As a genealogist, what do you want to find in your stocking this year? You don’t even have to have been good! No elf-on-a-shelf is watching – I promise!
- Do you need a tool that doesn’t yet exist?
- Do you need to learn a skill?
- Do you need to DNA test a particular person?
- Do you want to break down a specific brick wall?
Here’s what I want, in no particular order:
- A chromosome browser from Ancestry. Yes, I know this comes in the dead horse category and Hades has not yet frozen over, but I still want a chromosome browser.
- Resurrection of the Y and mtDNA data bases at Ancestry and Sorenson (purchased by Ancestry.) Refer to dead horse and Hades comment above.
- Tree matching at Family Tree DNA. (The request has been submitted.)
- A tool to find Y and mtDNA descendants of an ancestor who may have tested or be candidates to test at Family Tree DNA. Family Tree DNA is the only major company who does Y and mtDNA testing today, so this is the only data base/vendor this request applies to.
- To find the line of my James Moore, c1720-c1798 who married Mary Rice and lived in Amelia and Prince Edward Counties in Virginia before moving to Halifax County. I’d really love to get him across the pond. This is *simply* a matter of waiting until the right person Y DNA tests. Simply – HA! Waiting is not my strong suit. Maybe I should ask for patience, but I’ve already been as patient as I can be for 15 years. Doesn’t that count for something? Santa???
- To discover the surname and family of Magdalena (c1730-c1808) who married Philip Jacob Miller. Magdalena’s descendant has an exact mitochondrial DNA match in the Brethren community to the descendant of one Amanda Troutwine (1872-1946) who married William Hofacker on Christmas Day, 1889 in Darke County, Ohio.. Now all I need to do is extend Amanda’s line back far enough in time. I’m very hopeful. I need time and a little luck on this one.
I’d be happy with any one of the half-dozen “wishes” above, but hey, this is permission to dream and dream big – so I’ve put them all on my list, just in case Genealogy Santa is feeling particularly generous this year!
Tell us about your dream gift(s) in your genealogy stocking and what you need to make those dreams come true. What might you do to help make that happen? Do you have a plan?
For example, items 1-4 are beyond my control, but I have made my wishes known, repeatedly. I’ve researched #5 to death, so waiting for that Moore match now comes in the “genealogy prayer” category. But item 6 is clearly within reach – so I’ll be focused on Amanda Troutwine as soon as the holiday festivities are over. Let’s hope you’ll be reading an article about this success soon.
So, ask away. What’s on your list? You just never know where Santa’s helpers may be lurking!!!
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Dear Santa, Please bring me contact information for a living direct male line descendant of John Crockett Hudson (1839-1918 Rutherford Co, TN). If it’s not too much trouble, could you put bugs in the ears of the two men who agreed to test for me in November, but have not returned their kits? You know I have been a VERY good girl, helping everyone who asked for genealogy help (forgive me for pressing information on a few who did not really want to know about their ancestors).
Your friend, Carolyn Odle Smotherman
You might send your two men a suggestion after Christmas. I often send a reminder that doesn’t sound like a reminder:) I tell them I know how hard it is to remember to swab, especially waiting an hour after eating, etc. So I suggest to them that if they sit the kit on the bathroom sink behind the water faucet that they will see it in the morning before they brush their teeth, which is the perfect time to swab!!!!
I’ve had the same issue with a few of my potential DNA Participants. One step I did that seems to help in getting Participants to move forward after receiving the test that I’ve sponsored was to send them a message. I start by thanking them once again for agreeing to take the DNA test for me and express how exciting it would be to possibly uncover more about our possible mutual ancestral connection. You might want to mention whatever you had previously discussed with them which caused them to initially agree to take the test for you. Also, I occasionally share with them, not in lengthy detail, some other aspects of my DNA usage that help me accomplish other goals which were not necessarily in connection to the shared lineage in the hopes of creating further interest into the possibilities and most importantly encouraging the DNA Participant to move forward with participation. [ Though having stated the above, I do stress to them that my previous DNA success does not necessarily guarantee any unique findings with regards to their results.]
