27 February 2012

And This Is Why You Can't Believe Everything You Read

     I found this article in "The Hartwell Sun," published in Hartwell, Georgia 1920. It references my 4x Great Grandfather, Willis Craft, and his ancestors.  It states that his descendants can trace his family back about 150 years to a Miss Washington, the sister of George Washington. Yes, this article claims that the Crafts of Elbert County are related to our nation's first President. So, is it true?

     According to this article, the information is "said to be authentic and published as a bit of history without the knowledge of the Craft family." Well that doesn't bode well.

     But what about the facts themselves? Did the unnamed Miss Washington marry Griffin Craft?  In this situation, it would obviously be much easier to trace down the tree from George than up the tree from me.  It should be pretty easy to find out who his sisters were and who they married.  Turns out George Washington had only one sister who lived to adulthood, and she did not marry a Craft. Betty Washington married Fielding Lewis and it looks like none of their daughters married a Craft either.

     There could be some hint of truth in the article somewhere. Perhaps there is a Miss Washington in the family tree - just not one with such a famous brother. Or perhaps there is some other connection to the Washington family - through Mrs. Martha Washington's family perhaps?  There has to be some sort of basis for this story. But that could be only that someone wanted to invent a famous connection...

     Even if there is some small smidgen of truth buried somewhere in this story the boldly stated facts are patently false. You just can't believe everything you read.

25 February 2012

How I'm Looking for Grandmama in the 1940 Census

Betty Huyler
     The first person I want to find in the 1940 Census is my maternal Grandmother, Betty Huyler. I'm interested in finding her first for a number of reasons: this is her first census (she was born in 1931); I can't find her parents in 1930; she'll be living with her step-father, who I want to learn more about; I know her exact address in 1940; I really want to know where she was in 1935.

   Betty had an interesting childhood. Her parents were separated due to the Depression and a "search for work" that lasted 14 years. Her mother temporarily remarried and Betty's last name was Whitfield for a few years. She spent some time in an Orphanage and some time being raised by her Grandparents, Leverett and Louise Waters. As a girl she rode the street cars in Atlanta and was almost killed when she was hit by a car.  That accident caused her to lose many of her childhood memories and she was unable to provide details on many of the interesting aspects of her childhood.

     The key to finding Betty in 1940 is that I have her exact address from a 1940 city directory - or rather, her mother and step-father's address: 413 Central Ave SW, Atlanta, Georgia.  So this should be easy, right? Not necessarily. Atlanta is known for changing street names, both historically and still today. Often streets actually had multiple names at the same time, until they were standardized (see this map from 1895 of double-named streets).  Lucky for me, it appears that Central Avenue SW has maintained it's name since it was changed in 1901 from Lloyd Street.

     Knowing Betty's address is important, since there will not be a name index when the census images are released on April 2nd. Armed with an address, I headed to Steve Morse's One-Step website (please note that I had a hard to utilizing this website using Safari and had to switch to Firefox).

     I used the ED Finder Utility to find the enumeration district that Betty should be in (this tool is available for cities of 50,000 or more people). I did a search for Georgia > Atlanta > Central Av and came up with eight EDs, which is still a lot.  I checked the address on Google Maps to find cross streets: Alice, Pryor and Pulliam.  This brought my results down to two EDs: 160-14 and 160-17.

     Clicking the button for these EDs, I was then able to view details on the microfilm that this district appears on.  It looks like this area, 160-14, was part of Atlanta's 1st Ward and is part of Tract F-45.
     Click! This is a microfilmed image of the Description of ED 160-14 in Atlanta. I can see the names of the streets for each district - this is the original information from which the table above was extracted.

     But I still have two EDs to check. Is it going to be 160-14 or 160-17? They are both in Tract F-45.

