Sunday, June 25, 2017
I never thought cleaning the garage would unveil genealogy tidbits but it has. Our first "find" was an ancient mahogany chair that we've been dragging around from house to house for close to 40 years. My husband stripped it but never finished it as we never knew where to put it. I've got space now in the living room and told him I wanted to have it professionally refinished. He reminded me we have a mate in the attic. Completely forgot about that! That will go into the entry as it's smaller. And this will be the only item we're bringing back into the house (famous last words).
The chairs belonged to an unknown Harbaugh family member and we're guessing it would be his great grandparents, George Frederick.and Margaret "Maggie" Long. I was hoping whoever I found to refinish them would be able to give me a rough age estimate, however, the price I got was $900.00 so it looks like I'll be doing them myself. One chair hubby stripped 45 years ago so that'll be a quick finish; the other, not so much.
For Father's Day I bought my husband a large tool chest. He's got a zillion tools, many that have been handed down. As he cleans and places them in his new chest, I'm hearing recollections of their original owners. He comes from a family of builders so there were lots of tales. It's funny how objects - dusty, rusty and stained - can stir old memories from the brain. His dad's WWII ammunition box held his extra trowels which reminded him of his dad's attempt at securing bricks to build a fireplace right after the war. Dad enlisted the help of his youngest sister who helped him carry bricks nightly until they had enough to complete the job. Stuck to the ammo box was a magnet. I was surprised to learn that Uncle Carl once worked for a magnet factory and gave some to my husband to play with when he was a child. That was the first time I ever heard that story!
As the family historian, I thought I knew just about all of the stories but I was wrong. Next time you're trying to learn more about your family I highly recommend cleaning the garage.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Last week, I blogged about a summer volunteer opportunity through the New England Historic and Genealogical Society. A new challenge was just posted so I added my guess and the reason why. If deciphering transcriptions aren't your style, here's a new project that needs your help...
History Unfolded is creating a searchable newspaper database to measure the pulse of regional newspapers during the 1930's and '40's regarding news about 30 Holocaust events. If you love to read old papers, then this is for you! You may use Newspapers.com or a local paper in which you have access. For more details - check out their website.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Unless you plan on waiting until Black Friday, which I'm going to do, there are two special offers available for DNA kits in honor of Father's Day:
1. Ancestry DNA is $79.00, however, if you order it via Amazon.com and are a prime member, you don't have to pay shipping. Sale ends June 18th.
2. MyHeritage DNA is $69.00 - ends June 19th.
Sunday, June 11, 2017
The Transcription Challenge is a unique way to volunteer. As AmericanAncestors.org transcribes the Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1798-1900, they have discovered some very difficult words to transcribe. Knowing the old saying “Many hands make light work” and “Two heads are better than one” are true, weekly during the summer, a new transcription challenge will be posted with the undecipherable area circled in red. So far, 4 challenges are available. All you need to do is take a look and make a comment of what you think is written for the appropriate number of the problem’s name. This is a fun way to spend a rainy afternoon! Give it a try…
Sunday, June 4, 2017
I took a wonderful webinar through the Association of Professional Genealogists on Thursday evening on DNA and Ancestry given by Jennifer Anderson Zinck. Although my husband and I tested through Ancestry before their autosomal test became available in October 2014, our earlier results are still available through the DNA tab on the ribbon. I had thought Ancestry was no longer supporting their older tests so I was pleasantly surprised.
Understandably, the old results aren’t going to be a part of their new communities and circles. I decided to upload that old data into MyHeritage.com’s new DNA feature as they recently began accepting data from other companies. MyHeritage provides the largest ethnicity estimates of all current test companies.
To upload, click on the MyHeritage DNA tab’s dropdown “Upload DNA data NEW.” Click the pink box “Start.” Click if you are uploading your data or someone else's. In my case, I was trying to upload my mtDNA. Then, click the Service Terms and Consent Agreement. Next, click the pink box “Upload.” Ancestry downloads the results as a csv file which my computer didn’t like. I converted it to an Excel file as that is what it is and uploaded it.
The pop up told me “DNA uploaded successfully.” Good thing I decided to click “Manage Kits” before I uploaded hubby’s data. Surprise, surprise – my kit was marked “Invalid.” I thought that might be because I had changed formats so I went back through the steps and uploaded the csv file. Again, I got the “DNA uploaded successfully” but in checking further, it was marked as “Invalid.”
I called MyHeritage at 1-877-432-3135. Don’t get confused by the voice mail options! I wasn’t needing billing or accounting (1) or sales (2) and the third option, tech support, says to call back between 7 am -5 pm. Since it was 9:15 AM on a weekday I thought the phones might be down. The message repeats twice but just hold on because you’ll eventually be placed in the queue for assistance. I was number 9 and the wait time was about 15 minutes.
I told the tech guy the process I had followed and it turns out that MyHeritage does not accept mtDNA or yDNA, only autosomal, which we hadn’t taken. I suggested that the type of test be written on the site to save phone calls and wasted time though autosomal is the way to go now and there probably aren't a lot of folks like us who have older tests.
So, if you have an autosomal DNA test done at a competitor’s site, you might want to take advantage of MyHeritage’s free offer. Getting your data out to another site just might unlock secrets you never knew existed.