Saturday, March 30, 2013

Surname Saturday - FREEDMAN or FREEMAN

When I saw Randy Seaver's Surname Saturday blog on his Freeman ancestors Freeman (England > Massachusetts) I thought I would also look at my Freedman ancestors of which there is only one, Esther Freedman.

My ancestral line is:

1.  Rosemary Tissott

2. Eric Henry Lindsay Tissott (1911-2006)
3. Eileen Mary Brothers (1908-1994)

6. Walter Albert Brothers (1876-1964)
7. Sarah Reeder (1874-1951)

14. James Thompson Reeder (1835-1907)
15. Elizabeth Barnard (1844-1937)

28. Byworth Thompson (1812-1895)
29. Mary Reeder (1809-1870)

58. Peter Reeder (1769- <1841)
59. Hannah Hewitt (1772-1858)

116. Peter Reeder (1736- <1788)
117. Esther Freedman (ca 1737 - (1770-1788))

Little is known of Esther Freedman, my 4th great grandmother, outside of her marriage to Peter Reeder.  Esther and Peter were married by Banns at Deopham, Norfolk on the 11 October 1758. At the time of her marriage Esther (or Hester) was a Singlewoman of the Parish of Deopham. Their children were born in Great Ellingham, Norfolk and are:

Rachel Reeder (1759-
Elizabeth Reeder (1763-1781)
Esther Reeder (1765-
Peter Reeder (1767-1768)
Peter Reeder (1769 <1841)
James Reeder (1770-

I've been unable to find any further reference to Esther after the birth of her son James in 1770 and before the death of her husband Peter Reeder in 1788 where his status is that of "widower". 

Friday, March 29, 2013

AncestryDNA - Examples of Results

 I've had a request for an example of the reports obtained from AncestryDNA. These images are what you can expect after Ancestry has processed your autosomal DNA.

My Genetic Ethnicity is shown at the top of the results.
My Genetic Ethnicity

I appear to be 48% Scandinavian, 41% British Isles and 11% Southern European. Considering that the ethnicity results are from hundreds of years ago and the Vikings settled the north and east of the British Isles while the Romans had garrisons up and down the British Isles I don't find this very surprising. The little blue blobs in the British Isles are where my direct lines of ancestors were born.

There are 2 options for viewing the list of matching member trees, by relationship and by when the results were added to the list.
Member Match by Relationship

Member Match by Date

Both displays are a list of people who have a possible match to my autosomal DNA. I've never received a match closer than 4th cousin because the database at this point in time contains only people in North America. Perhaps I'll do better in the future.
The gold star tells me that these member trees had someone with a surname that is in my direct line of ancestors. Those without a gold star are matches but if there is someone in the tree of interest to me they aren't a surname match. I've reviewed all my matches and feel comfortable ignoring these trees for now.

The next step is to review the matches. For my examples here I've chosen a tree with 2 surname matches, Dickerson and Parker. Dickerson is a surname on my mother's line and Parker on my father's line.
Surnames that match my surnames from spider63lady's tree

Clicking on Dickerson gives me the detail of that surname.
Dickerson Matches in our trees.
If we have a common Dickerson ancestor it will be before the Dickerson family left England and neither of us has taken the line back far enough.

Clicking on the "Map and Location" button provides a listing of locations that are in common between our 2 trees.
Matching Locations between our trees.

Once again the blobs indicate place of birth; brown for spider63lady's tree, blue for my tree and green for a common location. Clicking on "England" shows the detail of people who were born in England.
People born in England in our direct lines.
I have a lot of work to do to make any sense of these results. I'm going to concentrate on matches that have birth locations in Norfolk and Staffordshire in England and also Australia. The raw data is now available and I plan to use some of the more advanced tools available on other sites to investigate my genetic genealogy.

Ancestry has said they have some better analysis tools in the works but nothing concrete has been announced.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ancestry DNA Adventures Part II

I've been making an effort to review at least a page or two of matches every day. It's a tedious process and I'm looking forward to when Ancestry provides us with better data management tools.

