Saturday, April 22, 2017

Six Years of Blogging!

This is blog post 392 over the past six years. Although I have slowed down, I hope to continue with at least two to four posts a month.

As I recently noted in a comment on another geneablogger's post about the slowing down of genealogy blogging (see Julie's Genealogy and History Hub), it was easier to blog when I started this blog - sharing census records and some of the many photographs was relatively easy and fun.

Now that I spend my genealogy time exploring my DNA matches and trying to contact them, I don't manage to find as much time to write blog posts, unless I get really excited about a new discovery.

Some of my favorite blog posts from the past year include:

Dad's Pet Goat
From July 2016: Dad's Pet Goat - This is now the fifth top-viewed post of all time on this blog.

From September 2016: David Freeland - 4th Great-Grandfather - I confirmed his burial location this year, as well as expanded the branch of his family tree with more descendants!

A follow-up to my November 2016 post about the Short Snorter with my Dad's signature - one of my brothers purchased it to give to another brother so it is now in the family!

From December 2016: DNA ~ Visual Phasing is one of my favorites of the year (for the DNA geneageeks in my audience). I have almost completed this project for all the chromosomes for me and my two brothers. I hope that known family members who have tested at AncestryDNA will upload their DNA to FamilyTreeDNA or GEDmatch which both have chromosome browsers. This will help me to fully complete this project and help me figure out how I am related to the genetic matches who contact me.

From March 2017: I Found My Great-Grandfather on DeadFred!

Looking ahead, I have taken advantage of the DNA sales going on right now and have purchased DNA tests for my sons. (Son #1 actually asked about it!) With three of their four grandparents having tested, it will be interesting to see how much DNA they share with each grandparent and with their uncles!

Next week I will be at NERGC and I will blog about it. (To get in the mood for NERGC, see my interviews with The Photo Detective, Maureen Taylor and Your DNA Guide, Diahan Southard.)

Thank you for continuing to read my blog and I hope to keep sharing family photos, family finds, and educational DNA posts.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Searching for Adsit in The Courier-Journal

Newspapers.com just updated its collection of issues from The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY). (Click on the image to go right to searching this newspaper. This is a subscription website.) My great-grandmother was born in Kentucky and I have found her in this newspaper in the past. (See Bowmie Ashby's 1890 Wedding.)

The update includes issues into the 21st century with the Newspapers.com Plus subscription, but I haven't found any close relatives much past the following 1918 find.

Since I am easily distracted into doing newspaper research, I decided to see what I could find by searching on Adsit, one of my more unusual ancestral surnames.

Friday, March 31, 2017

AncestryDNA Genetic Communities

AncestryDNA released a new feature this past week: Genetic Communities. They have put together a short video at YouTube that introduces this new feature.

Other genealogy bloggers with particular expertise in DNA have shared information about Genetic Communities:
Blaine Bettinger: AncestryDNA’s Genetic Communities are Finally Here!
Roberta Estes: Genetic Communities
Kitty Cooper: Genetic Communities at Ancestry are live

When I visit my AncestryDNA page, the page has been slightly reconfigured with part of the page displaying the following image:


When I click on "View Your Genetic Ancestry," I can explore my ethnicity estimate (which I wrote about here and here) and explore my genetic community. (I only have one right now, but hope there will be more.) The ethnicity estimate displays deep ancestral roots, going back thousands of years; genetic communities suggests where ancestors may have come from within the past 200-300 years.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

I Found My Great-Grandfather on DeadFred!

DeadFred is a "genealogy photo archive," a website where people upload old photos to connect them with family members. Visitors can easily search to see if they recognize anyone and request that a photo of a relative be mailed.

I have known about this website for a long time and every once in a while, will check to see if one of my relatives has a photo there. Last week, I was reminded of the site and entered a few family surnames into the search box. Imagine my surprise when I found one identified with the name Lowell Copeland!

I contacted the person who posted the photo and he mailed it to me. When I asked him where he found the photo, he wrote: "Found 7+ years ago in an antiques mall in Berkeley Springs WV." (I have no idea how it got to West Virginia!)


The photographer is Ritz & Hastings, at 147 Tremont St. in Boston. The website Broadway Photographs has a page about this photographer which helps me narrow down the date of the photo to 1882-1884, when Lowell Copeland was 20-22.

As far as I know, Lowell Copeland did not attend college. His brother, Charles Townsend Copeland (Copey of Harvard), graduated from Harvard College in 1882, so perhaps this photograph was taken on a visit to Boston for his brother's graduation.


On the back, the name is written in distinctive handwriting, but I have not found this handwriting in my other records.

Besides the fact that Lowell Copeland is a relatively uncommon name, I recognized him because of another photograph that I have which was taken a few years earlier.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Surname Saturday ~ Davenport of Massachusetts and Rhode Island

My earliest known Davenport ancestor is Thomas Davenport, who was in Dorchester, Massachusetts, by 1640, when he became a church member. He was married by 1643, as his oldest child was born in December of that year. His wife's name was Mary, but I have not found confirmation of her surname.

According to the Dawes-Gates genealogy, Thomas Davenport appears in plenty of early records, including several land purchases, in 1653, 1659, and 1665. Records also indicate that he served as a fence viewer, assisted in laying out a "highway" in 1677, and served as a constable for a few years.

His property was near Mount Bowdoin, seen in the middle of the map at right (courtesy of Wikipedia).

Thomas Davenport and his wife Mary had ten children: Sarah, Thomas, Mary, Anna, Charles, Abigail, Mehitable, Jonathan, Ebenezer, and John. His oldest son Thomas died on December 19, 1675 fighting in King Philip's War.

He died on November 9, 1685. His will was proved on February 4, 1685/86, but his estate wasn't settled for another 35 years, after the death of his administrator, his son, Charles.

I descend from his eighth child and third son, Jonathan.