Genealogical Holiday

You often see posts for people traveling to their family home to do research and see loved ones and family. Visiting the Archives of the state or province where the family lines connected and settled. You even see posts where people follow the (whichever) “Great Wagon Road” their pioneers used to get to the place where lines connected and family settled.

My Genealogical Holiday

I was asked to speak at a family reunion in Cherryville, North Carolina by my Mom’s Neill Family. Not because I am a Neill researcher, but because 3 Neills had done DNA tests and I had results and observations to share.

It was supposed to be one day for a short bit of Genealogy and I was done.

Blaming my Flight

On the flight south a fella politely turned his head from his row mates and and sneezed on me. Within two days (mom said it isn’t possible it was the sneeze) I was laid out with a very nasty bit of nastiness – a cold turned into bronchitis variety of sick. The first two days were spent with family and friends, but on the third day I flat out couldn’t do a thing. All plans canceled – except the presentation.

What to do when your Mom is in charge and you are home Sick?

My mom is in charge of my schedule this trip anyway. One day I knew about in advance. The “Going Through Doodle’s Photographs Day” (Doodle = my grandmother who passed in 2005 on the brink of a century). I had gone through them with her many years ago and had asked her to go through them and mark who the people were so when we went through them later we would know. She did. She reorganized them into their own envelopes with each person in the photo noted on the back. Wow and thank you Doodle.

Who needs a Brick and Mortar Archive?

We also went through her keepsakes: letters from her grandkids, EVERY single newspaper article about us and Dad and Mother and Mom. An old Scrapbook about…we couldn’t really figure it out…clippings from the Laurens Advertiser on keeping house and home. Bible verses and stories. Her children’s storybooks (so delicate we barley touched them). My dad’s early artwork. It was, for me a wonderful day of sitting with my parents, with my dad, and reintroducing Doodle and my dad to me through Doodle’s archive.

The Presentation

Bolstered with piles of pills, cough syrup and herbal remedies we set out for the drive up I-85 into North Carolina for the reunion and the presentation. Nothing better than a potluck in the Carolinas – Friend Okra, Mac and Cheese, Home cured Ham Biscuits, Squash Casserole, Green Beans cooked southern style and Banana Pudding. The tastes of my childhood.  The Presentation went very well, made more so by one of the organizers who took all the kids into the church kitchen for Ice Cream while I spoke (Thanks Sam). There were great questions afterwards and a couple of people asked me if I might help them with brick walls. I was able to spend time with the DNA testers as well, to thank them for testing and to give them specific information about their results. One set of results were a bit hard to deliver as they introduced one fella to his real last name according to the DNA. He didn’t tell me, but he told my mom I had it wrong. That’s ok. It’s DNA and unless he got a friend to do the swab?

More HomeSpun Archives

The plan was that I was going to spend the night at my Aunt Chris’s and meet with the testers so there would be time to discuss things. But with me so very under the weather I didn’t stay. Chris had a bag of stuff for me to take back to South Carolina. The First Volume of the Shoe Cobbler’s Kin, By Lorena Shell Eaker. Family Memories and Stories, a collections of emails and essays about the family including recipes. The last one is an incredible collection of Family notes for each of James Andrew and Mary Jane Eaker Neils descendants which was aptly entitled, Genealogy. This collection of Binders and book were too heavy for me to carry. Now I have two days to try and absorb them. Wow.

Downtime and Chief Inspector Gamache

Since I am sick I asked my mom to make me some soup. In my mind I was thinking of her old cure, Campbells Tomato Soup. Instead I arrived at the kitchen table to Lobster Bisque. YUM. When I curl up with a blanket (which means I can’t work – incapable of holding a laptop and curling up in a blanket at the same time) I pull out my current Louise Penny book and read. Being able to escape to Quebec with Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of Sûreté du Québec while I am sick in South Carolina is more than wonderful.

