Tuesday, April 24, 2018

MarieB's Genealogy Blog Turns 14!


Today marks this blog's 14th year.  In keeping with my purpose of the blog, I'm listing in no particular order my 14 favorites databases, tools, websites etc. that I find helpful in my research.  I've written a description of how each of them can be used but please check out the link for more info on each of the resources. Please remember to check with and support your local libraries, county archives, and area genealogy & historical societies.  They have many items you won't find online and they need your help to thrive.

14 of My Favorite Databases, Tools, and Websites

1.  U.S. Special Census on Deaf Family Marriages and Hearing Relatives, 1888-1895
https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1582
You will need to be subscribed to Ancestry's US Records or access from a library which has a subscription.  I have found a wealth of information on collateral lines in this database which has led me to other records for my direct lines.

2.  U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995
https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2469
You will need to be subscribed to Ancestry's US Records or access from a library which has a subscription.  Often overlooked by many, City Directories offer an insight into the lives of townspeople.  See my previous blog post--In Praise of City Directories.

3.  U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=6482
You will need to be subscribed to Ancestry's US Records or access from a library which has a subscription.

4.  Famly Search Catalog Search for Area of Interest  County Records available online
Make sure you are logged on to the FamilySearch website.  Enter your Location(Country, State, County--for the US) in Place Search and select Online Availability option.

5.  AncestryDNA--the largest autosomal DNA database.  Once you receive your results, you can download your raw data and upload to other sites such as MyHeritage, FTDNA, and GEDmatch to compare with others who have uploaded or tested there.  Be sure to read each site's User Policy/Terms of Service.  AncestryDNA is the site I recommend testing at especially if you are an adoptee or have unknown direct ancestors at the parent or grandparent level.   

6.  GEDmatch-Free to use site with an upload.  Is not a testing site but rather a site where results can be uploaded and compared to others who have tested at any of the major DNA testing sites and uploaded to GEDmatch. Tier 1 DNA analysis tools available at $10 a month but subscribing is not necessary for use of the majority of the tools.

7.  DNAgedcom-- available as a client software for retrieval of match info from the other testing sites and also web-based analysis. See the website for more info on its current offerings and price.

8.  Interactive Shared cM Project with Relationship Probabilities--the latest version of a helpful interactive tool by Jonny Perl using Blaine Bettinger's Shared cM Project info and the probability chart by TheDNAGeek.

9.  DNA Painter--Jonny Perl's tool for Chromosome Painting.

10. & 11.  Chrome Browser Extensions--There are two browser extensions for Chrome Browser that I use to help sort and identify my AncestryDNA matches:  AncestryDNA Helper and MedBetterDNA. You can find those at Google Chrome's Webstore using the search option.

12.  Visual Phasing Spreadsheet--Visual Phasing an autosomal DNA analysis technique where you use chromosome comparison of 3 full siblings' atDNA results to find which segments came from each of their 4 grandparents  This is particularly helpful when trying to determine which lines you share with a DNA match.  You can find the Visual Phasing Spreadsheet by Steven Fox in the Files section of the Visual Phasing Working Group at Facebook. Members of that group are very helpful. Also more information about visual phasing in the series Visual Phasing: An Example(part 1 of 5) on Blaine Bettinger's blog.

13. Legacy Family Tree Webinars--educational webinars covering a wide variety of research topics and techniques.  You can register to attend webinars which are free for a limited time after broadcast or you can subscribe to have access to the entire webinar library. This is an EXTREMELY valuable resource.

14.  Google Docs/Sheets/Slides--The Google office products which help me to organize share and make notes and charts of my research analysis.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Happy Birthday to Who?


My paternal grandparents and their children are mentioned in the Tennesseans' Old Hickory News column a number of times during the 25+ years in which they lived in Old Hickory Tennessee.  While searching at Newspapers.com for my aunt Viola Cook, I noticed a paper from the day my Dad, her youngest brother, was born.  The search result from that edition pointed to a notice of members of the Sunset Club who were having birthdays on that day.  Among those listed was a Viola Cook of Old Hickory who was celebrating her 16th birthday.  Wait a minute... My Aunt Viola would turn 15 in 1930, not 16.  Not only that, but her birthday was on June 12th.  Could this be my Aunt Vi or another Viola Cook?  I've searched the census records for 1930 to try and locate another Viola Cook in Old Hickory Tennessee who was that age.  I did find one in Davidson County but not in Old Hickory community.  A check of that Viola's records revealed that while she was born in the right year to be the one mentioned in the article, her birth month was February.  I may never know why her name is listed or if that is MY Viola Cook.  If it is Aunt Vi, I'm sure there is a very interesting story behind all of this. 


www.newspapers.com
The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee)
Sunday 05 Oct 1930
Page 6 Column 2
"Twins in Sunset List of 66 Have Birthday Today"

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Changes to Account Settings & Preferences at FamilyTreeDNA

Earlier today I received notification via email that FamilyTreeDNA has made some changes that will bring them in compliance with the new European data protection law known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  If you have an account or accounts with them you should have received this notice.  Check your Spam folder or filters if you haven't received a copy.

