Sunday, January 7, 2018

Find My Past

I have been a user/subscriber of Find My Past since 2009 and continue to really like this site. I subscribe because it is just easier to always have it at my fingertips whenever I am doing a standard search for anything (in my case all my ancestry is from England thus far on paper). Now that all the big search companies have taken on DNA projects I wonder if Find My Past will make that leap as well. It would be interesting to see Living DNA work with Find My Past I must admit and just wanted to throw that thought into the wind.

I have two sets of results at Living DNA - one for myself and one for one of my brothers (he kindly volunteered to do that as he has with all the other testing that I have done - AncestryDNA, FT DNA, My Heritage, 23 and Me, Britains DNA (no longer operating and they bought Ethnoancestry which I had also tested my brother at years ago; I also did a complete workup at BritainsDNA for him),   National Genographic Project and Sorenson. He and I have done a lot of testing through the years since we first got into DNA testing in 2005. I await one set of results I have waited for for a long time - Big Y. I always meant to just buy it but then something else would come up for testing and I just didn't do it but now I await those results. We already know from all of these testing companies that our yDNA is quite ancient to the British Isles. This will simply give me more detail in that regard than I have from National Genographic Project and Britains DNA.

The results at Ancestry from autosomal DNA testing have been really useful (especially in my husband's case but gradually as more and more English people test I am getting close matches). I have subscribed to Ancestry since 2004 and find it to be a very valuable service as well although generally more so in my husband's research but they do have some databases not on Find My Past.

My Heritage is also a very interesting service and the addition of DNA testing there may prove to be very handy as well. I think the option of just having it along with matching is a great service. I have been a subscriber to My Heritage since 2013 when we went to Who Do You Think You Are 2013 Live in London, UK. My husband has found a number of useful searches there with his European ancestry - namely Germany, France, The Netherlands and Denmark.

I used to buy fiche from the various Record Offices in England and then read them in a microfiche reader but I must admit it is a lot nicer to have these services create their large databases of all this material with a link to the original page. At 72 it saves me a lot of time and saves my eyes for other close detail work. 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Matches with mitochondrial DNA

I just had an email requesting that I forward information on individuals who had tested within a subclade of H11 which I had created. My only response to this ever is to contact the individuals who match you at FT DNA (or elsewhere but my H11 haplogroup project is at FT DNA). All of the matches that are within a reasonable closeness to you shown in the project will be listed by FT DNA.

There are 269 members in the project and almost every subclade mentioned in the phylotree (2016 update) is included in the project.  In general the rules for administering a project are pretty straight forward. We must protect every member's privacy and I do attempt to ensure that I do do that.

Mitochondrial DNA can be a very helpful tool to some (for instance my mutations bring me to Argyllshire/Ayrshire Scotland or Ireland - thus far no exceptions in my many matches included in the project. That can be very helpful to some. However, it does not tell me the name of that distant ancestor. I am still stuck in Birmingham in the mid 1800s. I do have a possibility. That possibility in several generations does not lead me to Scotland or Ireland. Family Lore helps a little but nothing substantial from that either. My matches and my Living DNA results do point to my having a Irish/Scot connection but I do have 2 3x great grandparents with a Scot surname although rather distant back. I have no perfect matches other than my siblings and ten one step away. Also having this lovely person with the surname of Taylor adds to that challenge.

My husband on the other hand has over a dozen perfect matches to his mtDNA. The only item he has learned from all of that is a match with someone in England whose line has been in England back to the 1700s at least is a perfect match. Looking at this individual there is a possibility that her ancient ancestor was from Denmark/The Netherlands. He can trace his line back to 1654 when Margaret was baptized in Newport Rhode Island but no further for sure. No one else in that particular maternal line has tested that can trace back to Margaret Carr or her sisters.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

52 Ancestor Challenge

Would dearly like to do another 52 Ancestor Challenge but it will not happen this year. I shall aim towards doing that 52 Ancestor Challenge beginning in 2019. It will look at the 4x great grandparents of our son in law. All 64 of these 4x great grandparents are known so I shall combine a few of them. Amazingly he never has a duplicate set until one gets back further in time. When I first started this project I had the impression that many many descendants of these early French Canadian settlers had many lines in common. Indeed they do but their families were so very large that often enough in the case of our son in law he is descended from a number of children of the same couple way back in the 1600s and 1700s. The story of the French Canadians is a very important one in Canadian history and it is good that so many are involved in putting together these descendants of that early group. The priests were so very helpful as well carefully recording the birth parishes in France for the many couples who married in Quebec City in the 1600s and they continued with that careful reporting up to the present. Such a wonderful set of historical documents on the early history of Canada.

