Hello, all! This is my first post to the community.

I'm excited to be getting back into genealogical research after many years of inactivity. As a first step I'm thinking about how best to organize my data, and I would love to hear any advice about working with the same information across multiple platforms.

Say you have a family tree program on your computer (I use Reunion) and are duplicating some of the same content on one or more cloud-based sites such as Ancestry. What strategies do you use to manage changes across the different trees? For example, when you find new information, do you update all of your trees at once, or do you accumulate new information on one tree and only occasionally update the others? Do you have one "master" tree that you treat as more authoritative than the others, or otherwise use different trees for different purposes?
I found out what happened to a son of my second great grandmother. He's always been a name and date of birth and no other information. He was born after the 1861 census in England and then he appears in three Canadian record - a passenger list that documents the family arriving in 1869, and the 1871 and 1881 census. That's it. I assumed he died young, but had no idea when or where. I know now!

I was doing a random search online through old local newspapers, when I spotted a reference to a Mrs. Morley. "Not Drowned" was the header that caught my eye. While the article was not about my gg grandmother, it was about her daughter-in-law and four children. (According to the records I've found so far there were only three children in that family at this point. So another mystery to dig into.)

It's one of those good news/bad news items. It seems Mrs James Morley and her four children had been presumed drowned by their home community.Fortunately for the Morleys, the ship they were to take didn't stop at the place they were waiting. Unfortunately for twenty year old Benjamin the ship stopped where he was and he boarded the Asia on Sep 13, 1882.

The wreck of the Asia is quite well known to those interested in Great Lakes ship disasters. Not me, but if you look on line there's quite a bit of information available. There are ballads written about what happened, and plenty of finger-pointing after the fact, but the end result was the Asia sank Sep 14, 1882. Anywhere from just under a hundred to one hundred and twenty lives were lost. There were two survivors. Benjamin Morley was not one of those two.

http://home.ancestry.com/

Use the coupon code "freeshipdna" for $9.95 off each order you make. Family Tree DNA is going on sale today, too, until Tuesday.

This is all for DNA Day, the day they finished sequencing the human genome.
A lot of wiki-style family tree sites are very particular about copyright on family photos. I tried to educate myself about the issues around copyright, and found this post by The Legal Genealogist, really helpful. There're a lot of complicated permutations that people ask her about in the comments, but here is what I came away with:Read more... )

I am lucky that many of my immediate family branches have few twigs. Snapshots taken by quite a few of my great-grandparents have almost no one but me to inherit the rights. I have been going through the pictures I have online and attaching "copyright info". If I don't own the copyright, I don't necessarily take the photo down, but I let anyone who might copy it know its status. So here are some examples of what I've been adding to my photos:

"This photo was taken by [-----] [-----], who died in 1955, so the photo isn't out of copyright until 2025. If the rights descended to his heirs, there are only myself, my uncle and my cousin to own them, and all of us give permission for the image to be copied and used with or without attribution."

"I do not own the copyright to this photo. Copy at your own risk."

"This photo was taken in a studio about 1880. The photographer has undoubtedly been dead longer than 70 years, but it is possible his descendants still own the rights."

Yes, I did email my uncle and cousin to ask if they cared if old photos get shared on the internet. They both gave a bemused, "Of course not," which I have put aside for the record, just in case. :)
I have an appointment at the office of vital records on Monday morning. I'll be allowed to do my own records searches for BMD records that are pre-1938. I'm really only looking for one thing, so I'd have plenty of time to look for records for other people.
I spent some birthday money getting my mother tested at AncestryDNA. My own ethnic percentages had almost no surprises, so it was kind of, I dunno, boring. Turns out, if a parent gets tested, there are tools that can separate out your own matches so you know which side of your own tree a match is on (it's called "phase matching"). Cool! Also, any new ethnicities that show up in her, I can claim, too, even though they weren't detected in me. Sure enough, she has some "trace" ethnicites that are much more exotic than mine. :-) Plus, she's a whopping 6% Finnish, which is a juicy mystery for me.