Changes to these settings will take effect May 28, 2018.  

Includes Changes to the Following:
  • Privacy & Sharing--The ability to opt out of match email notification but still participate in matching.
  • Project Preferences--The ability to select an access level for each individual Group Administrator.
  • Email Notifications--Same as mentioned under Privacy & Sharing
  • Updates to Account Information, and Genealogy sections of the My Profile page.
While you are logged on checking out the settings, you might as well make sure you have assigned a beneficiary for your account.  Also, please fill in the info for your earliest known ancestor if you can and make sure you are using the correct ancestors.  See my previous blog post on this topic.  






Wednesday, April 04, 2018

A match with Shared Matches from both sides of my family.

When sorting thru DNA matches at AncestryDNA, I like to note the connection for each of my matches as being thru the ancestors of one of my four Grandparents.  Both my parents have ancestors who were in Tennessee in the early 1800s. Most of the time I will only be connected to the match on one side.  There a few times when I will have multiple connections.  See the example below with Bill who shares matches with me who are from my PGF's Mom(King/Manire) and my MGF's Mom(Pittman/Adcock)  He has no tree and trying to figure this one out will take seeing the segments in a chromosome browser. 



Thru my admin and shared links, I can tell how much DNA Bill shares with Me, my sister, and my mother.  Unfortunately, we did not begin DNA testing until after my Dad had passed so he was never tested.

Bill's match with Me
Shared matches only show those in common who share at a 4th cousin level(Ancestry's minimum for 4th cousins is 20 cMs)  I noticed that my Mom isn't listed as a shared match.

Bill's match with my Mom
After looking at Mom's amount of shared DNA with Bill, I'm really hoping I will be able to check this match in a chromosome browser so I can identify the grandparent(s) who passed on the 2 segments I received.  On checking Bill's match with my sister's test it appears they do not share any DNA within the range that Ancestry would report.  This is a good example of randomness of DNA inheritance.   I've written to Bill and asked if he was planning on uploading to GEDmatch, MyHeritage or FTDNA.  Hopefully, I will get the opportunity to view the segments in a chromosome browser and see what occurred.  
Bill's match(or lack of) with my Sister

Friday, March 23, 2018

Do You Have Ancestors in the 1925 Iowa State Census?

I receive notifications from Ancestry with Hints after working some portions of my tree.  Yesterday I had worked on my daughter's paternal lines in the branch which came from Germany and settled around Franklin County Indiana.  One of the hints for a Charles Abram Gesell, my daughter's 1st Cousin 4 times removed, pointed to information available in the Iowa State Census Collection 1836-1925. (subscription required)  


This was an entry for the year 1925.  I was amazed to see that for this particular year, they had asked for the name and birthplace of each of enumerated person's parents.  I already knew his Charles' parents names but think of the potential info for an ancestor who is the head of household.   You'd get names and birthplaces for his parents and his in-laws. They also ask for Place where the parents married.  I'm so envious of anyone who has ancestors in this census. What I wouldn't give for this information for those of my ancestor.  I have a few siblings of my direct line who lived in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio so I'm going to check this database for the rarer surnames.  I might be able to also check for the more popular ones if I narrow down by location.  Not sure that Ancestry's search is working correctly but it always seems to work better when I'm searching in one database.  There are two pages(images) of information so be sure to check the one immediately following your household of interest for the second portion of the household's entry.

I did a quick search for Acuffs(main surname, father's surname, and mother's surname.  Anyone doing a One Name Study should check out this database.  The year 1925 was one in which there was a great deal of "moving around" in the US.  During that time period, many of my Tennessee relatives were heading to other cities and states looking for work and were not where you'd expect them to be.  There are a variety of earlier Iowa state census records in this collection.  The information collected varies from each census to the next.  If you aren't subscribed to Ancestry, you may be able to access it on-site at your local library.  The Family Search Library also has several of the Iowa State Censuses including the 1925 Iowa State Census.  You will need to have a FamilySearch account(which is free) and you don't have to be an LDS member to use FamilySearch.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Uploading your 23andMe results to GEDmatch Genesis

Those that have tested at 23andMe on the new chip(starting Aug of 2017)  cannot upload to the main GEDmatch database but can upload to the GEDmatch Genesis section(currently in beta).  I had updated the "Download from Test Site & Upload to GEDmatch" post to show changes but I think the information on the GENESIS upload may be buried in that post.  That said,  I thought I'd post this specifically for those who tested at 23andMe and received their results after July 2017.

