Using LivingDNA

Because my ethnicity is basically British and Irish, I thought it would be interesting to find out exactly where in these countries my ancestors came from.

Here are the top results for my parents, my brother and myself. I had to pay extra to get the results for my parents and brother as they hadn’t tested with LivingDNA, instead I uploaded their raw data from Ancestry instead.

Mum

  • North Yorkshire 15.5%
  • Northern Ireland and SW Scotland 14.9%
  • Cumbria 13.2%
  • Devon 11.6%
  • South Central England 10.7%
  • South East England 9.5%
  • South England 8.6%

Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, and Somerset (South Central England)

Kent, Sussex, Essex (South East England)

Hampshire, Dorset (South England)

Dad

  • Devon 29.8%
  • Ireland 24.8%
  • South Central England 11.9%
  • South England 11.5%
  • Northumbria 8%

The rest are 3% or lower including Orkney and Shetland Islands at 1.5%

Philip

  • South East England 20.6%
  • Ireland 17.2%
  • Northern Ireland and SW Scotland 15.1%
  • Central England 12.5%
  • North Yorkshire 9%
  • Northumbria 7.1%
  • South Central England 7%

But Devon only 1.8% and Orkney Shetland 1.7%

Sue

  • Devon 32.8%
  • Northern Ireland and SW Scotland 13.5%
  • Northwest England 12.8%
  • Ireland 6.3%
  • Lincolnshire 6.3%
  • Northumbria 6%

So looking at these results:

  • I got the Devon genes from dad while Philip got the Irish genes.
  • Philip got the North Yorkshire genes from mum while I got the Devon genes.
  • Interesting the difference one generation can make with all the movement in England and Ireland.

We also have shared matches now on LivingDNA.

Mum  274,  Dad 179,  Philip 218 ,  Sue 209

So another job for me to do is work out where these matches connect within our family. The LivingDNA website is gradually adding other useful tools and will be great once you can add to a tree and look at a chromosome browser to triangulate matches.

Readers: Have you uploaded your raw DNA to this website? It is especially useful if you have a lot of British heritage and have paid the fee to unlock the county ethnicity.

Check your tree!

Was reading the feed in my Facebook groups and came across an interesting post in Louise Coakley’s private group about Using DNA for Genealogy in Australia and New Zealand. PS Remember to answer questions if requesting to join.

As I have many trees on Ancestry.com, I thought I would check out some of these posts about an in depth guide to Ancestry. There are 11 parts to this guide so far and the first one was about trees.

My trees

I have 7 trees I am owner of on Ancestry. My main tree is Wyatt family tree and that is where I add in all my matches as I work out where they are in my tree. So I use matches from myself, but also my mother, father and brother.

Because I had no idea of my father’s side of the tree until recently, I also began one labelled DNA Wyatt Dad Kevin. This is a lot of mirror trees based on dad and his half brother Kevin’s common matches to try and work out where they all intercept. But I wont be using this much now as I have now got dad’s side of the tree back a few more generations since a new close DNA match appeared a few weeks ago. This tree is private and not searchable.

When I was trying to work on dad’s DNA and whether he had Samoan ancestry, I asked a couple of his Smith cousins to test and I created trees to match them as well. I don’t add to these unless DNA matches ask for information through the messaging system. By the way, no Samoan and these are now half cousins as well.

I have done the same for a few of mum’s cousins who have tested at my request, so I have 3 trees created for them. Two are public and linked to DNA tests, one has now been made private but searchable as the person has now died who did the test for me.

Next step

So I went into my DNA matches list to see what the trees were like for my matches. I only looked at those up to and including 4th-6th cousin.

DNA matches tree types

 

Out of 340 matches I checked

  • nearly 50 % have a linked tree I can look at, but some of them may only have a few names of parents or grandparents or might even all be labelled ‘Living’.
  • nearly a quarter of my matches have no tree at all but if they are high up in my matches I might still be able to work out where they fit on my tree. In fact, I have worked out 9 of the 81 matches that have no tree.
  • an unlinked tree just means the owner of the tree hasn’t linked their DNA to the tree yet. I have 59 unlinked and 12 that are unlinked but also private. From those 71 matches, I have worked out how 6 of them link into my tree.
  • out of the 20 linked but private trees, I have 4 with common ancestor mentioned and I have proven these to be connected correctly to my tree.
  • I also have two that say the tree is unavailable but clicking on those words takes me to their page and a tree I can click on. One I have matched and is added on my tree, the other I have a good idea where it links but not proven yet.

