Friday, October 25, 2013

AncestryDNA Updates Ethnicity Results

As they have been promising for awhile, AncestryDNA ethnicity results have been updated, and they are much more interesting to look at now!

When I wrote about my first foray into DNA testing in April 2012 (my most-read blog post), my autosomal results indicated that my genetic ethnicity (going back many hundreds of years) was 78% British Isles, 16% Scandinavian, and 6% Uncertain.

AncestryDNA has greatly increased the genetic regions and provided more information about the ranges of possibility of each ethnicity.

First, the summary: 64% Great Britain, 23% Europe West, 6% Ireland and 7% Trace Regions. Interesting: where did the Scandinavian go? And what are the Trace Regions?

My updated genetic ethnicity (according to AncestryDNA)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

142 Years Ago ~ The Great Chicago Fire

Panorama of Chicago After the 1871 Fire. Image attributed to George N. Barnard. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

There are a plethora of websites that tell us what happened in Chicago, Illinois, starting in the evening of Sunday, October 8, 1871. You can use your favorite search engine to find all kinds of resources.

In addition to these sources, I have a twelve-page booklet written and published in April 1904 by my maternal second great grandfather, Samuel Sewall Greeley, a civil engineer and surveyor who lived in or near Chicago for over sixty years. (He died at the age of 91 in 1916; see excerpts from an obituary here.)

The upper right-hand corner has pencilled: "Lowell Townsend Copeland, 180 Linden St., Winnetka." This is my grandfather; his grandfather was the author, Samuel S. Greeley.

The introductory paragraph:
"Some years after the great Chicago fire of October 9 and 10, 1871, a number of persons, who had taken part in that tragedy, were asked to write, for the Illinois Historical Society, some account of their personal experience. The purpose seemed to be to get a number of independent reports of the burning, as seen by different observers in different localities and under widely varying conditions. In compliance with this request I wrote the following account, which has been lying unfinished and half forgotten in my desk for a quarter of a century. If it has value, it is that it was written while every incident and action was freshly stamped upon my brain in lines of fire."
Greeley's description of his experiences in the fire are wonderfully detailed. At the time he was living "at the northwest corner of Erie and St. Clare streets in the North Division of Chicago, in a new house which I had begun to occupy some ten weeks before." [p. 1]

Excerpt from page 2

He continues to describe in detail, what he could see and what he was thinking. For a short time, he put out the occasional cinders that landed on his barn, but realized the inevitable, and just after 2 a.m., he and his family rode northward in their buggy and rockaway (a small carriage).

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday ~ Handwritten Freeland Family Tree

In my family collection of ephemera, I have the following 8.5" by 11" piece of paper showing pieces of the Freeland family tree.

This is one of my sources for my Freeland line that I wrote about in the last Surname Saturday post. Near the left, you can make out Helen Copeland, who is my grandmother (though Copeland is her married name).

Note in the upper-right-hand corner, written sideways is "David Freeland came over in 1821 on ship David" which helped me find the immigration record that I noted in my Surname Saturday post.