Saturday, March 5, 2016

DNA tests done!

This morning I finally got around to doing my two DNA tests that I was given as a Christmas present (pretty good Christmas present for a genie!):

  • Family Finder test (Autosomal DNA, or atDNA)
  • mtFull Sequence test (mitochondrial DNA, or mtDNA)

The Family Finder test

According to the Family Tree DNA site, the Family Finder test examines autosomal DNA which is inherited by both your mother and father, your four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, etc. This test is recommended for people who are interested in finding out their ethnic makeup and can indicate the regions from the world your ancestors came from. This test can also help you to find living relatives on all of your family tree branches within the last five generations.

This test is described as an Autosomal DNA (atDNA) test:
"Autosomal DNA is DNA from one of our chromosomes located in the cell nucleus. It generally excludes the sex chromosomes. Humans have 22 pairs of autosomal chromosomes and a pair of sex chromosomes."

The mtFull Sequence test

According to the Family Tree DNA site, the mtFull Sequence test, the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test, traces the mother's mother's mother's etc. line. It has the potential to show the direct line of your mother's ancestors, going back thousands of years. Although both men and women have mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), this type of DNA is only passed on by women.

Other types of DNA tests 

Learn more about test types: Our three types of tests (Family Tree DNA)

The company

For about a year, I to-ed and fro-ed about which company to get tested with - but in the end I chose Family Tree DNA. If I had loads and loads of money, I'd probably get tested with all of the DNA companies.

The instructions ...

The process described in a 4 minute video ...

Checking the kit number ...

The swabs

The vials

Packing up all the bits

Ready to post!

And now the waiting begins ...

Thursday, March 3, 2016

What did a convict look like in 1835? Who needs a picture when you have descriptions like these ...

On the boat that my convict ancestor arrived on in 1835, the Lady McNaughten, there were a few interesting looking characters on the ship with him. Here is a description of some of his fellow travellers ...

Source: List of male convicts on the ship, the Lady McNaughten, arrived in Sydney 30 October 1835.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Interested in using Google Maps to track your ancestors?

This afternoon, I added a blogpost to my personal family history blog, Wishful Linking, about how to track your ancestors using Google Maps:

Mapping family history: Walter William NORTHCOTE in NSW
 My efforts were guided by the instructions on Helen Smith's great blogpost, Mapping family history.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Crusty envelopes, crumbling papers and that lovely ol' handwriting

Today I visited the NSW State Archives at Kingswood NSW with some fellow genies, Janelle and Hilary. Needless to say, we had a great day immersed in the documents of the past. As often happens, I put in a few orders to see old records that turned out not to be connected to my family. However, I wasn't too disappointed ... I saw this as an opportunity to collect a few examples of beautiful  handwriting; some of it was quite calligraphic (if there is such a word).

So, for your viewing pleasure, here are a few random examples of what my eyes were feasting on today. I hope you enjoy browsing through them as much as I did.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

What were your 2015 achievements and what are your 2016 to-do plans?

So, now that 2015 is in the past and we're right at the beginning of 2016, it's a nice time to reflect on what you achieved in your family history in 2015 and to plan some fun goals for 2016.

If you're interested in what I got up to over the past few weeks and what I am planning in 2016, for my own genealogy, check out this blogpost:

My family history 2015 achievements my 2016 to-do plans

All the best with your genealogical research this year!

What were your 2015 achievements and what are your 2016 "to-do" plans?

Monday, January 4, 2016

Online genie tools

Over the years I have found a few great tools for researching genealogy - some of these I've found and others have been shared with me by other genies.

Here are a few of them. If you have any other additions, let me know.

I'm still looking for a good online Timeline tool ... any suggestions?