The delivered archives are calling to me here, wrapped in the blanket, medicines and herbal cures to my left and my Mom and Dad working around the house, around me (Mom is cooking dinner for My Aunt, my Brother, my Niece, my cousin and his family tonight – I hope I can smell the lemon zest I hear her working on in the kitchen).

 

WikiTree Challenges

WikiTree has SO much going on, all the time that It’s almost impossible not to get involved as a volunteer in something. When you do volunteer you can do it in the most selfish way. Working on your own limbs to the great big ole shared tree that is WikiTree. But, when you get to a point where you need to clear your pallatte, so to speak, try dropping into one of WikiTree’s Weekly, Monthly or yearly challenges. The Challenge that caught my eye today is the WikiTree Surname Spotlights. Here is WikiTree Team Member Abby Glann’s Post from G2G about this challenge:

Surname Spotlights Challenge

We’ve got a new challenge in town, focused on surname collaboration: Surname Spotlights. 

So much of what we do as genealogists and family historians centers on surnames. We have so many tools on WikiTree to make working on specific surnames easy and kind of fun. We want to encourage it! 

Most of our surname activity is centered on our One Name Studies, which run the gamut from official studies associated with the One Name Study Guild to amateur approaches just look to connect with others who share an interest in certain surnames.

Focus

Our Surname Spotlights will focus on 4 surnames each month. You pick one surname to work on during that month. Any contributions you do for the Spotlight counts toward other challenges, like the Connectors, Errors, BioBuilders, or Sourcerers Challenges, as they apply to each of those (for a full ist of WikiTree Challenges please see the Challenges Page). 

You do not have to have any of these surnames in your family to join in. It’s just a fun way to work together with shared goals and improve the tree as well as try to gather together folks with shared interests in certain names. 

The names for August are Acheson, Downing, Callis, and Smith. A couple of these are just getting started and would love some attention to the free-space page to add information. Others are well established so working on specific profiles would make sense. All of them would love your attention! 

If you’d like to head up the volunteers working on a specific surname, post an answer below. Then all others working on the same name, comment on that answer to chat about what you’re working on.

See the Surname Spotlights page for more detailed information on how to join in. 

Thanks for making WikiTree a great place to collaborate!

So for all you One Name Study Junkies (I know quite a few) try jumping into this challenge! Smith? Really? Who puts Smith into a single challenge date. This surname should be a weekly One Name Study Challenge.

Serendipitous Synchronicity – Michael Stills

Serendipitous Synchronicity. Well Serendipity is something I beleive in. When I saw the Title of Michaels post to the WikiTree Members Group Facebook page, I had to share it with y’all, so here it is:

Shaking Brick Walls

SO in the month of my 54th birthday, DNA has decided to shake my biggest brick walls. But only to tease me.

Watt? What?

My Mom, also born this month, has the surname of Culp, but my 2nd Great Grandfather in her line got his surname from his mother Nancy Jane Culp. We do not know his father. But tantalizing info suggests a James Watt. This month I found a DNA connection that has one of my two suspected James Watt in her tree and this Watt family intertangles with the Culp family. But Also, DNA withholds a confirming connection, 3rd Cousin, one removed.

Ricker, Make it so…

My Dad, during the month of Father’s day, is not a true Stills. My 2nd Great Grandfather, in his direct line, was raised by William Henry Stills and Nancy Jane Tarlton. Y-DNA testing with a Stills cousin, confirms that my Dad is not a Stills, which we knew. My grandmother says that my 2GG Smith A Stills parents were killed in a wagon accident but did not say who his parents were. Lots of circumstantial evidence suggests he is a Ricker. While I am still searching for a Ricker to test with, auDNA says that my tested Stills cousin is a Second cousin, and that Nancy Tarlton is possibly the mother, but alas DNA once again with holds confirmation as there are just too many Ricker, Lamb, Stills, Tarlton intermingling’s and dalliances that need sorting.

Should I sort this all out, I will have changed the surname of both my parents and found my remaining 2nd Great Grandparents.

Identity Crisis or not?

