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?

Letter P challenge

Another unit I have been doing at UTAS is called

Photo Essay

Whenever I write a blog post I try to include at least one image that relates to the topic of the post. But this unit taught me more about telling stories using images and captions.

I always thought a caption was like the little description underneath an image or the title of the image, but in this unit a caption was between one and three sentences per image.

We had to decide on the story-line for our photo-essay, take photos using the new skills we learned in the first few weeks and then write captions for the images we were using.

As this unit could be used as part of the Family History course, and many students who took part in the first Intro to Family History unit are nearly at the stage of graduating in August next year, I decided to make that the theme for my photo-essay.

I saved my photo essay as a powerpoint and have uploaded it here for you to look at. It hasn’t been marked yet by UTAS markers, so I wonder what they will think of it.

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

letter P

Letter O challenge

Interview Nico & JC, managers

Christophe Losberger via Compfight

Sorry for the long delay since the last letter challenge in April but doing online study at UTAS has been taking up a lot of time but we are back in the swing of things again now.

Oral History

  • How often do you formally interview or tape stories told to you by your relatives?
  • Have you ever been to a nursing home or residential home for the elderly to tape their stories?
  • Maybe you live in a neighbourhood with lots of migrants. Have they ever told you their stories.

Recording and editing the interview

This was one of the units I have just completed at UTAS. I had already interviewed my dad using the Soundcloud app, but when I went to use it again, I found I couldn’t record with it, only listen to a recording. This meant I had to use a new app for the actual interview. I downloaded three of them on my iPad – Recorder (looks like a tape recorder), Quickvoice and Quick recorder. I used the Recorder app as it looked more comfortable to my aunt who I was going to record.

Once the interview was complete, it was in m4a format when I emailed it to myself. It needed some editing and as I had used Audacity before with lots of problems (it also doesn’t like m4a format), I found another editing program called Wavepad. I got the free trial version and it was just like using copy and paste on a word document – very easy to use so I would recommend that to anyone in future.

What type of questions do you ask?

There are quite a few great websites written by genealogists and oral historians giving lots of questions to think about. But remember to make sure the person you are interviewing is comfortable before you start. You also need to make sure you have their permission to use the interview and recording, whether it is for your own personal family history or to put on a blog like mine or to include in a book or put in a display for the public.

I used some of the questions from the Centre for Oral History Research, but you can also look at these from Family tree magazine, About Genealogy (be careful of all the ads) and don’t forget to look at Oral History Australia and their guidelines.

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

Copper Uppercase Letter O

Letter N challenge

Today is ANZAC Day here in Australia and New Zealand so I thought I could combine three things in one post.

Wreaths in Hall of ValourThe letter N is for

New Course

I have enrolled as a student in a new course HAA007 (part of the Diploma of Family History) at the University of Tasmania titled “Convict Ancestors” run by Hamish Maxwell-Stewart and his team. I have previously been involved with “Founders and Survivors” also organized with Hamish and a different team. They were looking at descendants of convicts and how their improvements in health evolved over time eg height , weight of sons, grandsons  etc

So this leads to the second part of this post which is looking at the descendants of my convicts who may have served in WWI. I will need to carefully look at my database and check them out – so far I know of three in the COLGRAVE side of the tree.

Finally to the third thing in this post is a link I found on another facebook group which is about a special blog post for Military Monday and relating to ANZAC Day. For those searching for information on their soldiers in WWI, check out the great links in that blog post.

So now let’s start the true part of the post.  My convicts and their descendants who served in WWI:

Francis COL(E)GRAVE:

Great grandson – Private Roy Graham COLGRAVE who I have researched carefully and already written a post about his life in WWI. His records are in the National Archives of Australia SERN 5996 – 56 pages

Grandson –  William COLGRAVE – SERN 834 – 66 pages

Grandson –  Walter COLGRAVE – SERN Depot – 20 pages

Great grandson –  Walter William COLGRAVE – SERN T9050 – 15 pages

Great grandson –  Tasman Allan COLGRAVE – SERN 1060 – 33 pages

Great grandson – Angus Colin COLGRAVE – no digitised record yet

William TEDMAN

Grandson – Edward James TEDMAN – SERN 6096 – 37 pages

John ENGLAND

Grandson? – Edward ENGLAND – is this Vivian Edward ENGLAND? – SERN 2177 – 16 pages

I haven’t researched the BOYD side of the tree enough to know the grandsons and great grandsons who might be mentioned in the Discovering ANZACs website.

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

 letter N