     I next, used the National Archive's Online Public Access search to find a the 1940 Census Enumeration Map of this area. I searched for "1940 Census Enumeration Map Atlanta Georgia" and came up with the map of Tract F-45. You can see Central Avenue just to the left of the break in the middle of the image. You can also see Alice, Pryor and Pulliman - the cross streets I pulled from a modern Google map and used to identify this ED. Very faintly, you can see a 14 and a 17 written in the image as well. Those are the specific areas that I will be browsing through on the census to find my Grandmama. Based on this map, I think I will find her in 160-14.  I can't wait for April 2nd!

23 February 2012

Ancestry.com's New DNA Test

     A while back, Ancestry.com sent out free DNA tests to a number of people and then had an early purchase offer for others. I wasn't invited to either offer, so I'm not up on all the details. It does appear that this is an autosomal test, like Family Tree DNA's Family Finder and 23andMe's Relative Finder.

     Today, Ancestry.com offered a public hint of their new test. Here's what appears on their DNA page:

     I signed up for notification, but I've already learned a lot from this graphic.

  1. Yes, this is an autosomal DNA test.
  2. As indicated by the pie chart and map, there will be some sort of "population finder" or "ancestry painting" option. This is where your DNA is broken down into populations such as European, Asian or African. I wonder how many populations they test against?
  3. They will be predicting cousins just like the other tests. The example you can kinda see is of a predicted 3rd-5th cousin. You can see his name and how long he's been an member (ancestry.com/DNA test?). Also, the match is predicted with "99.98% confidence." You have the option to further review the match, which I assume contains some way to contact them.
  4. You will be able to sort your matches.
  5. This example shows "1-50 of 362" matches. They apparently anticipate a large database - I wonder how many tests they'll have in the system when it opens to the public?
  6. There's also another portion of the screen that reads "Your Family Tree Progress." Will you be able to integrate your matches into your tree? 
     Unless they have a really low price or a special offer, I won't be jumping on this right away. I'm invested in ftDNA and 23andMe right now. I am interested in learning more about their test though.

21 February 2012

Ready for the 1940 Census

     I'm very much anticipating the release of the 1940 census. I'm planning to be prepared and have made a list of locations to search just as soon as the records are available. I used the tools at http://stevemorse.org/census to convert the 1930 locations of my ancestors into possible 1940 locations. For the most part my ancestors were farmers who stayed in one place, which will make them easier to find. I do have a few ancestors who I can't find in 1930 or who I know or suspect had moved. They'll prove more a challenge!

Name // 1930 Location // Possible 1940 Location 
• Thomas Craft & Sarah Britt Craft // Dist 20, Gaines, Elbert, Georgia // R669 - Dist 52-20, MilD 199 Gaines, Elbert, GA
• Roy Albea // Dist 13, Greenwood, Greenwood, South Carolina // R3815 - Dist 24-15, Greenwood Twp, Greenwood Ward 5, SC
• Betty Huyler (possibly called Whitfield) // n/a // Atlanta?? 
• BE & Ruth Craft // Dist 20, Gaines, Elbert, Georgia // R669 - Dist 52-20, MilD 199 Gaines, Elbert, GA
• Ledora Britt // Dist 24, MilD1560, Emanuel, Georgia // R669 - Dist 52-24, MilD 1560, Outside Twin City, Graymont, Emanuel, GA (or poss ED 52-23)
• Nathan Britt // Dist 24, MilD1560, Emanuel, Georgia // Elbert County, GA ??? Dist 52-?
• Vernon & Auline Albea --- see Roy Albea
• Ruby Waters Whitfield ---- see Betty Huyler
• Vary "Mack" Huyler // Augusta, GA? --- 1937 location // R704 - Dist 121-4, Augusta Ward 1, Richmond, GA -OR- R704 - Dist 121-7, Augusta Ward 2, Richmond, GA 
Great-Great Grandparents: 
• Geo Rob't & Effie Craft // ED 56, Birmingham, Jefferson, Alabama // R95 - Dist 68-163, Prect 34 (tract 3), Birmingham, Jefferson Co, AL
• Leila Evans Brown // Dist 20, Gaines, Elbert, Georgia // R669 - Dist 52-20, MilD 199 Gaines, Elbert, GA
• S Frances Barfield // ED 8, MilD 57, Emanuel, Georgia // R355 - Dist 54-8, MilD 57, Emanuel Co, GA
• Nina Albea // ED 13, Greenwood, Greenwood, South Carolina // R3815 - Dist 24-15, Greenwood Twp, Greenwood Ward 5, SC
• Wm D Witt // ED 11, Greenwood, Greenwood, South Carolina // R3815 - Dist 24-13, Greenwood Twp, Greenwood Ward 3, SC
• John & Ida Hyler // ED 29, Lexington, Lexington, South Carolina // R3823 - Dist 32-30, Lexington TWP, Lexington, SC
• Leverett & Louise Waters // ED 35, Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia // R725 - Dist 160-2, Atlanta, Ward 1, Fulton, GA -OR- R725 - Dist 160-3, Atlanta, Ward 1, Fulton, GA
     I also signed up for the 1940 Blog Ambassador Program, part of the 1940 Census Community Project from Family Search.

