Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Brief Update

I received my AncestryDNA kit in the mail yesterday, so today I activated my kit, spit in the tube and put it out in the mailbox to make its way back to Utah for processing. In order to make the most of the test, it looks like I need to at least put up a skeleton of a pedigree chart, minimally showing my direct ancestors. 

To date, I've put almost no effort into my Ancestry tree. I am continually frustrated by the number of bad actors and name hunters that poach from the Ancestry trees and call the work their own without any attribution (or even fact checking).  Additionally, I've done considerable work gathering documents and evidence that cannot be found on, and I have no desire to let Ancestry monetize my work product.  End of rant.

So you can add to my resolutions updating my Ancestry tree.  I won't be posting any outside documentation, and my source citations may not be Evidence Explained approved (my Legacy database is another matter), but names, dates and relationships will be there.  

See you on the web.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A few more genealogical resolutions

For Christmas 2012 (or maybe for my birthday, it falls close to Christmas) I was given the gift of Y-Chromosome DNA testing, in order to try to make the McNally leap back across the ocean.  I chose the Family Tree DNA service, based in part on their extensive history and deep member base.  I received my swabs, took my samples and sent them back to see what would happen.  

A few weeks later, I received my results (in stages, due to the number of markers I had tested).  Between sending my samples and getting my results, I had enrolled in a handful of relevant studies to try to find matches, hopefully still in Ireland who might be able to trace back to Christopher McNally's ancestors. 

When my full results were finally back, I had one good match, a young man in Ireland who carries the McNally surname.  I sent off on e-mail of introduction and waited for his to respond, which he did after a week or two.  He only had information back to his great-gradfather (I think he has an aunt that is the genealogist of the familiy) but he was willing to exchange e-mails and share information as it came available.   We e-mailed back and forth a few times, the last time back in July of 2013.  After that, my genetic genealogy project languished, solely due to my lack of effort.  

Fast forward to last week.  I received in the mail an advertisement for the AncestryDNA test for $79.00.  The AncestryDNA test is an autosomal test, which covers all lines of ancestry, both paternal and maternal, rather than a direct line test unlike the Y-DNA test I have on the books (the Family Tree DNA analog would be their "Family Finder" test"), so I decided to give myself a late birthday present and give it a go.  I have not received my testing kit yet, having just ordered it, but I'll keep the blog updated on that progress.

After looking over my last post, I realized that I had included no resolutions related to my genetic genealogy endeavours, so here they are.

First - I'm going to follow up with my Irish contact to re-open the lines of communication and see if he has learned anything new.

Second - I'm going to be more active at the FTDNA website and on the studies that might be relevant.  

Third - I'm going to be a bit more proactive in trying to confirm or deny a theory I have about Christopher, starting right here - In March of 2012 I proposed a theory about Christopher McNally's parentage, that he might be the son of a Laurence McNally and Mary Dillon.  I would encourage any male McNally's that can prove a line of descent from Laurence and Mary to contact me.  In a subseuent blog post I will post all of the information I have about this family to aid in this.

Fourth - The book "DNA and Social Networking" by Debbie Kennett has some fabulous suggestions about how to make genetic genealogy more effective, so I'm going to re-read the DNA part and follow up on some of her ideas.

Finally - I'm going to do whatever I can with the Ancestry test to cast a wider net for relatives in my extended family to share with and learn from.

Here's to making 2014 a good genealogy year.