Saturday, March 03, 2018

How I Survived #NotAtRootsTech

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

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.

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 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.

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 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]

Friday, February 23, 2018

Finding Cousin Ruth in the 1940 Federal Census

This post is a continuation of my previous post about my Dad's paternal 1st Cousin, Margaret Ruth Thompson Cooper.  If you haven't read that earlier post and click on her name in the previous sentence.  I'm going to refer to her as Ruth because that is what my family always called her.  On Ruth's death certificate it lists her legal residence as 129 6th Avenue South, Nashville, Tennessee.  I'd never been able to find Ruth thru a search of the census so now that I had the address where she was residing in 1941(and also listed there in 1940 directory as mentioned in the earlier post), I took that information and went looking for the Enumeration District for that address using the Steve Morse Census Tool.
From locating the address on a Google Map earlier I could see that the intersecting street was McGavock which narrowed it down to 2 Enumeration Districts.  I then browsed to the first of the two districts mentioned which had 12 pages and read those looking at the Street names.  Nothing...on to the next Enumeration District.  About halfway thru the 20 something pages, I find the address.  Margaret Ruth Thompson Cooper is listed as Margaret Moore.  No wonder I couldn't find her.  This is really odd to me because earlier in the directory for 1940 she is listed under last name Coopermore and the only one listed at the address in the directory. In the Census there are 4 other women who are in their 20s living at the same residence. Three of those women are divorced and one is widowed.   Some answers but more questions.  Are all these Margaret Cooper's the same person? - The Tennessean - 30 Mar 1941 - Page 31

A few thoughts 

1. I know from the information on the Death Certificate that the person listed is Cousin Ruth.  Her parents' names, place, and date of birth are exactly as they should be.  Too, we have her maternal 1st Cousin as the informant.  The residence on the Death Certificate and the census are the same so it seems likely that it was her.

Snippets from Tennessee, Death Records, 1908-1958 2011 Provo UT
From TN Death Certificate of Margaret Ruth Cooper who died March 22 , 1941

2.  She's listed as divorced in the census AND on the death certificate.  Her former husband B. V. Cooper remarried in 1939. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee; Roll: m-t0627-03972; Page: 6A; ED: 99-42

3.  Why is the name/word "more" or  Moore listed in both the directory AND the census?
Very odd unless she was married to a Moore and divorced sometime in between her 1st marriage and 1940.  Also to have the word more added on the end of her surname Cooper in the directory is odd.  She is noted as the person who gave the info for herself in the 1940 Census.  

4.  I think my next plan of action should be to look at the other four persons enumerated with her and see if I can determine any connections.  

5.  Additionally, I need to find her divorce records from B. V. Cooper.  

Thursday, February 22, 2018

An Address--Past and Present--Ruth Thompson Cooper

My Dad's paternal 1st cousin Margaret Ruth Thompson Cooper passed away in 1941 from tuberculosis.  I have a digital copy of her death certificate which lists her address as 129 6th Avenue S, Nashville, Tennessee.  On seeing the address and noting that the certificate said she had been sick for 6 months I had thought the address was probably a hospital or one of the sick houses for those with TB.  So I went looking thru the 1940 Nashville City Directory for that address. I found her listed but her surname has the word "more" added to the end of it.  I checked the abbreviation key page and didn't find "more" listed.  If it is a boarding house and there are more people why are their names not listed? Odd.

I was curious to see what is in that location today so I checked the address on Google Maps.   Today that would be near the Ryman Auditorium, Bridgestone Arena and not far from Nissan Stadium.  She is listed there in the 1940 and 1941 directory.  In the 1938 directory,  she is listed at 107½ 4th Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee.  The 4th Avenue address is only a few blocks away and is closer to the Ryman Auditorium.  Given this information, it seems that this was a neighborhood she had live in for at least 4 yrs.

Google Map for 129 6th Avenue South, Nashville Tennessee

Margaret was listed as Mrs. in her last two directory entries.  She had married in 1933 in Williamson Co TN to Burgess V Cooper.  I haven't found her divorce yet but Burgess remarries in 1939 and she is listed as divorced on her Death Certificate.The informant on her Death Certificate was her cousin J. W. Cook, son of her maternal Uncle Clarence Cook.  There were many from my family who died of TB within the 1920 to 1945 timeframe.  

I've not been able to find her in the 1940 census but with the information obtained from her Death Certificate I know she was still alive and the city directories tell me where she is living.  I really need to do a bit more digging and get her story out.  I feel like I have just scratched the surface. 

