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Whilst it has been rather too cold to lie on the garage floor, I have been looking at the information which I have about our family's history, and have been undertaking (apt word!) some further digging.

I feel that I need some sort of of application program into which I can build the data which I have from hand-drawn trees from our Uncle (our Mother's Brother), various notes, and various certificates of Births, Marriages and Deaths.

I have come across a Free program from familytreebuilder.com, but am not averse to paying for a tool.  I don't envisage digging further back than the mid-1800s, so don't require anything too clever or elaborate.

As ever, advice from the cognoscenti would be most welcome.

Incidentally, we discovered that our paternal Grandfather, whom we thought had died about the time of my birth in 1939, was alive and living in Bath not a mile from our Father's butcher's shop and only a couple of miles from our home, and he didn't die until 1946.  Yet my Brother and I had been completely unaware of his existence!  Families can be strange and very perplexing!

Ian Cornish

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Ian,

Good luck, and I shall look for any advice you can get on tree programmes.

Family History can be fascinating, and the Internet Age has made it all the more so.       My great-grandfather left us  a "Family Notes, detailing his life in the middle of the 19th century.     I'm transcribing it into Word, as the old exercise book is falling apart.      Recently I came to a passage where he describes a visit to his mother's sister and her husband in a Worcestershire village.       I found the village's webpage, and there a copy of an invoice from Uncle John's business:

image.png.dce415cc70fc89ec9626a4db7537a0c9.png

Dated fifty years after great-grandfather's visit, and this John is the son of Uncle John but still, I now have a direct view into the lives of my ancestors!

John

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I vote for Family Tree Maker and Ancestry. Been using them for a few years now. Not free, but neither are birth/marriage/death certificates. FreeBMD is a useful source too, and as the name suggests it's free!

Find My Past has a few records that Ancestry doesn't, but it's harder to use.

Pete

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Thanks for the swift responses.

I have found a used version of Ancestry Family Tree Maker 2012 in very good condition for £29.95.

Does that sound worthwhile for my purposes?

Ian Cornish

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9 minutes ago, ianc said:

Thanks for the swift responses.

I have found a used version of Ancestry Family Tree Maker 2012 in very good condition for £29.95.

Does that sound worthwhile for my purposes?

Ian Cornish

Not if you want to link it to Ancestry to facilitate your research as it is no longer supported by Family Tree Maker. There is a Family Tree Maker 2019 but I think this will also soon be obsolete as they are likely to soon be bringing out yet another edition of FTM.

There is a newish Family History search site ( not free but cheaper than Ancestry) called My Heritage who hail from Israel.

Please also consider testing your DNA which will further your research into your family history. Ancestry DNA and My Heritage are the best for this and can be uploaded to other DNA sites but no other company DNA testing data can be uploaded to Ancestry.

Through DNA I have found many many cousins and taken my family tree back to in one case my 7th great grandparents and in a lot of cases my 6th great grandparents. I have also found that my parents two families were linked back in 1820 ish one set from Hagbourne Herts/Oxon and the other in Raydon Suffolk. It’s amazing what you find.

In the attached photo of my FT all of the blue circles indicate that I have confirmed DNA matches to each of my Ancestors shown here which is only 3 generations shown.CC56D192-E163-41D1-8EAF-CA1F36A11F13.thumb.png.434ffe2da62f1ba2a3d0325f670e4502.png

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Sue -that's very helpful and I will investigate My Heritage and FTM 2019

I am perplexed and intrigued - how can my DNA be traced back to other members of my family when there are only 6 living members, and 5 of these live on the other side of Thame (son Alex and his family), and my brother is single (divorced and then wife died) and has no offspring.

Do these ancestry people go round with a shovel, digging and then testing bodies in graves?

My mother, father and aunt (father's sister, who never had children) were cremated, so wouldn't get far there!

Ian Cornish

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I have been using the free version of Family Tree Builder - My Heritage for many years now. I find it does everything I want.

Bob

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I have a friend who is heavily into this sort of thing and he recommended Ancestry to me.

As Sue says, you may well put a lot of effort into other sites and then find you can't easily transfer what you have done to Ancestry.

