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  • Nocturnal Submission
    started a topic Genealogy - The DNA Thread

    Genealogy - The DNA Thread

    Have we done genealogy on OTF? Can't recall it but there's probably something deep in the archives.

    I first got involved about 30 years ago, when the main source of information was the dusty tomes in the public records office. My paternal grandfather's background (Plymouth) was fairly well-known but my sister and I managed to take our antecedents back a few generations. My paternal grandmother was a bit more difficult but we managed to find out where she was born (Canning Town), which my dad didn't know, and I even visited the road and took some photos for him. So that was nice. My maternal grandmother was, we thought, fairly securely located (NE Wales) but she actually proved to be much harder to place than we thought. She's still a bit of a work in progress. But the biggest mystery was my maternal grandfather. Rocking up in NE Wales he'd said he was from the Oxford area but little more was known about him than that.

    My sister has been on his case for years now and had constructed quite a convincing back story but advances in DNA testing and it's cost has proved to be a game-changer. My teenage son has been building family trees for years now and by accessing and analysing the DNA results that are appearing on the genealogy websites he has, to a high level of certainty, cracked it.

    It transpires that my grandfather had taken a new name and kept quite about his background to cover the fact that he (drumroll) had deserted from the Royal Navy (gasp!).

    I find this all quite fascinating but I suppose that some family members might be a bit disappointed in him. All of his children, including my mum, have passed away but he still has a living daughter-in-law and about half a dozen grandchildren, one of whom has the wrong surname! Conversations to be had.

    Has anyone else got any genealogy-related tales to tell or family mysteries to be delved into?

  • Sits
    replied
    Hmmm, the jury's out. Anyway in hindsight, writing about my family tree methodology is dull by even my standards. So here's a bygone family story instead.

    The forebears of my dad's paternal grandma, in rural Oxfordshire:

    William & Ann: poor Ann gave birth to thirteen children between 1783 and 1802, of whom three died in infancy. Most of the births are marked "Pauper".

    Their grandson Thomas married Hannah and they had a mere five children from 1830 to 1840. But considering he spent the last twenty years of his life (1859-79) in Littlemore Pauper Lunatic Asylum, having also served three months in jail for larceny in 1839, that was fairly good going. Apologies to readers of Mundane II for the duplication.

    It's fair to say I'm not from aristocratic stock.

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  • The Awesome Berbaslug!!!
    replied
    You can tell how good an idea that is, by how obvious it seems in hindsight.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sits
    replied
    I embarked upon my Mark 2 family tree yesterday (a hand drawn one, not on Ancestry; Ancestry is invaluable for searching but I want to have a "proper" one too and eventually aim to print all the sources for the individuals too). In an attempt to reduce the limitations of the perpendicular I've introduced diagonals. So each of my four grandparents has their own tree sprouting from the centre at 90 degrees to the next.

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  • Nocturnal Submission
    replied
    Originally posted by jdsx View Post

    I don't think my grandfather was important enough to warrant such attention. Most likely they were worried about what 'Jacko' might do.... the next photo is a bit more 'composed':
    (it's the pith helmet that makes it so...colonial, though....)


    I was going to say that he looks as though he's riding Jacko like a bike, and indeed have done so, but then became aware how that remark may be misinterpreted by dirty minds, like mine.

    The Boxer Rebellion broke out a few weeks after the photographs were taken. Given the demeanours of the locals, possibly because of them!
    Last edited by Nocturnal Submission; 13-03-2019, 23:42.

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  • The Awesome Berbaslug!!!
    replied
    I love the woman with the mandolin. It has a proper italian roundback. They must all have been fucking dying of the heat. Hainan is only 19 degrees north of the equator.

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  • jdsx
    replied
    Originally posted by The Awesome Berbaslug!!! View Post
    There is no part of that photo that isn't colonial though. Even down to the SOAS copyright in the bottom corner.
    Indeed.

    This is perhaps my favourite photo though.... my grandfather (2nd from left) gets his name written on because the previous photo features almost the same group with all their names listed... The caption is; "Tea at Schomberg's, Hoihow, Hainan, 18 August, 1898"

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  • The Awesome Berbaslug!!!
    replied
    There is no part of that photo that isn't colonial though. Even down to the SOAS copyright in the bottom corner.

