Sunday, January 31, 2016

Time to Face the Music

Time for an intermission from John Hogue's miserable saga. If I don't take this moment to take care of some bi-monthly statistics, I'll run out of month. It's today or never for January, 2016.

This certainly has been a whirlwind month for me, going from the wrap-up of winter holidays to that stellar opportunity to attend the week-long genealogical institute at Salt Lake City, to coordinating our local genealogical society's annual dinner meeting, to starting up another semester of teaching beginning genealogy classes.

Interwoven into that schedule has been a relentless pursuit of John Hogue's tattered trail of newspaper articles and other documentation, in the quest to put together a cogent story of just who this man was and what he made of his life. After having to lay his narrative aside during holiday interruptions in December, I was loathe to do so again this month, and put off all my accountability checks until the last moment.

Well, the last moment is here, and I'll have to face the music: I didn't get much done on the genetic genealogy side of the equation—ironic, as that was the very topic I went to SLIG to take. Considering I even put off the usual report for an additional week, the numbers seem sluggish on my side—although on the DNA testing side, the tsunami of test kits ordered during the Christmas rush is starting to hit the results side of the equation, as you'll notice from the uptick in DNA matches I've received.

Regarding work completed on our family trees, the two paternal sides—mine and my husband's—lacked in any further progress. I did manage to add three additional names to the Stevens side, bringing the count in that tree to 933. But my paternal side—with that elusive Polish tendency to hide one's true identity—is still flatlined at 180 names, as it has been for over half a year.

Thankfully, despite all the activity elsewhere this month, each of our maternal trees saw some improvement in the last three weeks. The Flowers line in Ohio increased by 190 to a total of 2,860. The Davis line fared almost as well, with an addition of 119 documented additions, bringing the total on that line to 7,171. That line, however, is the one benefiting from my matrilineal-line goal of determining the nexus with my mystery cousin, the adoptee with the exact match on our mtDNA tests. Some day, I keep promising myself, some day....

On the genetic genealogy side of the equation, it was interesting to see signs of burgeoning matches, thanks to the huge number of people deciding that DNA test kits would make the perfect Christmas gift. My husband's matches swelled by twenty one—a bit more than usual—to bring his total DNA matches to 591. Even more so than his, my count jumped by twenty eight to give me a total of 1,008 DNA matches to date—all of which, other than the twenty two that are specific to my paternal side, connecting me to one of the many colonial roots on my maternal side.

In addition to that number—all, by the way, from tests we had taken at Family Tree DNA a couple years ago—both of us had just tested at AncestryDNA as well. Results for these tests have begun arriving, creating another category for me to keep track of. Ancestry provides a count for a category labeled "fourth cousins or closer," which in comparison with our FTDNA matches, puts me in the challenging spot of having to (sort of) compare apples to oranges, since FTDNA provides match counts for those up to the level of sixth cousin or beyond ("remote").

Still, my husband has garnered eighty six of those AncestryDNA matches at the level of fourth cousin or closer. And mine has leaped to a mind boggling 223 matches.

Of course, it would help if I actually would take time to tend my growing garden of DNA matches. But with this whirlwind month, I haven't been as diligent on this account as I would like. Looks like I owe a number of people an introductory greeting, at the least!

With tomorrow's post, we'll continue with John Hogue's story. However, behind the scenes in the next two weeks, I need to put my primary focus on sorting out all these new matches on our two respective DNA accounts. Hopefully, those results will lead to some new discoveries—or at least bolster some suspected family links I wasn't quite certain about before.

Above: "Boulevard Saint-Denis, Argenteuil, in Winter," 1875 oil on canvas by French Impressionist painter Claude Monet; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.  


  1. Replies
    1. Yes! Let's hope these additional names help those DNA matches figure out just how we connect!

  2. Gosh, your husband is related to everyone!


    1. Oh, you know those good Catholics and their large families ;)


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