Notes: Tennessee, Death Records, 1908-1958 []. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. TN Death Cert of Mrs. Margaret Ruth Cooper (Davidson Co. TN 1941) U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 []. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. Browsed to the TN--Nashville ---1940 listing Nashville, Tennessee, City Directory, 1940

Image 115 of 748 (listed alphabetically by surname)
Image 673 of 748 (by street address)

Google Maps Address 129 6th Avenue South, Nashville, Tennessee(accessed 2/22/2018)

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Sorting and keeping track of DNA matches

 I use the MedBetterDNA browser extension(available for the Chrome Browser) so that the notes section is visible from the match list without clicking thru to the match page.  My genealogy goal for this weekend is to finish sorting thru the 2nd page of my DNA matches at AncestryDNA and identifying thru which of my grandparents we connected.  I'd already had some of them done as I like to make notes on new matches as they come in but had about 20 to finish.  I'd finished the first page of matches earlier in the week.  I do this by checking to see if they match my Mom's kit and looking at the shared matches.  I have DNA share links to view results for a few close cousins from each side and that helps when trying to find the connection.  You can click thru to View Match and click on that matches name to go to the profile where you can click on Select DNA Test and select any of the other tests which you have permissions to view to see if they match. Also clicking thru to the match page helps because sometimes they do have a tree but have not linked it to their DNA.  Use caution because sometimes there are many trees not attached and you may not be able to identify the tree containing the DNA match.  Also, remember that shared matches tab only shows those matches which you share at the 4th cousin level or closer.  Use the Select DNA Test from the profile page when you start getting down to the cut off amount for 4th cousins to check other profiles.

My first page of matches had a total of 50 matches.  Three of those were people who I tested so I didn't count them.  Two of my matches matched me thru 2 grandparents.  On page 2(which also contained 50) of my matches, I have one match which I have not yet been able to narrow down.  I can tell that she is a paternal match but don't know for sure which of my Dad's parents her line is thru.  I use hashtags to identify each of my 4 grandparents  #PGF #PGM #MGF #MGM

I also try and keep track of my top matches on all the testing sites where I have a copy of my DNA results.  I do include the 23&me ones which are uploaded to GEDmatch as I am not at 23&me.  I also use GEDmatch amounts if I have them and don't include anything less than 7 cMs.  This allows me to see how many of my matches have uploaded or tested at a site which has a way to get those amounts.  Also, it shows me how many segments I could likely identify if the Ancestry testers were to upload to one of the sites which have a chromosome browser(MyHeritage, GEDmatch or FTDNA).

I use Google Sheets to keep track of my top matches.  I've omitted the Gedmatch #'s and Username/Alias column in the view of my Top Matches Spreadsheet(seen below)

I normally only add matches which share 50 or more cMs with me.  I do make an exception for the unknowns 40 cMs and up. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

When less is more--Newspaper Searches

While you are searching for your ancestors in newspapers, don't miss out on finding them by failing to search for them under the initials of their given names.  My paternal grandparents lived in Old Hickory, TN from 1920s up til about 1950.  My Grandfather, Thomas DeWitt Cooke is usually listed as T.D. Cook in the Old Hickory social news column.  His father, William Green Cook is listed as W. G. Cook and in some cases Wm G Cook in real estate transfers, community news, and family celebrations.  Of course, there is a bit more involved in verification so that you can be sure you have your man(or woman).  See the example below from a paragraph which listed persons in attendance at a birthday celebration. 

The Daily News-Journal, (Murfreesboro, TN) 16 Mar 1938, Wed,  Page 3
available at

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Angeline Cook (1838-1938)

Angeline Cook's 100 Birthday Celebration
(The Daily News-Journal (Murfreesboro, Tennessee) Wed. 16 Mar 1938,  pg. 3)
Born March 8, 1838, Longview Community
Daughter of W. C. Cook and Elizabeth Putman Cook(my 2nd Gr Grandparents)
Celebrated 100th Birthday on Sun. March 13, 1938
Held at home of Mrs. G. W. Turner(her daughter) in Rockvale
In the article, it says many pictures were taken.

