Letter Z challenge

Throughout this diploma course, I have had to zigzag across oceans, around countries and within states to find information for my assignments.

We had the chance to zigzag through the library databases at UTAS, whether it was using Ancestry Library edition or the British Newspapers or finding scholarly articles for our assignments.

We were lucky with the fantastic lectures and resources given to us by the organizers of each unit within the diploma. We learnt about the value of primary and secondary sources as well as referencing even though this was updated for each unit.

I thought I knew a lot about researching family history when I started this diploma but my eyes have been opened to the value of doing more than just names, dates and places in my software database.

So it is now time for a sleep (maybe a short nap only) before I start updating my resources list on this blog and organizing my research both online and in folders or filing cabinets.

Thank you all for participating in this challenge over the last couple of years.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Readers: Please leave a comment about my post or something beginning with Z that relates to your family history or your research.

letter Z

Letter Y challenge

Excellent letter for nearing the end of the challenge and for those finishing their diploma. I want to ask:

Why?

  1. can’t I find my father’s father’s birth?
  2. can’t I find Rebecca Jackson’s mother?
  3. is it easier to find records in Tasmania than in England?
  4. is it difficult to understand DNA?
  5. can’t I date photos very well?
  6. is there no Polynesian ethnicity in my father when his grandfather is supposedly half Samoan?
  7. can’t I find which of 7 John Davey’s in Devon is mine?

I am hoping understanding DNA more might help me answer some of these questions.

Readers: Please leave a comment about my post or something beginning with Y that relates to your family history or your research.

letter Y

Letter X challenge

The letter X usually marks the spot on a treasure map. For genealogists X usually marks the place where all the resources can be found when researching your ancestors.

So now that I have finished my subjects for the Diploma of Family History, I am going to take the time to update my list of resources in the page above the header of this blog.

I will have the basic “Introduction to family history” resources on one page, then a separate page for “Convict resources” and another for “Military resources”. Are there any other specific sections you think I should have as separate pages?

Readers: Please leave a comment about my post or something beginning with X that relates to your family history or your research.

letter X

Letter W challenge

As many of you know, my father’s side of the tree is holding me back. I am trying to find proof using DNA matches but it is hard to do unless they are a first or second cousin. As I don’t know surnames going back more generations, it is very tricky to prove.

What’s in a name?

My paternal grandfather is either William Alan WYATT or Alan William WYATT. Born between 1900 and 1905 in either England or Sydney or Georges Bay, Tasmania. I have no sources to prove the actual birth. It is believed he married 3 times; twice in Tasmania and again in NSW where we think he died.

My paternal great grandmother on my grandmother’s side is registered at birth as Nellie SOMERS in 1889. I have also found other siblings being born with the surname SOMERS but no father mentioned on the registrations. Using FamilySearch I have found baptisms where the surname is now CLARK(E).

1889 – Nellie Somers – daughter of Thomas Somers and Alice O’Keefe – Georges Bay

1893 – Kate Clarke – daughter of West Clarke and Alice Somers formerly O’Keefe – Gould’s Country

1895 – William Henry – son of Alice Somers – Lottah – no father mentioned on birth reg.

1897 – Jessie May – daughter of Alice Somers – no father mentioned on birth reg. – baptised Clark in St Helens

1898 – Joseph Edward – son of Alice Somers – Lottah – no father mentioned on birth reg. – baptised Clark in St Helens

1899 – Charles Archibald – son of Alice Somers – Campbell Town – no father mentioned on birth reg.

Someone on FamilySearch says Alice O’Keefe married Thomas Somers in 1882 and had 4 children before she then married Wes. Clark and had six more children. I still don’t have proof of marriages as they are not mentioned on the Tasmanian Names Index. Looks like I need to visit the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office to check out the baptisms in St Helens which is Georges Bay area.

ReadersPlease leave a comment about my post or something beginning with W that relates to your family history or your research.

letter W

Letter V challenge

This week has brought to mind that one word that is so important in genealogical research. It has come about because of a DNA match with one of the other students in the UTAS cohort. We are trying to find the link or most common recent ancestor in our trees.

