"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Ancestry Yearbook Pictures

For a year I had a subscription to Ancestry.com, and then canceled it last October because I didn't really enjoy genealogy that much, found the site a bit overwhelming, and I didn't have much to look up when it came time to cancel.  I've since found some things I'd like know so maybe I'll subscribe again one day.

I still get - and enjoy - their emails, and still often check DNA Matches to see if anyone new shows up related to me.

Yesterday I saw that they were offering free access to their collection of yearbooks so I looked up my parents, grandparents, myself, my maybe/probably grandpa and his children, Andrew, his parents and brother, and so forth.  I shared the link on Facebook for any curious friends, and also shared it with my Babycenter (private group) friends. Several of us there were posting pictures of the family we found in Ancestry's collection.

I wasn't able to find myself or my siblings, but I did find these gems:

Three of my mom in college:

One of my dad in college (with a white spot over his eye):

Andrew's parents:

High school (first 2) and then college for his mom:

Andrew's brother and himself, senior years. Were they instructed not to smile??

Jim's picture really amused me... 

Andrew and Jim really are more smiley than they appear in school. Haha

Christmas 2017
Andrew: top right
Brother Jim: bottom right

My maybe/probably grandpa at a university where he taught in Ohio:

Wider view shows he was an adviser with Phi Sigma Kappa

Thursday, August 15, 2019

DNA-Match Mystery Solved (I think)

A couple months ago I wrote about Solving a DNA-Match Mystery as I awaited my aunt's DNA test results.  When my dad's high Italian DNA showed up, I thought it might be a mystery I'd never solve. It's pretty well-known that a great-great-something grandmother (she was born around 1810) on the Fuqua side never married though she had several (6, I think) children. I figured whoever fathered the child who became my direct ancestor passed along his Italian DNA. But then when the Greek* surnames showed up as very close matches to me and my dad, I had to rethink things.

I puzzled it out with my family. We have a Messenger group with just my parents and siblings. My mom actually made the correct suggestion. I had been looking at my grandfather as he was a known cheater. I was trying to make it fit with him.

But my mom suggested my grandmother - my dad's mom - was the key.  At first I said no because I had matches with her cousins, but then...yes, you're right, Mama. The ones missing from my list are Fuquas and Hamletts and Websters! What is the meaning of this?  And...how...?

And while I can't ask my grandmother for any information since she died in October 2017 at age 91, I can make some educated guesses. All this thanks to the Ancestry DNA Matches feature plus a rather detailed online obituary.

So, I've concluded that my dad's full siblings are really half-siblings, and he's not even biologically related to all those aunts, uncles, and grandparents he grew up with!  (His parents divorced when he was ten so he lived with his grandparents and was/is very close to his aunts and uncles.)  He has several half-siblings plus extended family in Ohio whom we only know about thanks to the DNA testing.

I wondered how the Ohio guy and my grandmother met. Because his obituary mentions his service,

"...veteran of the U.S. Army, serving with the 82nd Airborne Division; 504th Parachute Regiment, qualifying as a parachutist and gliderman."

I was able to look up that division and saw they are based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina!  Perhaps he came through on a bus or train and met my grandmother. Or maybe he had a buddy in this area, and came here on leave. Or maybe she traveled to Fort Bragg. I'll likely never know.  But I know so far two of the children and three of the grandchildren listed in his obituary are on my DNA Match list.  And based on how accurate the DNA has been on all the other matches, I can't easily dismiss this!

This is already too wordy so I'll close.  Feel free to ask me any questions especially if I need to clarify something.

* Although the DNA presently shows up as Italian according to Ancestry, the family is Greek with the grandparents coming from the Isle of Rhodes in the early 1900s.  One of the DNA Matches (Laura) provided this information about a year ago when we chatted briefly about our close DNA connection. I've not heard from her since.


Thursday, August 1, 2019

July Books

The Whispered Word by Ellery Adams -- Another books from Miracle Springs, NC, featuring the Secret, Book, and Scone Society members. This time a stranger in town Abilene needs help, and the SB&SS helps her and hears her story. An easy, OK read.

The Road Home by Richard Paul Evans -- the final book in the Broken Road trilogy. Charles James, the multimillionaire seminar speaker who supposedly died in a plane crash, is finishing up his walk along Route 66. An easy, good read.

Exposed by Lisa Scottoline -- Mary DiNunzio agrees to help out a childhood friend who believes he was wrongly terminated because his daughter's cancer treatment cost the company a lot of money. Mary agrees to the case, but then finds out that her partner Bennie Rosato represents the parent company. Another exciting book in this series!