As I mainly work on my parents DNA match lists, I probably have, in reality, a lot more matches added to my tree than I have from my match list. As I work out where the person fits in my tree, I add this in the note section of their profile page. As my parents are one further generation closer to the ancestors, I usually add these notes on their matches rather than mine.

From this image you can see I know where the person fits in my tree (the orange star), they fit into three family lines on my mother’s side and the ancestor couple we have in common is George and Martha Davey nee Colgrave.

Readers: If you have a tree on Ancestry, does it have your DNA linked to your name on the tree? Is your tree public, or private? If private is it also searchable? Do you use the notes section and the colour coding for your matches?

 

Ancestor fan tree update

Just before Christmas, I uploaded my tree as a GEDCOM to the website DNA Painter.

I used the tool called Ancestral Trees. This created a fan type tree, showing which of my grandparents I had found and added to my tree. Dad’s side of the tree was always very bare while mum’s was well covered up to 3x grandparents and even further out.

Make a comparison now on dad’s side.

November 2019

Visual showing where I need to research the ancestors

June 2020

 

So my tree is complete now up to 3x grandparents on both sides of my family. Next step, get the 4x grandparents sorted and add to the tree.

DNAPainter also has some other great tools which I often use: 

  1. WATO – What are the odds? Using DNA centimorgans to work out where you might match in a tree using the results of matches that you already know.
  2. Chromosome tool – allows you to build up your chromosomes and show which ancestor you received them from. Takes a bit of working out and can’t use results from Ancestry
  3. Shared cM tool – great for working out how a person is related to you by inputting their cM in the tool

 

Readers: How do you keep a record of how many of your direct ancestors you have found?

Nearly forgotten

A few weeks ago one of Amy Johnson Crow’s posts for #52ancestors was the topic

Nearly Forgotten

I decided to do a count of those children who died under the age of five that I have listed in my database at home. This database is gathered from other people from family reunions and emails so not necessarily verified by proper sources.

Here are the results out of just over 7700 names.

  • Immediate or within two months of birth – 37
  • Under 3 years – 39
  • Under 5 years – 7

Most were from the 18th or 19th centuries but a few were from the 20th century. I don’t have birth or death dates for everyone in the database but these results are from those who had both dates included.

As most are not my immediate line back, I haven’t got records of cause of death. I am gradually adding that to my new database where everything has been verified with sources.

Readers: Do you have many deaths of infants in your tree? How are they remembered in your family?

Who was William Elvis Allen?

After many years of searching, a close DNA match has finally given me information on my grandfather William Alan (Allen) Wyatt. From many records now shared between Dennis (and his half sister Carol), Kylie, Julie, Bob and Kevin, we are now all descendants of :

William Elvis Allen

Life in England

My grandfather was born to  parents William Elvis and Florence Emily Allen nee Evans and the birth registered in the third quarter of 1902. (Certificate has been ordered) Unfortunately, our William lost his father before he was born (death registered in first quarter 1902 and certificate ordered)  Florence had two other young children Frank Earnest aged 5 and Ethel Maud aged 1 to look after. I wonder if she had to go to a workhouse for a while as there is a record for a Florence Emily Allen age 24 being discharged to the infirmary at the Lewisham Workhouse on Friday 3 October 1903? Need to check if the children were there or if this is just a red herring.

When our William was baptised on 24 June 1903, the family were living at 120 Livingstone Road in the parish of Upper Norwood in Surrey. It is mentioned on the baptism record that his father had been a carpenter and was deceased. Looking at the 1901 census, living at the same address were William and Florence, children Frank and Ethel but also Florence’s parents George and Mary Evans and two of their sons, Albert and Charles.

In 1905, things were looking up for Florence and her children as she married Frederick Edward Bray in April. They quickly had three more children Albert, Kathleen and Charles.

