Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Pre-Christmas time

Looking back over this past year I am seriously wondering where it has gone! It is nearly a year since our second grandchild was born and life has moved immeasurably quickly. We have watched our older grandchild seemingly turn from an infant into a big sibling to his younger infant now walking sibling in a matter of months. One child shepherding another through the complicated steps that everyone of us must pass in order to move from the newborn cradle to the walking talking person that we must all eventually become in order to move on from that state.

I think that one grandchild just fits into your life naturally but the second one explodes life apart and I did get a sense of that as the birth of the second child approached. Coming from a large family, I am one of seven, actually the middle one of those seven, I am used to a lot of people being around me and two of my siblings were considerably younger - one eight years and one ten years younger. I am used to children actually and that came home to me these past couple of years. Children are quite amazing and we as adults are privileged to watch them grow whether from afar as they wander down the streets we live on or closeup as our grandchildren. Like all mammals they arrive utterly dependent upon their parents for everything in life. The amazing thing is that you can be as poor as church mice or as wealthy as the multi billionaires but these children all require the same thing - food, warmth and protection. Here in Canada the warmth is a big thing, the winters are long and harsh although outside the last couple of days we have had our usual fooler the prelude to almost every winter that we have lived on the face of the earth. November can be very kindly and make you think that winter will be a breeze; a couple of weeks of stormy icy weather and on to spring. But generally you are fooled every year and last year in particular was something else. The coldest winter I ever remember in February and the records upheld that point of view. Actually I found the entire winter cold once it started; we never saw 0 celsius again until close to the end of March. The cold was bitter; ate it way through the cement and sat just inside the walls defying the heat that was blasted out of the registers. As long as you stayed somewhat inside of the outside walls you were comfortable but get too close to the windows and you knew that winter was there clutching into the house and sucking all the moisture out.

But back to what happened to the last year. First of all I recovered from my two falls. I actually managed to do quite a bit and was amazingly comfortable standing. It was just tiring to always be standing and difficult to progress in my genealogical pursuits except I did actually. I just didn't get done what I thought I would get done.

I am now looking at just over six weeks to Christmas and so much to get done as I wanted to have Cornwall Blake family all wrapped up and published on my blog. I also want to finish off my 52 Ancestor Challenge as that has given me enormous insights into possibilities for my own direct line research back in time. Not so much for my one name studies as I more or less began the year in the same thought process as I am still in. Some interesting yDNA matches and I have scored positively on the Pincombe family and some autosomal DNA matches have cemented my Blake line back into the mid 1400s - what was conjecture now appears to be fact. DNA has paved the way to all of these conclusions. Mind you it was DNA (and my cousin George's need for a biography of my Pincombe family in Westminster Township) that brought me into genealogy. I actually avoided it for years as I watched my husband research his early American ancestry. Brick wall after brick wall presented themselves to him until the dawn of the internet and lots more collaboration and revealed to him was an amazing ancestry back to the earliest colonial days for his lines coming from France, Holland, Germany, Denmark and the British Isles. Unimaginable before the days of the internet was such access to records.

So what do I hope to accomplish in the next six weeks as I wax away on why I did not come along as fast as I would have liked. Well I still hope to get through the census information for the Blake family in Cornwall. I have already had some amazing links with the 1841 census and the information that I have collected from the OPC Cornwall databases. I have made a decision not to go further in publishing than the 1871 census at this time so that it is not possible to connect the lines that I will put together with the 1911 census unless someone does the 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 census. Anyone going to that kind of trouble would have found everything I found anyway. That will shorten up the job somewhat and make it easier to publish by the end of the year.

I will then begin the Devon Blake family using the Find My Past data to put those lines together. Plus I have a number of parishes records for Devon to assist me. Some parts of the Devon Blake family have been reconstructed by others as well. But like the Cornwall family, no one, to my knowledge, has tested their yDNA in their Blake line in either of these families. Actually very few people with known ties and ancestry back into the British Isles have tested for the Blake family. That results in my not really being able to talk about those who have without exposing them and so I do not. Just my own line where two of my brothers have now tested.

But I can feel the busyness of Christmas Time reaching into my work time but hopefully I will be able to still squirrel myself away with my computer and keep looking at the census in time for New Years Eve.

Then next year another 52 ancestor Challenge but this time the 4x great grandparents of our grandchildren. They are all known except for two of mine which are projected to be my 2x great grandparents on my grandmother's mother's side. Will I know by the end of 2016 when I talk about them? That is a mystery. I have no idea what might come my way in terms of proof.

Ancestry DNA though gave me a bit of a headups with their latest release of cM information and number of shared DNA segments. The individual is my third cousin sharing one set of my 2x great grandparents Henry Christopher Buller and Ann Welch. I share 22.1 centimorgans and working on some of the other matches where I know my results shared from FT DNA and 23 and Me I estimate that that is closer to 40 centimorgans shared or about 0.5%. Now 3rd cousins normally share about 0.3 to 2.0 % so I am on the low side for sharing which is good news for me. Unfortunately this is the only individual that I am sharing this ancestry although I do have another 5th cousin where I share the Buller line but we do not match at all. Hoping for more matches in that line.

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