Saturday, May 26, 2012

B is for Breen, Brown, Bright, Best, Bond and Bowler - Family History Through the Alphabet - Week 2

Image from Gould Genealogy & History blog
This is my contribution to Week 2 of Gould Genealogy's Family History Through the Alphabet challenge. The letter this time is B.

B is for...Breen
Breen is the surname my O'Brien ancestors were known by in Ireland. For more information see my previous post
And also my recent posts about genetic genealogy
I will be adding Part 3 to this series of blog posts on genetic genealogy soon. 

B is for...Brown
Brown is the maiden name of my 3 x Great Grandmother, Mary Ann Randall (formerly Bailey, nee Brown) (1816-1886). Mary Ann Brown was baptised on 1 September 1816 at South Weald, Essex, England. She was the daughter of Adam Brown and Ann (nee Peacock), who were married on 4 December 1810 at Chipping Ongar, Essex. Adam Brown was baptised in 1768 at Abbess Roding, Essex, the son of Samuel Brown and Ann (maiden name not yet known). It is believed that the Brown family tree reaches back several more generations in Abbess Roding, Essex. 

Mary Ann Brown, my 3 x Great Grandmother, first married George Bailey on 9 March 1835 at Rettendon, Essex, England. Mary Ann and George had a least five children: Mary Ann, William, Joseph, John and George. George Bailey senior died in 1845. Mary Ann next married Edward Randall, a widower, on 18 May 1846 at Chelmsford, Essex. Mary Ann and Edward had six children: Rachel (1847-1937), Edward (1849-1926), Rebecca (1852-1946), Ann (1855-1855), Margaret (1855-1917, my Great Great Grandmother) and Annie (1859-1863). 

B is for...Bright
Bright is the maiden surname of my 6 x Great Grandmother, Sarah Pettit (nee Bright). Sarah married Francis Pettit at Abbess Roding, Essex, England on 28 December 1756. Francis, a parish clerk, and Sarah, had at least seven children: Sarah, Ann (my 5 x Great Grandmother), Henry, John, Mary, James and William. Sarah was died in December 1801 and was buried on Christmas Day, 25 December, in the Churchyard of St Edmund's Anglican Church, Abbess Roding. Sarah's husband Francis died earlier that same month and was buried on 4 December 1801 at St Edmund's.

B is for...Best
Best is the maiden surname of my 6 x Great Grandmother, Mary Preston (nee Best). Mary married Joseph Preston, a cooper, on 29 April 1756 in the St Mary Magdalen's Church, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England. Their son, my 5 x Great Grandfather, James Preston, was baptised in St Martin's Parish, Oxford on 4 October 1762.

B is for...Bond
Bond is the maiden surname of my 4 x Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Pickis (nee Bond). Elizabeth married Robert Paul Pickis, a carpenter, in 1822 in the parish of All Hallows Barking, London, England. I only discovered Elizabeth maiden surname earlier this year through an index available at FindMyPast UK. The Bond family came from Tynemouth, Northumberland. Elizabeth had a sister, Dorothy Bond, who married sea pilot James Purvis and lived at South Shields, Durham. Their niece, my 3 x Great Grandmother, Catherine Helen Pickis (later Atkinson) was living with James and Dorothy Purvis when the Census was taken in 1851. I still have lots of research to complete regarding the Bond family.

B is for...Bowler
Bowler is the maiden surname of my 3 x Great Grandmother, Mary Mannix (nee Bowler). Mary married Michael Mannix on 16 February 1832 in Tralee Catholic Parish, County Kerry, Ireland (follow this link to see the transcript of this marriage record on IrishGenealogy.ie). Mary and Michael were the parents of my 2 x Great Grandmother, Catherine McCarthy (nee Mannix). Catherine was baptised on 22 May 1842 at Milltown Catholic Parish, County Kerry, Ireland.