My biggest wish is to find the identity of my grandfather (my mother was adopted). Through DNA testing I found the right family without a doubt but they had five boys, all the correct age and all possibly in the right place at the right time. Only one of the boys had known children (have tested his grandson) and he appears from the DNA test to be my uncle, so that only leaves four choices now! I’m hoping for a true miracle! 🙂 Merry Christmas to All!
Have you read Richard Hill’s book “Finding Family” in which he describes his methods to discover his biological father in the same situation yours. The book is a fast, easy and delightful read and is available either at Amazon.com or at Richard’s website http://www.DNA-Testing-Advisor.com. It might help you. Bobbi E.
Yes, I have read Richard Hill’s book, it’s excellent. Unfortunately, without having descendants to test, don’t think I can solve from DNA unless an unknown descendant tests someday (if such a person even exists). Richard Hill was able to find descendants of each man (believe each brother) to compare, and I’m not able to do that. I had hoped that their military records may help (WWI and just after) but all their records were in the those destroyed by fire. Thanks for the suggestion.
I would also like #1 and #3 on Roberta’s list, but I realize you may be out of dead horses for beating since you have to keep the Lords a’Leaping!! However more than anything, I want to find the most recent common ancestor of the 4 Irish matches I have tested who were all from near Ballygar, IE, where my great-grandmother Lohan was born. They range from 3rd to 5th cousins, so how difficult can this be? No luck yet though. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all!
My biggest wish is to discover the identity of my maternal grandfather (my mother was adopted). Through DNA testing I have found the family without a doubt, but they had five boys, all may have been in the right place at the right time. Only one of the boys had known children, so tested one of his grandsons and from the results would image he is my great uncle, so that narrows it down to four possible choices. I need a true miracle! 🙂 Merry Christmas to All!
To find more information on my fifth maternal grandma. My brick wall..
What’s her name and enough about her to identify her. You never know who reads these comments and might be able to help you.
Dear Santa: Please bring me a facial recognition tool that doesn’t yet exist. My wife, Kara, inherited a treasure trove of classic family photos from her parents, some of them going back to the late 1800s. The problem is, there is no one left in her family who can identify who anyone in the photos are. Please bring me a facial recognition software tool that is linked to a large database of previously identified photographs of ancestors so that I can identify who the people are in Kara’s family photos! If that is too large of a project for Santa’s workshop, you can start with just Virginia and West Virginia!
It would also be nice if the tool looked at other pictures of people on your computer and told you which people the unidentified picture looks the most like.
Just a thought about #5. Sometimes, when a new county is establisg=hed it is closer to go to the new county seat even if left in the old county.
Yea, I’ve extracted all of the records for both counties.
In regards to number 3, I just wish that people would upload a tree. 90% of my matches have no tree or list of surnames, and do not respond to e-mails. Family Finder has been a big waste of money for me, as I have gotten nothing out of it.
I wonder if it’s genetic? LOL. Seriously though, I just looked at my autosomal match list at FTDNA and on the first page, 14 out of 30 have trees and 19 of 30 have ancestral surnames listed. Of those, 15 have bolded surnames which mean we have a surname in common. Using those surnames combined with the Parental Phasing buckets and the ICW tool has been an extremely powerful combination for me. So, out of curiosity, I went to Ancestry and looked at my first page of matches there. I had 24 with trees and of those, three had leaf matches. I had 18 with no tree and 8 that were private, so the equivalent of no tree and generally, no communication either. So both FTDNA and Ancestry were both about 50% with accessible trees.
It’s been a rough year. How about easing it out with at least a couple of the following?
1) A direct maternal ancestor of Patience (Whitaker) Marlow (c.1774-1833) who is willing to (or does) take a mtDNA FMS test at FTDNA. I am 99% sure she is the sister of my Mary (Whitaker) Johnson, a big brick wall (see https://digginupgraves.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/finding-mary-whitaker-part-1-of-mtdna-u5a1i1a1-52-ancestors/).
