Monday, May 25, 2015

Military Monday - Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Medals were framed by his nephew James Gunn Ingram and sent back to Scotland to his namesake, Ian Robert Gunn.

Private Robert Gunn, January 24, 1944, Monte Cassino Italy. Robert Gunn worked for the Railroad and had a deferment but volunteered to enlist. He was a private in the York and Lancaster Regiment and received the UK Army Roll of Honor.

Between 17 January and 18 May, Monte Cassino and the Gustav defences were assaulted four times by Allied troops, the last involving twenty divisions attacking along a twenty-mile front.    The German defenders were finally driven from their positions, but at a high cost. The capture of Monte Cassino tolled some 55,000 Allied casualties, with German losses being estimated at around 20,000 killed and wounded.

Louis G. Carrow was my Great Uncle, my Grandmother's younger brother and also died in Italy. He was 18 years old when he died in Nettuno Italy serving in 7th Infantry Regt. Third Infantry Division. He  was reinterred in Baltimore National Cemetery in 1948.

George Patrick Faunt was also my Great Uncle, a much younger brother of my Grandfather Edward Faunt. He was born in Penns Grove New Jersey in 1918 and  also died in Italy in 1944. He left  a widow who gave birth to his posthumous son 4 months later and his widowed mother.

Eternal rest, grant unto them O Lord, may perpetual light shine upon them, and may they rest in peace ~

Friday, April 3, 2015

New Ancestors You Tell Me? No proof? Is this an April fool trick?

After a neat overnight getaway, I came back to find I had a new ancestral couple from AncestryDNA..Really? Where can this couple fit? I am not all all sure although they tell me this:

"Your DNA matches the DNA of members of the Salathiel Lacy Houk DNA Circle. Because you match DNA with this group, there is a good chance (about 50%) you could be a descendant of Salathiel Lacy Houk."

..And they are telling me that this is proven because I have a strong match to 3 of the 5 people listed below.
They seem to be proving this via some sketchy looking trees which at least  3 people have different relatives in.
My Circle above to Francis and Catherine Rementer  works better BUT one of those 4 people has an incorrect ancestor and is not  descended directly from Francis or his wife.So they are basing this on what? Other people's incorrect trees?
WHICH Ancestor is it linked to,surely not both as we inherit from one ancestor and not a pair?

So  I think they laid an egg on this one. A chromosome browser would have cleared up this big mystery for sure.

I cannot find anyone in this tree any where at all. This line of Houk's seem to move directly from Berks County PA to Tennessee and then Texas? Cotton farmers it is said in this catchy little anecdotal blurb they have shared with me.

The problem is that ALL of my own ancestors have remained in either the Delaware Valley or the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Collateral relatives of my ancestors would not be my relatives would they?

I have responded on the appropriate Beta form, so I sincerely hope that Ancestry corrects this unworkable exercise and cleans up their act. They have such a large database that they could do so well with  just a few tools.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tuesday's Tip - Fishing in all 3 major DNA pools ~ When the tide rises all the boats will float~

AncestryDNA has  32 pp matches for me ( about 1900) and 30 matches are 4th cousin or closer.. 3 of those are 2nd and 3rd..Note.. TWO known to me 3rd cousins are said to be distant, which is not correct.
14 Leaf hints and one 4 person circle with one of those someone who does NOT share the ancestor with the rest of us although he has not fixed his tree or answered any emails..

 For  23andme I currently have 1206 matches ( I rid myself of some 200 unresponsive distant matches a year or two ago)
10 are close relatives that I have tested.. 8 are 2-3rd cousins ( including the TWO Cousins who tested at Ancestry)
and 449 more or 4th cousins.. 467 total if you include the 18 close matches..

My Sister has MORE 4th cousins.. 526 including the close 23andme

At FTDNA I have 665 matches TOTAL and 8 are closer than 4th.. most known to me.. and 22 for sure closer than 5th cousins.. then it drops off quickly..
Few of my FTDNA matches have confirmed anything or even gotten back to me..

I am grateful that I have been able to test at all 3 places.. One big brick wall was broken down at AncestryDNA.. and a 2nd success was that the Circle pointed out to me that I had a lot of Rementer cousins who tested there..

The remainder of my successes have been at 23andme..


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ Descendants of Peter Rementer ~ No World Tree for me

AncestryDNA is making many many terrible mistakes with their product.Last week they blogged at Roots Tech about their improved Circle which would make Trees unnecessary.

Here is what happens without accurate records. In my only Circle at AncestryDNA I have 4 people. One person does not descend from my Francis X. Rementer at all,but from someone else via this Frederick Rementer. He does not seem to know this although he did once have it in his Tree. This death certificate ( from proves it..

Everyone is moving towards a One World Tree which has vast and awful implications I think..

I am not cooperating with anything besides my own basic lines. I started to put a Tree on Family but they started to load incorrect information so I took it out.. and they reprimanded me saying that I had removed other people's information..which was untrue.

