As I said in an earlier post, eight days ago I received the results of my DNA test and got a long list divided into potential 1st + 2nd cousins, 3rd to 4th cousins, and 4-6th cousins. I was invited to give ancestry.com a try —a “14 Day Free Trial” to be exact . So you can guess where I’ve been this past week. 🙂
I already had a stack of data loosely gathered.
Through Ancestry.com I can now access the family trees of near & far kin. From other Falconer descendants I’ve learned my great-grandfather’s parents, John & Jemimah Falconer were both born in Scotland (she in Inverness) and met and married in Pennsylvania before moving to Minnesota.
Ancestry also has an extensive collection of census records, govt & church birth, marriage & death registrations that often verify — but sometimes raise gnarls in the branches. According to our family’s oral history, gr-gr-grandfather John Turner was born in County Fernanagh, Ireland in 1810 and came to Canada in 1828 and married Alice Doyle, “from an old Irish family. However, when I found the marriage registration of his son William to Alice Watchorn — my great-grandparents— it says John was born in Canada and his wife Elizabeth in England. More stats show 35 years between John’s oldest (1830) and youngest child (1865); Annie obviously died and he remarried Elizabeth, but who was she?
Altogether, the stats, info, records, and scraps of family stories have the appearance of a huge schmozzle of names and dates to be sorted and pieced together.
And, because I enjoy jigsaw puzzles and scrap-quilt piecing, I hope to assemble the families into in some sensible order. If you don’t see any blog posts from me for a few weeks, this is likely what I’ll be doing.
In our patch of the province we have a lovely morning with brown lawns crisp and frosted; skies are clear with no sign of the rain/snow we were supposed to get. Rain and/or snow were in the forecast last weekend and clouds have rolled over, but the precipitation fell elsewhere, leaving us dry as dust and still praying. Not quite this bad, though.
This spring reminds me of 1976 when there was no snow all winter; in February the dust was blowing in the streets where we lived. Not a sign of rain until the end of April. Good thing we did have snow this winter and there was some runoff, or the sloughs would be completely dry. Yesterday I saw a really sad sight: two mallards waddling along beside a tiny strip of ditch water — what’s left of the slough that was almost over the road two years ago. Where will they find a place to nest, and swim, and drink?
Enough of weather woes. I’ve said how our children gave us DNA test kits for our birthday and we sent off our samples a few weeks ago. Bob hasn’t got his results yet, but mine are in — and I now have a list of 1000 long-lost cousins who’ve also done the test. I told friends yesterday that I now have a thousand people to ask “How are we related?” 🙂
What came as a real surprise is the 9% Swedish and Norwegian. I had no clue! The other 91% is, quite predictably, British Isles.
Some names I expected:
On Mom’s side I find Harmon, Falconer, Working, and Smith.
On Dad’s side there are a few Vances, Turners, a Smith, an Allen, a Watchorn, an Alexander.
But most of the names I see, I have no clue where they fit.
The first person on the list was my cousin Laurie in Alberta. We match quite well because her grandma married her first cousin, so Laurie has double Turner genes. I also see mom’s first cousin’s daughter and mom’s sister’s grandson.
I also found a Falconer second cousin living in California and contacted her. Hopefully she’s interested in exchanging info. As you can see, my interest in genealogy has been revived. For what it’s worth. Names on a list don’t say much about the people, and you can’t help but wonder about their lives.