Mathias & Pauline (Thompson) Firmenich family, Ashland, Wisconsin - 1895 - Family Group Sheet

New Avenues

One of the first steps in my 2015 Year of the DNA project is to look at new avenues of research and get my DNA info out there to other possible cousins. In the last few days I did a few things.

I finally transferred my 23andMe DNA over to the Family Tree DNA Family Finder. You can transfer it over for free right now to see a bunch of your matches, but you can’t do much analyzing and meeting until you pay the $39 transfer price. It’s actually a good deal to get into FTDNA’s database as they have a lot of users in it already who seem more interested in genealogy than a lot of the 23andMe members. I saw a few new matches and also someone with the surname CORRIGAN, which is my paternal grandmother’s surname. We matched on a location that both my father and my paternal cousin match on, so that’s good news.

I also finally donated to GEDMatch.com. I’ve been using it for a long time and even though it’s mostly flaky when using it due to its popularity, it’s still an invaluable tool to be able to match people from multiple testing companies. With a $10 donation, you also get access to their “Tier 1″ tools like Triangulation, which are pretty helpful.

And I also updated my DNA information over at WikiTree. Once you add that, it will add your information to anyone that you may share DNA with including Y-DNA, mtDNA, and Autosomal. This way when someone finds one of their ancestors, they will also see that you share DNA with this ancestor. If they’ve also taken a test (or have a GEDMatch ID) you can see the match info. It’s just another way to find more people. You can see how it looks here on my great-great-grandfather’s wiki page.

Hopefully, some of these updates will help bring more matches and cousins to my door (well, not physically to my front door, that’d be weird.)

 

The Year of the DNA

DNA CompositionAs some of you may know, genetic genealogy exploded in 2014. Hundreds of thousands of people have now tested their DNA with the big three testing companies (23andMe, Family Tree DNA, or Ancestry.) I have been interested in tracing my ancestry using DNA since back in 2006 with the first version of National Geographic’s Genographic Project when I swabbed my cheek for the first time (and last, actually, since the other tests were taken differently. )

I’m extremely interested in digging deeper into my DNA origins and my DNA matches, whether it’s using Autosomal DNA or Y-DNA. This year I’m planning to dig deeper and do more than ever before. Advanced analysis is a somewhat difficult thing to get into. There is a lot of information to learn and process along with the requirement of lots of DNA data to work with. I hope to use this new goal as a way to post about my journey and hopefully teach you along the way. People related to me may find it even more interesting.

Unbeknownst to me, one of my paternal cousins took a 23andMe test last year. I learned about this on Christmas Eve and have since hooked up with him on the site. What’s cool about that is that I can now mostly confirm which parts of my DNA come from my paternal grandparents. Though, not all of it, only the sections that we match on specifically since my father and his father may have have received different parts of DNA from my grandparents, which in turn may also be different than what he finally got from his father (my uncle.) Hopefully, other closer cousins start to test.

I’m not sure what my first post will be about, but we’ll see once I start digging. I’ve been recently reading a lot of posts from both Roberta Estes at DNAeXplained and Kitty Cooper. They do some great posts on the inner workings and complexities of our DNA and matching it with other people. Some of the posts get quite technical, and even if I don’t completely understand it, I love it. I guess that’s the data geek in me.

Here are some of my general goals, in no particular order:

  • Do more advanced analysis on some of my largest matches. Try to find MRCA (Most Recent Common Ancestor.)
  • Try to prod more cousins (close and distant) to test with one of the companies (preferably not Ancestry, or if they do, to upload their data to GEDMatch.)
  • Try to determine which parts of my DNA come from which ancestors (Chromosome Mapping.) I have a bit of it already. Works together with the last two goals.
  • Possibly get more Y-DNA upgrades with my data on Family Tree DNA to help determine my deeper R1a1a subclade using the Family Tree DNA project, currently it’s estimated to be R1a1a1b1a2b* or YP340-45 (in the Carpathian area of Section 6 on that linked graphic), but I need more of my Y-DNA analyzed to get more information. This one will cost something.
  • Post somewhat consistently about my journey and what I’m learning, even if it’s confusing to me.

