Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How about it, AncestryDNA, wanna be my hero?

Catherine Good Lynch, pictured above, is a potential X DNA donor of mine.  In fact, thanks to AncestryDNA, Gedmatch.com, and the testing of another individual at 23 and Me, whose raw data like mine and my mother’s was added to Gedmatch, I know that my mother inherited approximately 34 cM of her XDNA from Catherine.  (My brother and I inherited a smidge less at 33.9 cM from Catherine through my mom.)

With a half million individuals who have taken the test at AncestryDNA this could easily have been a win for Ancestry’s DNA program.  But alas, it is not.  The DNA test could have been taken with another company (say FamilyTree DNA or 23 and Me), so Ancestry’s part in this is limited to providing accurate test results, and, after much pressure of the genetic genealogical community, providing me with the opportunity to download the raw data from the tests.

Instead, the victory lap belongs to Gedmatch creators John Olson and Curtis Rogers, the administrator of the matching individual’s test, and me.

Below is what the match looks like using Gedmatch’s X DNA “One to One” Comparison Tool.  


For those of you a little foggy on how XDNA is inherited, a little basic science.  Women inherit two segments of XDNA, one segment from their mother and one segment from their father.  When they pass the 1/2 of their XDNA onto their offspring, they pass a recombined version.  One child, for example, could get 10% from the mother’s father and 90% from the mother’s mother, while another child could get 50% from the mother’s father and 50% from mother’s mother, or any combination thereof. 

Father’s on the other hand, only have one XDNA segment to give (because instead of two X Chromosomes, they have that pesky Y chromosome.) When a father’s DNA is passed onto his child, he can give either an X chromosome OR a Y chromosome.  If he gives the X chromosome, he finds himself the proud parent of a little girl. If, on the other hand, he gives the Y chromosome, he welcomes a bouncing baby boy into the family. 
This means two things:
1.        A father cannot be an X DNA donor to his sons.

2.       The X chromosome that he inherited from his mother is passed on virtually intact (unless of course there is a mutation of some sort) to his daughters.   For daughters, this means even if they don’t have access to their father’s DNA, they do have an exact copy of his XDNA, a copy that hasn’t been recombined.


Below is the path this particular segment took in my branch of the family.

1.       Catherine Good Lynch would have gotten the segment from one or both of her parents, Magdalena Click Good and Joseph Good.
Catherine Good Lynch
2.       Catherine in turn passed this segment to her son, John Perry Lynch.

3.       John Perry Lynch passed the segment on to his daughter, Katheryne, my grandmother.

John Perry Lynch

4.       Katheryne passed the segment onto my mother.
My grandmother, Katheryne


5.       My mother passed almost the entire segment (33.9 of the 34 cM) to at least two of her children, my brother and me.

In my mother’s case, we can document that the segment came from her great grandmother.  In the case of mother’s match, the journey was longer.  The match received the segment from a sister of Catherine’s, who happened to be the match’s Great great great grandmother.

What is both exciting and frustrating is that this scientific tidbit has the potential to give proof of the identity of either Magdalena Click’s mother (purported to be Elizabeth Bauserman) or Joseph Good’s mother (purported to be Susannah Kaufmann).  I haven’t been able, thus far, to find documentation proving anything but that researchers have the women’s first names listed correctly.  The idea that somewhere within AncestryDNA’s half a million DNA testers may be the one person whose DNA could corroborate the identity of either of these women (and potentially their parents!) is so brightly dazzling that it makes my head spin.

So how about it AncestryDNA. Wanna be my hero?  Help me break through those brick walls by giving me the tools to find my needle in a haystack.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Windows 7 and Saving Images from Ancestry on Your New Computer – Aargh!

I’ve been limping along for quite some time now, using the same laptop for work and play. And boy, do I play – a lot. Seriously.

