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Messages - SMJ

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Shropshire / Re: A Shrewsbury novel
« on: Thursday 02 May 24 22:19 BST (UK)  »
What period is the novel set in?

Went to the Wakeman School and married in the Abbey 45 years ago, so very familiar territory.

The Common Room / Re: Gentlemen Only Funerals in Wales - Why?
« on: Thursday 02 May 24 22:08 BST (UK)  »
Still quite common when I lived in Bargoed, Mid Glamorgan, Wales in 1980-1990.

World War Two / Re: RAF record of service
« on: Monday 15 April 24 13:30 BST (UK)  »
LTTB = Local Trade Test Board (an examination or review to check the competency of the individual in their RAF trade)


Wales Resources / Re: lead mines in Maeshafn north wales
« on: Sunday 14 April 24 01:55 BST (UK)  »
No much social history, but you may find something useful from the ongoing links.

Feature article about lead mining in the Mold area by the Mold Civic Society at

Basic map showing relationship of mines in Flintshire at

Info on Flintshire Lead mining (aimed at cavers etc.) at

There is material held by various archives but not online, a quick search revealed including a plan of Maeshafn Mine linked here

An 1890 geological overview of the area is available to download free. Page 191 for Maeshafn (Maes-y-safn) Link

Hope you may find something.

Could the word be 'draped'

Armed Forces / Re: regiment and rank, please
« on: Monday 04 March 24 23:16 GMT (UK)  »
If you allow some car talk.

I may be wrong, but I think the first car is a 'bitza' made from various re-used or unrelated body panels. The line of the scuttle from the windscreen to the bonnet is wrong, the louvred cowls are mis-matched in height and do not follow the line to the radiator - notice the square seam above the radiator grill with nowhere to go.

There is also 'feature' or seam at the bottom of the scuttle that is missing from the louvred cowls, the scuttle may have had a few inches removed from the bottom leaving a mismatch in height with the door kick plate. There is also evidence of a moved horn, windscreen or light bracket on the scuttle and the hand-brake is in a position that is virtually unusable.

Someone has taken a four seat tourer chassis and made themselves a two seat roadster by moving the seats, steering and door to the rear and filling in the gaps.

This tradition carried on into the 1960s with a lot of 'fake' Bentley 4Ĺ litre GP cars made from the sedate Bentley Mark VI saloon. I did something similar with a Ford Cortina transforming it into a Marlin Berlinetta.

The Common Room / Re: Mothers maiden name as surname.
« on: Friday 09 February 24 00:29 GMT (UK)  »
In my family in 1868, the son of John Wilkins & Emma Toplis was given the name Toplis Wilkins.

If it helps finding if this is a societal trend, John worked at Ibstock Colliery in Leicestershire as a colliery engine driver, a responsible job controlling the horizontal steam engine that winched the coal and men from the bottom of the pit. He did this job from 1871-1911.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: Y-DNA the results.
« on: Sunday 24 December 23 02:42 GMT (UK)  »
Because the Y-DNA and MtDNA follow the direct paternal and direct maternal lines of the assumed family tree from the tested individual, any difference in the haplogroup from one generation to the next is an indication that the genetic relationship is broken.

A son should have the same Y-DNA as his genetic father, genetic paternal grandfather, genetic paternal great-grandfather and so on back in time. Similar for the mt-DNA and females, though males also carry mt-DNA but do not pass it on to children.

The scenarios to look for are determined by which DNA is different across the generation. As with anything, there is the possibility of an invalid test but in terms of the timescale we are looking at, Y-DNA and mt-DNA are immutable and do not change significantly.

The usual technique is to go back a few direct generations in the tree and then descend down another direct generational path of the same sex to find someone else who has tested for comparison. Direct male lines should have the same Y-DNA, direct female the same mt-DNA. This is where the larger database of FTDNA has an advantage as there are a greater number of possible DNA hits. It also requires a reasonable amount of family tree lineage to provide the documentary context.

If there are differences in the Y-DNA or mt-DNA between generations, the paper history is likely to be incorrect. The assumed (documented) parent(s) and the genetic parent(s) are different so you need to look at scenarios that fit that outcome. If both the Y-DNA and mt-DNA differ from other siblings in the family, a simple adoption from outside the immediate family may be the reason.

A father in a second or subsequent marriage will produce children with different mt-DNA to their older siblings, but as the father is common children will have the same Y-DNA. In close knit communities where marriages are seldom made outside the community, it could be possible for wife 1 and wife 2 to have the same mt-DNA and so produce children with the same mt-DNA and Y-DNA making it difficult to differentiate. This is one area where AuDNA is useful as an additional tool to separate the genetic contributions of wife 1 & 2.

