Saturday, March 31, 2018

Genealogy Do-Over - March 2018

I am taking part in the Genealogy Do-Over this year. 

  1. Conducting Self-Interview
  2. Conducting Family Interviews

    1. Conducting Self-Interview

    I decided to use Evernote to record my self-interview. I wrote down my own knowledge of the dates and places of events in my own life. 
    For example, I recorded:

    • Birthdate and place
    • Catholic Sacrament dates and places (Baptism, First Confession, First Communion, Confirmation)
    • Education - dates and places
    • Residences - dates and places
    • Hospitalisations - dates and places
    • Hobbies

    2. Conducting Family Interviews

    I created a Family Group Sheet template in Evernote, and then created one for my immediate family. I filled in the information from my own knowledge.

    • My next step is to interview my Mum and check if her knowledge of dates and places for our family correlates with my own. 
    • Then I need to create a Family Group Sheet for each of my siblings' families. 
    • I have also asked my Mum to fill in Family Group Sheet for her parents and siblings. 
    Here is an example of a Family Group Sheet from the US National Archives.

      The full list of Genealogy Do-Over topics for 2018 is on Thomas MacEntee's Abundant Genealogy web site.

      © 2018. Australian Genealogy Journeys. This post was originally posted at Genealogy Do-Over is © Thomas MacEntee. 

      Friday, March 2, 2018

      Genealogy Do-Over - February 2018

      I am taking part in the Genealogy Do-Over this year. March has arrived without me having posted my February update!

      The Genealogy Do-Over tasks for February were:

      1. Establishing Base Practices and Guidelines
      2. Setting Research Goals

      1. Establishing Base Practices and Guidelines

      I read and reflected upon the base practices and guidelines of other genealogy researchers last month. For example Thomas MacEntee's The Genealogy Do-Over: My Golden Rules of Genealogy, Alona Tester's 27 Golden Rules of Genealogy, and on the FamilySearch Wiki - Principles of Family History Research and Genealogical Standards and Guidelines (National_Institute).

      I have decided to prioritise the following Base Practices and Guidelines for my own genealogy research:
      • Plan my research
      • Follow a research process
      • Work from the known to the unknown
      • Learn about the history and geography of the areas where my ancestors lived
      • Slow down. One objective at a time, one person at a time, one family at a time.
      • Keep a research log
      • Record Sources, cite correctly, give credit
      • Try to see the original document (or images of the original document) 
      • Record every detail from every record
      • Track everything - what found and what not found, correspondence etc.
      • Analyse sources, resolve any conflicts
      • Be consistent in the way I record my data.
      • Back-up my data
      • Share my research
      • Keep learning
      I also worked last month on customising my own genealogy research process/workflow using examples from other genealogists. The sections of my genealogy workflow are:

      1. Preparing
      2. Planning
      3. Researching
      4. Analysing
      5. Resolving
      6. Concluding
      7. Saving
      8. Sharing

      2. Setting Research Goals

      My initial research goals will be very simple:

      • Who were my maternal grandparents?
      • Who were my paternal grandparents?

       The full list of Genealogy Do-Over topics for 2018 is on Thomas MacEntee's Abundant Genealogy web site.

      © 2018. Australian Genealogy Journeys. This post was originally posted at  Genealogy Do-Over is © Thomas MacEntee. 

      Wednesday, January 10, 2018

      DNA Do-Over - January 2018

      In addition to taking part in the Genealogy Do-Over, I have also decided to follow along with the new DNA Do-Over

      The topic for the first month of the DNA Do-Over is:

      "Downloading your DNA Test Results and Uploading to Other DNA Vendor sites"

      I have tested with Family Tree DNA, Ancestry DNA and Living DNA. I have uploaded to Gedmatch and MyHeritage

      Before I tested with these companies or uploaded my raw DNA data I made sure I read the terms and conditions and the privacy statements for each site. I strongly recommend that you do the same. 

