Saturday, July 14, 2018

DNA Matches---Family Dynamics

Whether I'm working within my own family or helping an adoptee, I use the shared DNA tool at DNApainter to help figure out the probability of relationships of DNA matches. Visit the linked text to find out more about the tool and those who contributed to its development. 

My parents are both the next to the youngest child in each of their families.  Dad was 5th of 6 children and Mom was 10th of 11 children. This made me curious about the average age for each of the people in my direct line when the child I descend from was born.  So I made a chart which looks at this for all 4 of my grandparents and their grandparents.  

An explanation using the PGF-PGF   
1811(YOB of 2nd Great GF) 
1854(YOB of Great GF) 
1888(YOB of Grandfather) 
1930(YOB of my Dad) 
1968(my YOB)  

The numbers in the age column are the age of that person at the time of their descendant's birth. I included my age at the time of my daughters birth for comparison as well.  The average age is listed on the last line of each square within that category.  The average of all 16 averages is 33.7 years.



I'm really surprised not to see more of them in the 20-25 range.  I tend to think of 20 years as a generation.  This can vary a lot depending on ancestors birth order. What you can't tell from this is that my MGM married at 15 and had her first child by age 17.  She was 41 when my Mom was born. I just seem to descend from a long line of late in life babies.  This is something to consider when trying to decide if that DNA match with whom you share 196 cM is a 2C1R, 2C, Half 1C1R, 1C2R, etc.  Are they descending from the youngest child?  Were there children from a second marriage?  You have to know some things about the family dynamics which is a great argument for researching the sibling lines instead of just sticking to your direct.  If you just research your direct it will be very difficult to identify matches connections--even more so than it already is.  


Monday, July 09, 2018

Note to Self

I've gotten in the habit of writing notes in the comment section of Records in my search results at Ancestry.   The comments help me remember details about the image and to know that I have viewed the image.  This is a great timesaver when the image is of an index.  I leave notes on how to navigate to the page it references and sometimes details about the names listed in the records.  This is particularly helpful with common surnames in my research such as King and Cook where there are MANY men with the given names, John, William, Thomas etc. An example of one of my typical notes is shown below.  If my notes are helpful to others, that's even better.   


Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Reading thru some Cook(e) Confederate Pensions filed in Louisiana

In my efforts to find more on my Cook cousins I've started reading thru the Confederate Pension applications to see if I could locate any cousins from the lines of those that my brother most closely matches thru YDNA.  I started with Louisiana though I don't know if any of the Shem Cooke lines ended up there or were in the area for a time.  FamilySearch has the Louisiana Confederate Pension Applications at their site.  While they aren't searchable in the normal fashion they are listed alphabetically in groups and you can navigate to the surname of your choice within the group.  The Cook pension applications start on image 544 of 1454 in the section that covers
Como, Angie-Desire ------ Corley, Jackson S

Confederate Pensions Applications were State pensions and there are differences in the pension applications for each state that paid these as well as within each state over time.  Confederate pensions were applied for within the state of residence which many times wasn't the state where they had been living at the time of service or where they had enlisted.  Requirements for drawing a pension varied as well.

In the Louisiana Confederate Pension Applications, there were files for 26 Cook/Cooke soldiers.  Of those 26, 14 were filed by the widow.  If you are searching for the place of birth and birthdate for a soldier, and the soldier as applied you will likely find that info in his application along with the name of his wife and children if he married and had a family.  While widow's applications aren't as great for finding the place of birth or birthdate for the soldier, they do contain the marriage date and death date.
Less than half of the Cook/Cooke soldiers who applied in Louisiana were born there,   The image below is a list of the Places of Birth given for the files I read in which the POB was not in Louisiana.



The most interesting application was a widow's application where the soldier had begun filing for a divorce but had died before it was finalized.  The widow got her pension.  This file was full of information about the filing of the divorce and also many letters detailing a change of address for the widow after she had begun drawing the pension.