20 February 2012

Dr McDonald's DNA Analysis, Pt 2

     I recently wrote about having my 23andMe raw data analyzed by Dr McDonald. Part of the reason I did this was to see if he could confirm the small segments of African and Asian that showed up in my DNA. He confirmed that they were "small but strong and likely real."  But here's the thing: both my Mom (at 23andMe) and Dad (at ftDNA) show up as 100% European. Where were these segments coming from? I thought that the best way to figure this out was to send him my parent's data as well and to find which one had those same segments in their data.

     My mom's data is from 23andMe. As I said, there she showed up as 100% European, with no other segments. Dr McDonald's results agreed. The only non-European data shows up in her X Chromosome, which he thought was "iffy." Here's her chart:

      Ok, so Dr McDonald has confirmed the interpretation of 23andMe's findings for my mom and myself.

     Next up: my dad's data. I tested my father at Family Tree DNA, where he shows up as 100% European.  But both my parent's can't have 100% European DNA if I have "strong and likely real" segments of African and Asian DNA.  It turns out that my dad does have those segments. I don't know why Dr McDonald found these segments and ftDNA didn't, but they are there. In the same locations as mine, plus some. He has .8% African DNA and .4% Native American (compared to my .6% and .3%). Here's his chart:

     So this analysis confirms the rumors of Native American heritage in my Dad's side of the family.  But there was no expectation of African DNA. Apparently though, this isn't uncommon. A lot of people with Colonial American heritage apparently have African segments in their DNA (read about them here on 23andMe's message board or this blog post).

     I wonder if this comes from the same family line or different ones? I wonder if I'll be able to find it? I highly suspect my Barfield family could be the source and I hold little hope of ever tracing that line any further back than where it's stuck in 1852.  Perhaps by testing more of my paternal relatives, I can narrow down the source.

13 February 2012

Barfield Family Photos

      I still don't know who their father was, but I do have photos of them! I'm talking about my Great-Great-Great Aunts, Amanda and Josephine Barfield, sisters of my Great-Great Grandfather, William Barfield. I received these photos in my email today, after talking to a cousin on Facebook about the family.

     That's Josephine Barfield Kitchen on the left (c1900) and Amanda Barfield Rich on the right (c1905). I'm excited to add these photos to my collection and to learn more about these women. Thanks to Betty, Loretta and Johnny for getting these photos to me.

Two Degrees of Genealogical Separation

     I'm a little late on this, but yesterday's 'Saturday Night Genealogy Fun' theme was 'Two Degrees of Seperation.' The challenge was to see how far back you can connect with an ancestor by just two degrees, as in "you knew an ancestor, who knew another ancestor."

