Saturday, August 31, 2019

Updating Burial Location Information in My RootsMagic Database

It has been awhile since I've updated on how the family history work is going.  While work has kept me busy, I have managed to begin updating and adding to my RootsMagic database by utilizing the WebHints to add burial locations for individuals.  Many have been found where I had a death location, but hadn't added a burial record.

Utilizing sites such as FindAGrave or Billongraves, I've managed to find additional clues for research about families and have added them to my working file for later research.

In RootsMagic, I began this by setting my search criteria to show me individuals with a a Death date that was after 2000 and whose Burial fact was false.  Working through the large database in this manner gave me some of the more recent generations to update.

Of course, not all of the individuals had WebHints that provided details about their burial location.  Some had hints at FindAGrave, but actually weren't buried, but were cremated.  This seems to have become a more popular option in recent years.  In those instances I've added the cremation information, if given.

Once I worked through the database for all deaths after 2000, then I moved back twenty years and began working individuals who had deaths after 1980.  Many of these individuals at FindAGrave had details linked to them regarding siblings and parents.  For those who were direct lines, I added the additional children's information.

By working backwards in this manner, I hope to be able to catch additional information on the recent generations, which in turn will help me better identify some of my DNA matches.

In my database, when a couple marries, I try to add the parents information for the spouses if known.  In so many cases, there are families that are intermarried and later I find out they were distant cousins.  This is particularly true in areas where my lines have stayed in the same geographical location for generations.  Additional children who are listed are entered if the line is one that I am researching as well.

As I work backwards in successive increments, I will catch family members I've missed on the first pass and increase the size of my database.  Mainly I'm been able to work on this early in the morning each day before I head out to work.

One thing to be aware of is that FindAGrave and Billiongraves provide information that is user submitted and often has errors with date transcriptions and birth/death information.  There have been some 'hints' that I've caught that are incorrect guesswork.  Like anything, it has to be examined.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Waiting on the Y-DNA Results

I took advantage of the Father's Day sales at FamilyTreeDNA to order the Y-37 marker test to explore my deep paternal ancestry.

I don't have enough time in the day to work on the autosomal results from the various testing companies, but I have been thinking about having a Y DNA test done for several years.

I'm not expecting any surprises, but I would be interested in seeing if I match with others in the Lemaster study to confirm the line of descent.  I had previously written about my paternal haplogroup here, from my test results at 23andMe.

With my paper-trail genealogy not being able to complete to my satisfaction the descent from Abraham Lemaster of St. Mary's County, Maryland.  The proposed line was described here initially, but given in more detail in this Surname Saturday post.  As always, I'm looking for additional information to tie the branches together.

Perhaps this Y-DNA test will help me determine whether or not my ancestor dropped out of the sky in 1804 Mason County, Virginia.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Sifting Through the DNA Matches

I continue to sift through mom's AncestryDNA matches, making identifications and grouping them into family groups using the shared matches feature.  I've been pleasantly surprised at how accurate and helpful this feature has been.

For each match that I can identify how they are connected with mom, I am looking at the shared matches and marking each of the shared matches with a note of my hypothesis of how they are connected.

For example, mom's maternal first cousin has tested at AncestryDNA, and their MRCA (Most Recent Common Ancestor) couple would be Lambertson-Gilliland.  I am then theorizing that any of these shared matches between mom and her first cousin would also share ancestry somewhere along the upline of this couple.  In essence, this should give me places to expect to find the connection.

By taking a look at each of these 'shared matches' and seeing if they have a tree where I can make a connection, I can bolster my theory.  For those who do not have a complete tree, I can create a 'Quick & Dirty' tree at Ancestry to see if I can get the automated system to generate a tree back far enough to make a connection.

Depending on how far back the identified match goes, I could move shared matches 'up-the-line' as far the hypothesis goes for which branch they should be on. 

I have currently worked my way through all of my mom's DNA matches down to the 20 cM level.  I'm using that as my cut off for now.