Verification

For many years I have always believed that Caroline Bryant, who married William Chandler in 1859 at St Georges church in Hobart, was the daughter of Benjamin Bryant and Charlotte Bryant (nee Bull). But how was this verified? I had used information from a relative but did they actually have proof.

This is what I know from documents:

  1. Caroline Bryant aged 17 arrived in Hobart Town via Sydney on the steamer La Hogue then the ship Tasmania in January 1856.
  2. Charlotte Bryant (presuming this is mother) aged 51 and a widow arrived on same boats.
  3. R.W. Nutt was the sponsor of their immigration to Tasmania.
  4. On birth certificates of William Charles Chandler in 1863, Robert Henry in 1865,  the informant is Charlotte Bryant, grandmother and living at Government Gardens.
  5. On birth certificate of Mary Ann Eliza in 1867, Caroline Louisa in 1870, Ada Ethel in 1878, the address of informant is Government House.
  6. On birth certificate of Sarah in 1872, George Edward in 1874, the address of informant is Glenorchy.
  7. On birth certificate of Fanny Ethel in 1882, the address of informant is “The Grange”.
  8. On birth certificate of unknown female in 1860, the address of informant is J Winter friend Battery Point. This child was later named Julia Charlotte and is my great grandmother.
  9. On 1859 marriage certificate, J Winter is a witness.

But as you can see, there is no Benjamin among Caroline’s children. This has worried me as naming patterns were often used in the mid 1800s. So where to next?

  • I am currently trying to find records from Government House about employment records in the 1850s. Perhaps there will be more information about Charlotte and Caroline there especially as they were the only two bounty immigrants on those ships.
  • I have researched RW Nutt and he was a pre-eminent lawyer in Hobart during the early 1850s. Maybe the governor of the day asked him to write a letter to bring out Caroline and Charlotte especially. Did they have a friend or relative already working at Government House? As William Chandler worked there as a gardener, did he already know Caroline and her mother from back in England?
  • Are there any letters from the Governor of the day asking for Caroline and Charlotte to come out as bounty immigrants?
  • Check out the 1851 census in England for any Charlotte Bryant aged about 46 with a daughter Caroline aged about 12. Check out the names of Caroline’s siblings in the census results. What is name of father?
  • Check 1841 census for similar things as above.

 

20170123-130026.jpg
My great grandmother, Julia Charlotte Chandler born 1860

Readers: Do you have any other ideas of what I could do to verify back in the old country, who is Caroline’s father and when did Charlotte marry him?

Letter U challenge

Understanding

Completing the different units for the Diploma of Family History has certainly helped in my understanding of how to research well, how to present that research in an interesting way and how to organize the information I find during my research.

I am starting to better understand some of the DNA data. I am putting together a list of Kit numbers, high cMs and low MCRA that have a relationship to my father as he is the person in my family who I have least about. I would love to find someone within three or four generations to link into his side of the tree. I don’t know who his father was and I only know about two generations back on his mother’s side.

If I find someone close in generations and with a high cM then I will contact them to see where he might fit. I have started sending messages via Ancestry for the close member matches there relating to my father.

Terms

cM – centiMorgan – a measurement used with DNA – the higher the cM, the more DNA you have in common with that person

MCRA – Most Common Recent Ancestor – this is shown as roughly how many generations you are away from the other person – the lower the score the better.

Readers: Please leave a comment about my post or something beginning with U that relates to your family history or your research.

letter U

Letter T challenge

Now that I have my DNA results and I have uploaded them to gedmatch, I need to work out the

Terminology 

Here are some words I have seen but need to find out what they mean. It is like a totally new language.

  • Autosomal
  • centimorgans
  • admixture
  • phasing
  • X-DNA, Y-DNA, mtDNA
  • haplogroup
  • SNPs
  • types F2, V2,V3
  • chromosome browser

Once I have done a 1:1 comparison, what makes a person the best possible connection?

