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Genealogy - The DNA Thread

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    #26
    My brother and sister went through census and marriage records and got us back to the start of the 19th century, unfortunately they're a fairly uninteresting bunch, and never strayed more than a couple of miles from where I still live. The only scandal was someone locked up in the 1850s (when they locked you up for everything) and at one stage one of our lot from the tenements married the daughter of a surgeon from Merrion square, I'd like to know more about that but they disappeared from the Irish records straight away, I presume they emigrated (or her father had him shot).

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      #27
      My sister got my mum one of these DNA kits last Christmas - it's well known amongst the blamelesses that our maternal granny's family started off in northern Italy and then over the generations emigrated up through France and England before reaching Scotland in the early 20th century, and the results reflected this.

      My maternal grandfather's lot are just your bog-standard Scots, which means the usual mix of ancient Picts with significant doses of Irish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Dutch, Danish, German and English added over the centuries. Again, all of this showed up in the results.

      What is interesting though is how the different genes have manifested themselves in my mum compared to her brother and sister; with her dark hair and eyes mama blameless has been mistaken for a native in Italy, Spain and Greece, whereas her red-haired, hazel-eyed siblings look like Belgian tourists who've pitched up in Edinburgh for the festival.

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        #28
        My uncle, mom and grandmother are the genaeologists.

        The most fascinating people on each side of my family are the apostates. My great-great grandmother was a Québécoise Anglican, supposedly the whole family junked the Church after her brother was physically abused by a priest. They soon fled to New York and changed their name from Fagnant to Faye. My maternal great-grandfather Tom Casey converted to the Church of Ireland to marry a girl, he left Limerick shortly there after. That took some balls.

        On the other end, my paternal great-grandfather John Hagerty got sacked from his job for refusing to join the Freemasons, being a Catholic. This was in the late 20s, so he went from managing a factory in Wappingers Falls to being a night watchman at a tannery back in Rhode Island, where his wife was from.

        My father’s side of the family is pretty boring, other than the Québécois Anglicans there’s only one country that’s the old country. No one seems particularly remarkable except a fella named James Donnelly who is called Major by some distant cousins, on the basis he was one in the Civil War, and James by my side of the family, on the basis he was a Private. Oh, and my great-grandfather Emmet (after Robert) played some professional baseball in the Connecticut State League.

        My mother’s side is a little more interesting. My great-grandmother used to speak to my grandfather yn Cymraeg. She herself was born in Oldham, virtually across the street from Boundary Park, they’d made it up to the mills from South Wales by then before saying sod this. Amazingly, her grandfather was the first to make it to the US, and got a good job on the railroads before bringing his children over. My other maternal great grandmother (who lived long enough that I remember her) was a Connecticut Yankee, who was a descendant of the Beechers and a bunch of Revolutionary War captains.

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          #29
          But wait, there's more about my 5th great grandmother, Rebekah Parsmore--she had my 4th great grandfather out of wedlock in 1738 and she was indicted for bastardy. I can't find any info on what the punishment for that was, but poor kid, she just couldn't catch a break. Also, why did they not indict Thomas? He was just as guilty. Bloody puritans.

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            #30
            Thomas Wadsworth , William White , and JohnPowell , alias Fisherman , were indicted for breaking and entring the House of William Williams , and stealing four Canisters, 3 lb. of Tea, 52 lb. of Sugar, and 2 Brass Weights, Jan. 30. between 12 and 1 in the Night ; the Jury acquitted them of the Burglary, and found them Guilty of the Felony only.

            Common criminal? Do you have any idea how much 52 lbs of sugar was worth in 1710?

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              #31
              Ha! No--was it worth more than 3 lbs of tea? I guess sugar would have been pricey back then, considering it would have been imported from somewhere. I wonder what the brass weights were for, too.

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                #32
                Originally posted by The Awesome Berbaslug!!! View Post
                Thomas Wadsworth , William White , and JohnPowell , alias Fisherman , were indicted for breaking and entring the House of William Williams , and stealing four Canisters, 3 lb. of Tea, 52 lb. of Sugar, and 2 Brass Weights, Jan. 30. between 12 and 1 in the Night ; the Jury acquitted them of the Burglary, and found them Guilty of the Felony only.

