Newsletter - 24th November 2017

 

 

1910 'Domesday' goes online NEW

Catholic registers for Cincinnati & Chicago dioceses to go online NEW

1901 & 1911 Ireland censuses to be updated - at last!

Who should take a DNA test?

Which DNA testing company should you choose?

Black Friday offers around the world

ONS two-faced about census

Stop Press

 

 

The LostCousins newsletter is usually published 2 or 3 times a month. To access the previous newsletter (dated 19th November) click here; to find earlier articles use the customised Google search below (it searches ALL of the newsletters since February 2009, so you don't need to keep copies):

 

 

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1910 'Domesday' goes online NEW

The Genealogist have just announced that they will be publishing the 1910 Valuation of England which reveals who was living where and who the owner of the property was. Even if you know where your ancestors were living at the end of the Edwardian era, being able to pinpoint the location on a map will be an enormous help in areas where the modern landscape is greatly changed as a result of wartime damage or redevelopment - or simply by a change in the way that the properties are numbered.

 

The maps and registers for the City of London and Paddington in the west of London are already online, and I was delighted to find the business premises of my great-great uncle Henry Francis Wells, a tailor, amongst those first entries (his is the second name up from the bottom):

 

TheGenealogist Crown copyright images reproduced courtesy of The National Archives, London, England

 

I've included the whole page so that you can get a feel for these wonderful records, which have been scanned in high resolution - and in colour. From the register there is a link to the map:

 

TheGenealogist Crown copyright images reproduced courtesy of The National Archives, London, England

 

Note that the address of the property has changed in the past century - and that it was opposite the workhouse. The press release states that "Future releases will expand out across the country with cross linked maps wherever they are available", but doesn't give any timescale - for my part I hope that the rest of London will be amongst the first areas to go online as many of my ancestors and other relatives were living there before the Great War turned their lives upside down.

 

Tip: you can save 20 on a Diamond subscription to The Genealogist and get a free subscription to the "Discover Your Ancestors" digital magazine when you follow this link.

 

Catholic registers for Cincinnati & Chicago dioceses to go online NEW

This week Findmypast announced plans to extend their Catholic Heritage Archive by adding millions of sacramental register entries for the Archdioceses of Cincinnati and Chicago.

 

Findmypast already have an enormous collection of Catholic records from England and the US - you can find out more here.

 

1901 & 1911 Ireland censuses to be updated - at last!

Since the 1901 and 1911 censuses for Ireland went online some years ago many users have submitted corrections to transcriptions - but until recently those corrections seem to have been disappearing into a 'black hole'. Now leading Irish genealogist John Grenham, in conjunction with the National Archives of Ireland, is involved in processing all of the suggested updates, the first batch of which went online on Thursday.

 

You can find out more about the project here. Thanks to LostCousins member Colm for alerting me to this news.

 

Who should take a DNA test?

There was a time when the only DNA tests available were very restricted in what they could do, and they weren't suitable for most people. On top of that they were expensive and many of the DNA companies around at that time made unrealistic claims for their tests.

 

Now there are just a handful of companies offering DNA tests for family historians, most of them highly respectable (and respected), and the price has come down to a level that most family historians can afford. More importantly, the tests on offer are almost all autosomal tests - which work for anyone, male or female, and can potentially resolve problems in almost any part of your tree.

 

So the simple answer, to "who should take a DNA test" is YOU!

 

Look at the situation I'm in - 15 years ago, when I started my research there was just one England & Wales census online, and no parish registers at all. Now all of the censuses that can be published are online, plus the 1939 Register, and parish registers for much of England and all of Wales are online. Some of my 'brick walls' have been blocking my path for almost all of those 15 years - the chances that they're going to be solved by new records becoming available online is minimal.

 

DNA is a form of record-keeping, because all of our DNA comes from our ancestors. That doesn't mean to say that all of our ancestors have contributed to our DNA, but almost all of our ancestors from the last 6 or 7 generations will have done, plus many of those who are further back. So we can use the information in our DNA to identify our ancestors. It won't identify them by name, but it will allow us to identify cousins who share our ancestors, and that's a great step forward - especially for those of us who have 'brick walls' caused by illegitimacy, infants who weren't baptised, or vicars who forgot to enter a baptism in the register (which some researchers believe was quite common).

 

Of course, one DNA test isn't going to solve everything - we also need some of our cousins to test. But you can hardly ask your cousins to test if you haven't tested yourself, can you?

 

Which DNA testing company should you choose?

I originally tested with Family Tree DNA, but Ancestry - who only offer autosomal DNA tests - now have around 10 times as many results in their database. So earlier this year I re-tested at Ancestry - and made more progress in a few weeks on some of my highest 'brick walls' than in the preceding 15 years. I had over 6000 matches initially, now I have over 9000! In general you can expect to be matched with between 5000 and 15000 genetic cousins, and whilst most of them will be distant cousins that isn't actually a bad thing (see my recent Masterclass).

