I-contributions from other bloggers take a look at Family History Through the Alphabet.

Family history through the alphabet – F is for Fecund Forebears

F is for Fecund Forebears

My tree has many branches because large numbers of offspring appear to have been the norm among the mining, fishing and farming families of North-East England and Scotland. Three of my grandparents are from large families. Grandmother Ellenor Turner was the seventh child of ten. Grandmother Margaret Jane Henderson was the third child of seven. Grandfather George Crackett was the eighth child of ten. (Shown in the banner of my blog).

Taking it back one generation further the big families include: Cracket 8, Parkinson 5, Carr 5, Henderson 7, Thornton 11. Similar trends can be seen in the earlier generations too with most of the couples having somewhere between 5 and 10 children.

F is for findmypast

F is also for findmypast which is one of the resources I find most useful for my genealogy research. I find their transcriptions among the most reliable, although Cracket has on occasion been twisted to Crackel. So far I have just used the UK site, but expect I am soon going to have to take a look at both Ireland and Australia. I have not managed to figure out yet whether having a subscription for one country gives any discount opportunities for the other countries.

If you would like to know more about this alphabet challenge take a look at Family History through the Alphabet.



I have recently started using iannounce, a useful site for obituaries and other announcements which help my genealogy research. It picks up announcements from about 500 newspapers and is updated daily. I still follow announcements in local Northumbrian papers too, but this site gives a much broader view of UK announcements.