Friday, August 26, 2016

Crawford Cluster Spreadsheet (Part 2)


I've managed to combine event data from SIX different lines:
  • James Crawford and Sally Smith Duggins (mine - names in blue)
  • James Crawford and Martha Knight (Knight - names in green)
  • James Crawford and Rebecca Anderson (Anderson - names in brown)
  • Alexander Crawford and Mary McPheeters (McPheeters - names in red)
  • William N. Crawford (WilliamN - names in purple)
  • Nathaniel Sellers (Sellers - names in dark yellow)
Besides color coding the names, I color coded the four major counties for my branch:
  • Garrard County, Kentucky -- shaded with lime green
  • Preble County, Ohio -- shaded with yellow
  • Warren County, Indiana -- shaded with bright blue
  • Ford County, Kansas -- shaded with orange 
 Recent DNA tests are shedding more light on potential connections:
  • yDNA indicates probably relationship to William N. Crawford 
  • yDNA indicates my Crawford line may connect to the McPheeters line somehow
  • a Sellers researcher believes I share DNA with SELLERS descendants (using gedmatch)
  • Some Ancestry matches have SELLERS family in their trees
  • Some Ancestry matches have Anderson / Vawter families in their trees
  • So far DNA does not support relationship between two James Crawfords of Preble County, Ohio 
So what have I learned?
  • There's more overlap than I realized. Because of the DUGGINS/SELLERS marriage, I knew there was a connection with my James Crawford (step-son). However, I didn't remember the connections with the James/Martha line.
  • I evidently got a lot of marriage info from the IGI or similar source and need to get better documentation.
  • The James Crawford / Rebecca Anderson line needs further research because of the Garrard County, Kentucky connection along with potential DNA connections.
 The spreadsheet is shared for viewing on Google Drive.

Crawford Cluster Spreadsheet (Part 1)

The results from recent DNA tests -- particularly the yDNA -- are pushing me to re-evaluate my CRAWFORD cluster research. Most of this research is pre-Internet and pre-Excel (remember AppleWorks and Microsoft Works?) However, I want to utilize the power of a spreadsheet to hopefully provide a fresh look at the data.

Thus, I turned to the Internet for ideas on how to proceed. I found the blog, Cluster Genealogy Research, by Gus Marsh that provided background on the research process. This blog provided hints on where else to look for data for my cluster.

Looking around at what others have done, I found the blog post, Timeline Template - How to Create a Timeline in Exel by Jon Wittwer. Not only does this blog offer a pre-packaged template for a reasonable price, it also includes the step-by-step instructions for the do-it-yourself-er. I would like to create this type of timeline -- especially for family reunion -- but I'm not sure it will work for my Cluster data.

Still on the lookout for spreadsheet ideas, I found DearMyrtle's post: The Pinball Approach to Genealogical Research. The spreadsheet example in this blog grouped all individuals of the same name together. I really like the concept behind this type of organization and will likely employ it as I begin doing more research in 18th century Virginia.

My brief study of DearMyrtle's method led me to believe that it would separate out the different surnames when I needed to see them together. Thus, I went searching for more and came up with Ancestral Breezes, Using Excel in Genealogy by Jen Baldwin.

After studying all of these excellent ways to use Excel to analyze the data, my next challenge was how to (quickly) get the data out of my genealogy program and into Excel so I could work with it. After looking at various report options, I opted to use the List titled: Timeline (Chronology) List.

Since I had already created named groups for the different aspects of my cluster, I was able to pull this data by the group. The place is an essential piece of information, so I clicked to include it but I turned sources off. (I often have multiple sources for an event. Adding all of this data would have either created a very wide column or made the rows very tall. Either situation would have made it harder to work with the names, dates and places.)
The generated report appeared on the screen and could easily have been printed.
However, I wanted to get it into Excel versus sending it to a printer. Fortunately, I had the option of saving it as a text file.

Once saved, the file opened in Notepad.
Since that isn't what I wanted, I simply closed Notepad and opened Excel. After navigating to location of the file, I pulled down the down arrow next to All Excel Files so I could switch to All Files.
By switching to All Files, I could now see the text files along with the Excel files.

Since this data is in TXT format, I have to go thru the 'Text Import Wizard'. On the first window, I make sure DELIMITED is marked and simply click the NEXT button.

The Import Utility proposes the use of TAB as the DELIMITER. The screen allows one to preview the results so one could experiment with clicking both TAB and SPACE or COMMA to see the impact before actually clicking NEXT to import.

The next screen of the importer allows one to format the columns. Because I have dates over 2 centuries, I don't want to chance Excel misinterpreting them. Thus, I don't make any changes on this screen and click FINISH.

Since I wanted to get the year, given name, surname, county and state into separate columns I had to do some data manipulation. I used the TEXT FORMULA for RIGHT to pull the last 4 characters from the date column and put it in the YEAR column. I had to go back to Google research to figure out how to split the name and found Microsoft's Split Text into Different Cells instructions.
Now I have the data in a format I can work with.

