Y-DNA – Post2: The Test, Results, & Roberts Connection

was really excited to get the test. I did the cheek swabs and sent it back the
following day.  Then the long wait – It
seemed like months, but was probably only a few weeks.  I don’t recall when I sent the swab in, but
in November, 2008, I receive the results. 
They determined I am haplogroup R1b – who Ancestry calls “The
Artisans”.  Basically, they are the folks
from what is now the British Isles, France, and the Iberian Peninsula.  No surprise there, I always figured I was of
Northern European decent as I my skin is quite light, I was blond as a kid, and
had a lot of red in my beard as a young man. (It is grey now.)
the click to see matches.  My closest
match was a person with whom I shared a common ancestor 10 generations ago. His
last name was “Roberts.”  Assuming there
weren’t any sideways name changes (like mine), it might be that I was fathered
by someone with the surname of Roberts. 
Now, I could tie my ancestry to a possible name.  Of course, in my excitement of finding a
possible connection I didn’t realize that over 10 generations there were likely
thousands of male offspring.  Although he
had 11 generations of male ancestors in his tree, if I started at that tenth
generation ancestor and each generation had two boys, then there would be over
2000 potential father candidates, assuming I could follow each of the
lines.  It became dejecting but I hoped
to persevere in the long rum.  I
connected with Mr. Roberts and exchange trees with him to this day.  Ancestry has updated their database and he
now shows as sharing a common ancestor with me 14 generations ago.
two men with the surname Roberts have shown up as sharing a common ancestor
within 10 generations.  I haven’t
contacted them yet but probably will do so in the near future.    
the most amazing thing occurred.  A
person popped into the DNA matches with whom our MRCA (most recent common
ancestor) is only 3 generations away. 
Wow!  He too is a Roberts.  Finally someone who’s tree I can work with to
determine a possible father.  I contacted
him and he agreed to share trees with me. Of course, Ancestry’s MRCA
determination isn’t quite a clean as you might think.  It is really complicated, but basically there
is a 50% chance that this person and I share a common ancestor within 3
generations.  I looked at his tree
closely, nothing jumped out at me, no one lived in the right city at the right
time.  More importantly, none of his
three ancestor generations could be candidates nor any of their offspring.  So, based upon his known tree, I’ve begun a
Roberts Notional tree wherein I’m going back to his fourth, fifth, and sixth
ancestral generations then following each of the male offspring looking for
someone who might be the right Roberts at the right place and time.  I’m afraid I might need to wait another 10
years until the 1950 census comes out to find out the answer.  Certainly, the family tree can wait a few
more years.
Next – My Brother-in-law’s DNA Test & Results

Webinar – Privacy & Our Ancestors

I watched the webinar, “Privacy and Our Ancestors” given by Thomas MacEntee on October 3rd.  I really like his delivery style and this talk was spot on. He had a lot to say about expectations regarding privacy over different times.  His webinar is available for free at Legacy Family Tree archives until October 15. If you can’t see it by then, I think this one might be worth purchasing the CD.  Here is the Webinar Description.

Privacy and Our Ancestors. With all the news about privacy, identity theft and the role of access to vital records, have you ever considered that in 2012 most of us (at least here in the United States) have more privacy than our ancestors? As a result of living in the a digital age ruled by the Internet and social media, is there really less privacy than in prior years? In fact, the reverse is true. Learn what type of information about your ancestors was public and how to find it!

Besides his Privacy information, he gives several other hints that I found really good, such as joining the SCGS which I hadn’t thought of doing before his talk.  I probably will do so now though.

Stop Georgia State Archives Closing

I received an eMail regarding the Georgia State Archives being Closed to Public Access.  Today’s number of supporters is 16,626 and 50,000 supporters are needed.  I signed the petition and I hope you will too.


The secretary of State has announced that the Georgia Archives will be closed to public access November 1st and that staff serving public access will be eliminated because Governor Nathan Deal required a 3% budget cut from this year’s budget.  Public access to the records of government is an essential element of a democratic society.  

