Farewell to 2016, Welcome to 2017

Posted on: January 26th, 2017 by
2

In so many ways, 2016 was an interesting and productive year, and 2017 looks even more promising.

One of my favorite things is teaching, and I had the opportunity to do lots of that! Some of my highlights were beginning to give talks on DNA, presenting a webinar on probate records, and speaking at several local, state, and (inter)national conferences (including the 2016 Celtic Connections Conference, where both John Grenham and Brian Donovan attended my Cornish research talk).

I also had interesting client projects. I started the year with a coaching project for a client working with early nineteenth-century land records in New York and helped another client to validate and organize his research. Then I helped locate vital records for the numerous children of a family in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Ohio and Maryland. The year’s client projects ended with analyzing and adding to a client’s research to strengthen her proof argument for the parentage of a female ancestor who lived in Colorado, Illinois, and New York.

In the volunteer arena, I concluded my second term as President of the Association of Professional Genealogists Northland chapter. We were thrilled to receive APG’s Golden Chapter Award in 2016! I continue to serve as Registrar for the Lake Minnetonka chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, where we welcomed twelve new members in 2016, and the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Minnesota, where we welcomed three new members and went live with a new website I helped create. I also continued to work with ProGen Study Group‘s ProGen 27 cohort as coordinator. I continued to help with the Minnesota Genealogical Society’s English-Welsh Interest Group and was part of the teams planning the Celtic Connections Conference and Hennepin County Library‘s Family History Fair.

Some really great things happened in my personal genealogy, too. Educational highlights were studying Advanced Genetic Genealogy with CeCe Moore and Blaine Bettinger at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh and completing the University of Strathclyde’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in genealogy, along with some shorter online courses.

With the help of DNA matches, I was able to solve a longstanding problem connecting my ancestor Hannah Lutz (1818-1890) to her parents and also to connect my husband’s ancestor Christopher Mackin (1821-1867) to his brother James. Some exciting things also happened on my father’s Lithuanian side–DNA connections expanded what we know about my great-grandmother Eva Kruchkas (1874-1948) and her family (although we still don’t know her Lithuanian place of origin). The Abromitis/Abromaitis/Abromaijtis DNA project is still ongoing, boosted by some documentary breakthroughs using the digitized Lithuanian parish records at ePaveldas. We were greatly helped by the generosity of Lithuanian- and Russian-speaking contributors to the Lithuanian Global Genealogical Society Facebook group.

In 2017 I’m looking forward to more speaking and teaching and more DNA-assisted research. I finish my term as DAR registrar and my coordinator responsibilities for ProGen 27 in March and April, opening up space for personal research and writing. I have already had the opportunity to lead two online APG discussion groups on running a successful APG chapter, and I get to lead two more in February on creating classes and workshops. I’ll be continuing to write for The Septs, journal of the Irish Genealogical Society International. (I’m working on a Mackin case study now for the April issue.) I’ll be traveling to Milwaukee to be the principal speaker at the Milwaukee County Genealogical Society’s spring workshop in April. My big educational venture will be the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Researching Family in Pennsylvania at the end of July, although I’m also looking forward to participating in Robert Charles Anderson’s Elements of Genealogical Analysis: A Class in Methodology, from the New England Historic Genealogical Society, online.

In personal research, DNA matches may be pointing the way to finding the Irish origins of the Mackins, as well as to connecting more of the worldwide branches of my Trewren family. Now that both my husband and I have two siblings who have tested their autosomal DNA, I can work on visual phasing–assigning DNA segments to specific grandparents. I’m also working on extracting church records from the Abromitis family’s parish of origin in Lithuania.

Exciting things are in store!

Print Friendly

Children of James Mackin

Posted on: January 22nd, 2017 by
Comments Disabled

In a previous blog post, I described the hypothesis I’ve been working on: three men named Mackin–Christopher, John, and James–who lived in the Madison, Wisconsin, area in the 1860s were related to each other, perhaps brothers.

I have researched all three men and their descendants, and initiated a DNA testing project in order to determine whether this hypothesis is correct. Recently I heard from a descendant of James Mackin with whom I corresponded several years ago. Hearing from him inspired me to revisit the research on James Mackin’s descendants that I started several years ago.

