Wednesday, January 10, 2018

X-DNA Inheritance

I have just finished rereading Blaine T. Bettinger's book The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy.

I decided to look carefully at my possible X-DNA inheritance. Females inherit X-DNA from both their parents, one X chromosome from each. Males inherit their X chromosome from their mother.

This can be shown visually in the following charts. The first chart shows ancestors from whom I may have inherited my X-DNA.

The next chart shows my husband's X-DNA inheritance.

How will this be useful to me?

When I use Gedmatch in conjunction with DNA Painter I may be able to be more specific in assigning matches to a specific ancestor. e.g. If I have an X-DNA match with another person and our Most Recent Common Ancestors (MRCA) are William Dawson and Bridget Mylan, I can attribute the segment to Bridget Mylan or her parents John Mylan and Matilda Agnew as I know that it is impossible for me to inherit X-DNA from William Dawson.

The 6 generation fan family tree chart came from Family Tree Templates.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 weeks - Week 1

I am attempting to take part in Amy Johnson Crow's "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" blogging challenge. I have begun a few long term blogging challenges over the years but have never managed to complete any of them. My record is 17 weeks. Perhaps this one may be more successful.

The challenge for Week 1 is "Start." One of Amy's prompts was the home person in your family tree. The 1 ID in my Reunion data is my great, great, grandfather Dr William Lee Dawson. He was the subject of my first and several other blog posts.

I'll link to earlier posts about William Lee Dawson but will also add an image that very few people have seen.

I am very fortunate to have in my possession a photo album which belonged to his daughter,  Louisa Annie Spinks (Dawson). It was given to me by her grandson Charles Roussac.

Over the years many family members have visited his grave in Franklin, Tasmania, Australia. Each time I go to Tasmania I make sure I take a trip to Franklin. At times you have to avoid the cows and the deep ruts in the graveyard but it is worth it.

Headstone of Dr William Lee Dawson - Church of England graveyard, Franklin, Tasmania - 2013

The view from the graveyard back to the Huon River at Franklin - 2013

Previous posts about Dr William Lee Dawson.

1. Australia Day Challenge

2. Family Treasures - Cylinder

3. Family Homes - No 2 - Franklin Tasmania

4. Australia Day 2012 - Wealth for Toil - Dr William Lee Dawson

5. 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records - Week 8 Diaries

6. Trove Tuesday - The Man who Hanged his Wife

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Parkfield Estate - Tenterfield

I lived for some time during my childhood in Tenterfield. Prior to the advent of Trove I  spent many hours trawling though both hard copies of old Tenterfield Stars and digital copies at Dixson Library at the University of New England.

The Tenterfield Star is not yet on Trove so many finds are serendipitous. Such was the one about the land sale in the street I lived as a teenager.

The Tenterfield Star, undated

The Parkfield Estate Land Sale

The sale of the Parkfield Estate sub-division, which has occupied public attention for some weeks past, took place yesterday on the ground. There was a good attendance of local buyers, but not so many from a distance as had been anticipated. The large barn fronting Pelham-street, was utilised as a   sale-room, in which also a very substantial luncheon was laid out. 

I wonder if the barn was on the block where I once lived? I also query my poor referencing with this undated newspaper clipping. Pelham Street is a long street but I seem to remember an auctioneer's flyer for this land which showed it was in the section where I lived. But certainly no proof.

This really illustrates the fact that one must keep accurate records of information and appropriate sources.

Perhaps one day I will be able to come back and update this post.

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Book of Dirt

A recent trip to Melbourne saw me visiting The Avenue bookshop in Albert Park. I was looking for suggestions for my choice for bookclub. I ended up choosing The Book of Dirt by Bram Presser. 

A few lines before the story begins had me intrigued.

Within a few generations almost all
of us will have been forgotten. Those who
are not will have no bearing on how we are
remembered, who we once were. We will not
be there to protest, to correct. In the end we
might exist only as a prop in someone else's
story: a plot device, a golem.

It's got me thinking about my ancestors - those people who were most certainly forgotten before I or other members of my family began our research. People who we have rediscovered in census data, old baptismal records, convict records, newspaper articles, shipping records, letters, military records and much more. People who were born, married and died and left no other records to others who have left a plethora of data for us to discover. I hope none of them would want to protest about what I write about them.