So, am I Michael Ricker son of Maynard Ricker and Martha Watt?

Good Bye June 2017, you raised my hopes with DNA and excited my heart only to leave me yearning for better chromosomes.

Michael Lee Stills (Ricker)

It’s always incredible to me to see someone, anyone, making great strides in their Genealogy. Genealogy is now a dynamic, sometimes fast moving enterprise. Certainly not the Genealogy Hobby of our Grandparents.

Use Triangulation Michael you don’t HAVE to have that third cousin connections to confirm this.

Thanks Michael!

 

OGS Conference 2017 – My Experience

The OGS (Ontario Genealogical Society) Conference 2017 happened over this last weekend here in Ottawa. I can’t tell you how nice it was to have the conference in my home city (not my hometown, there’s a difference). Of course there is a story to tell…

Social Media Team, #OGSConf2017

It all started a couple, three, four…it all started when I volunteered for the OGS Conference 2017 Social Media Team. I know some of you might be absolutely tired of me adding #OGSConf2017 to all my tweets and posts but I felt I needed to get the hastag out there in general. So, long before the thing actually started I was tweetin’ away (excuse me).

Once things started rollin’ and attendees started registering, the social media team were in action. We posted and tweeted every event, standing at the back discreetly taking photo’s and sharing the presentations, workhops and events. From excursions on thursday through to Ancestry Day, we did our appointed tasks quite well! What a great team to work with.
OGS 2017 Social Media Team Logo

CBC Radio One “All In A Day” with Alan Neal 

Thursday Night I tweeded a picture of Krsty Gray (@TheKirstyGray) having a pre-intereview interview with the CBC. Little did I know Kirsty was on the phone telling them they wanted to interview a local Genealogist, “Talk to Mags Gaulden”. Thank you very much Kirsty!

I did the interview Friday morning and it aired Friday afternoon. Over the weekend, because I was walking around with my Grandma’s Genes Kit on all weekend, I got stopped by more than a few people to say they heard the interview and had a question. Thanks Kirsty.

I had recieved a request for a bid proposal for a project (can’t tell you what yet) earlier in the week, which I had been thinking over. Hadn’t even responded to them. On Tuesday this week – post conference – I got a call from the company asking for the bid. They had heard the interview and they really want me to get the bid notes together for them. Thanks Kirsty (curtsying or is it kirstsying).

Me In My kit

Someone asked if I was going to have a venders table for the Conference. “No, I am a walking billboard”. Basically my kit is a shirt with Grandma’s Genes Logo emblazened upon the pocket, my Bag with a Grandma’s Genes Bumper Sticker across the front, my business cards on a lanyard, a Grandma’s Genes Sticker on my Conference credentials and Grandma’s Genes on every bit of electronics I brought (this is for security as well).

Grandma's Genes Conference Kit

Of Course WikiTree Was At The Conference As Well

WikiTree didn’t have a Venders table either. They had a walking billboard as well. Moi. I bounced around the conference in Orange too.

WikiTree LiveCasts

Saturday we did the WikiTree LiveCast Live From the conference. I had spread the word and posted a Casting Call for the LiveCast and boy did I get responses! Yes, real, live WikiTreer’s here in Ottawa answered the call. Thanks to Blaine Bettinger (my dinner date for Saturday night too), Kirsty Gray, Annette Cormier and Leanne Cooper for sitting in along with Romaine Honey, Librarian with the Ottawa Public Library and Emma McBeth for moderating from the West Coast. Thank you also to all the orange shirted people who randomly appear on camera through-out the LiveCast.

I also presented “DNA and the Global Family Tree” in a fast trax presentation on Sunday which Grandma’s Genes LiveCasted as well.

At one point, I changed my shirt in the elevator (I should have have a telephone booth). Blaine said I should sew the two shirts together. He is awfully clever.

Networking

There was a lot of that giong on as well.

Living DNA and I discussed some of their recent changes which might facilitate some integration with WikiTree. Early days yet, so patience is the key here.