It is critical that we muster thousands of Georgians to sign a petition requesting that the Governor reverse this decision.  Could you please ask the preservation and public history students to sign the online petition and to get at least five of their closest friends to sign the petition as well.  As of 4:30 this afternoon 3,333 had signed.  We need 50,00 from all parts of Georgia.

A news account of the closing can be found at: http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2012/09/13/georgia-archives-closing-due-to-budget.html

Signers can go to: http://www.change.org/petitions/the-governor-of-ga-leave-our-state-archives-open-to-the-public?utm_campaign=new_signature&utm_medium=email&utm_source=signature_receipt#share

Genealogical Success Rating – 4%

Crista Cowan suggested on the Ancestry.com Aces Program group on Facebook that we do a simple math exercise about quantifying our successes in genealogy. I thought I had been doing pretty good, all things considered, but see I was only deluding myself.

I know that I’ve done a lot better on my wife’s tree and that not knowing my father cuts my possibility to 50% on all generations except 1-4 which is 53%.  (Figuring out who my natural father was is another project I’m working on).  When I can determine who that is, thanks to DNA Testing, it will open up the other side dramatically, probably double all numbers.

Anyway, here are my numbers.

Generations 1-4: 8 out of 15 (53.3%)
5th Generation: 6 out of 16 (37.5%)
6th Generation: 4 out of 32 (12.5%)
7th Generation: 6 out of 64 (9.3%)
8th Generation: 6 out of 128 (4.7%)
9th Generation: 5 out of 256 (2.0%)
10th Generation: 6 out of 512 (1.2%)

Total: 41 out of 1,023 (4.0%)

By the way, if I use my stepfather Generations 1-4 jump to 100% and the 5th generation jumps to 10 of 16 (62.5).

Wow, I have a lot of work to do on my tree, so you can expect to see I’ll be working on Brown/Montran and the “Roberts Notional” trees in the near future.  The Roberts Notional tree I’m working on is based upon DNA results which I’ll write more about later.

I’m Back – Vacation was Great.

   After a couple weeks vacation, I am back home.  The vacations was wonderful.  The highlight for me was a presentation to the “Aunties” about the Darling Family.  I’ve been working on their tree for quite some time and developed a “life book” ala Henry Louis Gates’ “Finding your Roots.”  It went over extremely well.  They have the life book and a biography of each of their ancestors on their Father’s side that I could find as well as a CD containing copies of the images of all the documents used to do the book.  I also did a slide show out of key highlights of their family tree.

   Also, while there I took photos of many photos, letters, and documents that I hadn’t seen before as well as recorded conversations with many of the Aunties.  I will have hours and hours of work to incorporate the information into my records, but it will be fun.

   We did some shopping at Reny’s – A Maine Adventure. I usually hate shopping, but Reny’s t is always a pleasure. They carry a lot of “manly stuff,” Carhartt, Pendleton, and Woolrich — In sizes that fit me.  I picked up a new fedora and suspenders.  I love Reny’s.

   My wife and I then attended the wedding of her niece, SH.  It was a beautiful event out on Casco Bay (Portland, ME).  Another event for my records with photos.

   My wife then visited with her best friend since the 8th grade, EB.  It was a great to see her again.  We laughed long enough and hard enough to cause my side to hurt. We were able to turn on EB and her husband to TED Talks. There is one we call “Amy the Unicorn” that my wife and I find amazing.  Fun to watch, extremely interesting, and even enlightening. It has nothing to do with genealogy, but is  well worth watching See it on TED.

   We then followed my wife’s passion and went stalking the wild tormaline, appetite, and other stones at various quarries in Maine through Poland Mining Camps.  The food was excellent, the beds comfortable, and my wife was extremely happy with the rocks she collected.

   I’ve still got a lot of followup to do after the vacation, catch up on email, incorporate photos into iPhoto and categorize them. But soon it will be back to my normal life and I’ll be able to support the Smyrna Historical and Genealogical Society, work on my genealogy, and, of course, blog here.