Another few sentences in the book also got me thinking and remembering.

"We are all hoarders when it comes to the lives of those we loved..... I wanted my grandmother's card table on which she always kept boiled lollies hidden under a tea towel." p. 74-75

When my grandmother died I wanted her sifter. Almost on a weekly basis she made my brother and I little patty cakes perfectly iced with coconut on top. For our birthdays she made us the most wonderful chocolate cake which no matter how hard I try,  I have never been able to replicate. But at least when I use the sifter I remember my grandmother, Esme Eileen Moore (nee Merchant).

My grandmother's sifter - a little worse for wear.

Friday, October 13, 2017

DNA match breaks research brick wall

Recently a DNA match of mine made contact with me.  It appeared that we were both descended from a William Harrison and his wife who lived in Liverpool, England. William and Ann are my ggg grandparents.

Family members here in Australia had searched for years to discover the death of both William and Ann. The last record we could discover for them was the 1861 census where they were living at 3 Hornby Street in Liverpool with their daughter Ann Meacock, her husband and family.

I was sent a link to a video from the Museum of Liverpool which talks about Court Housing - small houses build off dark, narrow courtyards which provided cheap housing for the huge numbers of people moving moving to the city. Hornby Street is mentioned at the end of the video.

Our conclusion was that William and Ann both died sometime between the 1861 and 1871 censuses. Our only clue to his death was a story told by my nanna that her great grandfather had died after being kicked by his horse. Of course you never know whether these stories are true or not!
However, my newfound relative Lyn who lives in Liverpool has had more success. She has death certificates for them both and also a copy of the newspaper report into the inquest into William's death on 30th October 1861.

Liverpool Mercury, 1 November 1861, p. 3, col. 7

His death certificate (297/1861) states that he received a compound fracture of his right leg after being run over by his own cart.

It looks like the story my nanna told may at least have some element of truth in it.  I wonder if there are further archival inquest records available in Liverpool.

Perhaps we may find out the truth of the other stories my nanna told about both William and Ann.

My lineage from William Harrison.

William Harrison
Elizabeth Harrison m. Peter Ogden
Sarah Ogden m. Michael Patrick Ryan
Elsie Ryan m. Donovan Dawson (my grandparents)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Trove Tuesday - Intercollegiate Athletics

Earlier this year my mother wondered if there was a newspaper account of an athletics carnival she attended in the early 1950s. At this carnival the Armidale Teachers College girls team of which she was a member had broken the 440 yard relay record. A little searching and I found the account.

Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser,  Monday 21 December 1953, page 2

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Organising my DNA data

It's been twelve months since I first received my DNA results from Ancestry. Since then five more members of my immediate family have tested. Many close results have been people I have met or corresponded with over the years. Another has provided me with evidence that we may have found a descendants from a sibling missing in the late 1800s. However, there are some close matches who we can't accurately place in our family.

After a couple of months I decided I needed to work out a system to visualise these results for myself.  (I can't remember if I got this idea from someone or not). I decided to enter details in a spreadsheet with columns headed Match Name, Relationship, MCRA, My ancestor in the next generation, Match's ancestor next generation, Shared CM, Segments and a contact address if I had one. I then had pages for each of my grandparents and their ancestors. As further members of my family tested I also started pages for them. It got very messy! I needed another solution.

I was sent a spreadsheet by a relative and decided to try that.

I made a template and then set up an individual page for each of the six trees I manage. Matches were placed underneath the most distant sibling of one of our ancestors. I add the name of the match (removed here), their ancestor's name, our relationship and the match.

Illustrating some of my Agnew and Mylan matches

I can now see that I have matches with John, Margaret, James and Ellen, all siblings of Bridget Mylan. One day I may get matches with Thomas, Annie, Matilda, Esther and Mary, the other siblings.  The ? indicate matches who we know are related to this family but can't identify the link at this stage.

This method seems to be working much better and I feel as though it is more under control. However, I can see that in the not so distant future I will run out of space on the spreadsheet in some branches. The problem is finding time to go though all matches and then just being able to catch up with new matches.

Even while writing this I've just thought of a further refinement.  I could link each name to their match on Ancestry or GEDmatch. That could be a job for my next holidays!

Does anyone have any other suggestions?