Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pioneer Ancestor Found via Family Search

I received an email today that stated “Charlene, we've found pioneers in your family tree”. Really this looks interesting. So I open the email to find:

Interesting, I think, but who is Andrew McCombs? I have never heard of him, of course I have to follow the link and click the big blue button above labelled “See My Pioneer Ancestors”. The link takes me to FamilySearch where I have to log into my account and now I am on the Pioneer Ancestor’s page.

Now I have two options, I want to view my relationship, so I follow that link.
And here lies the problem. Andrew McCombs is not my ancestor, well not my direct ancestor anyway. He at most is a distance cousin.  Why are the genealogy giants such as Family Search and Ancestry calling distant relations our Ancestors?  When I look up the definition of Ancestor I get the following: a person, typically one more remote than a grandparent, from whom one is descended. I don’t descend from Andrew then why do they get my hopes up and call him my Ancestor?

The second problem is the tree branch for my side (left) starting with Godfrey Hilts, I don’t have Godfrey as Lorentz Hiltz father but another Lorentz. This is the problem with a “shared” tree, anyone can make assumptions and changes. Therefore I click on Godfrey and see what sources were used for his record. When I click on Godfrey I do see that he has alternate names and a few are Lorentz plus Godfrey’s wife is what I have for Lorentz.

Wow, look at all the changes that FamilySearch is doing? Because you know they have to be the expert in my family, right? 

The reason given by FamilySearch – Engineer … was TF-907 Restore/Delete Cleanup. Oh, now that is clear as mud. However, no reason was given for the Alternate Name added by Family Search.

Now I do want to say that the Hilts/Hiltz/Heils family is very confusing. Especially with the entire last name variations but also because of all the familiar/common given names used in this family. I can’t say this is the only family such things have occurred, because heck I have other branches with similar problems. However I do want to say, that when a family that is large and uses the same given names in many branches, that it is not uncommon to find two people with the same name perhaps even born in the same year. This doesn’t though make them the same person. After doing a little more research in reviewing all the changes, I do see that someone merged a Godfrey to my Lorentz.

This frustrates me too much to deal with this mess. I could spend days, even weeks trying to clear up this mess. Heck I have done that in the past, but no more. I don’t have time to clear up this mess only to have someone come behind me and undo everything I just fixed.

This example just confirms why I do my tree on my computer with my genealogy software program. I can look at my sources and see why I have my tree the way I do. I can share my tree with other’s on other websites such as Ancestry and know that no one can undo what I have done. FamilySearch's idea of a “shared” tree is noble and I understand the logic behind the tree, but unfortunately, too many chefs spoiled the soup. Especially when they don't know what they are doing.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Some of my AncestryDNA Results

It’s been a while since I have posted anything on my Hilts/Hiltz side of the family. Basically because I have been busy sorting through all my DNA matches.  Since some of these matches are from my Hilts/Hiltz side of the family I thought I would share my results.

None of my matches actually share a “shaky leaf” which means there are no Shared Ancestor Hints. The main reason is that I and my matches don’t always record the Hilts/Hiltz ancestor name exactly the same. I found these matches by “searching matches” and typing in the surname of Hilts.

Here is what I have:

First of all, I expected to see as my matches, my two sisters and my brother, along with my two nephews. I understand if one nephew doesn’t show up, because perhaps he never used the Hilts spelling in his tree. However, my siblings and I are all tied to the exact same tree, since I administer all three of their tests. I first verified that we are indeed tied to the same tree which I labelled “My DNA Tree” because this is a striped down version of my tree, with no pictures, and only includes our direct ancestors and their children. I guess this is a question for Ancestry.

Otherwise, my closest match is a 4th Cousin (possible range: 4th-5th cousins) for C.H. (administered by lpowell61). This match happened to be a known match.  Our closest ancestor is Lawrence Hilts and his wife Nancy. This couple is both of our’s 3rd great grandparents.

My brother not only matches C.H. as a 4th cousin but also ronjanhome. This match also matches Lawrence Hilts and his wife Nancy. This couple is only ronjanhome’s 2nd great grandparents and thus we are 3rd cousins 1x removed.

One of my sisters not only matches ronjanhome as a 4th cousins but also matches crstearns3. However, our common ancestor with this match goes back two more generations to Lorentz Hiltz and his wife Barbara. Our common ancestor is our 5th great grandparents and that makes us 6th cousins. My sister must share a lot of DNA with this person to have it show up as a much closer match.

Finally my other sister not only matches ronjanhome as a 4th cousin but also matches rrothcpa. His tree however is “locked” and thus I can’t actually see how we are related. However if I check our “Shared matches”, Q.K. (administered by contentedjoy1) and teechelle24 show up as 4th cousin matches.

When I check out Q.K.’s tree, I do not find any Hilts branches. Perhaps this person hasn’t research their tree back far enough.  When I quickly view the surnames in her tree, none jump out as familiar. Perhaps she descends through a female Hilts and the name quickly changes from Hilts.

While teechelle24 does not have her results tied to an actual tree, when I view the results, she does have a tree tied to her account. However, in the three generations that are listed, all the names are private with the exception of her grandfather James Robbins and that name is not familiar with me yet.

When I selected “Shared Matches” for all the other 4th cousin matches, no new names appear.  I do have more “Distant Cousin” matches, but I will save those for another day.