(Sources available on request)
Creative Commons License Australian Genealogy Journeys by Aillin O'Brien is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://ausgenjourneys.blogspot.com.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A is for Atkinson, Ahern and Andrews - Family History Through the Alphabet - Week 1


Image from Gould Genealogy & History News

I have decided to take part, when I can, in Gould Genealogy's Family History Through the Alphabet challenge. The challenge is to:
...use the current letter for the week...and connect it to someone, something, or a topic relating to your family that you’d like to write about.
This weeks letter is B, but I am running a little behind. Therefore, here is my belated A post.

A is for...Atkinson
Atkinson is the maiden surname of my Great Great Grandmother, Dorothea Ellen Fullerton.

Dorothea was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 24 March 1857, the second daughter of James Atkinson (a blacksmith) and his first wife Catherine Helen Pickis. James, Catherine and their first daughter Elizabeth had arrived in Melbourne on the ship 'Columbia' on 20 March 1857. James' and Catherine's third child, Isabella, was born in North Melbourne in 1859. 

Dorothea Ellen Fullerton (nee Atkinson)
1857-1923.

James Atkinson married three times. 
First he married Catherine Helen Pickis on 22 July 1854 at Tynemouth, Northumberland, England. Catherine died of dysentery on 10 January 1861 at Camp Hill, Castlemaine, Victoria

James next married widow Harriet Burnside (nee Clark) on 24 August 1864 at St Luke's Church of England, White Hills, Victoria. Harriet died suddenly at Elmore, Victoria on 28 September 1872. According to her death certificate she had two children from her previous marriage to Robert Burnside (who died in 1862), Adam and William Burnside. However, further research reveals she may have also had two daughters, May and Dorothea. If you are related to the Burnside family I would love to hear from you. James Atkinson and Harriet had no children of their own.

James Atkinson's third and final marriage was to Theodosia Matilda Hooley on 7 April 1876 at St Paul's Anglican Cathedral, Bendigo, Victoria. James and Theodosia had one child, Jane Hannah Atkinson, born near Elmore, Victoria on 21 June 1878. 

James Atkinson's second daughter, my Great Great Grandmother, Dorothea, went on to marry my Great Great Grandfather, Peter Fullerton, on 1 July 1876 at St Kilian's Catholic Church, Bendigo. Dorothea's sisters all married and their married names were: Elizabeth Braddy (c1855-1939), Isabella Hammond (1859-1941) and Jane Hannah Trewick (1878-1961).

James Atkinson died on 26 August 1902 at this then home in Honeysuckle Street, Bendigo. His death certificate stated that he was 70 years of age. He was actually at least 71. 
James Atkinson was baptised at Warkworth, Northumberland, England on 21 November 1830, the second son of John Atkinson (an agricultural labourer, born about 1801) and his wife Eleanor (nee Crisp, born about 1806). 
The other children in the Atkinson family were: 
  • John Atkinson. Baptised 5 July 1829, Warkworth, Northumberland. Married Margaret Laidler in 1857 at Carisbrook, Victoria, Australia. Died 18 June 1904 at Kangaroo Flat, Victoria. John and Margaret had at least 11 children.
  • Joshua Atkinson. Baptised 30 December 1832, Warkworth, Northumberland. Married Elizabeth Ann Edwards in 1865 at Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia. Died 27 March 1896 at Guildford, Victoria. Joshua and Elizabeth had at least 5 children. 
  • Elizabeth Atkinson. Baptised 5 October 1834, Warkworth, Northumberland.
  • Isabella Atkinson. Born about 1837. She is listed with the family in the 1841 Census living at Eglingham, Northumberland.
  • Jane Ann Atkinson. Baptised 5 May 1839, Warkworth, Northumberland. Married widower William Gray in 1859 at Alnwick, Northumberland. Died in 1918 at Alnwick, Northumberland. Jane and William had a least 5 children. 
  • Eleanor Atkinson. Born about 1841 at Branton, Northumberland. She is listed with the family in the 1851 Census living at Branton and the 1861 Census living at Alnmouth, Northumberland.
  • Thomas Atkinson. Born about 1844 at Branton, Northumberland. Thomas married Elizabeth (maiden name not yet known) and they had a least 6 children. 
I have not yet found John Atkinson Senior's death date or place. Ellen (Eleanor) is listed as the head of the household in the 1851 Census at  Branton, Northumberland. However, her occupation is listed as 'Ag Lab Wife' and the marriage status column appears to state 'M' for married. This suggests that John was working elsewhere at the time of the 1851 Census. The 1861 Census appears to state Eleanor's marital status as 'W' for 'widow'. So I believe John Atkinson Senior died sometime between 1851 and 1861. 