2) A family Bible or other family information on these two Whitaker women. They seem to have appeared in Iredell and Rowan Counties, North Carolina, with no parents and no siblings. Surely this cannot be true. And yes, I know that it is my responsibility to seek deeds in Rowan and Iredell County for a Whitaker man who may have transferred his land to his daughters and sons-in-laws. But I’m up here and they are down there.
3) Just that *one* piece of evidence that will allow me to prove or disprove the relationship between Frank and Ella (Sausser) Troutman of Pennsylvania and Cleveland and my Charles Troutman. It’s so close (see https://digginupgraves.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/charles-troutman-take-3-52-ancestors/).
4) Some way to figure out who the father to my Carrie (Virkler) Troutman was. Her parents are supposed to be Joseph H. and Martha J. (Blue) Virkler, but I am not finding autosomal DNA matches with any Virklers. I am well aware that this proves nothing, but it casts some doubt for me since Martha already has one child that was not Joseph’s. Could Carrie be another?
5) The ability to download, in CSV format, my matches from AncestryDNA showing chromosomes, matching cMs, and SNPs, as well as contact information. THAT’s not going to happen anymore than will a chromosome browser, but it would be super useful (see https://digginupgraves.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/how-to-use-ancestrydna-and-stay-sane/).
6) TROUTMAN/TRAUTMAN/etc., men who Y-DNA test and join the FTDNA project of the same name.
Big hugs, Elizabeth
Oh, goodness. On #1, I meant a direct maternal *descendant* of Patience (Whitaker) Marlow. No wonder I’m not finding someone to test! 🙂
Well, a mummified direct ancestor would do I guess. ^_~
Indeed it would!
Have you tried checking FamilySearch? Select search, catalog, enter the word Rowan, select your Rowan County, then see which of their resources have been imaged and are online. That’s how I found much of the Pulaski County, KY info in my recent articles. They are adding new info all the time. Beats the heck out of traveling to the courthouse.
Ah, yes! I always forget that the way that I found the proof of my Willie Ann (Rowe) Blue’s father was by looking page by page through probate files at FamilySearch. Thanks!
So true, Roberta. People seem to be mostly unaware of what huge resources and excellent databases are available at FamilySearch.org, all without even signing in. If you obtain a free login and build or share your tree at the free “Family Tree” online tool, many of those resources now popup automatic suggestions. You only have to view the free videos to learn how it works.
The catalog search you suggested isn’t yet available through the popup suggestions on FamilySearch.org’s Family Tree but it is available like you said, through the main website. Also, people forget the many books that are also available online. Those that aren’t online yet can be viewed at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. That’s where I recommend people start when they visit there. Save the microfilms for later because you can always order them online to be sent to your nearest Genealogy library. Don’t forget there are about 3 million rolls of microfilm and less than 1/10 that number have been indexed.
Elizabeth, the Rowan County, NC deed records and indexes to grantors/grantees are digitized on the familysearch.org site, back to county formation days. (Just found this out recently.)
Cathy, that’s great! I was trying to find them and got sidetracked.
Regarding your #4, maybe that could be done at 23&Me as well, since they test both, even if it isn’t as extensive (read expensive) as FTDNA.
Since 23andMe doesn’t have trees at all at this point, it would be hard for them to track descendants through trees. However, I believe 23andMe said they were going to do trees, again, after their “divorce” from My Heritage.
I got my Christmas wish this week! I am so excited! I have been looking for about 5 years for something more on my Daniel Smith. Got him to Surry County, NC and was stuck, Well this week hit pay dirt! Got his parents and most of his siblings and a lead on his grandparents! Keep Digging!
1. A chromosome browser at Ancestry and a file to download matches at all chromosomal segments. That would be easy for them to provide and a perfect holiday gift. After all, when I tested they were using the same default v1 chip as FTDNA, and FTDNA has had no problem sharing this information. Ancestry’s larger customer base would give me much additional information to go on.
2. An end to the prevalent and erroneous perception from millennials and gen-Xers that 23and me is the only cool place to test.
