Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Different Brick Wall

Last week, a circuit breaker flipped.  I was working intensely on two projects when my circuits apparently overloaded. The projects have been sitting untouched on my desk for several days now.  I’m running in neutral  - idling.

What happened?  I haven’t a clue; but it seems useless to fight it.  In the meantime, I’ve been catching up on my reading and surfing the net.

My project trying to connect Sip families in Poland is temporarily on hold.  That’s OK.  The information will still be there when I get back to it – or maybe more information will have surfaced by then.

I am hopeful that using Genome Mate Pro will become clearer to me as discussion continues on the Facebook group.

Until my research gene gets turned on again, I’ll probably do some writing and reopen the video projects waiting in the queue.  Yep, the video projects sound good.  And I’ll find topics to keep this blog alive.

To everything there is a season.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Tribes of Great Britain and Their DNA

I don’t remember where I first saw this (It was about 20 minutes ago, after all), but it is interesting whether or not you have British ancestry.

The list of the study’s findings beneath the maps is especially interesting.  The maps are from

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Genome Mate Pro – A Steep Learning Curve

A  link to a 2015 post on IOWADNAPROJECT led me to look at Genome Mate Pro software.  The best description I’ve found of this app comes directly from that post:

Genome Mate is a desktop tool used to organize in one place the data collected while researching DNA comparisons. Besides data storage it has many features to aid in identifying common ancestors.
·         Multiple Profiles for multiple kits
·         Import of 23andMe, FTDNA and GedMatch data
·         Chromosome Mapping of Common Ancestor
·         In Common With (ICW) Groups
·         Import of Gedcom data for each Profile
·         Surname Matching and Searching
·         Display of Overlapping Segments
·         X-List of X Chromosome Donors

It sounds like the perfect tool.

The software has been upgraded since that post, so while the description is good, the screenshots are no longer accurate.

This software is FREE. It was developed by Becky Mason Walker as she worked to coordinate and analyze information on her own DNA matches from 23andMe, FTDNA, and GEDmatch.

This software is also very complex – because it is very comprehensive.  But there are Youtube videos to help you get going; and there is a 16 part tutorial on Facebook co-authored by Leah La Perle Larkin and Blaine T. Bettinger. There is also a User Manual. See links below.

I’ve been at this for four days now, and have gotten to part 12 of the tutorial.  So far I’ve watched 3 of the videos.  I think that the videos will make more sense after completing the tutorial.  I expect to need to review some of this material more than once.

I am looking forward to actually trying to use this app – once I’ve had a first pass through the training process.  I’ll post a progress report.

Here are some links

Download the software:

There are nine videos. Links are on the getgmp site shown above, but here the link to the Introduction.

Tutorial - 16 part

There is a downloadable user’s guide in PDF format (265 pages).  Link is on the getgmp site.

The developer’s blog is here:

And there’s a group on Facebook.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Taking a Break Led to New Discoveries

After being so completely wrapped up in trying to connect my various Sip families, a short break was welcome and profitable.

I took time to read blogs that had been waiting for me get around to them. Found a lot of interesting stuff, but I hit paydirt with this tip about Google Books:  

Because my own peasant ancestors are fairly recent immigrants, they’re not likely to appear in books except for city directories.  But I did search for one of my husband’s ancestors and one of my chlldren’s paternal ancestors.

My husband’s 7X GGfather came to The Colonies in 1702. It was a time when Britain was shipping convicts to the West Indies and The Colonies.  Library research[1] had told me That Francis Foxworthy was shipped to the colony of Virginia having been pardoned of his conviction for murder. A juicy detail like that demands more research but I set it aside at the time because I didn’t know where to look.

Search Google Books for Francis Foxworthy and here it is.  Now I know where to get more information.

I’ve struggled making the correct Rose family connections before 1812.  Search Google Books for Solomon Rose and find what may be the perfect resource: The Rose Family Bulletin

I found the Rose Family Association site which has a list of family reports available for purchase.  I’ve ordered Solomon Rose (w Mary/Polly) Oneida Co., NY; Rock Co., WI

If you haven’t used Google Books as a genealogy resource, you may be missing out on some good information.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Owning a Piece of Someone’s Life

I plagiarized borrowed this title from a post on Olive TreeGenealogy by Lorine McGinnis Schulze because her post describes my feelings as well. Owning objects that were a part of a person’s life does seem to me like owning a piece of that life.  I have very few such objects – all extremely precious to me.

I have my Dad’s rosary.  My parents were devout Catholics who prayed the rosary daily.  It’s not just something that belonged to him; it is something that was important to him that he used every day.

A small diamond that my Dad gave to my Mom represents their love and devotion to one another. It is more precious to me than its monetary value.

I have my Aunt Martha’s First Communion prayer book - in Polish. It was not merely a token of that occasion, but something she used often enough that the spine is repaired with adhesive tape. She was a delightful woman full of spunk and spirit.

There are a few more items in my treasure chest - all equally cherished.

Photographs are great, but I love having something tangible to reinforce the memories and reality of their lives


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Taking a short break from the Sip family

 It’s time to step back from this family for a couple of days to let my thoughts and ideas organize themselves in the background.  I’ve collected data and made spreadsheets that so far result in building a number of family “shrubs” that may or may not get grafted to my family tree.

Data is incomplete. The same first names are used repeatedly, as was common in the 18th and 19th centuries. Example: two male births on the same day given the same name and registered at the same office. At this point, I’m not certain whether their fathers were brothers or cousins.  There are a few obvious transcription errors, and probably some subtle ones I haven’t found yet.  Spreadsheets evolved as my ideas evolved and I’m beginning to confuse myself. I know. I should have taken the time up front to make a plan. But I didn’t do that.

These various Sip families all lived in the same region. I believe that they are all connected but the problem is in finding the connecting thread.

For the next few days, I’ll be getting back to DNA.  I haven’t been on GedMatch or FTDNA for quite a while. There are new things to learn and, I hope, new matches for follow up.

With any luck, I’ll be able to get back to the Sip shrubs refreshed and with new ideas.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Missing Pieces

Searching for missing pieces of information is the definition of a family history project. I’m looking at another family jigsaw puzzle with many missing pieces.

In the past few months, via DNA matches, I’ve learned of two distant cousins in my Schipp line and I’m now down that particular “rabbit hole”.  The video project is on the back burner for now.

Both of these new cousins are descended from great aunts on my mother’s side – my great grandfather, Michael Schipp (Sip) is our MRCA (most recent common ancestor).  Even though I’d said that I’d put it aside for a while, I’m back looking for Sip families in Poland

Using BaSIA, I’ve found a treasure trove of Catholic church sacramental records at the State Archive inPoznan. Now the job is to get them matched up as best I can.  MS Excel is a great tool for this.  I’m building this spreadsheet

Once I get the information entered I’ll be able to sort it every which way to try to extract facts, matching parents with children and grandchildren, seeing local migration patterns, and more, I hope.  There are several families clustered with an area of about 3 square miles, but it seems that a few of them moved from one place to another.

The challenge here is reading the records. BaSIA gives most of the vital facts, but there should be more information in the record itself. Unlike later church records which were written in Latin, these older records are written in Polish.

I’ll be busy for a while.