Friday, August 28, 2015

GAGs - GeniAus' Gems - 28 August 2015

I'm fearful of looking in my GAGs folder on Evernote because I know that I have saved so many posts to consider for this week's GeniAus' Gems post. While Mr GeniAus is watching the football I'll review, select and prepare my post for publishing tomorrow.

My selections are:

1. I learnt about a Welsh resource from Karen Ball in the US.

2. Sue suggests how we should ask questions

3.  An Aussie post from The National Archives in the UK

4. Carmel writes about National Family History Month (read right to the end of her post)

5. Because I learnt about Sister Kenny when I was at school I was pleased to see this post

6. Pauleen wrote a guest post that I only just found

7. I can't imagine how this mother felt

8. A touching verse from Chris

9. Merron sparks a youngster's interest in family history

10. A youngster in Queensland is hooked

11. Kudos to these volunteers

12. A group in Western Australia is quietly working on a new project

And because I can make it a baker's dozen here's a report on the Genealogy Clinic held at my FHG last week for National Family History Month.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

We stayed in the Green Room

In a new experience for me tonight I demonstrated to a group at The Botany Bay Family History Society how Google Hangouts on Air work. I connected with Heather Clarey and members in the Society rooms in Sydney's far south from my kitchen in Sydney's far north.

Heather, who worked from her laptop, had set up a big screen so that the members could see us hang out. I had anticipated that we would Hangout on Air but, so that we speak candidly, I didn't press the record button and we stayed in The Green Room. We did not go  "Live On Air" and have the session recorded to Youtube as it was better for the newbies that we kept our conversation private. Apologies to those in the GeniAus community who were prepared to join in and say G'day to Botany Bay.

GeniAus hanging out with the genies from Botany Bay tonight
I really enjoyed the experience. Heather moved the camera around a bit so I could see the audience and some brave souls commented and asked a question. It was probably good that my image was grainy on the big screen.

Thanks to Heather and The Botany Bay Family History Society for giving me an opportunity to pay a virtual visit to their rooms to chat about Hangouts on Air. 'Twas a great learning experience for me too.

Spit Hit - Now I'm a Believer

One of the last geneatasks I carried out before my holiday was The Big Spit in which I provided a sample of saliva for DNA analysis by AncestryDNA.

As I was having so much fun on my travels I didn't think much about this until I was heading home. Conveniently two months later while waiting in the airport lounge in Bangkok I received notification that my results were in. I didn't look straight away but sat on the results until I got home.  So what did I find?

On my DNA page that was clearly set out I found a summary of my ethnicity estimate and links to my DNA matches. I was pleased to find that there were some matches. With the AncestryDNA  service being very new in Australia I thought that I might not find anyone close to me.

My Summary Page
I firstly selected the link to look at my Full Ethnicity Estimate. There were no great surprises there. As all my Dad's side hails from Ireland and Mum has a couple I expected this to be over 50%. The Scandanavian bit was at first a surprise as I have no known ancestry from that region but I guess I can put that down to marauding Vikings who invaded the British Isles (my convict roots?) centuries ago. I have D'arcy in my ancestry so that might account for the Iberian Peninsula percentage.  I was not able to confirm any Australian aboriginal ancestry as I have learnt that Ancestry does not test for this yet.

Full Ethnicity Estimate
It was then time to search for cousins. The results told me that 10 4th cousins or closer plus some more distant ones had been identified. I have been a bit sceptical about all this DNA stuff - how could a bit of spit contain so much information? I haven't the foggiest idea but the results I received confirmed some of the research I have done over the past 25 years.

I am so fortunate that two distant Australian cousins in my tree have undertaken AncestryDNA tests and that their results match mine closely - one as a 3rd cousin and one as a 4th cousin. How's that? Now I'm a believer. That's only two from my list of matches but I now have faith that these others must be related waaaaay back.

My closest match is a 3rd cousin named Michelle with whom I was in contact yonks ago. I had lost her details but have now reestablished communication and she is as excited as me. In a message she said "It is so exciting! I don't know a lot about this line so would love to collaborate with you." We are related through my ancestors James Pusell and Maria Tucker. I have been able to trace the Tucker line back to Datchet, Bucks but in spite of visits to Wigan and their archives and years of searching cannot identify James Pusell with confidence. Hopefully DNA will lead me to an answer.