" Dear Kathleen Carrow Ingram,

According to our research, you have recently deleted more than 25 records from Family Tree. Deleting records that you have not contributed will affect family history work of others...
Just as a reminder, Family Tree is an open-edit, collaborative system.  There are no private records or pedigrees in Family Tree, except those records of living individuals that you create...  If you wish to have private records of your ancestors, we suggest you use a personal computer program that is not online"

What I actually DID do is to delete a Tree that I was building on my own sign in at their site. Shame on me!!

My personal rant on Surname Saturday!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Shopping Saturday - Choices in Family Trees

Family Trees are a bit confusing.. 

My Heritage for me is free at this point in time but to confirm anything it wants to upgrade to Premium.. I only intend to have a tree less than 250 nodes( people?) so that it remains free.. so I cannot ever confirm anything..and just at 23andme.. if they expand it, I will expand it but for right now it does not allow me.. I do have all of my genetic relatives attached to the 23andme tree.. 11 of us connected..

Others use Can it stay private? Does anyone have a Tree there? Thinking about that one also since record search is free..

However which is decidedly NOT Free and that I pay through the nose to use as World Deluxe ( Irish and UK records) is likely what I will stay with..

My Tribal Pages Tree may remain but I am NOT going to upgrade to premium this year as has my major Tree..

Who else has something else?

There is a Tree of sorts at FamilyTreeDNA but it is not a good one I don't think..
 I should go and look and make sure the Gedcom is current.. which it probably is NOT

Software does not work for me..Twice I purchased Family Tree Maker and it crashed completely..
 I do have the free Legacy software that also lets me keep records but if my computer crashed then that crashes also..

SOOO it is for now..

Thursday, January 29, 2015

My Kirwan Cousins - Published in First State Genealogist ~ newsletter of Delaware Genealogical Society January 2015 ~

                                                   Paper records and DNA

I do a lot of work with DNA and have done so since about 2005 when my first cousin, Francis Faunt tested his DNA via the National Geographic project and catapulted us into another age and broke down brick walls between our family and the “old country”. He matched a man named Fant, of the Virginia Fant family is his Y line, which is my own grandfather’s male ( Y) Line. Their family had been in Virginia since the late 17 century while our folks were clearly still ensconced in Limerick.
Three major companies test DNA for genealogical purposes, more actually but let us stick to the 3 main ones. These companies which test DNA ancestrally in what is called autosomal DNA or “Cousin Tests” are:, AncestryDNA and Family Tree DNA.
I am an Administrator of 5 “Surname groups” at Family Tree DNA, including the large Lower Delmarva DNA group and my own Carrow and Faunt surname groups which are also in the Guild of One Name Studies. I have tested more than 20 persons in my own line using the “cousin tests”. I was a “beta tester” with 23andme when the first such test went public.
The majority of tested persons in my family is at 23andme, which I like the best for autosomal cousin matches. I also, as mentioned tested years ago at Family Tree DNA and still have a big presence there. Ancestry DNA which has a huge database, almost as large as 23andme has only one test from my! The reason for that is that aside from their “Trees” they have no “tools” to use to make sure that we are really looking at a DNA match that we inherited from a common ancestor with other cousins.

So oddly enough the single test from AncestryDNA has given me some recent stupendous results. A few years ago a cousin contacted me whose ancestor Anna Kirwan Downey was sister to my Great Grandmother Sadie Kirwan Carrow. Sadie and Annie were daughters of Patrick Kirwan and Lizzie Sweeney. He was adopted. The Sweeny/Huey line is well documented in NJ and Leckpatrick Tyrone and also, we now know, has offshoots in Chicago and has Delaware ties as well. ( More on that in a moment)
Anna Kirwan apparently marries Daniel Downey in Delaware and her sister Sadie Kirwan meets and marries Grover Carrow through her sister. I did always wonder why. And how she met him as both were young and likely not so very mobile. The men were working at Fort Delaware and Sadie and Grover Carrow lived there until the WWI when they moved to Carneys Point NJ.

All of these questions were solved when Five 3rd cousin matches jumped out at me when I finally tested at AncestryDNA, or very shortly thereafter. As I had mentioned, I had been reluctant to test there because they lack any type of comparison tools to make sure that we have inherited a segment of DNA from a common ancestor. The fact that their database of tested persons now exceeds 600,000 testers overcame my reluctance. Many researcher believe in “Fishing in all 3 ponds” which is all 3 companies. 23andme’s 800,000 testers and Family Tree DNA’s growing database of autosomal testers which although small at 150,000 is growing weekly. All three of these added together means that I am comparing segments of DNA against a pool of people which is soon to approach 2 million.

My 3rd cousin who is a Downey and a Kirwan turned up on my AncestryDNA 2 months ago and also matches another person who is a 3rd cousin. The new 3rd cousin shares segments of DNA which do indeed come from a shared ancestor, but her research does not tell us who that person or persons are. That they are Irish is definite as she has no other ethnicity in her background.

