Monday, August 26, 2019

Alvah Crocker Died in the Great War

My grandfather, Lowell Townsend Copeland, had several half first-cousins because his grandfather, Samuel Sewall Greeley, married twice and had many more descendants from his first marriage than his second. I have found several DNA matches among these descendants, as well as some interesting stories that I think tell me a little more about my grandfather.

One of grandfather's cousins, Harriet Greeley, was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1885. She was daughter of Frederick Greeley, the oldest son of Samuel Sewall Greeley. (See Surname Saturday ~ Greeley for my Greeley line.)

She married Alvah Crocker, of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, in 1907, in what sounded like a lovely wedding in Winnetka, Illinois.

"Country Wedding in Winnetka," Chicago Tribune, 20 October 1907, p. 4, col. 1; image, ( : accessed 25 August 2019).
The couple settled in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, after their marriage, where the Crocker family had been prominent in Fitchburg for many decades. Alvah Jr.'s father was a manufacturer of paper and his great-grandfather (also named Alvah) in addition to being a paper manufacturer, was a U.S. Congressman.

Alvah, Jr. was studying to be an architect and by 1909, was in Paris, France, to study art and architecture, bringing his wife and first child with him. The youngest was born in early 1917, just before her father, Alvah, joined the military.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Using AncestryDNA ThruLines

In February, Ancestry introduced a new feature called ThruLines™ which uses Ancestry trees (created by individual users) to suggest how I might be related to my DNA matches. In other words, who are our common ancestors.

Look for this icon on your AncestryDNA page to get started:

It's important to note that you have to have a family tree on Ancestry and you have to link your DNA to your Ancestry tree or this feature doesn't work for you.

When you first click on Explore ThruLines, you'll get a long page with icons for your known ancestors, followed by icons for possible ancestors. The following screenshot shows the paternal side of my third great grandparents.

James McAlpin has many, many descendants, and quite a few have tested their DNA. Jane Hunter was his wife.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Using New AncestryDNA Color Dot Tags

In February, AncestryDNA announced some new features and I have been remiss in not blogging about them so I am remedying that now.

If you tested your DNA with Ancestry more than 6-12 months ago, you might want to login and check out these new features. The one that I have been using the most is the colored dot tags.

Colored dot tags from AncestryDNA

There are plenty of ways to use these, but I've been using them to group together known genetic matches by adding a particular color when I know that a DNA match descends from a particular ancestral couple

Soon after I started doing my genealogy (almost 30 years ago), I had a general color-coding system for my ancestral lines, by grandparent:
Blue: Paternal grandfather's ancestors (Pyle-McAlpin)
Red: Paternal grandmother's ancestors (Adsit-Ashby)
Green: Maternal grandfather's ancestors (Copeland-Greeley)
Yellow: Maternal grandmother's ancestors (Hunter-Lysle)

Because of this, I use AncestryDNA's colored dots to identify DNA matches in a similar way. Following is a screenshot of my top DNA matches in the second and third cousin range. I have placed a colored box around the colored dots which I assigned to my matches.