Monday, December 31, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: Remembering Where

Ongoing transcription of hand-written notes found in the BISHOP family file at the NewYork State Library in Albany.

Simeon Barker born where Marlboro Mar. 30, 1811 shock son of Enoch Barker where and Anna Rising dau of Jonathan Rising.  Marlboro, VT.

Enoch Barker perhaps in Warwick, Mass.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ancestry Offers This Year's Records Free

A little year-end gift from to you:  free access to the collections new in 2012.  Included are vital records for Massachusetts, church records for Pennsylvania, New York immigration records from the early 1900s, the New York state census of 1892, and more.  You can't beat free, but remember the goal is peak your interest so that you want more records that are in the subscription-only area.

You can search within the free records of 2012 and see the index and actual images.

The Pennsylvania collections features a record from a neighboring New Jersey family.
Excellent example of looking to neighboring jurisdictions for records. Pennsylvania Church and Town Records 1708-1985

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Baby Girl of Poland 1942

An interesting cousin surfaced in my mother's DNA matches at 23andMe.  A woman who was given away as a baby in Poland in 1942 during World War II has submitted her DNA in hopes of locating family.  Identifinders International features two people who were separated from their biological families at young ages because of the Holocaust who are now seeking their families of origin through DNA testing.  Because they were separated so young, they have little or no recollection of their origins.

Here is what the match looks like between Baby Girl from Poland and my mother:
They share two small segments, which could indicate that they are distantly related from at least two ancestral lines.  As Baby Girl has no documented lines and I have no documented lines in Poland, figuring this one out is going to depend on other people with documented lines coming forward with their DNA and their family trees.

A geographical map of the locations of Baby Girl's genetic matches and the locations of their ancestors was created at Google Maps.  This is a great strategy for seeing where genetic relations live and forming possible branches of the tree based on concentrations.  Drawbacks include recent migrations, lack of knowledge of one's roots, under-representation of certain groups and areas in the database, and confused names as geographic names were altered to reflect the language of the contemporary rulers of the area.
Locations of genetic relatives and their ancestral lines of Baby Girl
The map definitely shows a concentration of relatives in the area where Baby Girl was given to her new parents.  A very close relation is still needed to possibly identify her birth parents.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: Barker and Allard

Continuation of transcription of hand-written notes found in the Bishop family file at the New York State Library in Albany.  When compared to the P in Permela, the name appears to be Barker and not Parker.

Family Record of Enoch Barker
Permela Barker born Aug. 7, 1801.
Fanny Barker born Jan. 8, 1804.
Nancy Barker born Jan. 17, 1806.
David Barker born Sept. 8, 1807.
Lois Barker born June 6, 1809.
Simeon Barker born March 30, 1811.
Mother Anna Rising dau. Of Jonathan Rising Marlboro, VT.

Family Record of Charles E Allard.
Edwin Simeon Allard born Oct. 21, 1879.
Elsie Dora Allard born March 24, 1881.
Lurena Adelle Allard born Nov. 4, 1882.
Charles Albert Allard born June 7, 1886.
Gracia Ruth Allard born Aug. 31, 1889.
Bertha Christine Allard born Nov. 16, 1891.
Clyde Melville Allard born Aug. 13, 1893.
Edna May Allard born Aug. 23, 1895.

Elsie Dora died Feb. 26, 1904.  19 yrs 11 mo.
Edwin Simeon Vistula, Ind. Mar. 11, 1907.  28 yrs.
Gracia Ruth June 25, 1913.  24 yrs.
Lurena Adelle Dec. 5, 1917.  35 yrs.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Utilizing the DNA of a Close Cousin, Part Two

The arrival of my mother's maternal first cousin at 23andMe enables me to more definitely categorize our genetic cousins into branches of the tree using autosomal DNA.

Of particular concern was the beginning of chromosome 15.  My mother has several matches that share a long segment with her from the beginning, zero, through 24,000,000.  These genetic cousins are usually from Latvia or at least one parent was.  I figured that these people were from my mother's father's side of the family, as my maternal grandmother has no Latvian ancestry known to me.  But we have to keep an open mind about our notions of our origins when we analyze our DNA.

Jody's mom versus JZ, TD, and dg.
Question posed by this match:  Do these cousins match through the paternal or maternal side?

When my mother's brother tested, he did not match any of these people.  In addition, he and my mother did not match on chromosome 15 until the 24,000,000 mark.  This is because you have two sides to your chromosomes:  one is from mom, the other from dad.  My mother and uncle did not inherit the same piece of the beginning of chromosome 15 from their mother.

So I could not be sure if these people matched my mother through her father or her mother.

Then along came the maternal first cousin, F.O.  He and my mother match at the beginning of chromosome 15, thus revealing my mother's maternal side of this segment. 