Eleanor (Ellen) Atkinson (nee Crisp) died a widow at 59 years of age on 24 Feb 1864 at  Alnmouth, Northumberland. When I received Ellen's death certificate in the mail it revealed a very tragic story. The cause of death on the certificate was given as 'drowning herself when labouring under a fit of temporary insanity.' I decided to search the British Newspapers (available through the National Library of Australia's eResources) to see if they revealed anything more about this story. The Newcastle Courant featured the following on Friday 26 February 1864. 
"MELANCHOLY SUICIDE. - On Monday, an inquest was held at the house of Mr William Gowans, Red Lion Inn, Alnmouth, before Mr. J. J. Hardy, coroner,on the body of Ellen Atkinson, widow, aged 59 years, who was found lying on the sand within tidemark at that place, on Sunday morning last. Deceased resided with a son and daughter in Alnmouth; she had also three sons in Australia, and had been much distressed at not having heard from them lately. She had fully expected a letter by a recent mail, and became much distressed in being disappointed in that expectation. On Sunday morning, about five o'clock, she rose, partially dressed herself, and left her house without saying anything to herson or daughter. About an hour afterwards she was found lying with her face on the ground upon the shore, was taken up and carried to the Watch House,where attempts were made to restore her by the use of the warm bath and other means, but all without success, as she never recovered. The jury returned the verdict that deceased had destroyed herself by drowning whilst labouring under a fit of temporary insanity."(The Newcastle Courant, Friday 26 February, 1864.)
This story was particularly distressing for me given the reference to her three sons in Australia (John, James and Joshua) and how she was waiting to hear from them. How often must mothers and fathers have worried about their sons and daughters in the far off colonies? I can imagine it must have been a very common scenario. But how tragic that the story came to this sad ending. Finding this story was also very important for me, as I have personally suffered with depression. It makes me think how different life could have been for Ellen, and for thousands of others, had the help that exists nowadays existed back then. Please, always reach out for help (see Beyond Blue for help).  

A is for... Ahern
Ahern is the maiden surname of my 4 x Great Grandmother, Bridget Colbert (nee Ahern) (c1777-1835). Bridget married Patrick Colbert (c1760-1815) on 22 July 1795 in the Catholic parish of Aghada, County Cork, Ireland. Their known children include William (my 3 x Great Grandfather), Bridget, Catherine, John, Patrick, Ann and Edmond (a surveyor, died 1885, Richmond, Victoria, Australia). 
Patrick senior, Bridget senior and Bridget junior are buried in the Bohillane Churchyard and the monumental inscription is listed on Jean Prendergast's Ballymacoda & Ladysbridge Genealogy & History web page.

A is for... Andrews
Andrews is the maiden surname of my 6 x Great Grandmother, Mary Kersey (nee Andrews) (c1731-1792). 
Mary married John Kersey (1731-1814) on 1 February 1758 at Bucknell, Oxfordshire, England. According to the marriage entry in the Bucknell parish register, Mary came from Marsh Gibbon, Buckinghamshire. Mary and John Kersey had a least 6 children: Richard (1758-1758), Richard (1760-?), Ann (1762-1824, my 5 x Great Grandmother, married James Preston), John (1764-1764), Charlotte (1765-?) and John (1768-1770). 

