Genealogy Do Over – DNA (1)

The results of my first foray into DNA testing arrived in time for consideration as part of GDO Week 10 DNA considerations. My first request was not for myself nor for my brother but for a cousin of my father’s as she is a direct maternal descendant of my two greats grandmother Lydia Watts.
I have over the past three weeks paused to reflect again on my Genealogy Do Over so far. I have come to the conclusion that until the Do Over I have been beguiled by the ease of access electronically to many sources. This has caused me to churn my research. To do the same searches over and over again. With the same results. I may not have brick walls at these places at all. I have been trapped into looking at the sources that are easy to access rather than those that are most likely to give me some results.
Way back in Week 1 of the Genealogy Do Over we were advised to set aside our genealogical research so far, to abandon our bad habits and start over. What good advice! My perceived brick walls may not be brick walls at all. I have been just too lazy to put together a research plan that, while it may involve some actual work by me, is more likely to yield my hoped for results.
I was particularly struck by this when I asked for a review of where I was at with my Ralston ancestors at the recent Glasgow and Strathclyde region library research day at the Genealogical Society of Victoria. All that is lacking is a little actual work on my part. Something that I would have done years ago before the advent of personal computers and online databases. I should be searching a little further afield than just at Ralston, Renfrewshire. Not churning through the Paisley registers again and again. The information contained therein is exactly the same as what was there last time I looked.
Sure, there is a lot of planning and there is some actual research to do. Sure most of the information may only be available in various repositories and not online. Yet isn’t this now I went about my family research before the 1990s?
Similarly, I have doubts about the Charles, son of Roger Baulch and Elizabeth Gaylard, who was baptised on 25 Jan 1767 in Muchelney, Somerset, being my ancestor for a Charles Baulch was buried just over a month later on 8 Mar 1767 at Muchelney (see http://www.freereg.org.uk/). But have I searched those surrounding parishes not yet indexed on either FreeREG, FamilySearch or Somerset Online Parish Clerks (http://wsom-opc.org.uk/)? No. I just took fright at the number of parishes yet to be searched.
On the other hand at least I have started gathering information about John Bourke Ryan. So easy to search for as he always used his full name. I have found some rich archival material which I have transcribed. Nevertheless before I start churning my online research here I do need to stop and think about the information so far gathered. And how that all fits in with the economic and political climate at the time.
Which brings me to Mary McCade or McCord, the mother of Lydia and Lazarus Watts.
The 1841 and 1851 England Censuses indicate that Mary was born in Foreign Parts (that is, she wasn’t born in the British Isles) although, as I have found, that information isn’t necessarily correct.
The question now is – was Mary of British ethnicity or was she of the ethnic background of wherever she was born? Or someplace else for that matter.
Mitochondrial DNA is passed from mother to daughter. The test results I have just received yielded an mtDNA haplogroup of J1c9 – a classification that is confined to the United Kingdom. This haplogroup had been passed to my father’s grandmother, Eliza Ann Porter by her mother Lydia Watts. Lydia Watts would have received this haplogroup from her mother Mary McCade or McCord.
While Mary may have been born in foreign parts it is possible that she and perhaps her family returned to the United Kingdom and, as their children didn’t arrive until after George Watts was pensioned out of the British Army, it is also possible that George Watts and Mary McCade married, not in foreign parts, but in England.
Another brick wall for which I must stop churning and start creating a research plan that may actually yield some results.

Genealogy Do Over – Week 10

Victor Hallett's 1954 Letter
Victor Hallett’s 1954 Letter

Firstly, I was really proud to receive an invitation to include the GeneaBloggers badge on my blog site. It is nice to have this recognition as part of the Genealogy Do Over.

Because it is well overdue to do so and because it is preparation for DNA next week here is my Charles Baulch Family Tree created about four years ago. I include it here for the benefit of our Baulch family and because my sister Kathy suggested that I should.

It is so overdue. In 1954 when Victor Hallett asked his Baulch family for information he promised to share his results. Unfortunately, the task took a little longer than he expected and has only been put together with the help of many other members of the Baulch family. In particular a lot of the work has been done by my sister Kathy Baulch.

With many of us now five generation or more descendants of Charles Baulch and Ann Biddlecombe some of our relationships are more distant than can be found with any certainty using an autosomal test. Indeed why undertake an autosomal test when we already have a family tree? Firstly, it is a nice conformation that the autosomal test does provide valid results. Secondly, my family tree does contain more family than just Baulchs believe it or not.

I can’t emphasise enough the necessity to check sources and information should you use our tree.

My tree contains information I’ve not necessarily checked in recent years so may contain errors. Indeed, two particular errors are shared with the 326 Baulch family trees I found on Ancestry.com this evening for Charles Baulch and Ann Biddlecombe who married in Muchelney, Somerset in 1799.

The errors related to this Charles Baulch at the top of the tree. Certainly there was a Charles Baulch, the son Roger and Betsey Baulch baptised in Muchelney, Somerset on 25 January 1767 and as advised by the Somerset Record Office to a family member many, many years ago. However, two entries further down in the parish register the burial of a Charles Baulch is recorded on 8 March 1767. The infant Charles?

We found no burial for Charles Baulch in the civil records. So, as a marker for this research, it was recorded that Charles Baulch died BEFORE 1837. But no burial for Charles has been found in the Pitney parish registers either. However, there are two entries in the Pitney churchwarden records that suggest that Charles may have died about 1816 – a period when no burials at all were recorded in Pitney.

I haven’t altogether dismissed the notion that our Charles Baulch was a son of Roger Baulch. Roger had a son Henry and a Henry Baulch was a witness to the marriage of Charles Baulch and Ann Biddlecombe. Coincidence?

Just because I haven’t found the information yet doesn’t mean that it isn’t there to be found. There are still registers for parishes close to Pitney and Muchelney for which we have found no online indexes – including FreeREG, and the Somerset Online Parish Clerk indexes – so there is still quite a deal of sources to be searched.