I petered out on doing the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge. Partly I was dislodged by the shock of learning, through YDNA testing, that my Coffman line never came from German-speaking Kauffmans, as I posted about here. Instead, it was originally Irish Coughlins. My relative's YDNA is a perfect match for a man named Coughlin, and all the men who are a nearly perfect match have Irish surnames. I have still not identified the ancestor(s) who immigrated, but there was a name change involved, and probably a religion change, too. Coughlin is a Catholic name and I see no evidence that any of my Coffmans were Catholic.

Anyway, I've gotten very involved in genetic genealogy, and I volunteered to moderate what FamilyTreeDNA calls a surname project. I am now officially in charge of the Bixby surname project.

And I now make Finnish yoghurt called viili on my kitchen counter every night. :-) What are you finding out?
Just a heads-up in case anyone's interested that findmypast.com is having a Free Weekend from 18-21 Sep.

You do have to register, but it's fairly unintrusive. I've been using the site continually since it first developed out of the old National Burial Index (UK) site. They have records from the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, and Australia. They manage to get a few firsts along the way, too, such as being the first to offer the 1911 UK census back in 2010 or whenever that came available. I guess they outbid ancestry for that coup!

Happy hunting!

blueswan: nancy drew silhouette (sometimes I feel like a detective)
([personal profile] blueswan Jul. 21st, 2015 09:32 pm)
Family History and DNA

I'm posting this here, because while some of the community might know all about genealogy and dna tests, I for one didn't know anything about how it might work. This is a 101 level post for people like myself who are vaguely interested but not sure it's for them.

Recently, Ancestry has been able to offer DNA testing in Canada. I debated over doing it because it isn't inexpensive, but finally I decided it would be worthwhile. So I signed up and received my kit in the mail. It's not a simple swab, but a saliva test. (I never realized just how much spit they would need. *g*) I sent the kit off and prepared to wait the possible six to eight weeks the company said it might take. Within two weeks they sent an email to say the test had been received and the day after that to say it was being processed. I received the results less than a week after that.

Ancestry promotes the dna test as insight into discovering your ethnicity. Which is cool and all, and probably attracts people who aren't into geneaolgy. Sound business to tap into a bigger pool of users than they might if they just targeted family history explorers. For me, the big attraction was how they connect your test to your tree and then continually search for other trees with tests attached and seek matches for your results.

So, how did that work out, you might wonder. I learned that my results wouldn't be mirrored by the results of cousins, nieces and nephews, not even siblings. DNA recombines in each new individual so every child has 50% DNA from each parent, but it's unique each throw of the dice. Um, it's more technical that that, but you can find plenty of information explaining, if you feel like googling it.

Okay, here are the results, and I'll start with the ethnicity estimate first.

My test indicates that I'm 97% European. The breakdown is 41% Great Britain, 26% Europe West, 12% Ireland and 6% Scandinavia. (As I said to my friend yesterday, VIKING, YAY!)

There are Trace Regions of 2% for the Caucasus which includes places like Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, etc. And finally the remaining 1% is for North Africa, which includes places like Morocco, Algeria, Niger and Libya, Egypt and so on.

The Trace regions results are so small, they may or may not be accurate. It's best to just disregard them for now and focus on the larger number. Okay and at 97% I'm not at all surprised. Two of my four grandparent's families came from Switzerland/Germany, and the other two originated in Great Britiain. I assume the 6% Scandinavia is remnant dna markers of the Viking expansion throughout Europe and Great Britain. Maybe.

The cool thing is since I received my results I've been contacted by two distant cousins and have new people to add to my tree. Because of a third contact, I've found an error on my tree which is great, because it's best to get rid of those as soon as possible. Otherwise you run the risk of passing it along or simply wasting years on a dead end. I've also gotten links to 64 new to me fourth cousins or closer. There are also some potential new ancestors and relatives I may have uncovered by taking the DNA test. I havent had time yet to explore those links.