I don't feel that Ancestry is particularly cheap, but there is a free option that you can use (as I did) to do quite a bit of research and build a professional looking tree that you can save and print out. It was a bit of a hassle to get to the free version, and you are constantly nagged to upgrade to the paid version, which gives you access to a lot more features.

At least you can get a feel for it without paying for a subscription to see if you like it. (And get a printed tree to look at.

The problem I have is my dad was welsh and his name was Davies. Turns out that for about seven generations back, all my ancestors were call Danial Davies... Bit difficult to work out who was related to who.

 

Charlie

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1 hour ago, ianc said:

Sue -that's very helpful and I will investigate My Heritage and FTM 2019

I am perplexed and intrigued - how can my DNA be traced back to other members of my family when there are only 6 living members, and 5 of these live on the other side of Thame (son Alex and his family), and my brother is single (divorced and then wife died) and has no offspring.

Do these ancestry people go round with a shovel, digging and then testing bodies in graves?

My mother, father and aunt (father's sister, who never had children) were cremated, so wouldn't get far there!

Ian Cornish

Quick answer Ian, I am an only child with no living parents. However all of my grandparents come from very large families, 16 children in one case and others in the teens. 
i have 29163 DNA matches as at today and have identified 163 of them and they are all over the world.

in the screen shot below you will see 3 people with DNA symbols ( we share DNA) in their profile picture, they are all decended from my Gorman great grandfather Enoch and two of them are in Canada and the third , the son of Anne Stewart is in Minesota US.

I also have a whole group of my Penn/Saunders Ancestors who went gold digging in OZ, they bred like rabbits and there are loads of them. I have lots of DNA matches to their descendants.

221B0E7D-28A5-47DC-9D6F-C1505A57BAE6.png

Edited by SuzanneH
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1 hour ago, ianc said:

Thanks for the swift responses.

I have found a used version of Ancestry Family Tree Maker 2012 in very good condition for £29.95.

Does that sound worthwhile for my purposes?

Ian Cornish

I'm using Family Tree Maker 2011. As Sue says there are newer (and more expensive) versions that have extra features, but I find 2011 works fine and integrates well with Ancestry.

I'm a bit cynical about the use of DNA. A family member whose career is in DNA analysis tells me that Ancestry don't look at enough detail to give precise and accurate data.

1 hour ago, ianc said:

Do these ancestry people go round with a shovel, digging and then testing bodies in graves?

When you upload a family tree online, Ancestry (and all the others) will compare your family members to those in other people's trees and send you 'hints' where they find some matching data. These hints are useful when they refer to original sources (such as birth records) but when they are only a match to other people's trees the accuracy depends on how diligent the tree owner has been. Some of them are laughably inaccurate, but when tree data is copied the mistakes are too. I've lost count of the number of trees that state my wife's father died in Newfoundland, when he'd never been more than 50 miles from Gloucester. My father's family includes a lot of people from Kington in Herefordshire, but there are many trees claiming they come from Kingston, Jamaica. The same will happen with DNA data; if they tell you, like the guy in the TV advert, that you are "60% Viking", what that actually means is that 60% of the DNA sequence that they have for you correlates to that of other people who have identified as being of Viking  heritage. It's not like the DNA sequencing used in criminal cases, where we are told the match between a scene-of-crime sample and a perpetrator has a billions to one probability of a match, because the police labs compare a lot more 'markers' in the DNS sequence, and they are comparing two specific samples.

That's not to say that other people's trees, or their DNS results, are useless, but hints from them need to be taken with a large pinch of salt until they are backed up by research into original data sources.

Pete

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1 hour ago, Charlie D said:

 

As Sue says, you may well put a lot of effort into other sites and then find you can't easily transfer what you have done to Ancestry.

 

That only applies to DNA results Charlie - quite rightly so, because Ancestry have no way of knowing how rigorous or otherwise other companies' DNA testing is. However all the genealogy programs and sites that I have seen can export a family tree to a file format called GEDCOM, which can be imported into other companies' software.

