• Jan30

    Average request on Facebook photo restoration group.


    Family Photo Request

  • Dec10

    UPDATE 12/11/2017: I’m updated to this older post again since I found that the Ancestry – New York partnership page on the NYS Archives site has once again changed: The old URL now is “not found.” However with some more searching on the site I was able to find another page that contains the zip code form so that New Yorkers can search these record sets at Ancestry without the “become a member” page.

    First, a TL;DR: Use the NYS Archives link I have listed below, enter a zip code, go to Ancestry New York page and search the records that are free to NYers with impunity.

    ——————————
    It is probably not news to genealogy folks who research that, as the New York State Archives site says, “Several New York repositories have formed a partnership with Ancestry.com to digitize family history records and make them available on line for free.”

    For several months I have accessed those records on Ancestry, probably most often the 1915 and 1925 NY State censuses, plus some more fun ones like the Sing Sing Prison admittance records. The only trick was that these records are officially free to New York State residents, and once logged into Ancestry, so I would visit the URL http://www.ancestry.com/newyork, enter my NY zip code, and thus would get in.

    However, back in 2014, after a year or two of use I found that the Ancestry page no longer contained the NY zip code field. While it is still a search page titled “New York State Records”, i you use that search form, and try to view the images without the old zip code field submission, it brings you to the ubiquitous “Choose a membership to get started” sign up page.

    Annoyed by that at the time, a little follow up Googling brought me to a NYSED.gov Archives page that outlined the partnership. Thankfully, on that page the zip code form field existed and using it brought you to Ancestry’s “New York: Where History Goes on Record” page, where you can again search the records and click through the results to view the images. (You are still required to have at a free Ancestry login to view images.)

    However, now in 2017 I found that the original NYS Archives page that contained the zip code form is gone – although I have found another different page that still contains the form.

    So, once again: Here is the URL for the NYS Archives site:
    http://www.archives.nysed.gov/research/how-to-video-ancestry

    I think it is disappointing that this change occurred, since it makes original NY State landing page more of a funnel to the subscription page.

    While the Ancestry page now says “For free access to New York records, start your search then click on your results. You will be prompted to “Create a Free Account.” DO NOT click on the “Subscribe” button or the “14-day Free Trial Offer” unless you are interested in access to all of Ancestry…” I don’t see any way to actually GET TO the free records. And I don’t really feel like creating a new free account to test it out.

    More than a bit confusing.

    For later reference – the old, now UNWORKING URL as of 11DEC2017 is: http://www.archives.nysed.gov/research/res_ancestry.shtml

  • Oct3

    All righty now, two posts in a row focusing on a DNA question!

    I’ve posed this question in one of the Facebook groups dedicated to DNA and genealogy to see if anyone there had an opinion.

    While looking at my latest GEDmatch results, I found a new match near the top of my results with an estimated distance of 3.9 generations between us. Still exciting to see that after all these years swimming in the genetic genealogy ponds. I have a few others of the same distance, but haven’t gotten anywhere with figuring out the shared ancestors with most. (Due to either lack of info far enough back, or just the usual non-response to any reaching out.)

    Gedmatch single segment match of 68.3 centimorgansBut, something caught my eye on this match: the “Total cM” and “Largest cM” are both 68.3, so it is all in a single segment! Over 8,341 SNPs. Count ’em.

    (By the way: this is using default search settings.)

    So, I am now wondering: At what amount of shared cM does it become unusual for the entire match to be in a single segment?

    Looking at all of my matches, I have:

    • 1,301 matches that are in a single segment.
    • 1,300 of those are at 32cM or below.

    After that, way up at 68.3cM is my last single segment match.

    Is the fact that it is one segment with that many cMs just chance, or is something else going on? It is more striking when you see a chart of all of my single segment matches.

    Anyone have any ideas?


    chart: Count of Single Segment DNA Matches by Match Length

  • Sep20

    Hello out there in Genealogy Land! I have been running silent these last few months here on the blog, but continue to march yet unto that elusive tree of perfection. I have a quick item that I wanted to post today and file in Things That Make You Go, “Huh?”

    When checking my matches over on MyHeritage DNA, I found one recently that is estimated at the 3rd – 5th cousin level.

    DNA Match Summary
    OK, I says, that’s not a bad match – although I strongly suspect that MyHeritage’s cousin-relatedness are overestimated by at least 1 or 2 levels. That would make me feel like this is really at the very best a 4th – 6th match and perhaps further. In fact, another factor feeds this assumption for me:

    This match is from Norway. I am 50/50 Czech and Irish. While I understand those country-centric terms don’t accurately represent the mishmash of DNA we all carry, I have found that this match along with other matches from Norway have trees that go many generations back with clearly Norwegian names in them. (Go figure.)

