Sunday, April 23, 2017

Favoring the Irish

It's time to tally my progress for the last two weeks of family research. This is always a difficult time for me, because from week to week, I have such a variance in my schedule that research may sometimes rocket ahead...and other times languish. Keeping count helps me at least try for consistency.

However, having spent the past several weeks researching someone else's Irish family tree, it put me in the mood to do some Irish research of my own. So what did I do? Head over to my father-in-law's tree to see what new hints could be found.

There was quite a bit to polish up. As new collections get added to the Ancestry holdings, some trickle down to my own trees, so there is a constant need to revisit and spruce up documentation.

Though I did quite a bit of work linking already-existent people in the tree with newfound documents, I actually didn't add many new names. Five, to be exact. But at least that now brings up my count for that tree to 1,086. Every little bit of progress counts.

Surprisingly, my own father's tree gained a small amount, as well: inching forward to a total of 403, with the addition of fourteen new names. While this is my smallest tree, it is also my most challenging, so I'm pleased with any progress I can make at all.

The two mainstays of my research progress, as always, are the maternal lines: mine, and my husband's. Even so, I haven't seen the type of progress I'd experienced, back at the end of last year. In the past two weeks, on my mother's tree, I added fifty four new names to total 9,836 in that database. On my mother-in-law's tree, I hit some easy-to-find family lines and managed to add 162 new individuals, bringing that tree's total to 10,777.

Our DNA results, while up from the last two week period, are still much slower than during sale seasons. Thankfully, we'll likely see an uptick in matches, once the DNA Day sales get processed. It's always nice to see new matches, so I'm all for the sales—even if I'm not the one in the market to buy.

At Family Tree DNA, my husband's matches advanced forty five to total 1,272. At AncestryDNA, he gained fourteen new matches at the level of fourth cousin or closer, with the total now at 252. Interestingly, at 23andMe, his match count went down, supposedly as other clients retract their results from the DNA sharing portion of that company's website. He now has 1,285 matches there.

For me, FTDNA matches came in at 1,988, up sixty four. AncestryDNA was 528, up twenty eight. And I'm still awaiting my results at 23andMe, which for some unexplained reason took longer to make it from northern California to Los Angeles than from L.A. to the final destination on the east coast. Go, USPS.

One bright side in all these numbers is that I took a look at my stagnant count for my mtDNA test. I have only four exact matches there for my matrilineal details, at least two of whom are adoptees. One of the others, I just noticed, added a pedigree chart, so I jumped over to that file to take a look. It didn't take long to discover our nexus: at the level of my seventh great grandmother. No wonder we never saw any match activity on our respective autosomal test results!

Bit by bit, I keep plugging away at all these trees. Slow and steady may be very boring to consider, but in the aggregate, it can sometimes turn up some encouraging results.

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