Discards - these are any matches that have a private tree, have no tree attached to the DNA results, or have a minimal tree with less than about a dozen people.

Stars - these are matches with a primary name I'm looking for or one of the places I'm interested in. The places this first pass are Norfolk and Staffordshire in England, and Australia. I should have looked for more but didn't realise this when I started.

No Stars - these are matches without any of my primary names and none of the places in my search.

Primary Names Not Yet Found - Beecroft, Cockle, Ettridge, Fokard, Tissott
Names with 1-10 matches - Davy, Freedman, Brothers, Tomson
Names with 10-25 matches - Fielding, Hewitt, Gooch, Sutherland, Reeder, Casey
Names with 25-50 matches - Barnard, Bull, Lindsay, Dickerson, Norton, Cobb, Hardy
Names with 50-100 matches - Williamson
Greater than 100 matches - Wells, Bailey, Parker, Baker, Walker, Wright, Thompson, Taylor

Status of my matches as of 15 March 2013.
Matches Reviewed: 2900
Matches Discarded: 650
Matches not reviewed: 400
Total Matches: 3300

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Ancestor Roulette

From Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings where we have a little fun with our family tree.

1) What year was one of your great-grandfathers born?  Divide this number by 100 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an "ahnentafel" - 
your software will create this - use the "Ahnentafel List" option, or similar). Who is that person, and what are his/her vital information?

3) Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the "roulette number."

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook status or a Google Stream post, or as a comment on this blog post.

5) NOTE:  If you do not have a person's name for your "roulette number" then "spin" the wheel again - pick a great-grandmother, a grandfather, a parent, a favorite aunt or cousin, yourself, or even your children!

1) I chose my great grandfather James Thompson Reeder who was baptised on the 27th September 1835 at Great Ellingham, Norfolk. My roulette number is 18.35, rounded down to 18.

2) Number 18 on my ancestor name list is Charles Daniel Sutherland one of my 2nd great grandfathers.
  • Charles Daniel Sutherland was born on the 25th September and baptised on the 9th October 1803 at St Leonard Shoreditch, Middlesex the son of Daniel and Jane (Walker) Sutherland of Hill Court.
  • Charles married Sarah Bull by Banns at St Andrew Holborn, Middlesex on the 7th October 1827. Both Charles and Sarah signed the marriage register.
  • Charles died on the 8th January 1850 in Walworth, Surrey and was buried at Walworth St Peter, Surrey on the 11th January 1850.
 3) Three facts about Charles Daniel Sutherland.
  1. Charles had  4 known daughters Sarah, Emma (my great grandmother), Jane and Ann. When they were baptised he gave his occupation as "Waiter".
  2. For the 1841 census his family was split up. His daughter Sarah was living with her grandmother Sarah Bull in Exmouth Place, Hackney while his wife Sarah and daughters Emma, Jane, and Ann were in the Hackney Union Workhouse. I haven't been able to find Charles in this census and he is known to have used at least one alias.
  3. At the time of his death Charles was going by the name Charles Walker and working as a "potman" at the Hour Glass on Walworth Common. He was found dead in his bed the morning of the 8th January 1850 and the coroner gave the cause of death as "Natural Affection of the Thorax upon Severe Cold". Evidence was given that he had refused medical attention. There is an addendum to the death certificate of Charles Walker dated 1st March 1850 that the name on the certificate should be Charles Daniel Sutherland. This was sworn to by Sarah Sutherland (his wife or daughter) and Emma Sutherland in front of the Superintendent Registrar.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Ancestry DNA Adventures Part 1

I'm taking a little time off from searching baptismal records to review the matches I've received with my autosomal DNA test from Here is what I've found so far.
A little background, my genealogical ancestry is Australian and then British Isles with possibly an emigration from Europe (in the region of France and Switzerland) in the mid to late 18th century or thereabouts. Everything else is solidly East Anglia or the Greater London area with the addition of a couple of convicts from the Scottish Highlands, another from Gloucestershire, and a catholic girl from the workhouses in Ireland who was sent out to the colonies.

