Sunday, September 18, 2016

What a mess!

Today I had some sort of computer issue, which resulted in several things I was doing crashing in a distressing way.  Thankfully, it all seems to be running ok now, no idea what the issue was.  Actually, I did have an idea.  It may be that I was using almost 100% of my C drive. This prompted me to see if I could move files to my D drive, which led to me re-evaluating what is on my computer. 

In Dropbox I have 64.1 GB apparently.  64.1 GB!!!! And that is after I deleted quite a few large things from that folder. Since my C drive has 186 GB that is a good portion of my drive.  Yes, I know, I could get a bigger drive, and a better laptop.  Definitely on my list of things to get.  

In a perfect world, Dropbox would contain every file that I would take to a new computer.  So, if my house burns down with the laptop in it, new computer, download files and carry on.  I'd like to say that I am good with this and every file is indeed in Dropbox, and that everything is backed up to another physical location as well, but that would be a lie.  I do backup my genealogy program and my GMP etc but not as often as I should.  I backup maybe once a week, but not on a regular schedule.  This isn't so bad, because my genealogy program file is actually in Dropbox, so it backs itself up as well as the backups I do to zip files every so often.  In practice tho, Dropbox often doesn't actually get the chance to backup the file because of its large size and I'm always using it.

I also have a major organizing issues, and have files everywhere, in Dropbox, on the Desktop, in folders here and there....its a real mess!

So, today is the day I work on that!  25,773 Files, 590 Folders in Dropbox currently.  

One folder in Dropbox that is huge is Camera Uploads.  Since I have many young children, this is probably not a surprise
4,153 Files, 25 Folders for 20.1 GB

Saturday, September 17, 2016

My top 23andMe match - Gail J.

Following my DNA match plan, I am looking at my top 23andMe match (not counting "my testers")

My top match is Gail J.  I match her 2.07%, 154cM in 9 segments. She is predicted to be a 2nd to 3rd cousin. I have already solved this match. She is my 2nd cousin twice removed. Our common ancestors are John Thomas Lloyd and Grace Elizabeth Slocum.

I match her on chromosomes 1, 3, 3, 6, 6, 7, 11, 12 and 15.

I went to the first segment match in GMP and entered the MRCA and then hit MARK to mark the other segments with the same MRCA.

Sadly, because of my current 23andMe glitch, I can not do the many compares that 529andYou suggests.

Also sadly, Gail has not uploaded to Gedmatch or to FTDNA. I sent her a follow up message at 23andMe

Working on DNA matches in Genome Mate Pro

For this entire day I have been working on my DNA matches. This is an amazingly long process that I have been working on for years.

I have personally DNA tested at 23andMe and AncestryDNA and transferred my data to FTDNA and Gedmatch.

I am using a program called Genome Mate Pro (GMP) to help me work with my matches.  This is a great program, but it has been a long day of learning for me, although I already knew most of how to use GMP. 

In GMP so far I have 21 Profiles. I have all 20 kits of people I have tested at 23andMe and also 1 from an uncle who tested on his own account.

I normally use 529andYou extensively to run comparisons but at the moment 23andMe is not working for me, due to the insanely high number of shares I have on my one account.  (5000+, so unless you are crazy like me, you needn't worry about this happening to you)

I have a ton of data, what I need now is a plan of how to manage it.  GMP is a big part of that plan.  I also need to plan in what order I will try to work on matches.  I will confess that right now I am often working according to who emailed last ;)

I think what I will do is work in this order: the top matches at each site the sites being:

1 -23andme
3- AncestryDNA
4- Gedmatch
5- Geni

I will do all 5 sites for one person, then move onto the next person for all 5 sites.  

The first people will be:

1 - Me
2 - My father
3 - Brandon
4 - Tiffany
5 - Sandra
6 - My paternal grandmother 
7 - My maternal grandfather
8 - my children's father
9 - my oldest daughter
10- my 2nd oldest daughter 

So following this plan, first up is my top 23andMe match, then my top FTDNA match and so on. This isn't a perfect plan, because new matches may come in that are higher than the ones I have already done, but every possible plan has some potential drawback.