Downloading your file from 23andMe
To download your Raw Data from 23andMe log on to your account if you have multiple kits associated with your acct make sure you have selected the proper test.  Select the Tool option and then click on Download.  You should see a page similar to the one below. 


This page contains information about the raw data file.  Scroll down and select the "Submit Request" button.  Follow directions on that page for obtaining the file.


Uploading the file to the GENESIS section of GEDmatch
You will need to register if you don't already have a GEDmatch account.

Register for GEDmatch

Once registered return to Genesis page
Log on and select Generic Uploads as shown below in the highlighted section of the screen capture.



Follow the directions on that page and make sure you wait for the file to upload.  Once it uploads you should see a notice and the kit number.   These upload instructions will also work for any of your other DNA results from AncestryDNA, FTDNA, earlier 23andMe, or MyHeritage files that you have downloaded and wish to upload to Genesis. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

DNA Circle Members but no shared DNA with each other? No Worries.


DNA circles are made up of people who share DNA and who share a common ancestor(who is the focus of that circle) in their tree.  They may not all match each other. There are more specifics and if you want to learn more about the science behind the creation of the circles you can click on "Learn more about DNA Circles" link from one of your DNA circles.  The focus of this blog post is ways to gather more information useful in identifying matches and furthering our research.



I'm using one of my smaller AncestryDNA circles in the example.  Why not?😊  The smaller ones are the hardest to keep as people often set their tree to private and that can make it fall below the minimum requirement for DNA circle formation.  Poof...the circle is gone until that person either makes their tree public again or another member is found bringing the circle up to the minimum qualifications for formation.  The AncestryDNA circle for W.C. Cook has 11 members, 7 which share DNA with me and 3 which are descendants of W. C. Cook(my 2nd Great Grandfather) but do not have any DNA segments in common with me.




The first thing I like to do is to look at the circle members who do not match me.  Click on the Shared Match tab and see if you can find shared matches who should also be a member but do not have their tree built out far enough to be included. I click on their name--in this case P.T., and select the Shared Matches tab.   We have 45 matches that we share DNA with despite not sharing any DNA in common with each other.  You will also find those shared members who are sharing DNA thru the spouse of the ancestor who is the focus of the circle.  That holds true for the Cirlce I'm using in this example as I have Cook/Putman shared matches as well as Putman/Tyler and Putman/Joice matches.


I use this opportunity to write in the notes section about the match so that I can identify the connection at a glance.  This helps me out when I visit this circle members shared tab again as I do this every so often. When I find a matches connection and it appears they are not aware of the connection I do try and send them a message to let them know our connection. This helps to build and hopefully maintain the circles as well as a dialog. The note function is not available for members of the circle that you do not share DNA with but you will be able to write notes for those you have in common.  Below is an example of some of  my notes from this circle with the usernames edited for privacy


As I was making screenshots for this post I sent out a quick message to 3 new matches whose connections I discovered!  Remember there is no right, or wrong way for your notes section.  It doesn't have to look like other's note section, it just needs to work for you.  You can also do something similiar using the Shared Ancestor Hints and Shared Match Tabs to help sort matches.

If you have share links to any of the members' DNA results.  Repeat this process from their point of view.  My sister has also tested at AncestryDNA and is in the circle.  She matches 9 members. There is one circle member that neither of us match, however, that person's mother is a member of the circle and we both match her.  DNA randomness.This is just at the 2nd Great Grandparent level.  Imagine the randomness as you are back at the 3rd and 4th Great Grandparent level.   Sometimes I also find there is a great variation in the amount of DNA that I share with a match compared to how much my sister shares with them.  I also have a DNA share link for my 2nd Cousin once removed and he matches everyone in the circle.  He and my father are 2nd Cousins.  W. C. Cook, the focal point of this DNA circle, was their Great Grandfather.