Kirsty Gray and I decided to do a LiveCast about going to conferences, What to take? What to do? How to get into trouble? Stayed tuned for this one for sure!

Blaine Bettinger and I discussed WikiTree’s DNA Project and genetic genealogy and family and food and his books being contraband at the border, what? What is in those books!?!? Just words and hard work!

I got to Volunteer for the Program Committee for next years Ontario Genealogical Society Conference 2018. The real work of the Committee starts the same week I will be traveling to speak at a Family Reunion in North Carolina, he he. 

BlueBerry Pie

Why yes there was blueberry Pie. The Social Media Team plus a few extra’s spent Sunday Dinner together (when a group goes through something together they don’t want to be separated) and were treated to Blueberry pie of course courtesy of Grandma’s Genes. Thanks Bowman’s!

Can’t wait til next year.

Sitting at OGS Conference 2017 Opening Ceremonies

Yes, I am sitting in the audience at the OGS Conference 2017 opening ceremonies blogging while they are reading the opening remarks prior to the opening lecture. My seatmates, the Social Media Team, are tweeting furiously and Kirsty Gray – sitting right next to me is watching the stream live on her laptop!

Oh! The magic that is technology!

None of us would be back here connected, posting, tweeting and generally being good social media team members if not for technology.

This is a great conference already and some of us have been around since Wednesday night. These people had no idea we would stick like glue! But here we are.

Last night’s event was the British pub night. Our team lost the trivia game by one point. ONE point, though we are not competitive. 

The Market Place

There are five Market Halls spread across the campus of Algonquin College and all are open to the public. You can roam around the conference, rub elbows with some of the big wigs, like Josh Taylor, Blaine Bettinger and Kirsty Gray, among others. Rubbing elbows with these people is easy here in Canada because, well it’s Canada, we are too polite to be “in thier space”.

Many lectures and workshops are happening and some of the talks are being live-streamed. I’ve posted a list of the streams here, along with the unoffical WikiTree LiveCast I am doing on Saturday at 3:PM EDT here at the Conference Social Media Hub. Come up to watch and or join in!

I had an interview today with CBC Radio 1’s “All In A Day” host Alan Neal all about Grandma’s Genes and my work with clients here in Ottawa and around the world. The interview was a lot of fun.

So this is day one. We are at the opening ceremonies which will wrap up the festivities for this very busy day. Tomorrow is anothe day and great fun will be had by all. If you can’t be here, find a stream and watch it.

See you at the LiveCast tomorrow.

Live Streaming from the OGSConf2017

We are quickly zooming to the weekend of OGS Conference 2017 and if you can’t make it, there will be a few Live Streams to scratch your itch, quench your genealogy conference thirst! Live Streaming from the OGSConf2017.

What Streams and how do you watch?

Just Click the links…

Stream Number one…Friday June 16th, 2017 – 6:30pm EDT.

Friday night Opening Ceremonies including a talk Destination Canada by Dave Obee. Viewing link The opening Ceremonies begin at 7:00pm EDT.

Stream Number two…Saturday June 17, 2017 – 9:00am EDT.

Saturday morning Plenary including Family Ties: Exploring Genealogy through the Archives of Ontario by Danielle Manning. Viewing Link

(Unofficial) Stream Number 3…LiveCast with Grandma’s Genes, Saturday June 17, 2017 – 3:00pm EDT

Hangout with Mags and others in a LiveCast chat from OGSConf2017. You never know who might pop in. LiveCasts, where genealogist chat. Viewing Link.

Stream Number 4…OGS Annual General Meeting, Saturday June 17, 2017 – 3:30pm EDT

Coverage of the Ontario Genealogical Associations General Meeting. Veiwing Link.

So many things to do, so many places to be…Carry your laptop out to the garden, or to your local coffee shop and enjoy some of the goings on at the conference!

I will see you there or online! Blueberry pie for everyone!

