23 August 2015

Life Happenings, and Hoping To Get Back On Track!

Sometimes life seems to get in the way of what I really want to be doing.

I had surgery at the end of March to repair my severe hiatal hernia and to remove my gall bladder. That required a week's stay in the hospital, plus another 7 weeks at home to heal.

Was finally healed from surgery, and then I took a fall when I was outside. I fell so hard that I do not remember the fall. One minute I was walking and the next my face was an inch from the ground a second before I hit it. Ended up with a black eye from the nose piece of my glasses, a fat lip and hurt ribs. They weren't broken but boy did they hurt! It took about 5 weeks for the ribs to heal.

About the same time I fell I started taking Cymbalta for my Fibromyalgia. They warn that it can cause depression, let me tell you for me it did.

I may have sad moments, like when I miss someone who has died, but never in my life have I had depression like I got from taking the Cymbalta!

With my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) I have periods of time where I have the desire to do things but not the physical ability. After 22 years with this I know that while I might not have the physical ability to do something right then, that I could do it as soon as my health cooperated. Being on the Cymbalta things were flipped. I had good days physically but my mental attitude was I don't want to and I don't CARE that I don't want to. I had lost the desire to DO, and that scared me. It was so totally opposite of the way I normally functioned at first I didn't realize what was happening. Once I realized what was going on I contacted my doctor and talked to them.

I am finally weaned off of that and am REALLY hoping that there are no other major things happening to me so I can get back to what I want to be doing. Namely Genealogy!

Have a great day! and I hope this finds you in good health.

Back to the search :)

09 August 2015

Me and Louise Grace (Boyer) Newman

Genetics can be a wonderful thing to explore, they are what make us who we are. I have really been enjoying learning more about how genetics work and using that knowledge to try and find how my genetic cousins fit into my tree.

But while that is a very fun part of genetics, I also find it very interesting to see the physical evidence of how I have inherited certain characteristics from my ancestors. As you can see from the picture below, I strongly inherited my physical looks from my paternal grandmother. I believe she is close to the same age as I am currently in the picture, although she might be a little older than me, depending on which of my cousins was in the picture with her.

I wish I could ask her who she resembles, but she died just before I turned ten so I can't do that. I don't even know if she knew who she resembled because her mom, Emma (Antrim) Boyer, died when she was still a child. And her dad, Frederick R Boyer, didn't seem to be in her life after that. If anyone seeing this is a cousin on those lines and sees a family resemblance to your branch I would love to hear from you!

02 June 2015

Looking At How The X Chromosome Is Passed Down

I have been doing more research and learning about how to use DNA to try and find relatives. The specific part that I have been looking at concerns how the X chromosome is passed down from generation to generation. The X chromosome is NEVER passed from Father to Son. It can be passed Father to Daughter, Mother to Daughter or Mother to Son. Again it is never passed from Father to Son. This narrows down which lines you will look at in trying to find the match for someone who you match on the X chromosome. There are some good charts and information on DNA - Genealem's Genetic Genealogy Blog. I downloaded her graphic for the female being the 1st person on the chart and filled it out with the names of the ancestors I know. Below is that fan chart filled out with my ancestors that could have passed an x chromosome to me.

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10 May 2015

FamilyTreeDNA and the tools available on that site

I have written in the past about having my DNA tested at both AncestryDNA and at 23andMe. Those are not the only two companies that do DNA testing, and a couple of those companies allow you to transfer your Raw DNA data from either Ancestry or 23andMe. I have taken advantage of FamilyTreeDNA's (FTDNA) service and gedmatch. With FTDNA you transfer your DNA and then have a choice of either paying $39 to unlock your matches or to ask 4 other people to also transfer their DNA to their company using a specially generated link. Gedmatch is a totally free, volunteer site. But today I am going to talk about a couple of the tools available on FTDNA

There are two very useful tools that I have found on FTDNA. The first is the "in common with" and the second is the "chromosome comparison."

The "in common with" tool allows you to search for people that share DNA with you and another member of their database. Say for example you have a confirmed 2nd cousin on FTDNA, you could then use the "in common with tool" to find others that also match the 2 of you to find other potential cousins. At this point I do not haven any confirmed matches on FTDNA, so I used it in a different way.

