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 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

Letter L challenge

This was easy to think of this week.

170112

Creative Commons License Simon Evans via Compfight

Life long learning

When I think back to the early 1970’s when I first began my research, I could have given up so easily as I had to travel to the archives to do any research at all.  I had to search lots of microfilms and microfiche. I had to search many different card index for photos, arrivals, departures etc.

But as a beginner teacher at that time, I knew the value of learning all the time. I became a life long learner.

Genealogy is a life long journey of a quest for knowledge on our ancestors. At least it is easier now using digitized records but it has also become easier to make mistakes by copying inaccurate information from other people.

I can now do all that searching online for Tasmanian ancestors by using a Tasmanian Names Index from LINC Tasmania, which includes the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO).

I made mistakes with one branch of my tree thinking John DAVEY a free settler from Devon was born in Cullompton, Devon. I even visited there when on an overseas holiday. Took photos, shared them at family reunions, only to find that I couldn’t prove that was actually my John DAVEY once I had looked at census documents now online. I have the possibilities now down to 7 persons from the 50 I had to start with.

Another of my ancestors Martha VICO (VIRCOE) nee HEARN I had as coming from Shebbear, Devon. But now I have found her marriage records in London showing she was born in Edgeware, London. Again this information had been shared with others at reunions.

I have a database with nearly 10,000 people on it all related to me somehow, but this is only on my home computer, not online at all. So there is less chance of any errors I have made being passed on ad infinitum to everyone in the world.

As part of Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do Over, I have decided to start a new database concentrating on only direct lines with spouse and siblings included. Also any information added will have to have at least 2 different sources.

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

letter L