• Nov11

    Just wanted a quick pair of photos to remember all of the Veterans today.

    Below are my Dad, Mike Tierney and buddies visiting the National Mall in Washington, D.C. while assigned there during World War II. They were probably training for work in the Navy’s Machine Records Installation – the department involved in personnel accounting that was now gearing up to use IBM equipment for automation.


    Mike Tierney & buddies, in Front of US Capitol Building, WWII


    Mike Tierney & Buddies, Washington D.C, WWII

  • Nov4

    I took some time at lunch to catch up reading one of my favorite blogs (and the accompanying podcast), The Bowery Boys: New York City History. Their latest post is Photographs of Wonder from the American Museum of Natural History, which showcases several photos from the museum’s AMNH: Picturing The Museum image collection online.

    Children doing Indian Dances in Plains Indians Hall, American Museum of Natural History, 1939, Bierwert, Thane L.

    Children doing Indian Dances in Plains Indians Hall, American Museum of Natural History, Image 291994, Bierwert, Thane L., 1939

    They included some terrific photos from most of the earlier decades of the 20th century. My favorites are definitely the photos from the Education section of the collection, as they show students in various locations and activities in the museum, and reminds me of my own school field trips there in the 1970s.

    I enjoyed them all enough to scroll back up to look at the photos again… then I saw him: My Dad in 1939, dancing with other students in Native American headdress in the Plains Indian Hall!

    It is decidedly a sideways shot and not at the highest resolution, even on the AMNH’s own site, so I suppose there might always be some doubt.

    Comparison, AMNH Photo and a young Michael Tierney
    But having scanned and worked with all of my family’s photos over the last several years, plus knowing what my brother, nephews, son, and I all looked like around that age: THAT is a Tierney face.

    (Click on any photo to see it larger.)

    Another instance of genealogical serendipity – More proof that if you keep looking long enough, someone you know will show up!

  • Oct28

    Countries of Ancestry Chromosome ChartUpdated: November 9, 2015

    For anyone who has been a customer of 23andme, their Countries of Ancestry (CoA) has been a terrific tool in the toolbox.
    Alas – it is going away. You have until November 10th, 2015 to use the tool and even more importantly – Download yer data!

    Put it in the calendar folks.

    Today’s the day your 23andme folks should go out and 23andme – Get the latest Countries of Ancestry Data for all of your profiles there. While 23andme is promising new tools, surely it can only help to have this data in your back pocket for later.

    Also, Bonus tip: In addition downloading your own matches at 23andme itself, you can use the DNA Gedcom.com site to download the CoA data for ALL of your matches! (It is a free tool but see Donate button at bottom of page.) The download process can take awhile, as you provide your 23andme login, it reaches out to get all of the CoA files for you, then places them in a download location.

    DNA Gedcom estimates 30 minutes to an hour for the process, but it took about 20 minutes to download the CoA matches for all 3 of my 23andme profiles, so that is a pretty good speed. Especially considering my wife has an Ashkenazi great-grandfather, so LOTS of matches.

    To reiterate: GO GET YER DATA NOW – who knows how many other users are planning to download today? Could be some bottlenecks ahead.

    Below is part of the original announcement from the 23andme community forums:

    As part of the updates and transition to the new 23andMe, many features will be undergoing significant changes. While we are working to transition customers to the new site, some changes will have an immediate impact on the customer experience in the current 23andMe site, including Countries of Ancestry.

    To provide some context for this change, we wanted to share a number of key principles behind the updates to the 23andMe site and features, including:

    * Simplifying the features and site experience
    * Adding new tools to help customers get the most out of the service
    * Reducing barriers to customer engagement, connection, and communication
    * Maximizing trust and participation by ensuring that users clearly and explicitly opt in to all information sharing

    In consideration of these principles, while some aspects of the feature will be incorporated into the new site, Countries of Ancestry will not be available as a standalone tool in the new 23andMe. The following features of Countries of Ancestry are being removed:

    – The ability to view and download the segments you have in common with members you are not directly sharing with, including public or anonymous DNA Relatives matches.
    – The ability to select any profile you are sharing with and then view and download this same information for that profile.

