Latest Posts

My New (Old) Microfilm Reader

Can you say ecstatic! That is the feeling I am having this weekend after my geneabuddy Billie gave me a microfilm reader. She got it from a library that was closing several years ago. Finding herself not using it any longer, during a recent conversation we had about microfilm, she said she’d be willing to give it to me.

And I love it! Nevermind the fact that it is sitting on my nighstand in our bedroom :-). Until I get a “real” office space set up this is where it is going to remain. It is a Dukane model and I have no idea how old it is, but I know that it works. Yeah!

Thank you Billie!

Great-Grandparents’ Signature

My great-grandparents, Abraham & Martha (Walker) McNair, purchased their home in Plymouth, Washington County, North Carolina in 1945.  While I have a copy of the deed from the local registrar’s office it is not a true copy of the original.

My mother found their original deed last week and their signatures are on it

signature of my great-grandparents

Looking at this, I see now that my grandmother, Alice,  had her father’s handwriting.  I am looking forward to making a copy of the original deed next time I visit home.

23AndMe Results: Kalonji’s Paternal Haplogroup

On September 8th, I posted my first blog post about genetic testing results from 23andMe regarding Kalonji’s maternal haplogroup.  This time, I’m posting about his paternal haplogroup.

Kalonji’s paternal haplogroup is E1b1a7a.

This haplogroup is subgroup of E1b1a.  E1b1a has its origins in sub-saharan Africa.  This of course is not surprising to us given Kalonji’s descent from former slaves.  The 23andMe site shares the information that

E1b1a is also the most common haplogroup among African-American male individuals. About 60% of African-American men fall into this haplogroup primarily due to the Atlantic slave trade, which drew individuals from western Africa and Mozambique, where E1b1a is accounts for the majority of men.

At this point, I am unsure of what to take away from this, except, that as Kalonji gets matches in Relative Finder knowing the haplogroup will help differentiate shared ancestry among paternal vs. maternal lines.   The Relative Finder feature in 23andMe is awesome! The next posts will describe our experiences with that.  Stay tuned :-)

Participating in Genealogy Market Research

This week concluded with an interesting experience for me – I participated in a market research interview for a genealogy company – AppleTree.com.

AppleTree is a collaborative genealogy website.  They contacted me because of my past blog posts on collaborative genealogy, probably most specifically a post I made about Geni.com and my initial thoughts on it and how it compares to other collab genealogy sites.

It was definitely a fun and interesting experience! I don’t believe I am your “typical” genealogist so I did explain that to them, but of course they are interested in a multitude of viewpoints.

Admittedly, I have not explored the site in-depth, but I may have an idea of where they are heading based on the questions in our conversation.  I explained also that I have a very high threshold for what I expect from a web-based genealogy program so I have very high expectations. :-)  That said, I am even more convinced that we are going to see even more innovation in tech + genealogy in the next few years from companies like theirs and others, and I am going to have a glorious time trying to take it all in!

Thank you Jim & Scott for a great conversation.

 

23AndMe Results: Kalonji’s Maternal Haplotype

This blog post is going to be the start of  short series of posts I will do about my husband’s 23andMe DNA testing results.  We were able to get the kit for free because the company is trying to expand their database of African-American DNA.  Currently, most of the health results available are based on a mostly European population.  This initiative is part of their Roots Into the Future Initiative.

There is so much to go over his results, so I’ll have to spend some time working my way through them.  For now, let me start with his maternal lineage.

Kalonji’s maternal haplotype group is: L2a1a2

Kalonji's Maternal Haplogroup

This haplogroup is a subgroup of the L2 Haplogroup.  L2 is the most common haplogroup among Africans and African-Americans.  From what I have read, the origin of L2a1a2 seems to be West or NorthWest Africa, but it underwent an expansion with Bantu migrations and is associated with SouthEast Africa. Currently, the highest percentages of Africans of this haplogroup are in the Mozambique area (36%).  The haplotype is also found in Afro-Brazilian populations too.  You can see in the image that the darker spots on the map correlate to an are in West African and then right around Mozambique.

I don’t believe this is enough information for us to know with any certainty where in Africa Kalonji’s ancestors may have lived, but I am continuing to do more research.  From a link shared in the 23andMe community forums, downloaded a spreadsheet with very specific genome data and there also seems to be an association with the Mozambique area.   I guess we will have to get him tested with African Ancestry to see if we can potentially get a tribe match.   More to come soon!