With three grandparents born in England and the fourth although born in Canada descendant of individuals also born in England, my footprint on this side of this ocean is incredibly small as just my mother, her father and his mother were born in Canada; all the rest were born in England as far back as I have been privileged to trace their lines.

My husband, on the other hand, has a much deeper footprint with his own lines being part of the very early migrations to the New England Colonies/New Holland Colonies dating back to the 1620s.

As I think about all of this history at my fingertips, I must admit some regret at not taking up the mantle of genealogical research much earlier. My husband (his forays in genealogy go back 50 years looking at his Kipp family in particular) started to attend the Ontario Genealogical Society Meetings, Ottawa Branch, in the early 1980s but I simply did not want to get involved in research. My mother was busy going to the Family History Library and collecting information on her family lines which she mentioned in her letters to me so the need to do so never really occurred to me. My mother was still alive when I first went to England in 2001 and I mentioned to her the feeling of being at home in London. At that time, she did mention that she thought the father of her grandfather Buller was from London. My mother passed away several months after that. It took several more years for me to put together my thoughts on that trip to England (I was still working fulltime and that pretty much along with my husband and children occupied my life at the time) and the idea of doing research. It was my cousin George DeKay though who really accelerated the idea of doing genealogy. He wanted a bio for my Pincombe family (my mother was a Pincombe) as an early settler in Westminster Township in 2003 for publication in 2005 (gave me two years to do it!). He was editing the history book for this Township and told me that he had 40 bios to write and I needed to do this one for him. If I did not do it then my cousin would and that cousin believed that my grandfather had a grocery store on Wharncliffe Road. Well that pretty much did it; that Pincombe was my uncle not my grandfather who was a farmer and I did want the history to be right!

Now as I ponder paths backwards in time, the idea that it had to be right bringing me into genealogy, I have to chuckle. I try to have it right; I love it when autosomal DNA matches shows me that indeed I am on the right path but getting it right is not as easy as I may have thought at that time. You can get the early generations pretty well right on but further back even the most exhaustive searches can, on occasion, miss interesting details that would have taken you another path. DNA helps so much with all of that. It would be wondrous if everyone would take their results into Gedmatch I must admit.

Pageviews at 411057 with 78 followers

Little did I imagine when I started this blog in November 2008 that I would have 78 followers and pageviews numbering in the hundreds of thousands currently at 411,057. Although some of these must be created by google and bing, the audience is from all over the world.

United States     158,650
Germany              65,740
Russia                  42,350
United Kingdom  29,793
Canada                 24,395
France                  16,098
China                     9,812
Australia                7,480
Ukraine                  6,689
Sweden                   2,145

That is looking at the pageviews since the beginning of the blog. However in any particular time period I also have reports of viewing for Norway, Finland, Spain, Poland, Chile, Columbia, and others which do not show up at the moment checking across the time period for views.

Not surprising to find United States looking at my Blake posts and probably 50% are Blake and that includes the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.

Germany is perhaps my posts on my husband's German families - not a lot but there are some. Also within the Blake surname study there are several Blake lines that trace back to Germany.

Russia is likely because of my blogs on H11 which is found to a large extent in Russia particularly in the Ossettia area. I have had a number of emails from members of our study group who live in Russia. My H11a2a1 likely traveled from the Ukraina Ice Refuge 15,000 years ago across Doggerland to Scotland where the mutations common to me are found still today in Argyllshire and Ayrshire as well as County Antrim, Ireland. But we all belong to that same subclade H11 although with different mutations thus separating us into the many subclades of H11.

Sweden and the Ukraine also have a goodly percentage of people with H11 mitochondrial DNA and hence I suspect also are looking at those posts as a number of the people in our study group for H11 still live in Sweden and the Ukraine.

France likely stems from all the posts that I have done in the past on the French Canadian research that I have done on our son in law's families. His many lines stretch far back into early colonial New France particularly in the Quebec City area and Montreal.

China I am not sure but perhaps it is Blake researchers living in Hong Kong. No ideas really on that.

My last post looking at the number of pageviews was at 100,000 page views 26th February 2014. It took six years to reach 100,000 and only another four years to be at 411,057.

