Friday, July 31, 2015

JK Rowling on Sunday Aug 2, 2015 on WDYTYA on TLC

This upcoming Sunday, JK Rowling will be the subject of Who Do You Think You Are (US).  I think they are just broadcasting the UK one they did back in 2011....Since I didn't watch back in 2011, I am viewing it right now.  

Anyhow, that made me look into my connection to J. K Rowling, so I went to Geni.com and asked it to find my path to her. 

After a minute or two Geni reports:

"J. K. Rowling is your ex-partner's first cousin thrice removed's husband's great nephew's wife's great uncle's second great niece's husband's third cousin once removed's husband's first cousin's wife's first cousin thrice removed's husband's niece."


Really? Is that the best we can do?  I don't even consider that a path at all actually, it goes through an ex from 20 years ago!  I have French roots and also English roots, surely there is a blood path somewhere but I guess I will have to wait to find it! Well, at least the path is colourful!

I wonder if she has done any DNA testing....it may be possible to determine the birth father of Louis " Volant" born in 1877.

I read the Harry Potter series to my two oldest children when they were younger, and saw the movies with them. Although "my" path to JK Rowlings is through their biological father I doubt they will be impressed by it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Aeltie Gardenier (maiden name unknown)

***12th great grandmother of Kristina Lee Stewart***
***11th great grandmother of Richard Monette***
***10th great grandmother of Jean Florence Mulligan***

Oh, how Ancestry.com can cause silly things to happen with the way it tries to fill in fields for us!  Aeltie was likely born in the Netherlands around 1590.  Not Europe, Fayette, Georgia, USA.  She did not likely marry in 1610 in New York.  She likely married Jan Hendrecksen Gardenier about 1610 in the Netherlands, maybe in or near Kampen, Overijssel, Netherlands.

Several people had a son, Hendrick Jansen Gardinier born 1566 listed for her in the Ancestry.com trees, but this is VERY unlikely since she wasn't born yet.  This person is likely her father in law....

Since her son Jacob Janse Gardenier was born in Kampen, Netherlands around 1615 it is unlikely she ever went to the New World at all.  

She most certainly did not serve in the US Revolutionary War either...And she most certainly did not marry in 1844 in Lincolnshire, UK!

I have absolutely nothing (sources, clues, etc) on this ancestor, except what was in others trees at Ancestry.com and also Geni.com and the internet in general.  

Known Descendants who have tested for genealogy purposes:

Kris Hewitt Stewart (23andMe, FTDNA Family Finder, AncestryDNA)

Richard Monette (23andMe, FTDNA Family Finder)

Jean Mulligan (23andMe, FTDNA Family Finder)

Toni Slocum (23andMe, FTDNA Family Finder)

Samantha Stewart (23andMe)

Katelyn Stewart (23andMe)

If you are a descendant of Jan Hendrecksen Gardenier and Aeltje click here for more info on how you can help! If you are a descendant and would like to have your name listed as a known descendant who has DNA tested please comment below!



Saturday Night Genealogy Fun! What Source Have I Used Most?

This is a response to Randy Seaver's SNGF for Jun 13, 2015. Fun? Oh no, this will not be fun! This one is going to hurt!  In fact, I'm not sure I should write this post at all....maybe, instead of this "fun" assignment,  I'll go wash the dishes....Oh well...lets find out how I'm doing in Source land....

I also use Legacy 8, so to start I also went to Reports>Other Reports>Source Citations and checked "Master Sources and Citation Summary Counts"

And then I waited...and waited.  So, while I'm waiting, let me start the excuses:

The problem is that my Source Citations...well...they are rather like my Locations.....I have duplicates.  Lots of duplicates.  It is all very messy indeed.  Some source citations are only on my Ancestry.com tree. And there are those sources that are only in the Notes of the profile from decades ago when that was the only way to enter the sources in FTM.  

Finally, the PDF is done, 272 pages long...and wow, yes, the sources listed in order of most used would have been handy! Maybe if I had went for Family File Statistics? No, that doesn't seem to have sources at all! Before I started combining duplicates the count=3474

My first look at findagrave.com was 203 citations. Here are a few others, selected as I thought they might have high numbers:
1920 US Census =3762
1910 US Census = 2324
1900 US Census = 1996
1901 Census of Canada =1061
Mass. Town births=844
1940 US Census = 402

I did a bit of combining of duplicate sources, and got the Source count down to 3324. Part of the problem stems from Ancestry.com having parent company naming issues.  They were TGN and Ancestry.com etc at different times, so the sources are different.

I thought it would be interesting to see how many citations I had compared to how many I "should" have based on having people in that location.  So I ran a search for people who should/may be in the US 1940 Census.  65, 297! Wow!

This exercise made me think about how many sources one would expect to have used...3324 seems like alot but....some of those are duplicates, and some are not "real" sources (ie it's a website, or an email where I received the information, and not an actual record). 10, 20 or even more sources per person is certainly not unusual.  Every genealogy book is a separate source, then there is the state census records, and often town census/assessment/tax records.  Plus each state/province in each country usually has its own birth/marriage/death records. Then military records, letters, postcards....not to mention newspapers!

Monday, June 15, 2015

FTDNA Autosomal DNA Transfer for $10 until Tomorrow Night Only!!!!

With the issues at Gedmatch, FTDNA has kindly offered us a significant discount on the option to transfer autosomal DNA raw data....Until Tomorrow Night it is Only $10 to transfer your raw autosomal DNA data to FTDNA Family Finder.  Go to Here and use code FTDNA1024.