3. A significant clue to the ancestry of 3rd great grandparents Jane Burke Anderson Taylor and Daniel M. Taylor, of Richmond and Winchester, Virginia, who lived large in the early 19th century but left no trace of their ancestry.
Any ideas why the millennials think that?
Young members of my extended family say they like getting the “medical” report as well as the genetic genealogy. They’ve become suckers for the TV ads. It’s similar to their preference toward Ancestry.com rather than FTDNA.com. It’s all about the TV ads and the fact that they want answers without having to work for them.
Check out their YouTube videos, where the hosts seem to be cool, savvy, millennial genealogists!
I think it’s mostly in the marketing and the well-known relationship to another immensely popular millennials brand. Only a tiny fraction of that generation are in the field and many are just beginning to think about the topic. A cool aura gets you market share in no time flat under those circumstances.
Don’t get me wrong, though. I greatly admire the founders of 23andMe for having the courage to set up their business model and make it work. I think each of the major services provides something unique, and I would love to see people get the advantages from all three, especially as their interest in genetics and genealogy matures and burgeons.
Dear Santa, we need the North Carolina legislature to repeal HB2 so that the NGS conference in Raleigh in 2017 will be as big and awesome as it can be, instead of having presenters and attendees pull out.
I have discovered there is a flaw in the AncestryDNA messaging process. If you use the green message button on the DNA Profile page a message is sent but the recipient does not get an email alerting them to the message. If you send a message using the brown button on the Member Profile page they do get an email alert.
This means that if send a message using the green button and the recipient only logs into Ancestry very infrequently (like people who are lured in by the ethnicity report) or if they log in using a mobile device that does not have the new message flag they do not know that you have sent them a message. Many people on the Facebook DNA group I am involved in report a much better hit rate for responses from sending the message via the brown button.
My hope for the New year is that Ancestry fix this and that a message sent via the green button results in an email alert.
I do like your No 4 about identifying potential y-DNA and mtDNA descendants.
Thank you for your information on the Ancestry message buttons. One of my wishes is that people would respond to the messages at Ancestry, particularly those who have private trees. I have almost given up trying, since there are so few responses. I will try using the other button and, perhaps, putting my email address in the message in case the person no longer subscribes to Ancestry.
I always put my email and believe it or not, received both an email and invite to a private tree this morning, Christmas morning. She says she has photos of my ancestors land and has been there, so there is always hope.
I was confused about the message system at Ancestry, so last week learned that even if a person has a subscription, they can receive a message AND respond back to that message. But, they cannot initiate a message.
Meant to say that even if a person DOES NOT have a subscription, they can receive and respond back to a message. But, they cannot initiate a message.
Hi Sarah – I would be interested to hear if you have more success with the brown button.
caith – Someone who has done a DNA test can initiate a message with their matches using the green button on the match’s DNA Profile. After that the message goes through the regular messaging system. Other than that, you do need a subscription to initiate a message through the brown button on the Member Profile page.
I like FamilyTreeDNA’s new Hunter Gatherer / Neolithic Farmer / Metal-Age Invader breakdown of our European Ancestry in the last 4,000 – 12,000 years.
Now if they could expand into the Caucusus and Middle East, for the same time period, to cover Zagros Mountain Farmer, Levantine Farmer, and Caucusus Farmer, and also into Siberia to cover Ancient North Eurasian….
And if they could provide some coverage of hominin hybridization in the last 50,000 – 500,000 years, as their lab did for Geno and Geno 2.0…. Anatomically Modern Human / Basal Eurasian, Neanderthal, Denisovan, archaic African, archaic east Asian ….
First, THANK YOU!!! for helping break down my 2nd great grandparent Braidy/Frazer brick wall by showing they were actually Brady/Fryrear. Lots of wonderful new ancestors there!
Second I absolutely agree with your first and third wishes Roberta. So very much needed – an Ancestry chromosome browser could potentially make dozens of brick walls come tumbling down with just this tool.