If the Y-DNA is different it could be the wife had a child with a different partner or previous marriage, or a sister of the wife handing over a child to be brought up. The sister and the wife should share the same mt-DNA. Another possibility is a mother or aunt bringing up the child of a young or unmarried daughter/niece as their own, again not uncommon.

A difference in the mt-DNA could indicate the male of the household had a child from a previous relationship or marriage, or a recent relationship outside of marriage.

To work you need relatives to share their DNA to enable as many comparisons as possible to be made - at some stage someone has to be brave and be the first to take the tests and upload and encourage others in the family to join in too.

Although the Y & mt DNA database is smaller the information you get is accurate and can be definitive in stating if a relationship is valid. If the Y-DNA matches father to son, you can say that it is very likely they are related, remember another male in the vicinity with the same Y-DNA is still a possibility (a brother of the father or a paternal male cousin for instance). If there is no match then that father and son are not directly related genetically.

Sometimes this process can throw up numerous family contradictions too. Many well documented historical families have found that their robust family tree is slightly shakier after Y-DNA testing has confirmed that the heir-line to an estate is in no way directly related to previous generations due to a Y-DNA mismatch.

For surname changes, the FTDNA family name interest groups map surname against DNA haplogroup types. In my own case my surname is Jones and my Y-DNA is J2-L26. If I look at FTDNA there are very very few J2-L26 entries with Jones as a surname. However one of the highest occurrences is the surname Montgomery. This opens up a few possibilities.

A NPE sometime in the past. Probably the most likely.

A simple change of surname.

The Jones dataset is too small.

Did the son of a simple John from/of Montgomery take the Welsh patronymic form ap Ioan (John) becoming Jones when he moved across the border to Shropshire?  It's likely the Scottish Montgomery Clan took 'de Montgomery' with them on their move to the Western Isles.

The DNA to surname mapping is also useful in finding geographic clusters of names with similar spellings, are they all related genetically?


The LivingDNA test was an opportunity to get some data at a reasonable cost. A tie-in with Find My Past (3 months free full access)and provided an AuDNA file (approx 65k data points), a YDNA file with 288 SNP data points and a mtDNA with only 22 data points. The LivingDNA Y-DNA prediction did tally with YSEQ Cladefinder though even if it is a long way up the Y tree.

Inevitably, I see myself taking a Y700 in a few years time.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: Y-DNA the results.
« on: Thursday 21 December 23 21:55 GMT (UK)  »
As with any tool you use, itís worth looking at the advantages and disadvantages when making your mind up and setting your expectations.

Y-DNA - near to 100% accurate. Will identify the direct male-line. Will show possible Non-Parental-Events, illegitimacy, adoption, surname changes (happens a lot in the Welsh English Marches with patronymic surnames), Clan ties and surname clusters.

MtDNA - does for the female line what Y-DNA does for the male. Particularly useful in chasing offspring from re-marriages and relationships outside of marriage. If your Grandmother and Great-Auntís female descendants have different MtDNA, this is the tool you need.

Both of these results are immutable and the fact that they span back several hundreds of years is an advantage not a disadvantage. In my own case I know itís probably not worth looking for any direct paternal connections to the ancient Princes of Wales or the High Kings of Ulster. Itís also shows any obvious NPE issues.

Autosomal DNA is based on statistical analysis and the probability that someone sharing similar DNA may be related to you. It is not a guarantee, just a best guess. It depends on the size of the data pool and the accuracy of the data model. This can be skewed by some parts of the World not allowing DNA research in the public domain (France for instance) and the popularity or not of DNA based family research in different regions of the World or even regions within a country. However, the ethnicity estimates are popular.

I decided that I wanted the information gained from the knowledge of my Y-DNA and MtDNA as I wanted to chase the direct maternal and paternal lines. The ethnicity estimates provided by the AuDNA was less important. The cost of the FTDNA Y-700 was and still is prohibitive, and the lack of easy purchase options from the UK ruled it out.

Luckily, LivingDNA were offering SNP based Y-DNA, MtDNA and AuDNA for about £70 so that was chosen with an upload to GedMatch later.

I know I may well give in and do a Y-700 test later, but at least Iíve enough information to be getting on with for a minimal outlay.

All I have to do now is find the paper evidence to support my AuDNA result. It is indicating an unknown Ulster/SW Scottish share of 19%.

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