Sunday, April 22, 2018

I've been creating a couple of presentations for the Tennessee Genealogical Society that will be given in May and July.  The first is a DNA Part 1 which will help newcomers to DNA decide which test they need to take (if any at all!!).  The second, called DNA Part 2, discusses what to do when you get the DNA results back.  In doing this I put together an updated resource list for a handout.  I thought it might be useful for others.

Learn about DNA:
1.  Beginner's Guide of DNA Resources (ISOGG):'_guides_to_genetic_genealogy
2.  Learn about genetic genealogy (ISOGG):
3.  Genealogical DNA testing myths (OSOGG):
4.  Genetics Glossary (ISOGG):
5.  Autosomal DNA (ISOGG):
6.  Mitochondrial DNA (ISOGG):
7.  Y-chromosome DNA (ISOGG):

HINT:  After you have ordered your DNA kit and before you receive your results, log in to the company from which you ordered the test, read the FAQ and Help files and tutorials.  Also create or upload your tree to the site and set up your profile for the site.  After your DNA results are available, LINK your DNA to your name on your tree.  Now comes the hard work, analysis AND fun!

DNA Link Pages:
Cyndi's List of DNA Resources:
Genie Links -

YouTube has MANY videos on Getting Started with DNA Research
Example: Do a search on YouTube for  DNA Bettinger or search for DNA genealogy, you'll see several interviews and classes by Blaine Bettinger and useful videos.

Useful charts, tools and methods to help in determining relationships with DNA:
1.  Shared cM Project chart -
2.  The McGuire Method:
3.  X-Chromosome inheritance charts -
4.  Y and Mitochondrial (mtDNA) inheritance -
5.  Mirror Trees -
6.  More on Mirror Trees -
          (update 4 Jul 2018 - Mirror Trees are used less often now)
7.  DNA Mapping -
9.  More on DNAGEDCOM -
10.  DNA Painter Part 1 -
11.  DNA Painter Part 2 -
12.  DNA Painter Parts 3 & 4 - TBD
13.  The DNA Green Chart -
14.  MAPMY23 - tool for transferring Ancestry data to FamilyTreeDNA  -
15.  Genetic Genealogy Using GEDMATCH -

Blogs on DNA:
1.  DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy - Blog by Roberta Estes -
2.  The Genetic Genealogist - Blog by Blaine Bettinger -
3.  KittyCooper's Blog - Blog by Kitty Cooper -

Useful DNA Facebook Groups:
1. User Group
2.  Autosomal DNA-Gedmatch-FTDNA-23andME-Ancestry-MyHeritage
3.  GEDmatch Lazarus Tool
4.  DNA Detectives
5.  Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques
6.  Genealogy! Just ask!
7.  Kentucky DNA and Genealogy-  (one I read, but look for YOUR state)
8.  GAA (Genealogy Addicts Anonymous)
9.  FTDNA User Group
10.  DNA for Genealogy
11.  Ancestry DNA Matching
12.  DNA Painter User Group
13.  DNA Newbie
14.  Genome Mate Pro
15.  DNAGedcom User Group

The four major testing companies in our presentation:
1.  Ancestry -
2.  FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA) -
3.  23andMe -
4.  MyHeritageDNA -

Sunday, February 11, 2018

#52ancestors - Valentine

A vintage pop-up Valentine sent to my mother, when she was a little girl. I don't know the date, but she was born in 1921, so it was probably sometime in the 1920's. The back says to: Geneva. from: Aunts. The aunts are probably Aunt Fannie, Ivey and Billie Cummins, sisters of my mother's mother, Mary Cummins Gray. The aunts lived together in their later years and earned a living by running a boarding house in Old Eddyville Kentucky.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

#52ancestors - In The Census

I learned SO many interesting things from the U.S. Census records, but I'll make this a short entry.  Elizabeth Jones married Willard C Town in 1840 in Caldwell County Kentucky.  He died in 1847.  I had found her in the 1870 census, living with her oldest son and still showing her married name, Elizabeth Town, so it was a shock to find her, with her children, living with Samuel Pearce and going by the name Elizabeth Pearce in the 1860 census.  A trip to the courthouse was needed.  Sure enough, she had married Samuel Pearce in 1859, but they divorced on Tuesday the 9th of June in 1868 by petition of Samuel.  Sure would like to know more.....   Genealogy is such a wonderful mystery trip!!!