Guests in attendance:

  • Mr. & Mrs. J. M. Putman
  • Jim Cook & Family
  • Tip McCord
  • W. E. McCord
  • Clifford Cook
  • U. O. Webb
  • R. B. Lamb
  • C. W. Reid & Family
  • Mr. & Mrs. J P Kimmons
  • Mr. & Mrs. Joe Cook & son
  • C. B. Cook
  • Mr.. & Mrs. Earnest Cook
  • Mr. & Mrs. Grady Cook
  • Mr. & Mrs. John Cook
  • W. G. Cook(my Great Grandfather)
  • S.W. Williams
  • Sophie Williams
  • Miss Pearl Tucker
  • W. R. Turner
  • H S. Smotherman
  • Mr. & Mrs. D M Hay
  • Buddie Hay
  • Mrs. Watt Hay
  • Mr. & Mrs. Luther Webb & Family
  • Myrtle Lamb
  • Mr. & Mrs. Richard Turner & Family
  • Bennie Mae Lamb
  • Veston Crick
  • Mr. & Mrs. William Cook
  • Mr. & Mrs. Herman Rowland
  • Mrs. Leonie Mullins
  • Mr. & Mrs. James Ward Cook
  • Mr. & Mrs. J. H. McCord
  • Mr. & Mrs. Carl Boyce
  • Mr. & Mrs. A. G. Lamb
  • Mr. & Mrs. Edward Delk
  • Mr. & Mrs. Cooper Cook & Family
  • Mr. & Mrs. E. W. Boyce & Son
  • Mr. & Mrs. C. G. Cook & Family
  • Mrs. Emma Taylor
  • Mrs. Ella Martin
  • Mr. & Mrs. Dave Cook & Family
  • Lillian Cook
  • Clem King and son
  • Mr. & Mrs. G C Jernigan & Daughter
  • Mr. & Mrs. Horace Brown
  • Mr. & Mrs. Herbert Farris
  • Mr. & Mrs. W. E. Brown & Family
  • Dr. E. L. Williams
  • Cass B. Cook & Family
  • Mr. & Mrs. John M Elrod
  • L.W. Lamb
  • Daisy Cook
  • Mrs. W. C. Cook & Family
  • Mr. & Mrs. George D. Cook
  • Mr. & Mrs. John Cook
  • Mr. & Mrs. Eumph Boyce(Humphrey) & Family
  • Clarence Cook and Sons
  • Elizabeth Cook Rowland & Horace E. Rowland
  • Pearl Tucker(*listed twice)
  • Mr. & Mrs. Robert Turner & Family
  • Mr. & Mrs. J. W. Cook
  • Mrs. Greeley Smotherman & Family
  • Mr. & Mrs. Horace Smotherman and Son
  • Thomas Reid
  • Clay Turner
  • Thomas Turner
  • Mr. & Mrs. Charlie Lamb
  • Mrs. Stanley Rowland 

She passed away 19th of Oct 1938-- about 5 months later.

The Daily News-Journal (Murfreesboro, Tennessee) Fri. 21 Oct 1938, pg. 1

While researching the YDNA of the Cook line I have found a line that connects back to Shem Cook(as our YDNA line indicates) that also named a daughter Angeline and their daughter was also born in 1838 Georgia.

I have several of her descendants which have autosomal DNA tested who match me or my siblings.  I also have a number of descendants of those who attended her birthday celebration who are a match with me and/or my siblings.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Is Your Earliest Known Ancestor listed correctly in your FTDNA account?

Over the past 5 months, I've spent time working with my family's YDNA and mtDNA results at FamilyTreeDNA(FTDNA).  When I initially registered my account at FTDNA I was doing so in order to transfer a copy of my autosomal results from AncestryDNA.  Admittedly, I did not fill out all of the information other than what was required until after my results processed.  The Earliest Known Ancestors tab was a bit confusing to me.  I did finally realize that they were wanting my most distant patrilineal line and my most distant matrilineal lines.  I believe since that time(3+ yrs ago) they have changed the wording but it is still a bit unclear to some folks. 

In the example below I am using the pedigree of my maternal Great Grandmother.  If she had an FTDNA account(oh how I wish) and need to fill out that information the path she would follow on her pedigree to get that info is designated by the arrows. 

Blue arrows mark her patrilineal line.
Red arrows mark her matrilineal line.

I have used the LARGE arrows to designate the ancestors that should be listed on her Earliest Known Ancestors tab.  Of course, this is from my perspective and she may have known those lines further back than that. 

FTDNA asks for this info because if you are a male, the patrilineal line will be that associated with your YDNA test.  Females do not have a Y and cannot take that test but fathers, full brothers, and paternal uncles etc. can take those test so they should list their father-line as well.  The matrilineal line shows the path of your mtDNA or your mother-line.  Males AND females can both take mtDNA tests but only females pass on their mtDNA to their children.