Blaine Bettinger and the Shared cM Project Update

Blaine Bettinger
Blaine Bettinger

From Blaine Bettinger, The Shared cM Project and a shout out for more crowd-souring DNA Statistics – May 26 at 10:20am

You might be familiar with the Shared cM Project, which produced this chart. The Project relies on submissions from genealogists just like you! I will soon be working on an annual update to the Shared cM Project, and I would greatly appreciate tons of new submissions!

I am accepting all submissions, and I am especially looking for relationships more distant than 2C (as well as all half relationships). Because I have limited time, I can ONLY accept submissions through the submission Portal:https://goo.gl/PxATDG.

THANK YOU to everyone! (If you’d like to share this post, copy & paste rather than clicking “share” so it can reach more people).

Blaine

P.S. – I can’t do look-ups, but if you submitted before and now only submit data from testing you’ve done since June 2016, you should be safe.

Sutton Hoo Who?

Sutton Hoo is the site of an East Anglian, AD 600 burial. When discovered this burial revealed large quantities of lavish grave goods belonging to a person of high status. But other than the assumption the person is most likely male, and given the large mustache in the design of the helmet, there is little evidence about who this person really was – no DNA.

East Anglian Chief or King?

Based on the grave goods and the size of the ship, could this burial have been for an East Anglian Chief or King and could someone be related to him?

This question came up in the WikiTree G2G Forum today, Sutton Hoo Connections. The poster ran down a quick pedigree…”descent from King Alfred of England. By a little digging round, I found that he descends from AEthelwulf of Wessex, Ecgbert III of Wessex, his mother, an unnamed Anglian princess and daughter of AEthelbert II of Kent, son of Wihtred of Kent, son of Egbert I of Kent, son of Sexburga of East-Anglia (princess), daughter of Anna, King of East Anglia , who was son of Eni of East Anglia, brother of Redwald, King of East Anglia, who was almost certainly the gentleman buried at Sutton Hoo!!!!!!”

I answered honestly albeit a bit tongue in cheek, “I can supposedly go back to Harold. The fella who lost to William and lay the land open for the Normans. I am waiting for John Smeeckle (one of our great WikiTree Researchers) to find the break in my lines and disprove it.

My suggestion? Get male line descendants to do YDNA tests and try to get information on any DNA work/studies being done on the Pre-Norman Royal Chiefs/Kings. Be a real bummer to do all the DNA testing only to find that the burial belonged to a Woman, a Chieftess or Queen (we can ignore the big mustache on the helmet).”

The Female Break

My suggestion to do male line DNA tests is an honest suggestion. There is, however, a slight problem with the pedigree given, “his mother, an unnamed Anglian princess and daughter of AEthelbert II of Kent…” If there is a female in this line of descent no amount of Y-DNA testing will confirm a connection. If this pedigree is correct we can’t do a Y-DNA line directly back to Redwald.

Are there Anglo Saxon Chief/Chieftess DNA studies going on right now?

Yes. According to Dr Stephan Schiffels, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridgeshire and the Max Plank Institute in Germany, “38% of the ancestors of the English were Anglo-Saxons. This information was derived “By sequencing the DNA from ten skeletons from the late Iron Age and the Anglo-Saxon period, we obtained the first complete ancient genomes from Great Britain…”PhysOrg 

Other information on this:
BBC – English DNA ‘one-third’ Anglo-Saxon

The Charlotte Observer – Sutton Hoo? Home of buried ancient treasure, “

Q. But no DNA?

A. No. That’s a problem at Sutton Hoo.”

There is also a great forum discussion on Eupedia. This discussion breaks out some of the finer points of the DNA (it is a forum, read with a mind to that).

Finding DNA at Sutton Hoo would have been the nail in the …er ship? But no DNA at this time.

Anglo Saxon DNA Study

Of course someone over at FTDNA has an Anglo Saxon DNA Study on the go!

“The project was created to find a common ancestor among  those who have surnames of an Anglo Saxon origin or those who live or have ancestry in the lands once occupied by the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Frisians andFranks.” and “will accept only those people that have tested with a SNP  associated with Germanic origins.”