Isn't it amazing that in all of these people, the chromosome "broke" in the same spot?

Comparing F.O. to the other people who match my mother at the beginning of chromosome 15, we find that F.O. does not match these people.  So we can conclude that this group of Latvian cousins matches my mother through her father and not her mother.  Now to find the elusive common ancestor of all of them . . .

Maternal first cousin F.O. versus the Latvian matches.

Utilizing the DNA of a Close Cousin, Part One

Having my mother's maternal first cousin ("FO") in the database at 23andMe helps me isolate the matches into my mother's maternal side or paternal side.  My mother's uterine brother ("AH") is also in the database.  There are areas in the DNA of both siblings from their mother, but are not shared between them.  One such instance is with my father's third cousin, RS.  RS matches my mother but not her brother, so we cannot be certain if the match is through the maternal Irish side or the paternal side.

Fortunately, FO matches both RS and my mother on the same segment on chromosome 18.  As FO is a maternal first cousin, this indicates that RS is related to my mother through her mother, even though RS does not share any DNA with my mother's brother.

If we travel back in my maternal grandmother's tree and back in some of the Irish branches of RS's tree, we will start to see the same ancestors.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Close Cousin: Percentages

Two people who are related closer than third cousins will share a percentage of identical DNA within a predictable range.  My new match at 23andMe, my maternal first cousin once removed, fits this predicted percentage.

International Society of Genetic Genealogy

My mother and her brother both share 11.9% identical DNA with their first cousin.  As the next generation from these three, my share of the identical DNA should be cut in half.  My mother's cousin and I match 5%.  This percentage is on the lower end of the predictable amount shared.  We should be grateful for this because the lower percentage bumped us into a second cousin prediction and allowed him to be revealed in my account as a match, enabling me to reach out to him.

For illustration purposes, my father and his first cousin once removed match at 6.71%.  I match this first cousin twice removed at 4.44%, which is just short of the 5% I share with my first cousin once removed.  That is how random DNA inheritance works.  You end up carrying more DNA from some ancestral lines than others.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Close Cousin Revealed at 23andMe

Last year, a close cousin appeared in my Relative Finder matches at the DNA testing site 23andMe.  Little was revealed about this mystery man except that the match we shared, 5%, placed us in a second cousin range (sharing great-grandparents).  23andMe allows you to contact a match three times.  I sent notes twice.  When the website allowed me to sort my matches based on which parent was the match (you can only do this if you have a parent in the database), I discovered that this person matched my mother.  He did not appear in her Relative Finder because their relationship was too close to be revealed without the consent of both parties, and he had not chosen this option on his end.

Last week, he came forward!  He is a first cousin of my mother and her brother.  His father was a brother of my maternal grandmother.  We did not know of each other until we connected at 23andMe.  Why?  My grandmother was the youngest of five children.  Her mother, Anna Preston, died in 1921, soon after my grandmother was born.  The four older children stayed together while my grandmother was sent to live with other relatives who were willing and able to care for a baby.  They were not close and the death of my grandmother almost twenty years ago further separated us.

We'll explore the DNA studies available through this new cousin in upcoming posts.  For now, my top genetic matches in the database are my parents, my maternal uncle, my maternal first cousin once removed, and my paternal first cousin twice removed.

23andMe Relative Finder
Top matches for me
The M indicates a match to my mother.
The P indicates a match to my father.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: Parker and Coleman of Vermont

Sixth in a series transcribing the hand-written notes found in the BISHOP family file at the New York State Library in Albany.  This paper lists the dates of birth and death of Simeon Parker (or Barker) and Ruthene Coleman, as well as their six children in the 1840s and 1850s.  The last name may be Parker or Barker.  In other records in the file, the name looks like Barker.  In the 1850 census provided below, the name is Parker.

Family Record of Simeon Parker

Simeon Parker.  Born March 30, 1811.
Married Ruthene Coleman.  Born May 13, 1815.
Henry Parker.  Born June 23, 1839.
Houghton James Parker.  Born March 25, 1841.
George Francis Parker.  Born July 8, 1843.
Rosanna Viora Parker.  Born Sept 18, 1844.
Simeon Augustene Parker.  Born April 21, 1851.
Albertine Adora Parker.  Born Dec 6, 1853.

Rosanna Viora Parker died April 1.  2 y, 6 mo, 18 da.
Ruthene Parker died Feb 2, 1868.  52 y, 8 mo, 18 da.
Henry C Parker died Jan 18, 1893.  53 y, 6 m, 23 d.
Simeon Augustus Parker died Mar 2, 1900.  48 yrs, 10 mos, 9 dy.
Simeon Parker died Aug 3, 1900.  89 yr, 4 m, 4d.
Houghton Parker died Feb 9, 1926.  84 y, 10 m, 15 d.
George Francis Parker died Oct 12, 1933.  90 y, 3 m, 4d.