Most libraries have PC facilities and access to Ancestry data, which is free but they may limit the time you can use it.

Pete

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33 minutes ago, stillp said:

I'm using Family Tree Maker 2011. As Sue says there are newer (and more expensive) versions that have extra features, but I find 2011 works fine and integrates well with Ancestry.

I'm a bit cynical about the use of DNA. A family member whose career is in DNA analysis tells me that Ancestry don't look at enough detail to give precise and accurate data.

When you upload a family tree online, Ancestry (and all the others) will compare your family members to those in other people's trees and send you 'hints' where they find some matching data. These hints are useful when they refer to original sources (such as birth records) but when they are only a match to other people's trees the accuracy depends on how diligent the tree owner has been. Some of them are laughably inaccurate, but when tree data is copied the mistakes are too. I've lost count of the number of trees that state my wife's father died in Newfoundland, when he'd never been more than 50 miles from Gloucester. My father's family includes a lot of people from Kington in Herefordshire, but there are many trees claiming they come from Kingston, Jamaica. The same will happen with DNA data; if they tell you, like the guy in the TV advert, that you are "60% Viking", what that actually means is that 60% of the DNA sequence that they have for you correlates to that of other people who have identified as being of Viking  heritage. It's not like the DNA sequencing used in criminal cases, where we are told the match between a scene-of-crime sample and a perpetrator has a billions to one probability of a match, because the police labs compare a lot more 'markers' in the DNS sequence, and they are comparing two specific samples.

That's not to say that other people's trees, or their DNS results, are useless, but hints from them need to be taken with a large pinch of salt until they are backed up by research into original data sources.

Pete

This is only true if you do not verify everything before you add it to your own tree.

As for DNA matches, if you share DNA with someone, then it is up to you to find out who is your Most Recent Common Ancestor. This is much harder than you think and you should never accept others data without first verifying it is 100% correct.

in many instances I have built family trees in the name of my DNA matches until I have found our MRCA. Then and only then do I add them to my family tree.

DNA testing for Family history research is quite different from doing it to find out if you are a “ Viking” and as such for that application is only an estimate and very unlikely to be anywhere near accurate.

It is even possible to identify a DNA match who is only using a string of numbers as their user name, you just need the smallest piece of information to make a start.

see below for the impossible that I managed to identify.

26EEC983-2221-45C4-9F84-8F5A74E65F49.jpeg

Edited by SuzanneH
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Of course Sue. As in all research, you have to start with what you know (and/or can prove) to be true, and work backwards, only adding to your tree when you are 100% certain. 

In the image you quoted, C4063 has less than 1% shared DNA, so who are they related to?

Pete

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1 hour ago, stillp said:

... all the genealogy programs and sites that I have seen can export a family tree to a file format called GEDCOM...

Pete,

Thanks for the clarification and apologies to anyone who I may have misled. I just thought that every different business would have had their own protocol, so as to make you stay with them, rather than migrate the data to someone else.

 

2 hours ago, SuzanneH said:

... i have 29163 DNA matches as at today...

Sue,

This is the problem once you get into this long lost relatives thing.
You end up with a very long Christmas card list.

Charlie

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2 hours ago, stillp said:

Of course Sue. As in all research, you have to start with what you know (and/or can prove) to be true, and work backwards, only adding to your tree when you are 100% certain. 

In the image you quoted, C4063 has less than 1% shared DNA, so who are they related to?

Pete

Ii share 8 other DNA matches with her and I know that some of those  matches are linked to my Saunders /Penn/ Battin Ancestors, her PRIVATE family tree was called Chris Hooper FT and I knew she was a female. 
I was lucky that I already had my tree populated enough that she came up as a Common Ancestor( see screen shot) from that info I was able to confirm the additional data Ancestry gives you and work the remainder Of her tree by searching records to prove her parents grandparents etc. You will note that both our trees are Private.

She is descended from the Gold Diggers in OZ I mentioned in an earlier post. They went from working on the land in Shirburn Oxfordshire ( probably on the Shirburn Castle Eestate ) to trying their  luck in Victoria  Oz and it seems they were very successful.