In 2017 I would love to find the ancestors of John William Brown (1847?-49? – 1925) maybe Liverpool England, to Cowley County KS, and Tulsa OK. I know his father’s name was William Brown. His mother was Mary Ann (maybe O’Brien) Brown and she lived to be 104. (1801 – 1905) She was interviewed in various newspapers numerous times and told different stories, few that can be verified, each time. She was maybe born in Queen’s County Ireland and died in Wichita KS. I can’t find her on a single census until 1900.
Well, Roberta, since you asked, I wish that I could find certifiable evidence of the parents of Archibald Garland, my grandfather, b 1859 Caplin Cove or Lower Island Cove, Newfoundland-d 1939, either the same or the US. I wish I had had the genealogy bug when my grandmother was alive (she died 1984), but that wish is too late to be fulfilled. So my third wish is that all of your fans talk to their oldest relatives in order to make it easier on those future genealogists to join their research to ours, for an unbroken line. Thanks for all the gifts of your blog, and the many things you’ve taught me. Hugs, Pat
I’d like to find my adopted husband’s birth parents.
I need the family tree for his #1 ftdna match, John W. Wark who died without posting one. They have 3 matching segments of 11, 13, and 19 cM, and a total of 88 cM. What kind of cousins might they be? They are 37 years apart in age.
I also need to know his y surname. His gd=0 y37 dna match is Cairns, but when I compare him to all the Cairns (Carnes, Kearns, etc) at ysearch.org he is so far off it couldn’t be correct. I’m starting to think his Cairns match might not be a Cairns either.
This might get you started:
John William Wark
United States, Obituaries, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia
Name John William Wark
Event Type Obituary
Event Date 03 Feb 2011
Event Place Palo Alto
Birth Date 04 Aug 1925
Birthplace Athol, Massachusetts
Spouse and Children
John G Wark Son Male
David G Wark Son Male
Gayle Geddes Wark Wife Female
Marcella Freeman Wark Wife Female
Sandra Berg Daughter Female
Parents and Siblings
John Wark Father Male
Nellie Marie Sullivan Wark Mother Female
Jennifer Wark Daughter-in-Law Female
Dean C Berg Son-in-Law Male
Aaron M Berg Grandson Male
Citing this Record
“United States, Obituaries, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1899-2012,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVSM-DT1B : 31 July 2014), John William Wark, 03 Feb 2011; citing Obituary, in “”; American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln.
Go to the link above and read his obituary. It mentions an interest in genealogy. There are several trees on Ancestry that extend his tree back several generations.
Thanks Marci. Yes, a lot of work has already been done on Wark going backwards. What I really need is the marriage certificate for Nellie Marie Sullivan. I can’t find her parent’s names. Death cert only says Sullivan and McCarthy. She was born in Ireland and, I think, came over without her parents in 1915. She is my current brick wall.
Happy Christmas, Roberta! As for wishing for ancestors to be found (or their surnames), my aunt once told me to pray to those ancestors, asking them to help you find them. For example, i am looking for the parents of my gr.gr.grandfather, James L. Fuller, born about 1818. I ask James Fuller to help me find his parents. Then i ask his namelss parents themselves to help me find them. This has worked for some other forefathers of mine, but not yet helped with finding my James Fuller’s parents. Alas. But i keep praying, and keep searching. I now have a certain DNA lead which i think is very promising. So, eventually i stil might find them!
My Christmas wish is 2 different Johnson family Bibles, 2 different lines. And, also, a Davis family Bible.
Also, I wish Ancestry would improve their navigational tools, such silliness. Especially, getting boxed in to the tiny right corner trying to attach a record..
My wish is that Roberta keeps pushing for tools that will help all of us. Thank you, Roberta, for keeping us updated! You are the real Santa!
Thank you. I’ll see how I look in that beard:)
I have just had a Malisa Troutwine show up as a 5-8th cousin Ancestry DNA match. If i could figure out how to attach a screenshot to this reply i would. But caution, as i am an almost 80 y o (b’day in 10 days) adoptee with no info on birth family, i dont know how much i can help.
Do you know how to send her a message through Ancestry? If you do, ask her if she is from the Troutwine family in or near Darke County, Ohio. If not, don’t worry about it. Thank you for thinking of me. (PS – You can’t attach screen shots to comments – so it’s not you – it’s WordPress.)
