Newsletter – 5th June 2022
Ancestry DNA discounted for Father’s Day ENDS SOON
Free access to newspapers at Findmypast ENDS MONDAY 10AM
The LostCousins newsletter is usually published 2 or 3 times a month. To access the previous issue (dated 31st May) click here; to find earlier articles use the customised Google search between this paragraph and the next (it searches ALL of the newsletters since February 2009, so you don't need to keep copies):
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When the last newsletter was published, in the early hours of 31st May, I was getting ready for a cataract operation that morning – hence the warning that it might be a while before you heard from me again.
As operations go it’s relatively minor (providing everything goes right, which it did in the end), but I had to be prepared for the possibility that after the operation it would take my eyes a while to settle down, or that prolonged spells in front of the computer would lead to tiredness. I’d been provided with two sets of slightly different advice, one set from the hospital, and the other from the consultant who carried out the surgery – and the online guide provided by the NHS differed again, suggesting that some of the after-effects could last for 4 to 6 weeks. (One thing they all agreed on was that I shouldn’t wear eye make-up, but frankly that isn’t something I’ve ever considered!)
Thanks to everyone who sent their good wishes, and those who were able to tell me about their own positive experiences of cataract surgery – it was both heart-warming and reassuring. Whilst there are many things that I’m NOT allowed to do at the moment (bending over, heavy lifting etc), I made a point of spending the few days prior to the op mowing the lawn and weeding, so that things wouldn’t get too bad during my enforced absence. And the good news is that I’m allowed to work on my computer, so I’ve managed to deal with most of the emails in my inbox.
Prior to the procedure I wasn’t expecting that I’d need to publish another newsletter before the middle of June, and I couldn’t be certain that I’d be physically capable of doing it, which is why I warned on Tuesday that you might not hear from me for a while. And in truth I’d have been quite happy to take a break – there are always things that need doing. But when I discovered that Ancestry were having DNA sales in the countries where most of you live I decided that I’d put together this short newsletter, rather than run the risk that some of you might miss out.
Ancestry DNA discounted for Father’s Day ENDS SOON
I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that, having taken just about every DNA test there is (including Whole Genome Sequencing), I’ve concluded that there’s only one test that I can wholeheartedly recommend, the Ancestry DNA test. Not because it’s cheaper, or more advanced – but because you’ll get far better results.
Ancestry not only have the largest database of people who have already tested, they integrate their enormous collection of family trees with DNA matches far more successfully than any other site. For us, the users, it means that it’s much easier to turn the mass of data into meaningful information – information that can help us knock down our ‘brick walls’ and validate our records-based research.
It’s true that there are some tools other sites offer that you won’t find at Ancestry, but that’s not a bad thing – using those tools effectively requires an understanding of genetics and statistics that few of us will ever possess. It’s like the difference between having to fix up your own car before you can drive somewhere, compared with getting into a chauffeur-driven limousine. Sure, you might know how many horses there are under the bonnet, but you’ll get to your destination far quicker, with far less effort, and with fewer wrong turnings.
My DNA Masterclass explains how to make DNA work for you, rather than the other way round – in line with the LostCousins philosophy of achieving more whilst expending less time, less money, and less effort.
Currently you can save money on Ancestry DNA tests in the UK, Canada, and Australia/New Zealand. Please follow the link for your local site:
Ancestry.co.uk – SAVE £20 PER TEST
Ancestry.com.au – SAVE $40 PER TEST ENDS 8TH JUNE
Ancestry.ca – SAVE $50 PER TEST ENDS 10TH JUNE
Tip: if the link appears not to work first time, log-out from Ancestry then click it again; you can usually save money on shipping when you buy multiple kits – remember, you don’t need to say who you’re buying them for.
Free access to newspapers at Findmypast ENDS MONDAY 10AM
Just a reminder that the free access offer mentioned in the last newsletter ends at 10am (London time) on Monday. You’ll need to log-in at Findmypast (or register if you haven’t done so previously) but you won’t have to provide credit card or bank details. Please use the relevant link below so that they know you’ve come from LostCousins:
Many of the inhabitants of the UK are attending street parties today, though because my wife is an avid follow of the weather forecast we and our neighbours got together on Friday (which in retrospect seems to have been a good decision – it’s been raining much of the day here in Stansted, and the sun hasn’t dared show its face).
