Monday, August 25, 2014

A 52 Week Challenge? Not Me



benedict2The other day I mentioned that even though we’d been busy, we weren’t doing much that was blog worthy.  That’s probably true.  It’s not always about traveling, visiting or sightseeing.  Sometimes it’s just about doing what everyone else does and that’s getting involved with our own interests . 

  Benedict Arnold, the traitor

I’ve read several blogs recently from people who travel and along their routes, they stop to search their own roots.  I know all about searching  roots and it’s so much easier to get those records today than it was 36 years ago when I first got interested in genealogy.   I have boxes and boxes of documents and thousands of research notes. Years ago we really had to learn to research. We didn’t just copy unsourced family trees and all the errors contained in them.  We calculated, figured, researched …. and, of course, still made mistakes.



michaelmcgeetombstone

Michael McGee, Irish Immigrant and Revolutionary Soldier


We wrote letters, visited court houses, walked through many cemeteries and searched  old film and microfiche until our eyes were blurry.  Things have definitely changed.  Aren’t we thankful for that!

Now we even have a new tool to use which helps in discovering those roots.  It’s DNA. We all inherit chromosomes from our parents.  These chromosomes are passed down from one generation to another .  The secrets of our family histories can be hidden in those matches we find.  The most popular family tree website is definitely Ancestry but that’s for research tools, historical records and family trees.  The DNA testing there  lacks the tools needed to compare your chromosomes to that of someone else.   The good thing is that you can download your Ancestry DNA files and upload it to other piratesites offering chromosome viewing, comparing and triangulation.   I monitor DNA for myself and 12 family members on Ancestry, 23andme, FTDNA and Gedmatch.  They are all different but that’s another story at another time. 

Did John Markham’s widow marry Blackbeard the pirate?

Not all my “famous” relatives are necessarily those I’d pick to be related to but we don’t choose our families.   It’s the pirates, the traitors and the troublemakers that are the most interesting to discover.  The more notorious they are, the more fun they are to dig up. 

  robertbruce
Many blogging genealogists have taken a  52 week challenge.  The goal is to blog about one ancestor each week for 52 weeks.   I think the idea of doing this keeps researchers focused on one branch of that tree without jumping from branch to branch.  It’s probably a good idea but not so sure I’d be able to stick with it  … maybe just a few here and there.

Sir Robert Bruce

Barbara_Bush_portrait

Then, there’s even the relationship  with Barbara Bush, wife of George H. Bush.  She’s also related to Benedict Arnold so with fairly quick calculations, I’ve come up with a relationship to  Barbara.  She’s the   8th great grand niece of the wife of my 1st cousin 10X removed!    Now I would say that definitely is a very distant relative and I’m not going to try to figure it out.

Honest George Washington is in there someplace too but at a 3rd cousin 7 times removed, he’s another pretty distant one.
horner

Certainly, you’re familiar with the Little Jack Horner nursery rhyme.  It is believed the poem was written about my 8th great grandfather, Thomas Horner,  who stole one of the deeds he was delivering to the king.   Now that was a fun discovery and a fun history lesson too.

Salt Lake City has the best collection of genealogy material in the world.  Some of what they have is online but not all of it.   It’s a real thrill to dig through all their records.  I’ve been lucky enough to do that a few times including last year on our way north.   Now I discover that Tammi has a business trip planned next week.  That business trip is to Salt Lake City …..  We could stop overnight on our  way to see Justin.  We could ???

'Tis life on the road.


I'd rather look for dead people than have 'em look for me.

19 comments:

  1. I love the comment "I'd rather look for dead people than have 'em look for me."

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  2. I don't think I could do anything for 52 weeks, other than sleep, eat and be merry.

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  3. I couldn't do that for 52 weeks. I still am thinking about the DNA from 23 and me. That's the one my cousin used.

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    1. I'd definitely do 23andme and especially if your cousin is there. Once I added DNA to other sites, I had my 12 cousins do the test at 23andme also. Once you get DNA results back, download your results to your computer and then you can upload to Gedmatch.com. Gedmatch is free but it's also the place other genealogists upload their DNA from all the other sites.

      Keep a spreadsheet of all your matches and where they match. You'll be able to work a process of elimination by comparing to known matches. It takes a while to accumulate enough to know where you have that common match. I've met quite a few "cousins".

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  4. Geneology can be all consuming, but there is a time to stop looking.

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  5. Ah yes, the fun of "infamous" ancestors. General Custer's barber - that's all I've got. I'm lucky to remember it's Monday 52 times a year!

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    1. Love it! At least you hope he did a good job!

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  6. Some day you can explain "removed" to me. Wondered why you mentioned Robert Bruce. Did we already discuss that Doug is a Bruce. Fraternal grandmother was Jemima Bruce.

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    1. Removed just means to move down generations from the match. I mentioned Robert Bruce because he has a familiar name and it was easy and fast to post. I knew Doug and I were cousins albeit very distant.

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  7. My grandfather told me I couldn't claim my relationship to General W.T. Sherman unless I also claimed that of the blacksmith/horsethief who changed his name from Shoerman to Sherman. When traveling through Georgia I don't claim General Sherman either.

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    1. I love that! I'll claim everyone because that's what makes the research so much fun. Most of relatives seemed to be southern. However, I do have a long line of Northerners too. I'd like to hear the story of the blacksmith / horse thief!

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  8. My family legend is I'm a descendant of Samuel Clemens. From my light research, it doesn't appear so, he had no adult male children that lived to adult hood and his male siblings either didn't have children or died before adult hood/marriage.

    But since I look so much like Mark Twain, there must be some truth to the legend. ;c)

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    1. Good old Samuel Clemens. Since Terry was born and raised in Samuel's town of Hannibal, he's always been a favorite of ours even though no relation as far as we know.

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  9. Gee - I descended from my Mom and Dad and I knew my Grandparents on both sides. I think that's about it for me.

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    1. I didn't know three of my grandparents so you were luckier than I was.

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  10. Got a bunch of dead English, Norman, and Frankish kings, including Charlemagne, as well as a couple of saints on my mother's father's side. Turned to mutts after Henry I. Came to the U.S. on the second group of ships to land at Plymouth. Fought in the Revolution and started farming.

    Have a bazillion distant cousins and have actually been in contact with a few with whom I share the same great-great grandparents. That side is the only side I have been able to follow all the way back. It's been kind of fun.

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    1. Sounds familiar. I have many of those same old guys hiding in my closet too including Charlemagne on a couple branches. Some I can't follow either as there were too many burned court houses and lost records. The discovery is fun!

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  11. Great stuff:) I have been working on the family tree for over a decade very sporadically. It is interesting, but no way could I do it every week for a year:)

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Thanks for taking the time to comment.