By the 1911 census living at 124 Livingstone Road were Frederick and Florence Bray, their three children and two step children Frank and William. Something has happened to Ethel. Our William was now around 8 years old, his brother Frank about 14. Frederick was a general labourer working for the Croydon Council.

We next find William Elvis Allen joining the Royal Navy at age 16 and serving on the Ganges II as a boy. Research shows me this was a training ship for young boys and was at Shotley, near Ipswich, north east of London. As part of the war effort, the boys were helping with building and moving submarine nets.

National Archives, England, ADM/188/821 image 490

 

Image found at https://pbase.com/hms_ganges_museum/pre1920

It looks like after his first six month service test, he was invalided out due to chronic diarrhoea and deafness.  So what was William to do now? War had ended, maybe time to use his new knowledge of the sea and head to a new country – Australia – a land of sun, sea and sheilas.

England to Australia

We find him leaving London, early January 1919, on the ship SS Demosthenes heading to Albany, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney dropping off Australian troops in each port. As this is the time of the influenza epidemic, the ship goes into quarantine at each port until it is cleared.

StateLibQld 1 108808 Demosthenes (ship)

At this stage, he is 17 years old and is registered as a steward’s boy. On board is 175 crew including some especially serving the troops on board. Troop members are not mentioned by name on the passenger list. He finally arrives in Sydney on 15 March 1919. We don’t know if William left the ship at this time or went back to London via Colombo, Bombay and Port Said with the passengers, meat carcasses and fruits loaded on the Demosthenes for the return voyage.

There are more mentions of a W.E. Allen on board Demosthenes arriving Sydney

  • 19 September 1919 as assistant steward born London age 18
  • 4 October 1919 as an assistant steward aged 18 born Thornton Heath

But there is mention of a W.E Allen age 19 being an assistant steward on the ship SS Themistocles (sister ship to Demosthenes) travelling from Southampton to Sydney and arriving on 8 March 1921. There were 613 passengers on board being looked after by 222 crew.

These records are found at Ancestry.com under the New South Wales, Unassisted Immigrant Passenger Lists – 1826-1922.

Life and marriages in Australia

Sometime during the years 1921 and 1924, William met his first wife Emily Daisy Green. There is a Miss Emily D Green found on the passenger list for the Demosthenes departing Southhampton on 9 February 1921 bound for Sydney but there is no crew list for this voyage. According to her later divorce papers, Emily Daisy had met William 3 or 4 years before they married. He had been a steward on a boat but was put off the boat before they married. Maybe this news article shows the cause for his dismissal as a steward if this is our William Allen.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article140012687

 

William and Daisy married on 12 April 1924 at Registry Office, Newtown, Sydney. At this time, he was working as a steward near Kings Cross. As William did not stay long in one place, they never had their own home. Instead Daisy and the two children born to her and William lived with other people on the North Shore of Sydney. The first son William Elvis John Allen was born in 1924 and the second son Frederick Henry Allen in 1925. By 1939, when Daisy petitioned for a divorce, she had not heard from William since 1925 when he had joined Royal Australian Navy at the urging of the family where Daisy was living. Her final contact was with the chaplain of the ship Penguin. She had been getting a monthly allotment but none after William disappeared. There is also a record in the National Archives Australia for a William E Allen – Application for covering approval of an irregular payment. This will need to be checked out as it might relate to our William.

Records show William enlisted on 19 May 1925 for a period of 12 years. He joined with the name William Alvis Allen maybe his English accent caused the misspelling.  He was born in Thornton Heath, London on 27 June 1901. William passed three Naval exams in 1925/1926. His record shows he served on the following ships:

National Archives of Australia; Canberra, Australia; Service Cards for Petty Officers and Men, 1911-1970; Series: A6770

I can’t find any reference to the ship Cerberus in 1925; nor the Penguin in either 1925 or 1927; Brisbane was refitted as a training vessel and in Victoria at HMAS Cerberus base in 1925/1926; Sydney took on its normal peacetime activities 1926/1927 including a trip to Melbourne for the Melbourne Cup period; Marguerite was a naval reserve training vessel visiting NSW, Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland.  A remark on his record says “Run at Sydney 11 – 10 – 27.  SC filed”

A warrant for William Elvis Allen is found in the New South Wales Police Gazette on the 4th January 1928.