This is a GREAT deal.  I hope everyone takes advantage of it!  

Free New York Newspapers

Today I was reading a post of all the free New York newspaper articles.  I decided to take a look and see what I could find in there for one person in my database.  I generated a search list of all the people in my database who died in New York. Then I picked one and searched for them in the newspapers.  

Read to learn what I found for Susan Maria (Learn) Zavitz (she was actually the mother of Alonzo Zavitz, who I searched for)

Why not search your own database for someone who lived or died in New York and see what you can find?

Susan Maria Learn 1833-1910

When I started looking into this person today I had only:

- her birth date: 28 Aug 1833.

- her date of death 10 Nov 1910 and she was buried in Overholt Cemetery, near Pt. Colbourne, Ontario, Canada.

- she was married to Jesse Zavitz and had two children, Alonzo and Melissa.

I did not have her parents.  The once source I had for all of the above information was various entries of Ancestry World Trees.  

The first thing I found was her death notice in the Buffalo Courier, Nov 12, 1910.  


The article reads: 

"ZAVITZ- In this city, November 10, 1910, Susan, widow of Alonzo Zavitz and mother of Alonzo Zavitz, Mrs. W. K. Minor, Mrs. W. W. Dell, Mrs Sloan Schooley of Gladstone, Manitoba, Mrs. Sarah Findley of Croland, Ont., and Mrs. Sellers of Detroit, Mich.; aged 77 years. The funeral services will be held at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. W. K. Minor, No. 205 Bird Avenue, Saturday evening at 8 o'clock.  Friends and acquaintances are invited to attend.  Interment at Overholt Cemtery, Ont., Saturday afternoon at 1 o'clock."

I add Buffalo, New York to the death location in my Legacy database.

I went ahead and checked, and was not surprised to find that I do not have the Buffalo Courier in my Master Source list in Legacy.  I created a new Source, using the Source Writer, and not thrilled with it, as it doesn't really look the way I want.  

A quick check at Geni shows a profile exists for her already http://www.geni.com/people/Susan-Marie-Learn-Zavitz/4797133677360031033 with different two children Mary Jane and Nancy Theresa. Geni offered 4 hints to MH trees.


As you can see, Geni tells me that Susan is my husband's second great aun'ts husband's second cousin twice removed's wife's mother!  I think I can be excused for not having worked much on her before now since she is not exactly a close relative.   I find it interesting that the path her is through a daughter not even in my database yet.

Clearly there is lots to do!  I enter all the above information into my Ancestry.com tree and get 7 Historical Record Hints and 1 Family Tree Hint.  

First Historical Record Hint is to the 1910 US Census.  It shows Susan Zavitz, widowed, age 76, born in English Canada, both parents born in English Canada living with her son in law William K Minor and her daughter Ida Minor.  

I add the daughter Ida and her husband William Minor and add the birth location of Canada to her Ancestry profile.  No additional hints appear.

Second Historical Record Hint is in the 1881 Census of Canada.  This record has Susan, age 47, with her husband Jesse, age 52, and children: N. Theressa, 24; Susan M., 18; Ida A, 17; Sarah L, 11. all living in Humberstone, Welland, Ontario. 

Third Historical Record Hint in the 1871 Census of Canada. Again living in Humberstone, Welland, Ontario is Jesse Zavitz, 42; Susannah M., 37; Alzonzo L, 18; N. Theresa, 14; Mary Jane, 12; Susan Marie, 9; Ida A, 7.

Fourth Historical Record Hint is in Canada, Findagrave. This takes me to a photo of the gravestone for Jesse and Susan. I take a moment to request permission to use the photo here.  Permission was very kindly granted.

gravestone of Jesse and Susan M Zavitz, buried in Overholt Cemetery, Ontario, Canada; courtesy of Art Currie


Fifth Historical Record Hint is in the 1901 Census of Canada. This one lists her full birth date of 28 Aug 1833, and she is age 67 living with husband Jesse, age 62 in Humberstone, Welland, Ontario.

Sixth Historical Record Hint is in the 1891 Census of Canada. Jesse is age 62, Susan is 57, Ida is 27 and Sarah is 21.  They are living in Humberstone, Welland, Ontario.

Seventh, and final low hanging Ancestry fruit, Record Hint is the 1861 Census of Canada.  She is age 28 living in Humberstone, Welland, Ontario.  She is with husband Jesse and children Alonzo, 9; Melissa, 7; and Nancy.

While I have added 8 sources, I still have much unverified.  In particular I have no source on her maiden name being Learn.  I also do not have her parents yet.

I now have 7 children for her, 6 listed in the death notice. Mrs. W. K Minor was Ida. Mrs. W. W. Dell was Mary Jane. Mrs. Sloan Schooley was Nancy Theresa. Mrs. Sarah Findley was, of course, Sarah. Mrs Sellers was Susan M.

The birth of Sarah Louisa Zavitz lists her mother as Susannah M Learn as does her marriage record.

There were 12 suggested Connections. I accepted 4 of them, the others had differences I would like to resolve first.  

One person indicated that her parents were Andrew Learn and Mary Elizabeth Macklem.  For now that is what I am going with.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

I have waited for soooo long for this



And it is finally here!  AncestryDNA is available in Canada!  You can read their blog post here or jump right in and order a kit today!

Since I have French Canadian and Ontario, Canada ancestors, I am super excited and hope to see new matches with Ancestor Hints showing up soon!  I also plan to get all my family to test for me again.