    Leave a comment:


  • jdsx
    replied
    Originally posted by Tactical Genius View Post

    Hahahah, that's one of the most colonial pictures I have ever seen.
    Everyone in that picture is looking at your grandfather with murderous eyes, even the white dude sitting next to him.
    I don't think my grandfather was important enough to warrant such attention. Most likely they were worried about what 'Jacko' might do.... the next photo is a bit more 'composed':
    (it's the pith helmet that makes it so...colonial, though....)

    Leave a comment:


  • Tactical Genius
    replied
    Originally posted by jdsx View Post
    Found a couple of photos of my grandfather while searching online yesterday. Here he is sitting front right, with the monkey, (called 'Jacko'...). Taken in Hoihow (Hainan), in September 1898.
    Unfortunately, the list of 'people' on the back reads "Boy, boy, coolie, cook, RFCH [the initials of the man whose collection the photo is in], EHDSX [my grandfather] and Jacko"

    Hahahah, that's one of the most colonial pictures I have ever seen.
    Everyone in that picture is looking at your grandfather with murderous eyes, even the white dude sitting next to him.

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  • jdsx
    replied
    Not that I know of, although I think my dad owned a large (framed?) photo of his dad which also featured Jacko....so maybe he was a family 'pet'...! My grandfather died when my dad was only four, and he didn't get on with his mum, so not a lot of family history has come down to me!

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  • Femme Folle
    replied
    Very cool photo, jdsx. I'm fascinated by Jacko. Was he your grandfather's?

    Leave a comment:


  • jdsx
    replied
    Found a couple of photos of my grandfather while searching online yesterday. Here he is sitting front right, with the monkey, (called 'Jacko'...). Taken in Hoihow (Hainan), in September 1898.
    Unfortunately, the list of 'people' on the back reads "Boy, boy, coolie, cook, RFCH [the initials of the man whose collection the photo is in], EHDSX [my grandfather] and Jacko"


    Leave a comment:


  • Femme Folle
    replied
    I finally found my Scottish ancestor. My grandmother had always claimed to have some Scottish heritage, but I hadn't found it until today. I found him on a searchable site of birth, marriage and death records, but I have more research to do on his parents. He is only shared with two other users' family trees on ancestry .com and they both claim that he was born when his mother was 8 years old. I feel strongly that they have the wrong person.

    ETA: They were likely Ulster-Scots, but possibly not. The timing and place of my John Logan's birth doesn't fit. This needs more research.
    Last edited by Femme Folle; 11-03-2019, 04:11.

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  • Furtho
    replied
    Originally posted by SouthdownRebel View Post

    A disturbing new euphemism.
    Very good.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nocturnal Submission
    replied
    Originally posted by Nocturnal Submission View Post
    Have we done genealogy on OTF? Can't recall it but there's probably something deep in the archives.

    I first got involved about 30 years ago, when the main source of information was the dusty tomes in the public records office. My paternal grandfather's background (Plymouth) was fairly well-known but my sister and I managed to take our antecedents back a few generations. My paternal grandmother was a bit more difficult but we managed to find out where she was born (Canning Town), which my dad didn't know, and I even visited the road and took some photos for him. So that was nice. My maternal grandmother was, we thought, fairly securely located (NE Wales) but she actually proved to be much harder to place than we thought. She's still a bit of a work in progress. But the biggest mystery was my maternal grandfather. Rocking up in NE Wales he'd said he was from the Oxford area but little more was known about him than that.

    My sister has been on his case for years now and had constructed quite a convincing back story but advances in DNA testing and it's cost has proved to be a game-changer. My teenage son has been building family trees for years now and by accessing and analysing the DNA results that are appearing on the genealogy websites he has, to a high level of certainty, cracked it.

    It transpires that my grandfather had taken a new name and kept quite about his background to cover the fact that he (drumroll) had deserted from the Royal Navy (gasp!).

    I find this all quite fascinating but I suppose that some family members might be a bit disappointed in him. All of his children, including my mum, have passed away but he still has a living daughter-in-law and about half a dozen grandchildren, one of whom has the wrong surname! Conversations to be had.