This resulted in a number of discoveries in the Phoenix, Arizona city directories, available online at Ancestry,1 and in the Arizona death certificates recently digitized by the Arizona Department of Health Services.2

My initial attempts to trace the James Mackin who gave bond for Christopher’s widow Mary in 1867 resulted in discovering three James Mackins living in Madison.3 Of the three, I identified James Mackin, laborer, born in Ireland in 1827, who lived in Madison’s 4th ward, as the most likely of the three James to have stood as surety for the widow Mary.

This James was married to Catherine “Kate” [–?–], born in Ireland about 1830. James died 21 April 1890 in Madison,4 and Kate died seven years later, in 1897.5 Both are buried in Madison’s Resurrection Cemetery.6

In 1870 James and Kate’s household contained six children, all listed with the surname Mackin:

  • Mary, age 17, born in Wisconsin
  • Anna, age 15, born in Wisconsin
  • Coleman, age 12, born in Wisconsin
  • Anna, age 7, born in Wisconsin
  • James, age 4, born in Wisconsin
  • Christopher, age 3, born in Wisconsin.7

In 1880 James’ household consisted of the same wife and children, except that the birthplace of the apparent oldest child Mary had changed from Wisconsin to New York.8

No 1900 census enumeration has been found for Mary Mackin, the older Anna Mackin, or Coleman Mackin. The younger Anna and Christopher (enumerated as Christian) were enumerated in the household of their brother James in Madison Ward 4.9

Wisconsin’s censuses enumerated only heads of households in 1875, 1885, and 1895, but the 1905 census was an every-name census. In 1905, only James Mackin has been found, living in Madison with his wife Mary and daughter Kate.10

Madison and Phoenix city directories, marriage records in Wisconsin and Arizona, Arizona voter registrations, Arizona death certificates, and California funeral home records enable us to trace the apparent children who appeared in James Mackin’s 1870 census household.

  • Mary, the oldest girl, last appears in Wisconsin in the 1880 census, in the Madison household headed by James Mackin.11 She has not been located between 1880 and 1912, when she appears in the Phoenix, Arizona city directory.12 Mary resided in Phoenix until about 1938.13 By 1940 she had moved to San Francisco, where she was a patient in the Plaza Health Home.14 She died in San Francisco in 1940.15
  • Annie, the second girl, also appears in James Mackin’s 1880 Madison household.16 She appears next in 1905 as Anna Terill, wife of J.P. Terrill, in Madison,17 and after that as Anna, wife of Jos. P. Terrell, shoemaker, at 321 N. 4th, in Phoenix.18 No marriage record has been located,19 but her 1938 Arizona death certificate20 confirms her identity.
  • Coleman, the first boy, was also part of James Mackin’s 1880 Madison household.21 He appears next in 1904 in Phoenix voter registrations.22 That “Frank Connelley” of Phoenix is the same person as “Coleman Mccann” of Madison is hinted at in the 1908 Maricopa County marriage record of Coleman F. Connelley and Frances Anna Lambur, witnessed by Christopher C. Mackin.23 This identity is confirmed by the death notice for Frank C. Connelley, which states “CONNELLEY–In this city [San Francisco], March 28, 1923, Frank. C.,… brother of James and Anna Mackin, Mrs. A. Terrell and Mary Connelley, a native of Wisconsin…”24
  • Anna Marie, the third girl in James Mackin’s 1880 Madison household,25 appears in the 1900 Madison household of her brother James H. Mackin.26 She appears in the 1902 and 1904 Madison city directories on W. Main27 No further census or city directory records have been found for the period between 1904 and 1912, when Anna appeared in the Phoenix city directory at 241 E. McKinley.28 Anna Mackin died 6 August 1927 in Phoenix.29 She is buried with James and Catherine Mackin in Resurrection Cemetery, Madison.30
  • James Henry, the second boy in James Mackin’s 1880 Madison household,31 next appears as head of household in Madison in 190032 and 1905.33 James died in Madison in 1930 and is buried in Resurrection Cemetery there.34
  • Christopher Charles, the youngest boy in James Mackin’s 1880 Madison household,35 also appears in his brother James’ 1900 Madison household36 and in the 1902 and 1904 Madison directories.37 Christopher has not been found in the 1910 census; he next appears in the 1912 Phoenix city directory at the same address as his sister Anna.38 Christopher died in Phoenix 23 August 191739 and is buried with James and Catherine Mackin in Resurrection Cemetery, Madison.40

Examination of the death records for these children reveals that they were not all children of James Mackin! For further details, see my article, “When Is a Mackin Not a Mackin?” in the April 2017 issue of The Septs, journal of the Irish Genealogical Society International.