Frank F Braatz

Frank Braatz and Margaret StearnsThe forty-first ancestor in my 52-week challenge is my paternal great-great grandfather, Frank F BRAATZ.

According to his obituary, he was born 17 April 1867 in Bavaria, Germany, though there is some confusion as to where in Germany the Braatz family is from. His parents has listed birthplaces in other parts of the country. He immigrated to Wisconsin in June 1868 with his parents, Wilhelm and Maria (Klegin) Braatz. In the 1870 census, his family’s first after arriving, they lived in Caledonia, Waupaca County, Wisconsin.

In June 1891, he married Margaret STEARNS in Bear Creek, Outagamie County, Wisconsin. From then until 1898, they lived in Waupaca, Waupaca County, Wisconsin. In 1900, he was working at a Tannery and living in Philips, Price County, Wisconsin. In 1903, my great-grandmother, Agnes Braatz, was born in Mellen, Ashland County, Wisconsin. The family seemed to move around a lot as they were living way deep into the upper peninsula of Michigan in Munising, Alger County from about 1911 to 1919.

Frank seemed to settle down a bit after he moved back to Ashland County in 1919, living in that area for the rest of his life, working on his farm.

He passed away on 10 July 1948 after a short illness at 81. He is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Ashland, Wisconsin.

This post is 41 of 52 in the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” Challenge” begun by Amy Johnson Crow.

Mary Jane (Lint) Dieter

The fortieth ancestor in my 52-week challenge is my wife’s paternal 3rd-great-grandmother, Mary Jane (Lint) Dieter.

She was born 28 May 1842 in Ohio (some items say Pennsylvania) to Henry and Eleanor (Murphey) Lint. Her family may have been of the Pennsylvania Dutch or Mennonites as they lived in York, Pennsylvania and then to Holmes, Ohio before moving to Wisconsin. Information says that she married Johannes Dieter in 1859. He passed away about 1867 and she married his brother, Friedrich Dieter on 18 August 1868, whom my wife descends from.

With Friedrich, she had 12 children, including my wife’s ancestor, Emma Amelia Dieter in 1870.

Her death certificate says she passed away on 20 October 1913 in Dayton, Richland, Wisconsin. She is buried at Luther Cemetery in nearby Richwood Township.

This post is 40 of 52 in the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” Challenge” begun by Amy Johnson Crow.

Eva (Sońefeld) Lindner

© 2011 Photos - Kaja Gwincińska

The thirty-ninth ancestor in my 52-week challenge is my paternal 3rd great-grandmother, Eva (SOŃEFELD) LINDNER. She was born on 20 December 1842 in Schwenten, Graudenz, Westpreussen, Germany, which today is Święte, Grudziądz County,  Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland. According to her baptismal record, her parents are August SOŃEFELD and Catharina ZIELINSKA. In March 1862, she married Johann LINDNER in […]

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The Great Peshtigo Fire

PeshtigoFireCemetery

The thirty-eighth ancestor in my 52-week challenge is my wife’s maternal 3rd-great-grandfather, Adrien FRANCOIS. His birth is listed as 18 March 1832 in Mont-Saint-Guibert, Brabant, Belgium, which actually is not too far from where my Belgian ancestors originated. His parents are noted from his birth record as Guillaume Francois and Marie Josephe DENIS. In 1851, it says […]

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Michael John Corrigan

Erie Canal

The thirty-seventh ancestor in my 52-week challenge, is my paternal 4th-great-grandfather, Michael John CORRIGAN. He is the furthest back that Corrigan researchers have been able to track, as far as I know. Michael and his wife have a lot of descendants. Out of all of my lines, I have met and connected with more descendants of their’s […]

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Johann Peter Firmenich

The thirty-sixth ancestor in my 52-week challenge is my 4th-great-grandfather, Johann Peter FIRMENICH (Think it’s pronounced Fer-meh-nick.) I don’t have a lot of information on Johann. His birth date of 1792 in Prussia is estimated from US Census records (though, one lists him as being born in France.) There is a promising record over at the Germany Births […]

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