Saturday, July 28, 2012

Genetic genealogy journey - FamilyTreeDNA Family Finder - Part 3


In Part 1 and Part 2 of my FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA) Family Finder blog posts, I looked at the results for the Population Finder test for myself and my Dad. In this, Part 3, I will explore the other aspect of the Family Finder test, the matches.
I have decided to focus first on Dad's matches and my matches in common with Dad. Including myself, Dad has a total of 140 matches. Including Dad, I have a total of 126 matches. Dad and I share 59 matches in common. Borrowing an idea from Shelley at the Twigs of Yore blog, I have decided to illustrate the current Family Finder matches for Dad and myself with a basic Venn diagram.
FTDNA Family Finder Matches as of 28 July 2012:
Dad and I have 59 matches in common.
I have 66 additional matches from Mum's side of the family.
Dad has 80 additional matches who do not match with me.
(For the purposes of this illustration I have left out our matches to each other, e.g.
if I include Dad my total number of matches is 126 and if I include me Dad has a total of 140 matches)
I recently subscribed to the RootsWeb Autosomal DNA mailing list and have picked up some great ideas for sorting and analysing data related to Family Finder matches. Using some of these ideas, I have downloaded the Chromosome Browser results data files (in .csv format) for Dad's matches. You can only download the data for five matches at a time, so this is little time consuming. After I downloaded the data for all matches, I combined them into one spreadsheet (in my case using Microsoft Excel) which I can sort by match name, chromosome number, matching segment start location and end location, centimorgans (cM), matching Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), and I can add other columns such as a column indicating whether that match also matches me on that same segment.
Using this spreadsheet and the Chromosome Browser on FTDNA's web site, I can already see that several of Dad's matches share segments in common. From email correspondence I have found that some of those matches also share segments in common with each other, indicating that they probably share a common ancestor. I have used different coloured highlights within the spreadsheet to show where several matches appear to overlap on the same segments. As new matches are found I can easily download their data from the Chromosome Browser, add it to this spreadsheet and quickly see where they match in common with Dad's existing matches. Additionally, I am also adding Dad's matches from Gedmatch to this same spreadsheet. Again, I am grateful to several of the subscribers of the Autosomal DNA mailing list for these analysis ideas.
In addition to the spreadsheet, I have also created a Notebook in Microsoft OneNote called 'Genetic Genealogy' with a folder named 'Dad's Matches' to store notes and correspondence relevant to each Family Finder match. I am utilising the tags in OneNote to help keep track of any common factors between the matches. For example, I have created tags for:

  • FTDNA's suggested relationship range '2nd', '3rd', '4th to remote cousin' etc. (It appears, from my Dad's and my results, that the relationship is usually more distant than suggested.)
  • Chromosome number on which each match shares the largest segment with Dad.
  • Surnames in common between my Dad's family tree and the match's family tree.
  • Localities in common between my Dad's family tree and the match's family tree.

So far I have contacted about 17 of Dad's matches and have received replies from many, but not all. Some common factors between matches are already becoming apparent. One match shares an ancestor with a Northern Irish surname in common with an ancestor of my Dad, other matches appear to share localities in common such as Counties Kildare, Westmeath and Galway in Ireland. Interestingly, several of Dad's matches have family trees linking back into early colonial America, suggesting that the ancestor in common with my Dad must have lived in the 1600s (or even earlier?) in England or Ireland. 