1850 United States Federal Census
Marlboro, Windham County, Vermont

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Old Place Names: Westville, New York

In a previous post, Final Journey from Queens to Westville, I wrote about locating a place of death for Coe D Jackson.  He died in 1888 in Westville, New York, according to the New York State Death Index.  The current Westville is in Franklin County, New York, and I saw no reason why Coe would leave Queens County to die there as an old man.

Thanks to T. P. for sending me Coe's obituary, stating that Coe died in Lawrence.  A little more searching provides a small article copied over and over on the internet that Westville was a name for Inwood, Queens County, in the 1860s through the 1890s.  Lawrence was a neighboring area whose name remains as a village in the hamlet of Inwood.  The area became Nassau County after Queens was divided in 1898.

A search of older publications at Google Books provided more details.  Locating exact places when names and borders have changed over the centuries is tricky but crucial for more accurate research.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

23andMe DNA Kits: Dramatic Price Reduction

In case you have not heard, 23andMe and drastically lowered the price of a DNA testing kit from $299 to $99.  There is no subscription fee.  I do not know how long this price will last.

This test is for autosomal DNA, which seeks to identify the pieces of DNA you carry from all of your ancestral lines.

I have several people in mind that I wish to test.  The key to successful use of these DNA testing sites is to test family members from different branches of your tree.  To date, I have tested myself, both parents, my mother's brother, and two of my father's cousins.  Coincidentally, both of my father's cousins matched my maternal side- one to my mother and the other to her brother.

Hope that I am able to find a part-time job to cover the costs.

Also, please bear with me.  I am using a new computer with Windows 8.  Very confusing at present.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: Aunt Mary's Birthday

Fourth in a series of transcribing the notes in the BISHOP family file at New York State Library in Albany.

Today's item is a letter written on the 5th day of December, 1900 by Anna P Kelsey to her cousin Mary, requesting that she honor the 10th day of December as the 100 year anniversary of the birth of their aunt Mary.

Cape Vincent, NY
Dec 5, 1900

My dear Cousin Mary

I received a letter from cousin Julia Wilson today (whose address is 1032 Pine Street, Boulder Col) asking that we might as a family celebrate the 10th day of Dec 1900, as it is the 100th anniversary of Aunt Mary’s birth- “In the only way we can, scattered over the continent as we are, by observing a special commemoration, a continual commemoration in our hearts, giving thanks 1st for the noble lives of our grand parents, and their children” of whom (your father and mine, together with Aunts Mary, Maria, and Julia and Uncle Ogden,) we have such lovely remembrances.

2nd  “That not one of their posterity has disgraced the name.”

3rd  “That no quarrel, hatred, misunderstanding has ever entered the circle to spoil our home love.”

And 4th a prayer for each of us, that we may have grace given us to live worthy of the ancestry which is our, Worthy of them.

Cousin Julia wishes me to “notify you of this call for our centennial commemoration and give her your address.  She will try on that day to send a short telegram to you.[“]

Lovingly your cousin
Anna P Kelsey

1900 United States Federal Census
Cape Vincent, Jefferson County, New York

Monday, December 3, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: Johnson and Lindsley of Connecticut

Part Four in the transcription of hand-written notes found in the family file of BISHOP at the New York State Library in Albany.

Frederick H Johnson.  Born April 6, 1804.  Died Jan 8, 1883.
Nancy Lindsley.  Born Dec 22, 1802.  Died Apr 18, 1849.

Henry H Johnson.  Born May 5 or 9, 1825.  Died Aug 21, 1878.
Harriet L Johnson.  Born Feb 9, 1830.  Died Feb 10, 1830.
Harriet L Johnson.  Born July 29, 1831.  Died Mar 10, 1835.
Herman Johnson.  Born Feb 8, 1834.  Died Mar 14, 1835.
Chauncey Johnson.  Born Dec 21, 1835.  Died Aug 1901.
Frederick L Johnson.  Born Sept 21, 1839.  Died Aug 23, 1908.
Nancy Adelia Johnson.  Born Feb 1, 1843.  Died July 26, 1914.
Augusta Cornelia Johnson.  Born Jan 15, 1845.  Died Dec 18, 1917.
Mary C Johnson.  Born Oct 22, 1848.  Died Dec 7, 1848. collection

We can search records for this family to make them more real.  The Barbour Collection is digitized at Ancestry and is a great resource for these older Connecticut families.  Frederick W Johnson of Wallingford married Nancy Lindley of North Branford on April 6, 1824.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Same Name, Different Spellings

Holbrook's City Directory for Newark, New Jersey 1895
Page 674.

Helpful guidance from a century ago:

Members of the same family spell their name differently.