Below is a snippet showing my Earliest Known Ancestor Tab. If my Great Grandmother shown in the pedigree above were entering the information she would use John N. Hale(blue arrow) for the Direct Paternal and Nancy Combs for the Direct Maternal(red arrow)

If you have an account(or accounts) with FamilyTreeDNA, PLEASE take the time to check and make sure you have this information entered correctly.  While you are doing that, it would also be a good time to make sure you have designated a Beneficiary for your account.  Hope this helps!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Always click thru to the Image of the Record

When you are adding records to your tree at Ancestry or any other site, ALWAYS click thru to view the actual image.  It may not be the person you think it is, OR the name may not be correctly indexed. If you had looked at the image(both shown below for comparison)  you can see that it says Drucilla.  There may be additional information on the document that wasn't noted by the indexer as well as other errors in the indexing. It really is worth your time to do this.  This particular record doesn't add the nearest relative or a relationship but there are some which do.  This could waste your time chasing someone who doesn't exist.  If you can add a correction when you notice these, please do so.  If it doesn't allow for a correction to the indexed item I usually leave a comment with the correction so that anyone else viewing the index will be aware.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Rutherford Co. TN Real Estate Transfers--W.G. Cook

News Banner (Murfreesboro, Tennessee) 05 Nov 1930, Wed Page 6
(Now part of  Daily News-Journal)
T.M. Carlton and wife to W.G. Cook 10th Dist $125
Sam Haynes and wife to W.G. Cook 10th Dist $210

The purchases are likely where he is living in the 1940 census.
While his neighbor in the census is not SAM Haynes it is a Haynes family.

1940 Census Rutherford Co. TN Dist 10 ED 75-11 sheet 5b

From Ancestry's 1940 US Federal Census database located at
search terms William Cook Rutherford County Tennessee, USA

Monday, February 05, 2018

Comparing Shared DNA from paternal 2C1Rs

In one of my earlier blog post, I'd promised to do a comparison of paternal 2C1R(2nd Cousins once removed).    Below I am comparing segments that I and my siblings share with a paternal 2C1R.  This cousin is the 2nd Cousin of my Dad and our Most Recent Common Ancestor Couple is my Cook/Putman 2nd Great Grandparents.  The Cook/Putman couple are his Great Grandparents

Look at the difference in total that my sister and I share with our 2C1R as compared to what our brother shares.  If my brother had been the only one who tested we would have missed out on identifying over half of the DNA which was received via the Cook/Putman connection.  I should mention that this paternal 2C1R(who is kin to us thru his paternal lines) is also a maternal 4C1R(thru his Mom's McElroy/Shropshire lines )  He shares no matching DNA with my mother at the 5cMs/500SNPs threshold. 

Since our Dad passed on before we began testing we can't know what he would have had in common with this cousin other than looking at what all of his children have in common with this match.  Still, there may have been segments that my Dad did not pass on to any of us.  The next best thing we can do is test his sister and see what segments she shares.

By testing our Paternal Aunt who is a 2nd Cousin to this match we are able to identify 7 additional segments with this Cook/Putman cousin.  These are segments which neither I or my siblings received and are noted by the blue arrows in the above image.

This next set of 2C1R are children of a paternal 2nd Cousin.  They are half siblings to each other.  Our Most Recent Common Ancestor Couple is my Cook/King Great Grandparents.  The Cook/King couple is their 2nd Great Grandparents

There seems to be pretty good variation in the Chromosomes which I share and those which my two siblings share with each of these 2C1R  Thankfully I didn't stop at just testing myself as I seem to have less shared segments. Let's see how my Aunt compares.  She is their 1C2R.

It looks like our Aunt has most of the same segments in common with these two who are her 1C2R.  We were still able to identify a chromosome segment that my siblings nor myself had gotten which came from the Cook/King couple(noted by the dark blue arrow)  Also we were able to pick up more cMs on about 5 other segments which are marked with the lighter blue arrow.

There is a good deal of randomness in the heritance of DNA once you are back past your parents.  Test 2nd Cousins, Aunts/Uncles, and siblings. 2nd Cousins are gold mines.  They will really help you sort out the information you need in order to identify your matches.  Too, if you expect to be able to identify 3rd and 4th cousins you need to have a well-researched tree and know the descendants of your 2nd and 3rd Great Grandparents. 