My hope is that by working through the matches in this fashion, updating GMP with the segment data, by the time I get to the smaller matches I will already have a good idea as to which ancestor likely contributed that DNA.

One issue I am having is the time to just keep the database updated.  I need a schedule of when I update what.

To prepare to start this adventure, I started to import files to my GMP profile.  I have filled in all the profile parts, with my Gedmatch #, 23andMe name etc.  Importing the data for gedmatch was quite the challenge.  Do not do what I did.  I did a one-to-many compare, and got the list of 2000 matches.  I did the first import of the 2000 matches.  I then manually clicked every freaking box (yes, thats right, 2000 boxes) and then was unable to do the 2D chromosome browser which is what GMP needed to add the segment data for the 2000 matches.  I would have had to click the boxes again, 250 or so at a time perhaps.  This was not a good plan, so I went to the GMP user group on Facebook and asked for help.  A kind person there suggested I use the Tier 1 features at gedmatch instead.  For $10/mth you can get access to the Tier 1 features at gedmatch.  Instead of using the other method you can then use the Tier 1 features of segment matches and triangulation to import to GMP.  There were over 4000 kits in the segment match list, and no boxes to check.  I repeat, no boxes to check!  That alone was worth the $10. I did have to import it twice to GMP tho, once for GMP to make the relatives list and once for the segment data. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

SNGF, Sep 3, 2016

The question Randy Seaver asked this week was how many surnames are in our GMP.  I use Legacy, and asked Legacy for a PDF of a Surname Summary.  This gave me a huge PDF.  I then asked for a Statistics report, which gave me a smaller PDF with the most common surnames.

I have 49,253 surnames in Legacy. In total, I have 868, 515 people in my database.  

The top 10 surnames were:

1. Rice 13215 
2. ? 10409 
3. Smith 8259 
4. Stebbins 7788 
5. Haskell 6106
6. Howe 5032
7. Brown 4988
8. Scudder 4169
9. Johnson 3747
10. Williams 3359 

I'm not surprised that Rice is the top surname, as I have researched descendants of Edmund Rice for many years.  "?" as the second most common is not ideal.  #5, Haskell, is also a research focus for me.  

Legacy also gave me some statistics narrowed down by date.

Most Popular Surnames With Missing Dates
1. ? 4787 
2. Smith 2988 
3. Brown 1551 
4. Haskell 1500 
5. Johnson 1372 
6. Rice 1371 
7. Moore 1332 
8. Miller 1267 
9. Houghton 1190 
10. Davis 1165 

As Houghton is also a research focus, I would have liked to have seen it appear in the top 10 overall.

Most Popular Surnames Used before 1500
1. ? 234 
2. Plantagenet 191 
3. Neville 147 
4. Beauchamp 132 
5. Grey 125 
6. Beaumont 105 
7. Percy 103 
8. Corbet 102 
9. Courtenay 100 
10. Ferrers 90 

Most Popular Surnames Used Between 1500 and 1599
1. ? 586 
2. Smith 66 
3. Throckmorton 66 
4. White 64
5. Wright 61 
6. Scudder 57 
7. Baldwin 49 
8. Drake 49 
9. Howard 48 
10. Clark 46 

Most Popular Surnames Used Between 1600 and 1699
1. ? 1036 
2. Smith 403 
3. Brown 335 
4. Clark 228 
5. Wright 201 
6. Rice 200 
7. Wheeler 186 
8. Allen 182 
9. Williams 180 
10. Fuller 173 

Most Popular Surnames Used Between 1700 and 1799
1. Rice 2841 
2. Chapin 1538 
3. Smith 1538 
4. Haskell 1432 
5. Howe 1389 
6. ? 1259 
7. Stebbins 1248 
8. Brown 1085 
9. Avery 900 
10. Putnam 889 

Most Popular Surnames Used Between 1800 and 1899
1. Rice 7619 
2. Stebbins 4651 
3. Haskell 2842 
4. Smith 2590 
5. Howe 2379 
6. Scudder 2223 
7. ? 2113 
8. Burr 1645 
9. Brown 1603 
10. Chapin 1587 