When I took the Ancestry DNA test (it's the autosomal DNA they test for) I was hoping to find some connections from Norfolk and possibly something that led back to France. So far I've got thousands of potential 5th-8th "cousins" and I haven't really figured out how to handle all these tree matches. The name matches are only for the direct line for the person the DNA results are attached to. Here are some things I've found:

  • Private Trees - you can't see what name or place in your direct line is matching one of yours, if any. You have to contact the private tree holder. It's not worth the effort for me, I'm sending them all to the garbage bin.
  • People with no trees or trees with no data - straight off to the garbage again. And how people expect to find matches with nothing in their tree beats me!
  • Trees that don't go back to Europe at all in their direct line. This is very common. Ancestry, after all, is a US site and the people taking the test are resident in the US. Even those with large and seemingly well documented trees don't go back to Europe very often. These I'm ignoring but not sending to the garbage can.
  • Sheer volume - I've got 3-4000 trees to match.
  • Trees with junky data; no birth place (or even country), no last names, no first names ... You get the idea.
  • Very common surnames (Taylor, Baker, Thompson, Wright ...). These are the ones getting the most hits. I'll have to view the results from every tree to find the few I'm really interested in (Tissott, Brothers, Reeder, Barnard). I've found a few Reeder and Barnard but so far neither of the others.
  • When a name is mis-spelled there won't be a match on the name. This is obvious of course but it has only just occurred to me. 
  • Place name matches: I've been looking for some specific counties in England but I know I haven't caught them all because it took me a while to realise that I would have to make a note of them. 
Ancestry is supposed to be working on some tools to let us manage this enormous amount of data. A search function for a specific name or place would be wonderful. However I can see that this could be an enormous resource hog and their servers are already struggling with TreeSync volumes. Well, we'll see what happens. Ancestry also indicated that they would let us have the raw data so we can then use it on other DNA sites. This is supposed to happen in 2013. Again, we'll just have to wait and see.

Ancestry also provides you with your ethnicity. This has proved to be very controversial because many people can't wrap their minds around the fact that it can have little relevance to their genealogical data.  Ancestry has said that they are working on this and the more data they get the better it will be. My ethnicity shows as 48% Scandinavian, 41% British Isles and 11% Southern European. This fits me pretty well. The Vikings raided the British Isles centuries ago and I'm sure some settled there. That's the Scandinavian. The Southern European is probably the Romans who conquered Britain back in the time of the Caesars, had garrisons there, and the soldiers stayed when the armies withdrew because they had families there.
I can't say whether the hint system is useful because I haven't had any hints. I'm also not surprised by this because my heritage is totally European and until there are more people in the database from this area I won't see any hints.
Here are a few statistics:
Total number of matches: 3350
Matches in the garbage can: 250
Matches not in the garbage can: 3100
Matches reviewed: 410
Matches to be followed up:  250

