Saturday, June 27, 2015

Six GBP for Online Membership - I'm in

I'm thinking about my Bucks ancestors today. John Tucker, a butcher from Datchet, was transported to Australia in 1824 per Hercules II. Jon's parents and siblings were butchers in Datchet until the mid 1850s. I'd love to be able to find more information on John and his family so thought I'd plan for a visit to the Bucks FHS in the future.

I wondered if I should join this Society so I checked out their various membership catagories.  I found something there that appealed to me, On-line Membership until 31 Dec 2015 ; "On-line membership will give you access to the members only sections of the Society website and the right to attend meetings and vote at the AGM. You will not receive copies of Origins, the Society magazine by post but will be able to read/download a copy on-line in the members only section of the website". 

This category of membership is less than half the cost of overseas membership - I can do without printed magazines to save 8 GBP Pounds on the membership subscription.

What a great idea this is! For just 6 GBP I can check the Society's online databases to see if they have any Tucker leads for me to follow.

Family History Societies that have local databases available online could follow Bucks FHS and offer a new category of online membership  tht would attract genies like me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Thinking of my Dad, Allan John Curry, today on what would have been his 96th birthday.

With Dad on my wedding day

Allan John Curry 1919-2001

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Genetic Strand

The Genetic Strand, a book that I found on a bargain table, caught my eye because the author's surname was Ball. On examination I discovered that its subtitle was "Exploring a a family history through DNA". 

I hoped that this book might enlighten this old girl who is at the bottom of the class where DNA is concerned. Published in 2007 this book was published before the emergence of genealogy focussed DNA companies like FamilyTreee DNA, 23andMe and  Ancestry DNA so Ball had to turn to the companies that were available at the time.

Although I didn't learn much to advance my knowledge of DNA (although the author gave several detailed explanations) I thoroughly enjoyed the book because I learnt a lot about the history of DNA testing. I was carried along with the author as he tried to sort out a family mystery (I love reading mysteries) about a collection of family hair samples that had been hidden in a desk since the American Civil War. Ball's prose was excellent; his writing had a captivating turn of phrase and touches of humour.

I was pleased that I rescued this book from the bargain table.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Spit and Wait

Thanks to I was given an opportunity to test my DNA with their service that has recently been launched in Australia. 

Ancestry say "AncestryDNA looks at autosomal DNA. Autosomal DNA tests, unlike Y- or mtDNA tests, survey a person’s entire genome at over 700,000 locations where genetic markers that identify an individual typically appear. Plus, autosomal DNA tests look at both maternal and paternal lines, meaning discoveries come from both sides of your family tree.". 

As I often jump in feet first I accepted the invitation and my kit arrived promptly in a pretty bag.  I opened it and took a look but because I had a cold/chest infection I didn't rush into things. As I was tidying up prior to my holiday I thought I should do the spit even though I was still a bit poorly. 

The Ancestry DNA  test uses a sample of saliva while the FamilyTreeDNA test I did earlier in the year required a cheek swab. I found it much easier to spit than to scrape.

Anyway I spat and now I am waiting patiently for my results. I did however record a few happy snaps for those who may be curious about the process - it was a breeze. I also set up a public tree on Ancestry with just my direct lines in anticipation of finding some new unknown cousins. Ancestry uses one's tree as a means of connecting cousins.

The Box

The Grand Opening

Under the Instructions

The sealed collection vial

Prior to breaking it open

I read the instructions

Even I could follow them

I registered the kit online

I did the spit

Vial filled to squiggly line as directed

Sealed up ready for posting to Ireland for testing
How easy was that! You too can do the big spit - details here.  

So that you can get a discount on this test it might be wise to wait until Ancestry have a special as they often do.


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