One more note.  Those frustrating things that happen between those ten years between census records:
A birth and subsequent death of a child (pre birth certificates; no burial record as probably buried on the home farm.....
A marriage and divorce in between census records.
A marriage and a death between census records.....

More mysteries....

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

#52ancestors - Who would I have liked to invite to dinner

This is the next installment of the #52ancestors challenge.  I'm supposed to decide which of my ancestors I would have loved to have had to dinner.  Since I'm a "gimme data" type of person, it would have been to grill the ancestor who could answer my most pressing brick wall questions, but there are others that I would have loved to invite to just listen to their life's story.

So many things I'd want to know.  So little time at a dinner.

I would have loved to talk with Willard C Town.  He was my first ancestor to move to Kentucky.  He arrived before 1840.  In 1830, in Ohio, his dad, Willard Oliver Town, left home and "headed west", never to be heard from again.  I would like to know about that.  What was his dad's reason for heading west?  Many questions.  I knew nothing about Willard C Town until I started researching my family in 1977.  He was my Second Great Grandfather.  HIS fourth great grandfather was the brother of two women hanged for being witches in Salem MA.  Did Willard C know this?  Were they better at handing down family info than our current generations?  My Willard C was born in Vermont, but moved with his parents and siblings to Ohio before he moved to Kentucky.  The family of witches was in MA and then in VT.  Maybe he knew.  The fifth great grandfather of Willard C Town was our immigrant ancestor from England.  I would love to know what Willard C knew.  I'd love to know what his trip was like from Vermont to Ohio.  Why did he move to Kentucky?  He married in 1840, not long after his arrival.  He did in 1847.  He was about 43 years old.  I don't know how or why he died.  He left a wife and two very small sons.  I want to know everything and I know so little.

I would also have liked to talk with David Bigham, whose father was born in Ireland.  What did he know about the trip by ship to North/South Carolina from Ireland.....

I would love to hear about the life of Beulah Chittenden, my fourth great grandmother.  She was the daughter of  Thomas Chittenden, who was the first governor of Vermont.  She married Elijah Galusha, who died at the age of 23, in a sawmill accident.  He had served in the Revolutionary War.  She then married Mathew Lyon, who became a representative from Kentucky and the first person in this country to ever be charged with sedition.  They moved to Eddyville Kentucky, from Vermont. What was her life like?

I would love another chance to sit down with my own grandparents and ask them the questions I never asked as a child and very young woman. 

Other questions:  A second great grandmother had 15 children, losing the first four as very young children or infants.  What was her life like?

Can't wait for that time machine to be invented.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

#52ancestors - Longevity

My mother-in-law will be 91 this weekend.  I've spent the last couple of weeks scanning in her scrapbook photos from the 1940's.  She was in a group called Navy Sisters, which was a group of women with brothers in the Navy.  They met at the USO once a month.  She visited the USO many more times than once a month, however.  She met and danced with many sailors during that time.  From the pictures, it looks like a good time was had by all.  One of the sailors asked her to marry him but she turned him down because he would be shipping out and she planned to be seeing other guys.  I think he wrote to her once many, many years later, but all she'd tell me was that she "threw the letter away".  She, and he, went on to marry someone else.  There are quite a few pictures of him in the ones I've been scanning.  Her name is Velda Littlepage.  His name is Ray Schmorance (or Schmorans - she wasn't sure at this point), in case any of his descendants find this post and would like copies of the pictures I've scanned.  She didn't remember the names of the other people in the picture.  Velda and Ray are the first couple, in the front, on the left side of this picture.  I think age 91 qualifies as longevity!