                Common criminal? Do you have any idea how much 52 lbs of sugar was worth in 1710?
                I was thinking that too. 52lb is the checked baggage limit for a suitcase on a flight. That's a sackful of loot and is about as much an average man can carry without assistance. Tea wouldn't have been cheap either.
                That's the equivalent of breaking into a mobile phone shop and making off with a bag of Iphones and Samsung S10's

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                  #33
                  Originally posted by Femme Folle View Post
                  Ha! No--was it worth more than 3 lbs of tea? I guess sugar would have been pricey back then, considering it would have been imported from somewhere. I wonder what the brass weights were for, too.
                  Tea would have come from India and would either have come via the silk route inland (with considerable markup from the Turks and Venetians) or around the Cape of good hope (with all the bad weather) whilst dodging the the pirates moored off Aden/ patroling the north and South Atlantic as well as the Barbary coast.

                  The weights would have been to sell the gear as it would have been extremely expensive. He's lucky he got a one-way trip to the US but America wasn't an enticing prospect at the time unless you could afford slaves or able to manage to wangle a job managing a plantation.



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                    #34
                    Well the price of sugar had started to come down, over the previous 100 years, But it wasn't exactly "Fairtrade". There's a reason why they had to use slaves at a time when everywhere was full of starving underemployed agricultural workers. It would be interesting to see how many people had to die to produce that much sugar.

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                      #35
                      I'm descended from Charlemagne, but then so is everyone else of European heritage so I believe.

                      As is also the case for most of us my back story is of little interest to anyone outside my own family but it was amusing to learn that my mum's past as she'd been led to understand it was actually a pack of lies. She'd been told that her ancestors on her father's side were German immigrants by the name of Muller. Her paternal grandfather was born in Lambeth Workhouse in the 1850's and was brought up by his grandfather who came from a family of millers. The German for miller being..

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                        #36
                        Miller also exists as a surname in Germany. I live with one.

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                          #37
                          Well, one wouldn't want people to think that one was related to the Bayern midfielder

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                            #38
                            Miller is more usual in the south of the country than up north.

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                              #39
                              I'm three quarters clinging to the western seaboard of Ireland, one quarter Wales, with the proviso that one of the west of ireland quarters is called Walsh (Pronounced Welsh) because they came over with the normans 800 years ago. I know next to nothing about the english/welsh side of my family, because my dad was a war refugee, who was brought up by his grandmother and aunts from the age of 2 because his mother died, and his father was in the army. He was in the army from 1939 to 1949, and they decided to leave my with his aunts who had been raising him to that point, and post war/rationing/bankrupt England wasn't looking great at that time.

                              anyway, I would be massively shocked if any DNA test said anything other than the tip of the celtic fringe.

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                                #40
                                I knew I was boring but this is ridiculous. Compared to some on here anyway. Seven out of eight grandparents English (hint of Welsh) and one Irish. In terms of stories the best I can do is my Dad's maternal grandparents. He was a soldier in the English garrison in Cork in the 1880s, and married my Athlone-born great-granny who was a maid in the town. Then brought her home to Deal where he was a postman. I have her WWI ID card, with photo, along with this photo of them with my Granny who was born in 1899:



                                She was older than him but lied on all censuses and even the ID card, to ensure she was younger.

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                                  #41
                                  Mrs. S had more success on the genealogy front than me. Thanks to very static ancestry on her Dad"s she had a good run on the Northants/Beds borders parish records and got back to the 16th century on one strand. Elsewhere she had an 18th century ancestor born in Fleet Debtors Prison, and some first cousins marrying.

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                                    #42
                                    Originally posted by Sits View Post
                                    I knew I was boring but this is ridiculous. Compared to some on here anyway. Seven out of eight grandparents English (hint of Welsh) and one Irish. In terms of stories the best I can do is my Dad's maternal grandparents. He was a soldier in the English garrison in Cork in the 1880s, and married my Athlone-born great-granny who was a maid in the town. Then brought her home to Deal where he was a postman. I have her WWI ID card, with photo, along with this photo of them with my Granny who was born in 1899:



                                    She was older than him but lied on all censuses and even the ID card, to ensure she was younger.
                                    That's a nice photo, Sits.

                                    I wonder when exactly it was that the message from the photographer to his or her subjects changed from "I'm just about to take the photograph - stern faces everyone" to "OK - smile". From family photos I've seen the transition point seems to around about WWII, oddly enough.

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                                      #43
                                      Thanks NS. I think having a photo taken was rare and important enough it was a Serious Business. As the last surviving member of my family I've ended up with a fair selection of the old family photos. The first I would consider a "snap" i.e. relaxed and informal, features an auntie of my Mum's in a cloche hat.

                                      I've checked Google StreetView and Aldersyde isn't there any more, sadly.