  1. Selected Phoenix directories dating from 1892 to 1960 are available in Ancestry‘s “U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995” collection (http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2469).
  2. “Arizona Genealogy Birth and Death Certificates, Arizona Department of Health Services (http://genealogy.az.gov/?).
  3. 1870 U.S. census, Dane County, Wisconsin, population schedule, Madison Ward 4, p. 30 (penned), dwelling 212, family 217, James McKin (indexed as Mc hin) household; image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 September 2016), citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 1708.
  4. Dane County, Wisconsin, Pre-1907 Death Records 1:307, entry 78 for James Mackin; Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison.
  5. Find A Grave, database with images (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Mackin&GSiman=1&GScid=343777&GRid=131087420& : accessed 22 September 2016), image gravestone for Catherine Mackin, Resurrection Cemetery, Madison, Wisconsin, Find A Grave memorial 131087420.
  6. Ibid., and Find A Grave memorial 131087407 for James Mackin, Resurrection Cemetery, Madison, Wisconsin.
  7. [3. 1870 U.S. census, Dane Co., Wis., pop. sch., Madison Ward 4, p. 30 (penned), dwell. 212, fam. 217, James McKin (indexed as Mc hin) household.
  8. 1880 U.S. census, Dane Co., Wis., pop. sch., Madison 4th ward, enumeration district (ED) 76, p. 12 (penned), dwell. 108, fam. 108, James McCann household; image, Ancestry, citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 1421.
  9. 1900 U.S. census, Dane Co., Wis., pop. sch., Madison ward 4, ED 50, p. 8A, dwell. 141, fam. 150, James Mackin household; image, Ancestry, citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 1783.
  10. 1905 Wisconsin state census, Dane Co., pop. sch., Madison 7th ward, p. 804 (stamped), fam. 859, Jas Mackin; image, Ancestry, citing Wisconsin Historical Society microfilm.
  11. 1880 U.S. census, Dane Co., Wis., pop. sch., ED 76, p. 12 (penned), dwell. 108, fam. 108, Mary Mccann.
  12. Arizona Directory Company, Phoenix City and Salt River Directory 1912 (Los Angeles: Arizona Directory Company, 1911), 69, entry for Mary Connelley, 241 E. McKinley; digital image, “U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995,” Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 October 2016), path Arizona > Phoenix > 1912 > Phoenix, Arizona City Directory, 1912, image 27.
  13. She appears in the Phoenix city directories between 1912 and 1938. No entry for her has been found in the 1920 census, but she was enumerated in Phoenix in 1930. “U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995,” Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 January 2017). 1930 U.S. census, Maricopa Co., Ariz., pop. sch., ED 28, sheet 6A (penned and stamped), dwell. 104, fam. 114, Mary Connelley.
  14. 1940 U.S. census, San Francisco Co., Calif., pop. sch., ED 38-422, sheet 69A (penned and stamped), dwell. 177, Mary Connelly.
  15. “California, Death Index, 1940-1997,” database, Ancestry, entry for Mary Connelley (born 1852, died 1940), citing State of California, Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics, California Death Index, 1940-1997. Also “California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1895-1985,” entry for Mary Connelley; images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 January 2017), path Halsted and Company > 1940 > June, images 17-18, citing Researchity, San Francisco, California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1895-1985, microfilm publication, 1129 rolls.)
  16. 1880 U.S. census, Dane Co., Wis., pop. sch., ED 76, p. 12 (penned), dwell. 108, fam. 108, Anny Mccann.
  17. 1905 Wisconsin state census, Dane Co., pop. sch., Madison, p. 961 (stamped), fam. 276, J.P. Terill; image, Ancestry, citing Wisconsin Historical Society microfilm.
  18. Arizona Directory Company, Phoenix City Directory 1914 (no publication information available), 311, entry for Jos. P. Terrell (Anna), 321 N. 4th; digital image, “U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995,” Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 October 2016), path Arizona > Phoenix > 1914 > Phoenix, Arizona City Directory, 1914, image 310.
  19. “Vital Records, Pre-1907 Wisconsin,” Wisconsin Historical Society (http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/ : accessed 5 October 2016), searches for Marriage Index, “Ann,” “Anna,” “Annie,” “Anny,” Dane County, 1880-1905.
  20. Arizona, Bureau of Vital Statistics, death certificate Arizona, Bureau of Vital Statistics, death certificate 10590240 (1938), Annie L. Terrell; digital image, Arizona Department of Health Services (http://genealogy.az.gov/azdeath/059/10590240.pdf).
  21. 1880 U.S. census, Dane Co., Wis., pop. sch., ED 76, p. 12 (penned), dwell. 108, fam. 108, Coleman Mccann.