You'll find that if you use the note section to identify and sort your matches, it will become easier to sort thru new matches and to see connections.   I hope this post has given you some ideas of how to work with and sort thru your matches.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Segment Analysis: Unknowns

I've been trying to come up with a way to use the information about the matches that I have at MyHeritage to further my research. I have two siblings, my Mom, and my paternal Aunt's tests uploaded there and have been doing comparisons. I had noticed a good bit of matches from Finland prior to MyHeritage updating their match algorithm but now we have 79-109 matches from Finland. I thought it might be a good idea to look at those matches for each of us and see where they matched. I looked at the ones which were medium confidence(which was pretty much just the first page...the others were low confidence matches) The matches that we both have, match us exactly the same--no variation in cMs. They also match our Paternal Aunt. All match on Chr 2. This is a segment that I have identified as having been passed down from my Paternal Grandfather. There are also matches from Sweden and Norway overlapping. I painted those in Jonny Perl's DNApainter shown below. The matches I painted were the largest from each of the three areas that overlapped near the end of Chromosome 2 a bit beyond what is considered a pile-up area.



In addition to sharing these matches with my paternal aunt, these matches are in the segment that has been visually phased as coming from my Paternal Grandfather, Tom Cooke. See the image below showing the phasing completed by using Steven Fox's Visual Phasing spreadsheet(available in the files section of the Facebook Group The Visual Phasing Working Group) The Visual Phasing chromosome ribbons are:(Top to Bottom) Me, my Sister, and my Brother.  Click on the image to enlarge.



I've never put much into the ethnicity estimates but seeing the increase in matches in common and from a specific region, I'm wondering if this is a "footprint" of a distant ancestor from that region(s) or if it is from imputation. The few matches from this area that I'd seen prior to the results of my uploaded kit at MyHeritage were from those who had tested with FTDNA. The majority of testers at AncestryDNA are from the USA and UK.

Now that MyHeritage has a chromosome browser, I was able to compare the segments and see if they triangulated. They do triangulate for a segment of about 13.6 cMs. The figure below is from the comparison tools at MyHeritage and I've included a smaller additional match from Finland as well as the ones in the previous example. The comparison without the additional match from Finland yielded the same results of a 13.6 cM triangulated segment.



I've not yet identified my 3rd Great Grandparents for YDNA line. My brother has tested and we found the group of Cook(e)s to which we connect, however we lack about 3 generations to connect. Could this be from that line?  Certainly not anything close in as the connection is English.  It may be further on back in any one of my paternal grandfather's ancestors(shown in the screenshot of the fan chart below made using tools available at Rootsfinder.com). The ancestors in the blue area of the fan chart are those in my paternal Grandfather's line and are all in colonial America.   The majority of them, including the YDNA line, were in Granville County, North Carolina with earlier ties to Isle of Wight, Virginia.  I'm really not so sure that it is a valid segment and not one created by imputation.  Even if it is a valid triangulation the segment could be many generations back.  I will keep this in mind and if I find out anything further, I'll do an update with the additional information. 


Saturday, March 03, 2018

How I Survived #NotAtRootsTech

My takeaway from RootsTech 2018:   An end of day review from a #NotAtRootsTech perspective.

Wednesday
Living DNA's Live Stream session was one of my favorite parts of Wednesday's RootTech.  I'm excited to see their One Family One World regional projects.  You can find a listing of them here, about halfway down the page.   The page also contains information about what those who upload tests receive as well as a link for those who wish to apply to be a part of the other regional projects.  I'm particularly excited about 4 of the regional projects--Ireland, GermanyNordics & Baltics, and Scotland and plan on spending some time checking out the project maps.  They offered up a great sale for attendees and made the test available for $49.  Those of us #NotAtRootsTech were given the opportunity to purchase their test which is currently on sale for $99(+ delivery) and use a coupon code for an additional $10 off of the regular price of $159. 

My most favorite part of Wednesday was the Innovation Showcase where Jonny Perl won with DNA Painter.  This is a new easy-to-use chromosome painting tool which I find EXTREMELY valuable.  If you are into genetic genealogy and haven't tried it out, you should.  If you are on Facebook, you should also join his DNA Painter User group as well as Blaine Bettinger's Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques Group.

Thursday
Was a bit under the weather Thursday so my main goal for the day was to watch the General Session with Brandon Stanton.  Brandon's photography and storytelling blog, Humans of New York is awesome!  In other news,  the MyHeritage Chromosome Browser should be rolled out Friday!  Yippee!