It’s easy to separate your work life from your play life, but not so easy to justify a second laptop, especially when it is dedicated solely to personal use. Since my work laptop was run on XP windows, and I’d heard all the horror stories from users of Vista, I’d decided that limping along using the one machine for both functions might not be such a bad idea. So I headed to my own mental bomb shelter and patiently waited out the scourge that was Vista before revisiting the idea of a second computer.

And then the sun came out. Microsoft put out its new Windows 7. I started seeing all those happy people in the commercials. You know the ones, those people all over the world who invented Windows 7 thereby making the world a better place, Kumbaya. Yeah, okay, I’ll admit it. Madison Avenue got me. Suck-ah!

The first piece of bad news - My Family Treemaker version 16 was not compatible. Then my Arc software that I’ve used forever, the software that I love, the software that came with my old Sony camera, and I’ve become an expert at using – also not compatible. Grrrrrrr!!!!

Today, however, Windows 7 dealt its harshest blow of all. It would not let me save images from Ancestry. Wait. Was that a collective gasp I heard coming from the genealogy gallery? (Chuckles from the folks still using Windows XP?)

Now you would think that in my umpteen years of having an Ancestry subscription, I’ve probably saved every darn census I would ever need, and you’d be right. The size of my census folder is a whopping big 2.74 GB, with 817 folders and 5,275 files. (Some of those files are duplicates – remember those old .SID image files? I still have them. I can still read them with a Brava Reader and they are really beautiful to behold compared to the jpeg files.)

Well, today, owing to the fact that I could not use my wonderful free Arc software to crop an image of the 1840 census, I looked online to see if there was something I could use on Windows 7 to do a simple job like crop a photo. There is – it’s called Paint. You know that application that’s been on every Windows based computer since the beginning of time, that application.

So, I followed the instructions, did a credible job of cropping, and then saved the image. But wait, I shouldn’t have clicked “Save.” By clicking “Save” instead of “Save As,” I overwrote the original file. Rats!

No problem, I said to myself, I’ll just log into Ancestry, find the very same census image and save it to my computer. When I went to “Save” the image, I was told the Administrator did not grant permission to save the file to my folder entitled “Census.” Wait a minute, aren’t I the administrator? I most certainly did grant permission, but Windows apparently couldn’t take verbal permission. Fine.

It did however have another recommendation. Windows 7 recommended that I save it to “My Pictures” folder. Inconvenient, but what the heck, I clicked “yes.”

Problem was I couldn’t find the image when I went looking for it. I tried saving it again, going through the same process, except this time I was told the file already existed. I could see the file in my little save box but when I went into the “My Pictures” folder, the file wasn’t there.

Then I did a search for the folder. It found the file, but when I clicked on the link, it told me the file wasn’t there, and to make sure I had typed the file and path correctly. Of course, I didn’t type the file and path. Windows did. But hey, who am I to argue with a snippety computer system.

Okay, now I’m ticked. I start googling for answers, finally, coming across a Microsoft forum where, hello, someone else had the very same problem. “Kaye” said to go to the home page of Ancestry, click on the help button, type in the term “Can’t save Images.” Number five in the search reads, “Why can’t I print or save record images from Ancestry.com any more on Windows Vista or Windows 7.”

There on the page are the step-by-step instructions. I couldn’t print them out, as my printer hasn’t been hooked up yet to my new laptop, and I don’t think my heart could take the news that my printer isn’t compatible. So I read the instructions carefully first, copied the “*.ancestry.com” phrase I would need to add, tiled the Internet Options box with the help page for Ancestry and proceeded to fix my problem.

Voila! It worked. See screen shot below with blue arrow pointing to the naughty little file, sitting as bold as can be in my 1840 Ohio Census folder.

Thanks Kaye. Thanks Ancestry expert. No thanks, Windows 7, you heartless cad.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Washed to the Sea

I don’t know if it's the way for everyone as they get older, but I find myself going back over bits and pieces of my childhood looking for clues as to how and why I became the person I am. Yesterday, a piece of my adolescence died in the form of Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary fame.