  22. Great Register of Maricopa County, Arizona Territory, 1894-1904, 29, entry for Frank Connelley, age 45, born in Wisconsin, Phoenix 1st ward, registration date 21 May 1904; digital image, “Arizona, Voter Registrations, 1866-1955,” Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 October 2016), path Maricopa > 1894-1904, image 545.
  23. “Arizona, County Marriage Records, 1865-1972,” Coleman F. Connelley and Frances Anna Lambur, 1908; image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 October 2016), path Maricopa > Marriage licenses, image 37,408, citing county marriage records, Arizona History and Archives Division, Phoenix.
  24. “California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1895-1985,” entry for Frank C. Connelley; images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 October 2016), path Halsted and Company > 1923 > March, images 31-32, citing Researchity, San Francisco, California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1895-1985, microfilm publication, 1129 rolls.)
  25. 1880 U.S. census, Dane Co., Wis., pop. sch., ED 76, p. 12 (penned), dwell. 108, fam. 108, Ann Marie Mccann.
  26. 1900 U.S. census, Dane Co., Wis., pop. sch., Madison ward 4, ED 50, p. 8A, dwell. 141, fam. 150, Annie Mackin.
  27. G. R. Angell & Co., Madison, Wisconsin City Directory 1902 (Madison: G. R. Angell & Co., 1902), 260, entry for Anna M. Mackin, W. Main; digital image, “U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995,” Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 October 2016), path Wisconsin > Madison > 1902 > Madison, Wisconsin, City Directory, 1902, image 131. Also G. R. Angell & Co., Madison, Wisconsin City Directory 1904, 219, entry for Anna M. Mackin, W. Main; digital image, “U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995,” Ancestry, path Wisconsin > Madison > 1904 > Madison, Wisconsin, City Directory, 1904, image 108.
  28. Arizona Directory Company, Phoenix City and Salt River Valley Directory 1912 (Los Angeles: Arizona Directory Company, 1911), 81, entry for Anna Mackin, 241 E McKinley; image, “U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995,” Ancestry, path Arizona > Phoenix > 1912 > Phoenix, Arizona, City Directory, 1912, image 81.
  29. Arizona, Bureau of Vital Statistics, death certificate 10351275 (1927), Anna Mackin; digital image, Arizona Department of Health Services (http://genealogy.az.gov/azdeath/035/10351275.pdf).
  30. Find A Grave, database with images (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=131087350&ref=acom : accessed 22 September 2016), image gravestone for Anna M. Mackin, Resurrection Cemetery, Madison, Wisconsin, Find A Grave memorial 131087350.
  31. 1880 U.S. census, Dane Co., Wis., pop. sch., ED 76, p. 12 (penned), dwell. 108, fam. 108, Jas. Mccann.
  32. 1900 U.S. census, Dane Co., Wis., pop. sch., Madison ward 4, ED 50, p. 8A, dwell. 141, fam. 150, James Mackin.
  33. 1905 Wisconsin state census, Dane Co., pop. sch., Madison 7th ward, p. 804 (stamped), fam. 859, Jas Mackin.
  34. Find A Grave, database with images (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=155906649&ref=acom : accessed 22 September 2016), image gravestone for James Henry Mackin, Resurrection Cemetery, Madison, Wisconsin, Find A Grave memorial 155906649.
  35. 1880 U.S. census, Dane Co., Wis., pop. sch., ED 76, p. 12 (penned), dwell. 108, fam. 108, Christiphor Mccann.
  36. 1900 U.S. census, Dane Co., Wis., pop. sch., Madison ward 4, ED 50, p. 8A, dwell. 141, fam. 150, “Christian” Mackin.
  37. G. R. Angell & Co., Madison, Wisconsin City Directory 1902, 260, entry for Christopher C. Mackin, W. Main; digital image, “U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995,” Ancestry, path Wisconsin > Madison > 1902 > Madison, Wisconsin, City Directory, 1902, image 131. Also G. R. Angell & Co., Madison, Wisconsin City Directory 1904, 219, entry for Christopher C. Mackin, W. Main; digital image, “U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995,” Ancestry, path Wisconsin > Madison > 1904 > Madison, Wisconsin, City Directory, 1904, image 108.
  38. Arizona Directory Company, Phoenix City and Salt River Valley Directory 1912, 81, entry for Christopher C. Mackin, 241 E McKinley; image, “U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995,” Ancestry, path Arizona > Phoenix > 1912 > Phoenix, Arizona, City Directory, 1912, image 81.
  39. Arizona, Bureau of Vital Statistics, death certificate 10162340 (1917), Christopher Mackin; digital image, Arizona Department of Health Services (http://genealogy.az.gov/azdeath/016/10162340.pdf).
  40. Find A Grave, database with images (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=131087350&ref=acom : accessed 22 September 2016), image gravestone for Christopher Mackin, Resurrection Cemetery, Madison, Wisconsin, Find A Grave memorial 131087360.
Print Friendly

