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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Celebrating and Genealogy Things

It has been a beautiful week in terms of weather and many other things. My week consisted of a few webinars relating to genealogy, a continued and successful effort to clean files electronically -- as I had as one of my goals for the year -- I am actually close to reaching a plateau with reaching below having a backlog of close to five thousand docs now down to just above three thousand -- this number keeps adjusting every day in both directions. But the real focus of this week has been Gail -- she has reached another milestone and we celebrated that in her style:

Her celebration day is really more like a week and the above flowers were given to her from the "girls from HRB" along with a luncheon and other tributes.  The floral arrangement was inserted in a beautiful "frog" which is a great addition to the rather extensive frog collection that Gail has.

As I mentioned -- I attended some webinars this week -- one of those was on what is called "Family Finder" from Family Tree DNA and the webinar was delivered by Relative Roots. The topic of DNA to me is very complex and it gets really confusing really fast. The connection to Gail is that to use DNA to research a family normally requires that a male member donates his cheek swabbings and then the results are related to the Y-DNA passed from father to son to son and so on . . .

In Gail's family -- and in her family tree -- there are no known male family members from which to take a cheek sample. So the traditional test is out. There are two other tests available in her case -- one would be the mtDNA test which shows results passed from mother to mother and so on. And the test that the webinar that I attended has to do with testing chromosomes that could identify more distant relatives like cousins and uncles and aunts.

As you can see (click to make larger) in this tree for Gail, her dad, Millard -- Jim -- Bouldron is about the last male in the tree. We have searched the U.S. and have not found any other male Bouldrons.
So it is up to the female members of the Bouldron group to run some tests if they wish.

Meantime, another floral arrangement arrived:

These beautiful flowers were delivered by Olivia and her mom, Silvia (who is like a daughter to Gail) and they had a nice time visiting for a bit -- and how it got to another level I am not really certain -- but I was called in for a photo opportunity. Do not draw any conclusions regarding the photo -- but the last time that the garment in question had been worn was about 50 years ago -- it could use some pressing and maybe some adjustments but it still was "fun" to model . . .

So, there was a huge variety of activities all relating to Gail throughout the week. Below is a collage of some of the other events that are tied to 70 years ago -- all somehow relating to her:

Who knew that M&Ms were from 1941 and/or that Cheerios made their debut the same year as Gail. The newspaper shows what dominated that year and several to come and the autos were just an example of what was around in those days. So the big day for us was:

We beelined for dinner at the Dry Creek Kitchen in the Hotel Healdsburg where we did not scrimp on the menu -- it probably was the most enjoyable dinner that we have had (out) for quite some time. The weather was perfect and sitting on the outside patio was sooo relaxing . . . we won't soon forget the evening.

While writing all this -- from my office window I was treated to the following visitors -- looking for water and vegetation:

And so it went for our great week -- genealogy and celebrating!

Even though we were enjoying "haute cuisine" last evening we look forward to sliders tonight. See you all in a few.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Who's Your DNA ? Y, that is . . .

What would be more fitting on Father's Day than to go all the way back . . . to "DNA Adam", who's before him is someone else's determination . . .

But before we go there, we, Gail & I & Auggie on our morning walk, spotted this beautiful Magnolia tree in bloom. The weather here has been beautiful all week with a few days near the 90s mark. Today though it is cooler and that is better for walking.

Lately after walking Auggie has shown two traits -- one, he heads for the water bowl and then if he determines that no treats are in store, he heads for some place to rest . . . two weeks ago we bought him a new bed which he really loves.

This is Auggie's new bed -- but as you can see, Ms Kitty likes it too -- he never would ask her to remove herself, but calmly waits for to be done and then he slips in. They each still have alternate beds to sleep in and throughout the day they play musical beds.

Now, to get back to Father's Day weekend and the recognition attached to that. Each of us has a paternal line whether we know the participants or not -- part of what I do is to seek out the players for my paternal line and for those of others around me -- e.g. Gail. Both of us know pretty much back 7 or 8 generations who the "father" is in the line. Beyond that there are means to go farther back and then really farther back.

This is my paternal line -- I actually know a couple of other generations out on each end but for today's post this will do.

This is Gail's paternal line and we also know additional generations for this line too.

So, for those of us still searching for the "way back" paternal line we have to rely on another source for now.
Several years ago I turned in my cheek swabs to have my Y-DNA tested with respect to genealogy. I continue to get matches and near-matches which some day will provide us with hopefully direct links in the paternal line. The thing to remember about Y-DNA testing is that it shows only the links from a father to a son. (only males carry the "y" chromosome) There are tests that show the links for mother to mother to mother -- but this is a Father's Day post . . .

This is the company that I used for my testing -- I believe that they are the best in this field and through their testing and through the sharing of results we stand a high opportunity for success.

To me -- this whole DNA testing arena can be be very confusing very fast. I am hoping for some real matches that are close enough to build the branches out in the paternal lines. At the same time there is another perspective to think about -- and that is -- more anthropologically in scope -- in other words "from where did we originate" . . . and that leads to "DNA-Adam":

As you can see here -- "DNA-ADAM" originated in Africa how many ever 10s of thousands of years ago
The HILES line is estimated to be in the J1 group and that has it's origin estimated 25,000 years ago. So that is a big leap from the 1700s that I now know for sure to whatever date that would be . . .

To get my arms around all of this I have read some books and now I am attending a series of three webinars put on by the folks at:

I attended the first webinar this week and the two remaining will be next week and the week after that. It takes me about that long just to digest this material -- maybe, just maybe after revisiting this subject over and over I'll be able to feel more comfortable with it . . .