 

So my advice is to test with Ancestry if you possibly can. You can always download your results and upload them to Family Tree DNA to find more cousins there - but you CAN'T go the other way round. There are also some sites where people who have tested with different providers can connect - I recommend GEDmatch, by far the largest - but only a small fraction of people who have tested currently use those sites.

 

DON'T GET CONNED into testing with some other company just because their price is lower, especially if that other company hasn't been recommended, or even mentioned, in my newsletters. You're not really buying a DNA test, you're buying connections to cousins, so the size of the database is what matters. Ancestry have twice as many results in their database as ALL of the other companies added together!

 

Tip: for an independent comparison see the table at the ISOGG website. But remember to come back to this newsletter so that you can click on my link!

 

Black Friday offers around the world

Although initially a uniquely American phenomenon, used to describe the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) have spread across the English-speaking world. Most of the offers are only available in specific territories so I'm going to run through them by territory - and whichever offers you take up PLEASE use the links I've provided, as it will help LostCousins to remain independent for another year.

 

Tip: I will be continually updating this article in response to feedback from members - so please check back before taking up any offers elsewhere!

 

USA

 

 

Some amazing offers from Ancestry - but only available to US customers. Until Monday you can get an Ancestry DNA kit for just $59 by following this link, or buy a subscription for 50% off the normal price when you click here. After Cyber Monday the same DNA link will give you a holiday price of $69, not quite as attractive, but still a good saving if you missed out on the Black Friday price.

 

Findmypast are offering a discount of 75% on 1 month World subscriptions when you click here, or 10% on 12 month World subscriptions when you click here (if you have English or Welsh relatives note that only the 12 month subscriptions include the key 1939 Register). These offers run until Monday.

 

Living DNA have cut their price again for Black Friday, and it is now down to $89, the lowest ever. The Living DNA tests offers more detailed information about your British Isles, especially English, ancestry but I wouldn't recommend it as the first DNA test you take. Click here to find out more.

 

Canada

 

 

Ancestry are reduced the prices of DNA kits to just $79 until Monday - please use this link.

 

Findmypast don't have a Canadian site, so you can shop around - by my calculations the Australian site offers the best value at current exchange rates (see offers and links below).

 

UK & Ireland

 

 

Get an Ancestry DNA kit for just 49 plus the usual shipping cost (20 on the first kit and 10 on any subsequent kits ordered at the same time and sent to the same address). The offer runs until Monday - please use this link.

 

There are no offers at Findmypast.co.uk but there's something in the pipeline that I'll be able to tell you about next week.... but at Findmypast.ie you can save 75% on 1 month World subscriptions when you click here, or 10% on 12 month World subscriptions when you click here (if you have English or Welsh relatives note that only the 12 month subscriptions include the key 1939 Register). These offers run until Monday.

 

Living DNA have cut their price again for Black Friday, and it is now down to 89, the lowest ever. The Living DNA tests offers more detailed information about your British Isles, especially English, ancestry but I wouldn't recommend it as the first DNA test you take. Click here to find out more.

 

Australia & New Zealand

 

Until Monday you can save $50 on an Ancestry DNA kit, down from $149 to $99 (plus the usual $29.99 shipping) - all prices in Australian dollars. Please use this link.

 

Findmypast are offering a discount of 75% on 1 month World subscriptions when you click here, or 10% on 12 month World subscriptions when you click here (if you have English or Welsh relatives note that only the 12 month subscriptions include the key 1939 Register). These offers run until Monday.

 

Worldwide

 

Family Tree DNA have discounts on most of their DNA tests, including Family Finder (autosomal DNA) priced at $49 until Monday, and Y-DNA. Please follow this link for all the latest prices.

 

ONS two-faced about census

The Office for National Statistics told us that the heritage value of the 2021 Census isn't a factor they can take into consideration - so the pleas from thousands of family historians for precise birthplaces to be included in this (possibly) final census have been ignored.

 

Yet when the ONS advertised for a new staff member recently they highlighted how the heritage of the census stretches back more than 200 years. You can see this example of two-faced poppycock here. (If you want to apply you'll have to be quick!)

 

 

Stop Press

Findmypast.co.uk have juggled around their subscription packages, but the good news is that existing subscribers can stay with the old packages as long as they want. More to follow in my next newsletter mailing....

 

 

Thanks to everyone who has written in with tips and suggestions - I'll be back with a more normal newsletter soon!

 

 

Description: Description: peter_signature

 

Peter Calver

Founder, LostCousins

 

Copyright 2017 Peter Calver

Please do NOT copy or republish any part of this newsletter without permission - which is only granted in the most exceptional circumstances. However, you MAY link to this newsletter or any article in it without asking for permission - though why not invite other family historians to join LostCousins instead, since standard membership (which includes the newsletter), is FREE?