Hows your father? - January 2016

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Hows your father? - January 2016

Post by mardler »

Very early update this month, folks. Couple of reasons

Find My Past news
First reason is to let you know that if you do not have a subscription to FindMyPast, this might be a good time to go and take a look around. is free to access until noon on Monday, Greenwich mean time - that's 7am on the East coast of the US. I've not looked at the details but it does look like everything is free, including their newspaper collections, which are grrreat!

Findmypast has also come out with other news. From the middle of next month, if you have a subscription to their service, the British 1939 Register will also be available at no extra charge. I expect to be able to use it to solve several family reconstruction issues which we have had. In fact, if you have an FMP subscription and are interested to help us, we'd love to hear from you. Maybe you could look at a specific county and look at all the Howes, or House, etc records for us?

This is the second reason for an early newsletter. I'm busy making preparations to visit Salt Lake City, primarily to visit the RootsTech conference where I will be working on the stand of the Guild of One-Name Studies most of the time. But I'm also planning on getting several days in the LDS Family History Library to grab as many New York City marriages as I can. You may recall that last year I was able to collect most male Howes marriages from 1870 to 1937. It generated a couple of very interesting stories which you can see here: and here:
I want to finish the males and all the females if I possibly can. I'll be in SLC in total from January 26 thru February 9. If you are in the area and would like to meet up, do let me know.

Sponsoring certificates
I want to give a big shout out to the five correspondents who responded to my call last month. Between them they have agreed to sponsor a total of fourteen certificates to add to our collection. Three have already arrived and are in the queue for putting online. I know another is on the way. So this weekend I will chip in too and will order a total of twenty certificates to make a big dent in our backlog. Thank you folks. And if there's anyone else who feels like they can contribute too, please do get in touch.

DNA - 1 - in practice
I'm SO pleased with this story. Hope you find it interesting. Many reading this will know that one of the goals we had when we set out was to bring families back together. Usually, it's a matter of connecting distant cousins using email based upon what you tell us when you register on our site. A month or so ago, though, we did something more dramatic.

Last year we were contacted by a young woman who claimed to be the child of a man who had died shortly after the girl's birth without marrying the girl's mother, probably not even knowing of the child's existence. All efforts by the young woman to trace the family of her father had drawn blanks. Could we help? We did a little research on the man's family and found a possible address in the UK. The young woman could not pluck up the courage to write, however.

Some months later, a man wrote to us with a few extra details regarding his family. We were grateful for that just as we always are, but realized when writing back that we were dealing with the man's father. I asked him whether he knew of the possibility that his son had fathered a child and told him of the contact we had previously received.

Through us the parties engaged in a little dialogue and through the Guild of One-Name Studies we were able to offer them two autosomal DNA tests at a reduced rate, for which the man's father generously agreed to pay.

We had the results back a few weeks later and they showed a close familial relationship, e.g., grandparent and grandchild, thus proving the young woman's story. As I write, the new relations are just getting to know each other and we wish them success.

DNA - 2 - the database
After the demise of Ancestry's yDNA service, we felt a little burned, but on the advice of other Guild of One-Name Studies members we were able to over management of the House surname database at FamilyTreeDNA. Just this very week we were able finally to combine it with the Howes/Howse and Howe surname studies too.
And within the last few days too a volunteer in the form of correspondent Brian Howes came forward to offer help. To be perfectly honest, I haven't had the time to look in detail at the results in that study and make sure we had paper trails to parallel the study results and improve both DNA and non-DNA parts of this study. So I just wanted to say thank you to Brian and also give you the good news.

If you are thinking of taking a DNA test, through FamilyTreeDNA and the Guild we are able to offer tests at prices which you can rarely get elsewhere. yDNA tests for men are £80 (about US$120) and family finder tests (which look for close relatives) are £60 (about US$90). There is no additional charge for postage - FTDNA now charges about US$13 just for that. For us, yDNA tests are usually the best, because male DNA tracks very closely with the surname, but family finder tests have their uses too, as you can see from the previous paragraph. It all depends upon what you the tester are looking to accomplish from your test.

If you are interested in a DNA test ad/or if you still have the results from an Ancestry yDNA test, please do get in touch. Finally, yes, I know I have to re-write the page on our site which touts Ancestry.

Puzzle corner
Here's a lovely photograph of a female servant at Petworth House in Sussex, England in the mid1880s. All we know is that she was "Miss Howes"! Does anyone recognize this woman, or know for sure that their ancestor worked there?
MissHowes.JPG (81.28 KiB) Viewed 752 times
Thanks for your continuing support, folks
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