(Sources available on request). 

A is also for...
Android - which reminds me that I will be putting my Tech Tuesday posts aside for a little while to concentrate on other things.

A is also for...
Ancestry - where I am headed right now to work on reducing the number of items in my 'Shoebox' as part of my Goals for May 2012.


A is also for...
AghadavoyleCounty Armagh. The place of origin of my Breen/O'Brien and Finegan ancestors.

And finally, A is for..

Creative Commons License Australian Genealogy Journeys by Aillin O'Brien is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://ausgenjourneys.blogspot.com.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Social Media - 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Week 20

Week 20: Social Media: Which social media tool do you appreciate the most? Has it increased your circle of friends? How has it benefitted your family tree?

Which social media tool do you appreciate the most?
This is a difficult choice as I use several different forms of social media during a typical week: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Diigo, LibraryThing. However, given that technically Blogger is a social media tool, I will have to say that Blogger is the social media tool that I appreciate the most.

I can create web pages with HTML (haven't done it for a while though!) and I am tempted to investigate the use of WordPress in the future, but Blogger has made publishing on the web so simple and easy. My first attempt at blogging with Blogger was back in November 2009 over at the Australian Genealogy News blog. I started this blog (Australian Genealogy Journeys) in April 2010.

Has it increased your circle of friends?
I would say yes, the genealogy blogging community have been very welcoming and encouraging. I would recommend that, if you are a genealogist and you are considering starting a blog, you should! I know the biggest stumbling block for me was choosing a name for the blog. I have often wished I had been a little more creative with my blog name, but once you have the blog name it stays!

How has it benefitted your family tree?
Blogger has given me a convenient place to share my "ideas, news, discoveries, successes and failures" along my genealogy journey. It has allowed me a place to share my hobby, my interests and my research with other like-minded people.

Personally I also find my Blogger blog is a good motivational tool. When I first started this blog, I found that my genealogy information was fairly disorganised and my Blogger blog gave me a outlet to help overcome my 'information overload' and track my organisational goals.

So far I have not been contacted through this blog by any relatives (I have made contact with most of them through Ancestry Member Connect and Message Boards). However, I have been able to help some other people with their family history queries after they contacted me through this blog.

I also recommend all the above mentioned social media tools (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Diigo, LibraryThing, Ancestry) for genealogy, but Blogger has to be the one I appreciate the most.


52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more. 
Creative Commons License Australian Genealogy Journeys by Aillin O'Brien is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available athttp://ausgenjourneys.blogspot.com.

Merry Month of May Music Meme

Clipart from Open Clip Art Gallery
Here is my contribution to the Merry Month of May Music Meme created by Pauleen (Cassmob) at Family History Across the Seas.