Interesting.

I still say grab a few of your Male cousins and jump in to the Gene pool on this one.

Lydia Gaulden Shout Out – Come on Social Media, Connect Me!

This is a Lydia Gaulden Shout out. When I discovered Raven Symoné’s mothers surname is Gaulden my curiosity was piqued.

Who is Raven Symoné?

The adorable kid on Cosby, “American actress, singer, songwriter, television personality, and producer”, WikiPedia the former outspoken co-host of the View.

My interest is not so much in Raven, it’s her Gaulden’s I want to know about!

Could we have a Gaulden Cannection?

A part of my Sumter, South Carolina Gaulden Family headed west. Martha Gaulden married Francis Richardson and migrated to Mississippi . They lived in Woodville, MS which is close enough to New Orleans that my ggg Dempsey Gaulden spent time there.

“Dempsey Gaulden was born in Sumter County, South Carolina in about 1767. He may have migrated with his brother William or sister Martha (Patsy) to Mississippi about five years after the revolutionary war.[1]As a young man Dempsey raced horses in New Orleans.

According to Laura Gaulden Bailey he married ‘(wife’s name unknown) and left at least two sons: John Sidney and _________, father of Sam Gaulden of Windsor County, Mississppi. This information is furnished by John Sidney Gaulden.’ If she got this information first hand from John Sidney Gaulden and he was indeed a son of Dempsey this adds two new , and older sons, for Dempsey than I have in any information about him.” WikiTree

Dempsey sows his wild oats and is back in SC in 1830 working on my part of his family with no sign of Sidney, etc.

Raven Symoné has origins in the south, possibly Louisiana, so I hear. Though it doesn’t matter where, since she is a Gaulden, I want to know how, and who and where in the gene pool we connect. I would like to learn about her family lines and hopefully find some common genetic cousins to connect the story.

I am looking for someone, somewhere, somehow to put me in contact with Raven’s momma Lydia Gaulden Pearman, so I can cure my curiosity.

Come On Social Media Connect your Grandma! Let’s go Viral! 

Share, Share, Share, Spread, Spread, Spread. Please and Thank you!

Your Grandma is back after a six week hiatus.

The Tigger Character from the A. A. Milne book, Winnie The Pooh,  is my favorite. Why? Because Tigger will try to do anything, and try hard to do it well, whether or not he can. Well that is me. I will try anything. I will build, or move or create or produce anything I set my mind to. Sometimes this can get me into trouble.

A Tiggering I Went

Back on October 27th, I was moving a large bar (think 70’s retro with red Naugahyde on the out facing side) that the previous owners had left us. I have this 1000 pound megalith in my office. In October I decided to empty the shelves of household storage and start using it for Grandma’s Genes. To do this I needed to turn it around so the shelving was facing the office rather than the wall.

So, using good moving skills I leveraged it around to almost where it needed to be. I couldn’t move it further because I needed to move a piece of furniture out of the way (think painting yourself into a corner). Trapped, I couldn’t get out to move the furniture. Without forethought, I jumped up on the bar, then sat my bum down, scooched off the bar and…

Your Grandma fell straight armed to the floor.

No my hip wasn’t broken!

I did mess-up my shoulder and six weeks ago I had surgery. I can tell you having to type one handed, or via speech to text (think “uh”, “hmm” and “throat clear” and all the corrections for speech to text that would entail) then you might get an inkling of the frustration and annoyance I have been feeling at not being able to write well (thank you to Eowyn Langholf and Julie Ricketts for helping me out a bit with some burning issues that needed to be addressed).

Thursday marks the end of my six week “sling imprisonment”. I won’t be cycling, or doing yard work for six more weeks, if that, but I will be back to typing. Just like I am doing now. Left hand and arm working as usual and the right arm kind of propped up to the keyboard so my hand can type.

Now get baking…Grandma needs some Blueberry Pie! Your grandma is coming back after a six week hiatus – next week.