Enter Cousins 4 and 5 2 months ago, also at AncestryDNA. Well Cousins 4 and 5 were THERE prior to this date, but Ancestry DNA “refined” their interpretation of DNA matches in late November. When they did that, a HUGE amount of small matches were discarded and existing matches were sometimes enhanced.

At this point I was able to see that I had 3rd and 4th cousins sharing the surname of Kirwan and living in Chicago. My 2nd great grandfather Patrick Kirwan had come from Ireland to Southern New Jersey before 1878 when his daughter is born in Salem County to his wife Lizzie Sweeney. These new cousins felt that their ancestor, Sylvester Kirwan was from Carlow. My Irish researcher and myself had chased my Patrick all over Ireland with negligible luck. A death record and a marriage document indicated his parents were Jane or Jenny Kelly and Michael Kirwan AND his only son had been named Sylvester. Wow!
So someplace in County Carlow was probable and I went back and looked. After my Lizzie Sweeney died tragically leaving 5 children and a new born who did not long survive her, Patrick remarries. Patrick remarries very shortly after he is widowed to someone from Philadelphia. How did he find her? She was born in Knockroe Borris Carlow so we went and looked there. Yes. There is my Patrick being born to Jane Kelly and Michael Kirwan and 5 of his siblings. Jubilation for all of us.

What does the proof look like? Well for many many thousands of people the proof is that AncestryDNA indicates they are 3-4th cousins. Not good enough for researchers so I had to beg these cousin matches to “Download” their raw genome ( DNA segments) to a place called The other companies do it internally but not Ancestry. No tools remember? Here are the results.
Some of us share a Chromosome # 13 segments and some share #11 and some of us share more than that and from who remains to be seen.

Start Location
End Location
Centimorgans (cM)



Start Location
End Location
Centimorgans (cM)

My lesson here is that we need more than a common surname or a common location as paper records can be wrong, and conversely we need more than just DNA as how do we link it to a common ancestor?Everything that is in my arsenal is what I use, and I have broken down a big brick wall in my Kirwan line.
I also should add for you that my Carrow lines had DNA matches right away, almost as soon as 23andme went public with the first cousin test in 2009. Some of these lines go back to 1750, again with paper records as dual confirmation. It takes a lot of work and it is not magic nor is it a shortcut. Just proof.

Kathleen Carrow Ingram

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Surname Saturday - Kirwans of Borris, County Carlow, and the DNA pile up regions

AncestryDNA has a very large database, second only to 23andme which is why I finally tested my own genome there in 2104, kicking and screaming the whole way. 

I received my results back Easter weekend and was very pleasantly surprised to identify a known Carrow descendant, and her brother as my 4th cousin. At some point I realized I had cousins in this database who  shared my Kirwan/Sweeny line. 

There were other matches, not surprisingly, since I had at that point more than 11,500 matches.Eventually that amount topped out over 13,000 a ludicrous amount.A long anticipated and discussed "correction" of these matches, the majority of which were supposedly "IBS" or Identity by State was to happen late in 2014. IBD means we inherit genes from a parent and IBS essentially means  they could be not ancestral at all.

This correction when it occurred left me with 11% of the matches that I had 5 minutes before. This fact is known because Ancestry saved the whole big mess from before as a download. I was able to look and see that one Kirwan cousin was my match  #865 and his son #866 prior to the match. After the correction they moved up to #11 and #14 and jumped into my field of vision.

Other persons moved down  in hierarchy ( if there is a hierarchy based on relatedness) and  of course 89% of those matches disappeared. I sadly waved goodbye to some small Carrow matches and a few Fant from Virginia matches, who I never felt could be real anyway. My Kirwan  3rd cousin with a known ancestral ties to me moved from #24 to #57 and he tells me that I was once quite high on his list and now #27. He is still my third cousin of course but it is important to look at all changes and try to understand them.

AncestryDNA's white paper discusses ancestral "pile ups" and as an attempt to visualize them I went into Gedmatch today and posted the result of MATCHES ABOVE IN BLUE. Some of it I do see here or what I think it is because one of my Kirwan cousins is on here in an area begun and dominated by my Faunt cousin Francis. Odd as I do know that these cousins do not share my Limerick Faunts or my Donegal Dugans with me. 

I am concluding at his moment that some of these segments are as a result of very very old DNA from Ireland, surely an example of "by state", in this case the SNPs are pointing to a shared ancestral region shared by many. I also realize that this is not an accurate representation of "pile ups" but since Gedmatch came up today I took a peek at the segments I was questioning.

AncestryDNA does not yet market their product in the UK so it is possible their algorithm has excluded or included certain ancestral populations or is skewed in some other fashion not yet clear to me. 23andme has begin their UK and Canadian marketing push and they will incorporate some of the "nodes" of ancestral couple in their collaboration with My Heritage which has begin it's work.