Wherever She Goes by Kelley Armstrong -- a pretty good book; I liked the main character, Aubrey, who tries hard to be a good mom to Charlotte, but her past haunts her and she looses her marriage and seems to be hanging onto her child by a thread. When Aubrey witnesses a kidnapping, she isn't taken seriously by the police so she starts looking for the child on her own. Is she crazy? Will this be more ammunition for her ex-husband in a custody battle?

Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith -- book 2 in The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series; Mma Ramotswe shows me life through her eyes; cute story.

The Very Picture of You by Isabel Wolff -- this was much much better than the two previous books; this book was more like the library books I've read from this author. In fact, this reminded me of the Vintage Affair book due to the portraiture going to people's houses or hosting them in her studio and learning some of their stories. But I like that aspect and this book was a much better read than the Tiffany and Minty books.

Morality For Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith -- book 3 in The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series; Mma Ramotswe and her secretary/assistant detective move headquarters to Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni's garage. Another cute story and easy read while the kids are in town. I read nearly half this book while Sophie played four hours at the park yesterday.

The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith -- book 4 in The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series; Mma Ramotswe looks for tips in dealing with her foster son; meanwhile her secretary/assistant detective decides on a way to earn a little more money by using her typing skills. I enjoy these books!

Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson -- a look at acceptance and life at West Point (and a bit beyond) through the eyes of three friends, Dani, Hannah, and Avery. The author's father was stationed at West Point so she lived there several years. Pretty good story.

A Question of Love by Isabel Wolff -- I received this book for my birthday from my Amazon Wishlist. It wasn't as good as some of hers, but I liked it pretty well. Laura likes facts, trivia, useless information, and she is the new host of a show involving puzzles. An old boyfriend is one of the first contestants on the show, and suddenly Luke is back in her life. Is this a good thing?

Feared by Lisa Scottoline -- Mary DiNunzio and her partners are being sued for reverse-sex discrimination when three men claim they were not hired due to their not being female. The lone male associate is thinking of quitting when something terrible happens that .. well, just read it if you like these types of books.

The Memory House by Rachel Hauck -- Beck Holiday, of the NYPD, inherits a house in Florida after a lady named Everleigh dies. Since she's currently suspended from the force, she travels to Fernandina Beach and finds people who knew who during the years her father was alive, years Beck cannot remember.

Everywhere That Mary Went by Lisa Scottoline -- remember all those books I've been reading about Mary DiNunzio and her associates at the law firm? Well, as far as I know, this book introduces readers to Mary and it goes way back to 1993 when people had car phones, but not smartphones that we use nowadays. I enjoyed reading about Mary and Judy back in the day, and compare/contrast them then to what I learned about them in the newer series.  In this book, Mary is being harassed by hang-up phone calls, anonymous letters, and the fact that she no longer thinks her husband's death was an accident.

The Light Over London by Julia Kelly -- I enjoyed this story about Cara who works for an antique company and finds a diary from World War II. She decides to track down L.K.'s family, if possible. In the meantime - or between chapters, we learn more of the story of Louise Keene and her work in the Ack-Ack Command. Good book!

 The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith -- book 5 in The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series; the story continues; Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni is supposed to jump out of an airplane in order to raise funds for the orphan farm. Meanwhile Mma Ramotswe wonders when they will ever set a date to be married. 

All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner -- Annie Jacobson and her family survived their father leaving a dozen years ago, but now that Mike, the older brother, is headed to Vietnam, Frank (formerly known as "dad") comes back into the picture.  A pretty good story.

Legal Tender by Lisa Scottoline -- this book introduces readers to Benedetta Rosato aka Bennie who was quite prominent in the later series featuring her and Mary. In this book Bennie's partner wants to dissolve the company that they built together.

Becoming Us by Robin Jones Gunn -- an easy read I found in the New Books area; After a few years of living with her inlaws in North Carolina, Emily and her husband and daughter move across the country to take over a car lot ownership in southern California. As the family struggles to make it, they make friends - especially good girl friends. This book focuses a lot on family togetherness and friendship togetherness.

Troublesome Creek by Jan Watson -- an easy read and fairly interesting look at life on a mountain farm in the l800s. Copper Brown is 15 years old, and her mother (actually her natural mom's sister) is talking about sending her off to boarding school. But Copper loves her way of life, and wants to stay.  Pretty good book. I actually read this years ago, but it's been so long that hardly any of it seems familiar. My mom read it recently and there are two follow-up books which I don't think I ever read so I plan to do that soon. 

Willow Springs by Jan Watson -- this continues the story of Copper Brown as she marries and makes a life with her husband in a new area, outside her beloved mountains. She battles homesickness, but then starts making friends in the community.