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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

FamilyTreeDNA results – Matches

In the past year I have taken advantage of promotional prices and had my DNA tested with both 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA. My first post discussing my FamilyTreeDNA results is here.

When I first got my FamilyTreeDNA results back, I had about 30 matches. Now, a little under two months later I have 45 matches. This compares to 23andMe where the first time I looked I had 327 matches – a figure which has now risen to 455. However, of those 455 only 29 are ‘public’ matches. If I want to find out anything more about the others on 23andMe I can send out just 5 invitations to communicate per day and wait for a reply.

For each of my FTDNA matches I can see a name, estimated relationship and range, and some summary figures about how much DNA we have in common. I can also access a simple family tree, if my match has posted one, and a list of surnames.

I recognise several of the names on my match list as my public matches on 23andMe. This reassures me about the quality of the analysis for both companies, and that there hasn’t been a mix-up!

So far I have sent only two contact emails to my matches and have not had a reply to either of them. That’s a bit depressing since this is supposed to be the service where people are actually interested in replying to genealogy contacts! Still, it’s only two out of 45. I have plenty more to try.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Research update May 2011

PAINTING Stannus_Sketch-on-the-Cornish-coast Anthony Carey Stannus
“Sketch on the Cornish coast” oil on canvas - Arthur Carey Stannus

Slowly but surely, I’m making headway in my research. Last weekend I managed a quick research outing. I only had two item to look up, but the complication was that they were at different locations.

Bennett death
One of the annoying missing details in my tree is the death of my gg-grandfather James Bennett 1831-???. I recently confirmed that James Bennett was the son of Michael Job Bennett and Mary Ann Barnes but I still don’t know when or where he died.

The first item on my to-do list last weekend was to check The Avoca Mail newspaper to see if I could find a death notice for James’ wife, who died in 1896. Not all editions of the newspaper are filmed and the paper didn’t have birth, death and marriage columns with entries neatly listed by bolded surname. I was in luck - I found a mention of her death a few days after the event halfway down a dense column of text.

“Another old resident of the district passed away on Friday evening in the person of Mrs Bennett, wife of Mr Jas. Bennett, of Avoca. The deceased lady had been ailing for some time, so that her end was not altogether unexpected. The remains were interred in the Avoca cemetery on Saturday afternoon.”

The Avoca Mail [microform], 11 February 1896, evening edition, no page number, col 4.

This sounds to me as though James Bennett was still alive when his wife died. That being the case, it cuts 13 years off the time period I need to search for his death as I last have him alive in 1883. This gave me the confidence to later download a Victorian death certificate I’d had my eye on, but unfortunately it was not him. Goodbye $17.50. I’ll look for more clues before I try again.

Stannus marriage
The second item on my very short to-do list was to view the marriage certificate of my ggg-grandparents William Ephraim Stannus and Catherine Mack. I had previously seen their marriage information in an unpublished research manuscript that has circulated around the family. More recently, I had seen the information transcribed in the FamilySearch historical records. The film had been waiting for me for a few weeks so I had to get in to see it before it was sent back again.

I confirmed William and Catherine’s marriage details (Belfast, 22 August 1848) and also learned that Catherine’s father, Robert Mack, was a Merchant Taylor. I know very little about the Mack family – no doubt Robert’s occupation will be a big help when I decide to look for more.

I also learned that the witnesses to the marriage were Anthony Stannus and Eliza Mack. Anthony Stannus was most probably Anthony Carey Stannus, brother of the groom and a well-known artist. An example of his work is above. Eliza Mack was most probably Catherine’s sister Eliza.

All in all, a very satisfactory afternoon!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Trans Tasman ANZAC Day blogging – the full list

The Trans Tasman ANZAC Day genea-blogging posts are in.

After our successful Australia Day and Waitangi Day blogging challenges, Seonaid (@genebrarian) from the Central Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries suggested that we get together to hold a joint Australian and New Zealand blogging event for ANZAC Day (25 April).

Participants wrote about an Australian or New Zealander serviceman or woman’s family, and the impact war had on their family history.

Once again, we have had a great response with 22 posts provided by bloggers from Australia, New Zealand, the UK and USA. You might like to read Seonaid’s excellent review of this blogging event at the Kintalk blog. Following is the full list of posts she prepared, including post submitted to both Twigs of Yore and to Auckland Research Centre’s Facebook page.

If you are like me, you may have to read the posts in stages. The stories are heartbreaking.

Sarndra Wilson:- Private William PERREAU 40633 - returned serviceman and
Leonard Edward MOSS - plane was shot down in World War II on 28 August 1942

Wallace James Kirkpatrick:- Many KIRKPATRICK family members lost

Shauna Hicks:- Charles Douglas SPENCER - returned serviceman

Merron Riddiford:- Arthur Leonard HOLMES - killed in France in 1918

Sharon Brennan:- Alan Seabrook MITCHELL - killed over Munich on 2 October 1943

Michelle Patient:- Eric Hugh BARKER - killed at Messines Ridge, on the 7th June 1917

Anne Coppell:- A family changed by war

Helen Violet Smith:- George Howard BUSBY - returned serviceman

Julie Groucher:- Edward ELLIS - returned serviceman

Aillin O'Brien:- George Brown FULLERTON, DCM - died on 12 June 1917 from wounds received during the Battle of Messines and
Harold Heathcote Hayes CHAMBERS - died at Gallipoli of wounds received between 25 and 28 April 1915 and
Stanley CHAMBERS - killed in action, on September 23, at the Dardanelles

Margaret Gaffney: Peter Michael GAFFANAY - died 5 April 1918 from shell wounds to face and neck

Jill Ball:- John Bertram CHATFIELD - died 3 May 1917 Battlefield at Bullecourt

Alison:- Hugh O'BRIEN - killed in action 23 July 1916

Rosemary:- Reginald Sydney MERRETT - killed in action 9 April 1917

Cassmob:- William Rudolph KUNKEL - wounded and missing in action, presumed dead (Korea), on 16 November 1952

Shelley:- Aircraftman Leonard John Couper LEE - returned WWII serviceman (Japanese POW)

Tanya Honey:- James (Milton) SIMMONS - killed in action at Pozieres 29 July 1916

Vicky Kingdom:- Ernest Henry Noy and Leslie Cyril Noy - both died Battle of Bullecourt on 11th April 1917
and Noleen Sutton:- George Ogden - invalided home in 1917 and died in 1919 
You can read their blogs on the Auckland Library Facebook discussion page.

ANZAC Day has been and gone for this year. These posts will go towards remembering and recognising our servicemen and women, their families, and the hardships they faced - every day of the year.

Lest we forget.