Tips for Attaching Trees to Your DNA Results

Posted on: January 10th, 2017 by
Comments Disabled

Today AncestryDNA announced that they sold 1.4 million DNA test kits in the fourth quarter of 2016, setting a sales record for the quarter and bringing their DNA database over three million participants.1 Blogger Kerry Scott, whose acuity and sense of humor I love, commented on Facebook, “The Cousinpocalypse is coming. Tree up, everybody.”2

Since I spend considerable amounts of time working with the trees attached to my AncestryDNA matches, I thought I’d share some tree tips for new testers and those who haven’t yet attached trees to their test kits.
Tip 1: Attach a tree, if you can, even if it’s minimal. I understand that many people who test are searching for birth parents and don’t know their biological family. If you’re not one of these folks, attach a tree to your kit. Period. Just do it. No excuses. Go back at least three generations, to ancestors who are not living, so that your matches will see actual names, not Private labels. (The way Ancestry trees work, if you denote that an individual is living, those viewing the tree do not see the person’s name, just the label Private, unless you specifically give permission to view information on living individuals–which you must do on an individual basis. This restriction is a good thing–it respects the privacy of living people, but it’s also why you need to make your tree extensive enough so that your matches will see names they can use to investigate connections with their own tree.)
Tip 2: Be sure you attach your kit to the correct person in the tree. In recent weeks I’ve encountered some problems with this in my matches’ results. For some of my DNA matches, their match list entry shows that they are female, but the attached tree suggests that they’re male. A bigger problem is where the test results are attached to a person other than the tester, thus showing the other person’s ancestors to DNA matches! This seems to occur where one spouse is administering the other spouse’s test kit, and attaches the DNA results to themselves instead of their spouse in the tree (but I’ve seen it in other circumstances). Trust me, your matches will spin their wheels for hours trying to find the connection! Be nice, and be sure you are sending them up the right tree.
Tip 3: Make your tree public. I know that there is a lot of debate about public versus private trees, and lots of perfectly valid reasons to keep a tree private. If you fall on the private side of this debate, do create a skeleton tree for your DNA results, with at least three and preferably four or five generations showing the tester’s direct ancestral line. You don’t have to attach sources to the skeleton tree, but be sure to include dates and places so your matches can tell whether your John Smith is theirs too. If you’re not willing to create a public skeleton tree, commit to religiously and promptly answering queries from DNA matches. Your Ancestry home page has a little envelope icon on the right side of the black bar at the top, next to your name. If you have a number on the envelope, you have a message. Click the envelope to see the message, and be sure to answer it.
Tip 4: Be as specific as you can with dates and places in your tree. Lots of us don’t know birth or death dates to the day, month, or year, but even approximate birth and death dates can help your DNA matches figure out who your ancestors are. Include places with the dates, and be as specific as possible in your place names. This means, include counties for ancestors in the U.S. If you put Joel Gerhard in your tree, and indicate that he was born in Pennsylvania about 1811, good for you! I’ll be even happier if you indicate that your Joel Gerhard lived in Schuylkill County, because that tells me that he could be my Joel Gerhard too.

Thanks for testing, and doing all you can to help your matches figure out your connections! The more you help them, the more they will be able to help you.

  1. “Ancestry Sets AncestryDNA Sales Record Over Holiday Period and Fourth Quarter,” 10 January 2017, Ancestry Corporate, Newsroom, Press Releases (https://www.ancestry.com/corporate/newsroom/press-releases/ancestry-sets-ancestrydna-sales-record-over-holiday-period-and-fourth : accessed 10 January 2017).
  2. Kerry Scott, comment on Angie Bush’s link of the Ancestry press release in “International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG)” group, Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/isogg/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED : accessed 10 January 2017).
Print Friendly