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                                        #44
                                        Interesting topic! I got into genealogy when my dad gave me the title page of a bible with the births of thirteen children between (IIRC) about 1825 and 1850 listed, all with our surname. The parents' names were also listed, but there wasn't much else to go on, although I knew one of the children's names was my great grandfather, and the births were all on Jersey. Anyway, seven of the children died in infancy (some of their death dates were also recorded in the bible when they died very young), so only six survived to adulthood - four girls and two boys. For some reason, both the boys left Jersey to go to China to serve in the Imperial Maritime Customs (I've mentioned this on a thread here before). The younger brother died not all that long after arriving in China, and subsequently the only surviving male named his own son after his dead brother....
                                        Somewhat interestingly (to me at any rate), that son married the daughter of a missionary (in China)... he had seven daughters, another one of which married someone called Francis (Hayley) Bell, whose daughter, Mary Hayley Bell married John Mills. So I think that makes Hayley Mills my second cousin.
                                        My mum, on the other hand, was an orphan, and although we have the name of her mother from her birth certificate (no father is listed), we have never been able to find any information about her mother from any records, censuses etc.... Hope to find out more about this at some point.

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                                          #45
                                          Yes, I have a family bible too which listed my great-grandfather and great-grandmother and all their children, including those who died in infancy, in best copperplate. My sister then made a poor attempt to leap-frog a couple of generations and list herself, the big show-off!

                                          As was mentioned upthread, the widespread DNA testing that so many genealogy sites offer and process is revolutionising the study. If you haven't seen it, when you've taken a test through a site it suggests relationships to others listed on there. If your mum's still alive and interested in seeking answers as to her parentage, a DNA test (initiated by gobbing prodigiously into a plastic container) is a relatively cheap and effective way to start the ball rolling.
                                          Last edited by Nocturnal Submission; 03-03-2019, 11:02.

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                                            #46
                                            I almost forgot about this, but Richard M. Nixon was descended from one of Thomas Wadsworth's sons too (from my 4th great grandfather's brother). At once time I made a chart to figure out the relationship and I think it worked out that he is my mom's 5th cousin once removed, or something like that. Distantly related, in other words.

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                                              #47
                                              Originally posted by Femme Folle View Post
                                              I almost forgot about this, but Richard M. Nixon was descended from one of Thomas Wadsworth's sons too (from my 4th great grandfather's brother). At once time I made a chart to figure out the relationship and I think it worked out that he is my mom's 5th cousin once removed, or something like that. Distantly related, in other words.
                                              Being related to tricky Dick is hardly something one would boast about in polite society.

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                                                #48
                                                Whatever.

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                                                  #49
                                                  The DNA test thing is interesting, I hadn't realised how it could add anything specific.

                                                  My mother has done a fair bit of research on our family tree, which is another that seems to be almost exclusively English (and white).

                                                  On her side, both her parents and indeed everyone going back to the 1700s is from either Devon or Cornwall. Her Dad died on the Prince of Wales in WW2 but by this point it appears that my Gran had already taken up with another fella, who she married in due course and I grew up knowing him as my Grandad (although I knew he wasn't a blood relative). His family, although not part of my bloodline, are an interesting bunch, coming from the Norfolk/Suffolk borderlands (largely Mildenhall and Lakenheath). Quite a few of them seem to have married people from the same families, as the same names keep cropping up in the late 19th century records. My (step) Grandad was personal valet to Lord Mountbatten for a while before he moved the family (including my mother) to Georgetown near Paisley when he got a job at a munitions factory after the war. They then moved to West Cumbria in the 1950s when he got a job at Calder Hall power station.

                                                  On my Dad's side, things are a little more varied. On his Dad's side the family is mostly from the Cheshire/Staffordshire borders around Cheadle, and a branch of that family emigrated to New Zealand and Australia in the 1800s. I know I have some distant cousins in NZ as one of them got in touch with my mum. On my paternal Grandmothers side is the only scrap of non-English blood we've been able to find, my great-great-Grandfather was a bloke named Taggart who was born on the Isle of Man in 1796 before moving to Whitehaven and marrying into the otherwise exclusively West Cumbrian part of the family tree. My Mum is pretty sure that this Taggart was descended from Irish stock, but I fear I may need a closer link than that if I want an Irish passport post-Brexit.

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                                                    #50
                                                    All of my Irish and Swiss ancestors are too many generations back to be of any use to me in that regard.

                                                    I also encountered one line of my mom's family that had a common ancestor. It confused me at the time, because I thought I had made a mistake, but I looked at all of the connections again and sure enough, someone had married their second cousin. Now that I think about it, all of the weirdness in my family tree is on my mom's side.

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