Monday, January 21, 2013

Elizabeth Fendich of Northwold, Norfolk

Elizabeth Fendich

The great grandmother of the husband of my grand aunt.
The only data I had on Elizabeth was her marriage to Thomas Kitteringham on 28 Nov 1783 at Northwold, Norfolk without any citation at all. The Northwold Parish Register provided the information that both Elizabeth and Thomas were of age and the Banns were posted at Northwold on the 9th, 16th and 23rd of November 1783.  
Online user trees with data for Elizabeth are on Ancestry (14), Rootsweb (3), Pedigree Resource File (1) and WikiTree (1) and show conflicting data.
  • Birth: 1755 in Northwold (12)
  • Birth: 11 Jul 1755 in Northwold (4)
  • Birth: 11 Jul 1765 in Northwold (3)
  • Birth Citation: OneWorldTree on (1)
  • Birth Citation: Ancestry Family Trees (1)
  • Death: Foulden (4)
  • Father: William Fendick (15)
  • Mother: Mary (11)
  • Mother: Elizabeth (4)
The parish registers for Northwold and the nearby parishes of Methwold, Cranwich, Gooderstone, Wretton and Feltwell show NO baptisms for Elizabeth Fendich in 1755 or 1765. The most likely baptisms are:
(a) 18 Apr 1757 at Northwold, parents William and Elizabeth Fendick. The sequence of events occurring around this time are:
  • 22 Apr 1756: Elizabeth Fendike, wife of William Fendike of Northwold, was buried at Methwold.
  • 01 Nov 1756: William Fendicke of Northwold (widower) married Elizabeth Parlette of Wretton at Wretton.
  • 18 Apr 1757: Elizabeth, daughter of William and Elizabeth Fendick was baptised at Northwold.
  • 19 Apr 1757: Elizabeth, wife of William Fendick, was buried at Northwold.

(b) 27 May 1762: Elizabeth, illegitimate daughter of Elizabeth Fendick was baptised at Northwold.
I haven't been able to find another marriage or burial for Elizabeth Fendich that would let me identify which of these 2 Elizabeth's is the Elizabeth that married Thomas Kitteringham.
My conclusion is that Elizabeth's mother was named Elizabeth Fendich but whether she was married to William Fendich or a single woman I am unable to tell.
Elizabeth's death remains unresolved. Her last child (from the Northwold baptism registers) is Martha Kitteringham. Martha was born on 22 Dec 1800 and baptised on 08 Jan 1801 at Northwold. I've searched the transcripts available on as well as the Northwold Burial Registers for:
(a) Death of Elizabeth Kitteringham/Ketteringham in Northwold on/after 1801.
There were a number of burials for Elizabeth Kitteringham/Ketteringham. I rejected these either because they were single women or the ages didn't agree with a birth/baptism date of between 1753 and 1765.
(b) Marriage of Elizabeth Kitteringham as a widow after her husband Thomas Kitteringham was buried at Northwold on 22 Dec 1827.
There were no marriages of Elizabeth Kitteringham/Ketteringham as a widow after 1827.
I would welcome any thoughts on who Elizabeth Fendich's parents were and where and when she was buried.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Let's Try This Again

For one reason or another I let this blog lapse. So now, on the 13th January 2013 I'm going to give it another shot.

I'm going to change the focus and record what I find in my really thorny rosebush. It's gotten completely out of hand and I've started reviewing everyone, cleaning up sources, adding sources, trying to remember where I found a piece of data.

A little background first.

My primary file is a Family Tree Maker 2012 database residing on my PC running Windows Vista. I've synchronized this to an Ancestry Member Tree (an extremely useful function now that most of the obvious kinks have been resolved). I only update my tree in Family Tree Maker. The only exception to this is when some generous soul has posted an image to their public tree and then I'll attach it to my tree and send them a little thank you note. Wouldn't it be great if we could "like" a person?

I use Family Tree Maker's Web Search function to add records from Ancestry to my database. I don't use all it's features preferring to search directly on Ancestry for the records I need. Other databases that I search have to be manually added, not a tremendous chore once you have done enough of them and feel comfortable with the software.

I'm working through my file in birth date sequence (I'm up to 1754 at the moment). For each person I'm reviewing the citations (if any), cleaning them up or adding them. If I'm missing any of the essentials (birth, baptism, marriage, death, burial) then I'll see if there is anything readily obtainable from databases I regularly use. If I can find children that I haven't got, I'll add them. I also take a look at the Ancestry Member Trees who have this person making a note of anything that looks useful.

To change things around a bit every so often I'll pick a person from my Ancestry tree that has hints and work through the hints. Then, when I've gone through everything that is readily available I'll add a Status Fact to that person and move on to the next. So far I've done 115 out of 4,448 people (2.5%!!).

I may finish this one day.