  1. Song(s)/Music from your childhood: I remember singing hymns and Christmas carols during my childhood. There was, ofcourse, also singing at school that I remember. I have fond memories of music from ABC children's TV shows: Play School (e.g. "There's a spot over here and a spot over there...", "I'm a little teapot short and stout...", "I'm a dingle dangle scarecrow with a flippy floppy hat...", "five little ducks went out one day, over the hills and far away...". "living in the country is quiet and peaceful, living in the country is fun...") and Sesame Street e.g. I don't want to live on the moonImagine thatBert's blanketHealthy FoodsKid's Just Love to Brush, Once is not enough  [taught me the value of recycling!]  - just a few I could think of off the top of my head). 
  2. Song(s)/ Musos from your teenage years: Backstreet Boys, 'NSync, B*witched, Westlife, Hanson
  3. First live concert you attended: the Australian duo Savage Garden in 1998, because they had a concert in a nearby regional city and some of my siblings were attending.
  4. Songs your parents sang along to: hymns and Christmas carols, sing-a-longs in the car
  5. Song(s)/Music your grandparents sang/played: not sure, this is something I need to find out.
  6. Did your family have sing-a-longs at home or a neighbours: my family sometimes had sing-a-longs in the car on the way home from visiting grandparents.
  7. Did you have a musical instrument at home: a recorder, and we had a little electric keyboard.
  8. Clipart from Open Clip Art Gallery
  9. What instruments do you play (if any): I had of few piano lessons in high school, other than that I can only play the recorder. 
  10. What instruments do you wish you could play: piano and violin
  11. Do you/did you play in a band or orchestra: no
  12. Do you/did you sing in a choir: no
  13. Music you fell in love to/with or were married to: 
  14. Romantic music memories:
  15. Favourite music genre(s): Instrumental, Catholic and Christian (contemporary, classical and traditional), pop, Irish
  16. Favourite classical music:  "Morning from Peer Gynt", Strauss' ("Beautiful Blue Danube", "Vienna Blood"), some Chopin, Beethoven, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Mozart.
  17. Favourite opera/light opera: don't really like opera
  18. Favourite musical:  The Sound of MusicFiddler on the Roof
  19. Favourite pop: Christian contemporary pop artists, Celine Dion, Jordin Sparks, The Corrs.
  20. Favourite world/ethnic: Enya  (my favourite is Enya's "Watermark") , Secret Garden  (my favourite is Secret Garden's "Heartstrings") , Celtic Woman.
  21. Favourite jazz: I don't really like jazz very much, I have a couple of Louis Armstrong songs on my iPod though.
  22. Favourite country or folk: I like occasional country songs - I have some country songs on my iPod.  
  23. Favourite movie/show musical: The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof and I like the music from Disney films too.
  24. Favourite sounds tracks:  The Sound of MusicFiddler on the Roof, Hello DollyThe Lord of the Rings,  Disney soundtracks, music composed by Hans Zimmer (e.g. Pearl Habor, Gladiator) or John Williams.  My favourite piece of music from a film is Hans Zimmer's "Tennessee" from Pearl Harbor
  25. What music do you like to dance to: Irish dancing music
  26. What dances did you do as a teenager:  Irish dancing
  27. Do you use music for caller ID on your mobile: no
  28. What songs do you use for caller ID: 
  29. What songs do your children like or listen to: my nieces and nephews like The Wiggles.
  30. Favourite live music concerts as an adult: haven't been to a live music concert since 1998 (see question 3)
  31. Silly music memories from your family: making up songs
  32. Silliest song you can think of:  some of the songs from Play School and Sesame Street as mentioned above, I guess, or maybe some of The Wiggles' songs. Not silly stupid, but silly fun!
  33. Pet hate in music/singing: loud 'music' that isn't musical at all
  34. A song that captures family history for you: Secret Garden "Searching for the Past", also maybe Enya's "The Sun in the Stream" .
  35. If you could only play 5 albums (assume no iPods or mp3) for the rest of your life, what would they be:  Best of Enya, Audrey Assad "The House You're Building", Matt Maher "Empty and Beautiful", the Sound of Music Soundrack, the Fiddler of the Roof Soundrack.
  36. Favourite artists (go ahead and list as many as you like): Audrey Assad, Matt Maher, Fr. Robert Galea, Rachael Lampa, Britt Nicole, Brooke Fraser, Tenth Avenue North, Amanda Falk, Francesca Battistelli, Meredith Andrews, Nichole Nordeman, Jaci Velasquez, Enya, Secret Garden.  Recently I bought albums by Jamie GraceMandisa and Dara Maclean which I am enjoying. I'm always exploring new and different music on iTunes, especially through the "listeners also bought" feature. 
Creative Commons License Australian Genealogy Journeys by Aillin O'Brien is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://ausgenjourneys.blogspot.com. Clipart from Open Clip Art Gallery.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers Day - The mothers in my family tree


Dedicated to all the mothers in my family tree.
Happy Mothers Day.