     I only met one of my Great-Grandparents, Ruth Evans Craft, who lived from 1902 to 1999. I believe that I only met her once or twice as a very young child, and I have only a vague memory of it: a little gray-haired lady in a wheel chair between picnic tables.  A few years ago I saw this photo, which matched my memory exactly. It was actually a kinda eerie find actually...

     So, I knew my Great-Grandmother, Ruth Evans Craft. She lived in Elbert and Hart Counties where her family had lived for generations, so she almost certainly knew any of her ancestors who were alive when she was. This would include her Great-Grandparents, her mother's mother's parents, Lewis McCurley and his wife Nancy Shiflet. Lewis lived from 1838 to 1910 and Nancy lived from 1834 to 1911.

     In two degrees of separations, I connect with my four times Great-Grandparents.

12 February 2012

Dr McDonald's DNA Analysis

     Yesterday I sent an email to Dr McDonald (jdmcdona@illinois.edu), a former professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I found his information on a number of DNA message boards that recommended him as a source of admixture evaluation. I sent him my ftDNA family finder data and here's what I received in return:
"Most likely fit is 100% English (Western Europe)which is 100% total EuropeThe location error = 0.007091 with 1 group 
The following are possible populations,most likely at the top:
The following are possible population sets and their fractions,most likely at the topEnglish= 1.000 
but with a bit ( 0.3%) of Native American and 0.6% African.This are small but strong and likely real."
     I also received this chart, which looks practically identical to my 23andMe chart (I had sent in my ftDNA data, as they do not provide a chart like this). You can see the African and American segments. I think this analysis shows that these segments, found by two different tests, are not just "static." I suppose I should send in my parents' results to confirm which side of my family the segments come from.

08 February 2012

"My Georgia Ancestors" Map

     I've been looking for a project for my wall, something that would showcase my ancestors on a map.  I wanted something that could be broken down and moved without too much fuss if necessary. I did a google image search yesterday for "genealogy map project" and found the perfect idea.  Today I created my own version of this idea using a map of Georgia pasted to a foam board. It's still a work in progress, but I'm really excited about it and wanted to post it. I'm also planning on doing one for South Carolina.

Georgia Ancestor Map

06 February 2012

York and Oliver

    Shiflet + Shiflet + Watson to Stowers deed   

 Elbert County GA }               Received of Francis G Stowers fifteen Hundred and thirty dollars cash in hand paid for two certain negro boys York and Oliver both about twenty three years of age sound in both body + mind sealed with our seals this 22nd Nov 1851.
.                                                                                                           Powell (his X mark) Shiflett
Attest: Wm M Dobbs                                                                           Martha C Shiflet
James P Neal                                                                                       John G Watson

Recorded the 22nd day of June 1852.


On The Move

     I've been a bit remiss not to have posted this sooner: you can now upload your 23andMe raw data to Family Tree DNA. You have until February 10th to get the introductory price of $50 (I'm guessing it will be $100 after that). I've transferred three files over and might do my final file, depending on the state of my finances on the 10th.

     So you can do it, but should you? Yes! If you've taken the 23andMe test and are interested in the ancestry features, this is a great chance to have your data analyzed by another company. And keep in mind that ftDNA is a company focused on genealogy, unlike 23andMe that has been focused on health.  They also have a database of (mostly) new-to-you cousins just waiting to be found.

     There are a few different ways to purchase this test, depending on which tests you've purchased in the past. If you already have an account with ftDNA but have not purchased their Family Finder test, log into your account and purchase it through your My ftDNA page.  If you have a V2 file from 23andMe, you will need to purchase the $50 transfer and a $100 DNA test. The V2 is an older file that cannot be added to ftDNA as is. If you have the V3 test from 23andMe, you can purchase the transfer. For the last two options you will upload your raw data file to ftDNA once you have completed your order.  For complete details, check out the FAQs at ftDNA.

     A final option for those who have not yet purchased a test: purchase a test from 23andMe and immediately go to ftDNA and purchase the transfer.  It'll be about 8 weeks until you can transfer the data, but that shouldn't matter.


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