    So, OK, perhaps 5 or 6 generations ago someone from one of “my” countries headed up that way, or vice-versa and now I need to welcome my new Norwegian cousins and brush up on learning how to cook Kjøttkaker and Gravlaks. (Mmm, Gravlaks.) But, a couple of these Norwegian matches are in the 3rd to 5th cousin range, so you’d at least think we’d see some slightly similar locations on the map start to appear around the time our common ancestor would be. Nope.

    But forget about all that – let’s look at the next thing that MyHeritage gives us for matches: Shared Ethnicities.

    Now, I also understand that there is some algorithmic voodoo at play in mapping ethnicities. (By the way Algorithmic VooDoo is now my new band name.) Can one really attribute a particular snippet of DNA to a location absolutely? Eh, maybe in some cases, but overall I think they are smearing the lipstick a little broadly. In the case of this match, I found something else surprising.


    Shared Ethnicities Chart

    I pasted our “Shared DNA” numbers on this chart for reference – so assuming we share enough DNA to be in the 3rd – 5th cousin range, would we not also have at least one category of ethnicity that we are both a member of? I realize our total shared is only 0.4%, but even so, if they can estimate her Scandinavian ethnicity down to a 10th of a percentage, there shouldn’t really be any rounding error going on.

    Yet, there is not a single ethnicity that we share.
    And now I am left wondering what I should do with all of these Gravlaks?

    (By the way: That Iberian % doesn’t show up at all in my 23andme results, and on AncestryDNA I have 3% Iberian in the Low Confidence Region. One of my favorite regions, doncha know.)

  • Mar4

    First a TL;DR: At the bottom of this post is a table with links to the listings of all cemeteries in each county of the Republic of Ireland.

    The last few years have been relatively kind to Irish genealogy researchers – especially after the Catholic Parish Registers went online at the National Library or Ireland.

    However, when you don’t have a specific location in Ireland to look for family (or even if you do) it can still be a frustrating and fruitless slog. And that’s on a good day.

    At some point in every researcher’s work, they’ll find they need to cast a wider net to try and find more clues to work with. One terrific site to look for clues can be Find A Grave, regardless of the location in the world you need to look.

    A technique I’ve used there when there is no memorial for the specific people I’m looking for is to simply check all of the cemeteries in the area for people of the same surname. If you are looking for cemeteries in the United States, you can use their Browse Cemeteries by US County page, first select a state and then select a county and Voila! a nice listing of all the cemeteries for you to look through.

    However, if you want to do the same thing for Non-US cemeteries, there is no ability in the form to select a county (or whatever subdivision that country uses.) So, you end up with a giant list of all cemeteries in that country sorted alphabetically. In Ireland, that means you have 3,820 results to go through!

    Sure, the cemetery entries do list the county they reside in, but At 20 results per page, that is 191 pages of clickety-clicking. So, I looked for a better way.

    Wanting to find all of the cemeteries listed in Find A Grave in County Offaly, I Googled “findagrave cemetery offaly“. In the results you’ll see links to many individual cemeteries in Offaly, which is great. But will you find all of them? You’ll also see at the top of the results one that starts with “1 to 20 – Find A Grave” – Hmm. That looks like a listing, doesn’t it? And sure enough it is a list of ALL the cemeteries in Offaly.

    But, what about all of the other counties? One could perform the same Google search for each county, but I noticed there might be an easier way.

     Find a Grave Ireland County URLIf you look at the URL in the address bar, a pattern emerges. There are 3 parts of it that look like location fields: CScntry, CSst, and CScnty.

    In this example, one can guess that “country” 35 is Ireland, “state” 1222 is Offaly and “county” is not used. So, it appears they haven’t entered any county fields in the FaG database, which explains the lack of ability to select it on the search page.

    So, I asks myself, what will happen if I, say, change 1222 to 1221. Well, 1221 gets you County Monaghan!

    So, as a public service to all of you who have actually read to the bottom of this post, I have a gift. I have worked my way back and forth to find all of the Republic of Ireland codes on Find A Grave and created direct links to them. As one might expect – the county IDs are numbered in order relating to their alphabetic order – EXCEPT looks like someone made a mistake and entered Laois and Leitrim out of order.

    I have not found a method to determine the URL for Northern Ireland counties – yet.

    Below is a table with links to the cemeteries of each county in the Republic of Ireland on Find A Grave. Enjoy!

    County IDCounty Name
    1204Carlow
    1205Cavan
    1206Clare
    1207Cork
    1208Donegal
    1209Dublin
    1210Galway
    1211Kerry
    1212Kildare
    1213Kilkenny
    1215Laois
    1214Leitrim
    1216Limerick
    1217Longford
    1218Louth
    1219Mayo
    1220Meath
    1221Monaghan
    1222Offaly (Kings)
    1223Roscommon
    1224Sligo
    1225Tipperary
    1226Waterford
    1227Westmeath
    1228Wexford
    1229Wicklow