W – War Bonds GenealogyPhotoADay


This unlabeled picture was among the photos my grandmother gave me. My grandfather is the person standing on the far left (in overalls).

The flag is the “Minutemen Flag”. It was awarded to groups that met or exceeded U.S. Bond sales during World War II. (Savings Bond Flags)

At first the clothing puzzled me. Why would people in suits be pictured with people in overalls. Since my grandfather worked for the Santa Fe Railroad in Dodge City, I believe this picture may be the Santa Fe employees who had funds taken out of their pay checks to purchase war bonds.

So far, I haven’t identified the location of the picture. The windows in the background are similar to those in the railroad depot. However, I haven’t found a picture of the depot with trees anywhere near it.

Who’s Coming to Dinner?

This weeks #52Ancestors prompt is “Who would I most like to invite to dinner?”

WINLEON2My immediate thought was my grandmother, Winnie Letha Currey Crawford. I really miss our conversations and the family stories she would tell. Each summer from the late 1970s until the 1990s, I would spend a few days in Dodge City with her.

It was during one of these trips that grandma got me started researching the family history. Since her mother died when she was 10, she didn’t know much about her mother’s family. Grandma asked me to help her learn about her grandmother, Julia Harding. She especially wanted to know where Julia was buried.

Grandma and I even spent a couple of days in the Kansas City area visiting cemeteries and one of her distant cousins to see what we could find. Unfortunately, my grandmother died before learning where her grandmother, Julia,  was buried. Laura, one of grandma’s great-nieces has found evidence that Julia Harding Hutchinson was buried in Elwood, Kansas. Unfortunately, Elwood has been affected by river flooding over the years. It is possible that this river flooding is preventing us from finding the gravesite.

I’d love the opportunity to share what I’ve found over the years and to learn more from her.




Shared Matches Issue

I recently learned how to use the ‘MedBetterDNA‘ extension for Chrome. In order to take advantage of the features of this extension, I have been editing my notes for DNA matches. While working thru some of the matches, I discovered a match that wasn’t listed as a hint when it should have been.

When I looked at the tree, I found several common surnames, including Hammond and Fisk

When I expanded the Fisk and Hammond surnames, I found my ancestors: Louisa Fisk and Horatio Hammond.

My Ancestry Tree, Heartland Genealogy, contains both Louis Fisk and Horatio Hammond.

Is this just an Ancestry glitch today, or is there some other issue keeping my tree from matching up with other trees?

U – Unknown GenealogyPhotoADay

Genealogists understand a brick wall. Usually, that refers to the inability to find the parents of an ancestor. For me, one of my ‘brick walls’, is a family story that I believe to be true but haven’t been able to document. Thus, my unknown.

When I first started researching the family, I would spend a summer weekend traveling six hours to Dodge City so I could spend some time with my grandmother. Even though we basically set around her apartment, read and talked, these weekends were precious to me. During one of those weekends, I wrote down her story about her childhood in a children’s home in Kansas City.

So far, I haven’t found a children’s home on Independence Road (actually Avenue), let alone records for such a home. However, I did find a Rev. Charles Litten in the 1913 Directory of Kansas City, Missouri.

According to the entry, Rev. Litten was the ‘sec and genl mgr Conserving Assn of America’ at 2610 Cleveland in Kansas City, Missouri. Further searching is required, but I feel like this directory entry is a major lead to finding verification that my grandmother lived in a children’s home.

What I’ve Learned from DNA Testing

The January 10, 2018 issue of our local newspaper (The Courier Tribune) contained an article on DNA and genealogy (The Skinny on DNA Testing, by Greg Newlin) This article skimmed across the topic. Unfortunately, it also promoted the opinion that DNA testing is too commercialized.  [Note: Article may be behind a paywall.]

Thanks to Blaine Bettinger, Marty Flanagan, and many, many other genealogists that have shared their knowledge of DNA testing in a variety of ways, my knowledge of this field has grown tremendously.

Wanting my small community to have an understanding of the benefits of DNA testing, I wrote a letter to the editor which was published in the Jan 16, 2018 paper. Below is my letter:

What I’ve Learned from DNA Testing

I am writing in response to the article “The Skinny on DNA Testing” by Greg Newlin in last week’s Courier Tribune. Although I agree that there is a lot of commercialization of DNA testing, particularly at Christmas time, I felt the article fell short when discussing the benefits of DNA testing. Thus, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned over the past few years about DNA testing.

My experience with DNA testing began a few years ago when I spit in a test tube to have my DNA tested. Since the bulk of my genealogy research was on Ancestry, I purchased my kit thru Ancestry. Since that time, I’ve had my brothers and mother tested on Ancestry.

When I first submitted my saliva, I was hoping to prove two things. First, I wanted to prove that my father’s (Crawford) family was related to another Crawford family that lived in the same area and followed the same migration path over 100 years. Second, I wanted to prove that my grandmother’s grandfather, Hiram Currey of Leavenworth was a grandson of Hiram M. Currey, who was the treasurer of Ohio in 1819.

