Saturday, December 28, 2019

Randy's Best Genealogy Discoveries in 2019

Here is my end-of-year review of my "Best Genealogy Discoveries" for 2019:

1)  With the advent of AncestryDNA's ThruLines, I may have cracked open the mystery of the birth father of my 2nd great-grandmother, Sophia Newton (183?-1923, born between 1833 and 1836).  My traditional research indicated that her father was Thomas J. Newton (180?-18??) who married widow Sophia (Buck) Brigham (1797-1882) in about 1834, after Sophia's first husband, Lambert Brigham (1791-1834), died in May 1834.  I discussed all of this in my post Who Really Was the Father of Sophia Newton (183?-1923)? (posted 12 May 2014).  

With the advent of DNA matching and ThruLines on AncestryDNA, I tested both hypotheses - see Can DNA Determine Who My 3rd Great-Grandfather Is?:

*  With Thomas J. Newton as the biological father in my Ancestry Member Tree, I had no ThruLines with him.  AncestryDNA gave me "Potential Ancestors" for his parents and grandparents, and I had no ThruLine DNA matches for them either.  

*  With Lambert Brigham as the biological father, and adding ancestors of him to my tree, I had one ThruLine for a son of Lambert and Sophia Brigham, but I had that before, since Sophia (Buck) Brigham was the mother of my Sophia Newton(183?-1923).   That ThruLine is at least a half cousin because the mother was Sophia (Buck) Brigham.  That match also confirmed that Sophia (Buck) (Brigham) Newton was my third great-grandmother.  When I checked for Thrulines from Lambert Brigham's parents and grandparents, I had five more ThruLines with 6 cM to 13 cM in common.  Two of them are shown below:

*  However, the DNA matches only prove that we share common segments of DNA, not that they are from the Brigham side of the family.  My task now is to research those five lines to see if there are any other common ancestors within, say, 6th great-grandparents of mine.  I have kept the Brigham line in my RootsMagic and Ancestry Member Trees connected to Sophia Newton (183?-1923) for the time being.

2)  I followed an Ancestry Photo Hint down a rabbit hole, and was able to add several more generations to my grandsons' Italian lines.  I wrote 
Finding 1838-1859 Italian Records for My Grandsons' AncestorsFinding More of My Grandsons' Italian Ancestral Records - Updated!, and ear Randy: How Did You Find the Birth Record for the Italian Ancestor? to document these lines.

3) provided the " Obituaries Index, 1800s-Current" in September, and I have used the Hints to obtain obituaries for many of the persons in my Ancestry Member Tree.  In addition, the Obituaries Index has made it much easier to find obituaries for my weekly "Seavers in the News" series.

4)  I continue to use the "Mining Hints From a Specific Collection" Tool to find Record Hints in a specific Ancestry database for persons in my Ancestry Member Tree.  The results come out alphabetically, with tree persons with an unknown-to-me surname at the top of the list.  I can find that unknown surname about 50% of the time by using the Hint shown and then using Suggested Records and Searching from the tree person for more information.

5)  I made significant progress in finding common ancestors for autosomal DNA matches on the various websites.  AncestryDNA released their ThruLines in late February that provided over 300 "Common Ancestor" links (a few of them for "potential ancestors) with lines to AncestryDNA matches.  MyHeritage released their "Theory of Family Relativity" in late February that provided 12 "Common Ancestor" links with lines to MyHeritageDNA matches.  A few of both were, in my judgment, wrong in the connections between my tree and the match tree.

6)  For DNA matches at AncestryDNA, MyHeritageDNA, 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA, I have added Notes to the matches that include the relationship, the cM and segment numbers, the tree size of the match, the number of shared matches, the common ancestors (if known), and whether the match is in my RootsMagic tree.  When I know the common ancestors and there is a documwented path to the DNA match, I add that path to my RootsMagic tree with a "DNA Match" event that provides information about the DNA relationship.

7)  I used the Auto-clustering programs at Genetic Affairs and Shared Clustering to group my AncestryDNA and MyHeritageDNA matches in hopes that they would provide information about common ancestors, especially for the DNA matches without a known common ancestor.  

8)  I sent 23 home movies (from my grandparents and my parents) in a FOREVER box to be digitized, and was genea-smacked by the results.  There was a movie of my parents wedding, my own wedding, and many from my early childhood.  I wrote about it in 
My FOREVER Home Movie Digitization Experience - Wonderful! 

9)  My great-grandfather, Henry Austin Carringer (1853-1946) was a Mason in San Diego Lodge 35 in 1900.  I contacted the Lodge and they provided his membership transfer papers from Boulder, Colorado in 1896. 

10)  I search for Seaver/Sever/Seever/Sevier/s/ persons almost every day, and add them to my RootsMagic family tree.  I find them with database searches, and in the online collaborative trees.  If I am lucky, I can connect them to parents already in my tree.  If I don't have parents for them, they are the start of a new Seaver bush that may grow into a tree.  After I add them to RootsMagic, I TreeShare with my Ancestry tree and obtain Web Hints, and then search the online databases, and update the RootsMagic profiles.  For persons born after 1800, I can almost always find birth, death and burial records, and sometimes marriage records.  

11)  Needing blog fodder, writing the Amanuensis Monday, Treasure Chest Thursday, Seavers in the News, 52 Ancestors, and Surname Saturday blog posts keeps me searching and finding records to add to the RootsMagic family tree, and thereby "advancing the ball" of my ancestral research.  Every little bit helps!  


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1 comment:

Kevin Augustus Long said...

Dear Randy, Can, or have you, post about #3, using the obituary index please. Thanks for all the helpful posts! Kevin.