I know that one of the columns relates to generations that person is away from me. They would certainly be the easiest to find on my tree.

I looked in Gedmatch and they had some Beginner Guides so I looked at the following video (nearly 45 minutes) which I found very interesting.

The video then sent me to a genetic genealogist blog that included this chart showing the number of cMs between different relationships. Think this might come in handy when trying to work out how many generations people might be on my family tree database at home.

Readers: Please leave a comment about my post or something beginning with T that relates to your family history or your research.

 

letter T

Letter R challenge

They’re in! They arrived this morning!

Results

My DNA results arrived this morning. Was I surprised with any of the results? Well…. yes I was. Below are the ethnicity results for myself, my mother and my father.

Other regions were:

  • Sue: Europe West, Great Britain, Iberian Peninsula, Europe East, European Jewish and Finland/NW Russia
  • Mum: Scandinavia, Great Britain, Iberian Peninsula and Europe East
  • Dad: Scandinavia, Great Britain, European Jewish, Iberian Peninsula, Europe East and Asia Central

Mum’s and mine were about what I thought they would be – Ireland,  Great Britain and Western Europe.

But the greatest surprise was dad’s results. I thought he would have some Pacific Islander DNA as he is supposedly 1/16th Samoan. Maybe this DNA comes through the Asia Central trace but that is <1% so nearly negligible.

The next thing I did was to upload the raw DNA data to Gedmatch. These are the gedmatch numbers in case one of my readers makes a connection.

  • Sue A702006
  • Dad A380974
  • Mum A141289

The letter A in the front means they were from Ancestry DNA. I have already had someone email me through Ancestry saying her husband, who was adopted, is a match to me but only very small.

Readers: If you have had your DNA done, were there any surprises in your results?

 

Letter S challenge

I know what you’re going to say – where is the letter R challenge? I will write that one when the results of my DNA testing come in.

Stories

Writing your family history unit at UTAS involves writing short 250 word stories about an event or person in your family history. I am finding this unit very difficult. I don’t mind writing factual reports or timelines of a person’s life and including the referencing as I go. That is what I think a family historian should do so others can check the sources to verify facts mentioned.

Personally I feel once I start putting words into the mouth of my ancestor or writing about what their life was like or could have been like, then I am no longer writing family history but am writing fiction or narratives that can’t necessarily be proven.

But I did mention to the Facebook group I am a member of that I would include my short stories here, so they could leave comments about where I could improve. Click on the link for each story as each is a new post.

Story 1 about a whale hunt that relates to my great great grandfather William Smith

Story 2 about my great great grandmother Rebecca Jackson

Story 3 about my great great grandfather William Chandler

Story 4 about the townland Garshooey in Donegal Ireland

Story 5 about a murder story from Trove

Story 6 another about William Chandler

As I complete each story I will add the link.

Readers: How are you finding this unit? Can you recommend anything for me to read that might help me improve my storytelling skills?

 

 

Letter Q challenge

 

Character Question Mark

Creative Commons License One Way Stock via Compfight

This one is easy especially with me having just had DNA tests done on myself and my parents.

Q will be for questions of which I will have many once the results come through.

But to help me answer these questions I have joined a Facebook group on DNA genealogy in Australia and New Zealand. They have lots of links of other places to go to get help. Naturally I also have Mr Google to turn to.

UPDATE UPDATE – Just found the admin of the Facebook group has a list of resources on her blog – they are fantastic.

But firstly, it is recommended to upload the DNA results file to GEDMATCH where you are given a number code so you can see who else you might be matched to with DNA.

Personally, I feel this is going to be extremely interesting and I hope to find out more on my father’s side. I have spent a lot of today on Ancestry and Trove trying to find out about his great grandparents on his mother’s maternal side – SOMERS and O’KEEFE around Georges Bay, Tasmania.

Readers: Have you had your DNA tested? What have you learnt since getting the results?