In Part 2 of these Family Finder posts I examined the unexpected Middle Eastern component of the Population Finder result for myself and my Dad. After a lot of reading over this past month, I realise this result is quite common among others who have a well documented genealogy trail in the British Isles. I recently read a post at Roberta Estes' blog DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy and was particularly interested in one part the comment that Debbie Kennett left on that post:
"It might perhaps be significant that the people I’m seeing who do have this Middle Eastern percentage often have a large chunk of ancestry from Devon."
That might explain the interesting results for my Dad and me, as we definitely have Devon ancestry. However, a couple of my Dad's more distant (5th to remote cousin range) matches in Family Finder, whom I have not yet contacted, appear (based on submitted GEDCOM files or surname/location lists) to have ancestry which doesn't relate in any way to my Dad's known ancestry (e.g. Jewish, Portuguese, Spanish, Sicilian, German, Swedish etc.) One of FTDNA's FAQs for the Family Finder test asks if such matches may be 'false positives', to which the answer is:
"No, these are not false positives. You share real Identical by Descent (IBD) segments with your match. You may share some autosomal DNA with cousins beyond genealogical times. Your relationship may be as close as 4th cousins. It may also be as remote as 20th cousins. It is not possible to say exactly where the relationship falls. Our Advisory team has labeled these cousins Speculative Relatives."
So I guess I can't discount any family stories of Spanish ancestors yet. It would be great if some of my Dad's close and more distant known cousins would be interested in joining in and taking a Family Finder test (hint, hint, hint) :) Finding which matches Dad's cousins share in common with Dad would help to narrow down which branch of the family tree the matches' common ancestor comes from. Please contact me if you are interested. It would be great to involve other cousins. Thanks. Taking this Family Finder test has, in my opinion, been a very fascinating and worthwhile genealogy journey.
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.au/p/copyright-terms.html. .

Friday, July 20, 2012

K is for Kersey and Kenealy - Family History Through the Alphabet - Week 11

Image from Gould Genealogy & History News
This is my contribution to Week 11 of Gould Genealogy's Family History Through the Alphabet challenge. The letter this time is K.

K is for...Kersey (Casey)
Kersey is the maiden surname of my 5 x Great Grandmother, Ann Preston (nee Kersey) (1762-1824). 
Ann was baptised at Bucknell, Oxfordshire, England in 1762, the daughter of John and Mary (nee Andrews) Kersey (see my previous post A is for...Andrews). John Kersey/Casey (1731-1814) was baptised at Bicester, Oxfordshire, in 1731, the son of John and Ann (nee Simmes) Casey. I am very grateful to my cousin, John, and another Kersey researcher, Hugh, for this information.

K is for...Kenealy 
Kenealy is the maiden surname of my 3 x Great Grandmother, Margaret Colbert (nee Kenealy). Margaret married William Colbert and lived at Ballynamona in the Catholic parish of Cloyne, County Cork, Ireland. William and Margaret had the following known children, baptised in the Cloyne parish: William (1841), Bridget (1844) and Edmond (1850). The baptism sponsors for William in 1841 were Thomas Kenealy and Abbey Kenealy.  One of the baptism sponsors for Bridget in 1844 was Ellen Kenealy, the other was Michael Cashman. Edmond's baptism sponsors were James Mulloney and Ellen Hartnett. Please also see my previous post C is for...Colbert for more information about the Colbert family.

(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.au/p/copyright-terms.html.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

J is for Jones, Joyce and Judd - Family History Through the Alphabet - Week 10

Image from Gould Genealogy & History News
This is my contribution to Week 10 of Gould Genealogy's Family History Through the Alphabet challenge. The letter this time is J.

J is for...Jones
Jones is the surname of my 3 x Great Grandmother, Margaret Jones, the mother of my Great Great Grandfather, Owen Ellis (1830-1907). Owen was baptised at Nefyn, Caernarvonshire, Wales on 19 January 1830, the 'base son' of John Ellis of the parish of Llanystumdwy, labourer, and Margaret Jones of the parish of Pistyll (Please see my previous post E is for Ellis). I have not been able to find any further information about Margaret Jones.

J is for...Joyce
Joyce is the maiden surname of my great grandmother, Margaret O'Brien (nee Joyce) (1869-1925). Margaret was born in 1869 at Napoleons near Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. Margaret was the eldest daughter of Edmund and Mary (nee Mulhall) Joyce, the second of fifteen children in the Joyce family. Edmund and Mary were married in 1867 at Geelong, Victoria. Both died at Rochester, Victoria, Edmund in 1916 and Mary in 1923.

