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.