I hope to return to my will transcription in the near future but in the meantime I am tying up loose ends from last year. Somehow doing Conference 2017 occupied a great deal of my time and many many projects were begun and set aside. Because I had to do a lot of backtracking to pick up those threads I started new projects when time was available and now I am in the process of picking up those varied projects and completing them.

Some of them involve emailing back and forth to people whose DNA matched mine and as the search became more detailed I ran out of time to continue that remarkable research. Now I want to do so and see where it takes me. I have one real mystery in my family lines.

That of my great grandmother Ellen Taylor. Ellen only lived 37 years on this earth but she was greatly loved by her children and in particular my maternal grandmother. My grandmother was eleven when her mother died from pneumonia in Aston, Birmingham, England. Her youngest child was just one year of age when she died in 1897. Even all those years later when I was in my teens it still horrified my grandmother to think that her mother died so young at 37 years of age. By then my grandmother was in her mid 70s just a little older than I am now. She was very healthy at that time although beginning to show the signs of age. I can remember her when she was in her early 60s and taught me to double jump with a skipping rope. But age catches up to us and she gradually aged before my eyes. I was so lucky to see her every week of my life until her death (and oftener especially in the summer when I would bike over to visit with her most days). My grandmother talked a lot about her mother I always thought but now as I reach back into her past I realize she talked about her as a person and not as a member of any family group. My questions about her parents were skillfully put aside in favour of details about her mother as the person that she loved. Towards my late teens (my grandmother died when I was 21) she gradually let slip into conversation details about her mother. I suspect this was accidental because questioning did not bring more details but rather an interesting story about her mother and her handiwork. I did learn that her mother had had an illegitimate child seven years before my grandmother was born (my grandmother was the eldest of seven children). I did find Florence Elizabeth Taylor and Ellen Taylor on the 1881 census but linking her with her family was a challenge that continues to this day. I think I have found her with her family on the census in 1861 and 1871 but not being able to find the marriage registration for my Edwin Denner Buller and Ellen Taylor has meant not knowing for sure the name of her father and with a name like Taylor that really is a must have. So any possible links to my great grandmother are carefully traced to see if they will yield that answer.

Phasing my grandparents continues to be high on my list and hence DNA remains one of my most important tools in my genealogy toolkit. It is funny to hear me talk about genealogy even after fifteen years of being involved. I really stayed away from genealogy for a very very long time. I enjoyed hearing stories from my grandparents about my relatives in far away England as a child. But it didn't motivate me to really look at those relatives and the ancestors that we shared in common. A trip to England in 2001 had more to do with my becoming interested in genealogy. As we checked into our hotel near Covent Garden in London I had this incredible feeling of belonging. It stayed with me the entire time as we walked the streets in that area. Little did I know in November 2001 that my 2x great grandfather Henry Christopher Buller had had a pork butcher shop just around the corner from our hotel in the 1830s and 1840s. That feeling of belonging made me aware that I really did not know a lot about my families all of whom, still to my knowledge, were born in England way back into time.

I have diverged from the original post which I do do often enough that is for sure. Back to work!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Blake Newsletter - Volume 7, Issue 1, 2018

Blake Newsletter
Table of Contents
1.   Blake Pedigree Chart – Blake Museum at Bridgwater, Somerset
2.   Blake Surname Study - Progress
3.   Blake autosomal DNA Study at FT DNA
4.   Andover, Hampshire, England Parish Registers
5.   yDNA study FT DNA
6.   The Future

1.   Blake Pedigree Chart – Blake Museum at Bridgwater, Somerset. This is a recent addition to their website:

The Blake Museum has given me permission to put these charts in the newsletter so I will continue with looking at them individually. Part 1 was shown in Volume 6, Issue 4, 2017 of the Blake Newsletter. This Issue will have the image named as Part 2.

*Used with permission
Part 2 of the chart looks at the Blake family at Andover in the top left quadrant. As mentioned in the last issue of the newsletter the broken line joining this Blake family to the Blake family at Calne includes a cautionary note that this particular line of relation has not been fully established. I do not believe that these two Blake families are related on the male line. The Chart displayed coincides with Horatio Gates Somerby chart on this family and is not supported by the wills left by members of this family. His work on the Blake family has been discredited by myself and others. The addition of the Farewell family to this particular chart is quite interesting and may help researchers if they are able to substantiate the records displayed. The Blake records found in the lower section of this Chart will be discussed later but they are descendants of the Somerset Blake family. Perhaps over time descendants of the Blake family from the Bridgwater, Somerset area will test their yDNA and the very long standing question will be answered as to the relationship between the Blake family at Calne and the Blake family at Bridgwater. In truth, there hasn’t been a tester with a proven paper line back to the Blake family at Calne and that too must be awaited. Thank you to the Museum for permitting the republication of their chart to this Blake Newsletter.