    In order to conform to our stance on customer privacy, starting on November 11, 2015, Countries of Ancestry will no longer be available. Up until this date, customers may continue to access the web interface and download.

     

     

  • Aug28

    Recently I have been trying to get back to my research to both tie up loose ends and tighten up the documentation. My hope is that another go-through will help me notice some clues I may have missed in prior passes. In particular, I’d like to get my Irish half of the tree back a generation or 4.

    Egan Family, Creggan, Kings, IrelandEven though I’m only 2 or 3 generations removed from Ireland and even with some excellent cousin contacts in Ireland to help answer questions and discuss things with, those parts of my trees could use some real leafing up.

    Peeking at my family in the 1901 Irish census, I again noticed my 2x-great-grandmother living with them. She is 88 years old at the time and (unsurprisingly) is not there in the 1911 census. I realized I had never looked for her death certificate! I had been unsuccessful in finding her marriage earlier in time, so thought perhaps I’d get lucky and find her maiden name included.

    With a name like Mary Egan, finding the right record can easily be a daunting task. But, with some calculated searching of the Civil Registration Indexes in the correct parish I came up with a likely death record for her in 1902. I faxed in a request for a photocopy to GRO Ireland (only 4) using the free online Hellofax service, and Voila! I received the certificate via email within a week or so.

    It is definitely the correct death certificate, as it mentions the Townland and my great-grandfather as the informant. Sadly, no maiden name was included. (I didn’t really expect it as it would be atypical I think.)

    Mary Egan, Cause of Death Detail, 1902, Creggam, Ferbane, IrelandBut, her cause of death is startling: “Severe burns, 6 weeks, no medical attendant.”, and her death was registered about 5 weeks later than the event.

    Jeepers. I suppose open hearths and aged people are not a good mix. I wonder if anyone else has any interesting stories of having been surprised by how people have died?

    Is gaire cabhair Dé ná an doras.

    UPDATE: As usual, after I received this certificate I forwarded a copy to one of my cousins in Ireland who is a 1st cousin from my Dad’s generation. He recalled that when younger, his mother told him that the family’s thatched house burned down. So, once again – it pays to keep in touch with family AND talk to them about your findings!


    Death Certificate, Mary Egan, 1902, Creggan, Kings, Ireland

  • Mar30

    According to the Brief History of World War Two Advertising Campaigns War Loans and Bonds:

    On May 1, 1941, the first Series E U.S. Savings Bond was sold to President Franklin D. Roosevelt by Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau. On January 3, 1946, the last proceeds from the Victory Bond campaign were deposited to the Treasury. The War Finance Committees, in charge of the loan drives, sold a total of $185.7 billion of securities. This incredible mass selling achievement (for helping to finance the war) has not been matched, before or since. By the end of World War II, over 85 million Americans had invested in War Bonds, a number unmatched by any other country.

    There were eight War Loan drives in total –

    June 12, 1944 marked the beginning of the most ambitious war financing campaign. The $16 billion goal of the Fifth War Loan was the largest of the eight, but by its conclusion on July 8, 1944, $20.6 billion had been sold. It came at a critical time, as the tempo of war had increased dramatically. Production rates were hitting new peaks, while availability of goods was low and consumer earning rates were high. An estimated $42.7 worth of advertising was contributed towards the loan campaign, which served to thwart inflation as well as to finance the war.

    With such an ambitious goal and over $16.7 billion raised in the previous four ward bond drives, they must have realized they needed some serious tactics for getting people to pony up more money for the war.

    Reading through some Queens newspapers today, I happened upon an advertisement by a partnership of Gertz Department Store and Textron to sell war bonds with a decidedly unique slant: When you buy the bond, you can fill out a note directly to Hitler or Tojo and they’ll insure it gets shipped overseas and inserted in a live bomb!

    Now THERE’S some bang for your buck!

    Put Your Name on An Invasion Bomb Ad.21.JUN.1944.LI Daily Press.Page04