    Has anyone else got any genealogy-related tales to tell or family mysteries to be delved into?
    Quick update. After some initial scepticism, mainly borne of frustration that she wasn't the one to solve the mystery, I suspect, my sister has embraced our grandfather's real identity to such an extent that she's in regular contact with one of our newly-discovered second cousins and planning to meet up with her and presumably some of her family later in the year. She was also quick to tell as many of our known family members as she could, so the aforementioned daughter-in-law, her son and his son are now aware that their surname should be Chapman rather than Ellis!

    Leave a comment:


  • Amor de Cosmos
    replied
    Durham?

    My Sheffield lot go back to the early nineteenth century. They emigrated from Leeds.

    Leave a comment:


  • sw2borshch
    replied
    Of my four grandparents, three were born in Middlesbrough as far as I know, and the other in Charltons, a village of two terraced streets just past Guisborough, about ten miles away. Our dad's grandad, confusingly known as Pop, was reputed to be originally a Cockney. That's all I have, even though all my ancestors have to have come from somewhere else as Middlesbrough is even newer than the USA.

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  • The Awesome Berbaslug!!!
    replied
    He looked more Mediterranean than peely wally Celt in summer but, the suave bastard. I got a rough approximation of his looks without the dark hair and tannable skin alas

    This is a celtic fringe thing. My Uncle Colm used to get refused from Irish Dances in NY in the 60's because everyone thought he was a puerto rican. It's also a thing in Wales. If you have mediterranean roots, you might have to go back 7,000 years to find them.

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  • Lang Spoon
    replied
    My mum's dad had an Irish name usually found in Catholics of Greater Ulster, he had no interest in his ancestry, so no idea if someone married out/took the soup/converted to Proddyness to be Respectable shop owners in 19th Century Fife. He looked more Mediterranean than peely wally Celt in summer but, the suave bastard. I got a rough approximation of his looks without the dark hair and tannable skin alas (and dancing skills/work ethic). Other biological forbears seem Fife As Fuck as far as I can tell.

    i know I will never have kids, and am doubtful my sister will either, so maybe one day I will feel the pangs Laverte does, with more prosaic materials.

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  • laverte
    replied
    Since it became clear that i would be the last in line on my dad's side i've become slightly obsessed with researching/inventing plausible genealogies for myself. i have almost nothing to go on, which gives me considerable space to speculate but is also unsatisfying.

    French citizens have been required, since forever, to carry a livret de famille, a wee logbook detailing family births, marriages, deaths, military service, etc. i was hoping to inherit my grandfather's, or at least my father's, but because of my dad's remarriage and my somewhat, err, frosty relations with his widow and her children, i no longer expect this to happen.

    What i do know is this: my grandfather moved to Algiers as a toddler from the Valencia region of Spain, where his folks were peasants. i know he arrived in Algeria by 1922 at the latest, accompanied by an 'aunt and uncle' and a sibling who might have been his brother or their son. The sibling died young. My grandfather didn't always know that his adoptive parents were not his biological parents; i don't know how he found out. His mother was said to have contracted the Spanish flu which prevented her from emigrating. Was this true? Or was it a cover story for a woman who'd had to abandon her child for some reason? i never heard any talk of a father. Was she married? Which one of the 'aunt' or the 'uncle' was her sibling, or were they on his side (if there was a 'he'), or were they not so directly related as that? My grandfather's surname ––-- a Frenchified version of which was also my surname at my birth ––-- is quite rare, but i haven't been able to turn up a good lead online; my friend in Barcelona who offered to help has been frustrated by the fact that in rural Valencia in the early 20th century spelling was haphasard and information was logged, where it was logged at all, in a mix of bad castillian and (my friend's word) "mucky" catalan. So, for now, the search bogs down at the very first hurdle.

    On my grandmother's side, i know a little bit more. Her father immigrated as a child with his largeish family, eventually to the Sétif region, around the turn of the century from Malta, where his folks were the inevitable illiterate peasants. My father possessed an album of photos of the Maltese contingent, looking stern and godfearing; some of the pictures must have been taken back in the old country, so presumably there was a small amount of wealth and respectability somewhere. However, my grandmother disparaged her paternal relations as hillbillies and heretics. Somehow her dad made a 'good' marriage, though, to the youngest daughter of a small landholder and wannabe merchant who had emigrated from Lombardy. i don't know anything concrete about these folks at all, not even their surname, but i do remember hearing tales of the import-export project (spices) which made the family wealthy and landed the patriarch in jail, where he probably died. i'd love to know more about this business, but on the other hand i enjoy the mystery of the story as i remember it, with its tawdry air of banditry.