But going back a little over two centuries, the loyal subjects of King George III in the Oxfordshire village of Nuneham Courtenay chose to celebrate his Golden Jubilee by naming the children christened during the Jubilee year after the King and Queen – and giving each the first name ‘Jubilee’. You can see a few of them in this section from the parish register (courtesy Oxfordshire Family History Society and Oxfordshire History Centre; used by permission of Ancestry).
I wonder how many of the ten children continued to use the name Jubilee? Certainly four of them were still using it when they married (also in Nuneham Courtenay) in the 1830s and 40s, and at least two were still using it when they died (another died as an infant).
There were others around the country who were given the first name Jubilee in 1809-10, but it was much more commonly given as a middle name – which is probably just as well, since you can imagine the confusion there must have been in Nuneham Courtenay, with so many children of around the same age with the same name.
Inevitably there were similar tributes when Queen Victoria celebrated her Golden and Diamond Jubilees (there were, of course, no Silver Jubilee celebrations because Prince Albert died during the 25th year of Victoria’s reign). Just one person in each year was named ‘Royal Jubilee’ – I thought you might like to see the GRO birth entry for one of them:
Sadly Royal Jubilee Hunt died the following year (Royal Jubilee Stearn, born in 1897, was equally unfortunate). It’s quite unusual to stumble across a hospital birth in the 19th century – I wonder if it was a difficult confinement?
I can’t remember how I celebrated the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees, but I’m sure I raised a glass or two. I certainly did in 1977 when pubs were allowed to stay open until midnight (though it took me ages to find one that hadn’t closed at the usual time).
For more about previous Royal Jubilees see this BBC article.
I doubt there’s anyone who’s unaware of the Queen’s love of corgis, but this BBC article has some interesting facts I hadn’t come across before, as well as a partial family tree for HRH’s corgis and dorgis.
We talk about family trees because they have roots and branches – but which are the roots, and which are the branches?
It’s pretty obvious that the roots are where we come from – our ancestral lines. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that. But there does seem to be disagreement amongst family historians about what a branch is.
If I refer to my branches I’m talking about the parts of my tree that aren’t in a direct line between me and my ancestors – in other words, they branch off from my direct line (like a branch line on a railway). Some family historians, especially in the US, refer to these as collateral lines – which is fine with me, though I prefer the term branch because it’s part of the tree metaphor. However it can be confusing because some people talk about branches when they clearly mean roots.
When we research our roots we’re almost always working backwards in time; when we research our collateral lines – or branches – we’re usually working forwards, tracking the descendants of our direct ancestors’ siblings. (The few exceptions are when we’re trying to prove or disprove an hypothesis, whether it’s based on a DNA match, a family story, or a leap of faith.)
I’m not suggesting that you must change the way you use the word branch, but please bear in mind that when I talk about branches I’m referring to collateral lines – and this applies whether I’m talking about my own tree or yours. I often write about branches – not because they’re necessarily of interest in themselves (although they often are) – but because they lead to our cousins. ALL of our living cousins are descended from the branches of our tree, which is why entering relatives from the branches is the best way to connect with our ‘lost cousins’.
Note: if you’d like to share the terminology you prefer please do so on the LostCousins Forum – please don’t write to me direct (I always read the forum postings). Most people reading this article have either qualified for membership of the forum, or could do so in a matter of minutes – if you log into your LostCousins account and go to the My Summary page you’ll find out which category you are in.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all had a son, daughter, or grandchild who was itching to take over our research? Sadly life’s not that like that, not least because family history is one of those things that most people only have time for later in life – I was in my 50s when I began my research and might not have started even then had it not been for the release of the 1901 Census at a time when I was ‘economically inactive’. (I know some people reading this are from the younger generations but you’re in the minority.)
However you needn’t despair – because in most families there is somebody who can be relied upon, someone who would be prepared to preserve our research until such time as they or another family member gets bitten by the family history bug. It doesn’t matter if our research is ‘on ice’ for 10 or 20 years – it’s far better than it being on the bonfire!
In summary, choose someone you can trust – whether they’re interested in family history is less important.
Until 12.30pm (London time) on Friday 10th June you can access the 1921 Census for half-price - please use the link on your My Summary page, or else click the link below:
© Copyright 2022 Peter Calver
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