From DNA results, we have William moving to Tasmania and now going by the name William Allen (Alan) Wyatt. According to the Denison Electoral Roll (in Hobart) for 1929, William was living at 160 Goulburn St and was a labourer. Also living at this address were Ellen Sarah Avery, Keith Henry Avery and Oscar Clyde Goldsmith Avery.

According to his marriage certificate to Jean Violet Ward on 5 December 1929, Alan was age 25, a bachelor, occupation was a steward. He was born in Sydney NSW and his parents were Alan George Wyatt and Florence Emily Wyatt nee Evans. Jean and Alan were married at the Registrar Generals Office. Two children were born in the next two years, Alan and June, before their mother passed away in September 1931.

 

During the two years of this marriage, William was in the Royal Australian Naval Reserve (RANR) and according to his certificate of service with them, he was born 27 June 1905 in London, England. When he joined up on 3 February 1930, he was living at 3 Allison Street, Hobart with his wife, Jean Violet Wyatt nee Ward. He was a steward, could swim and was Church of England in religion. His description was 5’8″ with dark hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion. Keith Avery was also in the RANR at this time training with William.

He spent only 27 hours in drill training at the naval depot in Hobart, he was of very good character but his ability was inferior. After 30 June 1931 he was not assessed and his 3 year engagement expired in February 1933. By the time of the electoral roll in 1931, Alan William Wyatt (reversal of name) was living at Allison Street also and he was now a steward.

It is at this time that Emily Daisy Allen nee Green starts divorce proceedings against William Elvis Allen.

After the death of Jean, William marries my grandmother Irene Ellen Gertrude Smith in Hobart at Holy Trinity Church on April 11, 1932 states his age at last birthday being 30 and his occupation as a steward. He was a widower, his wife dying in 1931 and he had two living children. He was born in Sydney, New South Wales. His parents were Alan George Wyatt (a licensed victualler) and Florence Emily Wyatt (nee Evans).  My father was born in November 1932 and two years later William deserted my grandmother and my father.

According to my grandmother’s petition for divorce in 1945, William was working at Hadley’s Hotel as a steward and they had been living in a flat in Hampden Road. She was deserted by William shortly before Christmas in 1934.

According to DNA match, William now heads back to New South Wales but using the name Alan William Wyatt. Alan is next found marrying in November 1936 to Stella Wilby Parrish at Wollongong St Michaels church. He is now a lorry driver living at Port Kembla and age 36, yet still a bachelor. He was born in Scotsdale – which could be either Tasmania or Western Australia. His father, George Wyatt, a hotel keeper is deceased but his mother Florence Emily Wyatt is still alive.

On 8 June 1940, Emily Daisy Allen finally got a decree absolute from William Elvis Allen and on 2 October 1945, Irene Ellen Gertrude Wyatt got her decree absolute from William Allan Wyatt.

It seems Alan has decided to settle down and no longer has anything to do with the navy. Instead he is found in the New South Wales Electoral Rolls:

  • 1937 billiard Saloon proprietor living at 23 Kembla Street, Port Kembla
  • 1943 and 1949 a labourer living at Shellharbour Road in Port Kembla
  • 1954 and 1958 a clerk living on Wentworth Estate in Wollongong
  • 1958 a railway employee living in Kully Street, Warrawong
  • 1972 a railway employee living in Bent Street, Warrawong

Even though the family moved around a bit, Alan and Stella remain married until his death in 1974.

Thanks to the following people

Without the help of Bob – my father, Kevin – dad’s half brother, Kylie and Julie – daughters of Kevin, Dennis – dad and Kevin’s half nephew and Carol – Dennis’s half sister, I would not have been able to piece together the story of my grandfather. There are still things to check and certificates to wait for but I think we have sorted out the story of William Elvis Allen. Below are photos of William, his sons, Bob, Kevin and Frederick and his grandson Dennis. I think the resemblances prove the DNA matches.

Readers: Hope you have enjoyed my biography of my newly found grandfather who has been my brickwall for many years. Who is your best brickwall in your research?