Friday
Friday began with internet connectivity issues popping up that were just enough to keep me from being too productive.  Fridays are generally my grocery day too so I'm going to have to rewatch the Scott Hamilton session & Robert Kehrer's Finding Elusive Records at FamilySearch.  Had a chance to check out the MyHeritage Chromosome Browser and I went digging around in the matches from Finland, Norway, and Sweden that are matching several on my paternal side of Chromosome 2.  I need more hours in the day to dig thru this.  An alert from the RootsTech App about Heredis Software gave me another item to add to my To-Look-Into list.

Saturday
Started off Saturday with an appointment for Xfinity tech to check my net connectivity issues.  They are going to have to rewire so have that scheduled later this month. Not the best news but having it fixed will be as it is hard to be productive when you lose the internet about 4 times a day.  A Thank You note from a researcher I helped start out on the search for her Dad also helped make the day better.  She found him & 2 half siblings!!  Excited for her! 

Watched Anna Swayne's Advancing your Genealogy Research with DNA.  She always does a great job and gave away some AncestryDNA kits to attendees.  Curt Witcher's Pain in the Access:  More Web for Your Genealogy session might have been the last live stream session, but I hope that folks stuck around.  It was full of info about how to search libraries, state archives, historical & genealogical societies and much more.

If you missed the live stream sessions, check them out at the following link.
Videos from RootsTech 2018

In case you are wondering, RootsTech 2019 will run February 27th thru March 2nd. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

RootsTech: In Person, Live-Streaming or thru Social Media--something for everyone

More Badge Styles Available at
The Zombie Genealogist's Blog

Rootstech 2018 runs February 28th - March 3.  If, like me, you can't be there in person, don't fret.   Several of the presentations will be Live Streaming.  Check the Schedule and also be sure to check the #RootsTech and #NotAtRootsTech hashtags on social media to keep up with all the happenings.    Also check out LDC: The Zombie Genealogist 's  #NotAtRootsTech Survival Guide 2018 Edition    Lots of GREAT ideas and there are badges.  💖💖




Luranie Jane Cook Williams Death Record

Against all odds, I found the death certificate of Luranie Jane Cook Williams, sister of my Great Grandfather, William Green Cook. I'd never actually seen the copy of the certificate though I'd visited where she is buried and seen her stone.  My clues were from the Index although the index listed Puruline as her Mother's name and lists the burial place as Rees.  It's actually Rover on the certificate with the actual cemetery name not included. I was not expecting her to be in Davidson Co.TN. Neither the Tennessee, Deaths, and Burials Index, 1874-1955 or the Index of the TN Death Records 1908-1958 was in agreement on all the information I had but they were both close enough that I knew I needed to check the original record
The incorrectly transcribed items are noted with an arrow and the corrections are shown in RED.  Her gravestone lists the year of death as 1923 which added to my confusion.



Luranie's brother, Gideon Cook is the informant for the information on her death certificate. He was a Civil War Veteran, a Veterinarian, and known as "Dock" Cook. I believe that Gideon's family must have always referred to W.C. Cook as Clifford Cook because he is listed as C Cook here and on Gideon's Death Cert as Clifford Cook.

Her husband George W. Williams would die 6 months later(July 1924) Luranie & George are buried in the Simpson Cemetery in Rover, TN. Luranie has always been hard to find because her name is never spelled the same consistently. Even the Cook researchers never spell it the same. How do we ever find the documents we need. Persistence!


Monday, February 26, 2018

One of my favorite Ancestry Databases

One of my favorite databases at Ancestry.com is the U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.
In the 1990s when I was just beginning my research, I didn't give much thought to directories.  I had imagined they were just like phone books.  Wrong!  There is so much more in a directory.   Don't believe me?  See my blog post from June of 2017--In Praise of City Directories.   If you are an Ancestry subscriber(or your local library has access) you can browse to a directory of interest and see for yourself. I used the 1940 Nashville Tennessee City directory this past week a great deal.  In an effort to save time I found the start of each section and made myself an index of sorts using the image number.  This is something I'd recommend doing for any directory you will be browsing thru frequently.   Browse the directories. There is so much that isn't indexed.  I've noted the image numbers along with the pages for the directory I used last week and I'm including the outline below in case it would be of use to any others who are researching in that area and time period.

Nashville, Tennessee, City Directory, 1940
R. L Polk & Co. Nashville City Directory 1940 [Images 1-748]
  • The Alphabetical List of Names pg 37-1040 [Begins on Image 17]
  • The Buyers' Guide pg 1-76 [Begins on Image 538]
  • The Directory of Householders, including Street and Avenue Guide pg 1041-1273 [Begins on Image 578]
  • The Classified Business Directory pg 1353-1444 [Begins on Image 698]