The first thing I did was find someone that I shared a good sized segment of DNA. I then clicked on the "in common with" tool and found we had 25 people that in one way or another we share as a potential match. I then used the second tool, the "chromosome comparison" tool.

Using the chromosome comparison tool I found out that 12 of the 25 people we had as common matches matched both her and I at the same area on chromosome one.

What does that mean? it means that at some point in our trees the 14 of us share a common ancestor, or ancestors. Now working together we can try and figure out who that ancestor is.

There is just one problem, when writing these matches I am finding some of them are not understanding what I am talking about when I mention the "in common with" tool and the "chromosome comparison" tool. So I have made the following pictures to hopefully help others understand these tools and how I used them.

If you have questions or something isn't clear, please contact me so I can try and make it easier to understand. Happy hunting!

06 February 2015

Using DNA Test to Find Relatives.

I have mentioned in previous posts (see blogs dated 2 Aug 2014; 24 Apr 2013; 2 Sep 2012; 8 April 2012) that I have tested with both 23andMe & with ancestry DNA tests. And that 2 of my 4 children have also taken the 23andMe test. A paternal male cousin (our fathers are brothers) has too, so that should get us the Newman line. This cousin's son has taken the ancestry DNA test, so I have a link to my paternal line on that site too.

I have done a little bit to try and contact those that are matches on to me on those 2 sites. So far no close relatives have responded to me. However I have been able to connect my 2 kids to three 2nd cousins from their fathers side. One from their paternal grandfathers line and two from their paternal grandmother's line. One of those from their grandmother's line was part of a closed adoption so doesn't have any clue to her ancestry. It made me happy to be able to tell her that while I couldn't tell her who her mother or father was, and I could only tell her that her grandparent was 1 of 13, I could tell her that her great grandparents were Thomas Francis Riordan and Grace Lillian Janvrin. I am really hoping my kids will reach out to this 2nd cousin and maybe together they can find out more for her, or at very least be a connection to her birth family for her.

On a personal side I have just joined a facebook group called "Ancestry-Gedmatch-FTDNA-23&me-Genealogy and DNA" It is a pretty large (6000+ members) and active group and I hope to learn more about how I can use these DNA tests to connect to my relatives.

I have also uploaded the raw data from the 23andMe test to FTDNA, and if I get 4 people to add their DNA test through this link I will fully unlock the site and be able to find matches on their site too for free.
Click Here if you are willing to upload your raw data to FTDNA and help me unlock the features. If I don't get 4 others to help I will have to pay $39 to unlock it and I really don't have that in my budget currently.

The people in the group have also been talking about genmatch, and when I went to upload my raw data to that site I discovered I had uploaded it July 2011! My kit number is M173936 if you are also on genmatch and want to see if we have a match.

To help me remember where I have memberships and subscriptions I have started a sheet in my research log for "online presence" where I can list all the links to websites where I have an account of some type. I have a columns for website name, url, username, password, subscription information (for those that are subscription sites), and notes. Hopefully that will keep me from forgetting where I have uploaded trees and other info!

01 February 2015

What's in your toolbox?

It's a new day, new week, new month.... the new "assignment" for week 5 of the do-over is: Building a Research Toolbox and Citing Sources.

Building a Research Toolbox basically means locating websites that will be useful to you in your research and then organizing the list in such a way that you can actually FIND the link that you are needing. One way to do that is to make folders in your browser's favorite or bookmark list to organize them. Another option is to use a spreadsheet like Excel to organize them. Or you can use a program such as Evernote or One Note to organize them. Another choice would be to share them on your blog so that others can also benefit from your work.

The assignment is to figure out what would work best with your style of working, and then be consistent in your use of it. You also have to be able to keep your links up to date and be able to remove links that no longer work. Thomas MacEntee shared with us a free program called AM-Deadlink used to verify links in your current bookmarks (Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome) or links pasted into a text file.

I downloaded the program and when I ran it I did find a couple of deadlinks, but not too many. So in that aspect I am doing good. I have decided that I will just get all my bookmarked sites together in one browser (I have IE, Firefox and Chrome all installed on my computer and I have 2 computers so have a bit of combining to do). Once they are all in one browser I will then get them organized in folders and subfolders to make it easier to locate the links that I want easily.

Once I get it all organized I will share my personal toolbox with you. It may take me a bit to get it done but hopefully sometime this week I will be able to say I have finished this part of this assignment.