My Genealogy Dream Gifts:
1. Roberta’s dream gifts 1 through 4, especially the Ancestry chromosome browser and Y and mtDNA data bases.
2. Most importantly, to find the PA Wilson family that has heard an old story about a younger brother (John Wilson b. 1863) who left home at age 14 (c. 1877) (after his chair slipped out from under him during a meeting of Howling Methodists in his home) and was never heard from again. All he would tell his wife and family was that he was from Pennsyltucky, that his father had been married twice, and that he was the youngest child. After some 30 years I have only been able to find is that the 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 US census lists his birthplace as PA, his father’s as ME, and his mother’s as PA. He ended up in WA where he became a successful business man and county commissioner. My mother said he was a nice person.
3. To find my Robert Sinclair (b. 1772) and Nancy Mckenzie (b. 1773) families in Scotland, where they said they came from Inverness to Virginia (now WV) c. 1799. Family lore says that Robert’s father’s name was Frank. An Inverness genealogist was unable to find any record of them there, but speculated that they would most likely have come from the Caithness area in the north rather than from the south, based on historic travel patterns at the time.
What I Have Done to Make My Dreams Come True:
1. I have tested at FTDNA, Ancestry, and 23&Me, paid for FTDNA tests for my two daughters and my sister, and for my Wilson cousin at Ancestry (I expected to be able to transfer her results to FTDNA, but so far this has not been possible.)
2. My Wilson Dream: I tracked down the one living male Wilson descendant in the family (my 1st cousin 1x removed) and paid for his FTDNA Family Finder and YDNA-64 tests and learned that our Wilson YDNA line is I-M253.
3. My Sinclair Dream: I examined all Ancestry family trees that included my Sinclair-Mckenzie family and found one living male, who agreed to take the YDNA test and established that our Sinclair line is also I-M253. (My Sinclair line is on my mother’s side, while my Wilson line is on my father’s side, so this is just a coincidence.)
4. My Christmas present to myself is that I purchased the FTDNA Big-Y test for my Wilson cousin, and the results are due in early February. (Yes, I have spent a lot of money on these tests, but I have enjoyed the quest, learned a lot, even if only to rule out possible matches, and have not regretted these decisions for a moment!
There is a Sinclair from Caithness who mentioned on the TalkingScot.com forum the other day that he has (just?) tested. If he has done the Y test, it might help both of you. Can’t hurt to contact him, anyway! http://www.talkingscot.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=18397
Thanks for the reference. I found the Sinclair you mentioned, and he does look like a good lead. I signed up for the TalkingScot forum and am waiting for my application to be approved.
My Sinclair cousin’s DNA has already been submitted to the FTDNA Sinclair study, where he has several matches, but NONE of them have taken their lines back to Scotland yet, so this could help some more Sinclair descendants too.
Well, this is strange. Here I am today searching on google for Sinclair & Gedmatch when I find this post, which mentions the talking scot post I made a few weeks ago. Kay, I have done Ancestry Autosomal and got the results backhand am waiting for the FTDNA y67 results. Feel free to get in touch, wither through this message (if I will get an alert for a response??) or Facebook/twitter or e mail: malcolmdotsinclairatmedotcom 🙂
Malcom, what a great surprise to hear from you. Will send you an email in a while…. Kay
1. Success in my Jones line with recent test upgrades and wish for a second validator participant. I’ve been waiting too long on this one too!
2. Finding a location in England for my paternal surname line or at least a Y DNA match over there! LOL
I can grant you #4 wish for you Roberta–wikitree.com already does this and it is WONDERFUL!! 🙂
I do know about WikiTree and agree that it is wonderful, but few people participate when compared to how many have tested. I hope that this function can be added at Family Tree DNA because it would not depend upon the tester uploading or participating in a third party site. Kudos to WikiTree for what they have done.
