Thursday, February 18, 2016

Tasks to Be Done and Bucket List Accomplishments

Today is February 18, 2016, six weeks since my last post. One might wonder what I have been up to in all that time. Several genealogy tasks and bucket list items have been accomplished. The first major step was going through all the boxes of books and finding a place for them in our home. There are still five boxes holding books, but they are sorted and will move into the space that will come as I continue organizing our home. My mother had a huge collection of books and they were culled to those that had her name, a relative's name or a friend's name in them. Beyond those there were a few that out of curiosity will be read and then donated. Some books went to family members, friends and relatives. It feels so good to be past that task.

One book that has intrigued me is, Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley, published in 1991. It is a sequel to, Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, which was also in my mother's collection. While these books are probably considered historical fiction, they do open up to people everywhere some of the history of the Southern United States, Ireland and parts of Europe. It took about a week to read the 823 pages and I enjoyed every minute of pure self-indulgence. Not much gets in the way of my reading a good book. Before moving on to other books there are two more tasks that must be finished.

What is left of my mother's things are in tubs in the garage. There is really no more room in our house to bring things inside unless other things are taken out. Hence if I read the books, sort the children's school things and organize my office more then there should be more space. Our daughter in Wyoming is coming this year and we hope to make a trip there. She has several things here that will make the trip to her house. As we remove those things then there will be a shift of what is left in the garage. Besides my mother things there are tubs of children's toys, office supplies, and some old kitchen items. The more that this is put into place my husband will have more room to do his work. He is being very patient with this very slow process.

Not having client work in the last couple of months has enabled me to accomplish some genealogy tasks for my own research. The Christmas cards, with our change of address never made it out. Maybe that will be next week's project and they will be just a family newsletter. There were phone calls made to some relatives and we shared some email updates. While I desperately want to work on my office, the carrot dangling in front of me is to get the other projects listed above done first.

A huge highlight of this time period was getting the results on my DNA test through AncestryDNA. This is very interesting.

100% European
62% Scandinavian
10% Ireland
9% Great Britain
8% Italy/Greece.
5% Europe West
5% Iberian Peninsula
<1% European Jewish

The results fascinate me as I did not think we had so much Scandinavian, no idea we had Ireland, the British I expected, no idea about Italy/Greece, and I thought there would be more Europe West. For the Iberian Peninsula and Jewish I just have to wonder where they fit in. As to the Native American that my family felt sure were our ancestors there is no hint of them. Knowing about the Ireland ancestors made the reading of the book, Scarlett, even more interesting. Just how did our ancestors fit into that culture?

The best match is my mother's relative from her father's side of the family. We have been emailing for the last couple of months. Yesterday she contacted me and let me know she had posted a picture of me at my Catholic baptism as a baby with my mother's parents. She is correct and I have a copy of the same picture. Makes me wonder what other pictures she might have. There are many pictures of her side of the family in the picture albums I put together for my grandmother.
There were three 2nd cousin matches, two 3rd cousin matches, forty-five 4th cousin matches, and 4316 total matches on 87 pages. 

The most interesting part are the four possible ancestors. They are:
John Strong 1786-1864 (this is a line I worked on and a friend just gave me the books for this family)
Magdalena Neil or Nagel 1798-1881
Samuel Johns 1801-1882 (husband of Magadelena above)
Michael Brosius 1792-1867 (father of son in law to Samuel Johns)

I am not sure what to think of the last three. There are some brick walls from the areas they lived in, but so far there are no firm links to my personal tree. Four of the 2nd and 3rd cousin matches are connected, but there are two of unknown origins. 

This has been all neatly organized in a notebook for future work. There have been no email contacts from the possible matches except the one cousin. My personal tree is not on and I am still unsure when or if I will place one there. My niece did place a partial tree on and gave me permission to edit if for mistakes. My online tree can be found on, but getting to it would require looking for my parents, as the living are not available for searching. 

My husband's AncestryDNA results should show up any day now. My brother did a FTDNA YDNA test and it may take a while longer. My uncle has agreed to do the YDNA test as well. Then the plan is to transfer our AncestryDNA tests to FTDNA. Classes are being offered through the Genealogical Forum of Oregon in Portland for training in DNA research and I hope to take advantage of them.  

So much to do and yet the other tasks must be done first. I will post again when I come up for air. Press on in your research or at least pace it so you can keep up with the daily tasks of living. 
The serendipity moments continue to come as I accomplish these milestones!

PS My Husband's AncestryDNA results are in. To be posted soon!

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