My parents belonged to a record club in the mid sixties when I was growing up. You remember records, don’t you? They were those 12-inch diameter black vinyl discs that you had to flip over in order to listen to all the songs. My mother and father’s tastes must have been quite eclectic, or perhaps they forgot to send in the little postcard denying the current selection of the month, because there were a wide variety of different musical tastes represented in their collection.

Bobby Vinton, The Association, Englebert Humperdinck, Blood Sweat and Tears, Ray Charles, Joni Mitchell, The Everly Brothers, The Seekers, and The Tijuana Brass were some of the artists whose albums graced our record case. Eclectic, yes?

But the album that I was most entranced with, and listened to over and over again was Peter, Paul and Mary’s 1963 album, In the Wind. On the album, the song Hush-A-Bye would become a staple among the lullabies that I would sing to my own children years later (along with PP & M’s Album 1700 entries, Leavin’ on a Jet Plane, No Other Name and I’m in Love with a Big Blue Frog).

It was, however, Bob Dylan’s song, Blowin in the Wind that captured most of my attention. The antiwar song sung with a crystal brilliant clarity by Mary Travers became a favorite, a song to memorize and sing. Its quiet protest message penetrated the selfish layer of an adolescent brain, and became a part of my own mantra, my own raised social consciousness, my own antiwar sentiments. Sentiments I wished I had been more vocal about six years ago.

It’s funny how a series of little things turn into your life. Not those wild huge moments, though there certainly have been those, but small moments like tiny drops of liquid that build until you have enough to make a wave - crashing then receding back into the sea. Mary Travers’ recession began yesterday. For those, like me, who loved her voice, her songs, her clear elegant protests, we hold onto the wave that her music inspired.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

What do Fill Dirt, a 1500 Year Old Indian Mound, and the Wal-Mart Corporation have in common? Nothing Good!

For a number of years, I had my own personal little boycott going against Wal-Mart. I was upset when they abandoned their building on the East side of Fremont, to build a newer, better, bigger version across town. It was mostly a quiet rebellion, in which I took my business to the local K-Mart, grumbling about the extra 15 minutes of drive time that this change of buying habits necessitated.

My anger briefly flared again in 2001 when I found online, Wal-Mart’s Realty Division. I was shocked to see close to 300 stores across the country had suffered similar fates.

Today, more than a decade (maybe even closing in on two decades, my senility creeping mind can’t remember exactly when the “new” store was built) after coyly hinting to the local newspaper that they, Wal-Mart, had undisclosed plans for the soon to be abandoned building on the East side of Fremont, the building remains empty, unoccupied, and a monument to the schizoid good neighbor policy Wal-Mart brings to its host communities.

What does this have to do with genealogy? Nothing really, except that earlier on Friday, I received an email from my geneablogging buddy, Mississippi Terry, of Hill Country of Monroe County. He asked his friends in the geneablogging community to “Read Deep Fried Kudzu today and weep at the wanton destruction of our heritage.”

In the post, the writer tells about the plans of Oxford, Alabama to destroy a 1500-year-old Indian Mound site to use it as fill dirt for the building of a new Sam’s Club. The mayor of Oxford, Leon Smith, was quoted as saying to the local ABC affiliate, “if any remains are found, they will be reburied there.” Well, sure, after digging them up and tossing them all together in a heap, that’s the least the city could do.

I’d like to think that the Wal-Mart Corporation is ignorant of these plans, and would not condone such a thing. I’d like to think that upon learning of such activities by the town of Oxford, the Wal-Mart Corporation would prove me wrong in my assessment of their community minded character, and say, “No, Way!”

I’d like to think it, but I’m not holding my breath.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sandusky County Kin Hunters Meeting This Sunday

Are you making effective use of obituaries and death certificates in your genealogy research? John Tate will be discussing this topic at the Sandusky County Kin Hunters meeting this Sunday, July 12 at 2:00 PM

The meeting will take place at the Sandusky Township Hall on Rt 19 North in Fremont. There is ample parking and the meeting is handicapped accessible. Guests are always welcome!

