Man about the House - January 2021

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Man about the House - January 2021

Post by mardler » February 2nd, 2021, 11:06 pm

Hello everyone. Happy new month. My sincere apologies for the delay in my writing and sending January's newsletter but on Sunday evening my laptop melted down on me about 2/3rds of the way through my writing the first version of this email. So I'm going to have to remember what I had typed! I was in Virginia having driving 650 miles that day, most of it through the snowstorm then afflicting the North East of the US. Yesterday, we drove the next 650 back to my house in Florida. No more snow, thank goodness. I'd been up in Massachusetts again helping my son and daughter-in-law move into their first house. At least that job went without a hitch!

RootsTech Connect 2021
By the time our next newsletter rolls around (assuming it's on time!) RootsTech will have started. So here's my last chance to promote the event, from Feb 25 through 27. Remember this is a virtual conference. In the past you had to go to Salt Lake City No longer! You can sit in your armchair or at your desk or even in a deck chair if you are somewhere warm enough (yes, Aussies and Kiwis!). Please do go to and register for the event. There will be something for everyone, from learning events to an online marketplace to front-line speakers, even in languages other than English. You can see a handful of the speakers by scrolling down that home page. I know too that Nick Barratt, the British family historian will be one of the presenters.
And, there's a handy feature: you will be able learn if a relative of yours is also participating in the conference, and connect with them through the conference app.
And, it isn't just about genealogy but on celebration of different cultures. So there will be homeland cooking demonstrations and even a yoga session! Hope you enjoy it. Do let me know if you learn anything of value to you. Actually, as an Ambassador for the conference I'm interested in learning ANY feedback you have. So good or bad, tell me what you think.

About our database
As you will have seen from the covering email, we now have more than 180,000 people in our file. (It's all backed up, multiple times in multiple places. So don't worry.) We added 1,400 people during the month. I'm continually amazed at how we can continue to add over 1,000 people a month. I keep thinking that we must start to reach a point where we have the majority of people in our file and are reduced to adding ones and twos as we find omissions. I'm sure we WILL reach that point, just not yet.

Last month I mentioned some of the extra items we add to the database, like noting where cousins marry. Here are a few more:
- "polite fiction" - you might see this occasionally. We use this phrase to indicate someone who didn't exist or a named person in place of someone else. Let me explain. Even in early Victorian days, illegitimacy was not frowned upon as much as it was back in the twentieth century. When an illegitimate child came to marry, after registration at least, they had to provide the name of the father or even both parents, depending on where in the world the marriage was taking place. Some of those marrying parties simply fabricated a name rather than leave the name blank, or in our words, they created a "polite fiction" to avoid embarrassment. From memory, there are about 50 of these in our file.
- "two brothers marry two sisters", or "sister and brother marry brother and sister". This should be obvious and there are about 40 of each of these in our database. It can be important to know, particularly if one is looking at modern DNA test results where people can appear to be more closely related than they actually are, because of the double relationship.
- "three siblings marry three siblings" - a more extreme case of the one above. As far as I can recall there are only two of these in our file

Geo-coding is simply adding a Latitude and Longitude to a place name so that it appears accurately on a map. Each person in our database has at least the potential for a map showing the places where they lived, worked, married, died, and so on. Our approach is to create a different place for every street address, whereas most other genealogists only look at town or village. Problem with their approach is that if someone spent their whole life in one city
A couple of months ago, I mentioned how we were working with a volunteer to improve the accuracy of and number of map pins for Gloucestershire. We've just about finished our effort for that county. We've coded everywhere with 5 instances or more and many with 3 or 4 instances. Thank you again, Sue.
Last week, a new volunteer stepped forward to help with Norfolk, England after he noticed that there were more places accidentally coded as in or close to Norfolk, Virginia! We will fix at least those.
If anyone else would like to help with geo-coding for an area you know reasonably well, please do let me know. And if you see ANY pin out of place, please do let me know.

Howes in the News
There was not much of note for the month, other than young motor-cyclist, Skyler Howes, from Utah. As you may recall, Skyler is a "privateer" paying his own expenses and entry fees, to compete with factory-sponsored teams. This month was the Dakar rally and after the first two days he was in the lead! He then lost his way, literally, but came back to finish fifth overall. Fantastic job. I had had four or five articles full of lovely pictures of bikes in the desert, but they all disappeared with my laptop's software glitch. Having looked for them again, I found a better one: a video of Skyler talking with NBC Sports about the race itself and what it's like to be on your own against teams. Very interesting ... ll-leader/
Here's another: ... -the-wrap/

Puzzle corner
This month's puzzle is simple, but tricky, I think! The question is: What happened to Gerald Fountain Howes and the members of his family, almost all of whom had a middle name of Fountain.
Here is Gerald's record: ... ee=Onename.
I've looked around for such people and drawn almost an entire blank. I did see 3 or 4 children with a date of death in the FamilySearch Family Tree, but since none of them had an associated location i don't know where to start looking! Any ideas, anyone, please?

yDNA tests
Remember, these are the tests that men can take because they get their y-chromosome from their father just as they acquire their surname (mostly). Ideally, we would like to have two or three men from each Howes/House/Howse ancestral line to take a yDNA test. We will then find groups of Howes men who are related, but who didn't know it. Taking a yDNA test just got a lot cheaper, thanks to the Guild of One-Name Studies, which has cut the price on their tests down to £82, plus postage, considerably cheaper than the price direct from FTDNA.
If you would like to take the test, send me an email and I will give you a link where you can pay the Guild direct.

Obtaining English and Welsh birth and death certificates
The General Registration Office for England and Wales has recently updated its online database of births and deaths. You can now order electronic PDF copies of certificates (or 'un-certificates' as I call them) for a LOT more events than in the past. They're cheaper and faster than traditional certificates! Please see our description of how to go about it on this page: ... p?f=8&t=25

Thanks for your continuing support, folks. Paul

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Re: Man about the House - January 2021

Post by mardler » February 8th, 2021, 8:05 am

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