I wish for a ghostly visit from my mother perhaps in the form of a dream explaining why I grew up with a totally ficticious name. DNA is now pointing to the possible family of my birth father and there are nine boys to research. Thank heaven I have a cousin match who is willing to help. I am in my mid 70’s and need to get this done.
Since we’re wishing, how wonderful it would be to have DNA processing that could preserve the sequence for each individual chromosome, so that we have the string of values for each side of the chromosome pair. That would make it much easier to identify paternal vs. maternal, as well as eliminating many of the false positive segments. One day maybe… Here’s wishing!
A very Merry Christmas and Happy, Healthy New Year to you and yours!!!
1. I would like to find the ancestors of Enos Howard (1760-1844) who married Martha B. Soule in 1783 in New York (spouse’s lines).
2. I would also like to find my paternal great grandparents, and more on my father’s maternal and paternal lines in Germany – Claus Herman Sass (1869-1957 son of Hermann Sass, abt 1830-?, and Wiebke Mohr, abt 1830-?), Johann Heinrich Engel (1834-1909) and Anna Maria Frendt (1842-1916). I haven’t been able to find anything online that I could positively connect to these people.
3. A one year (at least) membership to one of the genealogy sites.
4. A Flip-Pal scanner.
5. Family members willing to DNA test (especially the Howard and Rockwood male lines).
6. Upgrades to my desktop genealogy software.
By the way, thank you very much for all you post, Roberta. I’ve learned a lot and that’s always a good thing.
An impossible wish, but one we could all make: a jar with slips of paper with each of our ancestors’ names (similar to a job jar). We could draw a name a day–a week? a month? and be able to spend time–a minute? five minutes? and hour? –to be with them somewhere and ask them anything we needed or wanted to know…o that would be the best gift ever! Merry Christmas everyone and many thanks to Roberta for her generous help to each and all of us.
May you have a healthy and prosperous New Year.
Wow, do I ever agree with that wish. I’d trade all the rest for that one!!!
Dear Santa, Please help Family Tree DNA keep their promise, and release myOrigins 2.0
1) I want to find a male descendant of Joseph Phenicie (b. 1762) who would be willing to take a YDNA test. I’ve worked hard on that line this year and I’m pretty sure I’ve shown the connection of that line my own, but it sure would be nice to have YDNA verification. I’ve found lots of atDNA matches this year, but this would be another step.
2) I’ll take your #1 and #3 as well, that way we can all be happy.
3) I like surprises, so I’m hoping for a good one this year. I just had a 2nd cousin to my mom show up on Ancestry out of the blue, so that was nice. I did not encourage her directly, but we are friends on FB and she has been reading my blogs that I did this year. I’ll have to keep that up and maybe some more curiosity will be aroused.
Roberta, I wish that all your dreams will come true! And for myself I wish to find the parents of Elijah O. Tufford (1809-1874) and Keziah Dean House (1812-1891) Have a beautiful, peaceful Christmas and New Year!
In chromobrowsers, to click a segment to open menu where I could chose between “other matches sharing this full segment” or “other matches sharing over half of this segment”.
to be able to list my matches by chromosome. For example, if I have something interesting on chromosome 8, I would like to generate a list with only those who match me on 8. Like we have with the X chromosome, but for every chromosome.
to have access for free, on internet, to the Scotland 1841 census.
to have all my HVR1 and HVR1+2 matches to all turn fullsequnce overnight.
It would be nice if I could become instantly fluent in Flanders Dutch.
And that one of my mt-matches would be kind enough to answer his email.
Oh! and on FTDNA, it would be nice, in the project mtDNA result list, to see a difference between, say, H* and “just H because I didn’t buy the Full Sequence”. For the old kits with only the HVR1 test, it’s obvious they aren’t fullsequence, but for the HVR1+2 vs Fullsequence, we have no clue. T_T
Just #1- the chromosome browser at AncestyDNA – would be the best Christmas present ever! The folks at Ancestry surely know how useful it would be, but have gambled that they can continue to attract and keep new customers with the ethnic pie chart and/or promise of an instant family tree. Eventually, however, I have to believe they’ll see what a selling point the c. browser would be – so let’s continue to ask/beg/plead…whatever it takes!