Monday, August 15, 2016

More Circles, Please

For some, DNA is all about their ethnicity. For me, it is all about finding actual cousins. I'm not just looking for that 7 cM of common DNA but for much longer pieces -- my cousins.

Recently, I discovered that a little work on my part could improve my results on AncestryDNA. I found if I quit ignoring those green leaves (called 'shaky leaves' by some) and actually worked to confirm the hints, the number of 'shared matches' [shared ancestor hints] would increase.

When I posted about this on the 11th, my DNA circles hadn't really changed. However, I now have 16 circles when I had only been seeing about six.

Now, I'm after more circles! I'm experimenting with my Crawford and Mentzer lines. I currently don't have any circles for those lines -- even though I have known cousins in my DNA results. [Check out my Heartland_Genealogy tree on Ancestry.]

To try and 'create' those circles, I've been working thru hints for the collateral lines. Since I had already documented census research in my database, it was fairly easy to confirm census hints for the brothers and sisters of my ancestors on each line.

Now to wait the few days to see what happens! 
Will I get a CRAWFORD or a MENTZER circle?

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Same Name Nightmare!

Does anyone remember when Ancestry came out with their 'one tree'? I think it was called 'One World Tree'. The concept sounded fantastic! They would take all of the trees submitted to Ancestry and merge them into this one magical tree -- linking research and researchers together -- and helping us find more ancestors. The problem then was that the computers didn't analyze -- they just lumped. If it looked like the same person -- the computer said it was.

For me, the result was that the computer lumped two James Crawfords together that I had spent lots of time to separate -- and had the documentation to prove it. I tried to get them separated but eventually gave up the fight.

I'm sure that is why some are leery of the tree on Family Search and perhaps why Wiki tree requires the documentation.

Well, my nightmare is returning. This time it is on my Currey (Curry) line where I likely have four generations of the same name: Hiram M. Currey.

The problem is with my 3rd great-grandfather: Hiram M. Currey of Peoria, Illinois. I have quite a bit of documentation on his life -- BETWEEN 1822 and 1844 -- when he was a lawyer in Indiana and Illinois. A couple of land transactions with Thomas Currey of Indiana tie this Hiram Currey to the family of the treasurer of Ohio in 1820 -- Hiram M. Currey.

So did this Hiram Currey change occupations and become a minister in 1870 and a doctor in 1880 and live to be almost 100? That's what all of the hints for my Hiram M. Currey that lived in Peoria would indicate.

My hypothesis is that the Hiram M. Currey that married Julia Hatfield is NOT the same Hiram M. Currey living in Peoria prior to 1850.

The task begins -- documenting the family of Hiram & Julia Currey. Time will tell whether my hypothesis is accurate or not.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Ancestry DNA - Shared Ancestory Hints

Earlier this week, I was contacted by another BRILES researcher who is trying to figure out how a third BRILES fits into our family. She had found me thru DNA matches. Discovering that we both descend from Alexander BRILES, I was puzzled as to why her DNA match wasn't showing on my list of 'shared ancestor hints'. Instead it was buried in my 326 pages of matches. It was also puzzling that I don't have a BRILES circle.

Because my Ancestry tree isn't my primary tree, I had uploaded the current version sometime in the last year. I also hadn't gotten very far in dealing with all of the shaky leaves. Although I couldn't find documentation to support this, I wondered if I needed to confirm the exact same hint as another DNA tester in order for them to show on my list of 'shared ancestor hints'.

Working on that theory, I decided that I needed to confirm some shaky leaves for my more distant ancestors. Not wanting to risk it not picking up the other test if we had confirmed different hints (i.e. one confirms the 1850 census record while the other person confirms the 1860 census record), I decided to go ahead and confirm trees.

Lo and behold -- my number of  'shared ancestor hints' went from 41 to 119 overnight.

Now that these BRILES DNA matches are showing in my list of 'shared ancestor hints', I might get a BRILES circle.

Lesson learned: 
Confirming shaky leaves essential to more easily finding matches sharing a common ancestor!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Mystery of William N. Crawford

My brother's yDNA results came back over the weekend. The matches are interesting and yet mysterious. One of those matches is to a William N. Crawford.

So, who is this William Nelson Crawford and how might I be related.

On Ancestry, I found two trees with what appears to be the same William Nelson Crawford. Neither tree has any parents identified for William N. Crawford.

One tree, has linked two different 1850 census records. One of those records I've seen before and is the household of a James & Martha (Knight) Crawford descendant.
This 1850 census record matches the family of William Crawford and Lutitia (Snodgrass) Crawford. This William Crawford is the son of James and Martha (Knight) Crawford. However, I don't have William N. Crawford as a son or grandson of James and Martha.

So, is the William N. Crawford in the 1850 census the same William Nelson Crawford who died in Washington?

Either way, how does the William N. Crawford in the census connect to either James Crawford family.