Most Popular Surnames Used Between 1900 and 1999
1. Stebbins 1352 
2. Rice 1177 
3. Smith 671 
4. Yount 616 
5. Johnson 464 
6. Fears 431 
7. Ackley 425 
8. Nottingham 414 
9. ? 393 
10. Brown 391 

Most Popular Surnames Used After 2000
1. Stebbins 7
2. Bierens 6 
3. Fay 6 
4. Thompson 5 
5. Rushlow 4 
6. Stewart 4 
7. Bernadotte 3 
8. Rice 3 
9. Simpson 3 
10. Urdangarin 3 

Interesting.  The names after 2000 tells me I have not been good with keeping the database updated with recent births.

I also asked Geni to give me some statistics, on my blood relatives.

They told me the following surnames were most common:

Culver, 58
Della Porta, 43
Gravel, 110
Haskill, 111
Kealey, 95
Knox, 73
Monet, 47
Monette, 75
Mulligan, 68
Peverelle, 96
Powell, 48
Simpson, 56
Slocum, 104
Spearman, 92
Townsend, 140

Geni informs me this chart was based on 4835 profiles with surnames entered, and that my tree has 164 profiles with missing surnames data.  I would expect some differences here because the chart is based on me, not my children, and I have done extensive research on my children's ancestors.

After making SNGF posts, I like to give myself some research tasks/goals.  

Those tasks/goals for this post are:

1.  update database so that all top 10 surnames after 2000 are at least in the double digits.

2. work on missing dates.

3.  Fill in the 164 missing surnames in Geni.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Born this day - Jul 10th

My Legacy file has 777 people born on Jul 10th.  The first one I am going to write about is Susan Maria Abbott. She is my 6th cousin 6 times removed.

Susan Maria Abbott was the daughter of Josiah Abbott and Ruth Estabrook and she was born 10 Jul 1820.

She married Benjamin C Schneider on 25 May 1858.

That was all the info I had and the only source I had for this was Descendants of George Abbott of Rowley, Mass., Vol 1.

I was able add a vital record source for her birth, marriage and death and I found an entry with a photo at Findagrave.

She was born in Massachusetts.  She died 25 Nov 1905 in Massachusetts.

death record for Susan Schneider in 1905, viewed at

I also found her in the 1850 US census.  I also found her living with her parents in the 1855 Massachusetts census.

The record I was most pleased to see was a copy of her will.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

More about Ancestry Hints

Yesterday I posted that I do use the shaking leaf hints at  I wrote about the hints that I was given on a person and the new info that I had and how many other sources were not hinted.  

One problem that I do have with Ancestry hints is that they are for everyone in your tree, so you will get hints on your 7th cousin 5 times removed's wife's grandfathers second wife's father as likely as for your great grandfather.  This isn't entirely true, because the hints are generated when you look at a profile in a part of the tree but it happens more than is convenient.  When you go to attach the hint to get it off the list, you get more hints on a line you may not care about. Sometimes it would be nice to be able to sort the hints to show blood relatives only.

My hints climb faster than I can hope to clear them. Yesterday I had 112, 050 and today I have 112, 526. At the end of the day I will probably have more even though I will have spent hours attaching hints to profiles.

My relationship with Kevin Bacon

Yesterday was Kevin Bacon's birthday and Geni posted about this here.  Kevin Bacon is my 10th cousin 3 times removed.

relationship path, Kristina Hewitt to Kevin Bacon, path generated by on Jul 9th, 2016
I had my path back to Ralph Allen pretty well documented, but I did not have the path back down to Kevin Bacon.

I find it interesting that my path goes through two previously unknown fathers.  My own father was unknown to me until my late 30s.  My paternal great grandmother Lillian Margaret Townsend's father Harvey McMaster Lloyd was not confirmed until I worked on it over the past few years.  DNA has confirmed both these fathers.  

Want to know how you are related to Kevin Bacon? Go on over to and ask!