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Topics - hdw

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1
Berwickshire / Soonhope?
« on: Thursday 15 April 21 20:59 BST (UK)  »
One of my Stephenson ancestors farmed at Soonhope, near Lauder, in the early 1800s. I'm not a native of Berwickshire and when I went looking for Soonhope some years ago, I found this derelict farmhouse in the hills near Lauder, and thought that might be it?

Can anyone confirm that this is Soonhope farmhouse? If not, what is it called?

Harry

2
Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Hunter-Gatherers v. Farmers
« on: Tuesday 19 January 21 17:01 GMT (UK)  »
This is just the latest in a series of articles I have read about how the invasion of Britain by Neolithic farmers changed the gene pool and the Hunter-Gatherers more or less died out.

https://www.scotsman.com/heritage-and-retro/heritage/new-stone-age-dna-breakthrough-two-men-buried-cave-near-oban-6000-years-ago-3104530

So why does Family Tree DNA tell me that my DNA is 45% Hunter-Gatherer and only 42% Farmer? Am I the exception that proves the rule? (or a primitive throwback!).

Harry

3
Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Bryan Sykes (1947-2020)
« on: Tuesday 22 December 20 19:34 GMT (UK)  »
I'm sure many of us got our first taste of genetic genealogy from the books of Bryan Sykes, who has died at the age of 73.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/dec/18/bryan-sykes-obituary

Harry

4
Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / FTDNA ethnicity results
« on: Sunday 01 November 20 10:34 GMT (UK)  »
If you did the FTDNA Family Finder ethnicity test, have a look at your home page and you might get a surprise. They have just changed their ethnicity calculations, and my 33% Scandinavian has dropped to 0%. How can you lose 33% Scandinavian DNA overnight? They are now giving me 60% Great Britain, 28% Ireland, 11% Central Europe and a trace element from Finland.
My only Irish ancestors that I know of were Scottish emigrants to Ulster.
My wife has also lost her Scandinavian component but to compensate they have given her a trace element of Magyar (Hungarian)!

Harry

5
Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Neanderthal genes and Covid-19
« on: Thursday 01 October 20 19:41 BST (UK)  »
Having Neanderthal genes could increase your chances of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/sep/30/neanderthal-genes-increase-risk-of-serious-covid-19-study-claims

Harry

6
Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / The Vikings - again!
« on: Thursday 17 September 20 11:42 BST (UK)  »
There's an interesting article in today's Scotsman but I've written to the paper pointing out that there may be Scandinavian DNA but there is no such thing as "Viking DNA" any more than there is cowboy DNA or pirate DNA.

https://www.scotsman.com/news/people/not-all-vikings-were-scandinavia-scientists-say-2972743

For anyone interested in the latest research into the Vikings, who they were, and their beliefs, there is a fascinating new book by Neil Price, professor of archaeology at the University of Uppsala in Sweden, called "The Children of Ash and Elm: A History of the Vikings".

Harry

7
Armed Forces / Russian sailors in the Firth of Forth in 1944
« on: Sunday 19 July 20 19:20 BST (UK)  »
An interesting story from today's Scotland on Sunday. I'm not sure if the whole article will open up with this link or just the first few lines.

https://www.scotsman.com/heritage-and-retro/heritage/long-summer-when-2300-russian-sailors-anchored-firth-forth-2917474

Harry

9
Fife / unexpected spellings
« on: Friday 17 January 20 14:07 GMT (UK)  »
This may be of some use to inexperienced researchers who have had problems locating distant ancestors. It's only in recent times that spelling has been regularised, and sometimes your forebears may be present in the records but "hiding" under a surname spelling you never thought of.

Sometimes local pronunciations may be a guide. Certainly, in Fife, the pronunciation of a name by local people may be nothing like its official spelling. In my native corner of the East Neuk, for example, the name Corstorphine has usually been pronounced Strauchan. Nothing to do with the completely separate name of Strachan!

And Cunningham, in my home town of Cellardyke, was always pronounced Kinny. My granny Jessie Cunningham was known as "Jess Kinny".  My mother, a native of Crail, just 4 miles to the east, told me once that the Cunninghams there were known as Kinnins.

That proved useful recently when I was trying to help a correspondent to trace her Cunningham ancestors in the parish of Ceres. We got back to William Cunningham who married Jane or Jean Colville in 1806, but who were his parents? I finally worked out that they were William "Cunnings" and Euphan Gourlay, who were married at Ceres in 1773. A bit more research turned up their children, Thomas(1774), David(1775), Agnes(1777), all registered as Cunnins or Cunnings, then John and Christian, twins (1781), Andrew(1783) and another John(1785), all registered as Cunningham!

What has happened, I think, is that a new clerk or minister has decided that the old spelling Cunnin(g)s is rather uncouth, and they've substituted the more acceptable Cunningham.

So don't despair if you can't find your distant ancestors under the modern spelling of the name. Try the Fuzzy Matching option on Scotlandspeople, and if you happen to know that there is an alternative local pronunciation of the name, try looking under that spelling.

Harry


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