2.   Blake Surname Study – Progress: One Name Blake Study at the Guild of One-name Studies was originally undertaken by another researcher. I took it on as a project in 2011 when my husband was ill and we were spending all of our time at home while he convalesced. Fortunately, following surgery, he was able to again take on commitments that he enjoyed and my time to work on the Blake study diminished. Hopefully, as he steps back from some of his commitments, I will once again be able to become more fully engaged with my study. In that frame of mind, I say once again that I hope to soon return to blogging the Blake wills from the Prerogative Court of Canterbury and other Registry Offices. Unfortunately my time is still limited in my ability to spend as much time on the Blake Study as I would like. Perhaps in another six months time will present itself although I will attempt to get back to transcribing the Blake wills.

3.   Blake autosomal DNA Study at FT DNA
I continue having more matches with the descendants of John Blake and Ann Farmer. In some cases these are large matches and in other cases relatively small but that is the way with the inheritance of autosomal DNA. With each generation chunks of autosomal DNA can either be broken into smaller units or passed as a large chunk relatively intact. It is a purely random event. Due to privacy concerns it is not possible to produce a chart of the members who do have matches with other members of the group but each member is able to check that for themselves in their account. What would be helpful is adding a family tree to your account thus making it much more possible to find matching autosomal DNA cousins in your research.

4.   Andover, Hampshire, England Parish Registers
Andover, Hampshire, England has often been said to be the “home of the Blakes” when I have been writing to people in Hampshire through the years. I would say that Calne, Wiltshire perhaps has a stronger hold on that particular title although there are a number of other areas in England where the Blake family has been for centuries. When I decided to transcribe the Parish Registers of Andover I was surprised to find that yes there are a number of Blake entries but there are far more Blake entries in Parish Registers in other parts of England as mentioned. In this issue, I will publish the burials for Blake in the Parish Registers. These records are taken from fiche which have scans of the original parish registers. The registers for burials begin in 1586 and have provided me with a lot of details on the Blake family in Andover in the late 1500s and into the 1600s/1700s. Eventually I hope to complete my project of transcribing these Parish Registers for St Marys Andover beyond the early to mid 1700s.
I am considering posting the entire set of Andover transcriptions in these newsletters in order to make the information available to other Blake researchers. 