My experiences with DNA have taught me the following:

  1. There are three kinds of DNA tests: autosomal, mitochondrial and yDNA. Autosomal testing evaluates the information on the 22 pairs of non-sex chromosomes and the X (female sex) chromosome. According to genetic genealogists, this test is most accurate for identifying the sixteen family lines of my great-great grandparents. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test uses DNA found in the mitochondria (energy storehouse) of cells. The mtDNA test is used to discover female lines in a family tree. The yDNA test evaluates the information on the Y (male sex) chromosome and helps unravel male lines. Since one of my goals was to learn more about my dad’s (Crawford) heritage, I asked one of my brothers to do a yDNA test.
  2. Even though Ancestry has the largest pool of DNA data, it isn’t the only company doing autosomal DNA testing. The growing list of companies doing this type of testing includes: 23andMe, My Heritage, and Family Tree DNA. A list of companies and services provided can be found on the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) wiki at https://isogg.org/wiki/List_of_DNA_testing_companies
  3. DNA tests go on sale at various times throughout the year. The Black Friday / Christmas sales are the most popular, but tests also go on sale for DNA day and usually for holidays like Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
  4. I could download my data from Ancestry and upload it for free to MyHeritage and FamilyTreeDNA.
  5. Gedmatch is a free tool that will show matches with other Gedmatch users who tested at other companies. Gedmatch also includes a chromosome browser that helps in identifying matches.
  6. A lot of adoptees are using DNA to find their birth families, including some of my matches. Many of the leaders in the field of genetic genealogy are adoptees. The purpose of the Facebook Group, The DNA Detectives, is to help use DNA results in this quest.
  7. DNA inheritance is random. My brother’s and I share some DNA but our DNA isn’t exactly alike.
  8. The Ethnicity reports were interesting but not why I took the test. However, Ancestry’s newer “DNA Story” screens are helpful to track the migration paths of my ancestors. See http://heartlandgenealogy.blogspot.com/2017/10/my-dna-story.html
  9. With (currently) over 928 pages of matches for just me, I have more DNA matches than I can manage.
  10. I’m finding other 2nd, 3rd, and 4th cousins and sharing information, including photographs, with them.
  11. With the ‘shared matches’ tool on Ancestry, I can locate more ‘cousins’ that descend from an ancestor and contact them.
  12. Ancestry’s DNA Circles tool is valuable in linking me to cousins that don’t share DNA with me but do share DNA with other descendants from the same ancestor.
  13. My DNA matches verified my circumstantial evidence that Hiram M. Currey of Leavenworth is descended from Hiram M. Currey of Ohio.
  14. My DNA did not match the descendant of the other Crawford line. However, we both match another Crawford line. At this point, none of us know how we are related, but our research continues to look for proof of the relationship.
  15. Surname Projects are utilizing the yDNA results of members to figure out the family tree for that surname. Since participation only requires a yDNA test on FamilyTreeDNA, my brother is part of the Crawford project. By participating in the project, I’ve verified that my Crawford line goes back to Scotland.
  16. There are a lot of ways to learn more about DNA, including Facebook groups, YouTube videos, and area genealogical societies.

For me, DNA has been a valuable tool in my genealogical research.

Marcia Philbrick

R – GenealogyPhotoaday

Ricketts Family – Spring 1920 in KS

Left to Right:

  1.  James Marshall Ricketts 1847-1920 (eggs in hat)
  2. Harry ? son in law of
  3. Clemuel W. Ricketts 1863-1950 (brother of James)
  4. ? Adobpted girl of Harry above
  5. Ella Cooper Ricketts (wife of Clem)
  6. Daisy Ricketts (daughter of Clem & Ella)

Photo obtained from Pauline Mentzer Briles of Emporia, Kansas

What Are Unsourced Citations on Ancestry?

While investigating an issue with Ancestry hints brought up by Russ Worthington in a comment on the Genea-Musings blog post, “When Did Ancestry.com Last Index Ancestry Member Trees?” I discovered ‘Unsourced Citations’ on Ancestry.

These ‘Unsourced Citations’ appeared in a small tree created by uploaded a gedcom file to Ancestry and then using TreeShare to bring the tree down into RootsMagic.

When I looked at the event in RootsMagic, there were sources attached.

The sources are complete.

Upon further investigation, I found that these ‘unsourced citations’ were the Notes attached to an event.

Since my tree was created by uploading a gedcom file, I looked back at the gedcom export screen and found that I had included the Notes in the gedcom export.

Thus, the source of the ‘Unsourced Citations’ are the Notes attached to an individual event.

Why do those notes transfer to Ancestry (via gedcom) as a citation?

Ancestry Hints: Public vs Private

I’m writing in response to Russ Worthington‘s comment on the Genea-Musing’s blog post,

When Did Ancestry.com Last Index Ancestry Member Trees? In the comment, Russ brings up the issue of hints not showing. Since I haven’t noticed an issue with ‘missing’ hints on my un-indexed tree, Russ’s post made me question whether I was indeed missing hints. However, I did notice one difference between my tree and Russ’s experiment. I work with a public tree and Russ’ test was with a private tree.

Thus, I wanted to know whether public trees produced hints when the tree lacked Ancestry sources. Thus, I needed a public tree (small) without Ancestry sources. Since I’ve been searching for Judson Crawford to see if my tree was indexed, I decided to create a small public tree on Ancestry for Judson Crawford, his wife, children and parents.

My first attempt at creating the tree was to drag Judson and his family into a new tree. When I tried to use TreeShare with this new tree, I did not get the option to upload the tree. Instead this small tree was connecting to my large tree on Ancestry.

For my second attempt, I created a Gedcom for Judson and his family. I then imported that gedcom into a new RootsMagic file. Again, I couldn’t use TreeShare to upload this tree to Ancestry.

On the third try, I uploaded the previously created Gedcom to Ancestry. I then used TreeShare to download that tree into RootsMagic. [JudsonTrial2]

Lightbulbs started appearing in the RootsMagic tree shortly after the download completed.

On Ancestry, those same individuals with light bulbs in RootsMagic had hints in Ancestry.

Based on this experience, I would conclude that there might be a difference between private and public trees in the way hints are populated. Unfortunately, the public/private tree status was not the only variable in our two experiments. Russ uploaded his data from his software to Ancestry and I downloaded my experimental tree from Ancestry to my software. In addition, I’m using RootsMagic while Russ is using FamilyTree Maker.