The image below from AncestryDNA shows how I am related to Michelle. For reasons of privacy I have only shared three generations from the image.

My shared ancestors with Michelle
Although I immediately contacted the other confirmed cousin (with whom I have no previous contact) he has not yet responded. He is a descendant of my ancestor Elizabeth Phipps. Although he does not have Elizabeth Phipps listed in his online tree it was easy for me to work this out from my research and the names he had published.  If one wants to find matches it is vital to link one's DNA results to a tree and to make it public so that others can find you.

I have gone through all of the matches identified by AncestryDNA and cannot work out where we have a connection. Of course some of the matches have not made their info private or shared a tree so I will get round to messaging them individually.

Today AncestryDNA added a new Shared Matches tool that interrogates one's matches trees for shared matches. It showed Michelle as a shared match but not the other cousin (because he doesn't have Elizabeth phipps in his online tree).

As one who has an unscientific brain I find the way the AncestryDNA platform easier to use than the other DNA testing company with which I have tested.

I am trying to decide whom in my family I will get to test next. Perhaps someone on my Dad's side. The two confirmed matches I have so far are from Mum's side so a test from my paternal line will help me organise my matches.

Now I am going to sit back and hope some of my genimates and unknown cousins take a test with AncestryDNA so that their database can grow and provide more surprises.

Disclaimer AncestryDNA provided me with a complimentary DNA testing kit

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Genimates weigh in to support GeneaGala

On Monday morning I was feeling very, very nervous about the GeneaGala series of Hangouts I am hosting on Sunday for National Family History Month. Now I am just very nervous!

Thank you to my Genimates who have rallied behind me and have been spreading the word about the Hangouts. I was overjoyed when Hangout guru DearMYRTLE  from Salt Lake City publicised the events on her blog and committed to chatting with me online. I'm not going to name my Aussie mates who have shared their enthusiasm for the event online lest I leave someone out, just let it be said that I appreciate your support.

A a spreadsheet junkie I have prepared a runsheet/timetable for the event. While many folk have indicated that they will or may join the Hangouts I am hoping that they will commit to being online during a particular timeslot to talk about themselves, get on thier soapbox about a geneatopic or share details of a favourite resource.

Into my spreadsheet I have been entering names and topics for discussion throughout the day. So far Pauleen Cass, Alex Daw, Les Tobin, Brenda Wheeler, Jenny Joyce, Heather Clarey, Mary Roddy, Jennie Fairs and Hilary Gadsby have put their hands up to talk (at a particular timeslot) on topics ranging from WW1 to Beginning US Research to Blogging Family History to UK Gazettes.

Please don't be shy. If there is a topic you would like to discuss then please contact me by email and we will negotiate a time to focus on your topic.  If all else fails I will just pluck some topics out of the air and hope there is someone online to chat with me. I would prefer to be organised!

The hangouts will be available for all to watch live or later via my Youtube channel or live on Google+ but places on the live panel will not be available to the general public.  I will only issue invitations to join the online live discussion to those who have responded via the links below that they will or may join me online. This will enable me to restrict the hangouts to those in the geneacommunity.

I will follow chat comments made during the Hangouts from within the GeniAus Community on Google+ .If you wish to have your comments monitored you will need to be a member of the community so please apply to join up now.

GeneaGala Hangout on Air - Session 1 - Google+

Sydney, Australia     30th August 09:00 - 12 :00
London, UK             30th August 12:01 - 03:00
New York                 29th August 19:00 - 22:00
Los Angeles             29th August 16:00 - 19:00

Sydney, Australia     30th August 12:00 - 15:00
London, UK              30th August 03:00 - 06:00
New York                 29th August 22:00 - 01:00
Los Angeles             29th August 19:00 - 22:00

Sydney, Australia     30th August 15:00 - 18:00
London, UK              30th August 03:00 - 06:0
New York                 30th August 01:00 - 04:00
Los Angeles             29th August 22:00 - 01:00

Sydney, Australia     30th August 18:00 - 21:00
London, UK             30th August 09:00 - 12:00 
New York                30th August 04:00 - 07:00
Los Angeles            30th August 01:00 - 04:0


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