Sunday, February 04, 2018

AncestryDNA Matches Inventory--2nd & 3rd Cousin levels

I did an inventory of my top matches at AncestryDNA just to see how many of my matches who are listed in the groupings as 2nd cousins or 3rd cousins had uploaded to GEDmatch.  I also wanted to get an idea of which group was testing more and an idea of where there are some opportunities.  Ancestry doesn't have a chromosome browser and likely never will, so if I'm wanting to identify any segments matches with those who match me there I must ask if they will consider uploading to another site which accepts transfers or to GEDmatch.  MyHeritage just recently released some new tools which include a chromosome browser so that is now a new option when looking at segment matches. 

Inventory & Analysis of 2nd & 3rd Cousin Group Ancestry DNA matches

Total of 25 matches(excluding immediate family)

PGF- Paternal Grandfather
PGM- Paternal Grandmother
MGF- Maternal Grandfather
MGM- Maternal Grandmother

2nd Cousins(Total: 4)
None at GEDmatch

3rd Cousins(Total: 21)
1--Both MGF & MGM
8 are at GEDmatch

Even though there are several I cannot positively identify I am able to tell which Grandparent connects our families.  eventually, maybe the 4 closer cousins will upload.  I've contacted each of them.  Just a waiting game I suppose. 

Over half of those who have uploaded to GEDmatch are from my PGF's line.  I wish I had more from my MGM's line who have tested. There are some further out in the 4th Cousin Grouping and I'm thankful for that.  I have the most work to do on her lines, especially her Hale line.  The Pittmans of my MGF's line LOVE to test at Ancestry(I'm guessing for ethnicity as that line has Native American) but they do not love to upload to GEDmatch.  There are close to 20 kits(some in 3rd and more in 4th cousin group) from the Pittman/Adcock and Pittman/Hatfield lines which would be a great study in a chromosome browser.  I am lucky to have so many of my 3rd or closer cousins testing. Colonial Ancestry on both sides with virtually no ancestors immigrating after 1800 likely has a lot to do with that.

If you have tested with AncestryDNA, can you group your Top 25 AncestryDNA matches into 4 groups?  Even if you have unknowns this is doable.  It's the approach I use when helping adoptees who don't know ANY of their grandparents.  Use the Shared Matches tab to help do this.  The DNAgedcom client will also help if you have access to it.  You would need to download your ICW spreadsheet and look for each of those top 25 matches.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

A closer look at shared segments

What's happening on Chr 18?
In my previous blog post, A DNA match who shares 3 different kinship paths, I had observed that while my Mom had two segments on Chr 18 my Brother appeared to have one long segment shared with the match. Looking at the Chromosome browser graphics(using the legend) you can see that there is a little "skip" in the segment.   A no call in my Mom's results, maybe?  

Which shared segments are shared by all 3 siblings?
I wanted to get a clearer picture of how the shared segments survived or didn't from one generation to the next.  I'm adjusting the segment number that my Mom shares with this match to 12 segments as the two Chr18 segments are really likely one long segment.  There are only 3 segments of the 12 that all three of her children also share. That's 25% of the shared segments that were passed to the next generation.  Or 75% which didn't get passed down--at least in this case.  Notice too that my brother only received a portion or the Chr 6 segment. So only 2 segments passed to all 3 of us in their entirety.  My two brothers who have not tested may have gotten different segments or they may have the same three that my brother, sister, and I share.  Neither of the brothers who haven't tested have any children.

 It would be interesting to see if these three segments made it thru to my nephew and nieces if they test.  My daughter didn't get any of the 3 segments which are shared by all 3 of us.  This is a great example of why you should test as many siblings as possible if you have only one parent available for testing. I really don't want to think about how many segments were "lost" from my paternal lines because my Dad never tested.  Thankfully his sister tested.   Sounds like an idea for a future blog post(s) as I have 2 sets of 2C1R to use for comparison with my aunt and my siblings on my paternal lines.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

A DNA match who shares 3 different kinship paths

Comparing Grandparent--Mom--Child
I have a new match from Ancestry who has uploaded to GEDmatch.  She has been on my Ancestry match list for a while.  She is kin on my Mom's side thru 3 different lines.
The closest is thru my Maternal Grandfather's Luna & Pittman line.
The other 2 lines are my Maternal Grandmother's Hale/Elzie & Hitchcock/Fleming lines.
While we have the Hale Hitchcock connection in one union the match has separate lines that go back to our common ancestors.  This means we have the potential for sharing segments from both my MGF and my MGM.  Fortunately, I have a sister and a brother who have both taken autosomal tests and I hope visual phasing will help to identify the ancestors responsible for these segments.