      In my opinion, the benefits of testing with different companies or uploading your raw DNA data to different DNA vendors are:

      • You have access to different databases of testers. A cousin who holds the clue you need to break a genealogy brick wall may have only tested at one company. 
      • You can access different ethnicity estimates. Ethnicity estimates differ between companies as they are comparing your DNA with different reference data sets. 
      • You can access different useful and advanced features. I particularly recommend that people who have tested at Ancestry DNA consider uploading their raw DNA data for free to Gedmatch and/or Family Tree DNA, as both these sites have chromosome browsers and segment data. What is the benefit of chromosome browsers and segment data? They allow you to know where on your chromosomes you match your DNA matches and whether they have DNA matches in common with you on the same DNA segments. When people all match on the same DNA segment we can know that they most likely inherited that DNA from a shared common ancestor. If I match a known cousin (say a third cousin who shares common great-great grandparents -Tom and Jane Surname) and both my third cousin and I share a match with another (unknown) person (A) on the same segment of DNA, my third cousin and I can tell that our Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) with person A is very likely among the ancestors of Tom and Jane Surname. We can contact person A and/or view their family tree, looking for potential clues such as locations and surnames. This process is called 'Triangulation'. Another benefit of a chromosome browser and segment data is that it allows you to potentially create a 'chromosome map', showing the segments you have inherited from ancestors you share in common with your DNA matches who are known cousins. If three or more siblings have DNA tested, chromosome browsers and segment data can potentially be used for an advanced process called 'visual phasing'. Another benefit, in my opinion, is that segment data can be loaded into Genome Mate Pro software, which I find an extremely useful tool for keeping track of all my DNA matches, discovering triangulated groups of matches, and mapping segments to certain ancestors or geographic localities. 
      I am looking forward to following along with the DNA Do-Over! 

      © 2018. Australian Genealogy Journeys. This post was originally posted at DNA Do-Over logo by Thomas MacEntee. 

      Saturday, January 6, 2018

      Genealogy Do-Over - January 2018

      I have decided to take part in the Genealogy Do-Over this year.
      I have a new (second-hand) computer, so this feels like the perfect time to start afresh with my genealogy research.

      The Genealogy Do-Over tasks for January are:

      1.  Setting Previous Research Aside
      2.  Preparing to Research

      1. Setting Previous Research Aside

      My existing genealogy digital files are stored:

      As suggested for this months Genealogy Do-Over, I am going to place all my digital genealogy files in a 'Hold' area, and as they are needed I will make a task on my to-do list to consult them.

      My existing genealogy physical files include photocopies of archival documents and certificates, photographs (some originals and some copies), as well as research notes from my mother's family history research in the 1980s-90s. These are stored in binders categorised by surname. Similarly to the digital files, I will create to-do tasks to consult these records as they are needed. 

      2. Preparing to research

      In the past, my research habits have been very haphazard. 
      • I jump from one branch of my family tree to another 
      • I have no plan for what records I will search, and when and why I will search them.
      • I often follow any 'bright and shiny objects' (BSOs)- newly digitised collections, new DNA matches.
      • I have not kept an adequate research log.
      • I have not achieved the vague goals I want to achieve ('Write the Fullerton history' has been a goal for over a decade now)
      • I have neglected using complete and accurate source citations.
      • I have felt overwhelmed and unorganised.
      • I have felt tired - staying up too late searching and not achieving anything worthwhile.
      • I have neglected genealogy correspondence - some emails have been left unanswered for far too long.
      This year I hope to FINALLY make progress with writing a history of the Fullerton family. For this, I need to plan and create concise, focused and achievable research goals. 

      The changes to my research habits that I need to make include:
      • Create concise, focused and achievable research goals
      • Use a research log
      • Use a to-do list
      • Use complete and accurate source citations. 
      • Instead of following BSOs, take note of them and look at them at another time if they don't relate to the research goals for that day. 

      As the Genealogy Do-Over progresses this year, I hope to learn more ways to improve my genealogy research habits.

      © 2018. Australian Genealogy Journeys. This post was originally posted at Genealogy Do-Over logo by Thomas MacEntee. 