BF70E1A8-F7E8-4776-9BAA-2E2BDE69B290.png

4B8F393B-0013-4374-A00C-A93D4872A1A2.png

BCEFCE42-D70E-40B8-9F1E-510D3EB077EF.png

Edited by SuzanneH
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OK Sue, but what does the "<1% shared DNA" mean?

Pete

12 hours ago, Charlie D said:

 

Sue,

This is the problem once you get into this long lost relatives thing.
You end up with a very long Christmas card list.

Charlie

It's quite easy to get involved with some rather distant relatives - I've been looking at the military history (including the award of a Military Cross) of my (take a deep breath) Husband of niece of husband of 1st cousin twice removed of wife of my 1st great-uncle. 

It's a pity I don't any longer get paid to attend meetings at BSI as I could usually get down to Kew for a few hours at The National Archives.

Pete

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Pete,

Isn't that a bit like doubling the parents every generation means that after only a few, you have more ancestors than there are people in the country.  Or on earth? 

 Your "Husband of niece of husband of 1st cousin twice removed of wife of my 1st great-uncle" isn't related to you, any more than my great-great-grandmother's sister's husband is to me (see above) except when something appears that gives us an insight into their lives, which otherwise is only "History".

Military medals are always of interest, as they are intrinsically human stories.  Recently, I traced at the National Archive, the "War Diary" of my father's unit as they went into France on D-Day.    Another insight, as I read what they did in his own handwriting.      There were too many exploits for everyone to get a medal then.   How did your 'relative' win theirs?

John

 

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I hope you can read this, it is about my First Cousin Twice  removed Elizabeth Mary Stiff’s first husband Herbert Revans Chisnall both from Hadleigh Suffolk. He was a victim f Gallipoli, my Grandfather was in the RN during WW1 and rescued troops from  Gallipoli and married to my grandmother Maud Emily STIFF from Raydon Suffolk. 
I have done all of my reseach without visiting the National Archive at Kew ( just down the road/ canal from me) once.

 

09A94F51-3E44-4471-95EE-2A263F8FA28E.jpeg

Edited by SuzanneH
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1 hour ago, stillp said:

OK Sue, but what does the "<1% shared DNA" mean?

Pete

It's quite easy to get involved with some rather distant relatives - I've been looking at the military history (including the award of a Military Cross) of my (take a deep breath) Husband of niece of husband of 1st cousin twice removed of wife of my 1st great-uncle. 

It's a pity I don't any longer get paid to attend meetings at BSI as I could usually get down to Kew for a few hours at The National Archives.

Pete

Pete, it mean just what it says on the tin,but to me it is meaningless .

DNA is measured in Centimorgans and Segments. Below are screenshots of the DNA I share with my son Russ, my first cuz Heather on my mums side, my first.cuz once  removed Allan on my dads side  and the person you are querying. I have also attached a better. Example of how I and that person are related.

Don't forget our DNA gets diluted every generation  it is passed  on and we do not inherit even amounts of. DNA  from every one of our Ancestors…….!!!,

E6446D1D-F625-45F3-95D3-52B7748246E7.jpeg

F4FD93C3-29AA-4E6D-9957-24EB90D87E5C.jpeg

C6CB5B33-7A58-45CE-893E-EDBC9418DF5C.jpeg

4F03CEF6-9777-455E-B855-265FA20DAF78.png

1A3B5062-416A-4EBF-8E1E-6A7D075D99FC.jpeg

Edited by SuzanneH
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1 hour ago, stillp said:

OK Sue, but what does the "<1% shared DNA" mean?

Pete

It's quite easy to get involved with some rather distant relatives - I've been looking at the military history (including the award of a Military Cross) of my (take a deep breath) Husband of niece of husband of 1st cousin twice removed of wife of my 1st great-uncle. 

It's a pity I don't any longer get paid to attend meetings at BSI as I could usually get down to Kew for a few hours at The National Archives.

Pete

As a comparison here is how much DNA our son shares with Roger ( his father).

490D038A-00D8-493A-99E9-700125AC2ED2.jpeg

Edited by SuzanneH
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