For further information, please contact Kim at 419-603-0367.

Footnote and Gannett - A Partnership Made for News-Messenger Readers?

There was interesting reading in my email box today. Footnote, the home of 57 million digitized historical documents, has partnered with the Gannett Company, the publisher of 84 daily newspapers (including our own News-Messenger) to add historical newspaper content to the online world. Two of those newspaper’s, Florida Today and Poughkeepsie Journal (NY) have already had digitized pages added to Footnote’s ever growing list of documents.

According to Footnote, they plan to digitize “the full run” of these two newspapers. That could be quite an accomplishment since the Poughkeepsie Journal dates back to 1785!

Footnote has kicked off the venture with news articles featuring Woodstock and the Moon Landing. No word on whether any of our own local newspaper will eventually be added to Footnote’s content, but that might be worth Footnote’s subscription price, which goes up to a $79.95 annual rate as of August 1. Footnote is currently running a limited time special rate of $59.95 for the annual subscription.

Which of Gannett’s newspapers will have their content added to Footnote? I don’t know. Since Ohio is woefully underrepresented in Footnote’s current small town historical newspaper collection – I couldn’t find any when I took a quick peek – my guess is that at least some of their Ohio newspapers will eventually be part of the collection.

If the News-Messenger ends up as one of them, wouldn’t it make a nice promotional, giving the subscribers to the News-Mess a discount on an annual Footnote subscription? Just a thought….

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Because the Boat Rocked?

Note: Mildred Jane Thacker and Frances Thacker lived beside each other with their families in 1850. They, as well as their families, are listed as “mulatto” in this census. They married cousins Weatherfoot Napper and Nimrod Nicholas Thacker. Were Mildred and Frances cousins? Were they sisters? Why are the descendents of one white, and the other black?

Raccoon Creek starts softly in the southeast corner of Hocking County below the Hocking River. It travels down 109 miles flirting with Athens County and the northwestern tip of Meigs County. Full bodied it runs into Vinton County before it reaches the Ohio River just north of Raccoon Island in Gallia County. The creek has always attracted boaters and fishermen.

In 1857, a trio of men were enjoying the day, paddling a canoe on the creek near Hawks Station in Vinton County. Dennis McKinniss, Malachi Dorton and Weatherfoot Napper were all Wilkesville Township boys. According to the 1850 census, Malachi and “Wed” lived next door to each other. Conspicuous by his absence was another neighbor, Nicholas Thacker, the nephew of Malachi and cousin to Wed.

On another day, it could have easily been Nicholas in the canoe, with Wed back on dry land, but on this day, the men rowing the narrow boat were Dennis, Malachi and Wed. The account of the incident, found in “A Standard History of The Hanging Rock Iron Region of Ohio, Volume 1” is painfully sparse, stating only, “The last three men were drowned at Hartley’s Mill in 1857 by the upsetting of a canoe in which they were rowing.”

After the death of her husband, Wed Napper, Mildred Jane moved her family to Pike County where she worked as day laborer. Francis, the wife of Nicholas, stayed with her husband and family in Vinton County. Family tradition says that the Dorton, Napper and Thacker families were part Native American. This originally set them apart from their Ohio neighbors when they first arrived from Virginia.

Eventually, after many decades of living, working and marrying their white neighbors, those that stayed in Vinton County crossed the threshold of race and disappeared forever into the white community. This is what happened to Francis and her descendents.

In Pike County, however, it was the surrounding black community that opened its arms to Mildred Jane and her family. And so Mildred and her descendents passed forever into the African American community.

Two descendents, one black, one white, research the same branch of a family tree. Is it possible they owe not only the color of their skin, but their very existence to a boat that rocked and a canoe trip not taken?

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