Do you have any ancestors that seemed to just fall off the face of the earth after a certain point in time?
A while back, I worked on a case for a client that had hit a brick wall 23 years ago, and had not been able to break through it. She never knew what had happened to her great grandfather, as did his own daughter, her grandmother.
She gave me an excessive amount of information, and had also invited me to her family tree. I explained to her that I NEVER use anyone else’s research, and build my own tree with just the name, age, and known areas for the closest known direct relative to that ancestor. I will look at personal documents, if I need them, after I get to that point and find that it matches my research. My client also let me collaborate on her DNA, which was invaluable.
I built my FRESH tree for the line with the brick wall, and had gotten to the point where she had hit her brick wall. Her great grandfather was nowhere to be found after he had divorced his wife, her great grandmother, in 1893. I had found a person that I suspected was a match; although, he had a different middle initial and last name, his birthdate, place of birth, and occupation matched. This person had seemed to not exist before 1896, and was in a totally different area with an entirely different family, but was strongly suspected as being the same person.
My next step was to build a separate tree for the strongly suspected match. I then grouped her DNA matches, and gathered as many known matches to the person being sought, and the strongly suspected match; the descendants of each matched perfectly in a DNA mapped tree, according to their centimorgans and place in the new, combined tree. Her great grandfather and the strongly suspected match were one in the same.
Her great grandfather had changed his name, moved to a totally different area, and had a whole new family. It is unknown why he left one family behind, and “hid” his past from his new family, but my client had some suspicions as to why.
Through this case, not only was I able to help my client solve her 23 year mystery, but I was also able to help some descendants of the second family of her great grandfather, who had also hit a brick wall, that of his life before 1896. Have you ever thought about a name change when you’ve hit a brick wall? It’s more common than you think. 😉
Are you doing any Irish genealogy research and looking for some useful sites to help you in that research?
There are many wonderful Irish genealogy websites out there to use for your Irish genealogy research. I came across quite a few that were very useful, while working with a particular client whose great grandparents came from Ireland.
The website that I seemed to use the most while working on his case, was IrishGenealogy.ie. This was a fantastic website to get civil records and church records from. I was able to find many of the civil registration birth records that I needed, along with marriages and deaths.
Another fantastic site I used for the case was SWilson.info, where I was able to find registration district maps that I could use to help me look up which registration districts to search for civil records in. This site was also a fantastic tool to use in looking up Catholic and civil parishes.
Registers.nli.ie, was also a great site that I used for Catholic Parish registers.
JohnGrenham.com was very useful in looking up Roman Catholic records in the particular area that I was searching in, but they also offer a lot more to help with your research.
Another great website to use for Irish genealogy is the Irishgenealogytoolkit.com; I used this site for Irish civil registration districts, but they have a plethora of information for Irish genealogy research.
RootsIreland.ie. was also quite useful; I used this site for a list of common first name variations that you would find in records, but this site also has abundant records and research tips.
If you have any ancestors in Limerick, I came across a useful website, LimerickDiocese.org; this had the history of local churches, graveyards and more.
Family search also has an abundant list of Irish genealogy resource tools in their Wiki, and of course Family Search, Ancestry.com, MyHeritage, and the National Archives are great to use in your research.
Publishing Your Family History
Genealogy Jamboree 2021 | Publishing Your Family History | Diane Henriks
Have you thought about sharing your family history with others to preserve for future generations? Come learn about publishing your family history at this year's Genealogy Jamboree!
Jamboree is the largest "single society" conference in the U.S., and draws family historians and professional genealogists from all over the world!
Register for the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree 2021, and come hear "Publishing Your Family History"!
The 51st Jamboree conference will be held on Friday and Saturday, June 11-12, 2021, and the 8th Genetic Genealogy conference will be held on Friday and Saturday June 4-5, 2021. Usually held yearly at the Burbank Marriott in Burbank, CA, this year's conferences will be held virtually. The following presentation, "Publishing Your Family History" will be available in the recorded library starting Saturday June 12th. There will be so many wonderful speakers from all over, including
Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com, FamilySearch.org, FamilyTreeDNA.com,
FindaGrave.com, National Geographic Genographic Project, and many more!
View the Schedule for Genetic Genealogy and Genealogy Jamboree here to see all the amazing presentations being offered this year!: Jamboree 2021 Schedule
As of today, MyHeritage has just doled out 10 new SPECIAL ANIMATIONS for their #DeepNostalgia, #MyHeritagePhotoTools!