Created using Loupe.
Creative Commons License Australian Genealogy Journeys by Aillin O'Brien is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://ausgenjourneys.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tech Tuesday - Pocket (Read it Later) App - Galaxy Nexus Series - Part 5

Screenshot of Pocket icon
on my Galaxy Nexus
home screen
This is Part 5 in my Galaxy Nexus Series of Tech Tuesday blog posts. This Tech Tuesday I am going to look at the Pocket app.


Pocket (formerly Read it Later)
Google Play Store link: 
Pocket (formerly Read it Later) 

What can I do with this app? 
  • Save articles, videos or images for later viewing or reading on your smartphone.
  • Pocket is sort of like Evernote Clearly in that it strips away a lot of the unnecessary clutter on web pages and leaves plain text and the main images within articles, making them clearer and easier to read. 
How will I use this app for genealogy?
  • I have already used this app to save articles, blog posts and YouTube videos which I was interested in viewing but wanted to view at a later time. 
  • I had previously been using Evernote to save articles for later reading but I have found Pocket much easier and clearer for e-reading articles on my Galaxy Nexus. Besides, if I decide later that I want to keep the article in Evernote I can always go back and save it to Evernote. 
Links: "Introducing Pocket" on YouTube
Screen shots: 

You can use Pocket to save content (articles, videos, images) from the web via the 'share' option in a mobile web browser (in my case Chrome for Android Beta) or via a web browser on a desktop or laptop computer. Pocket has a Chrome extension which makes saving content to read or view later extremely easy and simple. 
A nifty feature of the Pocket Chrome extension is that, in addition to a button among the extensions buttons on the top panel in the Chrome browser, and a right click 'save to pocket' feature, you can also enable an option which adds a 'save to pocket' button next to each post in Google Reader. 

Within the Pocket app when you have finished reading/viewing a 'pocketed' item you can click the tick in bottom left hand corner which will archive that item. You can star that item to mark it as a favourite. To make reading easier in different situations, you can select different options for text (size, font, alignment) and background (white text on black, black text on white) and screen brightness. 


Within the Pocket app you can tag items, mark items as read and archive them (you can access archived items by choosing 'Archive' under the 'pocket' menu in the top left and corner), star items as favourites (you can access these by choosing 'Favorites' under the 'pocket' menu),  filter results by 'All items', 'Articles', 'Videos' and 'Images', search and filter items by Title and URL, or filter results by tag. 


Next Tech Tuesday I will look at News apps - Google Reader, Google Currents and Listen. 

Creative Commons License Australian Genealogy Journeys by Aillin O'Brien is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://ausgenjourneys.blogspot.com.

Blog Series - 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Week 19

Week 19: Blog SeriesFor which blog series are you most thankful? Who writes the series and how has it helped your genealogy blogging experience? Be sure to include a link to the series so others can join in the fun.


The Blog Series for which I am most thankful is Randy Seaver's Best of the GeneaBlogs which he posts weekly on his GeneaMusings blog.  Each week Randy selects posts from geneabloggers which he believes "advance knowledge about genealogy and family history, address current genealogy issues, provide personal family history, are funny or are poignant." I have discovered many interesting blogs to follow through the links on Randy's Best of the Geneablogs posts. 

I would also like to put in a vote in for the Beyond the Internet series by Pauleen at Family History Across the Seas. In this blog series Pauleen includes very useful information about places to research your genealogy beyond the Internet and great examples from her own family research. 


52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more.
Creative Commons License Australian Genealogy Journeys by Aillin O'Brien is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://ausgenjourneys.blogspot.com.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Genetic genealogy journey - FamilyTreeDNA Y-DNA Test - Part 2

On 23 April I posted Expect the unexpected in which I described my first steps into the world of genetic genealogy. To summarise, my reasons for taking the first steps into genetic genealogy were:

To find out whether my direct paternal line (father's father's father...) descends from the O'Brien clan (Irish Type III, descendants of the Dalcassian sept) or whether they are part of another Irish clan such as the Byrnes.