One thing I am more comfortable with is some of the other addresses that I personally have a connection with:

Here are some that have meaning to me and to many in the tree . . .

So went my week, it is Saturday night and soon we will be serving "sliders" . . . see you in a few.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Omppay andway Ircumstancecay & Ummersay Arrivesway

Most of this week -- for a change, we have enjoyed beautiful sunny days -- the way it oughta be for June. Last week at this time it was rainy, maybe we have reached the sun . . .

Now admittedly this is a photo of the inside -- but the orchids have bloomed -- finally and it symbolizes the sunshine of the times. The orchid on the right has been without blooms for several months and just as the sun decided to appear, so did they.

Besides the weather outdoors, due to the season there might have been muffled sounds of a familiar song wafting through to our home. The piece in question -- as listed in the above title (Pomp and Circumstance) was played indoors at our local high school due to the weather last week. But it was different in other parts of the country I am sure -- one place in particular has significance to our family tree -- a small town in Wisconsin, Viroqua by name. In the mid 1800s some of our direct line moved to this small town after having been born in Ohio. Daniel Hiles & family was one of those folks. In 1870 here is the Federal Census showing them in Viroqua:

As you can see (click to make larger) Daniel, his wife Mary and eight children lived in Viroqua in 1870, over 140 years ago. "So what" you might say -- well we still have direct line relatives living there -- and one of them just graduated from Viroqua High School:

Congratulations to Jessica Faith Hiles who is the 4th Great Grand daughter of the above Daniel Hiles!

Which brings up a goal of this family research, which relates to the title and it's format above -- a major goal is to find out from where the HILES line originated and to then know what language would have been spoken by those earlier ancestors -- it might have been English, maybe German, we just haven't proven that yet.
So then why the use of PIG LATIN in the title -- well, it seemed a good example of a possible common language that was certainly used in our household in the early times of my growing up -- the other option might have been:

And how many of us do . . .this language was a step further to confuse and stymie others around us -- it would take a lot of practice but I could renew some facility in either language. I have to say that the languages I took in college (French & German) left me tongue tied when I tried to use them in Europe. So maybe it is back to Pig Latin and or Openglopish . . . which by the way is created by adding "OP" before each vowel sound in a word -- piece of cake.

And so it goes in the "Pomp" part of my world. In the search for family tree history this week I have attended another "Second Life" get together at the Fire Pit to listen to a discussion of a case study having to do with Inferential Genealogy. And I have been contacted by another here-to-for not known Cousin, who saw an entry of mine on the web and wrote to me. It appears that I am related directly to both her and her husband individually. I hope to continue our communication and share more at which time I will publish that here as well.

And Gail and I made our first contribution to BillionGraves by going to the local cemetery and photographing a grave site -- which is automatically uploaded to a database which then is transcribed by us or volunteers ( I have already transcribed many) and because it works using an app on the iPhone, GPS is shown on a map identifying both the cemetery and the location within the cemetery. It is a great service and will no doubt aid many folks in their search.

Lastly, two recent additions to my research tool kit:

So, another week has sped by, we are looking forward to sliders tonight . . .

See you in a few!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Weather, Whitey & Webinars

It is almost unheard of -- this much rain in June -- as the paper said today "let's get away from this Seattle-like weather" which is unfair to some extent. This morning while walking the dog it was almost impossible to keep the umbrella under control with the high gusty winds. Almost everyday this week it has rained -- and it is forecast at least through Monday . . .

This is how the skies looked just a short while ago -- but it has also sunshined for a bit as well. While it has been wintery this week it has remained sunny and bright in the home all week. We usually put on extra lights and try not to think of the contrast going on outside -- we both bury ourselves in our individual current work. Gail just finished a major project -- a Christmas gift -- for an unnamed recipient:

This represents months of needlepoint work and countless background TV shows that assist in especially the repetitive color sections. This will adorn the fireplace mantle at Christmastime hopefully for years to come.
While she was doing that I was involved in -- what else -- family tree work. As I have mentioned before these days there is sooo much happening on the web with respect to family history and genealogy that it is almost impossible to keep up. There are many new ways to meet other researchers and interact with them AND there are many new programs to manipulate genealogical data and to present and share family data.

This last week I had the fortune of exchanging emails with another researcher who happens to be the cousin of a person in my tree that I have not seen for 60+ years. The reason she is not MY cousin as well is that the person from my tree was there due to marriage. My father's half sister, Adeline Jane Hiles married Charles K "Whitey" Clark. I remember seeing Whitey the last time about 1950. I have been informed that Whitey lives in Macon, Illinois -- hopefully I will be able to connect with him in the near future:

Now, never in my wildest genealogy related work would I think that there was such a thing as an Avatar in my future . . . but guess again:

Here you can see me (my Avatar, Rootsmeister) attending a genealogy lecture/chat in Second Life (SL).
There are numerous opportunities within Second Life to interact with other genealogists by attending these sessions. I have to say that I was totally intimidated at first but with the assistance and guidance of many helpful folks within SL I am feeling more comfortable in my new identity and environs. I still have a ways to go but it is helpful that there are many other newbies in this virtual world as well.

I recommend this getting-out-of-the-box as I already have learned things about genealogy that I probably would not have learned otherwise -- and I am glad to meet so many new people this way.  Below is an announcement of an upcoming Webinar given to help learn more about Second Life:

So -- there you have a brief peek into my world this week and just a few minutes ago we had a rain squall that was probably more intense than I've seen (and heard) in a long while.

The other good news -- it's Slider Saturday Night!

See you in a few . . .