Needless to say this is all pretty exciting. I'm happy with the initial results. Some day maybe those dead ends on my tree will be come to life. I am hoping as more people take the test it will become cheaper and more members of my family will also take it. I've already had a cousin and a nephew approach me taking the test themselves. I don't regret taking the test at all.
blueswan: nancy drew silhouette (sometimes I feel like a detective)
([personal profile] blueswan Jun. 29th, 2015 08:27 pm)
DNA testing is now available in Canada through ancestry.ca. I've been waiting for this for some time so I was pretty excited. I understand it isn't really going to tell me my ethnicity beyond European. (Unless it does, which would be pretty exciting!) I'm hoping it will lead me to distant cousins who are researching some of the same lines I am working on presently.

There is a six to eight week wait for the results. Colour me impatient!
This post is about a woman I really hope prospered. And it's another family mystery with a whiff of scandal. :-)
This weekend we found the letter from 1907 )
I ought to post about a long-lived ancestor, but I couldn't find any that were particularly interesting, so I'm back with the German theme this week. My other German line (I'm assuming it's ultimately German) dead-ends in Pennsylvania with a man named Joseph Kauffman, born in 1765. I simply can't find his parents. I can't find that he was an immigrant, either.

Maybe Pennsylvania DutchRead more... )
I picked this picture to blog about. I call it, "The first three Dan Coffmans."



The man with the baby is my great-grandfather, and the baby is my grandfather. (Hi, wee Grandpa!) They were all named Dan Coffman. The elderly gentleman was my great-grandfather's uncle and namesake. He was an older brother to my great-grandfather's father, Sylvan, and I think he must have been quite close to the family, since not only did his brother name his first son for him, but his son named his own son for him. You might think my grandpa was named for his dad, but his dad quite explicitly named him for his dad's uncle, because he also gave him his uncle's middle name.

Doesn't the elder Dan Coffman look like Col. Sanders? And, as it happens, he did serve in the Civil War, but as a very young man, and he mustered out after four years with no higher rank than Private. However, he then served in the Spanish American War, and was a Colonel then. Heh.

It's often enlightening to think about who is taking the picture, and in this case I think it is Sylvan Coffman, Col. Coffman's younger brother. He is photographing his favorite brother, his son and his grandson, who all have the same name.

The Dan Coffman holding the baby divorced his wife in a time when that wasn't done, and married a woman named Rachel. The story is that he met Rachel after a bank robbery. Rachel was a bank teller and she was locked in the bank vault with the other employees. Dan was the man with the tools who got them all out. He and Rachel had a daughter and they had a musical act with the daughter. They traveled around to places like Elks Lodges and played the banjo and sang. Meanwhile the baby on his lap in the picture and a second child were being raised by his first wife.
This week I am blogging about a Puritan-protesting ancestor named Herodias Long. She was different than what you'd expect in 17th century Puritan country in a lot of ways.
Read more... )
Back before the internet was useful for genealogy research, I was in college with friends who were largely uninterested in genealogy, though I was, and had been since I was a small child. Knowing my interest, one friend, N, mentioned that her grandfather had done a careful recreation of all his lines back to when they weren't in the U.S. anymore. He had printed it up in manuscript form and given a copy to all his grandchildren. She had hers in the back of a closet, and would I like to see it? Yes, of course I would! Read more... )
Last week I blogged about my Irish ancestor who survived the wreck of The Faithful Steward. That was lucky for him, but the 190 or so people who died in that wreck were all Irish -- not the lucky ones, apparently. In fact, when I look at history, "luck" of the Irish seems almost ironic.
Read more... )
There may be good deeds in the lives of many of my distant ancestors, but I don't know about them. So I'm blogging about my grandmother.

Read more... )
My entry for "Love" crosses over nicely with last week's theme "So Far Away." I think, to be cautious, I will leave off the real names of my relatives, since this is a somewhat recent story and is about the parents and grandparents of living cousins.

She stowed away disguised as a sailor )
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