Edmund was born about 1833 at Whitegate, County Galway (now County Clare), Ireland, the son of Edmund and Catherine (nee Guinane) Joyce (see my previous post G is for...Guinane). A history of the Joyce family was published in the 1970s and my family have a copy of that history. Edmund Joyce is also mentioned in my Waitangi Day 2011 post.

The Joyce Family. Edmund Snr (1833-1916) is in the middle row,
third from the left. Mary (nee Mulhall, 
1844-1923) is sitting to the right of Edmund.
J is for...Judd
Judd is the maiden surname of my 4 x Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Randall (nee Judd). Elizabeth married Edward Randall in 1792 in Margaret Roding, Essex, England. I still have a lot of information to verify regarding the Judd family, but it is believed that Elizabeth was baptised at Margaret Roding in 1767, the daughter of William and Margaret (nee Parker?) Judd.

(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.au/p/copyright-terms.html.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I is for Ireland - Family History Through the Alphabet - Week 9

Image from Gould Genealogy & History News
This is my contribution to Week 9 of Gould Genealogy's Family History Through the Alphabet challenge. The letter this time is II don't have any surnames beginning with I in my family tree, so instead of surnames I have decided to focus on a location this week. 


I is for...Ireland
About 60 per cent of my ancestors came to Australia from Ireland. Click the markers in the following map to explore some of the places where my ancestors came from in Ireland.


View Australian Genealogy Journeys: Ancestral Locations in Ireland in a larger map

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.au/p/copyright-terms.html.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Motivation Monday - Goals for July 2012

My goals for June 2012 were:
  1.  Continue reading Photoshop Elements 10 All-in-One For Dummies. At the moment I am up to page 388, I will aim to read up to at least page 430 by the end of June. Achieved. I have read up to page 506.
  2.  Continue re-reading Trace Your Roots with DNA: Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree by Megan Smolenyak and Ann Turner. I am currently up to page 88. During June I aim to complete reading this book. Achieved. 
  3.  Continue working on my new Legacy file, working backwards methodically, recording all sources, attaching relevant source documents and attaching photographs. During June, I aim to do this for my immediate family and grandparents. Achieved.
  4.  Move a few more photographs from my 'To Sort' folder into folders for the relevant year and month. At the time of posting my 'To Sort' photographs folder contains 4,232 Files, 231 Folders, 10.8 GB of data. My 'Scans To Sort' folder currently contains 16,412 Files, 435 Folders, 53.3 GB of data. During June I aim to reduce the number of files in my 'To Sort' photographs folder to at least 4,000. Achieved. My photos 'To Sort' folder now contains 3,396 Files, 188 Folders, 8.0 GB of data.
  5.  Participate in blogging prompts when able (Family History Through the Alphabet52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy21st Century Organized Family Historian and Beyond the Internet). Achieved. During June I took part in the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge for the letters C, D, E, F, G and H.  
My goals for July 2012 are:

  1. Continue exploring my recent test results from FamilyTreeDNA and write another Genetic Genealogy blog post.
  2. Begin implementing the Digital Organisational Scheme I developed back in January as part of Michelle Goodrum's 21st Century Organized Family Historian challenges. During July I will aim to start implementing my scheme for naming formats and metadata/tags, beginning with my Genealogy>Hehir folder. 
  3. Continue working on my new Legacy file, working backwards methodically, recording all sources, attaching relevant source documents and attaching photographs. During July, I aim to do this for my Hehir family. 
  4. Move a few more photographs from my 'To Sort' folder into folders for the relevant year and month. At the time of posting my 'To Sort' photographs folder contains 3,396 Files, 188 Folders, 8.0 GB of data. During July I aim to reduce the number of files in my 'To Sort' photographs folder to at least 2,500. 
  5. Continue reading Photoshop Elements 10 All-in-One For Dummies. At the moment I am up to page 506, I will aim to read up to at least page 622 (finish) by the end of July. 
  6. Participate in blogging prompts when able (Family History Through the Alphabet, 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy, 21st Century Organized Family Historian and Beyond the Internet)

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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