 

 

 

Kudos to the Florida State Genealogical Society

This week I received in the mail the latest issue of The Florida Genealogist, the publication of the Florida State Genealogical Society.  I submitted information to the journal that is extracted from my index I donated to the NCGenWeb Project of students attending North Carolina colleges.  Of course there were students from all over, not just NC, so I’m trying to think of ways to further spread the information so that it is in the hands of those who could use it the most.  Thus, I submitted to the society a list of students from Florida.  The first installment is now published and I received my complimentary copy in the mail.

I am not a member of the society and this was the first issue of The Florida Genealogist that I’ve seen. I have to say I was impressed! I like the layout the team has chosen to use,  the cover art, the quality of the information included in the issue, and of course, the name index at the back.  Kudos!

 

In addition to my contribution, this issue also contains:

  • Florida’s First Federal Employees: 1821-1825 – by Robert S. Davis, Director of the Family and Regional History Program at Wallace College — listing of federal employees who appeared in US government registers
  • Life and Death in Pensacola, Florida, 1763-1821: Searching for the Hidden People of St. Michael’s Cemetery – Part Two by Siska Williams and Kendra Kennedy — summarizes findings from a project to document and illuminate the presence of unmarked burials in the cemetery
  • Record of Examinations for Single Surgeon Dr. Thomas H. Hammond, Oxford, Florida 1896-1903 – transcribed by Ann Bergelt and Anza Bast — data from the doctor’s medical examination records of men for pension applications or who were seeking to increase an existing pension allowance.
  • Florida Pioneer Descendant Biographies — brief bios of pioneer settlers
Great issue.  I have just three recommendations to make it even better:
  • PDF and/or ePUB version please. Thank you. No need to waste paper for me.  :-)
  • Put the tables of contents of past issues online. They’ve done a great job with putting the newsletters online so if now they would do the journal that would be great!
  • put the name name index (comprehensive across multiple issues if possible), online
The Society has a nice new website and blog too, but there seems to be a Publications section lacking? Perhaps this is coming?  In any case, great job overall.

Connecting with More Cousins

Back in 1997,  my paternal grandmother Cora, gave me some family documents that she had in her possession.  One was a copy of court proceedings about my grandfather’s death that I’ve blogged about before.  Another, is the oldest funeral program that I have in my all of my family files.

The obituary is for Randolph Kilpatrick, who was her maternal grandfather. He passed away in 1966 in Craven County, North Carolina.  It is an original of the obituary –  she’d kept it all of those years before giving it to me.

Over time I have been filling out Randolph’s family tree. One of his sisters was named Clemmie Ethel.  Today, I was fortunate enough to speak with one of Clemmie’s granddaughters who found me after her uncle told her about my site.  For this, I am so grateful!  Speaking with her and others in her family will help in filling out the family tree and getting to know this branch of the family better.   In the brief time I spoke with her, I learned for example that Clemmie & husband Charlie were the first black family to move to Bethel, NC.

This is why I love having my family tree information on the internet. :-)

23andMe Part 1: Kit Completed!

On July 26th, 23andMe announced a research project called Roots Into the Future.  One of my coworkers sent me the announcement and I was quite excited.  The program is giving away 10,00 free DNA kits to African-Americans so that they can enhance their database.  I quickly signed up and yesterday received my notice to go ahead an order my free kit.   They are offering both health & ancestry testing.

To my delight, the box arrived today!  Since my sister also got a free kit, I am using mine for my husband.  For years he has wanted to have a clearer understanding of his African-ancestry and we are going to keep our fingers crossed that the testing will be able to tell us more.

We’ve done his saliva sample and am sending the kit back tomorrow. Hopefully, within the next 8 weeks, we’ll have more to share.  For now, I will spend the time before then prepping and looking for others to connect with online who may be part of this initiative.

More Digitized Newspapers Coming

The National Endowment for the Humanities announced their latest round of funding today.  Included in the awards are several to institutions who participate in the National Digital Newspaper Program who will be contributing material to the Chronicling America website – yeah! more digital newspapers!

Papers included will have been published between 1836-1922 and will be added to the website beginning in mid-2012.

States that will have more papers:

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • West Virginia
The full announcement is on the NEH website.  For a newspaper freak like me, this is great news!