 Surname    Forename    status    Surname    Forename    Surname    Forename    Year    Month    Day    Comment
Blak    William    son    Blak    Mr. Richard        1638    January    26  
Blake    Nycolas                        1586    March    1  
Blake    Elizabeth                        1589    October    2    widow
Blake    Roberd    son    Blake    Roberd            1593    August    4  
Blake    John    son    Blake    John            1596    July    17    of Penton
Blake    Jo….    daughter    Blake    John            1596    September    17  
Blake    Margrat                        1597    August    8  
Blake    _______    son    Blake    Ritchard            1599    March    2  
Blake    John                        1603    April    17  
Blake    Augustine    son    Blake       Joane    1603    March    10    widow
Blake    Robert                        1604    March    15  
Blake    Robert                        1604            died March 10
Blake    Ann    wife    Blake    Edward            1605    July    3    of Charleton
Blake    Thomas                        1608    June    11    of Foxscott
Blake    Elsabeth    wife    Blake    Robert    1608    August    8    at Enham
Blake    Robert                        1609    November    10  
Blake    Margerie                        1609    December    8  
Blake    Nicholas                        1611    June    24  
Blake    Alce    daughter    Blake    Robert            1611    June    12  
Blake    Elizabeth    wife    Blake    Mr. William        1613    May    20  
Blake    Alice    daughter    Blake    Richard          1613    September    11  
Blake    Mrs. Margaret                    1613    September    12    widow
Blake    Richard                        1614    May    21  
Blake    Peter                        1614    August    16  
Blake    Aggas                        1614    September    3  
Blake    Margery                        1614    October    28    widow
Blake    Robert                        1615    September    10  
Blake    Robert                        1619    September    20  
Blake    Elizabeth    wife    Blake    John            1620    March    19  
Blake    John    son    Blake    Henry            1622    November    6  
Blake    Mr. Richard                    1622    January    14  
Blake    Peeter                        1624    November      
Blake    John                        1624    March    14    of Charleton
Blake    Edward                        1625    April    7    of ______
Blake    Kathern    wife    Blake    Nicholas            1627    January    5  
Blake        infant    Blake    Edward            1629    September    21  
Blake        infant    Blake    Edward            1629    September    21  
Blake    Mrs. Jone                        1631    May    20    widow
Blake            Blake    Mr. William        1631    June    9  
Blake    Rebecca    daughter    Blake    John            1639    June    7  
Blake    Mr. William                    1642    May    4  
Blake    Mr. Richard                    1644    April    12    of London
Blake            Blake    Mr. Richard        1644    October    8  
Blake    Mrs.                        1648    March    28  
Blake    Mr. Richard                    1648    April    4  
Blake    Edward                        1653    March    15    of Charlton
Blake    Hercules                        1656    May    26    of Enham
Blake    Mr. William                    1656    December    5    buried at Enham
Blake    Richard    son            Blake    widdow    1658    October    3  
Blake    Sarah    daughter    Blake    Mr Richard        1675 November    24  
Blake    John                        1676    September    17  
Blake        son    Blake    Mr. Peter            1676    October    1  
Blake    Mr. Nicholas                    1677    March    14    of G______
Blake    Mr. Robert                    1678    October    7    woollen,
Blake    Margery 1679    September    23    of Charlton, woollen,
Blake    Mr. Richard                    1682    February    2    woollen
Blake    John    son    Blake    John            1684    February    15    woollen
Blake    Peter                        1691    January    5    esquire, woollen
Blake    Mr. Peter                        1693    December    6    woollen
Blake    Elizabeth    daughter    Blake  John 1693    January    15    woollen
Blake    Richard    son    Blake    John            1694    July    25    woollen
Blake    Mr C A                        1694    August    27    woollen
Blake    William                        1696    May    1    of Foxcott, woollen
Blake    Charles                        1697    October    4    woollen
Blake    Jane    widow                    1697    October    8    woollen
Blake    Anne    daughter    Blake    John            1702    April    17    woollen
Blake    Joannah daughter Blake Robert  1702    September    23    woollen
Blake    James    son    Blake    Mr. Robert   1710    October    24    woollen
Blake    Anne    daughter    Blake    John            1711    June    20    woollen
Blake    Elizabeth                        1713    September    9    woollen
Blake    Thomas                        1714    January    29    woollen
Blake    Jane    daughter    Blake    Robert    1718    October    13    woollen
Blake    Robert                        1729    May    15  
Blake    Robert    son    Blake    John            1729    November    27  
Blake    Mary                        1730    February    8  
Blake    Joseph    son    Blake    Joseph  Elizabeth    1733    February    3  
Blake    the widow                        1734    April    2  
Blake    Elizabeth                        1736    October    20  
Blake    Sarah                        1740    December    25  
Blake    Joseph    son    Blake    Joseph            1746    December    17  
Blake    Mary                        1747    April    16  
Blake    Betty                        1747    October    13  
Blake    Francis                        1752    August    18  
Blake    Mary                        1755    May    28  
Blake alias Noyse    Dorothy                        1632    February    27  

5.   Blake Surname yDNA Project

yDNA studies are proving to be a very successful method of connecting back to your ancestral Blake line. Movement of people in particular emigrations has broken that connection for many Blake family lines.

I have now added the Big Y to my brother’s test and the results are due in mid March. I will leave any discussion on yDNA until the next newsletter.

6.   The Future
I hope to continue with the newsletter for quite a while. At 72 years of age I realize that my time doing the Blake Study is limited so I would like to be able in the next ten years to hand it off to someone interested in continuing and keeping research ongoing into this ancient family. Although some believe that there is common ancestry for this family back to a singleton individual, that is simply not possible given the various haplogroups. The surname Blak[e] can be seen to have arisen spontaneously on the continent considering the number of males with the Blake surname who came to England between 1330 and 1550 from areas outside of England including various places in Europe and also Ireland.

Elizabeth Kipp,
Member #4600: Guild of one name studies – studying Blake and Pincombe