I have three items I’d place on my wish list. The first is who was the father of my g-g-g-grandfather, James Milton Neal, b in 1825 in Knox or Jefferson County, TN? He first appears on the 1850 Federal Census for Subdivision 15, Knox County, TN. His last name is spelled Neil on that census. He married Sylvania Vaney Vania Turner 8 Apr 1846. She was born 1 Jan 1827 in Anderson or Grainger Co, TN. Sylvania’s mother was Sylvania Syloand Hopper. It has come down through the family for decades that she was part Native American. Syloand was born 19 Dec 1789, and died abt 1850 in TN. She was married to John Hopper.
My second wish relates to an interesting Family Finder DNA Match I noticed yesterday on my Matches and my father’s Matches. The surname was Browneagle, which caught my attention immediately. The Relationship Range is 4th Cousin – Remote Cousin, 46 Shared cM, largest block 11. I did some searches on ancestry and found out she is indeed Native American and I emailed her and am hoping she will reply. I am also hoping if she does reply that she will agree to upload her raw DNA data to Gedmatch.
My third wish is to figure out the best way to learn about the BIG Y results my father got about a month ago. Unfortunately, no Neals, but lots of Scandinavian names.
Best Wishes to Everyone for a Happy New Year!
Diane, You might try the Claiborne County Pioneer Project. They list two of your names on their website. A James Neil b..1825 and a John Hopper b. about 1765. There is an email link to contact them for further information about names of interest to you.
Thank you very much Virdie, I’ll check it out. Happy New Year!
I am sorry to ask you again. What is Ancestry testing for? Your comments about Mt and Y tests being gone.
Years ago, Ancestry had a separate Y and mtDNA test. The stopped offering that and destroyed the data base. Then they started offering autosomal testing, which does not include Y or mtDNA and that is what they still offer today.
I am only wishing for one thing. That keeps it simple and may mean it will happen. My wish is to suddenly develop creative writing skills so I can write interesting ancestor stories like Roberta does. Her writing has inspired me, to just do it, and I have started, but it is all facts so hence the new skill needed.
Hi Sue, You’ve got the hardest part done. That’s how I begin each of my stories. I put the facts I have for them in date order. Then I look at what was going on around them at that time. Like the Revolutionary War, or the Civil War, etc. I weave that in because it clearly affected their life if they were living in the US.
Then I look at the more human story those facts are telling us. If a woman, are there unspoken stories there, like children born 4 or 6 years apart, which clearly means she had a child or two who died.
Everyone’s writing skill and style is very different. I don’t think there is anything wrong with an ancestor series called “Just the Facts” if you have difficulty writing narrative. I think the most important thing is to get those facts out there, the documentation, with some explanation for the newbie genealogist who may someday find them about why those facts mean certain things and what they are telling you.
For example, if a women signs a deed separately from a man, it means that she was signing her dower right in the property away and he could not sign that away on her behalf. It’s about the only thing he couldn’t do “on her behalf” and I have one ancestor whose minister husband sold the land out from under her, then died, and she sued the person he sold the land to, and won her one third back. I’d bet she wasn’t very popular, but when I was reading that chancery suit, I was rooting for her all the way.
Let your own voice be heard about something like that and how you felt about finding the records of your ancestors.
I hope you write your articles. I know they will be wonderful because they will be honoring your ancestors!!!
I struggle to write it in the first person but it does make it more personal and since they are my ancestors I guess that doesn’t matter. I have numbered them out in a wheel and so they will be in order and I can jump around the numbers as interest takes me. I can’t thank you enough because your 50 in 50 really did get me doing it, although mine is 24 in 48 (more realistic)
Here’s hoping for “the gift of the gab” in my writing.
I live in Australia.
Kind Regards, Sue
I have that circle chart too. When I write about one, I put a checkmark in their spot and write the 52 ancestor number in their box. It always feels really good to do that. A sense of accomplishment. I have the one for this coming weekend nearly complete, but the next weeks is a mess. Sometimes those really messy ones take forever.