    Given the peasant origins of all concerned, i'm sure that if i could locate the village from which each of my ancestors emigrated, i'd be able to go back as far as records allow without too much difficulty. Perhaps because of the dispersion, i have a powerful sense of all this movement which comes to an end in me. i don't quite know how to manage it, though often i feel its force, its weight. Maybe a DNA test would help me reinsert myself into this blurry tale of my tribe. i don't know. Grief is still working on me; maybe this is a way forward.

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  • The Awesome Berbaslug!!!
    replied
    I remember reading a stat many years ago how violent post-war Britain was with regards to domestic violence.

    I would attribute that mostly to an epidemic of untreated PTSD. It happens after every conflict. (combined with the suspicions you picked up along the way, about the woman you had known for maybe a couple of months before you went off to war 6 years ago.) Patrick Stewart is a big anti-domestic violence campaigner, because his dad used to batter them and his missus something horrible. He also did a tv programme about his dad, who was relatively old at the outbreak of the war, and wound up in a commando unit and fought his way up through Italy. Those who battered their way through the various German defensive lines, and survived saw some truly horrendous things, and then were sent home and dumped back into normal life en masse. It's by far the best thing he's ever done, and he's done quite a bit over the years. It was one of the few 'personal journey' programmes that I've seen that was something other than ego driven. It was extremely informative and insightful..

    Yes, you could get mad, but then you remembered how you accepted the gratitude of all those liberated ladies in France and the low countries, Shrug your shoulders and charged it to the game.

    Well that's one way of describing it. The Free French and the Americans had a very serious falling out with the americans about all the indiscriminate raping the american soldiers were doing. You'll never guess who it was that they Was that they primarily prosecuted.

    More details here. It seemed to be a predominantly american thing in France, but who knows what happened when they eventually managed to bludgeon their way through the Siegfried line.
    Last edited by The Awesome Berbaslug!!!; 05-03-2019, 18:53.

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  • SouthdownRebel
    replied
    Originally posted by Tactical Genius View Post
    the trenches of Passiondale
    A disturbing new euphemism.

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  • Flynnie
    replied
    My mom revealed to me that she did do a 23 and Me test, along with her parents, and I was a little surprised to find out she was 49% "West European", which is this big co-centric circle that goes from London to the Czech Republic, down to the Italian Alps, Catalonia. and up to Denmark, taking in France and the Low Countries. She's only about 30% Welsh/Scottish/Irish, which is basically what the family identifies as. Also 12% Scandinavian, which I knew - my great-grandmother was Evelyn Rambo, a Swedish surname.

    She was born in 1956 and my grandfather was 4-F during the war anyway, and they're the most upright WASP-y family imaginable, so I can't imagine that's the reason why. But I would love to know more. It makes me want to do one, and see if my dad wants to as well. I thought that would be boring, since the Irish with a splash of French-Canadian is so well established, but who knows what lurks inside.

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  • Tactical Genius
    replied
    Originally posted by The Awesome Berbaslug!!! View Post
    but anyone who would know is long dead, dammit. Why couldn't these tests have been available 30 years ago?

    Maybe it was, but everyone decided that it was for the best to let it lie. We think this sort of thing is hilarious. old people 30 years ago......maybe less so.
    That's a very good point, I strongly suspect in many occasions Especially around WWI and WWII, many men were probably aware their wives may not have been as loyal as the norms of society dictated. I am not sure pressing your grandmother about her mothers sexual behaviour when your great-grandaddy was fighting the Hun in the trenches of Passiondale would get anything other than feigned ignorance or an aggressive response.
    Imagine going to war in 1940, you got two kids, you return on leave 18 months later and you got three kids and your wife has an endless supply of Stockings and chocolate. You finally you came back four years later and now you got four. Yes, you could get mad, but then you remembered how you accepted the gratitude of all those liberated ladies in France and the low countries, Shrug your shoulders and charged it to the game.
    I mean, things could have been worse, you may have come home to no wife (because she has decamped with a GI to Wyoming) or your kids could be half black or half Indian.

    I remember reading a stat many years ago how violent post-war Britain was with regards to domestic violence.

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