Let's look at how they were passed down from my Mom to me and from me to my daughter.

[image edited ch 13 info was inadvertenly placed in the ch 18 row in the Daughter table in my initial post and I've corrected the image so that it is now showing in the correct row.]

Comparing Matching segments passed to 3 children
We can also add my siblings to the mix and observe how Mom passed the segments to
3 of her children.  I have 2 brothers who haven't tested and neither of them has children so whatever they have inherited will not be passed.

Looking at the Amount of shared DNA for each of the 3 siblings and the match
Looking at amounts she is my 2C1R, 4C & 4C1R.
It's not as easy as adding up the avg amounts for all of those relationships and getting a guesstimate on what she should share because 10% of cousins do not match once you get to the 3rd Cousin range.  When you get to 4th cousin level it is about 50%.  Let's see how they compare 2C1R, 4C & 4C1R average amounts added together are 123+35+28 = 186 cMs.  With me and my siblings, she matches highest with my brother at 161.5 cMs...with me at 150.1 cMs and my sister at 91.7 cMs.  There probably won't be many if any Hitchcock/Fleming segments and only a little more likely are the Hale/Elzie segments.  The majority of the segments are likely Luna/Pittman segments.  I feel that since 2 of the relationships were a 4th cousin and beyond, that the multiple relationships really didn't play that big of a part in inflating the amount of shared DNA.

Looking at these comparisons it's easy to see how over a few generations the segments from those ancestors can dwindle away.   I see something odd on Chromosome 18 where my brother's segment is 36.8 cMs which is considerably more than my Mom's 21.8 cMs.  Maybe an identical by chance portion.

Ancestry doesn't include the X in any of its results.  You can, however, download your raw data and upload to GEDmatch.  Let's take a look at how my Mom, siblings, daughter and myself compare to this match on the X chromosome.  Remember the inheritance pattern of the X Chromosome.(<---see additional="" at="" bettinger="" blaine="" blog="" info="" p="" s="">This inheritance pattern only applies to segment matches on the X and not on the other 22 chromosomes which can come from ANY of the ancestors who you have in common.

Notice the 3.07 cM segment that my sister shares on the X that Mom doesn't share with this match.   Also, there is a 5.57 cM segment that my sister and I both share.which isn't shared with Mom.  Likely false positive segments.

Eventually, maybe I will be able to "assign" the segments to specific ancestors or ancestor couples at least.  I have a feeling this is going to take a good while.

If you are looking for tools to use for DNA analysis, I have a listing of my favorite tools, blogs and educational sites on my DNA Tools and Reference page.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Which Andrew McElroy?

I certainly need to further investigate this.  I have two ancestors named Andrew McElroy--my 3rd grandfather(Andrew J. McElroy) and his father, Andrew McElroy who would both be in that area of Tennessee.  I don't believe it would have been either of them.  It certainly couldn't have been Andrew J. McElroy who would have been about 1 year old otherwise I would not have been here.  I do have a death date for his father the elder Andrew McElroy and it is June of 1864--some 43 years after this was published.   That date comes from a short bio written about his son Andrew J. McElroy who was a state senator [pages 262-263 of Compendium of Biography--published by Ogle Co. 1898.]. It seems likely that these are somehow connected to mine because of the name and the area, especially given that Andrew McElroy's wife was Martha Shropshire. 

Nashville Whig (Nashville, Tennessee)  17 Oct 1821, Wed  Page 3

I found the two names together in 1825 White Co TN on the tax list 4 years AFTER the article.  Is there another Andrew McElroy?  I know that descendants of the elder Andrew McElroy have continued the name but wonder if there were two in this area during that time period and if not, why was this ad posted.  There is a Hick Shropshire that dies in TX in the late 1830s.  Would love to know more about this.  Perfect excuse to make a timeline, as if I needed an excuse.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Image comparison of North Carolina Will

The State Archives of North Carolina recently blogged about a new digital collection--the Secretary of State Wills.    I wondered if some of these were in Ancestry's collection and thought about comparing the images.  I have taken a snippet of the very same section from the will of William Cook probated in Northampton County, North Carolina in 1758.  Below are the snippets of the image from the Secretary of State Wills database and the one from Ancestry's Wills and Probate Records Database.

From Secretary of State Wills Database (

From Ancestry's NC Wills and Probate Records Database(subscription required to view)
( Search on William Cook 1758
Wills, Vol 7-9, Corn-Eub

I did attempt to find the images at FamilySearch in the Northampton Co Probate which covered the year 1758(most started in 1760)  but did not find it thru browsing or searching. It may be there but I was unable to find it.  I thought maybe the image at Ancestry might have been an FHL scan but the source notes and citation didn't mention that as they normally will if it is from the FHL images.