      Monday, March 13, 2017

      My First DNA Circle on AncestryDNA!

      This morning I was excited to see that I have my first ever DNA Circle on AncestryDNA, for my Great Great Grandfather Thomas Davey Smith. I tested about 14 months ago.

      © 2017. Australian Genealogy Journeys. This post was originally published at

      Monday, December 26, 2016

      My Ethnicity Estimates at FTDNA and AncestryDNA

      Ethnicity percentages according to traditional genealogy research

      Ireland 62.5% 
      England 31.25% 
      Wales 6.25% 
      Created with Excel using Ancestry Pie by John Tierney

      Ethnicity percentages estimated by Family Tree DNA
      (as of 26 December 2016)

      British Isles 93%
      Finland and Northern Siberia 3%
      Central Asia 3%
      Middle East 1%

      Family Tree DNA MyOrigins Ethnicity estimates

      Ethnicity percentages estimated by AncestryDNA
      (as of 26 December 2016)

      Ireland 48% [Range: 27%-65%]
      Great Britain 44% [Range: 20%-68%]
      Finland/Northwest Russia 4% [Range: 0%-8%]
      Italy/Greece 2% [Range: 0%-8%]
      Europe West 1% [Range: 0%-8%]
      Scandinavia  1% [Range: 0%-3%]
      Caucasus  1% [Range: 0%-3%]

      AncestryDNA ethnicity estimates

       © 2016. Australian Genealogy Journeys. This post was originally published at

      Thursday, December 22, 2016

      A Genetic Geneameme

      The Genetic Genealogist, Blaine Bettinger, created this geneameme recently on Facebook.
      Like Jill at Geniaus, I have opted to complete the geneameme here on my blog.
      1. First person you DNA tested? My Dad
      2. What was your own first test? Autosomal DNA & MtDNA (FamilyTreeDNA)
      3. Year you took your first test? 2012
      4. What was your most recent test? AncestryDNA
      5. Have you done full mtDNA genome? Yes
      6. What is your mtDNA Haplogroup? H26a1a
      7. Any exact mtDNA matches? No, only matches with a genetic distance of 1, 2 and 3.
      8. Max Y-DNA markers you/male relative tested? 111
      9. What is your father’s Y-DNA Haplogroup? R-M269
      10. Any exact Y-DNA matches?
      111 markers – 1 match with a genetic distance of 6.
      67 markers – 3 matches with a genetic distance of 1, 1 match with a genetic distance of 2 and 1 match with a genetic distance of 4 (same match as at 111 markers). All except one have variations of O’Brien surname.
      11. Tested at all of the Big 3 Companies? No just FamilyTreeDNA and AncestryDNA.
      12. Have you had a whole-genome test? No
      13. About how many tests do you control/administer? 6 (I have 4 more kits, waiting to test someone)
      14. Do you use GEDmatch? Yes
      15. Favorite GEDmatch tool? I like the whole site, but I really appreciate the Tier 1 Utilities Matching Segment Search, especially for its convenience as data to import into GenomeMate Pro.
      16. Were you able to test any of your parents? Yes, both
      17. Were you able to test any of your grandparents? No
      18. Age of the oldest person you’ve tested? 70s.
      19. Are you all done testing relatives? No
      20. If you could ask ANY one ancestor to test, living or dead, who would it be? Peter Fullerton

       © 2016. Australian Genealogy Journeys.  This post was originally published at

      Hello World

      This is the first post on my renewed Australian Genealogy Journeys blog.

      My banner for my old blog at Blogspot

      As in my previous blog, I am hoping to share ideas, news, discoveries, successes and failures as I research my Australian family history. I will also blog about my genetic genealogy discoveries.
      In addition to this blog I will also be blogging about my Fullerton Family History on a separate blog, with a particular focus on my searches for Fullard, Follard, Folliard and variants in county Kildare Ireland and surrounding counties.
      Thank you for following.

      © 2016. Australian Genealogy Journeys. This post was originally published at