My direct paternal line originated in the north of Ireland, so I did suspect that perhaps we were not related to the O'Brien's who are mostly associated with County Clare and surrounding counties. My suspicions have been confirmed.

I received an email from FamilyTreeDNA two days ago informing me that my Dad's 37 marker results had been posted to the site. At 37 markers Dad had no exact matches (37/37), no matches with a genetic distance of 1 (36/37) and no matches with a genetic distance 2 (35/37). However, there were two matches with a genetic distance of 3 (34/37) and two matches with a genetic distance of 4 (33/37) (See FamilyTreeDNA: Interpreting Genetic Distance Within Surname Project for more information about genetic distance).

One match with a similar name and place of origin was expected as this match had also appeared at 12 and 25 markers. I have sent an email to that person.

It seems my direct paternal line were neither part of the O'Brien clan nor the Byrne clan. For a while (a day?) I felt a little disappointed with these results as I had hoped to find we belonged to one of the groups within either of these surname projects. However, I have decided this unexpected result is good because now the person who submitted the other test (the one with the similar name and origins) has a match! There is about a 50 per cent chance that my Dad and this other person shared a common ancestor within 9 generations (not less than 6 generations when you take into account the information I already know about the direct paternal line from 'paper trail' research), and about a 90 per cent chance that they shared a common ancestor within 16 generations. These same odds also relate to the other person whom Dad matched 34/37 - that person had a different non-Irish surname (a surname which also occurred within the two 33/37 matches).

I was a little disappointed that there were not more results, but I guess this is because the number of people who have taken the first steps in genetic genealogy is still fairly limited.

The other disappointment was that I somehow felt a little less Irish than I had felt before. However, I realise this is just one branch of my tree. Sixteen generations ago Dad had 65,536 ancestors = 32,768 male ancestors (see the web site Number of Ancestors in a Given Generation and Dick Eastman's Genealogy Newsletter How Many Ancestors Do You Have?). So the most recent common ancestor between Dad and these matches is 90 per cent likely to have been just one of these 32,768 male ancestors. Some of these ancestors would surely have been the same people (see and the Wikipedia article Pedigree Collapse).

So, how useful and informative is a Y-DNA test? It is useful for surname projects and useful for proving a relationship between two individuals along the direct paternal line (I can think of a few other Irish branches of my tree where this would be very useful in proving a connection back in Ireland). However, you need to keep in mind that a Y-DNA test is ofcourse limited as it can only tell you about one branch of your family tree (your father's father's father's father's branch).

Creative Commons License Australian Genealogy Journeys by Aillin O'Brien is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://ausgenjourneys.blogspot.com. Clipart from Open Clip Art Library

Friday, May 4, 2012

Follow Friday - Genies Down Under Podcast

A screenshot from the Genies Down Under Podcast website
This Follow Friday I would like to recommend the monthly Australian genealogy podcast - Genies Down Under. This podcast is created by Maria Northcote of the Wishful Linking Family History Blog and the Genies Down Under Blog.
You can listen to the podcast online at the Genies Down Under web site, or you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or another preferred program. See the Genies Down Under web site for further information. You can also follow Genies Down Under on Twitter @GeniesDownUnder

In the most recent podcast Episode 8 (May 2012) the theme is Blogging stuff for genies: Getting online with your ancestors. You can access the Shownotes, which include links, at the Genies Down Under web site. In this episode Maria gives some great tips on genealogy blogging. I was honoured and surprised to hear my blog mentioned as an example among many other genealogy blogs I follow. Thank you very much Maria. 

Just as a note, yes, the people on my blog banner are ancestors. For anyone who is interested please see my post Who are the people on my blog banner? 

Don't forget to have a look at the Genies Down Under podcast web site and Maria's blogs Wishful Linking Family History Blog and Genies Down Under Blog. Thanks again Maria. 
Creative Commons License Australian Genealogy Journeys by Aillin O'Brien is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://ausgenjourneys.blogspot.com.
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