The image seems to have had some tweaking for readability at the Archives website.  This just happened to be the one I was interested in viewing. There may not be that big of a difference with other images.   Your mileage may vary.  Sometimes images will be more clear at one site than they are at another.  No one said that you couldn't use BOTH sites. 😊

Uncle Morris' Bowling Score from The Tennessean(1959)

My Dad's older brother, Morris Cooke enjoyed bowling.  A search on his name at included this entry from a 1959 Tennessean.  I believe Granny and family were living on East Greenwood Avenue in Nashville in 1959. 

The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee)  28 Feb 1959  Sat.  Page 11 ( accessed Jan. 28, 2018)

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Wanted Notices Offer "Rewards" to Researchers.

As researchers, we are always searching for more information about our ancestors.  I've noticed that particularly in the early 1800s there were notices or advertisements offering rewards for the capture or information about military deserters.  These notices give descriptions:--build, clothing and habits.   It might not be where you would prefer to find your ancestor, but It could be the only time that you will get a detailed physical description in that time period.  I couldn't help but be amused by the description of Martin Seabine. 

(Accessed Jan 25, 2018 at

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Estate Sale of William Ogilvie May 10, 1813

Account of the Sale of Items that were part of the estate of William Ogilvie deceased.
Only includes items not bequeathed to those named in his will.
May 10th, 1813 Tennessee, Divorce and Other Records, 1800-1965 [accessed on 19 Jan. 2018]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2007.

Original data: Tennessee. County records. Nashville, Tennessee: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Microfilm roll numbers 99 to 108, 115, 336 to 337, 428 to 431, 519, A-4098, A-5278, B-1 to B-9, B-44 to B-127, B-314, B-441 to B-445, B-471 to B-473, B-1607 to B-1613, and B-1781 to B-1789.

Roll Title: Divorce, Probate and Other Records 1800-1899, Og-Ow Roll: B-100

Know the contents of the Database
This record is from the Williamson County TN records According to the blurb on the database, Williamson TN Records include: (Divorce Files, 1900-1950; Divorce, Probate, and Other Records, 1800-1899; School Censuses, 1838-1918; Miscellaneous Records (ex. Apprentice, Land Sales, Liquor Licenses, Slave Records); Birth and Death Records, 1920-1939)

At one point if you added a record from this database it would show as a DIVORCE(something I'd blogged about) but it appears this is no longer the case.  I was able to create a Probate FACT and link the image from that FACT within my Ancestry Tree.

Note the persons purchasing from estate sales as they are generally family, friends, associates or neighbors of the deceased.   Cluster research or the FAN club principle(a term coined by Elizabeth Shown Mills) refers studying an ancestors friends, associates, and neighbors in order to learn more about your ancestor's life.  There is an excellent lesson showing the use of this methodology located on her Evidence Explained website.  

William Ogilvie FAN Club
James Allison (Son-in-law)
John Adkinson
John Ogilvie (Son)
George H Allen
Anthoney Walk
John Menery(This may be 
Richard Ogilvie (Son)
James Shomate
William Hooker
John Manere(Son-in-law & my 4th Gr Grandfather--John Manire)
Henry Baley
Charles Calhoun
William Tucker
George  Jubin or Julin
William Webb

Now to add these people to the notes section of the FAN Club portion of William Ogilvie's entry.  When I find the relationships for each of these persons to the deceased I'll add that in my notes and hopefully remember to post an update.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Additional Notes in the News on David Pittman's case (1873-1876)

In a previous post,  I wrote about finding a David Pittman in court for illicit distilling.  I'm not sure if this case went on for awhile or if there were additional charges.  It appears to have been continued several times with him eventually getting 30 days in jail in May of 1876.  In October he is again mentioned but it is shown as "no action taken".  I wonder if that may have been where they checked to see if he had served his sentence.  I would imagine he had or there would have been further action needed.

From The Nashville Union  and American of Wed, 19 Nov 1873 pg. 4

From The Nashville Union and American of Tues 25 Nov 1873 pg 4

25 Oct 1874  (forfeiture) Click on the date to see view the previous post that started me looking for more on this case.

The Tennessean Tues. 2 May 1876 pg 1 

The Tennessean Sat. 21 Oct 1876 pg 3 

These clippings and other newspapers available thru subscription to

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cook Family Reunion Held At Longview June 1952

The following clipping is from the Murfreesboro TN newspaper article listing those in attendance at the Cook reunion in Longview.  