I tried a slew of them, but many didn't work well; the ones that worked the best are KISS, DANCE (the first of the two), and COMPASSION.
Below is an amimated photo of my great grandmother, who immigrated from Mexico in 1916, blowing a KISS. Her husband, my great grandfather from Germany, who was a stern man, was perfectly animated in the APPROVAL animation tool. Those two animations came from their wedding photo. My second great grandfather, was the only photo that had worked in the SMILE animation tool. His father, my third great grandfather, was one of just a few that worked out well in the SIDEWAYS animation tool. Those two animations came from a huge family group photo, ca.1900, which shows how well they can easily pull people out of group photos to enhance and animate; those two photos were also colorized in MyHeritage. The last two animations are of my great grandmother from Mexico, again, in her older years; in one she is blowing a KISS, and the other is shown with the COMPASSION animation tool.
They announced, in their blog today, that they are still letting people animate a few photos for free, but that these new SPECIAL ANIMATIONS are for members only.
So go and check out MyHeritage, and animate a few photos for yourself!
The winners of the MyHeritage #DeepNostalgiaChallenge has just been announced, and Know Who Wears the Genes in Your Family was one of the 5 winners to a MyHeritage Complete Plan!
With a MyHeritage Complete Plan, you can have access to ALL of MyHeritage's awesome photo tools (including animating as many photos as you'd like!), unlimited tree size, access to ALL advanced MyHeritage DNA features (which are awesome and plentiful!), access to ALL of their records, and so much more!
Check out some of their fave entries, and the 5 winners here!: MyHeritage Blog
Have you thought about purchasing a MyHeritage Complete Plan, with so many wonderful things that can be accessed?!
No, you and your siblings do not necessarily have the same ancestry results in your DNA. DNA ancestry can be quite different than cultural ancestry. Think of it like a bunch of colored marbles in a jar, and that each color represents a particular ancestry.
Pretend that you have a jar of colored marbles, and that you cover your eyes, reach in, and pull out a handful; then your sibling does the same. Do you think that you and your sibling will pull out the same combinations? The answer is most probably not. It is the same thing with your ancestral DNA.
Yes, you will each get 50% of your DNA from your mother, and 50% of your DNA from your father, but that DNA isn’t passed down in a single block; not every child gets the same 50% from their mother or the same 50% from their father, just like in the little jar of marbles experiment above. Each child will get a random mixture of that 50% DNA (a particular colored marble) from each parent.
If your parents each have 100% of a particular ancestry, (this is not the usual case nowadays), but each has a different ancestry than the other, you and your sibling should each get 50% of each. It’s when your parents have a mixture of ancestry, (usually the case) that you and your siblings will have different ancestral DNA results from one another. Since most people are made up of many ethnicities, the mixture in the marble jar will be more varied, thus each handful pulled out has a higher chance of being different from the previous handful.
EVERYTHING is a Clue in Genealogy!
Did you know that you can build a family tree with just clues? Make sure you write down EVERY single bit of information you find, read or hear! I was able to build a tree for my mom's biological father, whom she never knew, with just a name, and a few short remarks she had heard here and there, from her mother, throughout her younger years. These remarks were not necessarily about him, but were definitely clues in me being able to locate him, and build his tree. I also had a very difficult time finding any records for my father's maternal grandparents, because the information his grandmother gave was false. Because my uncle had interviewed her when he was young, and made a family tree based off of her interviews, I was able to use all of the first names only to find both her lines and build a tree. I have also tracked down several clients' missing ancestors or living relatives just by following EVERY single clue. EVERYTHING is a clue! All stories may not be true, especially if there are family secrets, but there are always snippets of truth in each story. EVERY single bit of detail holds clues. Listen carefully to the stories, especially the small details in the stories you hear. Look at EVERY single detail in a record; sometimes the small details are often overlooked and can be a clue for something else. Sometimes if you can't find someone, it may be possible that there are family secrets, that someone changed their name, that someone falsified documents for an unknown reason, and a number of other circumstances. So if you're having a hard time finding someone, or details about their lives, follow the clues!
The case studies to the above will be talked about in more detail in future blogs, so stay tuned!
Hi, I'm Diane Henriks, a Professional Genealogist and investigator who...
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