The Daily News-Journal  Murfreesboro, Tennessee  Sun, Jun 8, 1952 – pg. 9
available to subscribers at

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

My Genes For Good DNA results are in

In mid-August of 2017,  I took the Genes For Good DNA test.  I received notification that my results were in today.  If you are interested in participating you can find out more information on it HERE.  It doesn't cost anything but the time you spend taking the studies.  Click on any of the images below if you need a closer look.

This is pretty much what I expected as it is a study that deals more with health.  I had already tested at AncestryDNA about 3 years ago and had uploaded those results to FTDNA, MyHeritage, DNALand,  and GEDmatch.

The above section shows how I compared to others who tested.  I am the blue dot. 

The above image shows their Estimated Genetic Ancestry of Chromosomal Regions.  Not as detailed as the Chromosome Paintings in the Admixture section at GEDmatch but I think it will interesting to compare the Non-European portions to those I get when I run my AncestryDNA results I uploaded to GEDmatch thru some of the admixtures utilities available there.

They do allow you to download your results, however, you are required to answer a survey and enter an access code before doing so.  I was able to run my results thru Promethease.   I didn't expect them to mirror the results of my AncestryDNA analysis at Promethease but it was pretty close.  I have Retinitis Pigmentosa which  Promethease identified this as Age-related Macular Degeneration when I ran my AncestryDNA results. The analysis of the Genes for Good kit was no different, down to identifying the same chromosome.  

I have tried to upload to the Genesis portion of GEDmatch but haven't been successful yet.  I hope this article provides insight into what information is available when you test with Genes For Good.  

Friday, January 05, 2018

David Pittman in Federal Court for Illicit Distilling

The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) Sunday, Oct. 25th, 1874  pg. 4  accessed  Wednesday, Jan 3rd, 2018

Connally F Trigg--the judge presiding at the time of David Pitman's hearing.

I believe this is my David Pitman for several reasons: The Thomas Cotton listed with him lives in White Co TN just over the county line from David Pittman, who lives in Dekalb Co. This is the same Thomas Cotton who served with him in the TN 16th Infantry(Confederate). Additionally, the L. R. Dunham is likely kin as David had 2 Dunham brother-in-laws as well as an Uncle by marriage who were Dunhams. I had heard family talk about the Pittman family having been involved in making liquor.

Federal Court would have been District Court in the Middle District.

From the National Archives site:
21.45 Records of U.S. District and Other Courts in Tennessee

21.45.3 Records of the U.S. District Court for the Middle

Textual Records (in Atlanta): Records of the Northeastern Division (Cookeville), including minutes, 1916-25; dockets, 1912- 50; civil, law, equity, and criminal case files, 1912-71; and records concerning bankruptcy, 1915-62. Records of the Columbia Division, including minutes, 1925-57; dockets, 1925-50; civil, law, equity, and criminal case files, 1925-71; and records dealing with bankruptcy, 1925-62. Records of the Nashville Division, including minutes, 1801-1924; dockets, 1814-1955; civil, law, equity, and criminal case files, 1799-1969; and records relating to bankruptcy, 1842-1963. Records of the Winchester Division, including minutes, 1925-38; dockets, 1926- 41; civil, equity, law, and criminal case files, 1926-43; and records concerning bankruptcy, 1925-43.

Microfilm Publications: M1213, M1215.

Looks costly to order copies. Need to see if I can find another mention in the paper.

Comparing Paternal Aunt to her Nieces & Great Niece in Chromosome Browser

I think this is a good illustration of the randomness of DNA.   I'm comparing Me, my sister, and my daughter to my paternal aunt(my daughter's maternal great aunt.)  Click on the image to enlarge.

The above segment matches are of segments matches which are  5cM or highter  on the FTDNA chromosome browser.  I've uploaded to GEDmatch and can do One To One comparisons.  I'll be able to run a list of matches and other comparison reports once it batch processes.

At GEDmatch with a threshold of 7 cMs or greater:
I match my Aunt at 1610 cMs over 39 segments(largest segment of 102cMs)
Sis matches Aunt at 1548 cMs over 45 segments(largest segment of 158 cMs)
My daughter matches her Great Aunt at 785 cM over 25 segments the largest is 72 cMs

For more DNA tools and reference click on the link in the blog menu at the top of the page (DNA Tools & Reference Links)